Exclude Mac OS X system, cache, log, and deleted files

You can do a whole disk or a whole folder backup, and all files and folders in the disk or folder will be backed up. However, usually this is not necessary. There are many files and folders that do not have relevant information for backing up in them.

Immortal Files provides a way to exclude unnecessary files and folders.

To exclude files and folders from a backup

  • In the Immortal Files main window, select the File - Include checkbox next to the root folder for the main disk or your home folder.
    Standart exclude rules
  • To include the files excluded by default, clear the checkbox for the items: all system files, cache files, log files, or files in the Trash.
  • Click OK.

Exclude all system files

Mac OS X system files are the files used by the operating system to function properly. These files allow your computer to start up and include the standard system applications, such as Finder and Mail. These files can take as much as 10 GB on the disk. Leave the checkbox selected to exclude these files. (For creating a boot disk, you would need to include these files.)

Usually you do not need to back up system files because they can be easily restored from the Mac App Store or from the original OS X install disc. Apple provides an easy way to reinstall the system with a keyboard shortcut: press Control-Shift-Command (⌘)-R during startup.

If you exclude system files, all installed third-party applications are still backed up.

Exclude cache files

Cache files are the temporary files that allow applications to working faster. If, for example, you visit any website with Safari, Safari places some content from this website locally in cache files. When you visit the website again, Safari uses the local cache files (unless you reload the page). So cache files are available for optimization. Because these files are just copies of websites’ content or other data, it does not make any sense to back them up. These files will be redownloaded later anyway.

Immortal Files, by default, excludes cache files in these folders:

  • /private/var/vm
  • /.DocumentRevisions-V100
  • /.Spotlight-V100
  • /.hotfiles.btree
  • /.fseventsd
  • /System/Library/Caches
  • /private/tmp
  • /private/var/tmp
  • /Library/Caches
  • ~/Library/Caches
  • ~/Library/Caches
  • /private/var/db/systemstats
  • /private/var/db/BootCaches
  • /private/var/db/crls
  • /private/var/run
  • /private/var/folders
  • /private/var/backups
  • /cores
  • /Backups.backupdb
  • /.MobileBackups
  • ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData

Exclude log files

Log files record events that take place while software runs. They provide a trail for troubleshooting or for a security audit. It does not make sense to back up log files because they are automatically generated, and they may be very big. All applications recreate log files when the application is started the next time.

Immortal Files, by default, excludes log files in these folders:

  • /private/var/log
  • /Library/Logs
  • ~/Library/Logs

Exclude Trash

In Mac OS X, the Trash (or Recycle Bin in Windows) is temporary place where the system places files and folders when you delete them. These files are already scheduled to be deleted by the system, but have not been permanently erased. It does not make sense to back up these files because you may extract these files from a previous backup (prior to placing them in the Trash) by using the Immortal Files version feature.

Immortal Files, by default, excludes Trash files in these folders:

  • ~/.Trash
  • /.Trash
  • ~/.Trashes
  • /.Trashes
  • /lost+found

NOTE: There are some files that are always excluded by default. It does not make sense to back up these files because they are used by Mac OS X internally. Usually these files are recreated automatically after restarting the system.

The contents of these folders are excluded:

  • /.vol
  • /.file
  • /.journal_info_block
  • /.journal
  • /HFS+ Private Directory Data\r