How to make Time Machine backups a bit more efficient

If you use a Mac, have Time Machine keeping a regular back up and use a cloud storage service (Dropbox, Box, Drive, One Drive, Tresorit, etc) you might be able to tweak your setting to make Time Machine more efficient and require less space.  By using a cloud storage service you are already keeping a regular backup of your most frequently used documents and files, so there is probably no need for you to keep another backup of them with Time Machine.  You might want the extra piece of mind of a backup on your own premises and in your control, but that said you already trust your cloud service(s) so Time Machine doesn’t offer much more.
Should you want to exclude the files in your cloud storage from Time Machine here are the instructions – screenshots in the slideshow below.
  1. Click Time Machine icon in menu bar and select Open Time Machine Preferences…
  2. If the icon is not visible then open System Preferences and choose Time Machine.
  3. Click the Options… button in the bottom right of the screen.
  4. Click the + to add a new folder to exclude from the back up.
  5. In the file browser that opens navigate to the folder you want to exclude, select it and then click Exclude (or hit Enter).  You can also select very large files that aren’t important for a backup.  For example I have an installer for OS X Lion that I don’t mind if I lose.

Click to add these instructions to your Evernote account (including screenshots).

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