time machine backups

Apple's built-in Time Machine app makes it simple to back up Mac data. You don't have to back up everything on your Mac, however. Here's how to selectively back up content using the Time Machine app in macOS Mojave.

Great backup drives

How to enable Time Machine backups on your Mac

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose the Time Machine icon.

    open time machine

  3. Click Select Backup Disk.
  4. Select which disk you'd like to use as a Time Machine backup.

    select backup drive

  5. Check the Back Up Automatically box in order to automatically back up your Mac to your chosen disks.

    backup drive automatically

How to exclude files from Time Machine

Time Machine will back up most of your Mac automatically, but you might want to exclude certain files.

  1. Open System Preferences on your Mac.
  2. Click Time Machine.

    select time machine

  3. Click Options….
  4. Click the + button.

    exclude files to backup

  5. Choose the files or folders that you wish to exclude.
  6. Click Exclude.

    excluded files

  7. Click Save.

    excluded files

Use the steps above to successfully set up a backup process on your Mac and exclude certain files from being backed up.

Our top equipment pick

There are countless hard drives available that support Apple's Time Machine app for backup purposes. These three are among the best on the market.

Ideal for most users

G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE

G-Technology G-Drive 1TB

Durable, colorful accessory

USB-C ready plus USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible, this stylish drive from G-Technology is lightweight and Mac ready.

Also available with 2TB and 4TB, G-Technology's G-Drive is one of the easiest drives to use for backup. Just plug it in and you're halfway there! It's available in silver, space gray, and rose gold.

Other options

The following hard drives are also among our favorites for 2019.

Sandisk 500GB

SanDisk Extreme Portable External 250B, 500GB, 1TB, 2GB (starting at $73 at Amazon)

This product proves that even hard drives can be beautiful.

Lacie Porsche Design

LaCie Porsche Design 1TB, 2TB, 4TB (starting at $90 at Amazon)

LaCie is well known for its backup devices; this is one of the most popular on the market.

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