Excluding Files from Backup

To exclude files from your backup, click on your backup plan on the left in Arq’s main window. Then click the Edit… button.

If the plan is configured to back up all drives, click Edit Exclusion Rules… to edit the rules.

If the plan is configured to back up specific folders, double-click the folder in the list to edit the rules.

Arq 6 can exclude files in 4 ways:

Unselect items within a folder

If you’ve chosen to back up specific folders (rather than “all drives”), edit your backup plan and double-click the folder in the list. From there you can uncheck items within the folder.

Wildcard Excludes

These rules can be filenames, paths, or path fragments and can include wildcards ? (to match a single character) or * (to match 0 or more characters). For example:

.Trash matches every file/folder named “.Trash”.

/Users/alice/junk matches 1 specific folder.

iTunes/iTunes Media matches any folder called “iTunes Media” located within a folder called “iTunes”.

*.log matches any file/folder whose name ends with “.log”.

file?.txt matches filenames like ‘file0.txt’, ‘fileA.txt’, etc.

data???.bin matches filenames like ‘data000.bin’, ‘data123.bin’, ‘dataabc.bin’, etc.

Regular-Expression Excludes

These rules must be regular expressions using ICU syntax. For example:

^/Users/alice/. matches every filename in /Users/alice starting with ‘.’

Skip Items Excluded by Time Machine Rules

This option tells Arq to exclude anything that Time Machine would exclude.

Note: This may include things that you’d rather not exclude, such as your Photos Library’s database.