I want to know if the list of Time Machine excluded files (pictured below) can be found in a file somewhere.

Time Machine exclude list

I know about the question On Lion, what files are excluded by rule from a Time Machine backup? which has a lot of good information about StdExclusions.plist, mdfind and tmutil – but not the answer for this question.

One answer also talks about .exclusions.plist, which is almost the answer to this question. But there's a catch, I haven't done a backup yet, so I can't read the .exclusions.plist file from the Time Machine backup volume.

I'm doing cd / ; sudo find . -iname "*exclusions*" now, keeping my fingers crossed.


The Mountain Lion settings are identical to the Lion settings as described here:

The answer is /Library/Preferences/com.apple.TimeMachine.plist

  • This was the key answer, since defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.apple.TimeMachine.plist ExcludeByPath does what tmutil listexclusions should have done – Jamgold May 6 '14 at 0:08
  • In Mojave defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.apple.TimeMachine.plist SkipPaths – malhal Jul 4 '19 at 12:11

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