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Additionally to TM backing up everything every hour, I'd like sometimes to tell it to quickly add a backup of a single folder. Can that be done?

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Just in case you don't know: Time Machine is not an archiving tool or a revision system. After a few more backups it will start removing files from the backup, leaving you with the hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. –  Arjan May 22 '10 at 8:39
Yeah, I know that, but thanks anyway. ( I have a 1 TB disk for backup, I'm not expecting that anytime soon, my initial backup was 170 GB, from which I have to remove many useless files like movies, and progrssive backups are no more than a couple of MBs now ) –  Petruza May 23 '10 at 12:58
If by I'm not expecting that anytime soon you mean that you're not expecting Time Machine to remove things from your backup disk until that disk is full, then you're wrong. Time Machine will always clean up. Like: files that have not existed on your Mac for more than a week might completely disappear from your backup too. Also, Time Machine is keeping the first weekly backup, not the latest... –  Arjan Dec 2 '10 at 20:37
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you go to the menu item for TM, in the dropdown menu is an item "Make backup now" (or some such string, I use another language). It will immediately start to add all changed items, including all new files in that folder.

If you only want that folder, I don't know of a direct way, maybe a command line thing will work. But I'd choose the menu item I just mentioned.

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Indeed. And if one is running a normal backup every hour, then probably running it at command will probably not find a lot of other files besides those in that specific folder. –  Arjan May 22 '10 at 8:31
Yeah, that's what I do now, it seems what I ask is not possible thanks to Apple's "extremely easy and user friendly" design style. –  Petruza May 23 '10 at 13:00
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http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427 Selecting items to be excluded from Time Machine you could select your entire library to be excluded except for the individual file / folder that you want time machine to back up.

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I guess what Petruza is asking is what I would like; to be able to exclude the whole system drive except for one specific folder, which @Camreon indicates here (quoted below), is cumbersome, so he recommends other software. I am trying to backup 2 GB to a 3.4 GB flash drive and I receive an error that 164.6 GB is required. Get Info of the whole drive says only 22.4 GB are in use, Time Machine shows 25 GB excluded, so 164 GB certainly makes NO sense.

Unfortunately, Time Machine preferences only allow you to set which drives/folders you want to ignore, not which ones you want to back up. You can get the behavior you want by excluding all the folders you don't want backed up, but it's kind of cumbersome. I suggest using SuperDuper or some kind of VCS if you only want to incrementally back up one folder.

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I pulled in the answer from the linked (and [closed]) question. –  JoshP Sep 28 '12 at 14:27
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