Exclude rejected photos from Time Machine backups. Mac OS X only.

This plugin operates as a Lightroom shutdown task, adding backup exclusion attributes to rejected photos when you exit Lightroom.


I am notoriously bad photographer, so I must take a lot of photos. The other side of the story is that I typically reject 80% of the stuff I import into Lightroom. Of course, I didn’t think of this as a huge problem, and I don’t usually even delete the rejects permanently until I absolutely have to (because of laptop SSD space limits).

All my photos are backed up manually to USB drives and cloud, but I also use Apple Time Machine to make always up-to-date backup of my laptop, including photos. Time Machine uses a bit larger hard drive than my laptop (2TB), but it is shared with several computers, so it too has some size pressures.

Let’s say that I decide to import 10GB worth of images, then reject 80% of them – and then – unless I immediately delete them, the automated Time Machine backs up 8GB of photos that I’m not intending to keep. Rinse and repeat that for few days, and there is more rejected photos in the Time Machine backup than there is actual data on your computer, and all those are taking limited backup space, just in case you would end up restoring one of those rejected photos.

The Time Machine Reject plugin for Lightroom provides a solution for this problem by marking rejected photos not to be included in the backup. It uses Time Machine compatible attributes, which many of other backup solutions also take into account.

I wrote it to solve a personal computing problem. Your own interpretation of backup and rejected photos might be different, and if it does not suit for your situation, you are free not to use it. And vice versa, if you find it useful, it is available here, for free!


Get TMReject 0.1.1238

Version 0.1.1238 contains preferences to exclude current catalog’s previews from backup.


Unzip the package under your home folder, go to Lightroom Plug-in Manager, click Add and select TMReject.lrplugin.


Plugin operates when Lightroom is shutting down, updating backup attributes of newly rejected files (and including recently promoted flags into backup)


  • Photos that are already backed up by Time Machine are not affected

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