How to selectively restore from Time Machine


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2015
Hello, recently, I have had forty to fifty Gbs missing (it is classified as "Other") and can't figure out where it is going. I have tried everything -- special software, deleting apps, etc -- but the results are always temporary. Anyway, I have decided to move my essentials to an USB, backup the entire Mac, and restore to factory settings and start all over. The problem I have encountered is that some very important apps (particularly, Photoshop elements and Microsoft word) may not be "backupable." So, is there a way I can just restore those apps without restoring the rest of the Mac?


Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
So, is there a way I can just restore those apps without restoring the rest of the Mac?
I don't think you are going to have much luck with that. Apps that don't have installers and are just drag and drop from the DMG can be moved over like that from a backup, but apps like the ones you mentioned use package installers that install support files in other folders. Even if you were able to figure out where every one of those files was, those apps also require hardware specific registration that normally has to be reentered when you move the app. For both those reasons, I don't think you will be able to make this work.

As an aside... what exactly is the issue with Other space? That readout is notoriously screwed up and almost always wrong.


macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
There is a certain amount of "others" you cannot avoid anyway, including Mac OS X system files, library files and some other miscellaneous support files.
My Mac only have 121GB available storage and I always can see 40GB of others in that hard drive page. I don't mind, as long as the free space is enough, system would be fine.


macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
Why don't you just reinstall them? You should still have your license keys etc? Both Office and Photoshop are extremely messy application packages which install literally hundred components in various locations of the filesystem. Last time I have installed Office by a dumb mistake, I decided to wipe the entire machine - that seemed faster to me than trying to uninstall it properly.
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