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Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
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I have a question about backing up my data on my macbook

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I have a question about backing up my data on my macbook

Appleologist :

Hi, and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.

What questions do you have regarding backing up your mac?


FYI---I prefer to work with you not in chat---but will do so for now-It is pretty simple and straight forward. I have an external hardrive--I think that is what you call it - not a thumb

Appleologist :

Would you like me to switch it to Q&A mode?


I just need to know how to use it to back up my data and when to do it. and if I need to get something more up to date /different and if I need more than one form of back up. Q & A works best for me----show the way.

Ok we are now in Q&A mode :) Your computer comes with an application called Time Machine. This will automatically backup your entire computer when you enable it. To enable it, plug in your external hard drive. Then, Click on the apple logo in the upper left corner and choose "Time Machine" Under Systems. In the left column, switch time machine on. Choose "Select disk" and then choose your external hard drive as the backup drive.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok- give me a minute---i'm slow on this stuff.

No Problem. Take your time. Let me know if you get stuck on any of these steps

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok--I appear to have done it correctly---I have several questions-

1.'My passport name' = 'my passport'---could that be correct---unless i change it?

2. 'Set up 'time capsule' ?

3. Click the lock to prevent further changes?

4. Do I need to plug in the external drive?

5. Do I need any other form of back up?

6. 'Data deleted when disc becomes full'?

7. Anything needed to be done---now or later?

When you enable time machine (Which you already successfully did) Your computer will automatically backup your entire machine every time you plug in your external hard drive. Time machine is designed to delete earlier backups in the event you start to run out of hard drive space. You do not need to set up time capsule. (Time capsule is a wireless router and hard drive which you do not have) Time machine alone is sufficient enough to backup your entire machine. If you wish to change the name of your "Passport drive" You can do this in finder. Open finder by clicking on the happy face icon in the dock. In the left column under devices, you will see your passport. Click on it and then choose File<Get info. Under "Name and extension" Type in the desired name. Let me know if you get stuck
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok---I do need to plug in the external hard drive every day---night?

Confused as to what the external does---does that actually contain the data?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok---I do need to plug in the external hard drive every day---night?

Confused as to what the external does---does that actually contain the data? Also--I just unplugged the drive & a window popped up-'disk not properly ejected-always eject a disk first.'

Yes you will need to pug it in whenever you need to back it up. Normally, I personally plug in my external hard drive once a week Or when I feel like I have accumulated important data that I need to backup in case of a hard drive failure. The external hard drive does contain data when you perform a backup. Your computer copies all off your computers data and copies it onto your external "passport hard drive" So if your computers hard drive were to fail, all of your data will be on your external hard drive. I hope that make sense
To safely eject your external hard drive. Open your finder window again. In the left column you will see your external hard drive. You will then notice an "arrow" right next to your external hard drives name. Press the arrow to safely eject it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok---you said to open finder again---I did not open finder to get there before--- I did this---apple-then system preference then time machine---then the time machine window and on there I do not see the arrow

You can open finder by clicking on the happy face icon in the dock. It should be the first icon at the bottom. Then in the left column you will then see your external hard drive under devices. Next to your external hard drives name, click on the little arrow. If your external hard drive shows up on your desktop, You can also eject your external hard drive by dragging it into the trash.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

under devises I only see a disk icon that says 'untitled' and an icon that says 'idisk'---

Then your hard drive is already disconnected. If you re-connect it, you will then see it appear under devices. Do you see the arrow right next to your hard drive now?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I see an icon that was not on there before that says 'my passport' and when I click on it another column comes up that says 'backups'backupbd'

Ok you are at least in the right place. So safely eject your external hard drive. Right next to "My passport" you should see an arrow pointing up. Click on that to eject it. Another way of ejecting your external hard drive is to right click on "My passport" and then choose eject
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok----I clicked on that and 'my passport' disappeared-the whole window closed and when I opened it up again' my passport' was gone.


Also--after this is done---do I unplug it and then when I plug it in later--anything else to do?

Yes. You can now unplug it. There is nothing els you need to do.

Just a quick summary walk through: Whenever you wish to backup your machine (I recommend once a week or once a month depending on how much new data was saved on your computer) Connect your "My passport drive" to your computer. Time machine will automatically start backing up. When it is done, open finder (Click on the happy face icon on the dock) Click on the arrow next to "My passport" to eject it safely. When it disappears from finder, You can then disconnect it from your computer and you are all done.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Got it---excellent prompt service-ok to bookmark you as my mac go to person?

You are so welcome. You can absolutely bookmark our chat or you can reach me directly for all of your mac needs Thank you
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