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Backing up old macbook pro on WD Passport

Mac Basics and Help - MacRumors Forums - forums.macrumors.com
So we have this macbook pro from like 2010. It's come to be very very slow, probably due to all the absolute junk on it, so what I want to do is back everything up onto this hard drive and then format the compter back to factory, and recover a few files we need for work etc. I just want to check here before I do anything stupid. I backed up the laptop around a few months ago, and we've added new files onto it so it needs another backup. It's set up all on time machine but I can't figure out for the life of me how to update the backup... Is it automatic or what? I don't know how to check if it's all up to date with every file in it.

Also, after it's all backed up, is it safe if I just go ahead and completely format the mac? Will the backups still be available to access and recover files from? I know it sounds like such a stupid question but there are a lot of precious and sentimental things on this computer so I don't want to risk anything.

Thank you so much in advance

Edit: also, how do I remove all restrictions on accesability of users? we have 4 accounts on the mac and i can't seem to access someone else's user files on time machine, so im assuming if I erase the laptop this will be a problem in terms of users

 


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