Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

Which should I buy? iPad vs Macbook Air

What are your thoughts on the new 12" iPad vs new macbook air. For the price the iPad looks good but no USB port to backup to an external drive scares me. (Pictures are the only thing that I really am concerned about and I do back up to the cloud, but I will also upgrade to 1.5T) Sooo, any advice?
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Great question. The lack of a USB port is a good point but one should consider that the iPad is really a 100% cloud device. Don't consider the iPad a place where you would store data permanently. I consider it a window to storage in the cloud. Dropbox, iCloud drive, google drive, etc…

You should also consider the lack of keyboard which means that speed typing on an iPad is a challenge. I don't yet consider the iPad a complete replacement for an actual computer but the lines are getting blurrier and blurrier. Apple seems to now be marketing the iPad as a laptop replacement. But the audience for that may not be content creators quite yet. Others could argue this but my thoughts are that a laptop creates content. An iPad consumes content. That's a very broad statement but overall accurate for normal users.

To sum up, I think the iPad is a great second device but there are too many times I still have to go to my laptop to do serious work. Your decision would be based heavily on how you use your machine. Are you a creator or a consumer? Email, surfing the web, watching movies: iPad. Writing long documents, working on spreadsheets extensively, cutting videos together, keeping financial records such as extensive billing etc…: Laptop.

Why did I get a Preferences Error?

This popped up on my screen. Is this normal? Should I be worried?
IMG_3008
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You can close then reopen a few times. That message usually means it was asking for info from the internet and it didn’t get it in time. No big deal.

How long will it take to upload my photos to iCloud?

I'm trying to let my pictures upload to iCloud in Photos. Does this look like it will be finished soon?
56402426193__9BF8FAA2-021A-463A-B762-51C81C86189D
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It takes several hours (depending on your upload internet speed and the size of your photos library). Be patient. Leave Photos open in the background. You can use the yellow button in the top left corner to minimize it and continue to use your computer but it is important for Photos to remain open. For some people it can take several days for all the picts to make it up to the cloud. You can see the status either at the very bottom of Photos or within the preferences under "iCloud".

Do I need the Outlook app?

Hi! I have tried saving your contact twice To my address book and it wont save. Weird. Also, my outlook won’t work on my phone. It isn’t pulling my contacts or giving me Hotmail.
And last, I may need your help on photo thing.
Don’t want to mess it up.
Are these things you can help via text or should I reschedule? Or something I can find answers to in your website?
Thanks!
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There are many services that allow your phone to save contacts. iCloud, hotmail, aol, yahoo, gmail, etc… They all want to store your contacts so it can be very confusing.

As for the screenshots, you don’t have to use Outlook to check your hotmail account. Hotmails is owned by microsoft and they’d prefer you use the Outlook app but you can use the built in mail app just as well.

In regard to iPhoto, yes, I had mentioned that moving from 10.9 to 10.14 would take you from the old “brown” iPhoto to the newer rainbow Photos. Your pictures are not gone. You’d just need to use the iPhoto Upgrader tool found here:

Using the iPhoto Library Upgrader tool - Apple Support
If you’d like to give that a try on your own.

Otherwise, I’m happy to assist with all of the above.

Is Mojave ready?

Are you wanting us all to upgrade to Mojave or wait. I’ve been looking for a memo from you on this but have not seen one yet.
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As of today, 10/24/18 Mojave is still in its .0 release. 10.14.0 So stay away until at least the .1 update which should be any day. They've done about 5 updates in the Beta in the last two weeks prior to issuing 10.14.1 so I'd say next week will be fine.

Is Mac Auto Fixer legit?

Scotty, everytime I reboot this app pops up. It looks pretty phony. So what I do is “force quit” since I cannot otherwise close out of it. Is Mac Auto Fixer legit? Ideas? Thanks
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No. This is not legit. There are several places this pest could live that would cause it to reopen when you restart.

Remove any items from the following areas other than Dropbox and possibly other products that you do prefer to launch and run in the background. Most of the time that is only Dropbox.

1: Open system preferences: Users and Groups: Login Items (click any item in that list then remove using the minus key in the bottom corner of the window)


2: A little more technical…

Remove all items from the following folders:

Macintosh HD/Library/Startup Items
Macintosh HD?Library/LaunchAgents
Macintosh HD/Library/LaunchDameons

3: Next, you'll need to check the hidden library folder but going into the Menu bar at the top of the screen, Select Go, hold down the option key to see the new choice "Library".
That will give you access to the next place to look. ~/Library/LaunchAgents Remove any items in that folder.

4. Lastly, check your Applications folder and toss out any Application that looks similar to Mac Auto Fixer.

Restart and you should be good to go. Some of these types of crapware can invade your browser as well but in this case, unlikely. Let me know if you need further assistance.

Fix "macOS needs to repair your library" issue.

I keep gettin this error that macOS needs to repair your library to run applications no applications will start up.
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This issue is most likely related to a permissions issue. You will use terminal to solve the issue. First you'll need to learn your username and group name. Use the following commands to get them:

id -u
id -g

Once you have the username and group name, next plug them in to the following command lines:

sudo chown -R user ~/Library
sudo chgrp -R group name ~/Library

Restart

My email is down

Scotty why aren't I getting my email on my phone and my iPad? I changed my password on my computer but now it doesn't work on them.
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When you change your password on one device, it doesn't automatically sync that new password to your other devices. That would defeat the purpose of changing a password. If someone steals your device, then you change your password to lock them out of that email account, you wouldn't want that stolen device to automatically get the new password.

To resolve the issue, go to the mail app on each device (phone and iPad) and look at your inbox. You'll notice a very small blue link at the bottom saying something like "incorrect details" or similar. Click that link at the very bottom and it will prompt you to enter the new password for the email account.

I'm out of space on my computer.

I am out of space on my computer because my IPhoto is so large. What is the best way for me to handle this? Should I move some of the Photos permanently to a couple hard drives? What do you think of Drop Box? I obviously want to make sure I don’t lose the photos so need to back them up a couple different ways.

Thanks
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In this case, Dropbox will not solve this issue. Your pictures will still live locally on your drive as well as Dropbox's cloud. No good. There are a couple of ways to deal with this. It is a very common problem. I break the solutions down into age groups. If you'r under 30 you generally just trust the cloud and don't feel the need to store actual copies of your pictures on your local hard drive. If you're over 30 then you feel better having the actual pictures on your computer. Problem is, that takes up space.

Under 30 crowd uses iCloud Photo Library to push all their pictures to the cloud then they choose both on their phone's AND computers to "optimize" picture storage. This means that your computer only keeps thumbnail versions of your pictures and downloads each picture every time you want to look at it. Your phone has been doing this for a couple of years already. The only real issue with this method is that if you are offline, you can't get to the full resolution versions of your pictures.

Over 30 crowd has a few choices. 1. Get a bigger hard drive. 2. Get an external hard drive that would be dedicated to storing the ENTIRE photos library and would need to always need to remain connected whenever you look at your pictures.

The Under 30 method is scary but probably the best choice for anyone using a laptop computer where the internal hard drive is not larger enough to store full res copies of all the pictures.

It's a little more involved than what I've explained here but this is a rough draft of your choices.

How to stop text messages on your computer.

Can u please tell me how to remove my texts from my computers, they are popping up on my screen now!
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Sounds like you are logged into the messages service on your mac. To stop receiving messages on your computer, go into the Applications folder and find the application called "messages". You can also do this by using the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your computer screen called spotlight. Once you've opened messages, look under the word "messages" in the top left corner of your screen in the menu bar and find preferences. Next select the Accounts tab then uncheck "Enable this account."

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 10.07.08 AM

Future text messages will no longer appear on your mac.

Note that previous text messages will still be there but no longer updating.

Can I monitor my child's xBox?

Is there a way to track xbox use?
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There are parental controls built in to the xBox itself and Microsoft can provide weekly report to devices associated to devices logged in to your child's account.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12441/microsoft-account-see-child-device-activity

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3187568/gaming/how-to-limit-xbox-one-screen-time-for-your-kids.html

Have I been hacked?

Is it possible my MacBook air is hacked? Two days in a row around the same time (6 a.m) my mouse was “taken over” meaning I couldn’t control it and immediately shut computer down, now I pulled up my mail and before it “straightened itself out” all my mail headers were in kyrillic (russian writing?) Otherwise it’s been operating normally
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That does sound like odd behavior. One of the crucial factors here would be if you saw your mouse moving around on the screen and things being clicked as you watched. For a computer to be "taken over" that would insinuate that someone was controlling it remotely using a piece of software such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, Zoom, or GoToMeeting. You would have also needed to grant permission for either of those in the past by having entered your computer's Admin password at some point then left elements of one of those applications running so someone could log in remotely. While I definitely have seen this behavior (just this week with another client) it is very rare that someone would get that far.

As for the different language appearing, I don't have an explanation for that. One guess could be that there's a problem with the graphics card of the computer as it tries to display characters. (doubtful) Another guess is that there's a problem with the operating system causing the fonts or characters to display incorrectly. (also doubtful)

The most interesting piece of evidence is the fact that it happens consistently at 6am. There are small programs or procedures that run on our computers called chronscripts. These procedures usually run when the computer is left open all night. These are healthy tasks a computer does in the background to keep our computers organized. Think of them as a background cleanup. They don't run during times when you're using your computer. It is possible one of these chronscripts is damaged and causing that behavior.

I've given several explanations to things but to give you piece of mind I would be happy to address the issue remotely or in person. Most of the time, in my experience people feel they've been "hacked" or their privacy violated when often there's a different reason a certain behavior has occurred. However, that's not to say that this doesn't happen. I've seen it plenty for many many reasons. Just this week I worked with a client who was tricked into paying a very large amount of money ($2000) because they through they were talking with Apple support on the phone and the person thought their computer was locked and the only way to unlock it was to pay this person on the phone. It was only an ad on a webpage that got them to that point.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. You could also take a screenshot of the Russian language and share it with me. command+option+4 then drag a square around what you'd like to share. The screenshot will land on your desktop and you can email it.

Can I move to Mojave?

Can my Mac go to Mojave 10.14?
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Apple seems to have cut off all macs prior to 2012. This leaves a 6 year window. This is more narrow than past OS requirements. Here's a list of supported Macs.

What is High Efficiency format?

Why is my phone saying this?
IMG_1352
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This is a setting is iOS 11 and later that changes the image format to store more information in less space. Think of it as jpg+. Standard pictures are taken in jpeg. Apple has a new compression method that allows the same quality in less space. However, it is possible that this new format could be causing your problems for your outgoing pictures. We can set it back by going into Settings/Camera/Formats. Then choose most compatible.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207022

How do I backup my pictures?

Are my pictures backing up? How do I backup my pictures?
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I like for people to have 2 backups of their photos. One on an external hard drive handled by Time Machine (the software that lives on your computer) and the second backup would be offsite. This can either be an additional hard drive or, in most cases, people use iCloud to backup their entire iCloud photo library. I feel having two backups (time machine as well as iCloud) while redundant gives us peace of mind. I’m an old man and I don’t trust the cloud completely.

To see that your recent time machine drive has completed, click on the clock in the top right area of your computer and you should see a date stating the most recent backup.

To see if your pictures are in the cloud, there are several settings you need to check first.


1. on your phone and/or iPad under settings select your name at the very top. Then iCloud. Then photos. You’ll want to have iCloud Photo library turned on. Optimize storage turned on. Photo Stream turned on. Photo sharing turned on.

2. On your Computer, open Photos. Go to preferences under the word Photos in the top left of your computer and select iCloud. Be sure iCloud Photo library is checked, Download Originals is on, Photo stream is on. iCloud Photo sharing is on.


Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 7.53.33 AM

Using iCloud photo library would require you to have enough space in the cloud if you choose to use this service. 50 gigs for $12 a year. 200 gigs for $36 a year. etc… However, if you prefer not to pay for cloud storage then time machine is just fine as a backup. Some people do run into the issue that they don’t have enough space on their computers to store their entire library of photos and therefore either have to fully trust the cloud, buy a new computer with a larger hard drive, or get an external drive dedicated to media (photos). I don’t think you are in this market. I just like to mention it for other readers as well. (this answer will be posted on my website as well).

Feel free to send specific pictures to me and I’ll narrow down what’s going on.

Where is image capture?

I tried to scan a document today but the Image Capture Icon is not on my 13”mac, did you forget to upload it on that computer? Also, I do not know how scan to to the computer from the printer, there is not an option to select my computer, only my husbands. I need more coaching on this.
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Image capture is a part of the Operating system and is on every Mac. Just like Safari, Photos, Mail, or Calendar. You can search for it by click on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen and typing “image capture” or you can also find it by looking in the applications folder. Once it’s open you can right click on the icon in the dock and choose to “keep in dock”. It will then stay in the dock even when you quit the program.

How can I tell if time machine has completed?

How can I tell if Time machine is finished?
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To see when the last backup of Time Machine was completed, you can click the small clock in the top right corner of the menu bar. It will tell you the last time a backup was completed. Sometimes you’ll see “in progress” or “preparing backup”. If you’d like to see the actual backup, you can open your time machine drive usually found on the right hand side of your finder window or you may see its icon on the desktop either yellow or olive green in color. Open it and go to backup.backupsdb/The name of your computer/Macintosh HD. From there you will see a list of folder which contain backups relating to the time the folder is named.

When does iCloud finish syncing pics?

How can I tell if iCloud transfers are complete?
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Photos to iCloud: you can tell by viewing the progress bar in Photos Preferences under iCloud. With Photos open, go to the menu bar under the word “Photos” in the top left corner of your screen and select preferences. Next select the iCloud pane. If you see a progress bar, it’s still in progress. If you do not, it either needs time to evaluate what the cloud has vs what Photos has or it is finished for now. Photos syncing can take a long time. Photos does need to be open for syncing to the cloud to occur.

How to detect how many pictures in Photos

How can I tell how many pictures I have in Photos?
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To see how many pics you currently have, you can open Photos, and select command+i. Be sure you don’t have an individual picture selected. Otherwise, you’ll see info for only that picture.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 6.53.50 PM

iCloud Storage almost full message

Scotty,
Can you please tell me what I need to do? Won’t the tm backup be enough for the photos? I thought I would have plenty of space? I am very confused.

IMG_7665

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There are two types of space we have to deal with when it comes to these devices. 1: the onboard space. The amount of space we purchased when we bought our iPhones or iPads. This space is usually 32gigs, 64 gigs, 128 gigs or 265 gigs. This space can not be increased. To see how much space you have and are using on your device, go to Settings/iPhone Storage. This is not what the message your getting is referring to.

2: iCloud storage space. This is space we rent from Apple and can be increased or decreased as needed. This is what the message you are getting is referring to. Most of the time, we accidentally fill this space up by choosing to backup our phones or iPads or both to the cloud. This often leads to multiple backups in the cloud. Most of which are unnecessary due to their age. To remove older obsolete backups, go to system preferences on your computer and select iCloud.


Take note of what your bar graph shows on your own account. For instance, my iCloud space is 200 gigs (2.99 per month) and is taken up mostly by my photos. Next select Manage. My first guess is that in your case, backups are taking up the majority. Especially if you are on the 50 gig (.99 a month plan).
Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 8.23.47 PM

Select the old backup in the list and Delete. That should free up space and you wouldn't see that message until later when you fill your iCloud space up once again.

There are two ways to solve this issue. 1: remove data in iCloud that doesn't need to be there. 2: buy more iCloud storage space.

Note: Pictures can play a confusing role in iCloud storage. When iCloud Photo Library is enabled, only thumbnail versions of our pictures are stored locally on our phones but full rez versions of our pictures live in our iCloud storage. Therefore, if a person has a very large photos library like I do, they need more iCloud storage space if they choose to use iCloud Photo Library. The other option is to not use that service and manually sync your pictures from your phone like we used to prior to 2012. Check your backup first. That's most often the reason we fill our iCloud storage up. Let me know what next questions you may have.
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