to commonly asked questions.

Can I go from Snow Leopard to El Capitan?

Can I go from 10.6.8 to 10.11?

Yes. Apple allows a jump that large but you can't jump from 10.6 to 10.12 or higher. Also, 10. does have to be completely up to date first as well. (10.6.8) However, if you've not previously downloaded 10.11 from the App Store, Apple doesn't make older operating systems available. Still possible. You just have to obtain a copy of the prior operating system.

Sharing slideshows between platforms

I can created a slideshow in iPhotos that I need to share with a teacher who uses google drive. Can I export the slideshow in some manner so that she can open it on her computer. She does not have an Apple.

The short answer here is no. Any slideshow file you’d be editing on another machine would have to be Apple to Apple software. You could however, make them into a powerpoint presentation given that you’re not using Ken Burns effect on each picture or something similar. Finding a common file type is your best bet. Powerpoint may be your best option. Keynote will read and write powerpoint as well as google docs.

Why can't I play Fortnight on my xbox?

We are getting an error message about our Teredo IP adress for our internet. My son is trying to play Fortnight on our Xbox One. He’s not able to talk to friends or join groups because of this “teredo IP address” issue. We’ve googled the solution and tried everything short of messing with the setup of our IP address manually. My sound system guy thinks we probably need a “port forwarded or a pinhole in the firewall” for the application to work. Is this something you can do?


Whoever installed the wifi network would be the one to deal with this. Your only apple router (let time I was there) was not in charge of anything. It was just a backup time capsule and didn’t participate in distributing wifi or IP addresses at all. This is very commonly an xbox issue. The solution may be to disable the router’s ability to hand out IPv6 numbers and only pass out IPv4 numbers. Your wifi person would understand how to do this.

An IPv6 number looks like this:


Whereas an IPv4: number is the older more common method:

The xbox may feel a little better simply getting the IPv4 number.

This is not something I can do for you as only your wifi person would be able to make those changes. I’m not saying this is the solution. This is just the first recommended step to troubleshoot. The next steps would be to change the firewall settings on the router, then if that doesn't solve it, you could assign a specific IP address to the xbox and forward a specific port's traffic to that xbox. I don't know what port that would be but I'm sure they could google it to figure it out.

None of these things are something that would fall into my prevue as an Apple Consultant. I wouldn't want to make changes to settings that could effect other elements of the home network, ie: cameras, entertainment equipment, etc…

Why isn't my gmail syncing?

when we were last together we set up gmail. And we were trying to sync all three devices e- mail... It's a pain deleting from each device. Not sure what I was to do after I set up gmail?

If gmail is set up as IMAP on each device, then it should sync 100%. It is possible that one of the devices has your gmail account set up as POP. That would be a reason that your gmail is not syncing.

Breaking the restore cycle

I’m currently having a problem that I was wondering if you could help me with!

I can’t update my phone because it seems to be “stuck” in restoring from a backup I started several several months ago. It says If I stop the restoring process some of my data will be lost. All of my pictures seem to be on my computer so I’m not worried about those, however some important videos are refusing to download.

I’m including screenshots of the problem. I was hoping you could advise me on what to do and how to get my videos on my computer before I stop the restoring (I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be working).

Thank you so much!



When you say "download" when referring to videos I assume you mean transferring from the phone to the computer. If so, I would suggest first opening image capture on your computer (mac) and transfer all remaining pics/videos. Image Capture is another way of getting to pics/videos on your phone besides iTunes or Photos. It's a more direct method and usually works better if you're just looking to get to the content. You can then choose to drag the content directly into Photos at a later time. Next, after you've gotten the pics/vids you're ready to ask the phone to stop the restore. First, go to your iCloud settings on a computer and select to delete the backup. You'll be starting this process over again. To do this, on your computer, open system preferences, iCloud: select "manage" on the bottom left.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 5.57.53 PM

After you've done this, now go back to the phone and stop the process as you did before. Any data would have been rescued by having used Image Capture to transfer the pics/vids so you should have nothing to loose.

Another method could be to connect your phone to your computer: iTunes. In iTunes settings, you could tell iTunes to back the phone up instead of iCloud. Your phone will only back up to one target. It will not back up to your computer AND iCloud. By asking it to back up the the computer, you may be able to reset the backup/restore process.

Nonetheless, the key here is to first grab the pics/vids from the phone.

There's currently no way to explore iCloud backups from the past. So if you feel the only way to the vids is by completing the restore, you may want to try using an old iPad or phone to restore from the same time period. Problem with that is, your backups may not go back that far.

How do I make a shared Photo Album public?

How do you configure Photos shared albums to be shared “to public” ? cant figure that out.

In Photos, select (or create) an a shared album. Next, click the icon in the top right corner to reveal the menu items below.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.10.44 AM

Select "Public Website". Photos will generate a link to the albums contents posted as a webpage. Anyone, regardless of what computer they use, will be able to see all the pictures on that site. They'll also be able to download them from that site as well. Keep in mind, this means these pictures are much less private now. While it's unlikely others will stumble across the exact page on the internet, you should consider this a public area.

Making a YouTube video private

On my video, can you put it on youtube? I don’t know how to make it private? And how do I add people to give them access?

To publish a video to youtube, login to your gmail (or google) account and go to Next, select "upload" in the top left corner of the webpage. It's the icon of an arrow pointing upward.


Next, drag the video you'd like to upload into the window and choose public, private, unlisted, etc… At that point you'll be able to enter the email addresses of the only people you'd like to have access, or (if unlisted) the private link to the video. If you choose unlisted, the video will not show up in any search.


Google replaces GoogleDrive with Backup and Sync

Scotty, I have a question. Great session today, thanks! “Exploring” sent me to and then directions to download GoogleDrive App - but which one of three choices - all free:
#1 - 4.6 with 4 and a half stars
#2 - 3.7 with 3 and a half stars
#3 - 4.6 with 4 and a half stars - but also mentions videos, photos along with files. Aren’t my photos already/also in iCloud?
Again thank you!

Google has been going through some changes with Google Drive. They are basically changing the way the app works and changing the name of it as well. It is now known as "backup and sync". You will now select a specific folder to hold your google documents locally. You could choose the entire documents folder. In your case, this would be a good choice. The new app also allows you to sync your pictures. You don't actually need to do this. It is in Google's interest for users to sync their pictures however, because this will eat up your google storage space in the cloud more quickly, therefore giving them the opportunity to ask you to pay for additional storage. You already pay for storage with iCloud drive. That is where your pictures sync in terms of a cloud storage area. You can read more about Google's new method here. You can download the new software here. They give you 15 gigs free. But most photo libraries outgrow that quickly. So proceed conservatively. Only use the software for either the documents folder or a folder inside the documents folder specifically for word documents.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.15.07 AM

Can't delete a user in High Sierra


I migrated an old user after I accidentally created a new user with the same name when I bought a new mac. Now I can't delete the other user. It's greyed out in the Users & Groups.

I've seen this issue now several times. A couple of ways to solve this. Wipe the drive and start the migration over again or swap the GeneratedUID. This is not something for you to do if you are not 100% confident in your abilities. Make a backup and proceed with extreme caution:

  1. Go to Directory Utility
  2. Enable Root
  3. In Directory Editor, search for the user to be deleted.
  4. Copy the UID to a textedit doc then change the UID by one number
  5. Save
  6. Search for the currently logged in user (the user to be kept)
  7. copy the UID for this user into the text doc just to be safe.
  8. now replace it with the first UID number.
  9. Open terminal and run `diskutil apfs updatePreboot disk1a1`
  10. Restart and log in as the remaining user. Pray.

Original credit goes to Ambrose Little over at

What router system should we replace our Airports with?

Hi Scotty,
We have had a lot of trouble with our Apple airport system. We lost internet but Spectrum has restored it, involving new wiring, etc. We either need you to re-set our current system or perhaps suggest a better system to install. Any thoughts?

I think I would suggest get as much life out of your current Apple airports as possible before you invest in a totally new system. That will be the way you will go in the future. I believe that Apple is getting out of the router business. At least it looks that way at the moment. The airports are still good devices but will be obsolete in a few years. But for now they are still a good choice. The next kid on the block is probably the Netgear Orbi system. Thats the next system I’m recommending to new buyers. But for now I’d say hold on to the airports.

Where's my powermanagement plist file?


Where did my powermanagement plist go? It's no longer in the system configuration folder.

Correct. Ever since Sierra and later it looks like Apple has moved some plist files around. You can now find the power management.plist file just outside of the system configuration folder. in Library/Preferences. In addition, the boot.plist and CaptivenetworkSupport folder are also no longer disposable. They are protected by the OS. I don't think even Root can toss them. Here's a great article listing all the current locations of important plist files. Another great article here on what happens (and doesn't happen) when plist files are modified.

How do I get some contacts from one iCloud account to another?

Hi Scotty -
Somehow my son lost all his contacts. Can you help him figure out? Please call me when you have a chance. Thanks!

When he signed out of the jonesfamily apple ID, the contacts that were on his phone were most likely associated to that AppleID. They're not gone. They're still in the cloud. But his Dad's cloud. His contacts are most likely combined with his dads and have been for some time I would guess. To get the contacts he wants, I suggest he go to, log in to the jonesfamily appleID, then go to contacts.

From there, he could either export copies of all the contacts at once or select just the contacts he wants individually then export those. To do this he would use the gear in the bottom right corner of the webpage while in the contacts area:

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 9.58.28 PM

If he wants to select only some, he can scroll through the list while holding down the command key and click on only his friend's names then choose export card.

To export them all at once, he can click on any one contact, then command + a. This will select all contacts. Then choose export card.

He will now have a new file on the desktop. He'll sign out of and sign back in again as his personal appleID. Go back to contacts and select to import vcards. He'll choose the file on desktop he just created and they'll now be in his iCloud account.

How to turn of "share my location"

Scotty need your quick help. My iPhone says that “Im currently sharing my location from my iPad”
How do I turn this off ASAP. I don’t want people tracking me that’s creepy.

On the iPad or iPhone go to Settings.
Next click on your name at the top revealing your Apple ID, iCloud, etc..
Select iCloud
Scroll to the bottom to see "Share My Location:
Turn it off.

Can I recover windows files from Time Machine?

Hey Scotty - I can set an appointment, but wondering if you can help me with Quicken that is (or should be running) in my Windows Fusion side? It doesn’t seem to find any backups, and am wondering if anything has gone on my external backup or not.
Can you help?

So windows in VMware Fusion is pure windows so not sure how much help I could be there. However, if worse comes to worse, it might be possible to restore the entire virtual machine folder in your documents folder from a time machine backup and maybe find the data that way. Time machine doesn’t care about backing up anything inside windows, but does backup the entire windows image.

Do I have a virus?

Am very worried about something I may have inadvertently done today to my Mac.
I was looking for a new font to use on an email and clicked on something like “new fonts download” and before I knew it something called Wow is now my search engine instead of safari.
We left today to go to Cashiers NC until Jan 3rd so I am away from my computer. Is this something I should be concerned about and is there anything I can do from here?

These days it's very easy to be tricked into downloading crapy software pretending to be something it isn't. The majority of these are looking to change your search engine into their own so they can sell advertising through it. Others pretend to be able to "fix" your mac after they have supposedly found 1000's of problems with it after running a scan. These are also frauds. While we should take these things seriously, if you're not using your computer at the moment, there's very little to worry about. We can clean it off when you return. Or we can also work remotely to solve it if you have taken the computer with you. Unfortunately this is very common these days. There will always be more than enough bad guys out there.

Resell your old Mac

Apple has a new recycle/trade-in partner. If you'd like to get money for your old mac, go to

Time Machine won't complete backup

I have a question every since my migration now the 2nd back up is not working. So I find that unusual so I think something else is wrong and not that both backs ups have just failed at same time. It looks like it’s able to back up in the middle of the night but not during day so could it be a setting or a corrupt file or it will when I push back up now after unplugging otherwise I get the error message unable to complete back up, you thought it was the backup had failed and I don’t need 2 to interchange anymore because of icloud but now the other seagate is doing same thing

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 5.47.43 PM

One thing to try would be to erase the Black Seagate and completely start the backup process over again. Only do this option if you have no other data on the backup drive other than the backup itself. To do this here are instructions:

On your computer, search for "Disk Utility". Once open, in the left hand column, select "Black Seagate". Choose erase. You can now call the drive something else like "time machine" if you'd like. "MacOS Extended Journaled" is the choice in the dropdown menu.

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 11.12.29 PM

Now go back to system preferences and Time Machine just as you did in the first screenshot above. Choose "select disk". Now chose to add/remove a disk. Remove Black Seagate if it is in the list. Then add the newly formatted drive.

This process will allow the computer to start a new relationship with the backup drive.

Alternatively, you could also try just opening the backup.backupsdb folder in the black seagate. There you should see a list of dated folders, each representing a backup. One of those will be a folder without an icon that is called "in progress" or "pending" or "most recent". It will be the one at the end of the list. Delete that one item then see if the backup continues on.

Those are two methods to potentially solving the problem. Lastly, I can't remember if we tossed out the virtual machines folder in your documents folder. Time mahince sometimes has a problem with that folder. The issue however, is that folder contains all the information from your vmware windows environment. We decided to keep that folder just in case you felt you ever wanted to go back into it. However, if you feel you are 100% completely done with ever going into windows via vmware again, you can delete that "virtual machines" folder. That may also help the time machine backup complete. You can do this in addition to either of the methods described above.

How to Hide/Show all files on a Mac.

To show invisibles:

In terminal type the following:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

then killall Finder

to hide invisibles:

In terminal type the following:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

then killall Finder

How to turn on iCloud Photo Library

I lost all my notes that outlined what my son needed to do to make his phone automatically down load all his photos to the cloud.  Remember we were leaving mine to manually plug in.

While I can't remember the exact conversation, I think this is what you want to do…

On his phone, go to settings. Select iCloud/photos. Turn on iCloud Photo Library. Select to optimize the library. Do not choose to download originals. In the same list, also turn on Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing. There's not much need to turn on Burst Photos. From that point forward all his pictures on his phone and all his pictures on the iMac will merge together in the cloud and each device will receive thumbnails or originals of all pictures. iMac will get originals. iPhone will get thumbnails.

Switching between Photos libraries

I have ‘3 different large folders’ on my photos. And right now I’ve only got 4-5 years….(because of this OLD mac!) I think there are 3 keys you can hold down together to open one of the other large folders.

If I understand you correctly:


Hold down the OPTION key before you start Photos. It will give you the opportunity to choose which library you want to open. Photos remembers the last library your opened. So you may have to hold down OPTION every time you open Photos if you plan on going back and forth between libraries often.
This image is a theme.plist hack