Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

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."

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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.


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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.

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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.

I have two Outlooks on my computer.

Yikes - I don't know best way to explain this but it's almost like the old and new versions of Outlook have switched places on my computer. The Outlook I use (version 16.16) all of a sudden is missing a ton of emails and the older version seems to be downloading 30K+ emails. Any advice you can offer?
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In your applications folder you should see the new version of Outlook listed. However, you may have another older version of Outlook (yellow O icon) inside a folder in the applications folder called "Microsoft Office 2008" or 2011. If that is the case, you obviously don't need both. Check your dock to see which icon matches up. The new Outlook icon or the older one. In either case, remove the icon, then drag the application Outlook into the dock. Be careful not to accidentally let go of the application onto the desktop instead of the dock as that would move the application or duplicate it. When you installed the new Microsoft office (assuming your using 2016 office) the installer should have removed the old version of Office. (the old microsoft office folder in the applications folder that is). If this did happen, then perhaps something else is going on.

On a brighter note, using multiple email programs doesn't really hurt you because your email and folders would sync to your email host anyway so whatever work you do in one email program would be reflected in the other as well. But I totally understand. Nobody wants to use two Outlooks!

I want to give my computer to my daughter.

one question, if I am passing down my laptop to my daughter should i just clean it up and back up to a zip drive? If there is more to it than that I’ll schedule an appointment w/you to handle that. if not, i will schedule an appointment with you when i get my new laptop and need a tutorial.
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Not really more to it. I would suggest don’t erase anything on your current laptop until you’ve transferred over everything you want to your new computer. Afterwards, the simplest way forward is to create a new user for your daughter, log into that user, then delete your old user from there. That will remove all your personal info and leave the applications and Operating system for her user.

Do I need more dropbox space?

Ive been getting a message for quite awhile now that my drop box is full and i need to pay to upgrade. It says its "stopped syncing".

Scotty didn't we set my system up so that drop box is a factor to how I work and save information? Do I need this upgrade?
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Most likely you have legitimately run out of dropbox space. It's common for people who use dropbox regularly to outgrow their 2 gigs FREE plan and have to pay for more cloud storage. To check for yourself, go to the top of the menu bar and click on the dropbox icon in the top right of your screen. Then choose the gear to the right.
Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 7.53.05 PM

Clicking that gear will give you the percentage of what you are using of your plan. To upgrade your storage, go to dropbox.com and login then upgrade your plan from there.


Other things to consider: Dropbox does a sneaky thing where they will copy your pictures from Photos into your dropbox folder therefore taking up more cloud space. This is not nessasary. To ensure you are not duplicating pictures into dropbox, select the gear. Go to preferences, Import. Uncheck "enable camera uploads". Then return to your dropbox folder in the finder and remove the folder called "camera uploads". That sometimes eats away space we could otherwise be using for other documents.

You could also choose to use "selective sync". This is not the best choice for most users but it is available as an option. It tells the computer to only sync certain folders within the dropbox area. However, I think the best way to solve the issue is to simply buy more space.

Possibly downloaded a virus to my new iMac

I was on my new Mac this morning and went to download an xls spreadsheet to view in numbers. Upon downloading an adobe flash player update popped up. I assumed it was plausible given this is a new computer and may not have the most up to date flash player. All of the downloads and run windows all looked very familiar and legit. When I was done installing my computer made a loud beeping sound and said it has been infected by a virus. It opened a new window called Mac Repair and said I had 197 viruses on my computer that needed repair. It prompted me to hit the repair button in the window but I was highly skeptical at this point.

I went back into my downloads and found the recent adobe file I downloaded. I googled it - adobe flash player-2.dmg. It immediately popped up on blogs as a phishing virus. So I removed it to the trash can then emptied my trash can. I’m sure this is not the proper way to rid of this. Can please call or email to discuss further to clean my computer. Also, all of these virus related things keep coming from being on either Yahoo main page or news. Or thru my email on yahoo. I’ve never had these issues in the past until the recent 6 months or so. Is this common with Yahoo as of late?
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This is a very common occurrence unfortunately. Malware often disquises itself as flash, java, "security updates" or other words we are used to seeing. The good news is that just downloading a file doesn't hurt you. Double clicking on that file doesn't hurt you. But once it prompts you to install it, it HAS to ask for your computer's password. Entering your password is then what grants permission to your computer to install the malware. Most of the crapware is simply there to take over the ad space within webpages. They're usually not after personal information. They are just trying to sell ads in places on pages where google already does. If you feel like you may have entered your password and would like me to clean things off the computer, I can do that remotely for you. You/wife can schedule an online session.

What you saw with the loud sound and warning that you were "infected" was just an ad. The next time you land on one of those pages, close Safari, hold down the shift key and restart Safari. That will take you away from that ad site regardless of what background code was running on the page that wouldn't have let you move on to another page.

I can't save an attachment from an email.

Random question- I was at my Mac and in email and I tried to save a pdf from an email attachment into my files that you’ve helped me set up on the Mac. For some reason it won’t save - clearly I’m doing something wrong. Any tips?
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I'd first try to simply drag the attachment to the desktop. Moving something to the desktop gets it out of the application (in this case mail) and sometimes gives the computer a better handle on the file as you move it or do other things with it later.

Next you can try using the toolbar to download the attachment. Below you'll see a shot of the toolbar. Notice the paperclip denoting the email has one attachment.
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Another idea is to right click and save the attachment.

If none of these work, the next step I would try would be to log into the webmail account (for instance, iCloud.com or gmail.com) See if the attachment is retrievable there. If you still have issues with the attachment even on the webpage, then there's most likely a problem with the attachment. Request the sender resend.

I think My Grandpa deleted all my files.

Help. So I'm an idiot and hadn't backed my computer up yet (which I know you told me to do).. and somehow when I opened my computer today after not using it for a week, every single file on it has disappeared/been deleted. My grandpa recently took my old laptop, which didn't have any of the files from my current laptop on it and has been deleting files and clearing it out so he can use it. I don't know if it's related but I'm not sure how it could be since none of the files deleted were on it. But I'm wondering if you can tell me if there's any chance of getting them back or not.
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Often people accidentally log into the Guest account and since that account is empty, they think all their data is gone. Hopefully that's all that's going on. To check to see if you're in the guest account, go to the black apple at the top right corner of your screen, click on the black apple. If you see "Log out of Guest" at the bottom, you'll know you're in the wrong account. If you see your actual name instead, then things are a little more serious.

If your Grandfather took a computer that was logged in to your iCloud or Dropbox account and you kept all of your documents in your iCloud drive or dropbox, then there is a possibility that him deleting files could also cause the files to fall off of your own computer. We may still be able to recover them but we would want to act quickly. Dropbox only keeps deleted items for 30 days.

There is also another completely reasonable possibility that the files may just be in a folder we aren't aware of. Either way, I feel pretty confident that we can recover what you're looking for. But we would need to move sooner rather than later on that.
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