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How to delete a file that macOS says is in use

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Sometimes macOS tries to help you by not letting you carry out actions that would break the system or software you’re using. There are extra levels of warnings available that you might choose to turn off or bypass.When you have files in the Trash, select Finder > Empty Trash prompts you as to whether you really meant to empty the trash. You … [Read more...]

If you can’t get macOS Mail to work after upgrading to two-factor authentication, here’s a way to fix it

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I highly recommend Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) for your Apple ID and associated iCloud services as a way to reduce the threat of a remote hijack of your account. (Although note that you can’t turn 2FA off once you enable it.) However, depending on how you’ve used iCloud in the past, you might run up against a quirk: You can’t get Mail … [Read more...]

Can’t figure out how to type a character on a Mac? It’s time for the virtual keyboard

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As a long-time Mac user, I once had to rely on Key Caps, an early Mac helper that would show you where special characters hid on a keyboard. Holding down Option and Shift-Option would reveal the secrets of π and ‰ and accent marks.That feature never disappeared, though it did recede from view, and was renamed Keyboard Viewer. You may rarely need … [Read more...]

If you have an older Mac, don’t forget about the SD Card slot

What if need more storage space on your Mac, but upgrades are impossible or too expensive, or an externally connected drive won’t do? The SD Card slot found in many older and some newer Macs is worth looking at as an option.In recent years, Apple has shifted from Macs that can have internal storage upgraded to higher capacities or from a hard disk … [Read more...]

The old guard of Mac indy apps has thrived for more than 25 years

It seems like it was only yesterday that I first used BareBones Software’s BBEdit, but in actuality, yesterday is so far away—25 years, in fact. With all the twists and turns across more than two decades of Apple as a company, Mac hardware, and the underlying operating system, you might think that BBEdit stands alone as a continuously-developed app … [Read more...]

How to submit corrections for Apple Maps labels

Apple synthesizes a lot of geographic data to produce the streets, features, and labels on its maps. The Maps app in iOS and macOS is exhaustive, but not always correct.(This is contrary to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which maintains, “where it is inaccurate it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it’s always … [Read more...]

How to use iCloud for continuity when restoring from an iOS backup

When migrating from one iOS device to another, iCloud provides continuity. If you’ve already set up a target device and logged into iCloud with the same Apple ID as on the device from which you’re migrating, you don’t lose anything synced with iCloud in the process.The only thing to watch out for is information you’ve created uniquely on the target … [Read more...]

Online security tools: The holiday gift that shows you really care

In an era of conspicuous consumption, many folks have shifted from material gifts to offering experiences or digital goods. Here’s a digital gift suggestion: Give the gift of security. With free and inexpensive options that pay huge dividends to the recipient, you can be the savviest and most beloved person in the house.Why give the gift of … [Read more...]

How to use Universal Clipboard with a password manager to cut-and-paste between macOS and iOS

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Getting a piece of text, an image, or other copied material from one device to another should require exporting it to a cloud or sync service and then re-importing it. Both iOS and macOS have a nifty trick up their sleeve that I think isn’t as well known as it should be: Universal Clipboard.It’s a nearly hidden feature that you can’t enable or … [Read more...]

How to use Migration Assistant to move a user account to another Mac

Apple makes it relatively painless to migrate data on one Mac to another. But you can also selectively migrate and split up multiple users on a single Mac into users across multiple Macs. You would do this if, for example, you have kids on a shared computer who now own their own, or if you’re leaving a job and want (and are allowed) to take your … [Read more...]

How to use multiple drives with Time Machine for redundant backups

When you create a backup system for your data, duplication is the best course of action. I don’t mean duplicating the files—that’s a requirement—but duplicating the destinations to which files are bound.Every form of backup media is destined to fail, and despite high reliability from cloud-backup services, you can’t put all your faith that any of … [Read more...]

How to use Handoff with iOS 12

Apple designed Handoff to make it easier to work seamlessly between a Mac and iOS. If you’re reading a text message on one device and pick up the other, you can open up to where you left off. Viewing a webpage? Handoff lets you bring up the same page on the other device with a click or a tap.But for a couple of versions at least, notifications in … [Read more...]

It’s time to switch your Mac backups from Time Capsule to Time Machine volumes

The Apple Time Capsule seemed like a great idea when it was unveiled about a decade ago. It was a Time Machine network backup target that also embedded a Wi-Fi gateway and ethernet sharing. Perfection, even if it was a little too expensive: It came with Apple technical support and warranty.But it didn’t play out with the promise it had. An internal … [Read more...]

How to use Apple’s new re-used password warning to reduce your risk of account hijacking

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The biggest risk when setting a password is when you re-use a password across sites and services. If you do this, you’re multiplying the risk of a breach at one of those services, allowing a cracker to try your account name and password from the breached service at other sites. If any match, they’ve now hijacked your account there, too.A unique … [Read more...]

Best surge protector: Reviews and buying advice

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Far better than ordinary power strips, these products will protect your expensive electronics from dangerous power spikes. We'll help you pick the right one for your home or small office. … [Read more...]

Amped Wireless Smart Strip review: Most effective when it’s paired with an Amazon Echo or Google Home

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You can control its three outlets and two USB ports independently, but its app has weak timer features and no scene-control functions. … [Read more...]

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