Keeping it clean... So, you've made it to the end of 2016 and it's been a rough year! Let's bring in the new year with a new outlook on keeping things running as good as can be. Who want's problems, right? With just a little bit of work, you can keep things running great into 2017.
Storage: Before I get into each Apple Device, I want to talk to you about storage on your device. What I mean by storage, is how much data, pictures, music or other information your Mac, iPad or iPhone can hold. Before we had solid state storage devices, we stored information on a hard drive of a computer. The first hard drive I worked on in the early 80's was relatively small in storage space but was as big as a coffee table! Technology advanced and we were able to get hard drives very small with the ability to hold vast amounts of data that measured in terabytes but they were slow. Then came the iPhone! We couldn't put a phone up to our ear as big as a computer so storage had to be very small and very fast. Solid State storage was the answer. A good example is the thumb drive that you use to transfer data from computer to computer. That is what is inside of your iPhone, iPad and now it inside of your Mac! The traditional hard drive is dead as it is too slow. Solid state drives are lightening fast as they have no moving parts to slow them down, however; there was a trade off..... they are not as big as an old hard drive and do not hold as much of your stuff! So, here is the problem many of you have been running into. You buy a Mac, iPhone or iPad they ask you how big of one do you want. You think of price and buy the cheapest which also happens to be the smallest. I have had many people get home with their new Mac which looks the same size as their old Mac but it will not even hold half of their photos! The new Macs, iPhones and iPads are also non-upgradable which means what you buy is what you're stuck with! You would have to buy a new one! Don't make this mistake, but if you already have, there is a solution....
iCloud: I'm sure you are familiar with iCloud as it has been around for a while. Traditionally, we have used this for synchronizing our information between devices. Now iCloud is used not only for syncing your information, it is also used for storing your information! So, if you bought that 128GB MacBook Air and are running out of space, you can now store most of your stuff in iCloud! The same goes with photos on your iPhone or iPad. All you have to do is activate the iCloud Photo Library and your photos are taken off your phone and transferred to the Cloud. You will still see them on your phone, but they will take up much less room. All you will need to do is buy more storage from Apple. You can get 50GB of storage on iCloud for 99¢ a month! That's cheap! So, if you are running out of storage or are in the market for a new iPhone, iPad or Mac, you must plan a strategy for all your stuff before you get into trouble.
Warning! If you have a Satellite connection or are getting your Internet from cell towers, you will not be able to do this.
Mac Clean Up:
Check your storage: Go to the Apple Menu in the upper left hand corner and drag down to About this Mac and click on Storage. This will tell you how much storage you actually have, how much you have used and how much you have left. If you are running Mac OS Sierra, you can click on Manage and it will tell you everything! You can even chose to store everything in iCloud from here.
Back up! Back up! Back up! One great thing about having your data stored in iCloud is that it is getting backed up on Apple's servers, however; redundancy is king. Make sure you have a hard drive attached to your Mac and that you are running Time Machine. It's simple. Just get an external hard drive and plug it in. Time Machine will ask if you want to use the drive as a backup. Just say yes!
Virus Protection: Mac's really don't get viruses but they do get browser hijacks and carpware! You don't need expensive software, in fact, there is a free product from Sophos called Sophos Home. It will protect you from most unwanted junk found on a Mac. Get it here: Sophos Home. As far as Browser Hijacks, people are still falling for these! No, your Mac does not have a virus! Do not call the number! Do not pay them $200! I have told you about them for many months in my previous newsletters. You can find out how to get out of one here: September Newsletter.
Eliminate old, duplicate and unwanted files: Unclutter your Mac and get rid of files you no longer want or use. If you are running Sierra on your Mac, you can Reduce Clutter with this new built in feature. Go to the Apple Menu in the upper left hand corner and drag down to About this Mac and click on Storage. Next, click on Manage and there you will find Reduce clutter. Just click on Review Files and it will let you review files and trash the ones you no longer need. If you have all your documents stored in iCloud, you won't find them here. The easiest way to find duplicate files is with Gemini 2 from Macpaw. This $20 program will go through your files and find duplicates. Get Gemini 2 here: Gemini 2
Just doing these few things will help you keep your Mac running great in 2017!
iPhone and iPad Clean Up:
Check your Storage: Go to Settings > General > About > Capacity. That will tell you how much storage you have to play with. Next look at Available. That will show you how much storage you have left on your device. If the letters at the end of the number has an MB instead of a GB, you are in trouble and your iPhone or iPad is just about ready to crash! I see this all the time! Your iPhone is not a magical photo depository! It will run out of space and it's just a matter of time before it does and your stuck holding a brick. Here is what you can do to avoid that...
Back up! Back up! Back up! Before you do anything, backup to iCloud. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and flip the switch to On. This will give you a backup onto Apples iCloud Server. Now go back to iCloud and tap on Storage. This will tell you how much storage you have in iCloud. Tap on Manage Storage. This will show you exactly what you are storing in iCloud. Under Backups, if you see any old devices that you no longer use, eliminate the backup to free up space. Look at the bottom and it will tell you how much you have available. If you only have the free 5GB of space, do yourself a favor and get the 50GB for 99¢ a month!. Go back one and tap on Storage then Change Storage Plan. You will be billed monthly on the credit card you have in iTunes.
Sending Photos to the Cloud: If your iPhone or iPad isn't that big and you find that you are running out of space to store your photos, go to Settings > iCloud > Photos and flip the switch on iCloud Photo Library. This will take your photos off your magical photo depository, (iPhone) and put them into the Cloud. Make sure Optimize iPhone Storage is checked and also turn on Upload to My Photo Stream if you have older devices that you want your photos to go to.
Virus Protection: You don't need any one an iPhone or iPad!
Eliminate old and unwanted Apps! Hold your finger lightly on an App you no longer use until it wiggles. Then tap the X and say yes and it will be gone.
Eliminate old Messages: Go to Settings > Messages > Scroll down to the bottom and tap on Keep Messages and change if from Forever to 30 Days unless you really can't live without them!
Eliminate Voicemail: Tap on your Phone icon in the Dock then tap Voicemail at the bottom. Tap on Edit and tap on the message you no longer want. Now there is a second step you must do to get rid of them, go to Deleted Messages and tap on Clear All If you don't, you will stop receiving voicemail messages. Don't forget to go to Recents > Edit > Clear All Recents.
I hope I have given you some tools to keep your devices running smoothly into the new year. If you need help, you know where to find me. Happy New Year!