Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

Just use iCloud backup for your phone

I'm trying to backup my phone to my computer and I can't find how to do it.
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If I were you, I would not use the computer to backup the phone. The cloud is the preferred way these days and happens automatically. Remember I mentioned you can’t do both and must choose. To see if iCloud backup is turned on, on the phone go to Settings: Select your name at the top: iCloud (5th item down): scroll down to Device Backups and select iCloud Backup. Make sure that is toggled ON.

Unless you have a compelling reason you feel you should be backing up to the computer, I would just allow the phone to backup to the cloud.

Don't encrypt time machine drives

My external backup drive is asking for a password and I don't know what it wants.
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Looks like you may have chosen to “encrypt” the backup hard drive that Time Machine uses and may not know the password. I don’t personally recommend people use encrypted backups for this exact reason. Easiest thing to do here would be to just wipe the external drive and let Time Machine just start over again.

How to check if contacts are syning

We're using a secondary iCloud account for contact syncing with our business but not sure if it's working. How can we check?
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That should absolutely be the case. How to troubleshoot:

Create or edit a contact. I like to create unique contacts like “Santa Claus” or “Easter Bunny”.
Next, go to
iCloud.com and log into that same account and see if the contact made it up to the cloud.
Next, go to her phone and search for the new contact. It should show up.

If it does not then the first thing to check is to see if you can find it manually within the correct list. Keep in mind, if she’s clicked on her personal contact list, it won’t be there but absolutely be there in All Contacts at the top as long as she has the secondary iCloud account added on her phone. I can’t recall whether we added that account to her phone or not. But easy to check. On her phones go to settings: Contacts: Accounts. There will be several accounts there and should include both her primary iCloud account and her business (secondary) account.

How to wipe your iPhone for a fresh start.

How do I wipe my iPhone and start all over again?
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Before beginning, it’s not a bad idea to make a note of your favorite apps as they’ll be gone until you redownload them in the App Store at the end of this process.

If you go about wiping your phone completely, you’ll have to re-add your email accounts as well. As I said, it’s not the most elegant solution but it will resolve the issue as the problem is the corrupt iCloud data.

To proceed, on your phone go to Settings: General: Scroll to the bottom and select “transfer or reset”
Next choose to “Erase all content and settings.
You’ll probably be asked to enter your appleID password.
Don’t be alarmed by the auto generated email you’ll get saying “find my phone” has been disabled.
After the phone turns off and back on again, it’s essentially a brand new phone.
Walk through the setup process but DO NOT restore from a backup. Set up as new phone.

Your primary iCloud account is your @me.com however looks like you were logged into the store via your @larkelliott.com account so after the phone has finished the setup you may consider either sticking with @me.com as your new store account or moving back to the old @larkelliott.com account for the store ONLY.
Later, re-add each email address you care to check. Text messages should return and contacts will now be on your phone. Finally, go into the App Store and start re-acquiring the apps you like most.

Can I cancel Office?

I have been trying to call Microsoft or get help online…
I can not get a person on the phone …

I got a charge for $107.24 on 12/11/23 on my credit card.
I have no idea what this is?

Do you have a “secret” number I can call to ask what this is?
I also tried unsuccessfully to find online chat for Microsoft.
It is hard to get a human at that company!

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1. Dispute the charge if you can’t account for it. The sooner the better of course.

2. Go to
office.com and log in with your credentials. (Email address and password). Once logged in on that webpage, you can look at subscriptions and it will tell you if you’re subscribed. I don’t recall if you have a subscription to office or if it had been paid outright. There are three versions of Office.

a. Buy it outright for $160 for one user. Not upgradable, does not include iPad versions or Onedrive space.
b. Subscribe for one user $69.99 a year. Includes iPad apps, OneDrive space, and Outlook (none of which most people use.)
c. Subscribe for up to 6 years $99.99 a year. Includes all above.

Sounds like you may have a subscription plan. These days it’s becoming easier to not need office. The rise of Google Docs has put a lot of pressure on office to justify the price for normal users. So you may consider moving to a different (free) option in the future like Apple’s office suite Pages, Keynote, and Numbers or Google Docs which is webpage based.

Files won't download from OneDrive

I'm trying to pull down files from my OneDrive account on my Mac within the finder and I'm getting the following error.

-error code 36
-couldn’t communicate w helper application

Remedy??

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You could try going into those problematic folders and doing a quick analysis to eliminate any content that are unimportant. Then you could try requesting the download of each file or sub folder individually instead of the root folder they’re contained in.

You could try creating a new folder yourself and just pulling contents instead of the entire folder as well. That way you’d find which files are the problems as those would not transfer while others would. This would require digging the contents of those problematic folders individually.

If you find a specific file or sub folder that is really a problem, you can make a note of it or right click and add a tag like the color red. Then, if all else fails, we could go to
office.com and download the files from there.

Phone stopped recieiving calls

Wife's phone and my phone are not making or receiving calls. Texts are OK. Have we switched something off by mistake?
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Sounds strange. The fact that both yours and Linda’s are having the same problem would point to the provider or company. Specifically billing. When your phone stops being a phone, it becomes an iPad. In other words, if you pull the SIM card from a phone, you can usually still text with it or even make FaceTime calls. So first before we meet, take a second to check your billing with your phone provider to make sure there hasn’t been a billing error of some sort.

Can I restore my deleted emails from Gmail?


How can I restore deleted email that is not in my trash from my Gmail account?
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If your email was categorized as a Google “workspace” email which means it’s a business class email, then Google provides an ability to restore deleted messages.

https://knowledge.workspace.google.com/kb/how-to-restore-a-users-recently-permanently-deleted-email-000005308

Doubtful that your is, but worth checking. You would have workspace email if you had bought a domain name from Google for instance or if your email were part of a bundle of emails belonging to a company.

You can try logging in at
workspace.google.com and select “admin console” but if your email is not classified as workspace, that page will reject the login. Just thought it might be worth a shot.

It's time to move away from POP email...like 20 years ago.

Is there a way to get all the in box emails from my old computer to my new one?
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I noticed your old computer’s email settings are POP instead of the new way more modern IMAP settings. No one has used POP email since like 1999 so it was way time to move on. POP email doesn’t sync whereas IMAP does. You may have noticed that between your phone and your computer, your inbox and any other folders you created were not alike. No, going forward they will be. However, I also noticed within email, you utilize ON MY MAC when creating email folders. This means that when you drag an email out of your inbox and into one of those folders, it leaves the servers and will not sync to any other device or computer in your ecosystem. Nothing wrong with using ON MY MAC just as long as you understand you can’t see those emails on any other device.

Your email had to be converted to IMAP. Just no other way around it. POP is too old to continue to use. This means that the inbox emails specifically are only on the old computer (for now). But there is a way. It’s a little complicated but if they are massively important to you then we could come up with a solution for that to happen. It would involve, exporting that inbox on the old computer, moving that exported inbox over to the new computer, importing that inbox into the new computer’s mail program then dragging those emails into whatever folder you wish.

Overall, another thing you should consider is adding an additional email to your life. If you ever were to decide to move from Charlotte or change service providers to ATT or Google fiber you would loose that email address. Having an agnostic email like @iCloud.com or @gmail.com makes a lot of sense. Just something to keep in mind.

What's going on with my battery?

We were wondering if you may be able to assist with an issue my wife is having on her current MacBook Pro.
Copying below notes from Vik on what she is experiencing:

- Issues with charging over the last few months
- Issues are not ALL THE TIME, but it’s frequent (ie, most times when using the laptop)
-2 things appear to be going on - Issues with both the charger itself and the charge ports on the laptop, I think; tried to diagnose at Apple store but they couldn’t find anything
- Bought a new charging cord (USB-Cs on each end connected to a connector, have switched out the connector for regular plug into wall, nothing fixes the issue)
-Others who have charged their laptops with this charger have a similar issue where they have heard the “ding” over and over as if it’s intermittently charging but can’t stay charging (which is also what I’m experiencing)
-Also have had issues with the charge port to monitor
-Replaced my adapter to monitor and didn’t improve
-Apple says to call when problem is happening to try to diagnose remotely
-One thing that seemed to help was the new OS update, which solved for 48 hrs but problem happened a lot since

She is able to use the laptop (meaning it does get power) but there is clearly some issue with the charge and she thinks it may be a port and a cord issue. She’s spoken with Apple and gone to the store multiple times but can’t always replicate the issue when there so they’ve been unable to definitely diagnose what’s going on.
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Regarding the actual USB port, if the port had been bad, much like a loose tooth wiggling, then the Apple Store would have been able to detect that. So while it sounds like it’s the port, I’ll trust that Apple didn’t see that the port was broken. Also, if it has multiple USBC ports the machine can be charged from either and I’m sure you would have already tried that. (Older model MacBook air’s only have one USBC port however.)

So that leads me to consider the actual batterie’s behavior.

So possible good news here. Usually, when a battery is dying (because it's gone through too many charge cycles and just can't hold a charge like it used to) that results in a pretty consistent behavior. The battery will not last as long. Even though it shows 90%, it acts more like it only holds 5% capacity. You'll see the computer look to be fully charged, then the battery will drop quickly, or just die without warning.

That's not really what you're describing hear because that behavior should be consistent if the battery were, in fact, failing. So…there may be something else at play. I had this exact issue yesterday with another person and we were actually able to make some progress using a couple of secret weapons Apple has provided us that no one knows about.

Reseting the SMC and Resetting the Parameter ram. (Sounds exciting)

Doing either or both of these MAY allow your battery to forget its troubles and start behaving again. To execute either or both of these commands here's how:

Resetting SMC
https://support.apple.com/en-us/102605

Resetting Parameter Ram
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063

All of the above is well and good but the bottom line really is; how healthy is my battery really? To find this answer you'll go look at the system report. To get there, go to the Apple icon in the top left corner and choose "about this Mac". Depending on which OS you're on, you should see "more info" or system report (at the bottom). Click that and that should get you to the system report. Once you've found your way to the system report, you'll look on the left column and see "power". The most important piece of information we want there is how many times the battery has been FULLY depleted in its life. That's called "charge cycles".



In the example above, the battery has gone though 369 cycles and you can see it says "service recommended". The number I hang my hat on is 450. In my opinion, once a battery has gotten close to or above 450 cycles, it's time to retire it and either replace the machine or replace the battery. Apple does battery replacements for around $250 depending on the model. Just be sure you've backed your data up before you hand it over to them because you can't be guaranteed you'll get it back with the data still on it. Use Time Machine!

In general, if the computer is a 2017 or earlier, the battery is probably worn out.

Working around Airplay/Fairplay over to AppleTV

How can I vpn into my UK account to watch BBC or ITVX on my appletv?

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Block after block after block. So far no success. But I’m not ready to give up. There are so many different angles to attack the work around of the DRM. I do feel that IF you already had the ITV app installed on the AppleTV, then simply using the NordVPN app with the UK IP address would allow the App to stream directly from within the AppleTV itself.

The problem is GETTING THE APP ON THE APPLETV!!! Worst case is you could (and should) take it with you when you travel next and just download it while you’re there. However, in order to do that a few things have to be true. Not only do you need to have a UK IP address, but also you need to have logged out or or cancelled any Apple Music subscription. THEN, you need to go and switch your AppleID account to the UK region. So it may not be as easy as getting off the plane, joining somebody’s wifi in the UK, then connecting your AppleTV to a tv and downloading the App.

How can I make my email more secure?

Scotty, I want to make my email more secure. What can I do?
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Several steps. Although keep in mind, as I always say…security = inconvenience.

1. Turn OFF "Use Smart Addresses".




This allows the actual email address to be visible instead of whatever name has been assigned.

2. Utualize the privacy features supplied by Apple.



Keep in mind, there are draw backs to some of these as well. "Protect Mail Activity" will attempt to prevent email trackers from monitoring if you've opened or clicked on any of their links. The issue is that sometimes, the email content will not load fully. Especially if you choose to Bloack all remote content. You'll only see place holders to where pictures may actually be.

3. Use "Hide my email" if you're using iCloud mail.



I actually use this often. It creates a garbage email address that then forwards to your iCloud email address. You can then go back in to see what companies have it, and delete it later. Good for when you only need a short term relationship with a company but you don't want to get all the spam that goes along with that company. Remember every company is owned by another company so when you sign up for one service, they often push your email address to their other holdings which, in turn, begin emailing you about their products. Ex: Sign up for a Toyota service, start getting Lexus emails. (Same company)

4. Uncheck "Allow insecure authentication" in the TLS Certificate settings.





Again, this may refuse to send email based on your location from time to time so you may need to recheck it if you're in Kalamazoo and need an email to go out.

5. Use an encrypted email service. It will cost a yearly subscription. It will place a middle man between your email and your incoming/outgoing mail servers. Could slow things down a little. This service allows you to download a secure certificate which you then place into your keychain. This is for advanced users only. More info here.

This is a SCAM! DO NOT CALL THESE PEOPLE!!!

Sorry to bother but I did not order this do you think scam or should I call?

Screenshot 2024-01-31 at 5.17.10 PM
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Garbage. It’s bait to get you to call them so they can scam you. DO NOT call that number. Better thing to do is to monitor your bank transactions carefully (ALWAYS) and if you did see anything unexplainable, contact the bank to have them cancel or refund any payments you did not authorize.

That is unlikely what is happening in this example however. This particular example is designed to scare you into thinking you’ve paid something so that you’d be more likely to call them. Once they have you on the phone, you are as good as gone. They are extremely convincing by lying.

What computer should I buy?

Our old desk top computer is ready to be put to pasture. Do you have a recommendation for a new one we could get? Have been happy with apple products.
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In my opinion the newest iMacs are far better than the older ones. The main reason is that Apple has finally moved away from spinning hard drives. All hard drives are now solid state. Which means no moving parts. Which means less hard drive failures.

If you prefer to consider a laptop, you could always add an additional monitor to a laptop and have both a desktop computer experience and the portability of a laptop.

Should I call this number?

Do I have a virus? It says I should call this number. My computer is talking to me.


Screenshot 2024-01-30 at 2.30.32 PM
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Total scam. Quit Safari, hold down the shift key and restart. That’s just an add trying to trick you into thinking you have a virus. It’s garbage.

Cannot Verify Server?

Scotty. This seems to keep popping up on my phone whether I think I'm in the house or in the car or on the road I just keep hitting cancel any ideas?


View recent photos

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Looks like an incorrect email account setup. To remove this account, go to Settings/Mail/Accounts. You should then see the email account above. Scroll to the bottom and delete. If you don't see it under Mail in settings, try going to Calendar.

How can I stop paying for subscriptions my kids use?

I need to figure out a way for my family to start paying their own subscriptions to Apple. I am getting everyones bills and dont want to carry all of these subscriptions.

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Options to separate billing for your kids:

1. kick aging children out of your family. Then let them fend for themselves. Has to happen eventually. Around 20 years old and up?
2. Keep them in the family but buy a Family Music subscription. Approx. $16 a month for up to 6 members I think.
3. Change store ID to themselves instead of your own AppleID. Each person would have to have their own method of payment linked to their AppleID.

Harvesting OneDrive data


My cooworker purchased some external drives and is trying to transition them but cannot drag and drop them and so it’s taking forever! Is there an easier way to do this….
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When you say personal one drive, you do mean cloud storage within Microsoft Office, yes? If so, one way you may be able to accomplish this is to download the Onedrive app, install it on a separate computer, let that computer sync to whichever account you want to grab the data from. That should trigger the files to download locally to the computer at which point you should be able to pull them to an external hard drive.

Are these notifications as sam?

Is this real or a scam? What should I do?

Screenshot 2023-12-22 at 3.22.45 PM
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No. This is a scam. Do not engage in this. It is simply a notification that you have accidentally allowed by having visited a garbage website. While on that website, you were asked if you'd like to allow notifications. You accidentally said yes. Here's how to get rid of it.

Open Safari, go to Settings. Select Websites. Select Notifications. Select any/all the sites listed one by one and remove them from the list.

As seen in the example below.




Quit Safari and restart. That should do it.

Software Update stuck on 14.2 Sonoma




You can try a couple different things.

1. Using the software update panel in Settings. (I know you’ve already tried that of course.)

Screenshot 2023-12-18 at 8.27.44 AM


2. Go directly to the App Store and initiate the update from there…

Screenshot 2023-12-18 at 8.28.55 AM

3. Use the support link provided by Apple which can be found here:

macOS Sonoma 14.2


As always, having an up to date backup is a good idea before doing any software changes.
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