to commonly asked questions.

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?

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?

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.

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 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 20 years ago.

Is there a way to get all the in box emails from my old computer to my new one?

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 or 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.

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

Resetting Parameter Ram

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".

Screenshot 2024-02-08 at 9.04.33 AM

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?


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?

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.


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

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.

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

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


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.


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….

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

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.

Lost a sticky note

Scotty one of my most used “stickies” just disappeared on me this morning.
No great loss but it had my passwords listed for quick use. All of a sudden it just
vanished! As you recommended I have all passwords store in a file in
I have tried everything I can think of and used every technique I’ve found online
but nothing worse than. Any ideas? No rush at all……


Most of the time, it's just a case of accidentally minimizing the top bar of the stickie then it only appears as a thin bar on your desktop. Then to make matters even more tricky, it's possible to have slid or moved that bar to the bottom or side of the desktop screen, therefore making it even more difficult to find. If you see any small think line like the example below, just double click it and will expand back to normal

If you don't see that, try quitting Stickies several times in a row and watch for changes around your desktop. My bet is that it's there, just way out of sight.

If that doesn't work, the good news is that when you close a sticky by using the top left corner of the note, it will always ask you if you'd like to save. So you can't just "lose" a note without really going out of your way. The resulting file is a .txt file saved on your computer somewhere. So you could search in a finder window for .txt and it will reveal every text file on your computer, one of which will be that saved sticky. A better approach however would be to search for content within the note itself. In other words, search for a word that existed in the note and that .txt file will show up. It's best to use words you think my be unique to that specific document for more accurate results.

Keep in mind, if you DO find the .txt saved file, you'd have to open it (default will be text edit) then copy/paste the contents back in to a new sticky.

Setting up Time Machine

My new Seagate Time Machine arrived but despite me setting up a password several times, nothing is happening. Do you have some basic instructions?

Instructions differ based on which Operating system you're using. Go to the Apple in the top left corner of your screen and choose “about this Mac”. It will either say Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, Sonoma.

For Sonoma, Open System Settings, select General then to the left, select Time Machine.

Next, select "Add Backup Disk". With all other drives you may be using, disconnected, select the new drive you just purchased. Once it's selected, you may be prompted to "erase" the drive. That is totally normal since you most likely just purchased it so there would be noting on that drive yet anyway. Once you've gone through that step, you should be good to go.

Note: If you are asked to use an Encrypted backup, say No. I do not recommend people use that option.

My battery is failing.

My battery is dying. Can you help me?

I no longer do hardware repairs or battery replacements on laptops. Your best bet would be to have Apple replace it for you. Batteries do often fail before the life of the computer has expired so sometimes throwing $150-200 for a new battery installed by Apple is the way to go. If your computer is 5 years old or less, that’s an ok investment. If your computer is closer to 7 years old, that may not be the best route.

How do I make labels for my Christmas cards?

I would like to do labels for Christmas cards this year. Is this something that you can help me set up? Is it truly worth the effort to do it? My list is about 250-275.

I’d like to have the flexibility to use either white or clear labels from year to year, depending on the color envelopes our Christmas cards are. Last year, my husband’s assistant sent me the template and the Staples (clear) labels that are compatible with Avery 5160/8160. It was a cumbersome way for me to do the labels. I had to type the addresses that filled a sheet of labels. I couldn’t figure out how to add pages or to save a page separately.

Most of our labels will be Mr. and Mrs. but some will be The ____ Family. Will we be able to do it this way? Will it be in an Excel spreadsheet? Currently, my Christmas card list is a Word document.

I want to make sure that the outcome of doing the labels will be what I want it to be and that it will be easy for me to update the list each year to reflect new addresses, new friends to send cards and delete recipients as needed. Make sense?


Yes. Makes sense. The way I approach this task is to add a company name to each contact in the address book (Contacts) on the Mac.

Then once a year, flip everyone to become a company, print the labels using that application (Contacts on the Mac) then flip them back to being individuals.

You will have more people in your contacts than you want to send cards to of course, so you make a group in Contacts. Add the salutation you like in the company field, select all, make a company, print, select all, set them back as individuals.

The busy work is adding the proper salutation in the company field. But this only has to be done once then you have them for the rest of your life.

Note, if you don’t flip them back in Contacts from company back to individual, if they were to call you, on your phone you would see “Mr and Mrs. Smith” incoming call.

If you’d like, we can do a remote session and I can assign you the proper homework steps before we go to print later after you’ve added all the Mr. Ms, family etc… stuff.

There is also another option. Some people have a completely separate user just for this but it’s really not necessary. This would only be something to do if we needed to start from a spreadsheet alone.

Honestly, once it’s set up, I think you’ll find this much easier in the long run for managing this in the future. Just takes some setup work on the front end.

As far as wether you want clear, white, pink or purple, that choice isn’t relevant. You can choose whatever Avery label type you want. The hard part of the job is typing in “The Sells Family”.

How can I get my pics over to my TV?

Hi Scotty
Would it be possible for me to book an in person home visit and you can show me how to set up something so I could view pictures on my iPhone on my Sony TV?

That’s probably so simple but eludes me.

Certainly can do that. Two possibilities to make that happen.

1. Your tv may already support airplay. Airplay is the technology Apple uses to push pics over to a tv.
2. You could just get an AppleTV ($150) which along with giving the ability to stream every type of content channel out there, also allows you to send pics and vids over. It also allows you to just log in to your iCloud Photos without even using your phone.

Should I have all email adresses checked in messages?

Should I have all the email addresses and my phone number checked in messages preferences?

You don’t really need to have both email addresses checked in the messages because it’s doubtful anyone would be texting you based on the comporium email address. Text messages can arrive based on phone number or appleID. If your AppleID is the comporium address then go ahead and check it. If your appleID is an or email address then you don’t really have to check it. Doesn’t hurt anything if it is, but it would be unnecessary.
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