to commonly asked questions.


Can't install Fortnight onto Standard User using /Shared folder

I freed up 400G+ space. No problem installing un my user account; when daughter tries, she sees this message:


Odd because users are not allocated specific amounts of space to use on MacOS. Her user has the same rights as any other users when it comes to space allocation. Admins vs standard users doesn’t matter in terms of space. I suggest doing a reinstall but instead of installing it into the /Shared folder you install the application into the Applications folder. Give that a try next.

Where is my pictures folder?

Where is my pictures folder?

Every Mac user has a Pictures folder. To find it, open a Finder window (by either clicking on the Happy face in the dock or select "New Finder Window" from the File menu. Once there, follow this file path:

Macintosh HD/Users/youruser/Pictures

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Where did my files go?

I submitted a question about my recent upgrade to set up the internal hard drive of my 2012 MacBook Pro into two partitions, one called MacBook Pro Hard Drive and one called MacBook Pro Hard Drive-Data.. I am unable to get my data when I use Finder, only the installed apple software on both partitions. How can I recover my data. I know it is on the drive because when I search for specific files the show up. Please help.
Incidentally, your previous help on connecting the same computer to my old cinema display worked and is operating very well.

So when you search and find your data, that means it's definitely there. (My bet is that it's in the "iCloud Drive" folder.). It's very common for people to accidentally agree to start using iCloud Drive for their documents/desktop storage which then causes those items to seem to disappear from the Mac. They're not actually gone. Just relocated. If this is the case, you should now see two new folders called desktop and documents which live in iCloud Drive. To find these, look over to the left of the finder window and select the folder from there.

If that doesn't solve it for you, next go back to search again using a finder window. This time, when you search, click once on the file you've found. You should see a file path at the bottom of the screen. You can follow that file path to tell you where your documents now live.

Where is the mail plist file now?

Where is the mail preferences plist file now? It used to be in the ~/Library/Preferences folder.

You're right. It's been moved. It is now in ~/Library/Containers/ Just make sure you always backup and make a copy of these files before you progress.

How do I get admin rights to a computer?

Hi I have been on the phone with apple and apparently I’m not the ‘admin’ for Sara Frances computer and do not know who is SF said she set the computer up herself- do you know? Cannot connect her to the new printer because of this

On every Mac, to find out what users have been created, including what user has admin rights, (admin rights are needed to do things like add or remove software or printers) you can go to System Preferences then find "Users and Groups".

There you'll see on the left column what users are listed and which user(s) have admin rights. You can add new users and give the new users admin rights, log into the newly created user and take away admin rights from the original user. However, to do that, you'll need the password to the original admin. If your child set the computer up, they would have been asked to create an admin password at the very beginning of the process.

Why did Catalina kill my Office?


I recently updated my Mac software to Catalina. It gave me a message indicating that I would need to update my Microsoft Word and Excel for them to work. What it didn’t tell me was that I’d need to update to Microsoft 365 at a subscription of $99/year. Therefore, I have a couple of questions for you as follows:

1) Should I try to “undo” my update to Catalina? I suppose I know the answer and that this is all part of the planned obsolescence and if I don’t things will stop working properly.

2) If your answer to #1 is “yes”, how long of an appointment will this require? I need to schedule an appointment with you in January to try and upgrade my wife’s Mac as well.

1. Apple has been moving to a full 4 bit operating system for several years now and Catalina 10.15 kills all old 32 bit software. The biggest victim here is Microsoft Office versions prior to 2011. Office 2014 and forward are 64 bit programs so they are fine. You are not required to subscribe to Office if you don't want to although Microsoft would love for you to since they make more money off of you in the long run. There are 3 plans. $99 subscription a year for 5 computers and iOS apps including One drive and Outlook (neither of which any of us really ever use.). $69 per year for one computer including all the aforementioned perks. OR $149 one time fee to buy it out right not including iOS, One Drive, or Outlook. They are pushing heavily for people to subscribe you you do have the option to purchase it.
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2. I strongly suggest we not go backward from Catalina as painful as purchasing Office would be once again. You would end up paying me for the effort to downgrade the operating system. There is no simple way to go back. Yes, it's possible but time consuming. Happy to do it but you're better off moving forward.

Catalina Kills old Microsoft Office

You helped me transfer my old laptop to my new laptop back in January.  I'm really bad about doing the updates that pop up all the time.  I usually just push "ignore" a gazillion times, but I went ahead and gave in to the recent update (I've come to know now as the Evil Catalina!!!......and boy did I make a mistake!  My computer is pretty much useless.  Word and Excel are both not working now.  Is this something you can fix?  Or am I going to have to subscribe and pay for everything again?  

I have encountered many issues with the Catalina rollout. Mostly due to the installer. The actual operating system has been fine but getting it installed has been problematic for many people. In regard to your Microsoft issue. Yes, this was going to happen. Catalina 10.15 is all 64 bit which means that any old programs that run in 32 bit would stop working. Apple has been moving toward an all 64 bit process for many years. If you went to Mojave 10.14 last year you may have seen a warning when opening Word, Excel, etc.. saying "this version is not optimized for this Mac".

So this means the old 32 bit versions of Office will no longer work in Catalina. So here are your options:

1. Abandon Office and use Pages, Keynote, Numbers
2. Abandon Office and use Google Docs online
3. Buy the new version of Office for one computer at $150. (A one time purchase with no future updates)
4. Subscribe to Office at $69 per year for one computer.
5. Subscribe to Office at $99 per year for 5 computers.

Photos library taking a long time to update

How do i stop this photo library update?


Looks like you just updated to Catalina. It may take a few hours for Photos to update your library depending on the size (amount of pictures). Just be patient and it should complete.

Computer storage is full is a serious issue.

Help my computer is not uploading photos and keeps telling me that storage is near capacity.

This can be a serious issue. If you are seeing a message saying "your startup disk is full" then that needs to be address very soon. If this is a message saying your iCloud space is full, that's less crucial. If your issue is the startup disk issue, then you always have three choices:

1. Find items you no longer need and delete them
2. Find items you don't need to store locally on your computer and move them.
3. Get a larger internal drive.

Option 2 can mean moving your pictures to the cloud. That sometimes frees up a good bit of space. I'd be happy to assist.

When is screen time for the Mac coming?

When will screentime be available for the Mac? I'm sending my child off to boarding school soon and I want to be able to limit his computer use.

Screentime will be available on laptops when MacOS Catalina is released publicly. Right now the Apple is only saying “this Fall” so we don’t have a concrete commitment for a date yet. Screentime on the mac has been a long awaiting improvement and there are many parents awaiting its arrival. I see you scheduled for Aug 23th. It will not be available prior to your son’s departure for school. My guess is last week of September through Oct 31st is when it will release. If you need to reschedule the session, you can do so via the link provided in the confirmation email. let me know what questions you have.

Why can't I install Mojave on an external drive?

1) Upgraded to Mojave
2) Found an old 1TB external HD. Wiped and reformatted. For some reason I get this error message every time I try to install Mojave on it. It gets all the way through and just before it says it has to reboot, I get this. Have tried several times and rebooted in between and always get this.



I would first try opening disk utility, and with no other drives connected, reformat that target drive. You can use MacOS extended Journaled. Then try the install once again.

You can also try throwing that installer away (located in the applications folder) and redownloading it.

Also, make sure the operating system you are currently on is equal to the version you are trying to install.

Lastly, if neither of those work, you an create an installer on a separate external drive like a flash drive (you'd need at least an 8 gig thumb drive). There is a built in terminal command that allows you to create an installer. Then you'd boot to the external flash drive to install on the other drive. More here: How to create a bootable installer for macOS - Apple Support

Is Mojave ready?

Are you wanting us all to upgrade to Mojave or wait. I’ve been looking for a memo from you on this but have not seen one yet.

As of today, 10/24/18 Mojave is still in its .0 release. 10.14.0 So stay away until at least the .1 update which should be any day. They've done about 5 updates in the Beta in the last two weeks prior to issuing 10.14.1 so I'd say next week will be fine.

Can I go from Snow Leopard to El Capitan?

Can I go from 10.6.8 to 10.11?

Yes. Apple allows a jump that large but you can't jump from 10.6 to 10.12 or higher. Also, 10. does have to be completely up to date first as well. (10.6.8) However, if you've not previously downloaded 10.11 from the App Store, Apple doesn't make older operating systems available. Still possible. You just have to obtain a copy of the prior operating system.

Can't delete a user in High Sierra


I migrated an old user after I accidentally created a new user with the same name when I bought a new mac. Now I can't delete the other user. It's greyed out in the Users & Groups.

I've seen this issue now several times. A couple of ways to solve this. Wipe the drive and start the migration over again or swap the GeneratedUID. This is not something for you to do if you are not 100% confident in your abilities. Make a backup and proceed with extreme caution:

  1. Go to Directory Utility
  2. Enable Root
  3. In Directory Editor, search for the user to be deleted.
  4. Copy the UID to a textedit doc then change the UID by one number
  5. Save
  6. Search for the currently logged in user (the user to be kept)
  7. copy the UID for this user into the text doc just to be safe.
  8. now replace it with the first UID number.
  9. Open terminal and run `diskutil apfs updatePreboot disk1a1`
  10. Restart and log in as the remaining user. Pray.

Original credit goes to Ambrose Little over at

Where's my powermanagement plist file?


Where did my powermanagement plist go? It's no longer in the system configuration folder.

Correct. Ever since Sierra and later it looks like Apple has moved some plist files around. You can now find the power management.plist file just outside of the system configuration folder. in Library/Preferences. In addition, the boot.plist and CaptivenetworkSupport folder are also no longer disposable. They are protected by the OS. I don't think even Root can toss them. Here's a great article listing all the current locations of important plist files. Another great article here on what happens (and doesn't happen) when plist files are modified.

Where did my share menu items go?

Scotty after updating my computer, some options are missing from my share menu like twitter or mail. How can I get them back?

Open terminal.

Copy and paste the following command:

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -seed

Hit return. It may take a few minutes but eventually the command should finish.

Restart your computer (optional) then go to system preferences/Extentions. Enable whatever you feel you need.
This image is a theme.plist hack