PERMISIONS IN SIERRA

Since us­ing Near Lock to un­lock my iMac from my iPhone, the Mac has run slowly, with Sa­far­iDAVClient us­ing re­sources heav­ily. Also, Ap­ple’s apps such as Pre­view won’t start up, as they quit when try­ing to do so. What’s wrong?

Mac|Life - - ASK -

These symp­toms are most prob­a­bly caused by in­cor­rect per­mis­sions set in parts of your home folder, which can some­times oc­cur if you set up Near Lock or MacID.

To fix that, select your home folder in Finder and choose File > Get Info. In the Shar­ing & Per­mis­sions sec­tion at the bot­tom of the Info win­dow, en­sure you’re listed as its owner, with read and write per­mis­sions. Then click the cog icon to open the pop-up menu, and use the “Ap­ply to en­closed items” com­mand to ap­ply the same rights through­out the folder.

In the ar­ti­cle at ap­ple.co/2sKGxcF, Ap­ple rec­om­mends that you then open Ter­mi­nal (in /Ap­pli­ca­tions/Util­i­ties) and type the fol­low­ing com­mand: disku­til re­setUserPer­mis­sions / `id -u` You’ll find the ` (grave ac­cent) char­ac­ter just above the key.

That’s the com­mand which Ap­ple says com­pletes the process. If it re­turns an er­ror code -69841, en­ter the com­mand chflags -R nouchg ~ then re­peat the disku­til com­mand. When those are com­plete, log out and back in again, or restart, and your Mac should have re­turned to nor­mal.

This is quite dif­fer­ent from the re­pair per­mis­sions method in Yosemite and ear­lier, which could fix a range of problems be­fore El Cap­i­tan in­tro­duced Sys­tem In­tegrity Pro­tec­tion (SIP).

Faster, faster! Can I swap out the hard drive in my mid-2012, 15-inch MacBook Pro for an SSD?

Yes, and this is wise with High Sierra com­ing, its new file sys­tem be­ing op­ti­mized for SSDs. It’s mod­er­ately dif­fi­cult to do, how­ever, and you need the right Torx screw­driver to re­move four bolts at the sides of the HDD. Go to bit.ly/2rQlLUP for a full photographic guide at iFixit.

Key­note can­not open my pre­sen­ta­tion I cre­ate pre­sen­ta­tions in Key­note 6.6.2 on my iMac, ex­port to Key­note 09 for­mat, and de­liver them us­ing Key­note 09 on my MacBook. This nor­mally works fine but, for some rea­son, my latest pre­sen­ta­tion is com­pletely blank in Key­note 09. When I go to the next slide, the app crashes. How can I fix this?

Try an­other pre­sen­ta­tion which you know has worked in the past. This will tell you whether it’s just this doc­u­ment which has a prob­lem, or whether some­thing has hap­pened to the copy of Key­note on your MacBook.

If it’s just that doc­u­ment, you’ll need to work through it to iden­tify what’s caus­ing the crash. Chances are that it’s some of the con­tent – an im­age or movie on one of the slides, which might, for ex­am­ple, use a re­cent file for­mat or com­pres­sion method which is in­com­pat­i­ble with the older soft­ware on your MacBook.

If sev­eral Key­note 09 doc­u­ments which used to open fine on the MacBook no longer work prop­erly, the app or sys­tem on that Mac has become cor­rupted or dam­aged. If this is the case, try to re­move and replace that copy of Key­note, prefer­ably from a backup made when you know it was work­ing prop­erly, or by re­in­stalling it and sub­se­quent up­dates to it.

If you can, aim to up­grade your Macs to El Cap­i­tan or Sierra, and the cur­rent ver­sion of Key­note (7.2 at the time of writ­ing) if you rely on them for your pre­sen­ta­tions. You’re then less likely to en­counter such problems. When im­port­ing old Key­note pre­sen­ta­tions into more re­cent ver­sions, old and in­com­pat­i­ble con­tent should be fully con­verted into new for­mats.

Graph­ics glitches at shut­down My Retina 5K iMac (Late 2015) ran­domly dis­plays lots of col­ored hor­i­zon­tal bands just be­fore it shuts down. This doesn’t hap­pen ev­ery time, and doesn’t seem to af­fect it in any other way. Is this nor­mal?

When shut­ting down your Mac should sim­ply switch to a black screen, then the dis­play should go blank as the com­puter pow­ers off. Glitches like this

can be an early sign of graph­ics card problems, or may be fixed by re­set­ting the SMC (Sys­tem Man­age­ment Con­troller) and NVRAM (non-volatile ran­dom ac­cess me­mory).

You’ll need to shut down your iMac and dis­con­nect all its pe­riph­er­als, apart from your key­board, mouse or track­pad, and any network ca­ble. Dis­con­nect the power ca­ble from the back of the iMac, then wait 15 sec­onds, re­con­nect the ca­ble to the iMac, and then wait an­other five sec­onds. Position your fin­gers above the

keys, press the power but­ton to start up the Mac, and press and hold those four keys un­til your Mac restarts and you hear a sec­ond startup chime. Fi­nally, re­lease the four keys and let your Mac com­plete the sec­ond startup nor­mally.

If that doesn’t fix the prob­lem, start up in Ap­ple’s hard­ware test mode by hold­ing when pow­er­ing on, and then run the se­ries of tests (see bit.ly/

ap­pltests). If they re­turn a healthy re­sult of “ADP000,” this could just be a re­sult of a macOS up­date: down­load and run the latest Combo Up­date for your sys­tem from sup­port.ap­ple.com.

If the prob­lem con­tin­ues, keep an eye on it. If it gets more fre­quent or you no­tice any other dis­play is­sues, call Ap­pleCare sup­port (if you have it), as your iMac then needs deeper hard­ware test­ing and prob­a­bly re­pair.

Can an iPad replace a lap­top? I’d like to buy an iPad to use for apps such as Word and Ex­cel, or their equiv­a­lents. Is it fea­si­ble to send and re­ceive fully work­ing doc­u­ments by email, just as I might on a lap­top?

Yes: the iPad ver­sions of the apps in Mi­crosoft’s Of­fice suite, Ap­ple’s own al­ter­na­tives Pages, Key­note, and Num­bers, and many third-party apps all now come with fea­tures which com­pare fa­vor­ably with macOS apps. Doc­u­ments cre­ated and edited with them can eas­ily be sent and re­ceived as email at­tach­ments too.

Some of these apps have mi­nor lim­i­ta­tions com­pared to their desk­top coun­ter­parts. For ex­am­ple, Mi­crosoft Word for iOS doesn’t record or run macros, and can­not add or up­date ta­bles of con­tents, fea­tures for which you’d need to use a desk­top ver­sion of Word. Mi­crosoft gives a de­tailed com­par­i­son of sup­ported fea­tures across the dif­fer­ent plat­forms at

bit.ly/2sRtW7P. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be an equiv­a­lent list for Ex­cel.

A few years ago, when iPads were first be­com­ing pop­u­lar, it would have been a bold and brave move to switch to work­ing on an iPad in­stead of a lap­top. Now many peo­ple have done so suc­cess­fully, and not looked back. There are still some ar­eas in which you might need ac­cess to the ad­di­tional fea­tures of macOS soft­ware: data­bases are one, with FileMaker Go for iOS be­ing an ex­cel­lent client for data­bases de­vel­oped in FileMaker Pro on macOS (or Win­dows).

Up­grad­ing my data­base I’ve been us­ing an old ver­sion of FileMaker Pro for a con­tact data­base. This now crashes fre­quently and needs up­grad­ing. Is there some­thing sim­pler and cheaper I should be us­ing in­stead?

The latest ver­sion of FileMaker Pro would still be an ex­cel­lent, although ex­pen­sive, up­grade. You may not use much of its power, but it re­mains easy to work with and re­quires min­i­mum ef­fort to im­port old data­bases.

A cheaper app which might be more suit­able is Tin­der­box 7 ( east­gate.com/

tin­der­box). It’s not a data­base but a struc­tured note-keeper, ideal for col­lat­ing and or­der­ing information.

Tin­der­box has its own learn­ing curve, of course, but is ex­cep­tion­ally flex­i­ble in im­port­ing from and ex­port­ing to other apps; down­load and try it out to see if you get on with it be­fore com­mit­ting. FileMaker Pro may seem like overkill for a ba­sic text data­base, but it re­mains a very friendly app, and sim­ple to use.

Frozen Photos My Photos li­brary seems to be to­tally stuck. Ev­ery time I open the app, it just sits there do­ing noth­ing. I’m wor­ried about los­ing my images if I mess with it. Any help?

You’re wise to be cau­tious - al­low Photos up to an hour be­fore giv­ing up on it. First, press to­gether to dis­play the Force Quit dia­log. Select Photos there – it may be red and “Not Re­spond­ing” – and click the Force Quit but­ton. Next, back up Photos’ li­brary file, if pos­si­ble.

Open a new Finder win­dow, and go to the folder where Photos is lo­cated – nor­mally /Ap­pli­ca­tions. Hold and open the app. It should dis­play a dia­log of­fer­ing to re­pair the cur­rent de­fault li­brary. Click Re­pair, and wait.

If the dia­log isn’t shown, quit Photos again and this time hold while you re­open it. You’ll see a win­dow prompt­ing you to select the li­brary you want to use. Then quit the app, and use the com­bi­na­tion while start­ing Photos to bring up the re­pair dia­log.

Be­com­ing less mo­bile How can I cut back on mo­bile data use when us­ing my iPhone?

For­tu­nately, iOS pro­vides you with com­pre­hen­sive con­trol over apps and fea­tures eat­ing into your al­lowance. In Set­tings > Cel­lu­lar, you can see how much apps have used, and flick the switches there to re­strict apps to Wi-Fi. Also con­sider turn­ing off Wi-Fi As­sist, which uses cel­lu­lar data when Wi-Fi is poor and which may be a lux­ury – as well as iCloud Drive, at the bot­tom.

Ex­ces­sive me­mory use by pro­cesses like Sa­far­iDAVClient can be a sign that you need to re­pair per­mis­sions in your home folder.

The iPad is a stronger can­di­date to replace a MacBook now, in part thanks to iOS 11.

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