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?
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.