Glenn Fleishman answers your most vexing Mac problems
WHY DOES A SAFARI COOKIE REAPPEAR AFTER YOU DELETE IT?
Safari for macos lets you view the kind of data cached locally by websites in your browser. Select Safari > Preferences > Privacy, and then click Manage Website Data, and you can see the kind of data stored by every site. It can include Cache, Local Storage, Databases, Cookies, and much more. You can select items to remove them, or even go nuclear and click Remove All.
Those are different categories of local storage, but they’re all managed by the Web site with
the permission and mediation of the browser. Cookies is the most likely one to see, as cookies contain a login token used to keep a session going as you navigate among pages, or tracking data used by advertisers.
Macworld reader David is having a problem with this, however. When he selects an item and then clicks Remove, he sometimes sees the entry disappear and then instantly reappear. He’s checked that any web pages associated with the site in question are closed.
I tested this with the same site he did: The Guardian newspaper, theguardian.com, which I know to be a reliable editorial outlet and have never heard of any jiggery-pokery going on with its site. And I experienced the same action: the entry disappeared and reappeared. I waited a moment, clicked Remove again, and this time the deletion ‘stuck’ – the entry didn’t reappear.
While I might be concerned about maliciously respawning evercookies if this were a site I didn’t know and trust, especially one that had a whiff of the off-brand or unreliable about it, that’s exceedingly unlikely with the Guardian or any mainstream editorial outlet. Evercookies hide user tracking information using loopholes in how a browser communicates with a server, and after normal cookies and caches are deleted, recreates the cookie and places it back.
More likely this is a user-interface glitch: the click that should delete the entry is registering as accepted and the interface duly deletes the
entry in question. But the underlying data isn’t properly updated, so the list refreshes showing the entry again.
I have a relatively fast newer imac, and my Manage Website Data list takes about 10 to 15 seconds to fill in any entries. On a slower Mac on which Safari has visited any reasonable number of sites, I expect it may take a lot longer to fill in the list and to update when Remove is clicked.
DOES A HARD DRIVE HAVE TO BE SOLELY DEDICATED FOR TIME MACHINE USE?
Macworld reader David wonders whether a drive used for Time Machine backups can also store other
files, or whether that could cause problems. The good news is that you don’t have to devote an entire drive to Time Machine backups, although you may certainly choose to do so.
macos writes all the archived files related to Time Machine to locations within a folder called Backups.backupdb. Everything else on the drive gets ignored. However, as a drive fills up, Time Machine starts deleting the oldest snapshots, which are retained starting seven days after an initial hourly backup as weekly snapshots.
Depending on how large your archives are and how much capacity the drive has, you may want to leave as much space free for Time Machine backups as possible.
WARNING: IF YOU TURN
OFF ICLOUD PHOTO LIBRARY IN IOS, YOU MAY UNINTENTIONALLY DELETE OPTIMIZED IMAGES
I would never claim icloud Photo Library is easy to understand. Among the most-asked questions to Help Desk are those relating to how the sync-and-central-storage system for images and video works. Macworld reader Keiti seems to have run afoul of how icloud Photo Library manages images and videos, and may have missed a prompt that explained what was about to happen.
Keiti writes: My icloud storage was full and I did not purchase any extra storage. In order not to get the notifications, I decided to turn off icloud Photo Library. But after that, about 1,000 photos out of
2,000 photos just disappeared from my iphone. Are they still somewhere hidden on my device or are they gone for good?
They shouldn’t be gone forever: they should remain in icloud Photo Library, and be available via icloud.com and by enabling or re-enabling icloud Photo Library on your iphone or any other device. You may need to temporarily purchase additional icloud storage, which you can do for a single month and then downgrade, to make sure you can retrieve and sync all the files you need.
What likely happened here is that the icloud Photo Library was set (in Settings > account name > icloud > Photos) to Optimize iphone Storage. As a result, when your iphone storage became full, IOS deletes full-resolution images and videos that are already synced with icloud Photo Library – which is all of them except perhaps recently shot media – and replaces them with preview thumbnails.
When you tap the icloud Photo Library switch to off, you should receive a prompt that offers an explanation, and has two choices: Remove from iphone or Download Photos & Video. I’m guessing Keiti missed that prompt, or tapped Remove from iphone assuming images and videos captured on the iphone would remain. But Apple is quite literal.
This scenario doesn’t delete media from icloud Photo Library, as I note above, so you can recover those images and videos:
• Connect an IOS device with enough storage to download all the media, and enable icloud Photo
Library with Download and Keep Originals set in the Settings area for Photos above. Then, when you disable icloud Photo Library, tap Download Photos & Video to ensure that all images are retained.
• On a Mac logged into the same icloud account, use Photos > icloud to enable icloud Photo Library and choose the option Download Originals to This Mac. That will retrieve all your media from icloud, at which point you can disconnect the Mac from icloud Photo Library.
SET UP A NEW IPHONE BY RESTORING IT FROM AN OLDER DEVICE
Macworld readers are likely quite used to restoring their IOS devices. Sometimes, you’ll need to bring your iphone or ipad in or ship it off for repair, and
Apple has to reset or replace it. Other times, you might hit a glitch – a rapidly draining battery is a common one – where the ‘best’ remedy is backing up and restoring.
But Macworld reader Jim writes in with what I think is a common scenario for which there’s an extra step that isn’t exactly obvious: when you want effectively to transfer the contents of an older IOS device with a newer replacement, but the newer IOS hardware is already set up and running, just not with your stuff.
Jim teaches pensioners on Apple equipment at the retirement home at which he lives, and he says his comrades often have an older IOS device they use, and have been given a newer hand-medown from their children or grandchildren. They
just want to transfer an icloud backup. Fortunately, it’s straightforward.
First, Make sure you have a fresh back up of the older device, whether that’s through icloud (Settings > account name > icloud > icloud Backup, and tap Back Up Now) or itunes (connect via USB, select device icon, click Back Up Now). With itunes, you can confirm the backup was made by looking in itunes > Preferences > Devices and looking for the device name and the date and time of the last backup.
Next, when that’s complete, turn to the new device. Make sure that if the new device has been used to take pictures, record audio, or make any other unique media files or documents, that those have been copied or synced so they will be available to retrieve after erasing the device. (If you’re using icloud Photo Library, for instance, all photos and videos should be synced to icloud, and will simply sync back after the device is restored from the older IOS hardware.)
If you’re absolutely sure you have copied, synced, or don’t need data stored on the new device, you can now erase it.
• Turn off Find My iphone/ipad before proceeding.
• If you want to erase via itunes and USB, follow Apple’s detailed instructions at fave.co/2nvehxv.
• If you would prefer to erase directly via the devices, tap Settings > General > Reset, enter your password or Apple ID password if prompted, and then wait for it to finish.
Now, you can perform a restore from the backup you made of the older device. If it’s an iphone or a cellular ipad, swap the SIM from the old to new device before performing the restore.
• Power up the newer IOS device, and proceed through setup until you’re asking on the Apps & Data screen how you want to set up the device. Choose Restore from itunes Backup.
• Connect the iphone or ipad over USB to the computer on which you performed an itunes backup.
• Click Restore Backup.
> Choose the backup you just made.
• Follow the remaining prompts until the restore
With an icloud backup
• Power up the newer IOS device, and proceed through setup until you’re asking on the Apps & Data screen how you want to set up the device. Choose Restore from icloud Backup.
• Sign into the same icloud account you used to perform the backup above.
• Choose the backup you made from the list that appears.
• Follow the remaining prompts until the restore is complete.
The Manage Website Data list shows which Web sites have asked your browser to cache data for them