Help Desk

Glenn Fleish­man an­swers your most vex­ing Mac prob­lems

Macworld - - Contents -


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, the­, 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.


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.



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 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.


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 at­hxv.

• 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.

With itunes

• 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

is com­plete.

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

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