Help Desk

Glenn Fleish­man an­swers your most vex­ing Mac prob­lems

Macworld - - CONTENTS -

RE­STORE A DELETED SHARED AL­BUM IN PHO­TOS iCloud Photo Shar­ing lets you cre­ate al­bums from your im­ages and videos and then share them to in­vited par­ties, or cre­ate a link that any­one can ac­cess. It’s a great way to lever­age your ex­ist­ing photo li­braries without hav­ing to set up shar­ing on other ser­vices.

How­ever, Mac­world reader Grace ran into one of the down­sides: if you delete a shared al­bum, there’s no way to re­store it. MacOS and iOS warn you when

you try to delete, not­ing that the shared al­bum will be deleted from all your linked ac­counts and all of those with whom you shared pho­tos. But once you con­firm, it’s gone. All your orig­i­nal me­dia re­mains in place, so there’s no worry about los­ing im­ages or videos, but com­ments and other meta­data added to the shared li­brary is lost.

There’s one strategy you can em­ploy if you’re painstak­ingly set­ting up shared al­bums, and worry you might delete one un­in­ten­tion­ally. In Pho­tos for macOS, you can:

• Cre­ate a reg­u­lar al­bum and then copy all the im­ages and videos from it to a shared li­brary. (Se­lect all the me­dia, Con­trol-click on any item in the se­lec­tion, and then choose File > Share > iCloud Photo Shar­ing, and fol­low prompts.)

• Af­ter cre­at­ing a shared al­bum, you can im­port the con­tents back into Pho­tos by se­lect­ing the items in a shared li­brary, Con­trol-click­ing any item in the se­lec­tion, and choosing Im­port. This will du­pli­cate im­ages and videos al­ready in your li­brary, how­ever.

In Pho­tos for iOS:

• Se­lect me­dia from the Pho­tos app by tap­ping Se­lect in any view that shows that but­ton in the up­per-right cor­ner. You can then pick im­ages and videos, and then tap the Share but­ton. In the first row of shared des­ti­na­tions, tap iCloud Photo Shar­ing and fol­low prompts.


Back in the pre-Mac OS X and macOS days, Ap­ple’s Sys­tem 9 and ear­lier re­lied on hid­den meta­data to as­so­ciate files with apps. File ex­ten­sions, those bits of text that fol­low a pe­riod at the end of a file (like .doc, .html, or .jpg) were op­tional, al­though of­ten used for com­pat­i­bil­ity with other plat­forms and with web. On the web, file ex­ten­sions are ef­fec­tively manda­tory so a browser knows how to han­dle a file ap­pro­pri­ately.

Mac­world reader Rick would like to change that. He has a num­ber of HTML tem­plates, but to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them from his pro­duc­tion .html files, he puts the suf­fix .tt on them in­stead. Browsers don’t rec­og­nize these files by de­fault. There’s a way to force an as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween a file type and an ap­pli­ca­tion, but that ap­pli­ca­tion still has to rec­og­nize the ex­ten­sion.

If you have an ex­ten­sion that’s sim­ply not map­ping cor­rectly, you can fol­low these steps:

1. Se­lect the file in the Finder and choose File > Get Info.

2. In the Open With sec­tion, if there’s an ap­pro­pri­ate app in the list, you can se­lect it and click Change All and con­firm, and now all files with that ex­ten­sion open in that app. You can stop here. But if the app you want doesn’t ap­pear in the list, se­lect Other. 3. Choose the app from the list that shows. In the En­able pop-up menu, you can choose All Ap­pli­ca­tions, and it will let you pick any app. Check the Al­ways Open With box to force an as­so­ci­a­tion. 4. Click Add.

If you’re us­ing, for ex­am­ple, .tt as your HTML tem­plate ex­ten­sions like Rick, you could go through steps 1 to 4, and pick Sa­fari as the app to open .tt files. The trou­ble is that Sa­fari doesn’t know that a .tt file con­tains HTML.

In the olden days, when ev­ery­thing to do with the web was more in a state of flux, you could mod­ify and add con­tent map­pings, usu­ally in the form used by MIME, a decades­old method of as­so­ci­at­ing ac­tions and for­mats with file ex­ten­sions. (You’ll see MIME men­tioned ex­plic­itly in email pro­grams’ head­ers. Some kinds of doc­u­ments also em­bed MIME in­for­ma­tion into their head­ers, so soft­ware can read a few char­ac­ters of the file to fig­ure out what it is.)

Un­for­tu­nately, there’s no way I can find to change file as­so­ci­a­tions in Sa­fari or Chrome. Fire­fox ex­poses more of this map­ping in­for­ma­tion, but you can’t add new file types.

Might I sug­gest in­stead us­ing macOS’s Tags fea­ture? In the Finder, se­lect Finder > Pref­er­ences

and click the Tags icon. You can add an HTML Tem­plates tag and as­sign that to all your tem­plates. Then you can use a Smart Folder to gather them to­gether, or use var­i­ous Ar­range By/Sort By options to group by tags.


I may have noted be­fore that we re­ceive more ques­tions about Pho­tos for macOS than any other topic. A re­cent set of ques­tions from Mac­world reader Pe­dro bring up an in­ter­est­ing in­ter­sec­tion of po­ten­tial pit­falls, some of which

I’ve an­swered in­di­vid­u­ally be­fore, but which are use­ful to look at to­gether.

Pe­dro has a small disk drive on his MacBook Air, just 128GB, and thus is wrestling like many people with keep­ing his en­tire Pho­tos li­brary on the in­ter­nal drive. He has iCloud Photo Li­brary ac­tive, and wants to rely on it, but is al­ready run­ning out of space. He has three ques­tions.

Sync­ing, dis­abling, delet­ing, and then sync­ing.

Pe­dro knows that delet­ing an im­age off the lap­top will delete it ev­ery­where when iCloud Photo Li­brary is ac­tive, some­thing I’ve re­minded read­ers of time and time again. That’s good to know. How­ever, he won­ders about this sce­nario:

• With iCloud Photo Li­brary en­abled, he makes sure all his me­dia is up­loaded.

• He dis­ables iCloud Photo Li­brary.

• He deletes im­ages from the li­brary on his Mac.

• He re-en­ables iCloud Photo Li­brary.

His ques­tion is whether the new syn­chro­niza­tion be­tween his Mac and iCloud will delete im­ages. The an­swer: no. Dele­tions aren’t tracked when iCloud Photo Li­brary is dis­abled. Gen­er­ally, iCloud cre­ates a su­per­set without du­pli­cates of li­braries as they’re added to iCloud Photo Li­brary rather than an ex­clu­sive in­ter­sec­tion. That is, it only adds pho­tos and videos to the to­tal synced set, no mat­ter in which li­brary they ap­pear, rather than cre­at­ing a set that is only me­dia shared among all li­braries.

When op­ti­miz­ing, are high-res­o­lu­tion pho­tos deleted? His sec­ond ques­tion is about the use of Op­ti­mize Mac Stor­age in Pho­tos > Pref­er­ences > iCloud un­der iCloud Photo Li­brary. “When my lap­top runs out of space, high-res­o­lu­tion pho­tos will be deleted. Do I still have them avail­able in iCloud?” he asks. An­other simple an­swer: yes.

Your iCloud ac­count will al­ways main­tain a high-res­o­lu­tion ver­sion of any im­ages and videos you ini­tially sync via your iOS de­vice or Pho­tos for macOS. With the op­ti­mized set­ting en­able on any of your hard­ware, the high-res­o­lu­tion ver­sion of your me­dia is only deleted and a thumb­nail re­tained af­ter that ver­sion is up­loaded to iCloud.

Now, I think this is risky, hav­ing a sin­gle copy. I have an iMac, a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPad all synced to the same ac­count. On my iMac, I re­tain full-res­o­lu­tion ver­sions of all me­dia in iCloud Photo Li­brary, be­cause other­wise I would be un­able to have a full backup of my own. I’d be en­tirely re­ly­ing on Ap­ple to main­tain my full-res­o­lu­tion me­dia.

Can you store the li­brary on an ex­ter­nal drive?

Fi­nally, Pe­dro won­ders about how to use an ex­ter­nal drive for his Pho­tos li­brary, and how that will work with sync­ing to iCloud Photo Li­brary. It’s very easy to copy the li­brary, and then set it as your Sys­tem Photo Li­brary, as ex­plained in this older col­umn. iCloud Photo Li­brary can only sync from the li­brary you’ve anointed as your Sys­tem Photo Li­brary, but that li­brary can be res­i­dent on any drive you pick.

But, yes and of course, you’ll have to make sure the drive is avail­able and mounted any time you want to ac­cess its li­brary. From the start and with no sign of chang­ing, Ap­ple can’t sync to iCloud from mul­ti­ple photo li­braries. I’d hope the com­pany would con­sider more flex­i­bil­ity about mark­ing mul­ti­ple li­braries, in­clud­ing ones that might be of­fline at times. There’s no ad­di­tional cost for Ap­ple, since users have to pay for ad­di­tional iCloud stor­age if they sync more pho­tos and me­dia to it.


When tabbed browsers first ap­peared, I was du­bi­ous. I liked my var­i­ous win­dows that I could

ar­range. Over time, browsers im­proved tab man­age­ment and tools, and I adapted. I of­ten have mul­ti­ple win­dows open, each with a par­tic­u­lar task or project, with many tabs in each.

But what do you do when you have a bunch of tabs in one win­dow and want to move them to an­other win­dow? Sa­fari lets you drag tabs one at a time: hold down on the tab and drag and a tiny win­dow ap­pears that you drag into an­other open win­dow (ei­ther onto a tab or into the tab bar). Or you can re­lease it and it be­comes a free­stand­ing win­dow of its own. If you want to move mul­ti­ple tabs, you’re stuck. Chrome offers this fea­ture – hold down the Shift key and se­lect tabs – but Sa­fari does not. There’s a work­around that in­volves book­marks and a lit­tle fuss, but if you’re mov­ing more than three or four tabs, it’s worth the ef­fort.

1. Bring the win­dow in Sa­fari to the front that con­tains tabs you want to move.

2. Se­lect Book­marks > Add Tabs for These X Book­marks.

3. In the di­a­log that ap­pears, name the folder that will con­tain these book­marks and click.

4. Open a new win­dow by se­lect­ing File > New Win­dow.

5. Choose Book­marks > Show Book­marks.

6. In the folder with full of books for those tabs, re­move the book­marks for items you don’t want to ap­pear in the new win­dow.

7. Right-click on the book­marks folder and se­lect Open in New Tabs.

8. Re­turn to the win­dow you started with and click the ‘x’ close but­ton on each tab you don’t want.

(You can also in step 6 split the book­marks into two fold­ers, open each folder in a sep­a­rate win­dow via Step 7, and then close your orig­i­nal win­dow.)

This seems like a kludge, and it is. But click­ing the close box a num­ber of times is sub­stan­tially faster than what feels like us­ing a tweezer to pick up tabs and move them in­di­vid­u­ally.

Af­ter you con­firm delet­ing a shared al­bum, you can­not re­store it

While you can as­sign apps to file types, the apps may refuse to open them

Pick Op­ti­mize Mac Stor­age, and high-res­o­lu­tion ver­sions get purged au­to­mat­i­cally as stor­age is needed

You can add all the tabs in a win­dow to a book­marks folder

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