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Mac

The Best Way to Back up Your Mac

I recorded and published this walk-through video of Apple’s Time Machine backup process way back in 2015. The cool thing about the process is that it’s so simple to setup and use, that I didn’t even need to record a new video to update said process.

Time Machine is $free.99 and is included with every Mac. All you need is an external Hard Drive with enough space (Peep my Hard Drive recommendation below). Overall, it just works…

The above backup process stores a copy to an external Hard Drive that you keep on hand just in case something happens to your Mac. The only problem with this is the “worse case scenario” where BOTH your Mac and your external Hard Drive is damaged, lost, or stolen. Or in my case, you have a different (and very important) external Hard Drive that can’t be backed up via Time Machine.

With any of those cases, you need to create an additional off-site (remote) backup that you can access if the worse-case scenario becomes a reality…Like it was for me. To solve that potential problem, I recommend BackBlaze to backup your files to the cloud. Check out this video I did outlining how BackBlaze saved my ass

I don’t know how important your files are to you, but my files are very important to me. Don’t wait until something happens before you figure out how to restore your data, go ahead and follow my suggestions, and you will be prepared WHEN (not if) your data is gone.

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Apple Watch iPad iPhone Mac

How To Sanitize Your Devices

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The generally accepted ways to stop the contraction and spread of the Cornoavirus is to practice social distancing (stay away from large crowds), and regularly wash your hands. Simply because the virus spreads by human contact, so quit touching people and stuff.

No problem, right? Surprisingly, the media hasn’t really talked about how our devices (that we literally touch all day every day) could be contributing to the spread of #DatRona.

We already know that our phones are as dirty or even dirtier than a toilet, so it isn’t stretch to say that we need to keep our devices as clean as our hands.

In a Business Insider India article, Suranjeet Chatterjee, Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine Department of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi stated “Coronavirus and other germs can live on surfaces like glass, metal or plastics and phones are bacteria-ridden. It is necessary that we sanitize our hands frequently and make sure that our hands are clean all the time.”

‘Nuff said. So here are a few ways to can sanitize your devices to stop the spread of germs…and Coronavirus.

Regularly Sanitize Your Devices

We are so trained to touch our phones as much as we are prone to touching our eyes, mouth, or nose. We already know frequently touching our face is a not helping reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, so that’s why it’s advised to wash your hands all the time.

The same can be said for your devices. As often as you wash your hands, you should be cleaning your phone (at least the screen). The best way to sanitize your devices is by using an alcohol-based sanitizer and a clean cloth to wipe the screen any part of the phone that touches other surfaces.

If you use a spray based sanitizer, lightly spray your phone after spraying your hands. for a more in-depth cleaning, I recommend using the WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Kit ($15 bucks on Amazon).

Go Hands-Free

Again, the best way to not spread the ‘Rona is to limit contact with people and things. Now is good time to get more acquainted with voice assistants like Siri, to complete simple tasks like sending texts, emails, answering calls, checking your calendar, etc. It is also a good idea to invest in Bluetooth headphones/ear buds if you frequently make/receive phone calls – Don’t be that dork annoying people by using the speakerphone all the time.

A study published in 2018 by Insurance2Go stated that one in 20 smartphone users was found to clean their phones less than every six months…YUCK! Don’t be that person that is OD about cleaning their hands and has stockpiled hand sanitizer, but hasn’t taken the time to clean that nasty-ass phone of yours.

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Mac

Annual Mac Cleanup Checklist

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

This post may contain affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Disclosure

The holidays are over. You’ve ate too much food, opened (and returned) your gifts, and partied with people you don’t even “like” like that. Now it’s time to get back to work.

For the past year, your Mac has been keeping up with how you get things done. Just like how you regularly need to see the doc (and lie that you’ve been exercising) and get your teeth cleaned (and lie that you’ve been flossing), you need to tend to your Mac regularly…more than once a year if you ask me.

Having said that, now is a better time than any to show you Mac some love and perform a cleanup. Here some things you can do to make sure your Mac will perform like a champ throughout the year.

Uninstall Old Apps

If you haven’t used that app/program more than once this year, you might as well get rid of it to free up space.

Reduce Login Items

One of the reasons why your Mac takes FOREVER to start up is because too many apps are automatically slated to open when you turn on your Mac. Turn off those login items to get to work faster after startup.

Remove Files From Desktop

Your Mac has to render all those little files and folders on your “home screen” repeatedly, which slows down your Mac. Delete, and/or move those files to another location for a clean desktop and faster response time.

Organize “Downloads” Folder

If you clicked on and downloaded any and everything under the sun this past year, those files are taking up space. You can go ahead and delete those files now to free up space.

Choose ONE Cloud Service

Bet money you use a combination of iCloud, Dropbox, GDrive and OneDrive – PICK ONE. All those services save files on your Mac. The more services you use, the more files your computer has to manage. If you’re not careful, you will run out of space, as well as not know where anything is. 

Identify And Archive Old Files

Why do you still have files on your Mac from 2008? Quit hoarding and identify, then delete (or at the very least archive) files older than two years.

Delete old iTunes iPhone/iPad Backup Files

If you’re cheap, I mean…fiscally savvy, you’ve figured out how to backup your iPhone to your Mac to save on iCloud storage costs. If you’ve been doing this for multiple iPhones, you probably need to check iTunes and remove old device backups.

Clear Cache Files

There are files that mysteriously show up on your Mac that you don’t recognize and probably don’t need anymore. User, system, browser, and app ‘cache’ files are mostly temporary and no longer needed. Dig them up and get rid of them. 

Use macOS Storage Manger to free up space

If you have macOS Sierra or later, there is a free app that helps you quickly identify where your files are and how much space they’re taking up. The Storage Management Window offers recommendations and solutions for optimizing your storage

Use 3rd-Party Software

Applications like CleanMyMac (I personally recommend and use it) go above and beyond cleaning unused, unwanted files. It can also provide solutions to speed up your Mac, and keep it free of viruses and malware.

If you take the time to do any of these tasks, I guarantee your Mac will feel faster, in addition to adding longevity to your Mac’s life.

If you need any help with these tasks, you can hit me up to schedule a Mac Cleanup booking session…

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iPad iPhone Mac

4 Reasons To Use iCloud Keychain

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 I was working with a client a couple weeks ago, and she inquired about utilizing a password manager for her team. She needed some sharing features, so I recommended my go-to LastPass.

She also asked about her mother adopting a password manager as well – Her mother is currently storing passwords in a physical notebook and in locked notes in the iPhone-native Notes app.

For her mother, I recommended she look into using the native iCloud Keychain to manager her passwords. Here’s 4 reasons why iCloud Keychain may be a better fit over fancier 3rd-Party password manager services:

iCloud Keychain is Apple

The only requirements to start using iCloud Keychain is you need an Apple ID, an Apple device and…That’s it. Just turn on iCloud Keychain in iCloud settings, you it will automatically start remembering your passwords. No matter if you’re on an Mac, iPhone, or iPad, it just works with no fuss.

iCloud Keychain is Simple

No worrying about software updates, compatibility issues or complex features, configurations, or functionality. If you open a website or app, iCloud Keychain will prompt you to enter a stored password. Enter a new password for the first time, it will ask to save the password. That’s it. 

iCloud Keychain is Secure

Apple is serious about your data security, so naturally one of its services that focuses on keeping your passwords secure, will require a level of security in and of itself. So in order to use iCloud Keychain, you do have to turn on 2-Factor Authentication. Doing so will lock down your data with end-to-end encryption that will keep your passwords on lock down.

iCloud Keychain is Free

Apple’s hardware costs a pretty penny. The software/services that come with adopting the Apple ecosystem…not so much. iCloud Keychain is free to use across all your devices. No per user/computer/year subscription costs like other 3rd-Party services. So save as many passwords as you want, free of charge. 

All that to say, if you don’t need a super-sophisticated password management tool that can sync across different hardware/software brands, or need to share data with multiple users across your team, you might want to adopt iCloud Keychain as your main password manager.

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Mac

Why You Need Multiple Backups

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I STAY preaching the importance of having multiple backups. Today my advice came in handy FOR ME. I was cleaning up my “Final Cut Pro” external Hard Drive (that’s not synced with Dropbox by the way…too big) and accidentally deleted some video files…and emptied the trash.

I panicked for a hot second because I can’t remember the last time I backed up my external Hard Drive locally. But I remembered that my AUTOMATIC cloud backup not only backs up my MacBook but also any non-Time Machine drives connected to it. So logged in, selected the files on my drive and was able to restore with no problem.

PLEASE don’t sleep on backups. Holla at me if you want me to help create a backup strategy for you.

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Mac

Selling Your Mac? Here’s How To Restore Your Mac To Factory Settings

I’ve loved my mid-2010 13″ MacBook Pro since the day I bought her. We’ve been through a ton together. From late-night side-hustle sessions, to schlepping around the county to conferences and events, she has been my gadget of choice for getting stuff done.

But, after a little of over four fabulous years, we knew we both needed a fresh new start. So we amicably made the decision to part ways. But before I could see her in the arms of another, I had to make sure that she wasn’t carrying any old baggage into her new relationship.

No Mac should continue to carry old data around after it’s in the arms of a new lover owner, so here’s the steps you should take to remove your data and restore your Mac to its original settings before selling.

1. Save Your Old Data

I knew exactly what I wanted to upgrade to: 13″ Retina MacBook Pro because…Retina. But, I wanted to make sure I sold my old MacBook first before I bought a new one.

So instead of using Apple’s handy Migration Assistant to transfer files from one computer to another, I decided to clone my data to an external Hard Drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.

With Carbon Copy Cloner, you simply:

  1. Connect an external Hard Drive to your computer (make sure the external HD has enough space)
  2. Choose the drive you want to clone (Macintosh HD if you haven’t changed the name)
  3. Choose the destination drive (the external HD or NAS storage…if you nasty)
  4. Click “Clone” on lower-right side of the screen…and wait

…And voila! You have made an exact copy of your drive to either restore the entire drive (and its data) to your new Mac, or pick and choose what specific data you want to move to your new Mac.

2. Disable User Accounts

Your Apple ID is the key to using any Apple gadget, and you’d be surprised at how many services utilize your Apple ID. Handing your old Mac over to a new owner without properly removing your account information, could result in “after the sale” customer service calls from the new owner. To make the break up between you an your Mac as clean as possible, here are some key services you need to disable.

Deauthorize your iTunes store account

To make sure the new owner can’t re-download any purchased music you made with your Apple ID, it’s best to deauthorize the computer from using your iTunes account.

Open iTunes and in the menu bar navigate to Store > Deauthorize This Computer…

This will remove your Mac from the list of computers and devices authorized to download and play content purchased with your Apple ID. If you’ve already sold you’re Mac, you can log into your iTunes account on another computer and under Apple ID Summary, click “Deauthorize All Computers”. Of course, you will have to sign back in to iTunes on and reauthorize iTunes on each computer.

Disable iCloud

Signing out of iCloud before you sell your device will make sure any remnants of cloud data (Safari Bookmarks, appointment, documents, message, reminders, notes, etc) isn’t visible by the new owner.

Open System Preferences and click iCloud, and click the “Sign Out” button in the lower-left side of the screen

Confirm that you want to delete contacts from your Mac.

For all the security nuts who encrypted their drive with Apple’s FileVault service, now would be a good time to disable that feature as well

3. Restore Mac Back To Factory

Now that you’ve saved all your data, and removed your account information, it’s time to wipe the slate clean and give your Mac fresh start with a new owner. The following steps will help you wipe the entire drive, and reinstall the operating system.

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet (preferably wired) and BE SURE YOU HAVE CLONED OR BACKED UP YOUR DATA BEFORE DOING THESE STEPS. You’ve been warned…

  1. Restart your Mac and hold down the “Command” and “R” keys during startup until you Mac is in Recovery Mode
  2. Select “Disk Utility” and click “Continue”
  3. Choose your main startup disc (named “Macintosh HD” by default) and click “Unmount”
  4. Click Erase tab in the upper-middle section of the screen
  5. Confirm that the format is “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and the name is “Macintosh HD” and click “Erase” in the lower-right side of the screen
  6. Quit Disk Utility
  7. Click “Reinstall OS X” and click “Continue”

UPDATE: If you REALLY want to TOTALLY wipe your drive, during the Erase portion (#4 above), click “Security Options” and you will be presented with multiple options that offer a more comprehensive erase of your data. Shout-Out to Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Podcast for reminding me of the secure erase option.

The process should reinstall Mac OS X and prompt you to enter your Apple ID. This is where you shut down your computer, package it up with all the cables and any other accessories, and box it up for the new owner.

Yeah, I shed one thug tear for my ole’ girl after I sent her off to be with another. But you better believe I was over her quick as soon as I powered up my young and sexy new Bae’

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