Apple gives icloud.com email addresses away at no cost, but it’s not always obvious how to obtain one by itself or add one to an existing Apple ID account, or how to get additional addresses if you already have one at icloud.com.
But there are three paths, which vary by what you already have and what you want.
If you have an Apple ID without an associated icloud.com address, you can add one (via iOS or macOS).
If you have an icloud.com address already, you can add aliases (via iCloud.com).
If you want a separate icloud.com address for email that isn’t an alias, you can create one by creating an Apple ID account (via macOS).
You have a perfectly functioning iPhone and you plug it via USB to a Mac. When you switch to iTunes, you see the message:
iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPhone “phone name”. Go to the Summary tab in iPhone preferences and click Restore to restore this iPhone to factory settings.
Depending on how recent your last iTunes or iCloud backup of your device is, this might be a little panic inducing. Do you really need to restore your phone?
It’s unlikely. I and others have routinely experienced a bug in which this message appears even when our iPhones (and iPads) are perfectly fine. The solution is extremely simple: quit iTunes and relaunch it. If that transient bug is what you’re experiencing, iTunes now properly recognizes your iOS device.
What if your iCloud.com address receives so much spam or other unwanted email that it’s useless to you and you want to abandon it? If it’s also your Apple ID account name, you might think you were out of luck. Apple doesn’t let you change an Apple ID’s email account login to any other address if it ends in icloud.com, mac.com, or me.com.
Apple does let you add email aliases that end in @icloud.com, but these aliases can only receive email. They can’t be converted into an Apple ID login.
However, iCloud.com’s Mail interface can let create a mail rule that can offer what you need while also preserving your Apple ID account. You simply push all incoming mail to the iCloud address you no longer want to use into the trash.
MacOS can act in mysterious ways, and it can be difficult from either the Finder or through > About This Mac > Storage view to figure out exactly what is eating up your disk storage. Especially on external drives, which the Storage display doesn’t break out into categories, or when System or Other seems to be occupying a truly enormous portion of your drive, and you can’t find a folder with that much data in it to examine.
Apple changed the behavior of Safari in macOS 10.14.4, and you may have noticed it and thought it was a bug. Now, if you have stored a password for a website, when you select a login entry to autofill, Safari 12.1 for macOS automatically submits the login. Previously, it would fill the fields and still require you to click a Login or Submit or other button to proceed.
I understand Apple’s logic in making this change, as it reduces friction and takes less time to log into a site, much like dropping text message login codes into an autofill field for macOS and iOS. Apple described this Safari change in 10.14.4’s release notes as “Streamlines website login when filling credentials with Password AutoFill.”
Macworld reader Matt wrote in with a terrific workaround that offers an approach much closer to what other readers were looking for: one copy of a Photos library set up with iCloud Photos that’s only thumbnails and stored on your internal drive, and a second iCloud Photos-linked copy that’s linked to an external drive.
The phrase sui generis just means, roughly, “in a class by itself.” It’s often used in a positive way to describe a person. “Marie Curie was sui generis: a chemist of outstanding and unique ability.”
For technical issues, it’s rarely desirable to be one of a kind. Or even two.
One Macworld reader and another person who posted to a website’s forums appear to be alone in the world in at least asking for help with a problem: when they type “I don’t” in iOS, the autocorrect algorithm drops in “I D.o.n.t.”
Neither of them has ever typed that. Neither has a text substitution set for this in Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacements. Both have tried everything listed in a previous Mac 911 column, “How to fix autocorrect in iOS.”
Automated calls that offer unwanted or illegal products or that attempt to defraud you are known as robocalls. And they have risen into the billions in recent years. The FCC is trying to fight it as are the telephone carriers, who waste large sums of money trying to block such calls legally from their networks and have to field millions of angry questions from subscribers.
(Some robocalls are legal and desirable: school announcements, doctor appointment reminders, and automated messages from companies that you do business with and gave permission to call you.)
Part of the problem is that FCC rules limit the way in which telcos can prevent calls from passing over their networks. That’s to prevent phone operators from blocking competitive companies. But it also ties their hands a bit regarding fraud.
When you have an older iPhoto library and a newer Photos library on your Mac and you copy both libraries to an external drive, you might notice that they collectively occupy a lot more space than they do on an internal drive. Why is that? It comes down to hard links, a way of conserving storage.
When Apple released Photos for macOS in 2015, it had to have a transition plan for iPhoto libraries. iPhoto libraries could be imported and converted, but with a twist. Instead of copying all the source images, Apple used hard links, which allow a file to occupy a single place on a disk and be referenced in multiple folders as if it existed uniquely there. (You can read more about hard links in “Upgraded to Photos? Here’s what you can do with that old iPhoto library.”)
If you use Time Machine, you know that macOS asks you whenever you mount a new external drive whether or not you want to use it as another Time Machine destination. One of the backup service’s best features is that it can create archives on multiple volumes at once, and remembers backup volumes when they’re removed, so you can rotate through disks and keep one or more offsite.
However, you might mount a drive and want to use it with Time Machine and be unable to select it. That’s typically because the volume isn’t formatted using the old standby, HFS+, labeled “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” in Disk Utility.
iCloud Photos lets you have your picture of a cake and shoot a video of eating it, too. You can create a library of images and movies that’s far larger than the storage space available on any linked iOS or macOS device without losing anything you’ve captured.
Apple accomplishes this by treating iCloud as the “truth.” It stores the original, high-resolution versions of your media in your iCloud storage, while providing the option to store only “optimized” or thumbnail versions that take up a fraction of the space on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
You can choose to download the full-scale originals, but you obviously need to have enough storage to hold the library.
If you find you’re using unexpected amounts of cellular data with your iPhone or iPad, according to your carrier, you can check Settings > Cellular in iOS to view usage. (The current period listed is since the last time you swiped to the bottom—and you may have to swipe a very long way—and chose to reset statistics.)
In 2010, Apple started to release Macs with solid-state drives (SSDs) that used a socket and—with varying amounts of effort—could be removed and upgraded by the owner or by an Apple or third-party technician. But starting in 2016, nearly every Mac released has the SSD soldered directly to the motherboard. The iMac is a notable exception, but see the note at the end of this article.
If you have a Mac of the proper vintage, it can be from vanishingly easy to exceedingly difficult to get the “blade”-style SSD out of the Mac and replace it with a higher-capacity model. These blades plug into a slot, something like RAM but with a narrower connector. Apple developed multiple, proprietary connectors across its use of blade SSDs. In my wife’s recently purchased 2014 MacBook Pro, nothing is easily serviceable except for the SSD, which is a cinch to access, remove, and replace.
If you’ve ever used a app that accepts an audio input and was frustrated that you can specify only one piece of audio hardware, or if you’ve wanted to route the sound output of an app into a Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or other conversation, Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback is the program you need. The latest version improves significantly on its predecessor, which itself was quite powerful.
A mysterious whirring and grinding noise from his late-model AirPort Extreme Base Station disturbed one Macworld reader. Why would it make such a sound? He hadn’t turned it on for a year, but was about to reactivate it with a new broadband connection.
My reply: The polite verbal equivalent of a shrug, because—I wrote—there’s no fan in an AirPort Express, and only a Time Capsule has a hard drive. Time Capsule drives certainly fail, like any spinning storage media, but the grinding described would surely have meant the drive was on its way to failure, if not already destroyed.
But your faithful Mac 911 columnist failed to do his research. I own a newer AirPort Extreme—one of the “crackerbox” models that looks like a gleaming white micro-tower. It’s never made a peep. I even thought I’d even looked at pictures of the insides of this version from Apple’s now-discontinued series of routers.
The Mac App Store sometimes throws out odd errors when you try to download and install software, errors that lack information on Apple’s support pages. These seem to come up most often with Apple’s own software, especially the five free apps (GarageBand, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers, and Pages) that require an Apple ID, but no prior purchase.
The Calendar and Reminders apps in macOS let you create backups through an export option. In Calendar, you can select File > Export > Export or Export > CalendarArchive. Reminders lets you select File > Export. The exported files can used for recovery or imported into other apps and systems.
What’s the difference between these options, and why select one over another? All the options produce some variation on an ICS file, a standard calendar format supported by Apple, Google, and Microsoft, among others.
The export in Reminders produces a single ICS file that contains all to-do items you’ve ever set and never deleted when complete, as well as all active items.
Select a particular calendar in the Calendar’s left sidebar and then choose File > Export > Export and an ICS file containing all that calendar’s associated events will be exported, past and future. This file doesn’t include
When you start up a Mac while holding down Command-R on the keyboard, the Mac boots into macOS Recovery. In this mode, you can run Disk Utility, access the command-line Terminal app, and reinstall the operating system. But what do you do if you restart your Mac into Recovery mode and a language appears other than one you know?
This doesn’t seem to happen at random, but it can occur when you’ve purchased a computer from someone who installed the system using another language, which can remain in place in the Recovery partition, a separately organized part of your startup drive.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to resolve this.
Choose the third menu from the left, which is labeled File when in English, and pick the first option, which is labeled Change Language in English. You should be able to select the language you want.
SSDs (solid-state drives) offer extremely reliable, fast, and consistent performance over many, many years. They aren’t subject to problems that can harm even the best-designed modern hard disk drives (HDDs): exposure to magnetic fields or the failure of moving parts inside the drives.
But SSDs remain expensive many years after they first appeared. Nearly all other aspects of computation—from processors to RAM to LCD displays—have dropped dramatically in price while improving in quality and performance year after and year. SSDs initially followed that curve, especially for lower-capacity drives, but tapered way off. The cost of manufacturing higher-capacity memory chips used in SSDs hasn’t dropped much in recent years.
Added in iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist recognizes when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, but have a poor or erratic signal. When this happens, Wi-Fi Assist kicks over automatically to cellular for foreground apps to keep data flowing. This feature is enabled by default.
Wi-Fi Assist automatically excludes third-party audio and video streaming, and doesn’t relay data from apps working in the background. Nonetheless, some users wound up with surprising cellular bills when they thought they were on Wi-Fi networks—it turned out Wi-Fi Assist used cellular data because the Wi-Fi connections were marginal. (U.S. carriers have largely switched to a fixed or flexible monthly maximum after which your cellular data rate is throttled to a very slow speed, so surprise bills are less likely.)