Reinstall Mac Operating System From The Recovery Partition

Do you want to completely erase a Mac and reinstall its operating system? Perhaps you are about to give away this Mac. Or, perhaps your Mac is acting up and you want to start with a clean slate. Here are instructions on how you can erase the hard drive and reinstall OS X, recently renamed macOS.

OS X 10.7 and newer includes a feature called the Recovery Partition. This is a normally invisible part of the Mac’s hard drive. The Mac can start up from the Recovery Partition, and it can be used to erase the hard drive and then reinstall OS X onto that hard drive. Read More

Time To Plan Your Upgrade To Office 2016

If you use Office 2011, it’s time for you to start planning your upgrade to Office 2016. Office for the Mac includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, if you buy the Business version. There are a few reasons for you to start planning to switch to Office 2016. Initially, as of October 10, 2017, Microsoft will not release any more updates for Office 2011. This means they won’t fix any more bugs, release security updates or provide email or phone support. Additionally, Microsoft indicated that they have not tested Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook with macOS High Sierra (aka OS X 10.13) which Apple released in September 2017. Thus, if you choose to use Office 2011 in High Sierra, you might encounter issues. Lastly, Apple has indicated that High Sierra is the last version of the Mac operating system that will fully support 32-bit apps. So the writing is on the wall. Make your plans. When the time comes, you could either buy a copy of Office 2016 or you could subscribe to Office365. Office Home & Student 2016 costs $150. This includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Office Home & Business 2016 costs $230 and adds Outlook. If you want to subscribe to Office365 you can choice from either Office365 Home or Office365 Business plans.


Options For Migrating Off CrashPlan Home

If you use CrashPlan Home then you need to make a change. Code42, the company that makes CrashPlan sent out emails announcing that they are sunsetting their CrashPlan Home product and will focus on CrashPlan for Business. As of August 22, 2017 it’s no longer possible to renew or extend an existing CrashPlan for Home subscription. Additionally, everybody’s subscription was extended by 60 days at no additional cost. This way, everybody has at least 60 days to take action. If you recently renewed your annual subscription, say in August 2017, then you have 14 months, until October 2018, to take action.
What You Need To Do 
You need to pick a new online backup service. Code42 lists two options, but I don’t fully agree with their options. Code42 recommends either switching to their own CrashPlan for Business or to Carbonite. I am not a fan of Carbonite’s online backup service for Mac. My recommendations are to switch to either CrashPlan for Business or switch to Backblaze. BackBlaze charges $50 per computer per year for unlimited storage. CrashPlan Pro for Business costs $120 per computer per year for unlimited storage. That said, Code42 gives you a discount on your CrashPlan Pro for Business subscription. It’s free until your current CrashPlan for Home subscription expires. Then they offer 75% off for 1 year. Then they’ll charge you the full $120/year/computer. While CrashPlan Pro for Business is more expensive than BackBlaze’s service, CrashPlan offers some advantages. First, if you migrate to CrashPlan for Business then you will not have to start all over. Instead, Code42 will migrate all of your existing online backups to their CrashPlan for Business servers. Second, it offers more granular control over what gets backed up, when it gets backed up and can send backup email reports to both me and you.
When You Need To Do It
You should switch before your current CrashPlan for Home subscription expires. Here’s how you can determine when your subscription expires. Click on the Finder icon on your Dock. This opens a Finder window. At the top of your screen, click on the Go menu and select Applications. Locate and then open the CrashPlan application. Click on Settings then click on Account.
It’s also useful to know that Code42 does not offer any refunds so if you still have many months on your subscription but you choose to switch to BackBlaze you will not get any refund from Code42.
Next Steps
1. You need to decide if you want to switch to BackBlaze or CrashPlan Pro or Business
2.  You need to decide when you want to make the switch. You can make the switch anytime between now and when your CrashPlan for Home subscription expires.
3. Decide if you want to make this switch on your own or if you’d like me to assist in-person.
If you pick CrashPlan Pro for Business then visit this dedicated migration page and follow the steps to switch. Once you’ve followed their steps that’s all you have to do.


If you pick BackBlaze then I recommend that you read BackBlazes’ recommendations on how to make this migration. You don’t need to restore “deleted files” from your CrashPlan backups but you could, if you want to. After you sign-up for BackBlaze and get it setup on your Mac then I’d recommend that you uninstall CrashPlan from your Mac. This will stop your Mac from backing up to CrashPlan. Then, once your initial backup to BackBlaze has finished successfully, then you’ll want to login to your account and re-configure your Mac(s) so they don’t backup to CrashPlan Central servers. Part of this process will delete all backups of your Mac(s) so only do this after your Macs have been backed up to BackBlaze’s servers.

See If You Rely On Older Apps Before Upgrading To iOS 11

Before you install iOS 11 on your iPhone or iPad, please check to see if you rely on older apps which are not compatible with iOS 11. iOS 11 is Apple’s latest major release of software for iPhones and iPads, released at the end of September, 2017. For many years, I’ve recommended holding off on installing major upgrades since Apple often introduces major redesigns to the user interface and major upgrades often have anmnoying bugs. With the upgrade to iOS 11 there is another reason to hold off on upgrading. iOS 11 no longer supports 32-bit apps. This means that older applications that haven’t been updated in several years will no longer work. Here’s how you can check to see if you have any incompatible apps on your device. Read More

Make Sure You Backup Your iPhone While Traveling

When you are away from home, you need to make sure your iPhone connects to wi-fi networks to ensure that it’s getting backed up. This tip assumes that you have automatic backups to iCloud enabled. If you need help turning on this feature or checking to see if it’s on, then please refer to my previous tip, How To Backup Your iPhone or iPad. Read More

Make Your iPhone Easier To Read

Would you like to make the text on your iPhone or iPad easier to read? I believe the following 3 ways to enlarge text have been available since at least iOS 7 and they continue to be available in the current version of iOS. To turn on any of these options do this:

  • Tap on Settings
  • Tap on General
  • Tap on Accessibility
  • Then tap on either Bold Text, Larger Text or Zoom.

I’ll talk about each in turn.

Bold Text – If you tap on Bold Text to turn it on, you’ll be notified that you need to restart your iPhone. Go ahead and do this. Upon restart you’ll see that the text names of apps is bold. In fact, this is a systemwide adjustment. Text everywhere will be a bit thicker.

Larger Text – If you tap on Larger Text you’ll be able to turn on this feature and adjust a slider to control how much larger you want the text to be. Unlike Bold text, this is not a systemwide adjustment. Only apps which support Dynamic Type will use larger text. The Contacts app is an example of one app that uses Dynamic Text so use it to figure out where you want to position the slider. I recommend that, for starters, you position the slider to the right of center.

Zoom – If you tap on Zoom, you’ll be able to turn on this feature. Once this feature has been enabled you then need to know how to invoke it. You must double-tap 3 fingers on the screen. When you do this, the entire screen will zoom in. Thus, you’ll only be able to see a portion of the screen. To move around the screen, you can drag three fingers. Finally, to get out of zoom mode, double-tap 3 fingers again.