How to stop macOS Photos from re-uploading all your images and videos

Steven Bradley writes in with a serious problem with Photos for macOS and iCloud Photo Library. He installed MacPhun’s Luminar and at some point after that, Photos decided to re-upload the 15,000 photos and videos he has stored in iCloud Photo Library while he’s at a winter home with slower broadband. He says:

Photos reports that it is still uploading 11,655 items. I checked my iCloud account online and it shows just over 15,000 items, so at least it is not adding duplicate items to iCloud.

Do you have any idea why the Photos app is uploading files that have already been uploaded and is there anyway to stop it?

First off, I’m sure Luminar isn’t at fault. Photos extension don’t interact with iCloud Photo Library and only modify images that you edit with them. The timing is almost certainly coincidental. The fact that you’re not getting duplicates in the uploads would confirm that.

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How to block certain calls in iOS 10

Adam Finberg would like a call-blocking app in iOS 10 that would:

  1. Allow all calls on your contact list to ring through.

  2. Send all calls not on your contact list that are also not within designated area codes to go directly to voicemail.

If an incoming call is not within my nearby area codes that I designate, I don’t want that call ringing through.

I’ve tested three call-blocking utilities in iOS 10, though there are many.

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How to encrypt a bootable clone in macOS

Tony Padgett uses FileVault in macOS to encrypt his startup volume. However, it occurred to him that because he routinely updates a bootable clone of that drive, his clone remains unprotected at rest.

After cloning my internal drive to an external, I can take that external clone, plug it into another Mac, and see and read the contents.

This “hole” is not very obvious to the average person. I somehow assumed because FileVaut has encrypted my iMac, an encrypted version of it was being cloned the external drive.

I agree! I understood this because of extensive testing of FileVault, but it’s certainly not immediately obvious if you don’t know how a seemingly identical clone is managed at a low level by macOS.

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How to delete images from Photos for macOS without getting rid of them

Othman Al Serri writes in with a deliciously existential question:

I have been using iPhoto for the past 8 years. Using it is like a breeze, and it is so flexible with organizing my photos. When deleting photos they just remain in the deleted folder forever, which is perfect so I can always go back and look or recover whichever photo I want.

With the new Photos app, when I delete any photo it goes to the Recently Deleted folder but I am only given 30 days to recover the photos or else it will automatically delete (like iOS)!

I have a 1TB Mac. I don’t want the app to delete anything from the Recently Deleted folder, because I have tons of space. When I do choose to delete them, I want to delete them at my convenience—not automatically.

I confess this is the sort of question your Mac 911 correspondent loves best, because it involves working around Apple’s sometimes odd restrictions and finding a better method that fits your needs precisely.

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How to avoid deleting photos from iCloud while traveling

Nina Waite writes in on behalf of her traveling daughter, who is running out of storage while on the road. Her daughter set up iCloud Photo Library before she left, and now wants to get rid of images—she didn’t realize that deleting media now would delete it everywhere.

Nina writes in with several related questions:

  1. Her daughter is using a library on an external hard drive attached to her MacBook Air. Will media on that drive be deleted if she deletes it from her iPhone?

  2. Can she turn off iCloud Photo Library on her iPhone? Nina notes, “Then she has no protection if her phone is stolen or lost.”

  3. And, “Will the pictures she already has in iCloud stay there if she disables the service? I suspect not.”

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How to make sure Time Machine backs up external drives

Mike Keslosky uses Time Machine, and wants to shift his Photos and iTunes libraries from his startup volume to an externally connected hard drive. But he’s concerned that after he moves those libraries and deletes them from his internal drive that Time Machine won’t back them up.

Fortunately, Time Machine can back up any locally connected drive, although Apple configures it by default to excludes external drives. If you have a Mac Pro or another system that you’ve partitioned or configured with multiple internal drives, those are all included by default.

mac911 time machine exclusions IDG

Time Machine automatically excludes external drives from backup.

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How to connect another building on your property to your house over Wi-Fi

Mary Schroeder writes in with a common query about extending Wi-Fi:

We have a workshop on our property as well as our house, and are trying to get the Wi-Fi signal to the workshop. The workshop is about 200 feet away from the house—we have pine trees all around us. We have two Apple routers. We have tried to figure out if a different router would help or if we need an extender or a repeater?

Apple’s base stations are all designed with omnidirectional antennas, which provides the best signal in a 360-degree donut around them. Since Apple started shipping multi-antenna base stations in 2007, its base station are a little more clever about sending and receiving data further away. But they’re fundamentally designed to sniff and push signals from all around.

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