How to back up via a network without using Time Machine

Brian Meehan and his wife were happy users of Time Machine backups, including to a networked Time Capsule. However, after upgrading to macOS Sierra, they were not only unable to get Time Machine to ever move from Preparing Backup on their identical MacBook Pro laptops, but after talking to Apple technical support, couldn’t get a working solution. They reverted to El Capitan.

Brian wondered if everything was configured correctly on their end after he read my article about networked Time Machine backups. From what I can tell, he and his spouse have done everything right. They may need to find an alternative to Time Machine instead.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of solutions that I can easily recommend to every kind of user. The free availability of Time Machine coupled with Apple’s all-in-one router and backup drive, Time Capsule, definitely makes it difficult for any company to have a viable market for networked Mac backups.

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What happens to facial recognition and other information when copying a Photos library to a new Mac

Shay Levy has a 115GB Photos library, and has spent years marking faces and entering keywords. Shay is worried that this information will be lost when moving to a new Mac, even though they have iCloud Photo Library enabled.

Since iCloud doesn’t sync face and keyword information, the option to just enable iCloud sync in the new computer is not an option for me.

So how should I solve this? I’m also hoping that I will not have to turn off the option to optimize mac storage on the old computer before moving the library since I currently don’t have enough space for that. But maybe that’s the only option.

Apple says keywords are synced, which I can confirm, as I have two Macs hooked up to iCloud Photo Library. (As noted many times, iOS Photos lacks the ability to view or set keywords, titles, and descriptions, which remains a baffling omission many years into iOS.)

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How to configure a Time Capsule as an ethernet-only storage device

Bjarne Larsen can no longer use his Time Capsule because of a work-required router on his home network that blocks Time Capsule over Wi-Fi. He’d like to turn it into a networked drive via ethernet instead.

However, even though he’s using a Thunderbolt-to-ethernet adapter plugged into one of the Time Capsule’s LAN ports, he can’t get it to show up, and wonders why.

(I’d suggest rather than convert it, erase the Time Capsule and sell it and use the proceeds to get a larger capacity drive you connect directly to your Mac.)

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How to uninstall MacKeeper from your Mac

Reader Michael Downend is having difficulty ridding his Mac of a utility he no longer desires. He writes:

How do I get rid of MacKeeper?

I won’t go into why you’d want to. But we get this question multiple times a day, so it’s definitely worth going into detail about how to remove it completely from your Mac.

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How to remove MacKeeper Part II (the pop-up edition)

I recently provided instructions for removing the MacKeeper app from your Mac, along with its component parts. But for some, that’s only a piece of the puzzle. This question is typical of the follow-up email:

But how do I stop MacKeeper notifications from popping up in the Safari and Chrome browsers and asking me to install it?

The first thing I’d suggest you do is remove any MacKeeper-related cookies in your browser. In Safari this means opening Safari’s preferences, clicking the Privacy tab, and then clicking the Manage Website Data button. Search for mackeeper in the sheet that appears and there’s a good chance you’ll find a cookie for Select it and click the Remove button. Vow to never visit the site again.

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How to work around the ‘Unable to get metadata’ error in Photos

Paul Sedovic finally has enough storage on his laptop’s hard drive by way of a new computer to keep all his images on the internal drive. However, when he went to import many thousands of images into Photos, some thousands failed with an error dialog labeled Unreadable Files. Next to each image appeared the label “Unable to get metadata.”

Paul writes:

When I selected a few of these photos individually, I was able to successfully transfer them, but I know no practical way to move a few thousand photos one by one.

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How to restore your photos using iCloud Photo Library

Kare Morken’s external drive took a tumble and died, along with all the images and videos stored in the Photos library.

I would like to restore/make a new Photos library to store locally from my iCloud Photos but I have not been able to find out how to do this.

It’s only non-intuitive to find the answer, because it’s usually described in terms of adding a computer or iOS device.

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