What exactly is "Other" hard drive storage?

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Kevin Loy would like some details on how storage is being consumed on a relative’s hard drive. He writes:

I read your article about freeing up space on a hard drive and had a follow-up question. My niece was running out of space on her MacBook Air. I did some digging using About This Mac under storage and found she has 78GB of “Other” storage. What kind of files does this “Other” entry reflect?

If you choose About This Mac, click on the More Info button, and then click the Storage tab you will indeed see a very general graphical layout of the file allocation for each volume connected to your Mac. This representation lists Audio, Movies, Photos, Apps, Backups, and the Other entry you mention.

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How to prevent your naughty pictures from appearing on the Internet

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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A reader who wished to remain really, really anonymous has failed in this regard. She writes:

Recently some pictures and movies stored in my iCloud account have found their way onto the Internet and they’re, well… embarrassing. Is there some way I could have prevented this from happening?

Yes. If you’d disabled photo sharing from your iPhone to your iCloud account those pictures would have remained on your phone. Although the horse has left the barn, here’s what you might have done.

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When search fails in Outlook

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Abby Conrad has a problem with a forgetful email client. She writes:

In the last week or so I’ve been trying to search for messages in Microsoft Outlook and it shows no results, even when I can scroll through my inbox and find a message from the sender I’ve searched for. What’s wrong?

Outlook, like the Mac OS and some other apps, uses OS X’s Spotlight feature to catalog its messages. When you search for a sender, recipient, or word within a message, Outlook turns to Spotlight’s index to find it. Given that, my first thought is that the index of your Microsoft User Data folder is corrupt in some way.

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How to free up space on a packed hard drive

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Donna Vincent has a lot of files and little remaining storage space. She writes:

I’ve been a Mac user for a long time and am accustomed to having space for a lot of files. That’s changed now that my MacBook Air uses an SSD drive. I find that I’m running low on storage but don’t have a plan on how to free up space. Any advice?

There are tried and true means for going about this. These techniques should help.

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How to view desktop versions of websites on an iPhone

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Tom Sidla prefers one view of websites over another. He writes:

I hate mobile websites. Is there any way to always see the full desktop version on the iPhone?

I can’t promise you always, but I get deliver “more often than not.” It’s like this.

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How to use a game controller with your Mac

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Bruce Harris would like to get double-duty from a gaming device. He writes:

I purchased a PlayStation 4 and an extra DualShock 4 controller for two-player games. I rarely use the second controller and wondered if I could use it to play games on my Mac.

You can, though with some games you’ll need extra help. Before we get to that let’s start with the hardware configuration.

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Upgrading your Mac: Moving hard drives from a Mac Pro to iMac

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Ruben Diaz is trading up, but would like to take his existing gear with him. He writes:

I’ve been using a Mac Pro for many years but it’s time to upgrade my computer. I’m not ready for the investment that comes with a new Mac Pro so I’ve settled on a 27-inch iMac. The problem is that I want to use the four hard drives that are in my current Mac (set up as four separate volumes) with the new iMac. What do you suggest?

If I were in this position I’d strongly consider a 4-bay drive enclosure. This allows you to plant all your drives in a single box and connect them to your iMac with just one cable. The question you must next consider is “what kind of cable?”

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