How to make the best use of Mail Drop

Reader Joshua Snider seeks more information about one of Yosemite’s new Mail features. He writes:

I’ve heard that I can send really large attachments through Yosemite’s Mail, but does that mean that whoever receives my messages has to also be running Yosemite and using Mail as their email client?

No. The Mail Drop feature isn’t really using attachments in the way that you’re accustomed to. Rather it’s using an attachment analogy so that typical users don’t have to be confounded by talk of cloud intermediaries.

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What to do when iCloud Keychain fails to sync

Reader David Collins lost a convenient feature when he updated to Yosemite. He writes:

When upgrading to OS X Yosemite on my iMac I took your advice and installed it on an external drive. I like it so far, but even though I’ve switched on and verified Keychain in the iCloud system preference, Safari doesn’t know about my previously saved passwords. When I launch Safari, open its preferences, and click on the Passwords tab, the area below is empty. Is there some file I need to copy from Mavericks to make this work?

You needn’t do that. Rather, you just have to give iCloud Keychain a not-so-subtle nudge. Apple outlines the steps for doing so in its Get Help Using iCloud Keychain document.

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How to avoid deleting messages when swiping your iPad too briskly

Reader Nancy Hilton has an iOS issue that she’d like me to take a swipe at. She writes:

I upgraded my iPad mini to iOS 8, and suddenly an accidental left swipe mysteriously wipes out an email message. A gentle left-swipe displays More, Flag, and Trash options, but a quicker swipe produces a brief narrow red line, and poof! the message is gone into cyberspace. Can you help?

I can. As you’ve rightly deduced, this is a behavior introduced with iOS 8, and it works across iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. It was a notion Apple introduced with the idea that it’s an easy way to quickly delete messages. The problem is that if you’re a little too frisky in your swiping you can accidentally delete messages.

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Unhappy with iTunes 12? Here's how to revert to iTunes 11

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous isn’t entirely tickled with iTunes 12. This reader writes:

I’ve upgraded to OS X Yosemite on my MacBook Air and I mostly like it. What I don’t like is iTunes 12—I find it hard to navigate. Is there any way I can go back to iTunes 11 and still run Yosemite?

There is. And as much as I’d like to take credit for devising the way to do it, that credit goes to Jacqui Cheng, formerly of Ars Technica and now editor-in-chief of The Wirecutter. I mention her former Ars Technica affiliation because that’s where she described the process for downgrading from iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7. It turns out that the technique works just as well for moving from iTunes 12 to iTunes 11.

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How to transfer data from your old computer to a new Yosemite Mac

Reader Walt Pinkston has an impatient friend who was a little too anxious to put old data on a new Mac. He writes:

A friend decided to remove the internal hard drive from an old Mac, put the drive into an external enclosure, and hook that up to his new Mac. But now the new Mac doesn’t recognize the drive and is asking him if he wants to reformat it. What’s the best and safest way for him to move that data over to his new Mac?

With the idea of saving your relationship, let me start by saying that your friend’s idea wasn’t entirely boneheaded. There are indeed conditions under which you can jerk a hard drive out of an old Mac, shove it into an enclosure, and boot another Mac from it. Those conditions include having an operating system compatible with the new Mac and a drive formatted in a compatible way. In cases where the OS is quite old and the computer quite new, there can be problems as new Macs often demand an operating system no older than the one that shipped with them.

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Bugs & Fixes: Solving a Yosemite post-install disaster

Updating to a major new version of OS X can seem akin to walking through a mine field, albeit one with relatively few mines. In most instances, you’ll be fine. But you never know when disaster may strike.

In my case, the OS X Yosemite upgrade went as smooth as silk for my 2012 MacBook Pro. I’ve been happily running it via beta versions for months. I waited until the release version of Yosemite before upgrading my 2009 Mac Pro. I expected things to go just as smoothly. Instead, I hit a mine.

The installation itself was a success. However, as soon as I attempted to use the Mac, all hell broke loose. The most serious symptom was that almost every action now proceeded at a snail’s pace. Several apps—notably Safari, Tweetbot, Outlook, and even the Finder—often became entirely unresponsive. I had to repeatedly Force Quit these apps just to maintain a minimum level of response.

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