When Apple updated iTunes to version 12.7, it overhauled the iOS/iTunes interaction. We ran a guide, “iTunes 12.7: How to cope with the abrupt changes,” which answered most of your questions. But one thing I noted in passing continues to come up: several readers have asked if they can really, really dump the iOS application files that iTunes retained after the upgrade.
You don’t need these. Really. You don’t. iTunes will never rely on them to sync back to your iOS device. Delete them. Go ahead.
iTunes 12.7 no longer syncs iOS apps to iOS devices, something it’s done since the beginning of the App Store. iTunes has never had great features for managing iOS apps stored on your Mac, and iTunes 12.7 didn’t help you take any action with those stored files, either. I found 5GB of iOS apps on one computer and 26GB on another, even though I haven’t synced an iOS device to either in years. Other readers report finding tens or even hundreds of gigabytes of such files!
When ransomware strikes, it's hard not to panic. A ransomware attack may cause your Mac to shut down and then restart into a lock screen. A message appears, demanding ransom to provide a six-digit unlock code, which can’t be bypassed. This can occur even with two-factor authentication enabled.
Crackers appear to be making use of passwords from other sites that have had password breaches in the past—and iCloud accountholders re-use those passwords with their iCloud account. With Find My Mac enabled and your password, a criminal can log into iCloud.com and use Find My Mac (even without confirming with a second factor) to put your Mac into Lock mode with a six-digit code they create. Lock mode restarts a Mac into Recovery and locks out a normal boot.
Paying the ransom is inadvisable, because not all extortionists honor the terms, and there’s a workaround. I recommend the following:
iCloud has a feature that lets you sync your Safari bookmarks across your Macs, iPhones, and iPads. However, Macworld reader Mark has a tale that sounds nearly appropriate for Halloween: disappearing and haunted bookmarks:
I upgraded my MacBook recently and transferred everything across surprisingly easy. After a few weeks, the bookmarks disappeared in favor of the defaults (Apple, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Facebook). I recovered following your advice with Time Machine, but after a few minutes or hours or even days, they switch back to default again.
I suggested to Mark that this sounded like an out-of-phase synchronization problem. With iCloud enabled to sync Safari in iOS and macOS, it sounds as though iCloud decided the “truth” of the bookmark state was the defaults loaded before his upgrade. Every time he restored to an earlier version via Time Machine, iCloud sync kept deciding that was out of date and replaced it with what it thought was “newer.”
Safari has a feature called Reading List, where you can save webpages for reading at a later time. It's different from a bookmark in that you can access the webpage without an internet connection. Your Reading List can use iCloud to sync across all your associated logins so you can access your list on any device.
Macworld reader Derrel Sims would like to remove some, or maybe all, of the items in his Reading List in Safari, and wonders how to do so. The reason Derrel can’t find a way to delete all of the items in iOS is that no such option exists! You can, however, delete individual items in iOS and macOS in fairly obvious manners.
Apple's iCloud is handy in that it lets you have access to your files on multiple devices that have internet access. But what's actually stored in iCloud isn't that obvious to the user.
This seems to be the case for Macworld reader Izabella. She asks why iCloud isn’t reducing storage on her MacBook more than it is. She sees iCloud storage on her computer taking up 80GB of storage but says she’s paying for 200GB of iCloud storage. “I want to use this space for other things,” she notes.
iCloud doesn’t necessarily save you storage, as confusing as that is, because it’s a mix of synchronization and cloud-based storage options.
If you use iCloud Photo Library, iOS has a feature called Optimize iPhone Storage to help save storage space on your iPhone. Your original photos and videos are kept in iCloud Photo Library, and optimized versions are kept on your iPhone.
Macworld reader Alexandra asks about optimized photos, iCloud Photo Library, and uploads:
I have Optimize iPhone Storage turned on on my iPhone. If I decide to order some photos from my iPhone through an online photo processor, will the photos be uploaded to the web site in their full or reduced resolution?