You can mount HFS+ volumes with High Sierra and APFS

macOS High Sierra introduces a new file system call Apple File System, or APFS. APFS replaces the old file system, called HFS+. APFS has a lot of inherent advantages beyond just being modernized that improve reliability and speed. Chances are, however, that you have external hard drives and thumb drives formatted using HFS+.

Reader Ted Tenny wondered if thumb drives formatted using a macOS prior to High Sierra will continue to work in High Sierra, which automatically converts startup SSDs to APFS.

The answer is: yes, absolutely. Apple doesn’t require that you change the file system format on external drives, whether attached at startup or plugged in temporarily. You can use Disk Utility in High Sierra to upgrade to APFS, but you will probably not want to do that with any drive that you might want to use with a Mac that isn’t yet running High Sierra.

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Apple’s two-step verification goes away with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a method of protecting an online account. The two factors—things that identify you—in 2FA: Something you yourself know, like a password; and something you have that can receive a token to confirm who you are, such as a smartphone.

Apple’s original two-step system relied on its Apple ID site for set up and management, and could only send codes to iOS devices and via SMS. Its update in September 2015 left two-step in place for those who continued to want to use it, but the 2FA revision was far better. Enrollment happens via iOS and macOS. Apple’s system isn’t as robust as some security experts would like, but it’s definitely better than a password-only option.

If you’re still using two-step verification (and if not, you didn’t need to read this far), Apple converts your account to 2FA with iOS 11 or High Sierra. Here’s what you need to know:

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How to change an Apple ID email address without access to that email address

Apple IDs use an email address to identify each user. Problems can occur when you can't access that email address anymore, which leads to an inquiry by Macworld reader Deborah:

My Apple ID is associated with my work email which I no longer have access to after leaving the company. How can I change this to my current account without creating problems?

mac911 change apple id in ios Apple

Apple lets you change your Apple ID address without having access to the original email within iOS.

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Should you keep your backup data in a safe?

Backing up your data is important, and using Time Machine is a great way to do it. But do you need to go even further? Should you, say, go so far as to clone a drive and keep the drive in a a fireproof safe in their home bolted to the floor? A reader asks:

Even if somebody steals my iMac and Time Capsule, it is very unlikely the safe will get stolen. And most likely the safe will survive a house fire. I also have an encrypted sparse bundle with mission critical financial data stored there. Given the above, would you still recommend a cloud backup service?

Yes, yes, yes, and also, yes. It’s best to have three copies of your data in distinctly different forms: live on your computers, an easily accessible backup or clone, and an offsite or cloud continuously updated backup. Hard drives are cheap and unlimited cloud-based backup services are cheap. Encryption is free. Offsite storage, in a safe-deposit box or other location, shouldn’t be expensive, either, or could be free.

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How to stop spam emails from reaching your inbox

Spam—phishing, marketing, and scam emails—is annoying, that we can all agree on. One Macworld reader wants to take the ultimate step is stopping these emails.

Is it possible to set one’s iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad to ensure scam, phishing, and marketing emails are blocked? I’d be grateful for any information you can provide.

Would it were so! Would it were so. Unfortunately, the basis of internet email is that every part of the system more or less mostly trusts every other part. It used to be that every part completely trusted every other part.

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iOS

How to share your contact card in iOS

You’d think that sending your basic contact information to another person with an iPhone would be a simple task, and one that Apple had streamlined. It’s not, and it’s a weird lapse in a company that tries to avoid the kinds of steps to perform a basic operation that Windows software used to abound in.

It’s not that difficult, but it’s more than a tap. But, first, you want to make sure you’ve set up just the information you want to share. If you have a contact card for yourself in which you place private details, such as phone numbers and emails you don’t hand out, you do not want to share that as your standard contact card.

(macOS has an option to turn your “me” card private, where you can pick and choose which fields to share. Oddly, that feature is absolutely missing in iOS. The synced card from macOS doesn’t carry through in terms of sharing only the fields you checked in macOS.)

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How to recover your files when your Mac won’t start up properly

When your Mac won't finish its startup process, how do you get access to the data? That's the problem facing reader Norma Moncrieff with her 2013 MacBook Pro.

It won’t boot up. It does turn on, starts to load then freezes. I took it into Apple and they suggested a recovery service.

She’d like to recover her photos. While Norma writes that she tried a lot of advice she’d found on the internet, I’m not sure precisely how Apple evaluated her computer. My suspicion is that they’ve found the drive is actually damaged and can’t be mounted properly, rather than needing repair.

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