iOS

How to copy a Live Photo from your Mac back to an iOS device

Apple's Live Photos are a lot of fun and provide more context than your typical photo. When your iPhone is full of them, you may want to offload your Live Photos to your Mac. That's easy. But what if you have a favorite Live Photo on your Mac and you want to move it back to your iPhone? Reader Jonas Marel has this problem.

How can I transfer my Live Photo from my iPhone 6s to my Mac and back again to my iPhone as a Live Photo? The transfer from my iPhone to my Mac is easy, but I am not able to transfer the Live Photo back from my Mac.

Apple doesn’t have a total symmetry in how Live Photos transfer across platforms, but it is possible to move them back and forth. A Live Photo is actually a combination package of a JPEG and a MOV movie file, as I describe a year ago in “How to export a Live Photos movie into OS X.”

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Can ransomware hijack Mac backups? Yes, but...

Mac users have so far avoided the scourge of ransomware sweeping the Windows world, where it’s the fastest-growing category of malware due to its simplicity: it encrypts your documents after gaining a foothold to run, and doesn’t have to mess with system-level stuff at all. Reader Dave has a concern related to backups though, after reading my recent article about the best hosted backup services for encrypted protection:

If I am primarily worried about ransomware on my Mac, which of those backup services do you recommend? If I buy my own backup device, I understand that it can also be taken over by the same ransomware. True?

This is a really terrific question, since ransomware can run quietly over a period of time, or execute while you’re sleeping, leading to encrypted files winding up in your backup set, whether on a remote, cloud-based backup system or with Time Capsule or clones.

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Why continuous backups on your Mac are a good idea

A Macworld reader has concerns that continuous or frequently made automatic backups would impede performance on their computer. They want to only initiate backups manually. I’d argue this is a bad idea.

Continuous backups that archive a file whenever changes are made or frequent backups, such as software that checks at a fast interval, like 15 or 60 minutes, ensure that you lose the least amount of work possible, and have a position to revert to in case of deletion or corruption. I use Dropbox plus Backblaze: Dropbox makes new versions of files, recording just the difference between the previous version, every time you save or the file is modified. Backblaze defaults to continuous, though you can set it to daily or on demand.

Modern backup software—whether its Time Machine, a client for a hosted service (like Backblaze or SpiderOak), or a networked archiving app like Arq—shouldn’t burn up your CPU, however. They’re designed to either throttle themselves in regular use and consume modest amounts of computational power, or they have explicit settings about the percentage of CPU to use when a user is active or a Mac is idle. (That’s often measured by how much CPU power is being drained by other apps.)

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How to delete iOS apps in iTunes for Mac to free up storage

Syncing your iPhone and iPad to your Mac is a good way to keep your devices organized. But if you like to download iOS apps, those apps take up a lot of sotrage space on your Mac.

This is the case with reader Lauren King. She finds that a fair amount of storage on her Mac is occupied with iOS apps. She wonders, “Is there a way to delete them from the computer and not the other devices?”

This happens if you use or have used iTunes to sync with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. iTunes downloads the iOS apps locally, and then copies them over when you synchronize. Apps you downloaded directly to an iOS device will sync to iTunes as well. You can also click an update button in iTunes to retrieve newer versions of those apps to sync to your iOS device.

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How to keep Migration Assistant from overwriting existing files on a new Mac

The Mac has a great app called Migration Assistant that is very helpful when setting up a new Mac and you need to transfer files from an old Mac. Jim O’Reilly asks a great question about using Migration Assistant:

If I use Migration Assistant, how can I avoid writing over on the new Mac files with the same name as the corresponding files from the old Mac?

While Migration Assistant is relatively straightforward to use, it does have settings that let you twiddle what’s transferred.

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Troubleshoot and recover a Mac with a failed drive

Hard drives failures can happen to anyone, including Mac 911 columnists. A relatively new hard drive bit the dust, requiring days of work to get back to status quo ante.

My wife has a 2011-era MacBook Pro and was barely keeping space free on its original 512GB hard drive. An upgrade made sense, and for a machine of that vintage, the cost of a 1TB SSD seemed too high. We opted for an affordable hard drive. I used a USB 2.0 enclosure to clone the existing drive via Disk Utility while booted into Recovery, which left us with a backup (the original drive) and the newly cloned drive, which I swapped into the computer. We also updated an existing SuperDuper clone as an additional safety policy. (Disk Utility lets you clone and restore drives, a nifty hidden superpower in Recovery.)

This worked just fine for six weeks, until she started to receive errors while using her mail client, restarted, and had screens of Matrix-like text scrolling down. Very quickly, it appeared the drive was damaged, not just corrupted. How did I diagnose this?

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iOS

How to block all calls on your iPhone except those from your contacts

There are very few things that are more annoying than unwanted cell phone calls. Macworld reader Douglas Cowan asks a question about a way to block those calls.

With the ever increasing number of unwanted phone calls and voicemails, is it possible to block all phone calls except from those in the contact list?

Yes, although it means some tradeoffs. The Do Not Disturb feature Apple introduced a few releases of iOS ago lets you suppress most notifications, sounds, texts, and calls. However, you can choose to let certain things bypass that mode.

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