Mac

Can I reset my user account on my Mac?

Episode 1504

Max from Gardena, CA
macOS

Max wants to know if there's a way to reset an account on macOS without destroying the data. Leo says he can delete an account without erasing the data and then recreate it. That should clean everything out. He'll have to be an administrator, and he'll have to make sure he doesn't check the box to delete the data.

Here's a Knowledge Base article from Apple on how to do it from support.apple.com.

He can also reset the password to recover the account.

Why do I lose my external hard drive when my Mac Mini goes to sleep?

Episode 1490

Mars Worm from The Chatroom
Mac Mini

Mars Worm in the chatroom is having issues with his hard drive unmounting in his Mac Mini when it goes to sleep. Leo says that computers going to sleep has always been a pain, going back to the early days. Hibernation is even worse.

There is a tech note from Apple about that here, at support.apple.com. It's also talked about at blog.grapii.com.

Why is my Mac running so slow?

Episode 1470

Timothy from Fresno, CA
Mac Pro

Timothy started a new job and he's using a 5-year-old Mac Pro. Leo says that's not that old, actually. Leo prefers them to the recent models. Tim says that there's not a lot of RAM — only 4GB. Leo says that 4GB is OK for most things he'll do online and for documents. But he recommends running the activity monitor to make sure all the RAM is functioning. Sometimes, though, a program doesn't release the RAM when it no longer needs it, and it may be that is what's happening here. The hard drive may be slowing things down as well.

What the best way to migrate my data from Windows to Mac?

Episode 1452

Scott from Orange County
MacBook Air

Scott has a Windows 7 laptop and he's tired of dealing with all its problems. As a result, he got a MacBook Air for Christmas. How does he transfer all his data from the Windows laptop to the MacBook? The Migration wizard didn't really work for him.

Leo says to bypass all of that and just move it over manually. It's the best way to do it. He should just plug in an external drive, formatted for Windows. Then drag and drop his "My Photos" folder over. Then he can connect it to his Mac, open Apple Photos, and import them.

Why am I having problems booting into my Mac?

Episode 1429

Terry from Amarillo, TX
Apple iMac

Terry is having problems booting up his Mac unless it's in safe mode. Leo says that it sounds like there's a corrupted kernel that is clobbering everything. He recommends backing up his data, wiping the drive and then reinstalling the OS and programs. The Mac makes it easy to do, too. If he bought his programs in the Mac App Store, he can just install all the apps he owns. Terry shouldn't install anything he doesn't need. It's better to just install as he goes. It's also an indication that his hard drive may be going bad, so it may be time to get a new drive.

What happened to my hard drive?

Episode 1423

Danny from New Jersey
Disk Warrior

Danny left his laptop on while flying and when he went to open the laptop, the drive disappeared and he doesn't know what happened. Leo says it sounds like the drive had been jostled to the point that the computer couldn't read it. It could still be connected, though. It's likely that the disk catalog was damaged or corrupted. He could run disk utility, but Leo isn't all that confident that it will work for him. Drive Rescue could perhaps fix the problem. Disk Warrior is another.

Why doesn't text in Word work properly via remote desktop?

Episode 1421

David from Pleasanton, CA
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/d/word-2016/cfq7ttc0k5d7

David can't highlight text in Excel or Word when he's in remote desktop with his Mac to his 64-bit Windows PC. Leo says that there may be an issue with the functions in remote desktop and he can verify that by trying with another PC. The Mac isn't using any resources, it's just a window. So there's something wrong with the 64-bit Windows PC that David's trying to access. Leo says that there's possibly bad rendering going on with Windows Remote Desktop. Alternatively, install Office for the Mac.

How can I get details on the signal strength of my wireless network?

Episode 1411

Keith from Phoenix, AZ
WiFi Explorer

Keith wants to know how strong his WiFi network is. Leo recommends WiFi Analyzer. For the Mac, there's WiFi Explorer. It will give him a line graph with signal strength according to channel. It's $20.

He can find other WiFi analyzer apps at netspotapp.com. It may be that all he needs to do is reset his WiFi settings.