macOS

How long can I still use my old iMac?

Apple iMacs

Episode 1408

Paul from Long Beach, CA

Paul is vision impaired and has an eight year old iMac. How can he update it? Leo says that as long as he can update it to the latest OS, he'll be OK, and it sounds like Paul's is updated. But sooner or later, the machine will be left behind. Should he buy a new one? Leo says these days, computers aren't that much faster from one model to another. The improvement in speed really comes with a solid state hard drive and faster memory, though.

Why does Apple remove features from the OS?

DragThing

Episode 1397

James from Riverside, CA

James says that on his Mac, Apple has taken away the color icons in the sidebar. Jason says that sometimes Apple just decides to break stuff because they know better, or it fits into their overall plans for the software — removing features while bringing in others.

Jason recommends checking out an application called DragThing. This would allow James to have a separate dock where he can put more applications. Then he can stop using the Finder sidebar for that.

How can I update from Snow Leopard to El Capitan?

Episode 1369

David from California

David's 2010 MacBook Pro has OS X 10.6.8 and some sites don't support older versions of Safari on Snow Leopard. Leo says that David may need to upgrade his OS. But the question is, can he? The latest update says you can't update to Sierra unless he has 10.7 or later. So he needs Lion. He can't upgrade straight to the latest version. So search the app store for OS X Lion. Here's where - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/os-x-el-capitan/id1147835434?mt=12.

Is it possible to restore the startup chime on new MacBook Pros?

Apple MacBook Pro

Episode 1365

Greg from Los Angeles, CA

Greg recently got MacBook Pros at work and he's having issues turning the laptops on and off. Apple took away the classic startup chime, and it takes about 20-30 seconds to figure out if it's actually on. Leo says that there's a terminal command that's supposed to turn the chime back on: NVRAM BA=%01. If that doesn't work, Apple may have disabled that.

Do I have enough RAM in my MacBook Pro?

Apple MacBook Pro

Episode 1363

Kurt from Calabasas, CA

Kurt has a 2013 MacBook Pro. He is worried about how much memory he has, since he only has 8GB. Leo says that macOS has a really good memory manager that can enable it to run with less RAM than other computers. It's really good at releasing RAM when other programs need it. He'll also want to be sure that the extensions in his browser aren't being memory hogs. The best browser on the Mac for memory management is Safari, by far.

Kurt also wants to know if he can upgrade it to macOS Sierra. If Apple recommends it, Leo says he should do it.