Apple

How can I unlock my MacBook Air?

Episode 1245

Elizabeth from Costa Mesa, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Elizabeth bought a used MacBook Air, and when she got it, she wiped it. Now it doesn't work right. Leo suggests signing into iTunes and redownloading the OS update and installing it. But she can't turn off the firmware password utility. Leo says that if she can prove ownership, Apple will unlock the laptop for her.

It sounds like Elizabeth has fallen into the trap of Apple's Activation lock. Here's a few tips on how to wipe out that firmware password from OSXDaily.com

What's a good backup utility for the Mac?

Tom from Albuquerque, NM

Episode 1244

Tom recently upgraded to Windows 10 and he's really happy with it. Now he's turning his attention to his Mac. It started notifying him that he's losing disc space, but when he went to check the storage space on his computer, it has a huge folder labeled "Backup." Leo says it sounds like OS X is backing up his data to his local hard drive. Tom should just go into the System Preference pane and disable Time Machine. Leo recommends SuperDuper instead.

Why does my iPad give me a warning message that my charging cable isn't supported?

Carl from Corona, CA

Episode 1242

Carl got a cheap $2 charging cable for his iPad online, and now he's getting a message on his iPad that it isn't supported. Leo says that Apple has a proprietary cable for syncing data and charging devices. Leo suspects he'd probably be able to charge his iPad with that cable just fine, but he won't be able to sync the data. When buying a cable, he should look for "MFi Certified." Those cables are made to work with Apple devices. Apple licenses that cable technology, so he won't ever find an MFi Certified cable for cheap.

Why can't I use iChat anymore?

Chris from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1241

Chris has been chatting online with his parents for years via iChat. Now it doesn't work. Leo says that Apple killed iChat back in OS 10.7. He'll have to use Messages now, which can be a bit confusing. He may have to upgrade to get it to work. Can he go straight OS X El Capitan? Leo says Chris will need to add the app store first. But if it won't download, it may be that his computer isn't compatible. He should still upgrade as far as he can, though.

Is my iMac worth repairing?

Episode 1241

John from Savannah, GA
Apple iMac

John bought an iMac in 2011 and lately it's starting to flicker, with half of the screen darker. He called Apple and they suggested clearing the PRAM. Leo says that's one of the magical 'voodoo' techniques in case something got corrupted like a driver or something. Then they had him do a factory reset. But it still is happening. John also heard that the video card may be going out. But more likely, Leo says that the backlit LED screen simply stopped working, and that can happen over time with an LCD. One way to test if it's the video card is to connect an external monitor to it.

Why am I getting warning messages about Apple Keychain on my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1240

Bruce from Southern California
Apple Keychain

Bruce also has issues with the login keychain of his MacBook. Leo says that Keychain is great for secure storage, but people often forget their keychain password when they lock it. If he can't remember the password, he can always create a new keychain. Use the same password that he uses to log in. That should unlock it.

Is there an alternative to Apple Photos?

Episode 1240

Chris from Miami, FL
Apple Photos

Chris liked Apple's iPhoto, but he doesn't care for Photos. Leo says that Apple has tried to fix something that wasn't broken. There are alternatives including Adobe Lightroom, but Chris doesn't want to pay $20 a month to use that. Leo says that there's a lot of good reasons to use Lightroom including being able to sync with his iPad. It's what Apple Photos should be. But for some reason, Apple just doesn't really get cloud based apps like they should.

Is the iPhone waterproof?

Episode 1239

Dan from Goldsboro, NC
Apple iPhone 6s

Dan dropped his iPhone 6s this week, and found it lying in a puddle at a parking lot in the rain. The great news was it still works! Leo says that Apple has placed additional silicon seals around it to make the iPhone water resistant. Not waterproof, though. There is still a little piece of paper inside it which turns red when wet.

First Impressions of Apple's iPad Pro

Episode 1237

Leo picked up the iPad Pro yesterday, and serendipitously, the Apple store was out of the iPad keyboard. So he picked up the Logitech Create keyboard and he likes it far better. Leo likes it because it has dedicated iOS keys, a backlit keyboard, and doesn't need to be charged because it magnetically connects to the iPad's power. But he's not really sure you're going to want it because it makes the iPad Pro 3 pounds! Leo wonders why Apple didn't just make the MacBook Pro a touch screen. But if you want the ability to turn your tablet into a 13" laptop, this is definitely the way to go.