Mac

How can I make my Mac run faster?

Episode 1364

Jeff from Pasadena, CA
Apple iMac

Jeff would like to know how to speed up his Mac. Leo says to try starting up the Mac in Safe Mode and then go into the System Preference pane to see what's starting up in the background. Jeff can also try zapping the PRAM (Command + Option + P + R). That can make it run faster. He should also browse his System Extensions folder.

Jeff should log into his unused Administrator account and see if it runs faster. If it does, then he'll know something is running in his account that's slowing it down.

How can I safely use a hotspot?

Episode 1362

Frederick from Detroit, MI
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Frederick uses an open access port with his iPhone but it always asks him to sign in. Leo says that's called a captive portal, which is done when using a hotspot. He needs to activate the portal. He should point his browser to 1.1.1.1. Or he can choose to "forget" the Wi-Fi access point. That will reset it and then he can sign back in. Leo actually recommends getting a travel router like the Tiny Hardware Firewall to protect him.

Has my Mac been hacked?

Episode 1360

Brian from Lancaster, CA
macOS Sierra

Brian thinks his Mac got hit by malware. He clicked on a link that took him to a page saying his Adobe Flash player was out of date, and he installed something. Now he thinks he's been busted. Leo says that Chrome has Flash built-in, and it's always updated, so he'll never have an outdated version.

Why can't I print PDF files?

Arnie from Atlanta, GA

Episode 1348

Arnie created a passport photo with a PDF program and now he can't print it unless he pays for it. So he did, but now he can't print anything in PDF unless he uses that PDF maker because it uses Adobe Acrobat. Leo says to get rid of it! He can print directly from preview in the Mac. He'll just need to drag the Adobe app into the trash. He'll also have to look in the startup folder and get rid of the startup files as well. He should search for his root system folder and his account folder. He can even use Spotlight search and look for "Adobe."

Read Mac Formatted Drives with Windows

When you plug a drive that's been formatted for Mac into a Windows PC, you may find that it isn't readable. This is because Mac uses the HFS+ format natively, whereas Windows uses ExFAT or NTFS. One simple way to make the drive readable on both platforms is to format it to ExFAT, which both operating systems can understand. This will erase all contents on the disk, however, so you'll need to transfer those files to a safe place first.

If you can't reformat the drive, there are programs available that will make it possible to read a HFS+ drive on a PC: