Mac

How can I update from Snow Leopard to El Capitan?

David from California

Episode 1369

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.

Why does my Mac Pro take so long to boot up?

Dale from Santa Monica, CA

Episode 1369

Dale is having issues with his old Mac Pro tower. He got a new Ben Q monitor and he has an intermittent problem where the boot up takes a long time before getting to the login page. Leo says that when you power up a computer, it has what's called a Power On Self Test (POST). Leo says it could be a monitor thing. A faulty cable or loose connection could cause it. Sometimes a USB device can hold you up. So try unplugging all your USB devices and see if it makes it faster. If so, then you have a flakey USB cable or device.

Why does my network drop when uploading?

Episode 1367

Brad from Bethlehem, PA
Google Photos uploader

Brad says every time he tries to upload his photos to Google Photos, his Wi-Fi fails. Leo says that turning his Wi-Fi off and on could help as it renews the "lease" on the router with a new IP address. Something inside the Mac's network settings could be messed up, and renewing the lease can fix it.

It could also mean that the computer has lost contact with the router. He should reset his AirPort and update the firmware. That chatroom says it may be Google Photos that's causing the issue as well.

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.