How to Securely Dispose of Your Old Mac

So it’s time to move on and end your relationship with your Mac. You had good times together; you’ll always have memories of the best moments you shared. But there’s a better Mac now, it may be faster, have a better display, or be lighter and more portable. While break-ups are always tough, it’s a good idea to make this one as smooth as possible.

Your Mac contains a lot of personal information, and is connected to a number of Apple accounts. When you plan to dispose of your Mac — whether you sell it, give it away, or send it for recycling — there several things you should do to make sure your data remain secure. There are also a few steps you need to take to remove that Mac from Apple’s accounts.

In this article, I discuss the 10 steps you should take before getting rid of a Mac.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Apple Announces First Macs with Apple Silicon

I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I’m used to every new generation of computer being 20% or 30% faster, but when Apple said that their new M1 chip is more than three times faster, and battery life on new Macs the double of existing models, I have to say I gasped a bit. With the introduction of “system on a chip” Macs, where all the key chips in a computer are on a single processor, Apple seems to have come up with performance updates the likes of which we have never seen.

Apple has announced three new Macs with its own processors: a MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro. On the outside, none of these Macs look any different; there was no mention of them being thinner or lighter, as is usually the case. But under the hood, these are revolutionary computers.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Update to My Take Control of macOS Media Apps Book

Tc media appsPretty soon, macOS Big Sur will be released. There aren’t a lot of changes to the macOS media apps – Music, TV, Podcasts, and Books – but the interface of the operating system has changed. There are some noteworthy changes to the Music app, notably the restoration of the ability to display album artwork in Songs view.

So my updated book, Take Control of macOS Media Apps, has just been released, and there will be a minor update when Big Sur is officially available (probably next week). Here’s what the publisher has to say about it:

When Apple replaced iTunes with four different apps (for different kinds of media) last year, Kirk thoroughly revamped his older book Take Control of iTunes 12: The FAQ to cover all the new ways of doing things, and in the process, it got a new title. This book, Take Control of macOS Media Apps, still tells you all about the Music app (including working with Apple Music and iTunes Match), but also walks you through the major features in the TV and Podcasts apps, and helps you organize and listen to audiobooks in the Books app. This update covers the (mostly small) changes in Big Sur, but most of the text applies equally to the Catalina versions of the apps. Buy Take Control of macOS Media Apps for $14.99 or Learn more about the book.

If you already own the book, click Ebook Extras on the cover for information about getting an update.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #153: New, New, New from Apple!

Apple announced new Apple Watch models, updated iPads, a new fitness subscription service, and a subscription bundle, Apple One. While iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 were released this week, there’s still no news on macOS. Josh and Kirk look at all the new stuff, and try to figure out what’s best for most users.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #152: What if Apple Built a Search Engine?

With Apple holding a new product event next week, we discuss recent speculation that Apple might be building a search engine. The discuss the implications of this, especially if Apple’s own search engine replaced Google as the default search engine on macOS and iOS.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

How to Back Up Your Mac’s Data with Time Machine

Backing up your data is one of the most essential security tasks you can do. Because of the many ways you can lose data, having multiple backups is the only way to ensure that if anything happens – such as disk failure, a lost or stolen computer, or malware deleting files – you can restore your important data quickly.

There are many strategies for backing up your Mac, and using multiple backups is one of the keys to protecting your data. You can back up your Mac to any of several types of local hard drives, to a network device, and you can use online backup services.

In this article, I’m going to explain how Time Machine works, and how you can use it to back up your Mac.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Setting Up a New Mac: Should You Migrate or Do a Clean Installation?

If you’ve just bought a new Mac, and you’re upgrading from an older computer, you want all of your files and data to be accessible on the new machine. But when you set up a new Mac, should you migrate your old files or do a clean installation?

When you get a new Mac, it might be a good idea to do a clean installation; starting from scratch, with a brand-new operating system, and copy the files that you need from your old Mac manually. Here’s how to migrate your files to your new Mac, or do a clean installation, and the pros and cons of both methods.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Apple’s New Plans for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac Unveiled at WWDC 2020

It was a different type of presentation at this year’s WWDC. Gone was the venue packed with thousands of developers and journalists, cheering at the announcements of new features, now relegated to memories for this year because of the coronavirus. Instead, Apple presented a very fast-paced pre-recorded keynote outlining where the company is going with this year’s operating systems. At the same time, Apple announced a big change to macOS, and the biggest change to the Mac in 15 years.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Managing Battery Life on Macs and iOS Devices

Batteries are essential to our portable devices. For many of us, in our everyday use of Macs and iOS devices, we don’t have to worry too much about this. Modern iPhones and iPads provide a full day‘s battery life, and if you use a portable Mac, you can probably get through the day unless you are using battery-intensive apps.

But sometimes you can’t. If you’re away from home or the office for a long time, you either need to take a portable battery pack with you, or carry a charger and go hunting for available plugs. And, as your devices get older, their batteries lose capacity. This means that instead of, say, a full day of power for your iPhone, you may need to charge it sometime in the afternoon.

In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can check on your battery to see what its capacity is, and how to find which apps use the most power so you can get rid of them to ensure that your devices’ batteries last as long as possible.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to find what software has been automatically updated on your Mac

In a recent article, we looked at how you get software updates on your Mac. You get updates in three ways. If you bought apps from the Mac App Store, that app provides updates. If you bought apps directly from developers, they apps generally use their own update system; occasionally you may need to download an update from a developer’s website. And for macOS updates and security updates, it’s the Software Update preference pane that manages these updates.

Some people prefer to update their apps and Macs manually: they check the Mac App Store or the Software Update preference pane to see when updates are available, or they react when their Macs present notifications. Others prefer to let all this occur automatically. In the latter case, you may not even notice many of the updates: they can happen in the background, though you do need to restart your Mac for major operating system and security updates. And your Mac can automatically, and silently, install “system data files and security updates” in the background without telling you.

There’s no easy way to find what has been updated, especially if updates have been made automatically in the background. You can check the Mac App Store’s Updates section to see which apps have been updated, but it only shows the most recent updates; and there’s no log for system updates. In this article, I’ll tell you how you can see a list of everything that’s been updated, automatically or manually, on your Mac via the Mac App Store and Software Update.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.