fixed : MacBook’s external monitor screen stays black

Question :

In my office, I am using an external monitor as my main screen for my MacBook Pro. Today, the screen didn’t respond when I connected my MacBook however : the screen stays black and nothing appears on-screen. So I opened up my MacBook and used the built-in screen to figure out what’s wrong, but so far I haven’t found any indication in the Displays Preference Panel that my MacBook even detects the second screen…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

In such situations you should always do this first :

Remedy #1 :

  • make sure your monitor is switched ON
  • then hit the SPACE-bar on your external keyboard several times (maybe once, usually about 5 to 10 times…)
  • the monitor should now appear and show the inlog panel to unlock your screensaver
  • then login

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #2

Remedy #2 :

  • unplug all cables between the monitor and your Mac ( DisplayPort / Thunderbolt / HDMI / DVI / VGA  and also USB, UTP, FireWire and PowerAdapter )
  • shut down your monitor
  • shut down your MacBook
  • reconnect all cables and double-check if they’re properly connected on both the Mac and the monitor
  • switch on your MacBook
  • switch on your monitor

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #3

Remedy #3 :

  • on your MacBook, open Apple [main menu bar top-left] –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is no “Gather Windows” button, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and a button marked “Detect Displays” appears ; click on it when it appears

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #4

Remedy #4 :

  • on your MacBook, open Apple [main menu bar top-left] –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is a “Gather Windows” button, click on it
  • then you will see 2 Display Preference windows on your MacBook screen
  • select the Display Preference window that has 3 tabs on it marked “Display”, “Arrangement” and “Color” (not the window that has “Display” and “Color” only)
  • first, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and a button marked “Detect Displays” appears where the “Gather Windows”-button used to be ; click on it when it appears
  • if your monitor switches on, you’re good, if not…
  • click on the “Arrangement”-tab and in the next window put a checkmark at “Mirror Display”
  • if your monitor switches on now, uncheck the “Mirror Display” option again and close your MacBook… you should be good now…

if this didn’t work, try Remedy #5

Remedy #5 :

  • unplug all cables between the monitor and your Mac ( DisplayPort / Thunderbolt / HDMI / DVI / VGA  and also USB, UTP, FireWire and PowerAdapter )
  • shut down your monitor
  • shut down your MacBook
  • reconnect your Mac to your monitor using a different type of cable then you normally would choose (e.g. if you normally use a DisplayPort/Thunderbolt-cable, use an HDMI or DVI cable now)
  • switch on your MacBook
  • switch on your monitor
  • if your monitor wakes from sleep now, open Apple –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is a “Gather Windows” button, click on it
  • then you will see 2 Display Preference windows on your MacBook screen
  • now, remove the monitor-cable that you have just used to connect your MacBook to your monitor
  • then, reconnect your MacBook to your monitor using all cables you normally use to connect the two
  • if your monitor now wakes from sleep, you’re good
  • if it doesn’t, restart your monitor
  • it that doesn’t help, restart your Mac

normally your issue should be resolved by now…

if still the monitor stays showing a back screen, I’m sorry to inform you that your screen probably has a hardware problem… if so, get an authorized Mac-repair-centre to fix it, get the Apple Store support-crew to fix this…

that’s it !

enjoy 😉

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fixed : where are my Office 365 AutoRecovery files ?

Question :

I accidentally messed up the Office documents (Word/PowerPoint/Excel) I was working on, and I didn’t save it before, so I wanted to get the auto-saved version from the AutoRecovery-folder as I’ve done in the old days of Office 2008 and 2004.

But now I am using Office 365, and I can’t find the AutoRecovery folder anywhere… where is it ?

 

Answer :

You might have guessed : nowadays, the AutoRecovery-folder is located in an entirely different location on your Mac.

If you are running Office 2011 for Mac (whether as part of Office 365 or not) the correct path to the AutoRecovery-folder is this :

~/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

And if you are running Office 2016 for Mac (whether or not as part of Office 365) the correct path to the Word 15‘s AutoRecovery-folder(s) is :

~/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

for PowerPoint 15 the correct path is :

~/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.PowerPoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

and for Excel 15 the correct path is :

~/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

BEWARE : it’s not straight-forward to get to this folder in recent/current versions of OSX and macOS, as the user’s Library-folder is a hidden folder. So if you want to access it, the easiest way to do so is :

– in the Finder, click on “Go” in the top menu bar

– when the pulldown menu appears, press the ALT-key on your keyboard (a.k.a. OPTION-key) and an extra option named “Library” will appear in the pulldown menu

– while holding the ALT-key, click on “Library” and your personal (hidden) Library-folder will open in the Finder

– there you can navigate further using the paths listed above to find the AutoRecovery-folder you’re looking for

That’s it.

Enjoy !

😉

NOTE # 1 :

It is advisory to also switch on the “file overwrite protection” (or “double backup”) option as it stores the previous version of the file you are working on. In Word, you turn this feature on from Word –> Preferences –> Save and then mark the “Always create a backup copy” check box. This way, whenever you click “Save”, a backup version is made of the previous/stored version before it overwrites the stored version of the file… so with it turned on, you at least have one prior version of your file.

NOTE #2 :

it turns out that there’s a bug in Excel 2011 for Mac : even though the Autosave does save  a file with an .xlsx file extension, it’s not a true .xlsx file ! trying to open it will lead to an “Microsoft cannot open this file”-error. The solution is to change the file extension to either .xlsb (Excel binary format) or .xlb (older Excel backup format), to enable Excel to recognize the file and enable it to open.

[ a big Thank You to Paul Preston for noticing this problem and for Bryan P for posting the solution on Superuser.com and to Rich Michaels for posting his updated solution on answers.microsoft.com]

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fixed : which version of Java do I have ?

Question :

I would like to know which version of Java I have installed on my Mac, since the software I want to use will only run on Java 7 or higher.

How can I check (and update) ?

 

Answer :

Java is a free software platform which is operation system independent (so Mac & PC) created and maintained by Oracle. Despite it always having been a very reliable way of making cross platform games & applications, Apple has restricted the use of Java to ‘only when needed’ by default in the latest versions of OSX and macOS, because of the security risks involved in using Java and similar software that can run autonomously on your Mac next to macOS.

To find out which version of Java you have installed, do the online check that’s on this official website :

https://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp

Just follow the instructions given and the result of the check will be shown : you will either have the latest version installed, or you won’t… in that case update instructions will guide you to getting the latest version available for your Mac.

enjoy 😉

fixed : where’s the Bluetooth on my JVC KW-XR816 car stereo

Question :

I want to connect my iPhone to my JVC KW-XR816 car stereo using Bluetooth, but I can’t find the Bluetooth option in the settings menu…

What is wrong ?

 

Answer :

The problem you are encountering is probably caused by the fact that the JVC KW-XR816 car stereo doesn’t have the Bluetooth-receiver built-in… it is different from other car stereos in the respect that the Bluetooth-receiver comes as a separate USB-dongle in the product packaging…

So, find the USB-dongle in the product packaging and stick it into the USB-port on the front of the JVC KW-XR816 car stereo (or, if you slide out the entire JVC KW-XR816, you will see there’s an extra USB-port on the back of the car stereo that’s even more suited for the Bluetooth-dongle). And if the Bluetooth-dongle is plugged-in, the Bluetooth option will ‘magically’ appear in the settings menu…

If the Bluetooth-dongle is plugged-in, but the Bluetooth -option still isn’t showing in the setting menu, plug it out and then plug it back in and make sure it’s connected properly.

That’s it 😉

If you want to consult the full manual of the JVC KW-XR816, you can find it here :

JVC KW-XR816 – User Manual

enjoy !

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fixed : repair or replace broken 24″ Apple LED Display ?

Question :

Just a few hours ago, the 24″ Apple LED display that I have connected to my 13″ MacBook Pro (Late 2011) started smelling… the odor was giving me a headache as if something plastic or electrical was burning… now, my beloved Apple Display is not showing anything on screen anymore : even though it’s USB-ports, the MagSafe-power and the sound are still working, and my Mac still detects a connected external screen, the display stays black…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

I’m sorry to bring you the bad news : your beloved Apple Display is a ‘total loss’… Even though this could probably be fixed by replacing the internal ‘motherboard’ of your monitor (99% chance some component on it burned, which is getting an increasingly common problem with these 8 year old monitors…), the fact that Apple does no longer supply any new components for these LED Displays makes that no official Apple repair station will do any repairs on it any longer, and even if you would be able to find a working second-hand replacement part, the replacement procedure is so delicate that it is not a do-it-yourself job… don’t go there.

So you want a replacement ?

Apple does no longer produce or sell any “Apple Display”-monitors. The only monitors available for sale on the Apple Store are LG-branded 4K and 5K monitors… these are said to be co-developed by Apple, but BEWARE : these can only be connected to the most recent Macs that have Thunderbold3-over-USB3 !!!

For older Macs that have miniDisplayPort or Thunderbold (which is Thunderbold1-over-miniDisplayPort) you need something else…

If you just need a plain ‘extra screen’ of GraphicDesigner-quality, you could choose any monitor by Dell, Acer, LG, Samsung, etc. that gets good reviews by graphic designers and meets these specs :

  • IPS-type screen (which has a far better viewing-angle then the TN-type screens)
  • miniDisplayPort, DisplayPort or DVI input (not HDMI-only)
  • a black and/or minimal bezel around the screen
  • preferably as much or more pixels than your Apple Display (the 24″ Apple Displays had 1920×1200 and the 27″ Apple Displays had 2560×1440)
  • preferably an internal USB-hub (to connect an external USB-keyboard, USB-mouse or USB-scanner)

but for most of you, since you are still hanging on to your not-so-new MacBook, you will want an affordable replacement that will still be useful when you buy a new MacBook…

…then there is only one good option for you at this current time :

the BenQ BL2420PT monitor ; buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

with a StarTech 4K@60Hz miniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort1.2-cable ; buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

BEWARE : there is no displayPort-cable included with the BL2420PT monitor, so don’t forget to add a 4K@60Hz capable miniDisplayPort1.2-cable

…okay, this is no way comparable to the sleek industrial design (the ‘box’) of your Apple Display… you won’t get MagSafe-power connection and an iSight webcam built-in, the screen is not high-gloss and it’s bezel is about .5cm thicker than the screen, the monitor speakers volume can’t be adjusted from your keyboard (you should do that on screen or use your Mac speakers) and you won’t get the ‘one cable’ connection you’re used to…

…but, it’s non-intrusive black, the screen can be easily adjusted in height and can even tilt to portrait, it has the 27″ amount of pixels on a 24″ screen (admitted : even though that’s a PRO for most, it might be a CON for some), it has built-in speakers, it has special settings for CAD/CAM and AnimationDesign and it’s the highest value-for-money around…

…if you would mind that, you wouldn’t still be using such an old MacBook… right 😉

enjoy !

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test : best sleep tracker next to AppleWatch ?

Question :

My AppleWatch is great. The only thing it doesn’t do, since you need to charge it every night, is sleep tracking.

Which sleep tracker would you recommend next to an AppleWatch ?

 

Answer :

If the only thing you really need is sleep tracking, I would still recommend an armband-like device. Armband-like sleep tracking devices are easier to carry around if you go on a business trip or holiday, they don’t require you to lie nearly still in your bed and they’re far less expensive than the other sleep tracking devices available. The only reason not to use an armband-like sleep tracking device is if you need extremely in-depth sleep tracking because of medical reasons.

Since you already own an AppleWatch and an iPhone (or iPad) to run the Watch-app on, you also have the iOS Health-app, so there isn’t any need for more than an extremely basic display on your sleep tracking armband device. Keep in mind that you don’t need a display while you’re sleeping, you can’t even use it during sleep…

Based on this observation, you’re best option is to choose the most basic and most affordable armband-like sleep tracker you can find. I’ve been testing these 2 side by side for a while now :

Xaiomi MiBand 1S : about €20 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP Move : about €15 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

As an alternative, you might also consider the “upgraded versions” :

Xaiomi MiBand 2 : about €35  : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP2 : about €40 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP3 : about €55 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Fitbit Flex 2 : about €85 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

But, in the end, if it’s mainly for sleep tracking, these “upgraded versions” are quite a bit more expensive, but still, keep in mind that they are only different in features that have no added value for you since you already have an AppleWatch.

Reasons to choose the MiBand 1S over the UP Move (or the other way around) :

Xaiomi MiBand 1S – the pros :

  • automatically detects whether you are sleeping or not
  • USB-rechargeable battery ; one charge last at least one month
  • good quality armband ; no traces of wear and tear even after extensive use
  • very nice iOS MiFit-app
  • can be worn all day
  • minimalistic design
  • can take over activity tracking and (manual !) heart rate measuring when you’re not wearing your AppleWatch

Xaiomi MiBand 1S – the cons :

  • maybe not as waterproof as claimed ; probably water-resistant or splash-proof at the most, but suitable for showering (maybe not for swimming)
  • quality of individual devices differs, some may only last for a month or so
  • reset includes strange ‘put it in the fridge’ procedure
  • if something doesn’t work there’s hardly any feedback to what’s wrong
  • no way to directly use it as input device for iOS Health-app ; the MiFit-app is always needed
  • will irritate the skin when worn tightly (which is needed for heart rate measuring, but which you don’t need since you have an AppleWatch)

Jawbone UP Move – the pros :

  • easily exchangeable CR2032 cell battery ; will last up to 6 months per battery
  • very good iOS UP-app includes interactive coaching (sleep coaching also)
  • can be worn nearly all day (not for swimming or showering)
  • simple reset option (just take out the battery)
  • can take over activity tracking when you’re not wearing your AppleWatch (not heart rate measuring)

Jawbone UP Move – the cons :

  • switching to sleep tracking must be done manually
  • quality of the bracelet strap is dubious ; tends to break unrepairable after a few months
  • splash-proof only (not for showering)
  • design is slightly bulky compared to minimalistic armbands
  • no way to directly use it as input device for iOS Health-app ; the MiFit-app is always needed

CONCLUDING :

Both the Xaiomi MiBand 1S and the Jawbone UP Move are great choices ar sleep trackers next to your AppleWatch. Personally, I slightly prefer the MiBand 1S because of the fact that it automatically switches to sleep tracking when you fall asleep.

Note :

There is a reason that both the newer Jawbone UP3 and the Fitbit Flex 2 have nearly the same design as the older MiBand 1S : this design is the ‘near perfect’ design for such a simple armband device. In my opinion, the only reason to prefer the Fitbit Flex 2 over the MiBand 1S is the fact that is is very well suited for swimming… but it’s up to you to decide if that’s worth the extreme price difference, especially if you already own an AppleWatch.

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fixed : I want to block AppleWatch watch face from changing unintentionally

Question :

Sometimes, when I look on my Apple Watch to check the time, the watch face has suddenly changed to something completely different.

Now, each time this happens, I have to open the Watch-app on my iPhone and reselect my preferred watch face and set it as “My Current Watch Face” to get things back to normal…

Isn’t there an easy way to prevent that my watch face will suddenly change into something different ? I’ve looked in on my Apple Watch and in the iOS Watch-app, but I can’t find a setting to block this…

What am I doing wrong ?

 

Answer :

Since you have unintentionally set multiple watch faces in “My Watch Faces”, you’re watch face will change if you swipe left or right when your current watch face is displayed.

Simply put : it’s a feature, not a bug.

To be more precise : this is a feature for people who want different watch faces for different activities like “Work”, “Home”, “Sports”, etc. ; but anyone who has no need for this feature, or never thought this could be handy, it seems like erratic behavior whenever the watch face ‘suddenly’ changes…

To fix this :

  • on your iPhone (or iPad), open the Watch-app
  • the “My Watch” screen opens
  • at “MY FACES”, see how many watch faces you have set
  • click on “Edit” (in orange)
  • in the “My Faces” screen that opens, delete all watch faces you don’t want or need, except for the “Current Watch Face”
  • then click “Done” (in orange)
  • then exit the Watch-app

that’s it 😉

enjoy !

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