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

NOTE : if you have a Benq monitor (especially the BL2420TP), try this first :

fixed : Benq monitor stays black when MacBook is switched on

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 : macOS Sierra downloaded but installer won’t run

Question :

Since the latest version of OSX (entitled “macOS Sierra) has been yesterday, I wanted to install it on my Mac. I clicked on “download” in the Mac AppStore and  the download started ; on the dedicated product page I could see the status bar filling up and finally stating “downloaded”… but then, nothing happened…

The download wouldn’t install…

I re-checked if macOS Sierra does support my Mac, it does. So I tried restarting the AppStore-app, I tried logging out my iCloud/AppStore-account & than logging back in, I tried rebooting my Mac, I tried rebooting in SafeMode, I tried FirstAid in the Disk Utility app, I tried clicking 10 times on the “downloaded” button repeatedly, I tried installing the DeBug-menus & cleaning the AppStore cache, I tried deleting the hidden AppStore downloads folder… and I tried various command line solutions found online in the Terminal app… nothing helped… I am still stuck with the button under the macOS Sierra icon saying “downloaded”… and nothing happens…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

You are probably not (really) going to like this answer, because this will set you back hours & hours, in which you can’t use your Mac ; but it’s the only way known to solve this, and you need to have a recent TimeMachine backup (or alike) for it :

  1. shut down your Mac
  2. disconnect all cables  from your Mac (except your keyboard & mouse if you haven’t got a MacBook)
  3. restart your Mac, and be quick to press the [CMD]+[R] key-combo during startup (your Mac will now start up in Recovery Mode)
  4. in the “OS X Utilities” window that appears, select Restore From TimeMachine Backup and click Continue
  5. in the next “Restore Your System” window, click Continue
  6. now first make sure that your Mac can connect to your TimeMachine-harddisk by plugging in it’s USB-cable, plugging in your Ethernet-network-cable or connect to your WiFi router
  7. then select the hard drive that has your TimeMachine backups on it and click Continue
  8. in the next window, make sure you select the most recent backup that is from before you tried to download macOS Sierra ; only if you’re sure you’ve selected the right backup, proceed and click Continue
  9. now wait (or do something more useful in the mean time) and wait and wait ; this is going to take hours and hours ; putting back a TimeMachine backup this way will go a a speed of about 30BG per hour, so if your hard drive is 500GB it may take you about 15 hours (yes, an entire night and an entire morning…)
  10. finally, once the TimeMachine backup-reinstall is done, your Mac will restart… just let it
  11. then, when logged in, open the Mac AppStore-app and notice that the button under the macOS Sierra now says “download” ; click on it
  12. after the download has completed, you should now see the installer window popup on your screen… proceed from there…

that’s it… it’s simple, but very time-consuming…

enjoy !

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fixed : close that one window that blocks off the rest of Safari

Question :

While browsing the internet using Safari, I suddenly got a popup window which I can’t close. I expect it to be a scam, as there is only one button ; an OK-button.

As I don’t agree with the text I am supposed to agree on, and I don’t trust the sender either, I just want to close this popup-window. But the red ‘Close Window’-button is not responding, and I can’t switch to any other open browser windows either. Safari seems to hang.

I could of course restart Safari, but I have several windows open I haven’t saved yet and it would be a real hassle to loose them…

Isn’t there any way to shut this popup down without loosing any other open windows ?

 

Answer :

The popup you have encountered is most definitely a scam-popup, as there is no option to ‘not agree’.

It’s rather simple to get out of this awkward situation :

  1. shut down your WiFi-connection : goto the ‘piece-of-pie’ icon in the top menu bar of the Finder –> then select “Turn Wi-Fi Off” from the pulldown menu that appears
  2. pull the ethernet-cable from your Mac
  3. now you’re disconnected from the Internet, you can safely click on the OK-button in the popup-window
  4. the popup-window will now close, and you will now be able to normally use Safari again
  5. now close all other windows you don’t need to have open
  6. even though you could now reconnect to WiFi- or Ethernet-internet, it’s recommended to do the following first
  7. still without internet-connection, open a new browser window : File –> New Window (or just press the CMD + N key-combo)
  8. then open the Reading List sidebar in that fresh window : View –> Show Reading List Sidebar (or just press the SHIFT + CMD + 2 key-combo)
  9. now drag all open browser windows you want to keep to the reading list
  10. when done, clear Safari’s history and website data : Safari –> Clear History…
  11. in the popup window that opens asking you to “Clear history will delete related cookies and other website data.” click on the “Clear History”-button
  12. then close Safari
  13. then reconnect to the Internet (either via WiFi or Ethernet-cable)
  14. and reopen Safari

…you can now find all previously open windows in the Reading List

 

enjoy !

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