fixed : my Mac can’t unzip this file I’ve downloaded

Question :

Someone just sent me a file over WeTransfer. After downloading it turns out to be a .zip-file, but when I double-click on it to unzip as usual, the Archive Utility does start the unzipping but ends in an error each time, claiming the .zip-file is broken.

I’m pretty sure the .zip-file isn’t broken… what can I do ?

 

Answer :

Even though OSX/macOS’s built-in Archive Utility is your default choice for zipping and unzipping files and folders, it turn out not to be the best choice for unzipping. (Especially .zip-files created on Windows PCs seem to be problematic every now and then…)

The solution is simple : just use an other app to unzip.

There are various payed alternatives like Stuffit Expander and WinZIP, but there’s no need to buy an app for this as most FREE apps ( like The Unarchiver ) will do just fine.

To install & use another app to unzip do this :

  • download a FREE zip/unzip-app from the Mac AppStore
  • after installation, lookup the .zip-file on your Mac ( it will probably still be in your Downloads folder or on your Desktop )
  • right-click on the .zip-file’s icon and select “Open with…” from the pop-up menu
  • then choose your zip/unzip-app from the list
  • …and wait for the file to unzip

That’s it ! enjoy 😉

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fixed : deleting photos to free up memory on your iPhone

Question :

I have a 16GB iPhone running iOS10, and it freezes whenever I want to take a photo… I get an error message that there’s no memory left on my iPhone so I can’t continue…

I checked and it turns out that I have literally 1KB (yes, only 1KB, not even 1MB…) left as free memory… and most of my 16GB is occupied by Photos.app (about 12GB)…

How do I free up space without deleting valuable photos and videos ?

 

Answer :

The best way (if not the only) to free up space on your iPhone will be to delete a lot of photos and videos, in your case. The way to do that without running the risk of throwing away photos and videos that you would have liked to backup it this :

  • connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB-cable
  • open the Photos.app on your Mac
  • click on your iPhone, which is listed on the left side
  • now, in the main window, go to the photos that are displayed as ready to import (photos that aren’t on your Mac already are automatically filtered out by Photos.app
  • from that selection of (un-imported) photos and videos, select ONLY those photos you want to keep
  • import that selection onto your Mac
  • first check if all photos and especially all videos (as those are not being transferred automatically through iCloud syncing) you selected have been imported
  • then unplug your iPhone’s USB-cable
  • then delete all video’s you can, and if that isn’t enough, delete all photos older than about one year from your iPhone
  • Please, note that iCould will only contain the most recent photos (usually not the videos)
  • now, restart your iPhone by simultaneously pressing the two main physical buttons : both the menu-button (just below the screen on the front side) and the ON/OFF-button (top side or right side)
  • then check if you have enough free space on your iPhone now
  • if not, delete more photos from your iPhone (in the way explained above)
  • …then restart your iPhone

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fix/tip : how to handle spam iCloud Calendar event invitations ?

Question :

Lately, I received some spam event invitations in Calendar and in my notifications, both on my iPhone/iPad and on my Mac. What can I do to get rid of them ?

 

Answer :

This is a very new and very annoying kind of spam that especially targets iCloud. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t have a proper solution for this problem yet.

While we are waiting for Apple to come up with a solution (let’s hope it will be an “only contacts can send Calendar event invitations” option or a White List or Black List option), there are some things you can do to minimise the annoyance :

BEWARE : do NOT react to the invitation by clicking either “Maybe”, “Decline” nor “Accept” as each of those will send a notification to the sender ! doing so acknowledges to the sender that your iCloud account is active and will therefore trigger more and more spam Calendar invitations for you ! 

Apart from disabling iCloud Calendar event invitations altogether (which you can do on the iCloud.com website), the best option for now is this :

  • in Calendar-app on your Mac, go to File –> New Calendar
  • there you can create a new calendar ; you’ll see it appear in your list of calendars and name it something like “Spam” (or “Trash” or something alike)
  • then look up the spam Calendar entry in your Calendar and right-click on it
  • in the popup-list that appears, select Calendar –> Spam
  • now it will be in your Spam calendar
  • in the list of calendars (on the left) you can now uncheck the Spam calendar to hide this spam event from view
  • now, right-click on the “Spam” name in the list of calendars (on the left)
  • in the popup-list that appears, click on “Get Info”
  • in the pulldown-window that appears, put a checkmark at “Ignore alerts” and click “OK”
  • note : even though it’s annoying, learn to live (for now) with the fact that the spam event invitation will still be listed in your list of Calendar event invitations… if you accidentally clicked on it, click outside the popup-window to close it, do NOT click “Maybe”, “Decline” or “Accept” ! …and yes, the number-badge on your event inbox is annoying and confusing…
  • then, if you see a notification popup floating above your Desktop top right, click on “Close”, to make it go away… do NOT click “Accept” !
  • then, on your iPhone (and/or iPad), open the Calendar-app and click on “Calendars” (bottom middle, between “Today” and “Inbox”)
  • in the Calendars screen that opens, under ICLOUD, find your spam calendar (listed as “Spam” or whatever you named it)
  • first, uncheck the checkmark in front of it (to make the spam calendar invisible)
  • then click on the “i” (info) icon behind it
  • in the Edit Calendar screen that opens, scroll down, and make sure that at NOTIFICATIONS, the switch at “Event Alerts” is OFF
  • then click “Done” to save and exit and click “Done” again to also exit the next screen

Now if you get new spam event invitations, put them in your spam calendar to make them invisible also :

  • either [1] on your iPhone (or iPad) : look up the spam event in your calendar (not in your Inbox), it will be a greyed-out event, click on it and in the next screen (“Event Details”) at “Calendar” set it to “Spam” (or whatever you named your spam calendar)
  • or [2] on your Mac : look up the spam event in your calendar (not in your Event Inbox, nor in your Notifications), it will be a greyed-out event, right-click on it, then set Calendar to “Spam” (or whatever you named your spam calendar)

If you really want to get rid of all spam events, spam event badges and spam event notifications you can also completely delete your spam calendar, by doing this :

  • either [1] on your iPhone (or iPad) : in Calendar-app, click on “Calendars” (bottom middle) and in the next screen (“Calendars”) at “Spam” click on the “i” (info) icon ; then in the next screen (“Edit Calendar”), scroll down and click on “Delete Calendar”
  • or [2] on your Mac : in Calendar-app click on “Calendars” until the list of your calendars appears at the left, then go to “Spam”, right-click on it and select “Delete” from the popup-list

That’s it…

However : if you only get very few spam event invitations, you can delete the “Spam” calendar each time, but if you frequently get spam event invitations that will cost you too much time, don’t bother doing it each and every time…

Good Luck !

Let’s hope Apple comes up with a proper solution soon 😉

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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 : trackpad not responding when clicking

Question :

I had left my MacBook Pro (Late 2008 running OSX 10.11 El_Capitan) running and had forgotten all about it… after completely recharging everything seemed to be okay on first sight, but it turned out that even though I could use the (internal) trackpad to move the cursor, I wasn’t responding at all to any clicking on it. I therefore had to connect a USB-mouse. Even after restarting, the trackpad was responsive to moving the cursor, but not to clicking…

Is my MacBook’s trackpad broken ? Or is there a software solution I could try ?

 

Answer :

Even tough it’s not possible to completely rule out the scenario that your trackpad is broken, chances are you will be able to get it working properly again by an action that is normally referred to as “Resetting the PRAM”. Here’s how to do that :

  1. shut down your MacBook
  2. take out all cables and USB-sticks (this is just to rule out complications)
  3. restart your MacBook using the POWER-button
  4. immediately press and hold the key-combo [CDM]+[ALT]+[P]+[R]
  5. make sure you do so while the screen is still black
  6. when the screen lights up in light grey, you’ll hear the startup-chime
  7. now release all your fingers from the keyboard before the Apple-logo appears
  8. let your MacBook startup fully, then test if all works as expected
  9. then reconnect any cables and USB-sticks needed

Note : no worries if you act too slowly or too quickly ; if you are too late to press the key-combo, just let your MacBook startup, then shut down and try again ; if you keep pressing the key-combo for too long, you will hear the startup-chime multiple times (you will have reset your PRAM multiple times, but that’s no problem) so just release the keyboard, and just let your MacBook startup and you’re done… 😉

enjoy !

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fixed : Scanmarker app icon is very pixelated

Question :

I have recently bought an Scanmarker Air scanner-pen. Seems like a great device. I’ve also installed the OSX-app. Strange thing is that the app’s icon is very pixelated.

How can I change that ?

 

Answer :

The official icon of the current Scanmarker app for OSX is still a 32x32pixels icon, which is a very old that shouldn’t be used in OSX (where 152x152pixels icons are standard).

Simplest way to fix this is to download an appropriate icon of higher resolution and paste that onto the app. Here’s how to :

  • either download the original icon here (still fuzzy since it is a 300x300pixels icon enlarged to OSX-native 152x152pixels) :  Scanmarker Android app icon
  • or download the icon of the iOS app here : ScanmarkerAir iOS icon
  • or download the diap desktop icon here :ScanmarkerAir OSX icon
  • after downloading your preferred icon, do this :
  • select the Scanmarker app in your Applications folder
  • press [CMD]+[I] to open the “Info” popup menu
  • then click on the icon (top left) and a blue outline will open around it
  • then open the file (with the icon as a picture) you’ve just downloaded in Preview
  • in Preview press [CMD]+[A] to select the entire image
  • then return to the Info-popup window, and press [CMD]+[V] to paste the new icon
  • now your Scanmarker app has a better looking icon
  • to make sure it also shows on the Desktop, delete the old Scanmarker alias from the Dock, then open the Scanmarker app again and right-click on it’s icon in the Dock and select “Keep in Dock” from the popup menu

That’s it !

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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