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Mac Emergency Guide: What to Do When Mac Problems Arise

Mac Emergency Guide: What to Do When Mac Problems Arise

When you use your Mac for everything, the possibility of inevitable meltdowns can keep you on your toes a bit. However, being careful about things doesn’t always prevent a problem from occurring: there always the possibility that your Mac won’t start up, or it could start up but then present you with a message you probability wouldn’t want to see. While you shouldn’t dwell on these worries, this guide will hopefully inform you of what you should do once an issue does occur.

Inaccurate Battery Life

macemergencyguide_inaaccuratebattery

    You just charged your Mac fully and are ready to go on your trip. You start up the Mac in the airport terminal during a layover and find out that your Mac is almost dead! What happened between then and now? Nothing, so why is the Mac almost “dead”? This usually happens when your Mac’s battery is un-calibrated. A pop-up warning comes up when your Mac’s battery is low, and once the pop-up occurs, your Mac turns off and waits for you to charge. An un-calibrated battery will send this pop-up and turn off as usual, even with an almost full battery.

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    How do you perform a calibration? Once your Mac is fully charged, use your Mac as usual and let your Mac die out. Once dead, allow your Mac to charge in full. That’s it! Your Mac is fully calibrated, and all battery totals that show up from now on are accurate. If percentages are still off, then it may be time to get a new battery. To find out your battery’s capacity, click the Apple symbol at the extreme upper left > About This Mac > More Info. Then, under “Power” you can view battery info.

    Full Startup Disk

    macemergencyguide_fullstartup2

      The years of heavy Mac use, saving every photo and video that comes by you, has caught up with you. Your Mac’s startup disk is full, which means that your Mac doesn’t have enough memory to even, well, start up! Due to this, you can’t go back and login to delete the files—this won’t work. Instead of just going out and purchasing a new Mac, a more reasonable solution is to purchase an external hard drive. Once you’ve provided your computer with more than enough memory to start up again, you should then move toward clearing out your Mac.

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      One program I always recommend is Magican. By presenting you with all the unnecessary files that is filing up your Mac, Magican allows you to clear files both present and hidden. Another great tip is to add your music and multimedia to your external hard drive—both alleviating the weight from your Mac, and providing you with a safe place for your precious library in the case of any future crashes.

      A “Dead” Mac

      You may have encountered a situation in which your Mac just isn’t starting up at all. Like a fever in a human body, a Mac that won’t start can be the signal of many things. Our first task is to identify what the problem is, so let’s go in order from solutions to the most trivial problems that may cause a “dead” Mac, to the most serious. First off, connect your Mac to a power source and let it charge until the light turns green.

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      macemergencyguide_deadmac

        This may sound too simple to fix anything, but you’d be surprised by how many people have encountered this problem and discovered all their Mac needed to do was charge. After a full charge, if you find that your Mac still won’t startup, then something less trivial may be occurring. Next, while we’re at it, let’s unplug all unessential connections to the Mac. Many times, when they are acting up, this can also cause the Mac to act up as well. Still not working? You may have to start up with your OS X installation CD, which will restart your machine from the beginning.

        A Stuck CD Disk

        Many times, the disk isn’t stuck if it doesn’t eject immediately after pressing the button. In many cases, this is done to prevent you from accidentally ejecting a CD, like when you’re watching a movie. If you want to increase the volume, guess which button is right beside the volume key? The eject button! You don’t want to accidentally eject your movie, so in many cases, when you want to eject a “stuck” CD, try pressing the eject button for three to five seconds. After releasing, wait another three to five seconds for the CD to come out. Still not working? No problem just yet.

        Now, go to the desktop and find the CD there. Once found, click and drag the CD file over the trashcan. No, it won’t delete its contents; this is a second way to eject a CD. Simply drag over the trashcan and release, but if that doesn’t work, right-click and eject the pesky CD from there. These are usually the solutions to this problem.

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        Forgetting Your System Password

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          An issue that you hope to never encounter is forgetting your Mac’s login password. Your Mac just wants to do its job and protect your stuff, but you forgot your password. What do you do? First, you’ll have to look for the installation CD. After inserting and pressing the power button, immediately press and hold “c”, causing your Mac to startup with the inserted CD, at which point you will then be asked to reset the password. Once done, restart the computer and follow the directions. It’s simple, but something no one wants to have to do every day. Choose a password that is strong and memorable.

          Do you have a tip for solving an emergency Mac issue? Is there an issue you’d like covered? Let us know in the comments below!

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          40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

          40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

          Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

          There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

          Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

          It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

          Productivity apps to help you get things done

          1. OmniFocus

          This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

          Download it here.

            2. Forest

            Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

            Download it here.

              3. Things

              Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

              Download it here.

                4. 30/30

                Recently covered here at Lifehack

                , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                Download it here.

                  5. Any.Do

                  A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                  Download it here.

                    6. PocketLife Calendar

                    This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                    Download it here.

                      7. Asana

                      We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                      , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                      Download it here.

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                        8. ToDoist

                        This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                        Download it here.

                          9. FlowTasks

                          From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                          Download it here.

                            10. Calendars 5

                            This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                            Download it here.

                              11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                              A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                              Download it here.

                                12. Due

                                A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                Download it here.

                                  13. Checkmark 2

                                  I use this app

                                  for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                  Download it here.

                                    14. TeuxDeux

                                    Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                    Download it here.

                                      15. Wunderlist 

                                      Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                      Download it here.

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                                        16. Nirvana

                                        For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                        Download it here.

                                          17. Priorities

                                          An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                          Download it here.

                                            Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                            18. Productive

                                            With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                            Download it here.

                                              19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                              You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                              Download it here.

                                                20. Streaks

                                                This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  21. Remember The Milk

                                                  Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    22. Day One Journal

                                                    When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                      23. Evernote

                                                      Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        24. Pocket

                                                        You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                        Download it here.

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                                                          25. Sync.Me

                                                          This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            26. Droplr

                                                            One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              27. Dropbox

                                                              Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                28. iDolly 

                                                                In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  29. Soulver

                                                                  It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                    30. Captio

                                                                    A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      31. Drafts

                                                                      A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                        This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                        Download it here.

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                                                                          33. Doodle

                                                                          This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                            I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                              A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                36. GoodReader

                                                                                This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  37. LogMeIn

                                                                                  Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                    38. 1Password

                                                                                    There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                      You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                      All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        40. Truecallers

                                                                                        Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                          Reference

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