Category Archives: Common Customer Concerns

Easy Ways to Improve Mac Performance: Part II – Making Space (and Keeping It!)

startup-disk-full-warningIn our last blog, we went over some ways to identify how much space is left on your storage drive. If you are experiencing degraded performance on your Mac, this is the first place to begin troubleshooting. So now, let’s go one step further.

OK, you know how much space you have – now what?

Usually when you see advice about freeing up space or improving performance, you’ll get the recommendation to clear your cache or check your CPU usage and see what’s taking up all your flash memory. This will help, but only until you open your browser or run the app that uses the flash. It pays in the long run to take some time and really clear out your storage and organize your files in such a way that it stays clear.

So, from your adventures in determining drive space, you can now make some educated decisions about where to start looking for old files and some you can store off your device. Let’s explore some obvious but often overlooked places.

Obviously, take out the trash.

25 GB in trash light backgroundThis is a good place to start.  Unless you have set it up to empty on a schedule, everything you’ve put in the trash is still in there! If you want to see how much space it’s taking up, open it and then “Command” + “I”.  A large file will take a while to calculate (mine was – ahem – 25.55 GB – embarrassing). If you’re not sure you want to get rid of everything in there, go through and manually delete files (right click or “Control” + click then “delete immediately”).

Let’s go a little deeper, into less obvious places.

itunes logoNext, iTunes. Do you have old backups on your Mac? Open iTunes, then go to the “Preferences” menu and choose “Devices”. You might be surprised to see devices on there that you have replaced, erased and sold! Whatever is in there, if you select it and hover over it you’ll get some more detailed information (model, serial number, phone number, all kinds of stuff!). From this window, you can delete these old backups. Be sure to check “Movies” and “TV Shows” in iTunes, too. You might be surprised! If you purchased it on another device, you may see the cloud with arrow symbol next to a movie, which means it’s available to you but not on your device taking space.

reo essential*WARNING* don’t delete old music while you’re in cleaning mode. You never know when you’re going to need to hear some REO Speedwagon (there is a very specific mood for that and you won’t want to wait for it to download again).

Keep it up! You’re a space making machine!

Now, check your “Downloads” folder. This may be in your dock already, or you may need to open a Finder window to get to it. Much like the trash, there can be a lot hidden in here. There may be apps you downloaded to try and then deleted from your desktop, or documents you had to print .. who knows! This is a good reason to go through this folder (remember the preview trick of selecting files and pressing the spacebar to see a preview without opening) and organize a little better too.

You should see a noticeable difference in your space if you have been deleting files and backups. Sure, you’ve had the time of your life doing this! If you’d like it to stay spacious and performance saving, try these tips for keeping it that way.

Prepare for the future, keep it optimized.

storage recommendations system infoIf you use iCloud (and you really should use some type of cloud storage), consider using the options to optimize storage on your Mac. You can find these in the menu under “About This Mac” then “Storage” then “Manage”. Choosing “optimize storage” will store less accessed data in the cloud to free up space on your drive.

If you routinely back your iPad and iPhone up to your computer, you should choose the optimize option on those devices. Reducing the amount stored on your other devices will reduce the amount of space their backup uses. This will take some time to notice, since the backup size won’t reduce until the next time you back up.

Shrug.jpgSometimes, full really means full.

 

  • On many models, we can still install larger storage drives and if we replace a SATA drive with a solid state drive, you are going to feel like you got a brand new machine for nothing!
  • We can also back up all your data to an external drive and then you can delete big storage items from your device and access them via the external drive.
  • Sometimes it makes more sense to upgrade to a later model and we can help with that, too.

We see issues like this everyday and we know how to help. Hopefully, you found this blog helpful and if you still need some assistance, then contact us.  If you know someone this could help, please share!

We’re TechRestore, and we’re here to help!

Easy Ways to Improve Mac Performance: Part I – Finding Space

Noticing poor or slower response on your Mac?

myfacewhilewaitingforittoloadIf so, the first thing you’ll want to check is free space on the storage drive. Since everything is stored on it, space can run out quickly! In a perfect world, you would never go above 85% usage on your drive. Cloud storage and external drives are very helpful, but still don’t solve the issue completely. In part one of our two part blog on this topic, we offer some tips about how to identify how much space you have. 

If you’re running High Sierra or later, your Mac uses APFS (Apple File System) to store files more efficiently than ever before. If your Mac has a solid state drive (SSD), your smaller drive space goes a lot further, too. But even if you’re still on the old school SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) HDD (hard disk drive), you can improve performance and extend the life of your drive for *free*.

 

First, how much space do you have?

preview card for HDThe age old question. Let’s start by opening a Finder window. If your storage drive doesn’t already show in the left pane of the Finder window, you can grab the icon from the desktop and drag it there, it will automatically make the shortcut for you (it will still stay on your desktop, too). You can also go to the “Preferences” tab of the Finder menu and under “Sidebar” choose “Hard Disks” from the “Show these items in the sidebar” menu.

Now, if you select the drive from the sidebar and press “Command” + “I” a pop-up information card will show. Here you can see the file format type, size of the drive, when it was created .. you can even add comments to it if you like. If you want to know all the time how much space is on your drive, close that pop-up card and go back to the Finder window. Go to the “View” menu then select “show status bar”; this puts a line of information at the bottom of the Finder window showing various counts and the available space (if you use iCloud, some windows will show how much space is available in iCloud).finder-window-with-space-avail-showing-4115863596-1560295037911.png

As you’re knee deep in Finder windows now, do you see any that you don’t recognize? Is there a file with a name you don’t recognize? Is it a recipe or a Christmas list? Well, to quickly find out without opening another application (and potentially going down the proverbial rabbit hole), click on it ONCE to highlight it and then press the spacebar. This opens a preview window that should show enough to satisfy your curiosity without taking you too far off track. The window will also have a button in the upper right showing which application would open the file. You can close the window by clicking the “x” in upper left or just pressing the “Space” bar again. Pretty cool! (While you’re there though, you can select the file again – slowly – and change the name if you like.)

about this mac disk info viewDo you need color graphic representation and detailed graphs showing what kind of data is stored on your Mac? We got you! If you’re running Yosemite or later OS, click the Apple icon in upper left of your screen, select “About this Mac” then “Storage”. There is a LOT of information (hence the name) in this menu. You can check some other performance indicators here like flash memory and OS version. There are external links as well to see full specifications, check you Apple Care warranty status and several others. 

OS-X-El-Capitan-Disk-Utility-icon-full-sizeLastly, there is “Disk Utility”. Another simple graphic with much less detail about what type of files there are. From this summary window, you can also run “First Aid” to fix any potential errors on the drive and you can partition your drive. (If you are not sure what partitioning is, then now is not the time to play with that option button.)

In our next blog, we’ll show you some ways to weed out unneeded files in order to free up space. Not the temporary fix you can get by emptying a cache or the long drawn out (never finished) project of going over every single file. As you see in the screen shot above, there are some recommendations from Apple built into your OS, too.

Just so you know you’re not the only one who fills their computer with unknown files, check out this comedian’s perspective.

Wait, I have lots of space on my drive but my Mac is still slow!

If it looks like a full drive isn’t the problem after all, have us take a look at it for free. Our techs will perform a diagnostic to find the most common causes of degraded performance, then give their recommendations to fix it. Typically you will have an answer the same day. In many cases, we can even upgrade your storage to a higher capacity (not on some later models). In any case, you already know that TechRestore is here to help!

TechRestore Celebrates Dads & Grads

We know it sounds cliché.

We recognize that Dads and Grads deserve celebrations of their own.

Well, blame it on June. It’s 2019’s last chance to set the stage for the remaining six months. It is a month of school ending, vacation beginning, summer job seeking,  weddings, babies, graduations (continued from May!) and Dads.

good-free-photos-773344-unsplashGrads. High School or College, it is at once exhilarating and scary. No matter how much preparation you do, you don’t actually know any more about the next phase than you did before. You’re not ready until you jump in!

i heart dad

Dad. He may be helping his (probably not so little anymore) kid get a good start on the next part of their journey in life.  Maybe he’s finally enjoying the relaxing Father’s Day all those Hallmark cards urge him to.

Dads and Grads are inclined to appreciate a great value and, if lessons have been learned, they know the importance of a thorough and consistent backup.  At TechRestore, we do, too! We have products and services for every stage of Apple device ownership (and some non-Apple, too).

  • Certified Restored iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, Laptops & iMacs at great prices
  • Standard & extended warranties available on many pre-owned devices
  • Screen & component repairs to extend the life of these electronic investments (includes lifetime repair guarantee)
  • A large selection of cases & screen protectors (to hopefully prevent aforementioned screen repairs!)
  • Data Recovery in case there isn’t a consistent backup and then unforeseen spill, dunk or accidental “didn’t see it there before I sat down” incident
  • Competitive trade-in (for cash!) program
  • Comprehensive recycling program for devices with no cash value – includes complete data removal and zero waste to landfill

cropped laptops in lobbyWe offer these services everyday, but now, in celebration of that bursting at the seams month, we have a special that everyone (especially Dads and Grads) will want to take advantage of.

Now through June 16th when you purchase a Certified Restored laptop and an extended warranty (1 or 2 years), you will also get our Protection Bundle free! Think of it as past, present and future protection. Here’s what’s included:

  • A fabulous, reliable Apple laptop (MacBook, Air or Pro)
  • An extended warranty that covers unpredictable hardware failures
  • Data transfer from you old machine (or back up) if applicable
  • An external 1TB hard drive
  • Time Machine set up on the external drive

You can’t beat that with a stick (stick beating is not a warranty covered failure, FYI)! So head down any Monday through Saturday and see our offerings up close and in person. Our techs are the same guys out in the lobby helping you decide on your next Mac purchase or discussing how to restore your current Mac. We can also help over the phone and even on the web if you’re not local (or just prefer to stay home)!

From all of us at TechRestore:

Apple is Not Calling – iCloud ‘Hack’ Scams

iCloud iconHave you received a call from Apple Tech Support or Apple, Inc? How about an email letting you know that there has been suspicious activity on your iCloud account? Or a text message that your ID has expired or been compromised?

Let us just answer that for you: NO! You have NOT!  angry woman screaming at phone

No, we’re not watching you. We know that Apple will not call you (unless you have initiated a call from them). There is no strange activity in your iCloud or iTunes account; but there will be if you give these posers any information.

The bad news is: bad people will probably be using these same tricks on our grandkids someday. The good news is: they leave it all in your hands! The easiest way to avoid it: don’t answer, DON’T CLICK THE LINK, don’t answer the email. Enable two factor authentication; that way, if they do get your information, they still can’t get in.

If they call, we recommend just hanging up or not answering at all (again, Apple won’t be calling you unless you asked them to). Fortunately, most cell providers show the Caller ID as “Scam likely” so they’re a bit easier to spot.  These latest bold would-be thieves will even leave you a voicemail!

a-funny-kid-on-a-phoneOf course, if you’re feeling particularly feisty and have some pent up sarcasm, keeping them on the phone is a great outlet (you can waste some of their time and still be a good person, just do it with kindness; imagine the life that has brought them to this dirty work).

If they email you, move it to your spam folder and delete it. Don’t reply or open it (again, Apple will not email you unless you’ve initiated it, like a receipt or reply to an email you sent). You can also report it to the real Apple, Inc by sending an email to: reportphishing@apple.com.

If you do receive one of these calls, texts or emails, Apple has a lot of information and precautions you can take to keep your information and account safe.  kal-visuals-686507-unsplash

The scammer calls and emails are fairly easy to spot. Still, some are very official looking and sounding. The best practice, with anything that involves a log in ID and passcode is to visit the official website yourself (not clicking a link).

The bad guys get smarter, too and sometimes they’ll still get you. If you suspect identity theft, here is some useful information on spotting, stopping and reporting it.

If you haven’t received any calls or emails, but you’re getting pop-ups on your computer about viruses or other “urgent” security matters, those are FAKE too.

Want to know what’s real? The amazing service, breadth and depth of experience, low prices, lifetime repair guarantees and BIG SMILES you’ll find at TechRestore! We’re here to help.

 

TR new banner with phone number

Spring Cleaning Special for Laptops!

It’s that time of year again!

Spring is here and it’s almost time to open up the windows or even take your work outside. The days of  sunlight catching your laptop in the right light so you can see all the dust and dirt and pet hair … are also here.

dirty MBP keyboardYou don’t even want to know what the inside looks like. Let’s just mention that there are fans constantly moving air in and out to control the temperature of your laptop and it’s dirty in there. Never fear!!  Springtime also means it’s time for TechRestore’s Spring Cleaning Special.

Through May 3rd, give your laptop its best life at a special price.

Here are the details of our $135 Special:cleaning dirty laptop

  •  New 1TB external drive with backup of your computer
  • Upgrade to newest OS (Mac only)
  • Tune up
  • Inside & Out cleaning
  • Adware/Malware removal
  • Free diagnostics (we’ll make sure it’s running at peak performance)
  • No appointment needed
  • Service completed by next business day by a Certified & Experienced Tech

Needless to say, you’ll be leaving with a big smile and healthy, clean machine! This is a perfect service for students on Spring Break and even for an early Mother’s Day gift (very thoughtful, just saying!).

This service is good for walk-in and ship-in customers!  We’re open Monday – Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm. Call, email or stop by for all the details!white mac with TR logo

 

Stress Relief TechRestore Style

brain stress ballDid you know April is “Stress Awareness Month”? Stress can sometimes give us the extra energy we need to reach a goal and build coping skills. It can also cause health problems and anxiety if it gets unmanageable. From elementary school through retirement, we’ve all experienced it in varying degrees.

At TechRestore, we see stress on the faces of customers coming in with their broken devices. It seems things always break at the worst possible time: going on vacation? Working on an important school paper? Business proposal due next week? It’s stressful not knowing how long it will take or how much it will cost. Will it ever work the same? Can it be fixed? Will it need to be replaced? Is all that data lost?! 

STRESS!

dardan-671877-unsplashLuckily, we’re in the business of delivering experience beyond expectation. So whether your phone, tablet or laptop is broken because of stress  or you’re stressed because it’s broken,  TechRestore is here to help.

  • No appointment necessary
  • Fast and trusted diagnosis
  • Most repairs done same or next business day
  • Honest and up front repair quote
  • Lifetime Repair Guarantee
  • Friendly, knowledgeable, Apple Certified Techs

If your stress is about clutter or cash, we can help with that too! TechRestore will give you more for your old Apple device than just about anybody and you’ll walk out with your payment, no need to wait for a long processing time. Contact us today for more information!

Repair Solutions That Save Money and Make Sense

macbook apartYou can count on TechRestore to have repair solutions for your Apple and PC devices, no matter the age. The big challenge for older devices and brand new ones is that the part prices are typically astronomically high! Our priority, of course, is to source parts from trusted vendors and adjust our prices down as the market levels. We’re so confident in our parts, we offer our customers lifetime guarantees on most repairs.  So you can rest assured, when we add a new service, it has met all our quality criteria and it will exceed your expectations as well. 

We are always looking for new services that are beneficial to our customers.

logic board repair

That is why have been busy finding the best solution for board level repairs for all devices! These repairs require a high level of skill to complete, which can make the service difficult to find. The demand for board level repair has been more pronounced recently due to the quest to achieve smaller and thinner designs. Now, the main board has become more important than ever, as it typically contains the processor, video card, RAM, hard drive, and more. With all those components now tiny and attached to a board with solder, machines have a smaller amount of replaceable components inside. Repairing the board can be much more cost effective than replacing, saving you hundreds of dollars.  You can order this service online, start with a free diagnosis, send us a message or call 502-398-6456 or stop by for more details.

MB-Air-retina.jpegIf you have a new MacBook Air Retina, you can attest to the beauty of the new retina display. It perfectly compliments the thin, light design of the MacBook Air. Of course, laptops by nature are in harms way. We have seen cracked screens resulting from the most mundane activities, it happens. We hope that doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, TechRestore can repair your MacBook Air Retina screen starting at just $650. That includes our lightning fast turn around time, epic customer service and the longest warranty in the market.

 

white banner simplified

Holiday Reflections and the Gift of Backup

Traditionally, the holiday season is a time to reflect on the closing year; to note where improvements may be made, to recognize milestones and growth.

Holiday Hero!

Our TechRestore Family has experienced a LOT of growth this year! We’ve expanded our retail offerings with lots of quality accessories for your Apple products; we’ve expanded our service offerings, including offering logic board level repairs, improved water damage repair abilities and increased data recovery options. We’ve added Apple Watch repair and even services for PC’s.

All of this goes hand in hand with improving ourselves. As we grow ourselves, we grow our opportunities to help our customers. That’s the real core of TechRestore. We are family! The way we treat our customers is so remarkable because it is authentic. Our team members are family oriented and involved in their community outside of work, so it naturally spills over.

If you’ve been in for a repair, service or product this year, we’d like to thank you for your support!  If you haven’t, well, come check us out! You don’t have to break anything first, just come by and say hello (and see our lobby, it’s really beautiful!).

      

Merry Christmas! From our TechRestore Family to Yours!

Speaking of reflecting on the memories of the year, TechRestore is offering a terrific backup/data transfer special now through 12/31. Whether you’re giving or receiving a gift of tech or just want some insurance against data loss.Save yourself (or your loved ones!) time and aggravation with the gift of our backup and transfer services.

These services are available for PC and Mac (and they don’t have to be new! Bring in any computer)- for a limited time at this price.

  • Backup or transfer your data to a new 2TB external drive for only $149.99

  • Bring your own external drive and we’ll back up to it for $99.99

  • Save $50 when TechRestore transfers your data to your new machine for only $75 (reg. $125) and add an external drive for $30-$50 (depending on size).

All these specials are good between 12/26 and 12/31 (yes, we’ll be open until 3PM on New Year’s Eve), so hurry!

TechRestore – 4036 Taylorsville Rd (Hike’s Point Plaza), Louisville, KY

502-398-6456  or toll free 888-64-RESTORE

Open Monday – Friday 9am-6pm Saturday 10am-5pm Eastern Time

We Have To Do It – Christmas Talk in October

Ok. We’ll be the first to say it – we hate talking about Christmas before Halloween.

But we have to do it! It’s only weeks away (64 days)! We promise there’s a good reason to bring it up.

TechRestore, as many of you know, has the best

 Certified Restored Apple products.

There is no denying the fact that technology plays a significant role in day to day life. Being able to give someone a gift they can use everyday is worth some early planning! Whether it’s for your college student, parents, spouse, niece/nephew or yourself – when it comes to the gift of Apple tech, we’ve got you covered.

Our selection includes Apple Watch, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and iMacs. What if you and your  loved ones already have all the tech? You can also give the gift of accessories, protection, repair, check-up or cleaning. We have many, many options and we’re here to help you choose what fits your needs best.

At TechRestore, we stand behind our products with standard warranties and offer extended, full coverage warranties, too. We have years of expertise, specializing in Macs, which means you can shop and refer us with complete peace of mind.  If you’re still not sure, check out what our customers say on FaceBook, Google and Yelp

When you purchase from TechRestore, you’re supporting a small business! We’re involved in our local community and regularly sponsor local events and support local causes. Small businesses drive the heartbeat of America – we make our communities strong and we offer service that you won’t get at the big corporate outlets. Before, during and after the sale, TechRestore will be here for you!

Call, click or stop by to see our selection and get all your questions answered. If you’re a First Responder, Military or UPS employee you also qualify for special discounts!

We wish you a Safe & Happy Halloween (Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas coming soon!). From your friends at TechRestore!

 

Benefits for Our ‘Non-Local’ TechRestore Customers

We talk an awful lot about how awesome Louisville is (well, it IS!) and all the great things our walk in customers can enjoy. Beautiful store, convenient hours, Oregon Trail on the Apple II .. the list goes on and on.

We also have a national customer base that has been with us from the start and continues to grow year after year.

WE’RE HERE (AND THERE) TO HELP!

Most people (us included) hate to part with our Mac devices, even if they’re broken or acting up. We understand there are bigger things at stake than the inconvenience of time; the biggest concern is the integrity of the company doing the repair.

Here are some common obstacles people have shared (before they became our customers):

  • It’s expensive to ship and it takes a long time to get to Kentucky.
  • Is my data safe? (aka: Who are these techs?)
  • What if it’s weeks before I get my device back?
  • I don’t know how much it will cost – will I be overcharged?
  • Are the parts quality?
  • What if something goes wrong when I get it back?

Lost without my MacBook!

Now, we won’t claim that it will be less painful to put your MacBook, iPad or (heaven forbid!) iPhone in a box and hand it over to the UPS driver. We don’t like being away from our devices. It’s natural to worry and yes, you may feel a little lost.  Whether you use it for business or pleasure, most Americans are very attached.

Luckily, TechRestore was founded on the idea that we treat our customers the way we would want to be treated. Specifically, that means we cover all the bases, from setting up the repair, to shipping it, communicating along the way and getting it back fast. We also offer at least one year functional warranty on most repairs.

Here are a few ways we make it easy for you:

  • The most common repairs have a flat rate repair fee and can be ordered online or by phone.
  • Shipping options! Ship it yourself or take advantage of our low priced shipping – from UPS Ground to Next Day Air speeds. Kentucky is centrally located to more of the U.S. so most of our customers have actually found the shipping time shorter.
  • Our techs are Apple Certified (of course!) and have years of experience in the Apple ecosystem. Once it arrives, work begins within hours. We’ll be in touch if we need information or approval before we can move ahead and we’re always available to answer questions that come up for you.
  • Most parts are in stock or nearby. If something needs to be ordered, we’ll let you know when we expect it AND we trust the parts (hence, the minimum 1-year warranty!).
  • We’re here for you after the repair! We want to know that everything is working as expected. On the rare occasion it’s not, we work to make it right with the least inconvenience possible (we hate when stuff like that happens!).

Rest assured, folks. We are who we say we are. When our heads hit the pillow at night, we sleep soundly, knowing we have done our best, with integrity. If you have any doubts, look us up on Google, FaceBook, Yelp or the Better Business Bureau websites. Our customers love us because we treat every customer like family.

toy ninjas positon on ipad packaged in box

Ninjas protect an iPad as it’s being shipped.

OH, and did we mention … customers who mail their devices in actually get something our local customers don’t – NINJAS! To keep your device safe as it travels back to you!

We hope if you’re having any doubts, this has helped you feel more at ease. While there’s nothing better than having a reliable, trusted partner like TechRestore right in your own town – there’s also no substitute for honest, quality work.

CALL 888-647-3786 Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm ET and Saturday 10am – 5pm

Do you know a Mac enthusiast who could use a trusted source for service? Do them (and us) a solid favor and forward this to them! Referrals are the best (and they’ll thank you later!).

Have You Replaced the Battery in Your iPhone?

Apple gave haters the best belated Christmas gift ever last year. “Proof” that Apple was slowing down phones to “force” users to upgrade.  *MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA*

It’s not always easy being a Mac advocate. We love our iMacs, Mac Minis, Mac Pros, MacBooks, MacBook Pros and Airs, iPods, iPads and iPhones! We love the closed, secure, dedicated ecosystem. We love the company and its values, commitments and innovations. We even love the haters (and we love watching them realize they were wrong  come around). Every Mac fan knows that Apple does things we don’t immediately understand and we’ve learned over the years to …

… wait for it. (Steve Jobs taught us well with his “one more thing“.)

What Apple did in the wake of the controversy is what Apple Faithfuls knew they would do. They made it right! They issued an explanation and an apology for not being more transparent. A short time later, they started offering reduced cost battery replacements, then partial refunds to people who paid full price. In the next big iOS update, they introduced a “Battery Health” feature that lets you see what state your battery is in. Learn more on the Apple support site about how this feature works.

We have been surprised lately by the number of people who are still experiencing slow performance but haven’t taken any action. Your iPhone is a technological marvel (and priced accordingly!) and you ought to be getting every last drop out of it. Well, let us help you!

First, let’s clarify “battery life” and “battery lifespan”.

Your iPhone battery uses lithium-ion technology, which means it can pack faster charging, longer lasting, power density into a light, thin package. It charges up to 80% or so very quickly, then moseys along the last 20% to not strain the battery too much and extend it’s lifespan.

Battery life refers to the amount of time your device runs before needing a recharge. If it seems like your battery is not lasting as long as it should, there are lots of things you can do to prolong it. Here is quick list of the ones we think are most effective:

  • Turn off “Background App Refresh”. This function allows apps to refresh even when you’re not using them. You can either disable it entirely or leave it on and allow on selected apps to refresh. You can adjust this in >Settings >General >Background App Refresh
  • In iOS 11, you can go right to “Battery” settings to make energy saving changes. If your battery is low or you know you’ll be unable to charge it for a while, you can put your phone in “Low Power Mode”. You can also see (if you dare!) what processes are using your battery in % from highest to lowest. This is helpful, because you may be able to tweak how a certain app behaves if it’s hogging the battery.
  • Keep you phone’s iOS up to date. Apple is constantly improving, getting feedback, adjusting. Keeping your iPhone up to date (if you’re a stickler, wait a few days and read about what people are saying good and bad before you update) is a great way to make sure your device is being the best it can be!

There are approximately a BILLION articles with tips for saving battery life.  Here is one we really like that includes simple and pro level tips.

Battery lifespan refers to the amount of time your battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. Lithium-ion batteries chemically degrade over time. There is no magic way to make them last forever. There are many, many factors involved in determining how long a battery will last. How is it used? Heavy cpu and gpu usage will take a higher toll on a battery than phone calls, text, email and FaceBook surfing. Where is it used?  On a hot day, if you leave your iPhone in the car .. it may never come back. Repeated exposure to extreme heat or cold will shorten the lifespan of your phone battery.

  • Check your battery health in the >Settings >Battery >Battery Health (Beta) tab on your phone (iOS 11).
  • Don’t stick it on the charger every time you’re not using it. Let the battery get lower before giving it a full charge.
  • Keep your iOS up to date (maybe wait until the first update to a whole new version).
  • Check out Apple’s own performance enhancing tips.

Don’t give up on your iPhone!  TechRestore has been dedicated to Apple devices and the people who use them for many years. We see broken, degraded, abused, vintage, unlucky devices all day, six days a week! So what may seem like a deal breaker annoyance may only require a quick and inexpensive fix. For example, battery replacement on most models is just $29.99 and comes with a one year functional warranty.

 

Take it to an expert who cares. We also have gently used, Certified Restored products on sale all the time AND, if you are ready for an upgrade, we buy used devices for MORE than Apple and our closest competitors. We are also dedicated to a no landfill policy and will responsibly recycle at no charge.

Here’s hoping these tips have helped your iPhone battery

Live long and prosper“!

*disclaimer – beware the rabbit hole of video compilations for Live long and prosper ….

 

TechRestore Offers One on One and Group Training for Apple Devices

Yay! I got a Mac! …. Now what??

Have you ever wished you could sit down with someone and have them just show you how to use your iPhone, iPad or Mac?  Are you confused by the newest updates? Do you just know there are features you’re not taking full advantage of?

TechRestore answers the call!  We not only repair, refurbish and sell Apple products, we use them and we love them!  Now, we’re happy to offer 45 minute one-on-one instructional courses in our store.  These sessions cover basic applications and help you fully understand and efficiently use your Apple devices.

Currently we offer training for iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.  Topics range from using Touch ID to understanding iCloud to just getting started!  If you have a specific topic you want to cover that’s not on our listing, just call the store after you book your appointment.

Our trainings are available for $39.99 for one session OR you can save some and learn more with three sessions for $99.99.  We’re all about adding value, so rest assured, you won’t be left hanging.  We allow extra time for questions. Sessions can be booked here ,directly from our FaceBook page or just call or come by our store.

Groups can also take advantage of this great service!

Maybe you want to collaborate on a project, or share files and photos or get the most out of FaceTime!  Whatever your needs, you can trust TechRestore to be there with knowledge, experience and understanding. Team TechRestore has over 30 years of combined hands on Apple expertise and extensive experience in corporate and school site training.  Groups of THREE or more qualify for special discounts on in store training and larger group trainings can also be accommodated.

Recently, we added some short, focused training videos to our YouTube channel.  Head on over (and subscribe, because there are more coming soon) and check them out!  These are done right in the store (so you can hear all the life going on in the background) by our very own Daniel B. (the Bob Ross of all things Mac).  The first is a quick tutorial for Photos, the second is part 1 of understanding “Settings” in iOS 11.

We’re here to help!  Let us know what topics YOU would like to see, in person or in a video.  After all, who would we be without our awesome customers?

Don’t have an iPhone, iPad or Mac? We can help with that too!

TechRestore is a TRUE Mac specialist – we buy, sell, repair, use and LOVE Apple products. Come see our selection of Grade A devices, laptops and desktops for sale.  Of course, we don’t stop there!  We back up all our products with a full 90 day functional warranty AND we offer extended warranties that include accidental damage coverage.  See store for details.

We look forward to meeting you!

Cool and Interesting on FaceBook This Week

Ok, so we’re going to go a little further back than “this week” because we have been posting some weird and wonderful things  on FaceBook! Here are the highlights, in case you don’t follow us on FB.  If you don’t, you really should – we don’t always do a recap of postings on our blog, but we post fun facts, useful tips, new and weird tech from all over the web on our page everyday.

Leading the top 5 weirdest things we’ve ever posted: The Third Thumb.  Please, please watch the video and see if you can stop thinking about how helpful this could be!  I mean, some of those people don’t look too coordinated and they were doing just fine.  Coming in at honorable mention in the weird things category, the “10 Weirdest Emoji”, unraveling the mystery of the enigmatic emoji. (Que dramatic music.)

If you are looking for cool things to do with the incredible camera in your pocket, you may get some inspiration from Burton Rast. His 100 photos in 100 days were taken on his iPhone 6s.  He used an app to edit them to draw your eye to what he wants you to see – with incredible results.  If you have your own gang of photographers, put together an amazing project without a third party app, using Photos’ Shared Albums feature.  It’s the best reason yet to scatter and reassemble (and you may learn some things about your friends, families or co-workers, too).

Apple’s HomeKit is now available to try at select Apple stores in an unexpected way.  It goes way beyond “Why can’t you just get up and switch off the lights?”.  With the advances in Augmented Reality, we imagine it won’t be long before you can see it “work” in your home using just your phone.

With all this talk of photo taking and editing, the possibilities of AR, your iPhone battery may be feeling faint! Fear not, here are 10 in depth, pro-level tips to fix battery drain (some you may not know about, we didn’t!).

Speaking of Pro-Level .. Bill Nye the Science Guy.  The coolest things he’s ever done, well, only a few people really know that.  But for the vast majority, who have kindled or rekindled a curiosity of the sciences, engineering, life on earth – these are 11 OF the coolest things.  We feel like any one of us could increase this list to infinity (and BeYOND .. c’mon, you know you said it too).

If you’ve enjoyed the drone footage of Apple Park coming together like we have, well, it will soon be over.  For good reason, of course.  If you do a search for “drone footage of Apple Park”, there are approximately a gajillion. A nuisance at best and a real security risk at worst, especially as employees begin moving in to the massive new digs.

There were more tips and a “Happy Birthday App Store”!

If you have ideas or fun, weird, interesting facts to share, please comment!  If you dig what we’re doing and want the undying thanks of all your closest family and friends, please share us!  And be sure to follow along on FaceBook.

Have a great weekend!

Your friends at TechRestore

 

 

Those Annoying “Infected” Pop-Ups are Fake 100% of the Time

Say you’re casually surfing the web and suddenly there’s a pop-up window in the middle of your screen stating “Your computer is infected! Download this NOW! or call us NOW!”.  Even if you’re savvy enough to know it’s fake, you may still get an instant headache at the thought of detecting and removing this annoying message.  If it’s the first time this has happened or if you’ve been through a virus nightmare before, your reaction may be more dramatic.

Rest assured, those annoying pop-ups are fake – 100% of the time.

The pop-up is really there, but the service they are basically demanding you download and pay for is malicious and will not solve any problems.  In fact, in most cases, it will make the problem a million times worse.  Now, Macs are not immune to malware but the operating system is less vulnerable.  Sometimes, that makes Mac users more susceptible because they are not accustomed to seeing these fake warnings.  MOST malware (viruses, adware, spyware, ransomware, etc) targeted at Macs require you to take some action to allow it first.  Even if you don’t download it, or call, many times the pop-ups will continue and you will need to take some action to remove it from your system.

So where does this malware come from and how can you tell what it is?  Simply put, malware is any program whose purpose is to cause harm to your system.  There are subsets of malware, with varying degrees of harm.

  • A virus is a contagious code that infects other software and spreads itself through a system and to other computers.
  • Adware, while not malicious itself, can affect overall performance and be super annoying.  It’s basically uninvited commercials.
  • Spyware is malicious, in that it does what the name suggests: it spies on you.  It tracks activity and is usually difficult to detect, it also can cause unwanted pop-ups.
  • A worm is an attack that replicates itself and destroys user files and system files, disabling a computer or a network.
  • Trojans disguise themselves as harmless programs, but once opened unleash viruses and attack systems.
  • Ransomware is less common but has been in the news more lately, it gains access to a system and encrypts data files, demanding the user pay to have them decrypted.  This type is particularly dangerous and authorities should be notified immediately.
  • Scareware is that pop-up with an ominous warning. “Call now” or “Download Immediately”, IF you do call or download, there will always be future problems.

Most browsers (Safari, etc) and Mac OS will warn you if you’re opening a program from the internet (as opposed to the App Store).  If you visit sites where there is a lot of peer-to-peer networking or file sharing going on, you may consider an anti-malware that runs real time scans on your system.  If you don’t download from the internet, click unknown links in email and verify requests for personal information before giving it out, you may still want to install a “clean up” tool instead. You would run a program like this if you suspect malware.

Be sure you do your homework and read reviews from non-biased sources prior to paying for any anti-malware software.  For example, go to PC Magazine or MacWorld and then search from their site. Our techs install a free program called Malwarebytes when they clear malware from a computer to help you stay “clean” in the future.

If you have or suspect you have malware, TechRestore is here to help.  Our techs are pros at getting your computer in tip top shape, in case you’ve fallen into one of the traps listed above.

Be on Guard Against Mac Malware OSX/Dok

Macs are less vulnerable, by nature, to viruses and malware, but they are not impervious.  There is a real threat right now, that we feel compelled to share with you, so you can be on guard and spread the news to other Mac users.   It takes over the system, but it starts with a phishing email, hoping you will let it in.

Now, most of us know by now about phishing and how to check for fake emails.  Many companies have a dedicated link on their website to report suspicious emails, in fact.  Bad guys are bad, though, and they spend their time making it harder and harder to tell the true from the false (seriously, can we give them some better project to spend their time on?).

Please read and share this blog and the links below, which have some very helpful tips about how to educate yourself and hopefully avoid falling victim to these malicious attacks.

From the good folks at 9to5 Mac:

Nasty Mac malware bypasses Gatekeeper, undetectable by most antivirus apps

PSA: Now is a good time to educate your less-techy friends about ‘Apple’ phishing emails

A great article to not only remove, but to protect against in the first place, from MacWorld:

The best free methods for removing Mac malware, viruses and ransomware

And another, which goes into a bit more detail about this new threat, from Cult of Mac:

Gatekeeper won’t stop this ‘major scale’ Mac malware

And finally, a good overview of Mac general security tips from noodlemac:

My Favorite Mac Security Tips

Of course, if you don’t have time or don’t feel comfortable removing malicious programs yourself, we’re here to help!

PS – If you’ve been a subscriber for any length of time, you know we don’t usually post two blogs in one day.  We really feel like this is important and didn’t want to wait to pass it along.  Please share as you see fit and we’ll be back on our regular schedule next week!

To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

Do you use the cloud to backup your personal photos, documents, contacts, music and video? Is your data safe?  How does it work?  Is it worth it?

If you’ve ever lost a hard drive, or a phone you know – the pain is real.  Even worse, if you do have a physical backup you count on to restore your data, only to find out it’s been corrupted and you didn’t even know it.  Your precious data is gone and unless you have a small fortune to invest in getting it back, all you have are your memories.

So what is the cloud, exactly? Cloud storage refers to services that question-mark-cloudoperate large physical facilities full of servers.  The data you send to them is encrypted and only accessible by you (they cannot get it) using a password that you set.  You can sync automatically from nearly any electronic device (phone, desktop, etc). Most providers have multiple locations around the world and backup data in more than one physical place.  You can access your stored data from anywhere, by logging in to your cloud account.

You may feel like putting your data backup in someone else’s hands is just a way to have someone to blame if it gets lost.  That really couldn’t be further from the truth.  So what keeps some of us from getting on board with cloud storage?  With a cloud service, you can set up automatic backups of your data.  On your phone, you can even set it to back up every time you take a picture.  So what’s the hold up?

Here are a few common objections:

“I don’t have time.”  A lot of people feel this way.  The bad news is, if you have a TON of data, it will take a long time for that initial back up.  The good news, though, is that subsequent back ups will be very quick, mostly seamless.  You may also take into account how much time would be saved in the event of total data loss.

“I don’t know how to do it.”  Cloud computing has been around for a very long time now.  Before it became mainstream to offer it to the general public, large corporations and even governments were using cloud storage for their data (usually as a back up to a physical copy). Now that Amazon, Apple,Google, Dropbox, Box and many others are offering – even aggressively marketing – their storage services for free and for subscription, the interfaces are incredibly easy to use and setting up your backup schedule is easier than setting your DVR.

“It’s too expensive for the amount of space I need.”  Realistically, most of us need more than what the top companies are offering for free. Most services start off with 5GB for free and go up to 1TB, 2TB or even unlimited for a monthly or yearly subscription.  Depending on what you’re backing up (movies, for example, need a lot more space) you may be able to get by on 5GB.  Prices for subscription range from .99 per month (Apple for 50GB) up to $60 per year (Amazon unlimited).

“It’s not safe.”  Actually, it is safer than locally stored data.  The service where your data is stored cloud-storage-lockdoesn’t have access to your data, they only provide the space (be sure to read the privacy policy no matter what).  The real vulnerability to your data is the security you provide.  Use a rock solid password and change it regularly.  Use physical back up in addition to the cloud and use several cloud services (OneDrive for your documents, iCloud for contacts and photos, for example). The most valuable benefit is that your data is safe from malware and ransomware in the cloud. As the use of cloud storage rises in popularity, you can expect that optimization and security will also improve.

At the end of the day, each person has to decide how important their data is and what’s the best way to protect and preserve it.  The best advice you can take is your own!  Make a list of what’s important to you, what your concerns are and shop for a cloud service that fits the bill.