Category Archives: TechRestore Products & Services

What’s To Love: Maps in iOS 13

There are many great, new features in iOS 13.

iOS 13 was released mid-September, there have been 2 updates since. There are too many major and minor updates and improvements to cover here. If you want the full scoop, you can get it from Apple directly.

apple map iconNow, let’s be honest. Apple Maps has not been winning hearts from the beginning. In fact, we have done repairs for damages sustained while USING Maps! iPhones have taken the brunt of anger towards this seemingly helpful app.  Have you ever been led in a circle by Maps? It feels like the navigation voice is laughing at you. Doesn’t it seem like it’s trying to get you lost sometimes? Ever wanted to chuck your phone under a bus or into the bay and watch with glee as that stupid nonsense voice said “calculating route”?!

No? Oh, neither have we then.

Has Maps redeemed itself?

flyover_pull_up_menu_50Well, there are some pretty great and so far useful features that are helping lower blood pressure somewhat (or at least not raise it!). We’ll stop short of hugging the phone, but it would be wrong not to acknowledge the vast improvement. Apple software designers must know that for every loud complaint they hear, there are a million uttered. It seems they listened.

First, there are the integrations. Maps can detect your calendared events (assuming they have an address entered), mark frequently visited places and mark your parked car (in Apple CarPlay it’s automatic, but you can do it manually by selecting the “i” in the upper right corner).

maps showing stoplightsSecond, the navigation voice is more natural. It still sounds like a computer, but rather than telling you to turn right in 1,000 feet (because you can measure feet in your head as you drive, right?), it will tell you to turn at the next light. If that isn’t specific enough (or sometimes the lights are obstructed by large vehicles or trees, etc), you can now SEE the lights on the map as you drive! Stop signs also show, which is so much more helpful than just telling you the distance to your next direction. You will also get more helpful information when there are multiple turn lanes to choose from. No more roulette or trying to read ahead on the turn by turn directions.

share eta ios 13 mapsThird, you can share your real time ETA with anyone and it will update as you make your way to your destination. That means if traffic gets worse, there’s a delay on the public transit or you have to stop for gas, etc, and you’re meeting someone at your final destination, they’ll know (within reason) exactly when to expect you. No more calling or texting updates and guesses; you can just (try to) relax and enjoy the rest of your journey.

Do you like to fly? Or virtually fly?

Apple has upgraded and added some really helpful and cool features in this version, too. If you travel a lot to different places, you may find the Airport maps really helpful. Not only will they tell you where your gate is, but also what shops are available before and after security. If only they could give you a real time of the Starbucks line …

You may remember seeing pictures and hearing reports of  Apple Maps cars driving across various countries and loads more theories about “why”. Well, it turns out, Apple had decided not to rely on third party map developers *coughGooglecough*.

maps with lookaround iconIt also turns out that one of the coolest features on the new Maps is “look around”. You may see it as a tiny pair of binoculars on the map itself when you search a place or on the drag up menu on after you search. Try typing in “San Francisco” or “New York” and then either tap the tiny binoculars or choose “look around” from the drag up menu. You get a street view of the place and you can change position and move your phone to, well, look around! It’s only available in select cities for now. 

Apple has also added a cool “Flyover” virtual reality view and tours of select cities and landmarks. While you’re checking out these cool places, you may want to make a list of sites you’d like to visit someday or learn more about. Well, guess what? That’s part of this feature.

So next time you’re NOT driving, be sure to check out some of these fun new features in Maps. If you need a newer iPhone or a bigger screen, stop by or visit us online. We’re already easy to find, but Maps will make it even easier. TechRestore has iPhone 6s and newer iPhones available now (and financing is a SNAP, if you need it!).

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4036 Taylorsville Rd – Louisville, KY 40220  * 502-398-6456 *

macOS Catalina & Malware

Malware Pop-Ups after upgrading? Never fear ..

Lately, we’ve had customers coming in with malware issues after upgrading to Mac OS Catalina. This is due to the enhanced security in Catalina, which scans all programs for malware and other malicious content. It’s a GOOD thing, right? Well, usually it is .. but if there’s been malware hiding, you may need some assistance to get secure again. TechRestore can help! Our software repair service is just $75 and for a limited time, we’re offering 10% off this time and frustration saving service.

macOS-CatalinamacOS Catalina may be the most secure platform for Mac users so far. And it will continue to improve. You can thank Gatekeeper and the thoughtful programmers and designers for the increased security and decreased slow downs.

Gatekeeper is the outer layer of security in macOS and is designed to keep malicious software from running on your Mac. It ensures that all new apps you install (from the App Store or the internet) have been checked for known security issues by Apple prior to running for the first time and periodically after that.

 

macos-mojave-notarized-app-alert-dark

The new default security policy (notarization) in OS Catalina requires four checks on all software. The four checks are: Does it contain known malicious content? Has it been tampered with? Is it signed by a developer with ID? Does the user want to run it? (This last check is where you will usually get the pop-up asking if you want to run it.)

macos-mojave-maiicious-app-alert-dark

Once a program has passed after initial scan (for new and existing software) it will run faster, since it won’t have to pass through Gatekeeper multiple times. Of course, you can allow exceptions. If you download programs from a source you trust that doesn’t hold an Apple Developer ID, they won’t pass the Gatekeeper. You will need to allow the app manually in System Preferences > Security & Privacy.  Locate the blocked app, click “Open Anyway” and when the pop up appears again, select “Open”. This will allow the app to open in the future just by double-clicking, just like any authorized app.

macos-catalina-system-preferences-security-general-open-anyway

If you like to “nerd out”, you can watch the WWDC “Advances in macOS Security” session from June of this year.

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TechRestore – Repair – Renew – Revive – Relax

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Delivering experiences beyond expectation.

From the first phone call, all through the service and even after our transaction is complete, we want TechRestore to be the name that comes to mind for repairing, renewing, reviving or even recycling your electronics.

When we think of the “Restore” part of our name, there are three main services that come to mind. These three touch just about every stage of  desktop and mobile device ownership. The point is: wherever you are with your devices, TechRestore is here to help.

mac repairRepair

Our technicians are Apple Certified. That means, in addition to their extensive repair training and experience, they have passed training and testing for proprietary Apple technology and practices. The rubber meets the road in our shop, where repairs are completed six days a week.

There are many repairs we offer as standard, bundled repairs (screen repairs, etc). For those that fall outside the norm we offer free diagnosis. More often than not, the tech will know what the issue is right away; because this is what we do! We really only see broken stuff, so the uncommon is pretty common around here!

As if all that weren’t enough: most repairs include a 90 day warranty and some even go as far as a lifetime guarantee.  That means we stand behind our work, we trust the parts we use and we want you to be confident when you choose TechRestore for your repair.

Renew

stethoscope on laptop keyboard

When you invest in a laptop or desktop computer, you want to make sure it will last for a good, long time. In the modern world, an “older” device may only be a couple of years old! Let TechRestore help you keep it running like a workhorse as long as possible. With an update, an upgrade in storage or RAM, a thorough cleaning or a new battery, your old computer could run like new. 

If it is time to upgrade, you can trade-in your current Mac desktop or laptop (or any Apple product) for same day payment. We pay an average of at least 10% more for your used Apple devices than anyone else. In the market for a newer one? Check out our selection of Certified Restored devices online or in person. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us and see if we can help you find the perfect deal on the device best suited for your needs. We’ll even help finance it if needed (through our partnership with SNAP Finance).

dusty stack of computers

Revive

Do you have a drawer (or closet) full “dead” iPhones, iPads or Macs? You don’t want to keep them, but it’s hard to let them go, too. Well, TechRestore can help! We have a couple of options, depending on what you want to do.

  • Bring it back to life!  Do you know someone who could use it? Even the oldest devices usuApple IIe in the lobbyally have some usefulness. We have revived many old Macs (and remember: free diagnosis). We even have a functioning Apple IIe in the lobby! (Come play Oregon Trail on it, old school!) We love these old dogs and they still hold up; a testament to Apple ingenuity.
  •  Recycle it! It is not compostable, but the parts can be recycled. Either as whole parts or individual elements. TechRestore is a responsible recycler. We’ll even make sure your data is securely erased (or put it on a backup drive!).

Relax

9.23.17 Grand Opening customer service

At TechRestore, we make it all stress free. No appointment required, convenient Monday through Saturday hours and friendly, knowledgeable staff.  Rest assured, you can trust us to be up front, friendly and ready to help!

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Fake iPads and Real Friends

“My friend said if I can get it fixed I can have it ….”

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_d7

As soon as we picked up the iPad, we knew: it’s a fake. The size is right, the weight is right, it has the buttons, a charge port, touch ID, front and rear facing cameras – but we know. No matter how many times you plug this in, it will never turn on.

We do have to say that whoever put this together, took a lot of time and effort to do it. Obviously, it’s not meant to fool anyone for long. One long push on what looks like the home button will knock it off the little spring, and that’s just the beginning.

Here are a few (though not obvious) signs it’s a fake.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_d8

Franken-Pad

 

gold air 2

Real iPad

We’re not sure where they got this back case.  If you didn’t know better, it’s pretty convincing. It has a serial number and everything! Unfortunately, all the information on the back appears to be from an iPad 2nd generation (2011), from the Model number (A1325) to the serial number. Come on! It’s printed in black (which Apple never did on a gold case) with a black Apple logo? 

You can’t see in the picture, but the front “glass” on this iPad is obviously plastic. It doesn’t have that pleasing smooth glass feel. The home button is a different color than the white border on the front. You may be able to see that the button seems a bit “sunken” too. It also felt strange when pressed, a little too “bouncy” (until it fell off the spring inside).

gold ipad air 2 front

Real iPad 

Version 2

Franken-Pad

They’re also clearly mixing different models, with the “flash” on the back camera from the 2018 iPad Pro. Our point is: someone engineered this “Franken-Pad” and sold it to an unsuspecting  and hopeful buyer. But it is as empty as the bubbles in beer (as the old song goes).

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_63.jpg

Here’s what friends are for.

We did gently break it to our customer, that wherever this abomination came from, it was not Apple. And while we (or anyone else!) couldn’t fix it, we were able to offer him a sweet deal on a REAL iPad with a 90 day warranty. In return, he let us keep the iPaperWeight so we could write about the perils of buying from untrusted and untrustworthy sources.

Of course, we know not everyone is ill-intentioned and certainly not many would go to the lengths this fraudster went to. Unfortunately, if you have a device to sell, the stranger on the other side of that transaction may view you with suspicion (and vice-versa). TechRestore can help! We will not only give you more than just about anyone for your older Apple devices, pay you (not with gift cards or store credit) the same day and make sure your data is securely removed; we also offer a safe, trusted place to trade it in. 

While you’re here, take a look at our in-store inventory and accessories! See something you like? Need more cash? A quick application to SNAP finance and you could walk out with a new (to you) laptop, iPad, iMac or iPhone with a 90 day warranty (and option to upgrade it). Our Apple experts will help you choose the model that best fits your needs and show you features you may not have known were available.

We love sending customers out the door with a smile – no matter how they came in – and we’re grateful to do it everyday!

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New Device Fever – TechRestore’s Trade-in Cure

The Fever

apple invite 2019 logo only

Tomorrow, September 10th, Apple hosts its annual September Event. This year’s invitation reads “By Innovation Only”. The name suggests what the tech world awaits with bated breath: something new from Apple.

Inevitably, the new device announcements trigger a wave of trade-ins; as an eager public upgrades their older devices for the shiny new latest and greatest. This fever is fanned by the revelations of what the software announcements from June will translate to in the new devices. A new generation: better, stronger, faster.

 

The Cure

ipad with cash symbol

At TechRestore, we’re ready for your trade-ins! We love your older tech! In fact, now and always, TechRestore pays at least 10% more than Apple for your used device. In addition, you don’t have to spend your trade-in cash here (though we have a lot of great stuff you could use it for: laptops, iMacs, iPhones, cases, speakers, keyboards … you get it). You’ll walk out the door with your payment on the same day. We’ll also make sure all your data is securely erased and all your personal information is removed.

What about those broken or “ancient” devices? Well, if we can’t fix it (or you don’t want to) or it doesn’t have any trade in value, we will happily and responsibly recycle your old device at no charge to you.

The Bonus

Now, what if you’re not in the market for a brand new iPhone, Apple Watch, MacBook Pro or whatever else is announced? Good news! TechRestore has a great selection of Certified Restored devices for sale. You can take advantage of our trade-in program and if you still need some cash, we offer quick financing, too.

Come see (and even purchase) some of the devices we have on hand here.

Call or stop by for more information! Be sure to watch the Event tomorrow if you can!

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4036 Taylorsville Rd (Hikes Point Plaza) * Louisville * 502-398-6456 * 888-647-3786

Mon – Fri 9a-6p * Sat 10a-5p Eastern Time

www.TechRestore.com

Clean It Up – Speed It Up – Back It Up: Back to School Laptop Service Special

Ready or not, the long days of summer are winding down.

summer in the sand

Maybe you haven’t used your laptop much or maybe you’ve been taking your work outdoors. But now, the scent of sunscreen is giving way to the smell of sharpened pencils, school bells are ringing, backpacks are flying off the shelves and the morning commute is a bit messier than it was a few weeks ago.

If your laptop has lost a step or two or if you’d just like to get it back in shape (and shake out the sand!) – TechRestore has a clean up, speed up, back up special for you!

$150 Back To School/Back To Work/Back to Life Special!

Here’s what’s included (for Mac and PC laptops):cleaning-the-keyboard

  • Free diagnostics to make sure it’s running at full potential
  • Upgrade to newest OS (Macs only)
  • A 1Terabyte external hard drive with a backup of your computer
  • Inside & outside cleaning (OH, you are going to LOVE it!)
  • Adware/malware check & removal

All of this is done by a Certified and experienced technician and completed by the next business day with no appointment needed! So clean it up – back it up – speed it up, at a special price, now through September 1st.

EDU logoSpeaking of  back to school … did you know TechRestore is a trusted repair partner for schools and districts across the U.S.? Even more, we’re a one stop shop for purchasing devices, tagging, protecting, licensing, providing extended repair warranties and even replacement devices! We’ve been stepping in at every stage of tech deployment in Education and we continue looking for ways to help. If your school has a 1 to 1 program in place, consider recommending TechRestore. Our goal is always to reduce the downtime and stress of managing a fleet of devices. We aim to increase the time teachers, administrators and tech department managers spend doing what they love: working with the kids and seeing them grow and learn. For more information, call or visit our EDU page and fill out the form. A specialist will get back to you (or your school) to see how we can help.

For more information about the Back to School Clean-Up/Speed Up/Back Up Special, call, come by or email us today! This offer is available for non-local customers, too! 

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A Different Kind of Hero

#FirstRespondersOnTheFirst

Every 1st of the month on our FaceBook page, we like to call out and thank a specific branch of First Responders. Sometimes it’s the entire category; Nurses, for example. We’ve had occasion to thank a specific unit of First Responders, especially around our home in Louisville.

Unsung Heroes

This month, it occurs to us that there are other – unsung – heroes. While trying to write an acceptable length FaceBook “thank you” (to the front line, tireless, about to be in our kids’ lives five days a week, often taken for granted … you get the picture) we just couldn’t do it.

teacherssFrom pre-K to senior year, teachers, administrators, and all the supporting staff are the people we partner with, who foster the good in our kids and set an example for them to follow. They work with adorable little kids and sometimes difficult and troubled ones; it is a calling few will answer and not for the faint of heart.

So this month, we want to shout out to our Partners in Education. As parents and students ourselves, we appreciate the sacrifices you make to ensure the youth of America are all the more prepared for adulthood.

Heroes for Education

EDU logoTechRestore has been working with schools, districts, teachers, parents and students for nearly two decades. We know how to help a budget dollar stretch and we are rigorously dedicated to reducing downtime with our fast repairs. We proudly offer everything schools need to stay in sync with the technology of today. As a Lenovo authorized sales and service provider, we can take an aging (or budding!) fleet from zero to hero in no time at all while offering the same amazing, concierge service all our customers expect. Of course, we have a special knack for Apple device repairs and support. In the past couple of years we added support for Google for Education (licensing and set up) and a host of other skills and certifications to stay in step with the every changing Education technology landscape.

We’d love to add more schools to our growing list of partnerships. If you or someone you know is looking for a technology solution for their school or district, consider referring them to TechRestore. You can trust us to offer comprehensive solutions with their best interest at heart.

Thank you for being part of the TechRestore family and be sure to thank a Teacher, Administrator or Support Staff person today! (Or when you get back to school.)

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Speaking of Hot – iPad 6 (Latest Model) on Sale Now!

We can’t promise we won’t keep doing this!

A few weeks back, we had a great sale on 5th generation iPads. Well, then THIS happened!

We now have a limited supply of 32GB iPad 6 on sale now for just $250 (that’s nearly 25% less than Apple).  Why should you buy this incredibly advanced new model iPad from TechRestore?

  • Amazing, knowledgeable, friendly staff (as our customers say).
  • Support a small business and, therefore, the community at large.
  • A variety of protective cases and screen protection options.
  • Apple warranty through December 1!

ipad 6 space grey

iPad 6th Generation

  • A10 Fusion Chip (AKA incredibly fast for editing 4K video, playing graphics-intensive games, and the latest augmented reality apps.
  • Use multiple apps at once, even if they all need network connectivity!
  • Apple Pencil compatible (FINALLY!) so you can jot, draw or markup easily.
  • Up to 10 hours of usage on a single battery charge.
  • Advanced front and rear facing cameras for FaceTime, AR (Augmented Reality), video, document scanning and more!
  • 9.7 inch retina display brings pictures, games and AR to life.
  • New iPad OS uses intuitive gestures to make getting around a snap (or a tap).
  • Many, many more features, and each OS release will unlock more potential.

ipad 6 with AR frog

Offer available online and in-store. Click, call, email or stop by for more information and to pick one up before they’re all gone!

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Ultra Portable & Efficient: MacBook Air $450

Summer is the time to go small.

macbook air in hammock

The days are longer, but they seem to go by so much faster in the summer. It’ll be July 4th in a few days … what??

Some things should be smaller in the summer, so they’re easier to carry along on adventures. Whether you’re taking your work outside for a day or need more photo organizing power than your phone can provide – this 11″  MacBook Air is just the ticket.

The 2015 MacBook Air boasts all day (11+ hours average) battery life that makes it an ideal laptop for commuters or anyone who is constantly on the go. You won’t have to sacrifice productivity with this ultra portable device either. The i5 processor makes multi-tasking, web surfing and streaming video a breeze.

We have a limited supply of these small but mighty MacBook Airs for $450. Here are the details:

TechRestore Certified MacBook Air 11″ Early 2015

apple-macbook-air-11-2015      2015 11 inch MB Air ports

  • 1.6GHz Core i5
  • 4GB PC3-12800 (1600 MHz) LPDDR3 Memory
  • 128GB SSD storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • 90 Day Warranty

This offer is available online and in the store! For more information, email, call or stop by (we’re closed on Thursday for July 4th, of course!).

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US and China 5G Race: What Is It and Why You Should Care

This week we have a guest blogger with a great perspective we’re excited to share with you! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

5G perks go beyond its faster speeds

The fifth generation network technology (5G) boasts of some very exclusive features. Expectations place its speeds at up to 100 times faster than 4G mobile broadband. It’s also expected to provide 10-times less latency, 10-times the network density, 100 times more traffic handling, 3-times the spectrum and a lot of other networking features.

Benefits of 5G

Expected improvements of 5G technology

But the technology isn’t all about the improvements its users are expected to enjoy. Apparently, 5G has also triggered a global network supremacy race. Countries such as the United States (US) and China have taken it so seriously that governments have openly become involved with telcos and other technological companies to give a leg up to their respective nations.

Who is winning the race?

Telcos in the United States have invested over $275 billion to build the infrastructure for 5G technology. Policy makers in the US have also made some effort to achieve high spectrum for 5G technology. For example, in 2016 an 11GHz wave spectrum was tried, along with an additional 1700 MHz banding in 2017 to meet speed requirements.

China has also combined support from both the industries involved and the government, in an effort to stay ahead of the competition. The country plans to roll out 5G by the end of 2020 and is working at a rapid pace. China has spent $24 billion adding more than 350,000 wireless networking facilities since 2015, and already has reserves of over 1.9 million wireless sites all over the country.

The United States, on the other hand, has only 200,000 sites. This means an average of 0.4 sites per 10 square miles — a lot less when compared to China, which has 5.3 sites per the same area.

Top 10 5G-ready countries.

Global ranking for 5G readiness.

Chinese company Huawei has also displayed advancements in the 5G technology sector. The company released a 5G chipset, Balong 5Go1, during the 2018 Mobile World Congress held at Barcelona. Huawei is also expected to release a 5G smartphone by the end of 2019.

5G centers in the United States, China, and others

Countries with the highest number of wireless centers.

However, the United States has put a halt to Huawei with allegations that the infrastructure of the company is putting the security of the United States at risk. Accusations have gone as far as claiming that Huawei plans on using its technology to spy on the United States, and other countries have seemingly been convinced to penalize the company.

So far, the race between the US and China is turning out to be an all-out war. The 5G battleground is set, as it spills over to other technologies as well as private companies. The effects of a win will have an impact on both a micro and macro level, as both countries struggle to capture a major stake of the potential $251Bn global 5G market.

Why should you care?

The development of 5G technology is important for a variety of reasons. Aside from what consumers may find attractive about 5G — fast speeds, to be precise — the technology could be a launching pad for advancements in other industries. 5G is expected to improve artificial intelligence, autonomous innovations, cloud-based applications, IoT applications, and more.

The implications are therefore significant. As a result, whichever countries are first to the 5G table may hold some significant advantages over others. Such countries envision significant GDP growth, technological potential, and advanced resources at their disposal.

The technology’s abilities are a result of:

  • Improved precision

The fifth generation wireless technology will function via radio frequencies. This means higher frequencies that are more direct, resulting in less energy loss during transmission. The lack of interference in the cellular signal path will ensure higher, uninterrupted speeds.

  • Low latency

Low to zero latency, another characteristic of 5G technology, will ensure more uses of the cloud as well as improve autonomous innovations. Other benefits include buffer-free loading and innovations in virtual reality, AI, and machine learning technologies.

Final words

5G goes beyond faster speeds for consumer devices. This technology is expected to boost innovation in a number of other industries. From the automobile industry to healthcare and smart cities, 5G’s impact on autonomous, AI technologies, and cloud-based technologies will be far reaching.

Given the implications of the technology, the global 5G race will remain very competitive. The global 5G market is expected to hit $251Bn by 2025, making it a lucrative investment for the leading countries. As the US and China battle for a leadership position, other countries are quite aware of what’s at stake. The field will grow as technology becomes widely acquired, and whoever the leaders are will be in a better position to supply to others that later join the race. In the meantime though, US and China see a first-mover approach as highly beneficial. Whether for ego or otherwise, this seems to be the correct position to take where 5G is concerned.

Don’t Miss the iPad 5 Special Sale

We could call this special sale an Event!

Recently, Apple announced that iPad will get its own operating system later this year. TechRestore has a great way to take advantage of this highly anticipated new iOS at a price we can hardly believe.

This sale checks all the boxes – √ condition, √ price, √ warranty, and  √ uncommon customer care you expect from TechRestore.

We have a terrific deal on iPad 5 in Grade A condition. Our regular price of $240 is already below market price, but this one ALSO includes 1 year AppleCare+ .

Now through Sunday 6/23 we’ll take an extra 15% off! That makes it $205. Don’t wait, supplies are limited.ipad 5 black

  • 9.7-inch Retina display, wide color and true tone
  • A9 third-generation chip with 64-bit architecture
  • M9 motion coprocessor
  • 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera
  • 8MP iSight camera
  • Touch ID
  • Apple Pay
  • Full year of AppleCare+ protection at no additional charge

After Sunday, the remaining devices will be available at the still stellar price of $240 while supplies last! Stop by, call or email if you have any questions or for more details. You can also purchase online for pickup or shipping.

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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:

TechRestore Counts the Ways – May 16th National Love a Tree Day

kal-visuals-594565-unsplashMay 16th is National Love a Tree Day!

Trees provide shelter for people and animals, shade, they help prevent the erosion of soil, oh yeah, and they turn carbon monoxide into oxygen! If only they did something really great like provide free wi-fi, right? There are many ways you can observe this day celebrating Mother Nature’s tallest kids. You can give your favorite tree a deep watering, add some wildlife friendly decorations, plant a new tree, or release your inner tree hugger, step outside and give the nearest tree a BIG HUG! Don’t worry, the neighbors will only avoid eye contact for a few days.

At TechRestore, we don’t confine our tree loving philosophy to just one day a year. In fact, if you’ve read our blogs before, you’ll see we talk about it a lot! Each day our goal is to be a better steward of the environment. We start by offering repairs to extend the life of working devices, continue with our trade in/buy back programs for individuals, businesses and schools. We take it one step further by offering top notch refurbished devices for sale (vs buying new ones) and finally, we recycle responsibly, no downstream waste. We even upgraded our local waste management partner to  match our philosophy.

When you have your device repaired, purchase a Certified Restored device or turn in your older electronics for recycle, you’re participating too! By choosing to extend the life of your old iPhone, iPad and Mac, you’re part of a greater solution. You can also rest assured because TechRestore stands behind it as we have for nearly 2 decades. Our goal is delivering experiences beyond your expectations.

Stop by or visit us online today – no appointment necessary.

new tr logo

Kentucky Derby – Louisville’s Local Holiday

derby runningKentucky Derby is the longest running sports event in the United States.  It takes about two minutes for the three year old Thoroughbreds to run the 1.25 mile oval track. 2019 marks the 145th Run for the Roses. The race is steeped in history and tradition; it has been a constant in an ever changing landscape of the USA. It is considered the greatest race, the most exciting two minutes in sports.

If you’re not from Kentucky (and Louisville, specifically), this may be the extent of what you know of the Kentucky Derby. If you are from Kentucky, or have ever been there in April or early May, you know there is a LOT more to it! Here, it’s at least two weeks of community celebration. Schools release early on Thursday and close Friday. Many businesses (including ours!) are closed on Derby Day. It’s a big deal!

It begins with Thunder over Louisville on the Ohio River in mid-April. In the remaining weeks leading up to the main event on the first Saturday of May, there will be a slew of races:

  • Hot air balloon race
  • Steamboat race
  • Marathon (and mini-marathon)
  • Tour de Lou bike race
  • Ken-ducky Derby (42,000 rubber ducks race down the river)
  • Great bed race
  • Thurby and Oaks (pre-Derby horse races at the track)

We have a joke here that “They’ll race anything in Louisville!”.

At TechRestore, we embrace our community all year long and each of us are actively involved beyond business hours. The spirit of doing good things for and with others is very important to us. In fact, this integrity is woven throughout all our practices.

We will be closed this Saturday, May 4th to spend time with families and friends (which feels like the entire city right now) this Derby Day. Be sure to race in this week if you need a repair! While Louisville will race anything – TechRestore will fix just about anything!

(Watch out, we’re on a roll now!)

We hope you will be enjoying your weekend, too, wherever you may be. If you get a chance, tune in to the Kentucky Derby, the greatest race, the Run for the Roses, one third of the Triple Crown … the pre and post race shows will last all day, but if you can spare two minutes, maybe you can feel some the unity and excitement in the air here in Louisville.

TR new banner with phone number

 

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

 

TechRestore – Earth Day is Everyday!

April 22, 2019 is Earth Day #49.

earth dayThis movement began in 1970 and continues strong today. Earth Day is typically celebrated with regional clean up days; check your city or the Earthday.org website for planned activities you can participate in.

Apple took the lead in environmental responsibility early on. As of last year, all their facilities are powered with clean energy and year over year, they work to reduce their carbon footprint. This really doesn’t increase their bottom line as much as it reinforces their core values. We believe that’s a respectable thing to do and it flows right along with our company philosophy, too.

TechRestore can help YOU be a hero for the environment, too!

It sounds obvious, but many people don’t know that their old or unused devices can live on usefully for them or someone else. Here are some earth friendly suggestions that benefit you and others, too.

REPAIR

Electronics these days have hardware that is built to last. Over time, though, parts may need to be replaced or upgraded. You may be surprised, for example, how much performance can increase with an upgrade to a solid state drive. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a good “clean up”. This includes a software ‘tune-up’, full functionality testing with recommendations for upgrades, inside hardware cleaning (fans, etc), exterior cleaning and thorough wipe down and malware detection and removal. Call, email or stop by for full details.

electronics recycle.jpg

RECYCLE

Do you have old Apple devices that don’t work anymore? TechRestore recycles devices that have reached their end of life and we have a zero waste policy, which means none of the materials go to the landfill. We do this at no cost to you.  Bring them in to see if they may be worth some cash for you on a trade-in. If not, we are still happy to recycle them for you at no charge.

REPURPOSE

Want to donate your unused device but it needs a little refresh? TechRestore will securely erase your data and do minor cleanup and repair then donate your device for you! We work closely with volunteer-run organizations that are active in the community.  Your unwanted device could make a difference to a school or program that might not have access otherwise.

TRADE-IN

We buy working Apple devices too! Even if you’re done with it, we can make your older iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac, MacPro, Mac Mini (you get the idea) run like it did when it was new and resell it! We’ll give you the best price in the market (and show you how we got it) and you’ll walk out with your payment on the same day. Call, email or stop by for more information.

holiday macs in lobbyTRADE-UP

 Need a newer iPhone, iPad, MacBook or iMac but not a brand new one? Well, TechRestore has you covered with a variety of affordable Certified Restored devices for sale all the time. We even have a finance option if you need it.

How do you recognize Earth Day? Let us know in the comments!

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!