How to find and remove files from the ‘Other’ storage category on your Mac

How to find and remove files from the ‘Other’ storage category on your Mac

Other Storage

Our resident Mac Help guru, Peter Cohen, previously told us about the “Other” storage category on Mac computers and what it catalogs: In short, you’re seeing space taken up by plug-ins, documents, and caches stored by OS X.

It’s worth noting that these files aren’t normally harmful or wasteful to your computer’s system; most are intended to help your Mac run efficiently, and ideally, you shouldn’t ever have to clear out your Other files. Unfortunately, they can quickly clog up a computer low on storage — especially if you’re storing a large number of iPhone or iPad backups.

Whether you’re looking to free up space on your hard drive or just want to do some spring cleaning, here are some simple steps to get your Mac free and clear.

A note on what happened to ‘Other’ space in macOS Sierra and higher

Optimized Storage on Mac

When Apple added its storage management feature to macOS Sierra, called Optimize Storage, it reorganized what “other” storage is and where it’s located on the Mac. Much of it has been divided out through other categories so it’s easier to find and remove.

The 100GB of Other storage I used to carry on my iMac is whittled down to just 5GB. You can still clean out old and unnecessary content from your Mac with macOS Sierra and High Sierra by using Optimized Storage. It’s just a little easier to find those unused files than it was before.

How to use Optimized Storage on Mac

A lot of the features of Optimized Storage remove content from your Mac and store them in iCloud. If you’re concerned with how much storage you’re using up in iCloud, you can customize or disable some Optimized Storage features to keep a balance between what’s on your Mac and what’s in iCloud.

How to customize or disable Optimized Storage on Mac

What’s this ‘Purgeable’ category all about?

Purgeable storage on Mac

If you check your system storage graph in macOS, you’ll probably discover a category called Purgeable. This is part of Apple’s Optimized Storage service. When you move your Documents into iCloud (part of the Store in iCloud component) and your hard drive gets low on storage, only recently opened files are kept on your Mac. Older documents are stored in iCloud, while a shortcut icon is kept on your Mac (files are automatically re-downloaded to your Mac as soon as you open them). The Purgeable files are what Optimized Storage will move to iCloud and delete from your hard drive only if your hard drive starts to get full. Purgeable files also include caches and temporary files that used to fit into the Other category, which will also be deleted as your hard drive starts to fill up.

Though your Other storage might have been spread out across categories in macOS Sierra and higher, you can still follow the below steps to manually clean up your Mac and get rid of unnecessary files.

How to check your storage space on your Mac

If you are concerned with how much storage space you have remaining on your Mac computer, you can check its usage folder to see how much space each category is taking up, including Other.

  1. Click on your desktop or the Finder icon from the Dock.
  2. Select the Apple Menu icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on About This Mac.

    Finding storage usage on OS X

  4. Select Storage.

    Finding storage usage on OS X

Your Mac breaks down its storage categories as follows: Apps, Movies, Photos, Audio, Backups, and — that annoying, undescriptive category — Other.

How to remove cached files

Now that you know how much space your Other files are taking up, it’s time to reduce their footprint on your Mac. You can start by removing items you don’t need, including caches for your web browser, saved Apple Music streams, and photo previews.

A note on deleting cache folders: You only want to delete old and unnecessary files, as current cache files store your preferences. We strongly recommend only deleting cache files from old apps.

  1. Click on your desktop or select the Finder icon from the Dock.
  2. Select the Go menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on Go to Folder.

    Opening library caches on OS X

  4. Type ~/Library/caches into the text box. A list of caches from active apps will appear on your desktop.

    Opening library caches on OS X

  5. Select the app folder you wish to remove the cache from.
  6. Right-click (or control-click) on the app folder.
  7. Select Move to Trash.

    Deleting cache files on OS X

How to remove downloaded files

Chances are, your Downloads folder is stuffed with Other-type files, including installer packages, documents, and folders you have already made copies of somewhere else. If you want to make some room on your Mac, it may be time to clean out your Downloads folder.

  1. Click on your desktop or select the Finder icon from the Dock.
  2. Select the Go menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on Downloads.

    Opening the Downloads folder on OS X

  4. Select the file you wish to remove.
  5. Right-click (or control-click) on the file.
  6. Select Move to Trash.

    Deleting downloads on OS X

If you want to save a file from the Downloads folder but don’t want it clogging your drive, consider moving it to an external hard drive or flash drive, or uploading it to an online storage option like Dropbox.

How to delete old device backups in iTunes

If you tend to get new iOS devices fairly regularly, you may have unnecessary device backups stored on your computer via iTunes. Backups take up 4-5GB each, on average; there’s no need to hold on to older device backups if you no longer have the device or have it stored in iCloud.

How to delete an iPhone or iPad backup from iTunes

Third-party software that can help

While you don’t need any third-party app to “clean” your Mac, there are some very handy system access tools out there that make it easier to regularly remove unwanted files.

CleanMyMac 3

With CleanMyMac, you have easy access to a list of features that help you keep your Mac free of unnecessary junk. It scans your entire system and recommends files you should delete based on how old they are and whether they are considered unnecessary to your workflow. It’s a lot like Apple’s Optimized Storage, but with a few additional features. My favorite is the recommendation to delete all content related to an application. Sometimes, you’ll end up with a couple of files left behind by an app when you delete it. CleanMyMac provides a one-button purge of everything associated with that app.

$39.99 – Download Now


DaisyDisk scans your Mac and gives you a pie chart that makes it easy to see what files are using up the most space. You can identify files that are in the Other storage category and drag them to the delete box.

$9.99 – Download Now


Onyx is a robust Mac system access tool that, in-part, can delete caches, logs, temporary items, and other files that find their way into the Other storage category.

Free – Download Now


Cocktail is another useful system access tool that you can use to clear caches, purge memory, and manage hidden Apple app settings, which might be automatically sending files into the Other category abyss.

$19 – Download Now


Still having trouble with Other? Let us know in the comments.

Updated June, 2018: Updated the section on deleting iPhone and iPad backups in iTunes to direct people to the article about doing that. The rest of these steps are still correct.

How to do a clean install of macOS High Sierra

How to do a clean install of macOS High Sierra

Feel like you need a fresh start with macOS High Sierra? Do a clean install!

macOS High Sierra

Downloading and installing a new OS gives you the opportunity to do some major house cleaning if you so desire. If you feel like you’d like a fresh start with macOS High Sierra, you can always opt to do a clean install: Just follow the steps below, even if you’ve already installed macOS High Sierra.

Make sure you understand the difference between a clean install and a standard install before you get started.

  • Step 1: Back up your Mac
  • Step 2: Create a bootable drive of macOS High Sierra
  • Step 3: Erase your current Mac operating system
  • Step 4: Install a new copy of macOS High Sierra

Note: If you are reading this article on the Mac you want to perform the clean install with, switch to another device or print this page before continuing so you can read along as you go.

Step 1: Back up your Mac

This process will erase whichever OS you’re currently using from your hard drive entirely. That means any files, programs, or documents you have will be deleted. To save your files, put them on an external hard drive or a cloud-based program like Dropbox, OneDrive, or iCloud. If you don’t save these important files off your computer, you will lose them.

Step 2: Create a bootable drive of macOS High Sierra

Before you erase your current operating system, download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store. You’ll need a copy of macOS High Sierra to perform a clean install later on. If you don’t create a bootable drive for macOS High Sierra, you’ll have to install an older Mac operating system first and then upgrade to macOS High Sierra afterward.

Step 3: Erase macOS High Sierra

  1. Connect your Mac to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet
  2. Click on the Apple icon.
  3. Select Restart from the drop-down menu.

    Restarting Mac

  4. Hold down Command-R when you hear the startup chime (or the screen turns black on newer Macs) and keep holding the keys until your computer reboots.
  5. Click on Disk Utility in the OS X Utilities selector.
  6. Click Continue.

    Seleting Disk Utilities from the OS X Utilities Selector

  7. Select your Startup Disk.
  8. Click on the Erase tab at the top of the window.

    Selecting a drive to erase on Mac

  9. Enter a name for the file to be destroyed (Like macOS High Sierra or something).
  10. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format list.
  11. Click Erase.

    Erasing a drive on Mac

Step 4: Reinstall a new copy of macOS High Sierra.

  1. Click on Reinstall a new copy of macOS.
  2. Click Continue.

    Reinstall macOS Sierra

  3. Click Continue again when the installer window appears.
  4. Agree to the software terms and conditions.
  5. Select your hard drive.
  6. Click Install.
  7. Complete the installation process.

    Reinstall macOS Sierra


Any questions about performing a clean install? Let us know below in the comments.

Updated June 2018: These are still the correct steps to do a clean install of macOS High Sierra.

How to Convert ISO to VDI Virtual Box Image

How to Convert ISO to VDI Virtual Box Image

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If you’re a regular VirtualBox user, you may appreciate knowing how to convert an ISO image file (.iso) into a VDI Virtual Box image file (.vdi). Converting an iso to vdi is different from simply booting VirtualBox from an iso, instead it is taking an .iso image, for example of a live boot image, and then converting that itself to a .vdi VirtualBox virtual disk image. This is useful for many reasons, whether to customize that image file, or for administration or testing purposes.

This guide will show you how to convert an iso image to a VirtualBox VDI disk image by using the command line on the Mac, but it should work the same with VirtualBox command line tools for Windows and Linux too.

This walkthrough assumes that you already have VirtualBox installed on the computer, whether it’s to run Windows 10 in a VirtualBox, Linux, or whatever. You will need VirtualBox installed because it includes the VBoxManage command line utility that is necessary for this iso to vdi conversion process to work.

How to Convert an ISO Image into VDI Disk Image

Assuming you already have the VirtualBox app installed, the conversion process from iso to vdi is quite simple. Open a new Terminal window and at the command line enter the following syntax:

VBoxManage convertfromraw DiskImage.iso VirtualDisk.vdi

For example if you have an iso in the Downloads/ directory and you want to convert it into a VirtualBox VDI file:

VBoxManage convertfromraw ~/Downloads/LinuxLiveBoot.iso ~/VMs/LinuxLiveBootVM.vdi

The conversion process can take a little while depending on the hardware.

Again this command should work on Mac OS, Linux, and Windows, anywhere with the ‘VBoxManage’ command available to it.

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Note that “VBoxManage” is capitalized, and it’s important to use the proper capitalization otherwise the command will show as ‘not found’ because of a syntax error, not because it’s unavailable.

If some of this looks familiar to you it might be because we’ve discussed the VBoxManage command line tool in the past when demonstrating resizing a VirtualBox virtual disk VDI file.

One useful set of tricks with this is to take a live disk, a DVD, or boot drive, create an .iso image from the command line using that volume as the image, and then converting that to the VDI file that you can load into VirtualBox. Of course you can also just take any existing iso and convert it into a VDI file too, which is commonly desired by many systems administrators.

Do you know of another approach to convert an ISO or disk image file into a VirtualBox disk image file? Let us know in the comments below!

How to remotely remove your credit and debit cards from Apple Pay

How to remotely remove your credit and debit cards from Apple Pay

Mastering Apple Pay

How to remotely remove your credit cards from Apple Pay

Apple Pay offers many security advantages, including single-use tokens and authentication via Touch ID fingerprint scan or pin code. However, if you lose your iPhone or iPad, you’ll still want to remove any credit or debit cards that you’ve linked to it, just to be extra safe. Luckily, Apple and let you do just that secure and, best of all, remotely. Simply log in and wipe your cards away!

How to remotely delete all your credit accounts from Apple Pay

  1. From any web browser on your computer, go to
  2. Enter your log in information.
  3. Click on Settings.

  4. Under the My Devices section at the bottom, click on the device you’d like to wipe Apple Pay from — you should see an Apple Pay logo next to any device set up with the service.
  5. Click on Remove All…

That’s it! Apple Pay will then be de-authorized and all your cards will be removed from that specific device. Even though Apple Pay can’t be used by anyone that doesn’t have a fingerprint registered on your device, we’d still recommend removing all payment options if your iPhone goes missing.

Updated May 2018: Changed the steps to reflect the most recent changes in the process.

Luke Filipowicz

iMore’s resident gaming guru. Loves playing games from all eras, and still has a working Atari 2600 in his basement. When he isn’t writing about games, you’ll probably find him slapping the bass to his favourite 80s tunes.

iTunes Library XML File Missing? Here’s How to Create One

iTunes Library XML File Missing? Here’s How to Create One

How to fix a missing iTunes Library XML file

The latest versions of iTunes no longer default to creating an iTunes Library XML file, which was an iTunes file that allowed various other apps to interact easily with an iTunes library, and could also serve as a basis for rebuilding an iTunes library if that were ever needed.

Despite “iTunes Music Library.xml” files no longer being created in iTunes on Mac OS or Windows by default, you can actually still generate an iTunes Library XML file if it is needed by another app or for some other purpose.

Read on to learn how to create an iTunes Music Library.xml file in the latest versions of iTunes for MacOS or Windows.

How to Create an iTunes Library XML File on Mac or Windows

This process is the same on iTunes for the media player software in both Mac OS and Windows:

  1. Open iTunes on the computer if you haven’t done so already
  2. Pull down the “iTunes” menu and choose “Preferences” to open iTunes preferences
  3. Go to the “Advanced” tab in iTunes preferences
  4. Check the box next to “Share iTunes Library XML with other applications”
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  6. Click “OK” to accept your changes

Simply setting that preference option should cause iTunes to generate an iTunes Music Library.XML file, which will appear in the default iTunes library directory on the Mac or Windows PC (the default will apply unless you moved the iTunes library manually to another location) as a file named “iTunes Library.xml” along with the various media folders and “iTunes Library.itl” files.

On a Mac, that iTunes Music Library.xml file would be located in:


And in Windows, the iTunes Music Library.xml file would be found at:

C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\My Music\iTunes\

The filename in both operating systems is “iTunes Music Library.xml”

What is iTunes Library XML file? Why does it matter?

The iTunes Library XML file is basically a file that stores iTunes library information in a broadly readable XML file format, making it compatible with other apps for easier importing of media, and management of iTunes library data. Newer versions of iTunes no longer default to creating that XML file, and Apple says the file is not necessary for compatibility with some new apps interacting with iTunes. Presumably those apps now rely on the “iTunes Library.itl” file instead.

Apple describes the iTunes Library.xml file as follows:

The iTunes Library.xml file contains some, but not all, of the same information that’s stored in the iTunes Library.itl file. The purpose of the iTunes Library.xml file is to make your music and playlists available to other applications on your computer, such as iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie, and third-party software, in OS X Mountain Lion and earlier. These applications use this file to make it easier for you to add music from your iTunes library to your projects.

By default, iTunes 12.2 and later doesn’t create an iTunes Library.xml.

Thus, if you need that XML file and you’re on a newer version of iTunes, or you are using an older version of system software, or managing libraries with an older version of iTunes, or you are using an app that requires the iTunes Library.xml file for whatever reason, you will need to generate one yourself by toggling that setting switch within iTunes preferences.

Most users won’t need to toggle this setting, or have anything to do with the iTunes Library XML file in general, though some people running prior software may have come across the file at some point when troubleshooting a problem like fixing a disappeared iTunes playlist or attempting to rebuild an iTunes music and media library, or even backing up or migrating a library to a different location.

If you happen to browse through the iTunes Music Library XML file and find it incomplete, it’s possible that some music was either not found, not contained within the library, it was played in iTunes without adding it to the iTunes Library, or that some other issue occurred with the reference music data.

Do you know of any particularly helpful or relevant tips relating to the iTunes Library.xml file? Do you know of another approach to generating a missing iTunes Library.xml file? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

How to use Apple’s new data and privacy portal

How to use Apple’s new data and privacy portal

Apple has launched a new Data and Privacy portal that lets you request changes to the data you’ve shared with the company. It also lets you delete your Apple ID and associated data. Here’s how to use it!

With GDPR underway, you’ve probably already received a number of emails alerting you to privacy policy updates, new terms and conditions, and GDPR compliance from many of the sites and services you use online. Apple has joined the party with the launch of its new Data and Privacy portal. You can use the site to correct any erroneous personal information stored by Apple and delete your Apple ID along with its associated data.

  • How to use Apple’s data and privacy portal
  • How to correct your data using Apple’s data and privacy portal
  • How to delete your account using Apple’s data and privacy portal
  • How to request a copy of your data using Apple’s data and privacy portal

You can learn more about how Apple protects your data and your privacy here:

How to use Apple’s data and privacy portal

If you’d like to take control of your data (or just get a peek at what you’ve sent Apple’s way), here’s how!

  1. Visit Apple’s Data and Privacy portal at
  2. Log in with your Apple ID and password.
  3. If prompted, enter your two-factor authentication code.
  4. Click Continue.

From here you’ll need to decide if you want to make amendments to the personal data stored by Apple or if you want to completely delete your Apple ID and its associated data.

How to correct your data using Apple’s data and privacy portal

  1. Complete steps 1 – 4 above.
  2. Click Get started beneath the section labeled Correct your data.
  3. Review the sections to access and correct data related to your Apple ID and your Apple Store transactions.

How to delete your account using Apple’s data and privacy portal

  1. Complete steps 1 – 4 above.
  2. Click Get started beneath the section labeled Delete your account.
  3. Review the information regarding the deletion of your account.
    • Apple will verify any deletion requests and says the process could take up to seven days to complete.
  4. Follow Apple’s recommended steps (back up your data, sign out of devices, etc.) before you delete your account.
  5. Choose a reason for deleting your account using the pull-down menu.
  6. Click Continue.

  7. Review the information regarding the deletion of your account (again).
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Review the Deletion Terms & Conditions and check the box to confirm you’ve read and agree with the conditions.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Choose a contact method that will be used to get account status updates.
  12. Click Continue.

  13. Write down or print out your unique access code.
    • This will be used to verify your identity if you need to contact Apple Support.
    • This code can also be used to cancel the account deletion process.
  14. Enter the access code to confirm you’ve actually written it down.
  15. Click Continue.
  16. Click Delete account to delete your account and associated data.
  17. Apple will start the verification process before deleting your account.

    • Your account will remain active during this period.
    • It could take up to seven days for the verification process to complete.

If you visit Apple’s Data and Privacy portal using the account you’re deleting, you’ll see a notification along the right side of the site letting you know that your account is being deleted.

How to request a copy of your data using Apple’s data and privacy portal

If you live in the European Union, you can actually request a copy of your data. Those of us outside of the E.U. will probably gain access to this feature in the future. If you’re in the E.U., here’s how to request your data!

  1. Complete steps 1 – 4 above.
  2. Click Get started beneath the section labeled Obtain a copy of your data.
  3. Review the sections you wish to download data for and select the box next to each.
    • Downloads will not include app, book, film, TV programme or music purchases, nor Apple Online Store transaction and marketing communications history.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Apple will divide your data into file sizes between 1GB and 25GB. Select your preferred size from the dropdown box.
  6. Click Complete request.

Once your data is ready, Apple will notify you by email at the address registered to your Apple ID. It can take up to seven days to process as Apple ensures that the request was made by you and that your data is secure.


Run into any issues using Apple’s Data and Privacy portal? Have trouble deleting your account? Leave your questions and concerns in the comments below or send ’em my way over on Twitter!

Løfter sløret på nyt site: Her kan du se og downloade alle de data, som Apple har på dig

Løfter sløret på nyt site: Her kan du se og downloade alle de data, som Apple har på dig

Apple har oprettet et helt nyt privacy-website, hvor brugerne får let adgang til at downloade, slette og redigere i deres data.

For at imødekomme kravene i EU’s nye persondata-forordning, GDPR, har Apple nu lanceret et nyt privacy-site, der gør, at du på simpel vis får adgang til alle de data, som den amerikanske gigant har om dig.

Det skriver Apple-mediet 9to5mac.

På den nye side kan du blandt andet downloade data, der relaterer sig til din aktivitet i App Store, dine enheders købs- og support-historik og oplysninger om de data, som du gennem tiden har haft gemt på Apples iCloud.

Du skal dog være opmærksom på, at især filerne, der vedrører dine data i iCloud kan være ganske store og derfor vil tage lang tid at downloade.

Læs også: Apple rydder op i App Store: Fjerner apps der deler dine lokationsdata med tredjeparter

Få let adgang til at slette data
Den nye privacy-side giver dig desuden let adgang til at slette eller deaktivere din Apple-konto, og du får ligeledes adgang til at redigere i de data, som Apple opbevarer om dig.

En sletning betyder, at Apple permanent fjerner alle data om dig, mens en deaktivering betyder, at du lukker ned for alle dine Apple-relaterede tjenester, men Apple beholder dine data, og du vil således fortsat have muligheden for at genoprette din konto.

I første omgang er den nye side kun tilgængelig for borgere i Europa, men de nye privacy-muligheder vil i de kommende måneder også blive udrullet til borgere i resten af verden.

Apples privacy-side har adressen, og du skal logge ind med dit Apple-id for at få adgang til mulighederne.

Læs også: Facebook vil udrulle EU’s skrappe GDPR-regler til alle Facebook-brugere i verden

iCloud Photo Library and security: What you need to know!

iCloud Photo Library and security: What you need to know!

iCloud Photo Library and security: What you need to know!

Our photos can be as personal and private as our messages, financial information, and identities. iCloud Photo Library wants to make sure all our pictures and videos are backed up online and available on all our devices. To do that, it moves the bits that make up those pictures and videos from our iPhones, iPads, and Macs up to servers on the internet and then back down to our other iPhones, iPads, and Macs. That means both the transport and the storage needs to be secure so that our content is only ever available to us and us alone.

How does Apple keep my photos secure?

Apple uses end-to-end encryption to keep your photos safe as they move between your devices and iCloud. As Apple notes on its support site, your photos are transmitted under a “minimum of 128-bit AES encryption”. This means that your photos are given the same treatment as your iPhone backups, iCloud Drive, and your other iCloud-stored content.

How does end-to-end encryption keep my photos safe?

On a very basic level, it means that when one of your images is being transmitted (uploaded or downloaded), that photo is protected while it’s in transit. This means that if someone were to get ahold of the data for a photo that you were uploading from your iPhone to iCloud while it was being uploaded, they shouldn’t be able to see the actual image.

What else does Apple do to keep my photos secure?

Apple employs AES and SHA, industry standards for securely encrypting and hashing data. The company goes further in its iOS security paper, which offers greater detail on how the company keeps your photos (and all of your data in iCloud) safe:

Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES-128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents that utilizes SHA-256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information, using third-party storage services, such as Amazon S3 and Windows Azure.

At a basic level, these standards are very good ways to protect photos and other data while they’re being uploaded, downloaded, or stored.

What about privacy?

Apple takes privacy very seriously and, as noted above, stores your data chunks without user-identifying information. The company also gives you options for controlling your own privacy. First, on your iPhone or iPad themselves, it’s easy to grant or revoke permission for third-party apps to access your photos.

However, if you’ve decided that there are images that you don’t want to keep around, it’s easy to delete them from your iCloud Photo Library. What’s really great is that if you want to delete something, you only have to do so on one device. So if you delete an image on your iPhone, it will appear in Recently Deleted not only on that device, but any iPad or Mac connected to that iCloud account.

From there, your photo will remain in Recently Deleted for the next 30 days if you change your mind, or you can choose to completely delete it right away.


If you have any other questions about iCloud Photo Library and security, let us know in the comments.

Updated May 2018: This remains the latest information on how iCloud Photo Library keeps your photos and video safe and encrypted.

How to check if your Mac or iOS device is still covered under warranty or is protected by AppleCare

How to check if your Mac or iOS device is still covered under warranty or is protected by AppleCare

If you have a problem with your Mac, iPhone or iPad that needs examination by the Genius Bar or another tech support member, it’s usually handy to check if the hardware is still covered by warranties or one of the AppleCare programs, or if you can expect a heftier repair bill. AppleInsider details how to find out if you are still covered before you contact Apple’s support teams.

Accidents and computer issues happen to almost everyone, and while many are minor and can be easily dealt with via light use of Google and a small amount of effort, sometimes the problem is significant enough to require professional assistance. In the case of physical issues, like an iPhone display cracking or a key flying off a MacBook’s keyboard, this will usually result in a visit to an Apple Store or one of the Apple Authorized Service Providers for a repair.

Depending on the issue, this could potentially cost a lot of money, unless it is something covered under the standard limited warranty or the various AppleCare protection plans. In these cases, the cost of repair could be reduced, but only if the hardware is still within its coverage period, or if you paid for the extra protection, if it is still protected under AppleCare.

Before you make contact, it is usually a good idea to check the status of the problematic device, as finding out it is covered could ease your concerns of receiving a hefty repair bill.

Registered Devices

If you have registered your devices to your Apple ID, there are two easy ways to find out the status of all of your hardware via your account.

On a working iOS device logged into your Apple ID, open the Apple Support app, which appears in iOS as a blue square icon with a white Apple logo in one corner. Within the app, tap Account, followed by Check Coverage.

This will bring up a list of devices registered to the account. Tap the item you want to check, and the app will advise of its coverage status.

This can also be checked in the browser, by accessing the My Support page. Click Sign In to My Support, enter your Apple ID credentials, then if needed, complete the two-factor authentication procedure.

The My Support page will bring up a list of all devices currently signed into that account, along with the serial numbers. Click the device in question to bring up the coverage status for the device, and offers links for support.

Unconnected Hardware

In the event the device in question isn’t connected to your Apple ID, such as one used by a family member, the status can still be checked online via the serial number.

Using the Check Coverage website, enter the serial number in the top text entry box followed by the captcha security code, then click Continue.

The next page will identify the device registered to the serial number, and advise on the support status for the device.

Serial Numbers

There are a number of ways to find the serial number for a device, with Apple including a number of different ways to find it out.

For iOS devices, it can be located in the Settings app, under General then About. The serial number is roughly three-quarters of the way down the page.

Alternately, it is also printed on the back of the device. Look under the name section where the regulatory marks are located, and it can be seen in very small print, as well as the model number.

Mac users able to access macOS can find it by clicking the Apple icon in the menu bar and selecting About This Mac. The serial number will be detailed below other general specifications for the Mac, which may also be handy to record.

Again, it is also possible to find the serial number physically printed on the Mac hardware, alongside the regulatory information and the device name. In the majority of cases, it will be printed on the base of the Mac, though some older models can have this information printed on the back instead.

For the Apple Watch, the data can be found in the Apple Watch iOS app, by selecting the My Watch tab, then General, then About. On the Apple Watch itself, open Settings, select General, then About.

Lastly, you can also find the serial number on the back of the Apple Watch itself.

Support Status

The status pages will provide information depending on whether or not they apply to the device.

First, the Valid Purchase Date is a confirmation that it was bought and Apple knows when. This date dictates whether or not certain options are available.

The next section will advise of whether or not telephone technical support is still available for the item. Regardless of whether or not it is active, there will be links explaining how to contact Apple for support.

The third section, Repairs and Service Coverage, will explain if the hardware is covered by Apple’s limited warranty or the AppleCare Protection Plan, and links to arrange a repair. In the event both options are expired, the section will also advise your country’s consumer protection laws may still be of some assistance, and to speak to an advisor to see if they apply to the device’s current predicament.

If AppleCare was bought for the device, a fourth option will show if it is still active or has expired. 

How to download your Instagram data with the Data Download tool

How to download your Instagram data with the Data Download tool

Wary of social media following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and considering leaving Instagram for good? Here’s how to use the site’s Data Download tool to take your content with you when you go.

grab your stuff and go!

Today, TechCrunch announced that Instagram has finally launched its own version of Facebook’s “Download Your Information” feature after being publicly called out in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. Referred to simply as Data Download, the tool allows users to download all their photos, videos, archived Stories, profile info, comments, and non-ephemeral messages before they delete their account (or, if they like, as an account backup).

If you’re concerned about your privacy and are looking to delete your Instagram account, here’s how to make sure you get all the precious memories you’ve collected over the years before you log off for good.

  1. Head to your Instagram profile in your favorite web browser.
  2. Click on the little gear icon at the top right of your profile to open the Settings menu.
  3. Select Privacy and Security.

  4. Scroll down until you see Data Download. Click on Request Download.

  5. Enter the email address associated with your Instagram account, then click Next.

  6. Enter your Instagram password. Then click Request Download.

  7. Voilà! Instagram will begin creating a file of your data that they will then email to you. Note that this could take up to two days depending on how much you’ve shared on your account.

Though there isn’t a way for everyone to use the Data Download tool on mobile yet, an Instagram spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that access via iOS and Android is in the process of rolling out.


Did you have any trouble downloading your Instagram data? Give us a shout in the comments and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Privacy and security A 15-year-old in Ontario traded in her broken iPhone for $11. Once refurbished and resold, a creepy man in Dubai had access to all of her data. Here’s how to avoid that ever happening to you.