Mary’s X Files, August 2019

Repair iCloud and sync problems
1. Check system status – If iCloud syncing or features are not working, it may not be your fault, it could be Apple’s. Go to and see if there’s a fault.

2. Check the time – If the date and time are wrong, it could affect apps that sync through iCloud. Open System Preferences>Date & Time and check the Date & Time and Time Zone are correct.

3. Disable syncing – Go to System Preferences>iCloud and disable all iCloud options. No information is lost, but it breaks the connection. Restart the Mac, return here and enable everything.

4. Sign out – Sometimes you need to sign out of iCloud to fix problems. Try keeping a copy of your data. Restart, sign in and if iCloud still isn’t working, try not keeping a copy.

5. Try Apple ID – Is there something wrong with your Apple account or the Wi-Fi connection? Open Safari, go to and see if you can sign in. There should be no problems.

6. Refresh calendar – If events are not syncing in the Calendar app, open the View menu and select ‘Refresh Calendar’. Syncing can take up to an hour depending on the settings, so try this.

Check Other Devices
Syncing and other iCloud account problems could be because of something on the Mac, but it could be the result of something on another device, like an iPhone or iPad. To fix iCloud you may need to fix it not only on the Mac but also on every other device that uses it. All devices use the same account and so you may need to disable syncing or sign out everywhere and then power the devices off and then on again.

1. Stop using iCloud – A fix that may work is to stop using iCloud, then start again. After disabling everything on the Mac (step 3), disable everything on iOS devices in Settings>your Apple ID>iCloud.

2. Sign out – Sign out everywhere – Mac, iPhone and iPad. On iOS, go to Settings>your Apple ID and tap ‘Sign out’. Power off, power on, sign in. Try it with the switches on and then off.

How to view your Mac storage data
If you want to start optimising the space on your Mac’s hard drive then this can be done straight from the Apple menu, like so…

1. Click Apple menu – Click on the Apple logo menu item and choose ‘About This Mac’, then click on the ‘Storage’ tab at the top of the main overview window.

2. Start optimising – Your Mac will display how much free space is on the disk and how the occupied space is being used. If space is tight, click on the ‘Manage’ button.

3. Recommendations – Your Mac will suggest ways in which you can save space on your Mac quickly and easily. Click on the buttons to perform the corresponding action.

Perform a free malware check
One thing we haven’t yet touched on is malware and how it can be the root cause of a misfiring Mac if left undetected. Thankfully, there is lots of free malware- scanning software available, such as Malwarebytes. This app offers a free trial, so you can scan your Mac and see if there is any malware present before deciding whether to purchase the software to perform more frequent checks.

1. Download app – Go to and click on the ‘Free Download’ button to save the software to your Mac. Once it has downloaded, double-click the .pkg file and go through the installation process.

2. Allow software – When you first run the software you will need to authorise it. Go to System Preferences>Security & Privacy and then click on the ‘Allow’ button at the bottom of the window.

3. Start scanning – You’re now all set. Go back to the app and click ‘Done’ and then select the ‘Scan Now’ option. The app will then carry out an intensive scan of your Mac HD and provide a detailed report.

Go Menu
~MacLife UK
The key combos listed in Finder’s Go menu are worth memorizing. They work not just in Finder windows, but in Open and Save dialogs, too. Use them to help declutter the sidebar a bit, and make room for your personal, project– specific folders.