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March 19th, 2014

OSX_Mar17_CWhy struggle with having a slow Mac computer if there are several ways to speed it up? It’s no secret that having a slow computer can be very limiting (not to mention frustrating) when running your business. It’s because most business transactions and processes are done via the computer that you should make sure that it’s running as fast as it can. These five tips below should help you speed up your Mac.

Uninstall your old and unused programs

If you’re thinking that those old or unused programs aren’t hurting your computer’s performance since you haven’t been using them, you may be shocked to know that they actually can be one of the leading causes of a slow computer. These old programs despite being inactive, actually take up storage space which can cause your Mac to slow down.

This can really become a big issue if you’re running out of room on your hard drive because the less space you have available on your hard drive, the slower your computer will run. Try opening your Applications folder and looking for apps and programs that you no longer use. Simply drag them to the Trash and then empty it to free up space.

On another note, it would be a good idea to empty your trash on a regular basis, because items in the trash still take up storage space leading to a potentially slower computer.

Clean your desktop

Your Mac should run a bit faster if your desktop is clean. We don't mean go in literally clean the desktop, we mean get rid of the shortcuts, programs and files that you don't use. The more icons and stuff on your desktop there are, the slower your computer will run.

Instead of adding new icons, folders, files, etc. to your desktop try storing documents in the documents folder (Click any blank area on your desktop, press Go at the top of your screen and select Documents). Or, create a folder on your desktop for different images of files. Basically you want to minimize how much is on your desktop.

Use a program like Memory Keeper

What these apps do is help you free up more space on your computer by cleaning your computer’s memory. This is similar to the defrag option in Windows where the OS will essentially put files of a similar nature closer together in the hard drive, making them easier and quicker for the processor to access. To us, this means a faster computer!

You can get Memory Keeper free on the Apple Store, but be sure to contact us before you download it as we may have a solution that comes as part of your IT solutions.

Organize/clean your Finder and the files within

Just as you should minimize the files and clutter on your desktop, you should also minimize the clutter and number of icons in the main folders of the Finder. This includes the folders under each user, Downloads, Documents, etc.

It would not be a good idea to delve into the Utilities and Network folders as they usually contain important files that if deleted could cause your computer to stop working.

Upgrade your hardware

If you've tried the suggested tips above and your computer is still running slow, then your last resort should be to have a hardware upgrade.

We take this as the last resort as this may take more time, let alone cost a lot of money.

Consider upgrading your RAM instead of upgrading your processor since doing so is considerably cheaper.

It’s highly suggested to get a minimum of 2 GB of extra RAM but if you’re using some heavy duty programs like Adobe Photoshop, then a minimum of 4 GB RAM would probably suit you better. Before you do upgrade however, check with either Apple or us to ensure that your computer can be upgraded. By asking an IT partner like us, we will be able to better inform you as to what you can upgrade and how you can go about it safely.

Are you looking for more tips on how to speed up your Mac? Then give us a call now and we’ll have our team talk to you about how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
February 25th, 2014

iPad_Feb24_CMany Apple users have more than one device and like to link these together in order to share apps, information or even manage them. The easiest way to do this is through an Apple ID, which provides a key to Apple services. While this ID, or account, is important, it's not unfeasible that you might forget what it is if you don't use it on a regular basis.

What is an Apple ID?

Your Apple ID is how Apple identifies you. It is what you use to access and download apps on iTunes, enable iCloud, purchase from the Apple Store, and even book appointments with Apple Store representatives and tech support.

When you first set up a new Apple device, say an iPad, you are asked to sign up for an Apple ID. As with most other online accounts, you will set a password and the usual recovery questions to ensure that you can gain access to the account should you forget your password, something that happens to the best of us.

What do I do if I forgot my Apple ID password?

If you remember your Apple ID but can't remember the password you have two options. The first works if you have access to the email address you've linked your Apple ID with.
  1. Go to the Apple ID website on your iPad.
  2. Click Reset your password, enter your Apple ID and click Next.
  3. Select Email authentication followed by Next.
Check your email and there should be a message from Apple with instructions on how to reset your password.

The second option you have available is to reset your password by answering the security questions you created when you setup your account.

  1. Go to the Apple ID website on your iPad.
  2. Click Reset your password, enter your Apple ID and click Next.
  3. Select Answer security questions and click Next.
  4. Setting the birthday you used for the account and clicking Next.
  5. Answer the security questions you picked when you set the account up.
If you answer these successfully, you should be able to reset your password and access your AppleID again.

How to recover your Apple ID if you've forgotten your email address and questions

If you are not able to remember your recovery email address, password or security questions it may feel a little hopeless, but fear not, there is a way that might work.
  1. Go to the Apple ID Support page and select the Start your support request online link for your country.
  2. Click on Forgotten Apple ID security questions and follow the onscreen prompts.
  3. When you get to the next screen select either of the two options. Schedule a Call will allow you to pick a time for an Apple tech to call you, while Call Apple Support Later will allow you to enter your information and call Apple at some future point.
When you do talk to an Apple representative they will ask you questions about your account and personal information you provided when you first signed up for your ID. In many instances, the representative will be able to unlock your account or reset your password. Another option is to schedule a time to go into an Apple store or retailer for an appointment to see if they can help.

Looking to learn more about using your iPad, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
February 19th, 2014

OSX_Feb17_CWhen you’re on a business trip, an Apple laptop is the best companion to have. The reason is not just because of its stellar performance, but because it lasts longer on battery than many other laptops on the market. However, the latest release of OS X Mavericks, with hardware and software upgrades, offers a more cutting-edge computing experience and an extended battery life. While this development is welcome, there are other ways you can enhance the battery life of your MacBook.

One of the main factors that consumers look into before they purchase a laptop is the device’s battery life. And without a doubt, MacBooks offer among the best battery life in the laptop market. They also have an exceptional operating system and powerful hardware, making it one of the best laptops in the world.

Here are four of the most effective battery saving tips you can use for your Apple laptop.

Check your battery’s condition

Before attempting to optimize the battery life of your MacBook, it is prudent to first determine whether your battery is in good health or not. This way, you’ll know if you need to change your battery because saving tips are practically useless when the battery is in poor condition.

To check the condition of your battery, follow these steps:

  1. Click the battery icon at the top of your screen.
  2. Click extra.
  3. Check if it says “Normal” or “Replace Soon”.
If it says Normal, then it is still good. If it says Replace Soon, then you need to go the nearest iStore, and have your device checked and serviced.

Adjust the brightness of the screen

Perhaps, this is one of the simplest and most effective energy saving tips you should know about. A brighter screen consumes more battery power. At full brightness, a 13-inch Mac Air measures an average of 280-290 lux - a measurement that defines how bright a screen will be.

But if you set it to 40% brightness, it’s only going to be 29 lux. Even though you are reducing brightness, the screen is still viewable. Screens with a lower lux use less battery power.

Changing the brightness of your preference is very easy with MacBooks. Just press F1 repeatedly until you can comfortably tolerate the level of the brightness. But if you want to tweak more of the display settings, open System Preferences, click Display and adjust the brightness to your liking.

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

There are times when we don’t use WI-Fi and Bluetooth, especially when we are at the office or connected to a network. Turning off your device’s wireless radio signals is one trick to save a bit of juice.

Shut off your screensaver

While screensavers can be beautiful, did you know that they consume your device’s battery? While every small thing happening in your laptop eats up a little bit of battery power, many operations like the screensaver aren't important so you might want to turn it off in order to conserve power.

Disable backup and syncing features

Although backing up your files is a necessary task, there are times when there are no more files to backup and sync with your Mac. You can then disable backup and sync features temporarily to save up some juice for your Mac. When the need arises you can just turn these features back on.

Stop Time Machine

Time Machine is an application feature of Macbooks. It works hand-in-hand with an external hard drive to automatically back up data. When enabled, it will waste battery, even if it's not backing up. However, it can be disabled whenever you are on battery power. Go to System Preferences and open the option for Time Machine; check the box that will allow you to turn off Time Machine in battery mode.

Following these tips might be very helpful to everyone who has issues with their laptop’s battery. If you want to know more about how to give your devices more battery juice, give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
January 22nd, 2014

OSX_Jan20_CThere are many popular tech companies, with one of the most dominant being Apple. In 2013, the tech giant didn't have it's best year ever, but it was still a great year. 2013 saw the release of a new version of iOS, new iPads, and even the announcement of a space-age Mac Pro. Many fans are curious to see how Apple will top this in 2014.

Here are four new developments we can expect to see from Apple this year:

A new OS X

With a new version of OS X released almost every year, you can expect a new version later this year as well. We predict that OS X will get a makeover, much like we saw with iOS 7. The current look of OS X hasn't really changed in a big way since the launch of the platform, and with the generally positive reception of iOS 7 you can bet that there will be a change to the OS X look this year too.

We predict that the company will release a version of OS X that looks more consistent with iOS 7. You can also bet that the popular features in iOS will likely make their way over to the desktop. This could include the ability to reach the most important settings quicker, and from one place. It will also likely include deeper integration with mobile platforms.

For businesses, the biggest issue will be getting your employees updated to the new version and used to it, while ensuring technology like projectors, servers, etc, will work with the new version. When it is announced, it might be a good idea to not upgrade until you are sure the new version will work with the other systems in your company and your employees are comfortable with it.

A bigger iPhone

Looking at the mobile market as a whole, the most obvious trend with Android and Windows Phone is that devices are getting bigger. When the iPhone first launched, a 4 inch screen was amazing, borderline huge. Now, it's widely considered to be small and the domain of lower-end phones.

One of the most common complaints of iPhone users is that the screen is too small when compared to other devices. Because of this we think that Apple will introduce an iPhone with a larger screen - probably around 5 inches - this year.

There is also rumor that the company has been testing a 6 inch screen, which would indicate a possible phablet (iPhone crossed with an iPad) in development. We doubt that this will happen this year, but it could be a possibility in the not so distant future.

What this means for businesses is that you will have a device with a bigger screen, which will allow you to do more. This could herald a great device for those who are out of the office on a regular basis and want to be able to send emails or check documents.

A new iPad

Both versions of the iPad - iPad Air and iPad mini - are popular products, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Apple has done a good job of updating the platform on a near yearly basis, so you can expect new versions of existing iPads that will likely have improved hardware and possibly better storage.

If you take a look at Apple's laptops, you will notice that there is an iPad Air but no Pro. It is highly likely that Apple will launch an iPad Pro this year. In fact there are rumors that Apple are developing a 12 inch iPad which could very well be the Pro.

If this is true, we believe this will be a powerful device, probably on a par with the MacBook Air technical specifications-wise. It is highly likely that this will be aimed at power users, and those who want to replace their laptop with a tablet but also need a device that is powerful enough to do everything a laptop can do.

For businesses in certain industries, a larger, more powerful tablet could be exactly what they are looking for. Combine this with a keyboard and you will likely have a viable alternative to the laptop or even desktop. It might be a good idea to keep an ear out for iPad rumors in the coming months, as this one could very well prove to be true.

New Apple products

Apple's CEO Tim Cook noted towards the end of last year that the company will be releasing products in new categories. What this mean is anyone's guess, but it is highly likely that these products will be gadgets that are meant to compliment existing devices.

Some examples could be a smartwatch or even a TV with Apple TV built in. Regardless of what these new products turn out to be, there is a high chance that they won't be directly aimed at businesses. Where businesses will be affected is that these devices will likely come with the ability to connect to the Internet. This means that there will be even more devices connecting to your networks, and possibly increased security risks. It is worthwhile keeping tabs on these announcements and ensuring your systems will be protected when these devices are connected.

If you are looking to learn more about Apple's products and how they can be used in your organization in 2014 and beyond, contact us today for a chat.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
December 25th, 2013

OSX_Dec23_CApple's MacBooks are some of the most popular laptops, with business and individual users relying on them on a daily basis. Those who buy newer MacBooks can download the latest version of OS X - Mavericks - for free. Mavericks has many interesting features, some which may not be known by all users. One such example is that Mavericks introduced three functions to the power button.

Quick press of the power button

If your laptop is on, pressing the power button quickly, as in a tap and release without holding, will turn your screen off. What this actually does is put your Mac to sleep - the screen will be off, and hard drives will stop spinning, while your work and open programs remaining open.

To wake your computer up, simply tap and hold the spacebar down for about half a second. You should see the screen come back on with your programs open. You can also tap the power button again, without holding it down. This feature is actually available for all computers using OS X Mavericks, but works best on Mac laptops because the power button is more easily accessible.

Press the power button for 1.5 seconds

Pressing the power button for around 1.5 seconds brings up the familiar shutdown options window. You can then select from either Restart, Sleep, Cancel or Shut Down.

It is advisable to save all of your work, and ensure that any windows and programs are closed before trying to shut down, sleep or restart your machine. You can tick Reopen windows when logging back in, which will re-open any currently open windows when your computer starts up again.

Press the power button for 5 seconds

By pressing and holding the power button for five seconds, you will force your computer to turn off. Most people will do this when their computer has frozen, or isn't working properly. While this can be useful, it's not the best option for your computer, especially if you have programs open.

Forcing your computer to turn off will stop all operations and close all programs, regardless of whether you've saved your work or not. So, be sure to save your work and close programs if you can before shutting down. Most experts agree that you should not turn your computer off this way, if at all possible, as a forced shutdown should only be executed when your computer is not responding. When you go to shut your computer down, press the power button for 1.5 seconds and select Shut Down from the window that opens.

Two different ways to get to the shutdown menu window

If your laptop or keyboard doesn't have a power button you can actually open the shutdown menu by pressing Control + Eject (the eject button which is on most Mac keyboards). If you have a laptop or keyboard with a power button, but don't want to put your computer to sleep or force it to shut down, hold Control and tap the power button to open the shutdown window.

If you are looking to learn more about using Apple's computers in your office, please call us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
November 26th, 2013

OSX_Nov25_COS X 10.9 'Mavericks' is out and many businesses are upgrading in order to capitalize on the new developments introduced. One feature that many business users may particularly welcome is Tags. While Tags are useful, especially if you need to quickly find related files that are stored in various locations, some users are finding this feature a bit of a chore to actually manage.

The Mavericks update introduced numerous changes to the Label system, including renaming it to Tags. This feature promises a better ability to manage and group files and folders stored in different locations. All you need to know if how to effectively manage Tags on OS X Mavericks, along with ways you can remove tagging too.

How to tag an item

The easiest way to tag a file or folder is to simply right-click on it and click on Tags… This will allow you to create a new tag and give it a name and color. Once you have done that, you can select various files and folders that you would like to tag by right-clicking on one of them and then clicking on the tag you just created.

How to tell if something has a label attached to it

Identifying which files or folders have been tagged is actually quite straightforward. Simply take a look at the name of the file. If you have tagged it, you should see a colored dot beside the name. The color will vary depending on how you have tagged the item, but it will always be to the left of the name if you are in icon view. Those who prefer to view their files in List view will see the colored tag beside the name.

You can also open any folder from the Finder and look at the left-hand vertical menu bar. You should see a section called Tags. Clicking on any of the options under this section will show you all files that have been tagged

Method 1: Removing labels using the right-click

If you make a mistake and apply the wrong label to a file, or would like to remove one label because the file is no longer relevant, the easiest way to do so is to right-click/Alt-click on the file and scroll down to the Tags section. Then, hover over the tag and you should see an option to that says Remove "Tag name". If you click on this, the tag will be removed.

Method 2: Removing labels using the Finder

The second way you can delete Tags is by using the Tags button which is located on all Finder windows. You can delete Tags by:
  1. Opening the Finder and navigating to the file that you would like to untag.
  2. Selecting the file or files and clicking on the button at the top of the Finder window that looks like a toggle. It should be located at the top-right.
  3. Clicking on the tag you want to remove from the drop-down menu that opens.
  4. Tapping Delete on your keyboard.
If you are looking to learn more about using OS X Mavericks in your office, please contact us today to see how our solutions can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
October 30th, 2013

OSX_Oct28_CApples OS X has become one of the most popular Operating Systems (OS). One reason for this is the near yearly updates to the system, introducing new features which make the OS even better. On October 22, Apple introduced their latest version, OS X Mavericks. If you have a Mac, are you aware of the new features this update will introduce?

What exactly is OS X Mavericks? Officially labeled as OS X 10.9 and given the code-name 'Mavericks', after the popular surfing spot in California, this new version of OS X has just been released. It is best to think of this as an incremental update - it's not a completely new OS but introduces some new features and small changes to the layout of the overall system instead.

It is available for free from the App Store on your computer. You just have to download and install it. Of course, if you use your computer for work, you may want to check with your IT department or IT partner to ensure the update can be installed without any trouble.

What's new in Mavericks? While this isn't the biggest OS X update to date, Mavericks does introduce some interesting new features. Here are five:

  1. Maps - While the maps themselves are the same, there is a new feature that is helpful for those who are on the road frequently: You can now plot your own route on the desktop and then send it to your iPhone when you leave the office. You will receive a message on your phone which will open Maps and offer turn-by-turn directions.
  2. The Finder - There are two new useful features for the Finder. The first is tabbed viewing. You can open one file in a window, then open another in a tab in the same window, much like the tabs in many Internet browsers. The other is the ability to apply labels to your files and folders. Click on a label and you will see other files and folders with the same label. This makes finding files in different folders far easier.
  3. Notification Center - The new version of the Notification Center allows users to carry out tasks for certain apps directly from the notification. For example, if you have an iMessage, you can reply directly from the notification that pops-up. Other apps, like Mail for example, allow you to open, or delete an email from the notification. The Center will also be available from the Lock Screen of your computer, allowing you to see notifications that have come in while you were away.
  4. Multi-monitor support - In previous versions of OS X, using multi-monitors can be a bit tough, especially if you work in full screen mode. The new update now treats multi-monitors as essentially individual systems. Each monitor has a menu bar and can handle individual apps. Of course, if you like the older layout then you can revert to it from System Preferences.
  5. iCloud Keychain - Because many people are using so many more systems, they have started to turn to password managers to help remember all their different passwords. Mavericks offers iCloud Keychain, which saves passwords and credit card info in iCloud.
Upgrading to Mavericks OS X 10.9 is now available for free from the App Store on your machine. If you open the application, you should see a Mavericks splash screen at the top of the window. Clicking on Free Upgrade will begin the process.

As we stated above, if you are using your Mac at the office, it is a good idea to check with your IT partner or department to ensure that the update is compatible with other systems. Also, you might want to check if your machine can support the update. Here is the list of all Macs that can support the update.

  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or early 2009 or newer)
  • iMac (mid 2007 or newer)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (early 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (mid/late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (late 2008 or newer)
If you would like to learn more about Mavericks, please contact us today to see how we can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
October 2nd, 2013

OSX_Sep30_CAs we continue to see Apple devices and computers gain traction, and users, in business, many are finding that getting different systems to actually work together is harder than it really should be. One sticking point comes when trying to get both Mac and Windows to read and write files to external hard drives or USB storage devices.

On the surface, the files and folders of both Windows and Mac do the same thing and are relatively similar. The main difference comes in the file systems used by operating systems to control how information is stored and received on hard drives. This information is represented to us as a file structure - files and folders. Without a file system, we would not be able to tell the difference between information and data stored on the computer.

While it makes perfect sense to have only one type of file system, there are actually over 20 in use today. The most popular are:

  • HFS+ - The main file structure used by OS X. All Mac hard drives that the OS is installed on are formatted using this structure. Windows does not natively support this file structure, meaning that when you plug in a hard drive formatted using HFS+, Windows will not be able to read it without installing a third party app first.
  • NTFS - The main file structure preferred and recommended by Windows. OS X machines can read files and information on NTFS formatted drives but they cannot write (transfer) files onto them.
  • FAT32 - An older file system that is supported by both Windows and OS X. This means that both systems can read and write files to drives formatted using this system. The limitation of FAT32 is that it has trouble supporting files larger than 4GB.
  • ExFAT - A newer version of FAT32, sometimes referred to as FAT64. This system was developed to eliminate the file size limitations of FAT32. Windows systems can support this system as can Mac systems running OS X 10.6.5 and above.
Because OS X and Windows don't support the other's main file system, it is advisable to ensure that you format your external hard drives and USB drives to be either FAT32 or exFAT. The optimal choice would be exFAT.

How to format your external hard drive or USB on a Mac If you work in a company that uses both Windows and Mac machines, or would like to be able to transfer files between systems using an external drive, you should first format the drive so that it can be read by both systems. You can do this on a Mac by:

  1. Plugging in the drive you would like to format.
  2. Clicking on the Magnifying glass in the top-right of the window and typing Disk Utility.
  3. Opening Disk Utility by clicking on it from the results and selecting the drive you would like to format.
  4. Selecting Erase from the right box.
  5. Clicking on the button beside Format and selecting ExFAT.
  6. Entering a name for the drive in the box beside Name, left-clicking on Erase and following the prompts
Warning: Before your format any drive, you should be sure that there are no files you need or would like to keep because they will be erased and will be unrecoverable.

If you are looking to learn more about how a Mac can fit into your office, or would like to know more about formatting hard drives please contact us today to see how we can help make this happen.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
September 4th, 2013

OSX_Sep02_CApple's computers and devices are often heralded as some of the most robust in the industry. With a sturdy build quality and generally high quality components, they develop devices to last. However, like all tech, they will eventually have issues. When this inevitably happens, most people's first stop is Apple's support site. However, if you've ever tried to find a solution to your problem on the site, you know that it's not always that straightforward. As a result, Apple has made some big changes by recently introducing a new site offering more user-friendly support.

The new Apple Support site was launched in August this year and can be accessed here. Note: At the time of the writing of this article, if you click Support on Apple's site, you are taken to the old site but no doubt this will change in the near future.

A new kind of Apple Support The older support site looks a little cluttered and almost inefficient - something which is vastly at odds with the rest of Apple's products. Sure, you could find the information you needed, but you may have had to to search for a fair while. Delving deep into the site you would see a myriad of options and links that needed to be sorted through to find what you were really looking for.

The new site is redesigned to make troubleshooting and finding out how to fix your device that much easier. When you land on the site, you see buttons identifying Apple's products i.e., Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Apps & Software, and More Products and Services. Clicking on each will take you to the Issues page which has icons representing the most popular issues associated with each particular device. Click on one issue, and a drop-down box will open with common problems. If the problem is listed, click on it and the suggested fix will pop up.

All in all, the site looks clean, and effective. Finding more information on your problem is intuitive and generally quicker than with the older site. This should help make things easier and quicker for people who are having issues with their device to resolve them .

An easier way to track your devices On the main landing page, below the buttons for the different devices, are two links: See your products - Clicking this will open a window where you can sign into your Apple account to view information like receipts, warranty, etc. about your Apple products. See your cases and repairs - Clicking this will allow you to see the status of your repair requests or questions/issues Apple Support staff are currently working on. While these options are available on the current site, they aren't overly clear. This change makes it much easier to find relevant information when you need it.

Another way to get help If surfing a website doesn't appeal when trying to resolve issues, Apple has also reworked their contact page, and introduced a new option: 24/7 chat support. You will also be able to call the Apple Support line, schedule a call for a later time or schedule to take your device into an Apple store or retailer. This can all be arranged through the website, which is a really useful feature.

Of course, if you are experiencing problems with your device, you could always forgo sometimes complex support sites and bring it in to, or contact, us as we may be able to help. If you would like to learn more about Apple's products we can update you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
August 7th, 2013

OSX_Aug05_CMany businesses face the same issue: Software and licenses are becoming more expensive, especially if you have multiple users. As a business owner, you likely have an almost mind boggling number of product keys and serial numbers to keep track of, and if you lose one, the cost of replacing it could be high. If you have a Mac though, there is a way to minimize the loss of important product keys and serial numbers.

Serial numbers, product keys and registration numbers come in a variety of different forms - email, physically on the CD/DVD case, on the product box, etc. The answer in tracking them down is not to try and track them down. What's far easier is to use a key finder instead.

What is a key finder? A key finder is a small app that will search through the files in your computer for product keys and serial numbers. Because these are usually stored as encrypted files, most finders will be able to decrypt the files and then compile the keys into a list which is then presented to the user.

These apps are useful if you can't find a product key for say when you need to reinstall software. However, they could pose a slight security risk, especially if the app is left on your computer. If a hacker gains access to your system and runs the key finder, they will also be able to get hold of the product keys and essentially be able to steal these. This is pretty rare however, as hackers don't normally go after product keys.

An example of a key finder for Mac is Mac Product Key Finder. When you install this app, you will be able to execute a search of your hard drive and the app will present you with a list of programs and their related serial numbers beside the name. Of course, the app won't be able to obtain all serial numbers, especially if the developers have used a strong level of encryption for their security keys. But this will certainly return a fair amount of keys.

Is there a better way? While key finders are useful tools, it is better for companies to be more proactive, especially when using expensive software like the Adobe creative suite. The best solution is to keep both a digital and physical copy of all product keys and serial numbers for your computers and systems.

For the digital version, something like a spreadsheet with the product name, computer it's installed on, the product key and date installed, should be enough. Be sure to include computer serial numbers - they are usually on the case, or under the laptop - and peripheral serial numbers as well. This will also help ensure that they information is easy to find should you need to file a warranty claim.

For the physical version, the easiest thing to do is to simply print out the digital version and keep a copy in a safe place, like a safe. Then, make sure that the spreadsheet is locked and access limited. If you can add a password to access it, all the better. If you are looking for another solution, one where you don't have to keep track of all this information, why not work with an IT partner like us. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS