您向 Mac 911 提出的最重要问题以及一些答案


With Macworld’s Mac 911 column, we take your questions and do our best to help. We love being the place you come to in order to find answers to nagging problems. While the Mac 911 name predates iOS, iPadOS, and iCloud, we’re happy to answer questions about all those topics as well as macOS and any Apple hardware, software, or service.

We can help save you some time if you consult this list of the most commonly asked questions we receive. This super FAQ provides brief answers to issues that represent a substantial portion of all the email we receive, along with links to our full-length columns with more details. Some of these columns date back a few years, but they remain up to date for the steps you need to take, even if the appearance of some interface elements has changed.

Focus on Photos and iCloud Photos

Ever since Apple released Photos for macOS, we’ve received a huge number of questions about the Photos apps for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, as well as iCloud Photos (formerly iCloud Photo Library).

As a general tip, if you’re looking for help in managing Photos for macOS libraries, I highly recommend Fat Cat Software’s PowerPhotos. Among other things, it can migrate iPhoto and Aperture libraries. PowerPhotos is also the only tool that can merge Photos libraries, and works with Apple’s database format to find and remove duplicates. For its $30 price tag, you get both PowerPhotos and a copy of iPhoto Library Manager, which can help prep or manage iPhoto libraries.

Here are the questions asked most frequently about Photos and iCloud Photos.

Erase, revive, restore, and reinstall macOS

After Photos, we get a lot of questions related to macOS, particularly dealing with cleaning up a system for sale or restoring one that seems to have gone kaput. Let’s start with erasing a Mac, accidentally or intentionally erasing files, or a Mac that won’t start up macOS or boot at all:

Find answers to other common macOS questions

Here are a few other questions that commonly arise around macOS.

Figure out your maximum displays (and expand it)

Apple has so much variety among its Macs about how many external displays you can add and of what variety, we’ve collected that information—plus a bonus.

Manage Time Machine snapshots and volumes

Apple took Time Machine through a transition across its shift from the HFS+ (MacOS Extended) drive format to its modern APFS (Apple Filing System) that phased in starting a few years ago. You might have an old Time Machine volume formatted as HFS+ or an older Mac using that format on its startup volume. Interacting with APFS can be tricky—as can managing snapshots stored on the local volume or as part of Time Machine backups.

Pick the right cable, adapter, or dock

The USB-C jack/plug format is a delight for being compact, standard, and reversible across its long access—no more fumbling with the rectangular USB Type-A plug to ensure it’s the right way “up”! But because USB-C can be used for USB 3.1 and 3.2, USB4, Thunderbolt 3 and 4, and DisplayPort, as well as docks and hubs, confusion abounds.

  • “What’s the right port or cable to use?” One of our most common category of questions is how to figure out what port or cable is right for connecting docks, external drives, Macs to other Macs, and adding other peripherals. You can read this general guide to understanding USB and Thunderbolt, “Learn to untangle USB and Thunderbolt,” including which cables work best for the two standards. If you want to add a drive to your Mac, “Which Mac port is the best to use for external storage?” will guide you to the best combination of price and throughput.
  • “Why does my hard drive unmount when I plug it other periperhals into a dock attached to my Mac?” Your dock may lack the necessary power to handle all the devices you’re attaching. Figure out requirements using “When buying a USB-C dock, check if it can provide enough power to your peripherals.”
  • “How can I use my Apple USB SuperDrive with a USB-C connection?” The SuperDrive has some odd power characteristics that make it incompatible with some adapters and docks. You can find out how to connect a SuperDrive successfully in “How to connect an Apple USB SuperDrive to a newer Mac.”

Sort out Apple ID issues

While the Apple ID account has existed for many years now, Apple still offers no way to merge, split, transfer, or mostly manipulate most of what’s associated with an account. You can’t split purchases among two accounts for people who shared one; you can’t merge synced data, purchases, or other information from two or more accounts into one. As a result, we get a number of Apple ID questions all the time. Here are the most common.

“Why is Apple telling me that my ‘Apple ID has not yet been used with the App Store’?” This probably started cropping up in late 2021 and we’ve had quite a few reports of it. Our best advice can be found here, but you may need to contact Apple directly to resolve it.

“I have two Apple IDs (or my partner/spouse/etc. and I each have one).” Many people have wound up with two Apple IDs that manage different parts of their Apple experience because of how Apple launched different services. I use one account that was registered first as an iTools account, for all of my synchronization, while another, which started as my personal email address, for iTunes and App Store purchases.

Many people also write in because two or more people in their family grouping (whether a couple or including children or parents or others) have unique Apple IDs and they want to share purchases or information among them, wondering if Family Sharing is a good option.

There’s really nothing you can do about any of these situations, but people who have been told this in the past by Apple and supposed gurus like yours truly continue to ask, because it’s so frustrating and seems unreasonable.

I do have some general advice, however:

  • If what you’re doing is working but annoying, you should learn to accept it, because it seems unlikely Apple will ever change this. I am often frustrated in setting up new devices or dealing with unexpected password requests for iCloud, the App Store, and other Apple properties due to my two-account situation, but it does work reliably. I haven’t lost any data, and I can always access my purchases.
  • If you’re using email via iCloud with one account, and have all your purchases on another, you can transition everything except email to your purchasing account, and switch to have everything sync through that account for iCloud. You can tie iCloud in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to the purchase account, and set up an email-only connection for your email-focused iCloud account. I suggest a plan in “Can you merge synced data from multiple Apple IDs?” and “How to merge two macOS accounts into one.”
  • Family Sharing may work in some cases, though I don’t love the implementation. Chris Breen wrote up a transition suggestion in 2014 that still works, but not for everyone.

“I share an account with someone else; can we split it in two (because they are now an adult child of mine, I and the other person have split up, we now want separate accounts)?” This is actually easier than merging two accounts into one, with the exception that items purchased in one account remain with that starting account. However, other data can be migrated; read “What to do when breaking up a shared Apple ID account.” And, if the person you’re separating out into another account is part of a Family Sharing group, they can retain access to most or all of the purchases in the Apple ID they were formerly part of; see “How to split up an Apple ID among family members and forward their email.”

“I have an Apple ID in one country; how can I change the country for that Apple ID’s registration?” You can, but you lose access to all your purchases. You can maintain separate Apple IDs that are registered in different countries, but that can be problematic when you want to switch among them to access different purchases or data, as I explain in “How to use different iTunes accounts for different languages.”

No, Siri, no!

Siri has limitations around correctly spelling things you speak and correctly pronouncing words and names. There are some workarounds.

  • “Siri won’t spell something correctly.” Siri may transcribe a name or word incorrectly. You can add the correctly spelled version of the word or name to a contact name, and that can fix things. You can also swipe down on the Siri screen and type to correct misspelled words in its version. It’s supposed to get better over time as you make those corrections, but Siri still transcribes “Offie” instead of the app “Authy,” no matter how many times I correct it.
  • “Siri won’t pronounce my name or someone else’s name correctly.” You can tell Siri that it got it wrong, and Siri provides alternative pronunciations from which you can pick, or you can add a word or name to a contact and use a hidden phonetic field in Contacts to provide the correct way to say it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, either, to judge by reader reports.

Sorry, we can’t help you with correcting Apple Maps

Because we have written about how to report errors in Apple Maps to Apple, many hasty and casual discoverers of Macworld’s site believe we either are Apple or have a magic conduit to that land of fruit and aluminium. We do not.

However, we do have this column that explains how to file corrections yourself—or, if you don’t have an Apple device, how to get someone with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to file a correction for you. Read “Apple Maps lists your location incorrectly? You can report it.”

Ask Mac 911

We’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to mac911@macworld.com, including screen captures as appropriate and whether you want your full name used. Not every question will be answered, we don’t reply to email, and we cannot provide direct troubleshooting advice.