This week, I got a very rude shock when I received a text message from Telstra saying that I had used up nearly all of my month's allowance of mobile data - with 9 days to go until the end of the billing cycle!
I was not conscious of having done anything that could have used up that much data, so did a bit of detective work on my iPhone 7 Plus to see what was eating my data.
Uncovering the 'data gobbler'
I found in Settings -> Mobile that one of the biggest consumers of my data was System Services.
Normally, I only have a problem with my mobile data use when I have been using my 'personal hotspot' - which I had not done recently.
Further investigation showed that the big user of my mobile data was iTunes Media Services and iTunes Accounts.
So it was obviously something to do with my music. I had been listening to music as I walked, and wondered if that was the issue.
But that was not the problem. The problem was with an option I had turned on in Settings -> Music.
My Mobile Data setting was on - as I wanted to ensure that I could stream music when not on Wi-Fi. What I hadn't noticed was that there are some further options in the Mobile Data option.
Tapping on the Mobile Data option showed that I had the Downloads option turned on.
In addition to this, I also had the Automatic Download option enabled in Settings -> Music.
This setting meant that any music that I added to my Library in Apple Music would be automatically downloaded to my iPhone (as long as there is space).
I had recently added a couple of '70's Music' playlists, not realising they automatically downloaded - AND that, due to my setting in the Mobile Data, this downloading could happen using my mobile data.
Needless to say, I have now turned off the Downloads option in the Mobile Data option of Settings -> Music.
I suggest you all do the same, to avoid getting caught out like I did!
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A client who visited iTandCoffee recently had a particular requirement. She needed to extract a record of her iPhone's Messages, so that she had a separate, permanent record - just in case something happened to her iPhone.
The good news for this client is that such a requirement can be relatively easily met.
Not only is it possible to extract a record of the messages, but also the Contacts, Calendar entries, voice recordings, call history, photos, videos and more.
It is even possible to determine a forgotten 'Restrictions' password.
The Mac app that iTandCoffee uses to extract the above information is called 'iPhone Backup Extractor', one that has served our purposes for the past few years.
How do you retrieve your music from an old iPod or iOS device? Here is an article that covers this particular topic.
A client this week asked how he could stop a Netflix subscription that was not really being used and was no longer needed.
He had logged into his Netflix account, and tried to cancel it from there, but found that it gave him a message saying that the subscription was managed by iTunes, so it had to be cancelled there.
This has been covered previously in this blog. Here is a link to the relevant iTandCoffee Handy Hint that shows how to turn off such iTunes subscriptions: How to turn off subscriptions from your iPad and iPhone.
This is a members-only Handy Hint for iTandCoffee Club members. Find out more about The iTandCoffee Club here.
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Are you totally confused about what is happening these days with your music on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV?
I too found myself in this state during my summer break, when I went to play the Adele '25' album that I had purchased. At the time I was looking to play it, I had no internet service so needed to rely on my downloaded music.
I knew I had downloaded Adele's album, but could not find the Album on my iPhone - despite it showing in my iTunes Store app that it had been downloaded.
It was then that I discovered that all the music that I had previously sync'd to my iPhone from my computer had also disappeared, leaving me with nothing to listen to while 'offline'.
Then, in setting up my new Apple TV, I couldn't get any music to show up in Apple Music - other than Apple Radio.
I found that there are a couple of things to consider when sorting out issues with your Music under iOS 9, depending on whether you have turned on iCloud Music Library and whether you have an Apple Music subscription.
Well, it's iOS upgrade time again. The latest version of iOS - iOS 9 - is now available for download and installation.
If you missed last week's article that outlined the content of iOS 9, here is the link.
Before you even think about upgrading - or migrating to a brand new device - you need to be sure that you have a backup of your iPad and/or iPhone.
While problems don't happen often, upgrades (and updates) can occasionally fail. If this occurs, you will want to be sure to have a backup from which you can restore your device. before re-attempting the upgrade/update.
You have two options -
Backing up to iTunes
Of course, to back up to iTunes, you need a computer running iTunes, a version that is compatible with your i-Device's iOS version.
An iTunes backup is a much more comprehensive backup than an iCloud backup. It includes the full contents of your device, including the apps. Additionally, it does not require use of the internet - no upload/download data is used by this form of backup. If you have a computer, it is well worth doing an iTunes backup every now and then, even if you already backup to iCloud.
Another important different with an iTunes backup is that, when you specify that you want to encrypt your iTunes backup, that backup will include any passwords used by your device, and will ensure these are restored to your device when you restore from the backup.
An un-encrypted iTunes backup will not store passwords, so you will need to re-do these when your device is re-instated. Sometimes, this can cause quite a bit of grief - trying to remember all those key passwords.
Backing up to iCloud
An iCloud backup only backs up those things that are not already available for re-downloading from iCloud/iTunes and requires (of course) use of the internet to re-instate your device. And an iCloud backup will not back up passwords. Restoring from an iCloud backup requires an internet connection and, depending on how much data is stored on your device, may use up a significant amount of your monthly data allowance.
Need help with backups or upgrades?
The whole area of backups and upgrades can get quite overwhelming for many. If you need help with either of these, please don't hesitate to contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 or email email@example.com
Below are some past articles and handy hints on the topic or backups and iCloud, for those who feel like doing some further reading.
Here also is a good article from MacWorld on this topic.
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Just this week, I found my little 11-inch Macbook Air was bulging at the seams and needed a bit of a clean out!
So, I spent quite a bit of time getting rid of all sorts of files that didn't need to be kept. But, after all that work, my Mac showed that there was still a lot of 'Other' space filled up with who knows what.
It was then that I realised that, in assisting clients with various problems, I had a few times done iTunes Backups of their devices. Some of these devices had quite large storage capacity and usage, meaning that I probably had a large amount of space being taken up with iTunes backup I no longer needed.
Find out in this week's handy hint just what I was able to do the 'clear out' these un-needed backups, and free up about 40GB of space on my little Mac!!
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I normally create my music playlists in iTunes on my computer, and then sync them to my iPhone and iPad.
However, the other day I decided I wanted to create a playlist on my iPhone. When I went to do this, I realised that it is not very obvious where to find the 'Create New Playlist' option!
When you tap on the Playlists option at the bottom of the screen, you only see the list of existing playlists.
So where do you go to create the new playlist?
Find out in this iTandCoffee Handy Hint. This hint is now only accessible to those who are iTandCoffee Club members.
For this and a huge number of other tips and tricks for iPad, iPhone and Mac, Join the Club today!
This week I had a visit from a client, who was desperate to recover some very important Notes that were inadvertently deleted from her iPhone.
She had visited the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, but was told that there was not really any way of recovering the information that she had lost.
So she came to see me to find out if there was any possibility of retrieving these lost Notes, especially given that she had regularly backed up her iPhone to iTunes on her Macbook as well as backing up to iCloud.
The answer is ... maybe!
While the iCloud backup is unlikely to be of any help in retrieving the lost Notes, it is possible that the lost data is still available in the iTunes backups that are saved to her Macbook. So what's the difference between these two types of backup.
The below is taken from a article that talks about i-Device backups. (Read more here if you are interested.)
... iTunes backups are different than iCloud backups. When you back up via iTunes, you’ll get a complete copy of all the data on your device so you can restore your device to the same exact state later. With iCloud, only “the most important data” on your device will be backed up to your iCloud account. For example, iCloud backups don’t include a complete copy of the music and videos on your device — but iTunes backups will. This allows you to save limited iCloud space and avoid having to upload and download huge amounts of data.
What this highlights is just how important it is to, if possible, regularly back up your iPhone and iPad to iTunes on a computer - so that you have a complete backup of your device should you ever need it - rather than just a partial iCloud backup.
Where are iTunes Backups stored on your computer
iTunes backups are saved away to an hidden area on your Mac or Windows computer. In the case of this client's Mac, we could see all her iTunes backups in the folder
You can get to this hidden folder by opening Finder, then choosing Go from the menu bar and clicking on Go to Folder, and typing in the above path. (Refer later for where to find the backup folders on Windows.)
In that Backup folder, you will see a list of backup folders, which contains a heap of strangely named files that are actually the contents of the backup. The Date Created for each of the folders in Backup provides you with the backup's date.
(If you don't see Date Created in the columns provided, right-click on the column heading area and 'tick' the Date Created option from the list that drops down. This will add the column to your Finder view.)
Below is a sample of my own iTunes backup folders. I have clicked on the Date Created heading to sort the list of folders in descending Date Created order, so that the newest is at the top.
When we looked at my client's backup folders on her Macbook in the same way, we were able to see that she had a backup from just before and after the date that she thinks she deleted the Notes. So hope was restored.
But how can you then find what you need in the iTunes Backup
The question is then, how can she view the contents of her backup in a way that allows her to locate her missing Notes - given that there is nothing that would indicate which of the files in the relevant backup folder contains her deleted Notes.
Double-clicking on a few files at random shows that these backup files are sometimes photos, sometimes text with gobbledy-gook - but finding a couple of Notes amongst thousands of files would be like finding a needle in a haystack. (If you don't have much in your backup, this solution might be workable for finding a particular file.)
The easiest way to extract the information contained in this set of folders is to download a product that allows you to view the contents of the backup.
The particular product that I use for cases like this is Aiseesoft Mac Fonelab. This app is not available from the Mac App Store, so must be downloaded from the Aiseesoft website.
Below is an image of the Fonelab screen. In this image, the app is in the process of scanning my nominated iTunes backup to identify all the Photos, Contacts, Messages, Notes, etc. Once it has finished this scanning, I will be able to look through what it found.
The below images shows the list of the Notes that Fonelab found in my backup - I can view the content of each note and, if I choose, can 'recover' these notes to a specified Output folder.
While this product is not cheap (right now, it is US$48.96), it can be a real lifesaver for those times that you lose something really important.
Some other options (which I have not tried myself, so cannot provide any recommendation) are:
So there is hope for my clients lost Notes, if she wants to invest in a product such as those described above.
Location of iTunes Backups on a Windows Computer (Windows Vista, 7 and 8)
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iTunes and iCloud
Housekeeping - Data Storage, Backup, Battery, Deleting, Troubleshooting
Client question: Do I have to back up both my iPad and iPhone? Can I do this by just plugging into my computer?
Sandy asks: If I back up the iPhone, do I also need to back up the iPad? AND when I do the backup, do I just plug the unit into the computer when it's on?
Answer: The iPhone and iPad need to each be backed up separately - backing up one does not back up the other.
You are correct that you can back up your devices by plugging in to your computer - by using iTunes. (I am assuming here that you are plugging in to the computer that you normally sync your devices with.) Just make sure that iTunes starts up and the message at the top shows that the device you have plugged in is backing up (as well as sync'ing) your device.
If it doesn't back up automatically, you can force the backup of the device by right-clicking on the device in the Sidebar, and choosing Backup. (If you don't see a sidebar, you can turn this back on from the View menu.)
The other option is to back up your devices to your iCloud rather than to a computer - something that can happen automatically each day without you having to remember to do it!
I have lost count of the number of clients that I have seen recently who are in an iCloud tangle because they are ‘sharing’ an iCloud account with another person (and sometimes with more than one person).
They end up deleting each other's Contacts and Calendar events, perhaps getting each other’s messages and photos, and often have run out of space in iCloud. Unless you really do want to share your calendar, contacts, notes, reminders, photos, messages, etc with someone else, do not use the same Apple ID for iCloud as any other person because
iCloud accounts are not meant to be shared!
It is OK to have an iTunes and App Store account (Apple ID) that you share with others in your family - this will save you having to purchase music, movies, books, apps, etc multiple times. But iCloud is different. You should have your very own Apple ID for iCloud - which can be an email address that belongs to you (and is not used for iCloud by anyone else), or can be a free Apple iCloud email address that you can easily set up.
iCloud accounts are designed to be associated with one person - to allow that person to sync their important data (contacts, calendar entries, notes, reminders, photos) between their devices and, if desired, to back up each Apple mobile device belonging to that person.
I like to picture an Apple shaped cloud floating above me wherever it go. This cloud is labelled with my email address to identify it as mine and mine alone. My husband Jim and son Jacob have their own iCloud clouds, since I don't want their data to be mixed up with mine.
When I do things on one device - for example, add a calendar event or contact, or take a photo - that 'thing' will appear magically on my other devices (but not on their devices).
Not only that, my iCloud cloud will hold on to this information - so if a major act of God leaves me with no iPad, iPhone or computer, my information is still safely floating up there in my cloud - waiting for me to get a new device. The minute I tell that new device about my 'cloud', all of the important information that is sync'd to my iCloud will downloaded onto my new device. And because I also back up my iPad and iPhone to my iCloud, I will can restore all my photos, messages and app data to the new device - ready to pick up where I left off.
Just be careful when you try to unravel any existing iCloud tangle, as you may end up unintentionally removing your own important information from your iPhone or iPad.
iTandCoffee can help sort out any iCloud mess in your family. Just call 1300 885 420.
I have had two mums contact me in the last two days with this very question (one for an iPad and one for an iPod Touch)! Especially for kids who use iPads for school, this can be very stressful and upsetting.
So I thought it worth describing your options here. iTea&Coffee can help if you need assistance or advice - just call 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
But before we go into what to do in this situation, let's talk about how you can make sure a lost passcode is not a disaster for you.
Please, please MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP OF YOUR DEVICE, whether it be a backup via iTunes to a computer, or a backup to iCloud. At the very least, make use of iCloud to ensure you key information (Contact, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, etc) are safely stored in the 'cloud'. If you don't know how to do this or need some advice, iTea&Coffee can help.
How can you get around a lost passcode?
Unfortunately, if the passcode to your i-Device has been forgotten, the only way to recover is to start by resetting your device back to its factory settings - which means everything will be wiped from the device. But it is not all bad news (hopefully!)
Whether you can recover some or all of your device's data will depend on whether you are using iCloud and/or whether you have previously sync'd your device with a computer using iTunes (or at least told your device to 'trust' a computer).
If you have previously sync'd with a computer or established a 'trust' relationship with a computer ...
... you will be able to plug it in to this computer, bring up iTunes, choose the Restore option, and then choose a backup from which to restore. This could be a backup from the computer, or from iCloud. The iOS Setup Assistant will ask which type of backup you would like to restore.
Of course, this is your best case scenario, especially if you have a recent backup.
If you don't have a backup from which to restore, you need to try to take a backup first. This is only possible if your device has previously sync'd with the computer or has just been told to 'trust' the computer. (If neither of these has occurred, you won't get the option to backup or restore.)
If you have previously sync'd with the computer, do a sync and backup before you restore.
If you have previously just told your device to 'Trust' another computer (but have never sync'd with that computer), you can still choose to just backup your device to that computer so that you can restore from that backup. (Just be careful not to sync with that computer if it doesn't contain all the media that was previously sync'd to your device, because you will wipe things you didn't mean to wipe! This can be a real trap for those who don't really understand iTunes and sync'ing.)
Before wiping and restoring your i-Device, you can double-check you have the necessary backup available on your computer by going to iTunes menu, then Preferences (or Properties if you are on Windows), looking at the Devices 'tab' and seeing whether your device's backup is in the list and has the right date and time (see image below)
If you want to double-check the date of your latest iCloud backup, you can go to another device that is connected to that iCloud (if you have one) and go to Settings->iCloud->Storage and Backups->Manage Storage, and touch on the name of the device for which you don't have the passcode. This will tell you when that backup was last taken.
Having checked that you have a backup available, you can then safely choose to Restore, which will wipe the device completely. When the iOS Setup Assistant appears, choose to Restore from iTunes Backup or Restore from iCloud. You should then be able to reset you passcode.
If you have not previously sync'd with a computer, set up a 'trust' relationship or can't access any such computer any more ...
... there are a couple of options.
If you have 'Find my iPhone' turned on for the locked device (through iCloud), you can choose to do a remote wipe of the device, which will restore it to factory settings - and hopefully then allow you to restore from an iCloud backup (if you were backing up the device to iCloud of course!).
If 'Find my iPhone' was not turned on, you will need to use a computer that has iTunes and put your device into something called 'Recovery Mode'. The following are the instructions from the Apple Support website:
If you don't have an iCloud backup but still had iCloud turned on, you will at least get back all of your Contact, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Safari bookmarks, Photo Stream and Documents & Data as soon as you sign in with your iCloud Apple ID (assuming you had those iCloud features switched on!).
Once I have restored from backup, will my device have everything it previously had?
Backups don't contain content synced to the device, such as movies, music, podcasts, and apps. These are re-downloaded when you sign in to the Store with your Apple ID. Any music that you did not purchase with your Apple ID will be not be restored to your device - you will need to sync with the device from which the music came to re-instate it.
Below is the list of things that do get backed up.
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