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How to know when it is time to replace your Mac

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How to know when it is time to replace your Mac

Is it time to say goodbye to your Mac? 

It’s a common question for many who have begun to see evidence that their computer just isn’t working like it used to. 

So what are the signs indicating it might be time for an upgrade to a new one? Here are some things to look for as you contemplate getting rid of your trusty Mac.

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS, AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER 

Man typing on a MacBook. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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How long do Macs last?

First off, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The longevity of a Mac depends on several factors, including usage intensity and maintenance. Generally, a Mac can offer around a decade of solid performance with regular updates and proper care.

Apple’s Vintage and Obsolete products page gives us a rough idea of device longevity. Vintage products are those discontinued for more than five but less than seven years, while obsolete products are discontinued for more than seven years.

Additionally, considering macOS compatibility, most Macs are eligible for the latest macOS version for about seven years. Apple typically supports each macOS version for three years, while third-party apps might have their own compatibility timelines.

MORE: BEST NEW LAPTOPS OF 2024

mac on desk

Mac on a desk. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

5 signs it’s time for an upgrade

Is your Mac showing signs of aging? Here are five clear indicators that it might be time for an upgrade.

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5 THINGS TO DO FIRST IF YOU GOT A NEW MAC

1. When it’s no longer getting software updates

When your Mac stops receiving updates, it’s a clear sign that it’s reaching the end of its life. Apple provides both upgrades and updates, with upgrades offering new macOS versions and updates providing essential security fixes. Once your Mac is no longer supported, it’s time to consider a replacement.

mac screen

Mac screen showing Updates Available. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

2. You can’t run the apps you need

As software evolves, older Macs may struggle to run newer applications smoothly. Factors like insufficient RAM or outdated hardware can lead to compatibility issues. If you find yourself unable to run essential apps or experiencing performance lag, it might be time for an upgrade.

MAC APP

Mac screen showing an app can’t run. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

3. Lack of computer memory

Computer memory, also known as RAM, is the temporary storage that your Mac uses to run multiple tasks at once. The more memory you have, the faster and smoother your Mac can perform. If your memory is low, you may notice slowdowns, freezes, crashes or the dreaded spinning beach ball of death, and it may be time for a new Mac.

mac screen notification

Screen notification that your system has run out of application memory. (Apple)

To check your memory usage on a Mac, you can follow these steps:

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  • Press ⌘ Cmd + Space to open Spotlight, or click the magnifying glass icon on the menu bar
  • Type Activity Monitor into the search bar and press Enter, or click the app icon that resembles a heartbeat monitor
  • Click the Memory tab in the upper navigation menu to see the amount of RAM being used by your system and apps
  • Look at the Memory Pressure graph at the bottom of the window to see how efficiently your memory is serving your processing needs. Green means low memory pressure, yellow means moderate memory pressure, and red means high memory pressure. If your memory pressure graph is red or yellow, it means your Mac is running out of memory, and you may need to upgrade it
MACbook activity monitor

Activity Monitor on MacBook Pro. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

4. When you’re running out of storage space

Running out of storage space is a common issue, especially as file sizes and data volumes increase. While some workarounds exist, such as cloud storage or file cleanup tools, the inability to upgrade the SSD on most modern Macs can become a limiting factor over time and may have you darting out to get a new Mac.

Mac storage space

Storage space indicator on Mac. (Apple)

MORE: HOW TO TIDY UP YOUR DESKTOP ON A MAC

5. You’re constantly running into problems

While Macs are known for their reliability, hardware issues can arise with age. These may include battery degradation, malfunctioning ports, trackpad issues or physical damage. If hardware problems start affecting usability or repair costs become prohibitive, it’s worth considering buying a new Mac.

MAC screen

Mac computer screen having problems. (Apple)

MORE: BEST VPNS FOR MAC — CYBERGUY PICKS 2024

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Before buying a new Mac, try these tips to speed up your old one

While Macs are known for their longevity and reliability, they’re not immune to aging or evolving technology. However, before rushing into a new purchase, consider these tips to optimize your current Mac’s performance through maintenance and upgrades. When the time does come to bid farewell to your old computer, embrace the opportunity to get a new Mac with the latest innovations and features, especially with the Apple silicon processors offered by newer Mac models.

mac mini

Mac mini showing it has M2 processor. (Apple)

MORE: HOW TO REMOVE MALWARE ON A MAC 2024 

Timing for a new Mac purchase

If you’re considering an upgrade to a new Mac, timing is key. Waiting for the right moment, such as before new models are released or taking advantage of discounts on older or refurbished models, can maximize the value of your purchase.

IMAGE of a MacBook Pro

MORE: 5 THINGS TO DO FIRST IF YOU GOT A NEW MAC

Kurt’s key takeaways

So, is it time to bid adieu to your old Mac? Only you can decide, but replacing your Mac at the proper time will keep your productivity at its max. Armed with the knowledge that we provided of your Mac’s lifespan and the five signs of aging, you’re now well-equipped to make the right choice.

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What factors do you consider most important when deciding whether it’s time to upgrade your Mac? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Answers to the most-asked CyberGuy questions:

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Technology

Microsoft is working with Nvidia, AMD, and Intel to improve upscaling support in PC games

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Microsoft is working with Nvidia, AMD, and Intel to improve upscaling support in PC games

Microsoft has outlined a new Windows API designed to offer a seamless way for game developers to integrate super resolution AI-upscaling features from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel. In a new blog post, program manager Joshua Tucker describes Microsoft’s new DirectSR API as the “missing link” between games and super resolution technologies, and says it should provide “a smoother, more efficient experience that scales across hardware.”

“This API enables multi-vendor SR [super resolution] through a common set of inputs and outputs, allowing a single code path to activate a variety of solutions including Nvidia DLSS Super Resolution, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, and Intel XeSS,” the post reads. The pitch seems to be that developers will be able to support this DirectSR API, rather than having to write code for each and every upscaling technology.

The blog post comes a couple of weeks after an “Automatic Super Resolution” feature was spotted in a test version of Windows 11, which promised to “use AI to make supported games play more smoothly with enhanced details.” Now, it seems the feature will plug into existing super resolution technologies like DLSS, FSR, and XeSS rather than offering a Windows-level alternative. 

Microsoft says that the new API will be available soon via a preview version of its Agility SDK. It plans to offer a “sneak peek” of how DirectSR can be used during a developer session at the forthcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC). The session will take place on March 21st, and will include representatives from both Microsoft as well as Nvidia and AMD.

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Apple warns against using rice to dry out your wet iPhone; here’s what to do instead

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Apple warns against using rice to dry out your wet iPhone; here’s what to do instead

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Cellphones getting water damage is nothing new. Before the iPhone, I had a flip phone that fell into a swimming pool. The first thing everyone told me to do was to dry the phone out with rice.

The idea is that the rice will draw out any excess water, saving your phone from being destroyed by water damage.

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This method remains many people’s tried-and-true method for saving a waterlogged phone, and I’ve seen it work firsthand. 

However, a new support document by Apple has just come out, and the company is asking people to please not place their iPhones in a bowl or bag of rice.

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

An iPhone in a bowl of rice (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Why shouldn’t you put your wet iPhone in rice?

Apple is now warning customers that placing their iPhones into a bowl or bag of rice might actually slow down the drying process and damage their phone’s internal components. In particular, the company warns that small particles of wet rice may end up in your iPhone, damaging the phone’s logic board.

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REVOLUTIONARY DEVICE LETS YOU POINT, CLICK WITH YOUR TONGUE

iPhone rice trick 2

Wet iPhone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

What Apple recommends you do instead

Next time your iPhone takes a dip in the swimming pool or the toilet, instead of running for the rice in the cabinet, Apple suggests doing this instead.

Step 1 – Tap the water out

Apple suggests that your first immediate step should be lightly tapping the iPhone against your hand with the charging connector pointed down. This should pull some of the water inside your iPhone out. Don’t be alarmed if only a few drops of water come from the connector port. Leave your iPhone somewhere dry, with some airflow.

iPhone rice trick 3

Image of an iPhone and power cord (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: BEST ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR PHONE

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Step 2 – Wait 30 minutes, then try to charge your iPhone

You should leave your iPhone alone for a period of 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes have gone by, you can attempt to charge your iPhone again. If your iPhone charges, congratulations. There’s no water damage to your iPhone and you can resume using it. If you receive an alert saying “liquid detected in USB-C (or lightning) port,” you unfortunately still have water in your iPhone. However, luckily, hope isn’t lost.

MORE: 5 BEST PORTABLE PHONE CHARGERS OF 2024

iPhone rice trick 4

Liquid Detected alert on iPhone (Apple)

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

Step 3 – Leave your iPhone in a dry area for 24 hours

If you receive an alert saying “liquid detected in USB-C (or lightning) port,” you unfortunately still have water in your iPhone. Apple warns against using a blow-dryer or any other heat gun device to dry your iPhone after it takes a splash. You should instead leave your phone in a dry area with some airflow and allow for 24 hours to pass. A room with a ceiling fan is a great place to leave your iPhone while it dries.

iPhone rice trick 5

Charging Not Available alert on iPhone (Apple)

Step 4 – Retest the connector

After 24 hours have passed, you should try to charge your iPhone again. If your iPhone charges, you are all good. If it doesn’t charge, Apple recommends removing the charging cable from the wall outlet and changing electrical sources for a moment. Apple recommends against trying to insert a cotton swab or any other foreign object into your charging port.

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If your iPhone’s charging port is damaged or not working properly, you may want to consider alternative charging methods that do not rely on the port. For example, some iPhones support wireless charging, which uses a magnetic pad or stand to charge your phone without plugging in a cable. This way, you can avoid inserting anything into the port and prevent further damage. 

Now, if all that doesn’t work and your iPhone still does not charge or shows signs of water damage, such as a wet screen, distorted audio or malfunctioning buttons, you may need to contact Apple for repair or replacement. You can check your warranty status and common issues not covered under warranty by clicking here.

Remember to back up your data before sending your iPhone for repair, as you may lose some or all of your information.

MORE: HOW TO PROTECT AN IPHONE & IPAD FROM MALWARE 2024

Kurt’s key takeaways

It’s important to remember that all iPhones since the iPhone 12 are able to safely withstand submersion in water of up to 20 feet for 30 minutes. If you do end up dropping your iPhone in the water, just don’t run for the rice.

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Do you think Apple should make their iPhones more water-resistant or waterproof? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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X adds live video to Spaces instead of bringing back Periscope

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X adds live video to Spaces instead of bringing back Periscope

Spaces, the live audio feature for X, is now letting hosts turn on their video during chat sessions. The platform formerly known as Twitter announced the news on Wednesday as owner / CTO Elon Musk reposted a walkthrough from a user named “Dogedesigner.”

Spaces users will notice a new option to “enable video” when they first create a new Spaces session. Hosts can opt for either their phone’s front or back-facing cameras as well as either a landscape or vertical view of their video feed. 

The Video Spaces are available on the iOS version of the X app, but we haven’t seen them available on Android or the web yet. Multiple users reported significant lag while trying out the feature so far.

Right now, only hosts have the ability to turn on video. The end result is a prominent display of the host’s video feed, which is then surrounded by icons of co-hosts, speakers, and any listeners. At first glance, it’s an environment that resembles Twitch — expect for the fact that any selected audience members can chime in at any minute. A host’s video feed also only lives inside a Spaces session, so users will have to join the session in order to tune in.

When Elon Musk announced that Spaces would get video late last year, his description of it sounded closer to a videoconferencing app or video call app like FaceTime, where the video feed switches to whoever is currently speaking. 

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But for now, a typical Spaces with video session prominently features the host’s video feed, which is surrounded by the smaller icons of any other speakers, co-hosts, or listeners in the room. It’s not exactly like Twitch since anyone you give permission to can speak back to you, but it does turn the host into the main event in a similar fashion. 

The new video integration of X Spaces is separate from the platform’s existing live broadcast feature, which lets users directly livestream video. Spaces functions as a live chatroom, where multiple users can tune in and speak. In contrast, the audience in a typical live broadcast can only comment or send hearts

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