Q: The problem of iCloud calendar spam seems to be getting worse. Is Apple officially doing anything about it?
A: Apple is aware of the current wave of spam messaging showing up as iCloud calendar or photo-sharing invitations. The company released a statement Nov. 30 that read: “We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.”
Spam has been oozing into email, text messages, social media and other forms of communications for decades, and just as with those, ignoring the unwanted calendar requests is one way to deal with the situation. But if you find the garbage invitations too annoying while Apple isolates and blocks spammers from abusing its system, you can still use some known workarounds.
Turning off iCloud Photo Sharing in your iCloud or iOS Photos & Camera settings – at least until Apple gets the spam blockade fully in place – lets you avoid the photo-sharing spam. To divert invitations to your iCloud mail for easy deletion, log into your iCloud account in your web browser, select Calendar and click the gear-shaped settings icon. Select Preferences, click the Advanced tab and, in the Invitations area, switch it to the email option.
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To dump existing calendar invitations without replying to the spammers, open the Calendar app on your iOS device. Tap Calendars at the bottom of the screen, then on the Edit button in the top-left corner. In the iCloud area, select Add Calendar, name it Spam or something evil and tap Done.
Return to the main calendar view and select the spam invitation in the Inbox. Under the invitation name, tap Add to Calendar and then pick your new Spam calendar. Return to the main calendar screen, tap the Calendars button and then Edit again. In the iCloud list, tap Spam, scroll down to the bottom to choose Delete Calendar and then confirm your decision to zap the Spam calendar for good.
A Vintage Look for Windows 10
Q: I am trying to make Windows 10 appear more like earlier versions of Windows. Is it possible to put an icon for My Computer on my desktop?
A: You can add an icon for This PC (Microsoft’s new name for My Computer) to your Windows 10 desktop, as well as icons for your user folder, Network, Recycle Bin and Control Panel. Start by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing Personalize from the contextual menu. (You can also tell the Cortana assistant to “Open Settings” and then click the Personalization icon.)
On the left side of the Personalization settings box, select Themes. In the Classic Settings area, click “Go to desktop icon settings.”
You should now see a box with several icons you can add to your Windows 10 desktop; the Recycle Bin icon may already be selected if you chose it when you were setting up your system. Turn on the check boxes for This PC and any other icons you want to see on your desktop. Click the Apply and OK buttons when you are finished.
If you prefer calling your machine the friendlier “My Computer” instead of “This PC,” you can change the name. Right-click on the desktop icon, choose Rename from the contextual menu, type in “My Computer” and press the Enter key. In similar fashion, you can also change the name from the Windows File Explorer. If you do not have a visible icon for it, press the Windows and X keys on the keyboard and choose File Explorer from the menu.