How-To

These categories contain instructions for configuring and using your Mac, in some cases including short demonstration videos:

Core OS X
Core OS X
Core OS X
Printing and Peripherals
Core OS X
Sharing Services
Core OS X
Applications
Core OS X
Hardware

Recent How-To Articles:

Dos and Donts for managing data on external hard drives

Posted on May 18th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 17 Comments

Your data is the most important aspect of your computer, and unfortunately we often don't realize this until we're faced with the possibility of…

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How to manage inactivated e-mail accounts in OS X

Posted on May 8th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When you start a new job or join a new group, club, service, or other organization, you may be given an e-mail account to use with that service. You…

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How to enable screen sharing services remotely in OS X

Posted on Apr 26th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you have any Mac that you would like to manage remotely, then you can enable Screen Sharing or Remote Management in the Sharing system…

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How to present and record your iPhone or iPad on your Mac

Posted on Apr 7th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Every now and then you may wish to display something from your iPhone or iPad on your Mac. This may be during a presentation, or just for kicks, but…

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Four quick April Fools pranks for your Mac-loving friends

Posted on Apr 1st, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Happy April Fools day! If you have an inkling to participate in sly festivities on this day of pranks, you might consider looking no further than…

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How to change video playback speed in QuickTime X

Posted on Feb 16th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

When Apple replaced its aging QuickTime Player 7 with the newer QuickTime X, it touted the change as a ground-up rebuild to supplant the band-aided…

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Hot corners annoying you? Make them explicitly requested.

Posted on Feb 1st, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One of OS X's notable features is its Hot Corners service, where by moving your mouse to a designated corner of your screen you can activate one of…

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How to get file information from the command line in OS X

Posted on Jan 19th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When you are browsing your files in the OS X Finder, you will have a number of options for telling you what the file is. For starters, most files…

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Tips and tricks for increasing the use of the OS X Console

Posted on Jan 11th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

One of the top troubleshooting tools you will use in OS X is the Console app, with which you can view a centralized list of logged system activity,…

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How to run “headless” virtual machines in OS X

Posted on Jan 3rd, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

If you run multiple operating systems on your Mac in virtual machines, then you likely use either Virtual Box, VMWare Fusion, or Parallels Desktop.…

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Options for securing external storage in OS X

Posted on Dec 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

The default approach for storing files on drives other than your boot drive is to get an external storage device and then copy your files to it;…

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How to authenticate a shell script with the OS X GUI

Posted on Dec 20th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When you run various commands and scripts in OS X, you may need to first authenticate the actions you are taking as administrator. While some…

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No Recovery drive? Three alternatives are available to you.

Posted on Dec 20th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

When some problems such as hard drive corruption occur on your Mac, or if you need to perform account maintenance such as resetting passwords or…

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How to script QR and data matrix code generation in OS X

Posted on Dec 13th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you have a need to catalog items, be they for inventory of a store, or for assets of a business, you might find yourself needing to create some…

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How to choose a format for an external drive in OS X

Posted on Dec 10th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 15 Comments

Formatting an external drive to work with your Mac can be done in several ways. While for the most part drives ship in formats that are universally…

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How to change the Dock for another user account in OS X

Posted on Dec 7th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

The Dock in OS X is meant to be easily configurable, where you can simply drag items to and from it, or resize and position it to organize and manage…

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Prevent Gatekeeper from auto-enabling in OS X

Posted on Dec 3rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Gatekeeper is an execution prevention technology in OS X that will block apps from running if they have not been properly certified. It combines with…

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How to maximize screen real estate in OS X

Posted on Dec 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

In most instances you may want to have as much desktop space on your Mac as possible to get your work done. While you can organizing windows on your…

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How to hide a user in two steps in OS X Yosemite or later

Posted on Nov 30th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you wish to have a user account on your Mac that is discrete so others using your Mac cannot see that user, then you can do so by the classic…

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How to find group membership in OS X

Posted on Nov 20th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Groups in OS X are special account entries that act as umbrellas under which user accounts may exist, allowing single adjustments of access…

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How to view system identification at the OS X login window

Posted on Nov 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When logging into a Mac you generally see your list of usernames that you can click, followed by a password entry field. While you can enable other…

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How to create hidden administrative accounts in OS X

Posted on Nov 17th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

If you have a system that is used by other people, you may want to give them managed user accounts and then reserve a separate administrative account…

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How to quickly target shared computers by name in OS X

Posted on Nov 13th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Even though in most cases Apple's Bonjour networking technology allows your Mac to discover relevant services that are broadcast by nearby systems…

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How to take a screenshot of another user’s desktop in OS X

Posted on Nov 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

One of the popular features of OS X is its built-in screenshot ability, where by pressing Shift-Command-3 you can capture an image of your current…

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How to quickly combine multiple Photos libraries in OS X

Posted on Nov 11th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

As of OS X Yosemite, Apple is encouraging everyone to use its new Photos program for managing pictures in OS X. While Photos has a number of pros and…

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How to verify app signatures in OS X

Posted on Nov 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

One potential route by which an attacker can compromise your Mac is to modify a legitimate software package to contain malware. While this is…

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How to create a quick ASCII banner in the OS X Terminal

Posted on Nov 5th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Even if you are not a Terminal wizard, there are some fun tools and features of it that can be amusing. For instance, some online services are…

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Four methods for accessing recovery mode in OS X

Posted on Nov 4th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Accessing Recovery Mode in OS X may be necessary for restoring from a backup, and reinstalling OS X, among other low-level administrative tasks. In…

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How to certify and encrypt your e-mail in OS X

Posted on Nov 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

Even though we have modern messaging technologies like Apple's Messages that default to encrypted communications, we still primarily use e-mail,…

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How to turn off your monitor without turning off your Mac

Posted on Oct 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Quite often you may have some task running on your Mac that you might wish to keep going while you step away from your system. However, you may wish…

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How to access Expert Mode when calibrating your Displays in El Capitan

Posted on Oct 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Calibrating your Mac's display will ensure the digital values in images are translated to display properly on the display devices you use, and is an…

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How to rotate your Mac’s display

Posted on Oct 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

For the most part you will likely set up your Mac's display in its default landscape orientation; however, there may be times when you might find it…

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How to securely delete files in OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’

Posted on Oct 3rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 26 Comments

When you delete a file on your MAc, OS X only removes the index entry for the file, which tells the system the file's contents are free to be…

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About OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’ and Permissions Fixes

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

One of the common routines taken after installing software, upgrading the system, or otherwise heavily modifying an OS X installation, is to run a…

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How to navigate documents on your Mac like a pro

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

One of the primary purposes of your Mac is likely to compose or view various text-based documents, and in doing so you may find yourself needing to…

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No charger? How to save your battery in iOS 9

Posted on Sep 22nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Besides the current time, your iPhone or iPad's battery level is perhaps one of the more monitored details of your device. This may especially be…

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How to centralize your Time Machine backups

Posted on Sep 18th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

Time Machine in OS X offers a quick way to back up your entire system, but one requirement for this is you need to plug in your backup drive in order…

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How to overcome Apps crashing or hanging in iOS

Posted on Sep 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Apple's iOS is developed to be relatively simple and straightforward, where you download an app and run it with one tap, and it should then give you…

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Quickly recover deleted photos from your iOS device

Posted on Sep 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Apple's iPhone and iPad are great to use for snapping a quick photo, and with the ever-increasing number of features at your disposal, such as…

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How to add system user accounts to a folder’s permissions in OS X

Posted on Sep 4th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

OS X is a user-based operating system where each user that access the system has a separate account that holds preferences and other settings for the…

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How to manage multiple Photos libraries on your Mac

Posted on Sep 3rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

As an OS X user you likely have at least some of your photos stored in Apple's provided Photos application, and by doing so, you can use them with…

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How to kill a process in OS X

Posted on Sep 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When an application hangs on your Mac, sometimes the quickest fix is to force the application to quit. In most cases, this will free the system and…

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How to prepare your Mac for OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’

Posted on Aug 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

Apple's OS X El Capitan is slated for release in fall, and with this season right around the corner, the OS will soon be available for those who wish…

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What can you do with Apple’s new Force-Touch trackpad?

Posted on Aug 25th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If you recently purchased a MacBook that has Apple's new Force-Touch trackpad, then as with any new system you might have played around with the…

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How to edit files in TextEdit from the OS X Terminal

Posted on Aug 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If you are a Terminal user, then you very likely spend a fair amount of time editing various text files, be they configuration files, scripts, or…

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How to manage your Messages histories in OS X

Posted on Aug 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When using Messages in OS X to chat with friends and colleagues, the program will save a record of your message contents, to then keep a history of…

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Can’t remember passwords? Here are two ways to reveal them.

Posted on Jul 30th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you're browsing the Web and need to either create a new account or log into an existing one, then you will likely need to enter your password. To…

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Options for quickly opening recent documents in OS X

Posted on Jul 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you want to open a document in OS X that you have recently edited, you might find yourself locating it on your hard drive, or searching for it…

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How to use Smart Folders on your Mac

Posted on Jul 24th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If you haven't yet used Smart Folders in OS X, then you may be missing out on a critical time-saving feature of the OS X Finder. Smart Folders are…

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Quick maintenance tips for your iOS device

Posted on Jul 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

While for the most part performing regular maintenance on your computing devices is not needed, periodically you might want to check a few settings…

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How to quickly look up maps, movies, and more in OS X

Posted on Jul 16th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Often when you need to look up some details about a topic at hand, you open a Web browser and search for it using your preferred search engine;…

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How to isolate output in the OS X Console

Posted on Jul 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

As programs run on your Mac, they will output their activity either to the system log or to specific log files, both of which can be viewed using OS…

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Three quick tips for managing the Dock in OS X

Posted on Jul 14th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you use OS X, then you likely make fairly decent use of the Dock for storing common applications, or switching between them. While you can…

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How to prevent OS X from replacing text you type

Posted on Jul 9th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

There may be times in OS X where in typing an e-mail, paper, or other body of text, you may find some characters you type be immediately replaced by…

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Safari 9 brings Responsive Design preview mode

Posted on Jul 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

With the advancement of Web content towards mobile platforms, if you are a developer then you may need to test various sites on different devices to…

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How to enable TRIM on third-party SSDs in OS X

Posted on Jul 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 19 Comments

TRIM is a service that runs in your operating system and works with SSD hardware to track what blocks on the drive are unused, and then prepares them…

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Three useful workflow tips for OS X Terminal users

Posted on Jun 29th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Whether you are a seasoned Terminal user or just getting your feet wet, you may find yourself somewhat limited by the text based interface of the…

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How to use Spotlight as a quick conversion calculator in OS X

Posted on Jun 24th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

The Spotlight search on your Mac allows you to find and preview files on your system, and can be quite convenient for opening applications, or in…

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How to put your personal Mac on your work’s network

Posted on Jun 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Quite often corporate networks will have restrictions that prevent you from using them with your personal system. Sometimes, only systems that have…

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How to fully reset Safari on your Mac

Posted on Jun 22nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 28 Comments

Being the default browser shipped with every Mac, you are very likely using Safari as your main way of accessing the Web. Therefore, if something…

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Mac not booting or display not working? Here is how to get your files.

Posted on Jun 16th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

In order to access the files on your Mac you will usually need to have a functioning version of OS X, along with a working display so you can…

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How to downgrade iOS and restore your iPhone from a backup

Posted on Jun 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If you have installed a new version of iOS, or have otherwise modified your iPhone or iPad and are now running into problems that you cannot seem to…

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How to remove the FlashMall adware from OS X

Posted on Jun 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Anytime you are using your Mac and are suddenly inundated with popups, unwanted Web pages opening, and other ads, then you are likely either using or…

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How to batch-rename and manage multiple files in OS X

Posted on Jun 10th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

When organizing files and folders in the Finder, you will often need to manage multiple files at once. Not only might you select groups of them to…

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How to customize print margins in any OS X program

Posted on Jun 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you use various word processing programs and other document handling tools, you will likely have options right at your fingertips for setting…

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How to quickly deselect files and folders in OS X

Posted on Jun 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Selecting items in OS X is easy––you click an item you want, and it highlights. You can also expand your selection by holding the Shift or…

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Three ways to open the current Finder window in the OS X Terminal

Posted on May 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

OS X includes a service where you can open the OS X Terminal at a selected folder, but this is not always the optimal approach. For one, it requires…

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How to contact your iOS App’s developer

Posted on May 21st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Every now and then you may have an app on your iOS device that stops working properly. In some cases it may stop responding to tapping and dragging,…

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Use gestures to preview Web links from anywhere in OS X 10.10.3

Posted on May 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

In the latest 10.10.3 update for Yosemite, Apple has introduced a small enhancement that may be helpful to some people, where instead of opening a…

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How to take screenshots on any supported Apple device

Posted on Apr 29th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Capturing the current view of your Mac or iPhone can be useful for communicating exactly what you are seeing on your screen to someone. This can be…

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How to require a password for shared printers in OS X

Posted on Apr 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you have a printer set up on your Mac, then sharing it has always been a relatively simple process. Doing so allows anyone on the local network or…

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How to partition a hard drive in OS X using Core Storage

Posted on Apr 21st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When you set up an external drive for use with your Mac, you may wish to partition it for various uses. For instance, you might want to isolate…

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Enable a power charging indicator sound on your MacBook when plugged in

Posted on Apr 17th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

For Mac systems with Magsafe adapters, wall power status has mostly been identifiable by simply looking at your power adapter connector. In doing so,…

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How To quickly enable Do Not Disturb for Notification Center in OS X

Posted on Apr 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Even though placed along the right-hand side of your screen, Notification Center's updates and notices can still be somewhat intrusive as they demand…

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Check whether your bank is participating in Apple Pay

Posted on Apr 7th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Apple Pay accompanies Google Wallet, Paypal, and several other competing technologies as the future of payment systems, but being new, the number of…

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How to prevent letters fading on your Mac’s keyboard

Posted on Mar 30th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 14 Comments

Your Mac’s keyboard is built to be fairly durable; however, there are instances where the letters on it may wear. For external Apple keyboards this…

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Use Preview’s Loupe to Emphasize Areas of PDFs and Images

Posted on Mar 26th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If you use Apple’s Preview program regularly to view images and PDF documents on your Mac, then you might find yourself opening some documents…

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Three approaches for quickly accessing shared folders in OS X

Posted on Mar 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Do you access shared folders often on your Mac? While the use of AirDrop, Messages, e-Mail, and online drive options are great for personal and…

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How to significantly decrease your iOS device’s brightness

Posted on Mar 18th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

If you have an iPad or iPhone, chances are that you periodically use it in a location or two that have very low light, where even the brightness…

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How to print in Black and White in OS X

Posted on Mar 16th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

If you need to print in black and white or in grayscale from your Mac, you might be hard-pressed to find an option to do so in the standard print…

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How to get the most out of your Apple Watch’s battery

Posted on Mar 10th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One of the controversial issues about the new Apple Watch is its battery life, where unlike other smart watch offerings that give you days of use,…

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How to set up and use Apple Pay with an Apple Watch

Posted on Mar 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

The Apple Watch's release date is expected to be announced on Monday, and while you might have reservations on when to get one, if you have decided…

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What programs are forcing the use of your MacBook’s high-power GPU?

Posted on Mar 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Apple's high-end MacBook Pro systems have two Graphics processors: an "onboard" one that uses less energy, and a "dedicated" one that is optimized…

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Multiple ways of accessing your user library folder in OS X

Posted on Mar 5th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Do you need to access your “user library” folder? If you come across instructions that direct you to do so, or if you otherwise develop the need…

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How to use the OS X Dock as a Command-Tab replacement

Posted on Mar 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When switching between open Apps in OS X, you might generally use Command-Tab; however, you can do similar switching, and far more, directly in the…

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How to quickly manage messages on iOS’s lock screen

Posted on Feb 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When you receive a new e-mail message on your iPhone or iPad, if your device is currently locked then the message will show up in Notification Center…

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How to handle multiple disks simultaneously with Disk Utility

Posted on Feb 25th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

Regardless of the number of storage devices you have attached or built into your Mac, you will likely use Disk Utility for formatting them when…

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How to check what kind of Mac you have

Posted on Feb 24th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When Mac systems are discussed online, you will often see them mentioned by their common name, such as “Late 2012,” “Mid 2013,” or “Early…

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How to magnify your iPad’s screen

Posted on Feb 18th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Even though content on your iPad should be mostly legible, there are  instances where a magnifying glass would be useful to see some nuance of your…

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How to adjust and manage alert volumes in OS X

Posted on Feb 16th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you are giving a presentation, enjoying a movie, or perhaps relaxing with some music, one of the last things you might want is for your computer…

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How to access full and readable Web page views in iOS and OS X

Posted on Feb 11th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The Web is likely where you get most of your information, and in doing so you might find yourself inundated with noise as you try to read your…

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How to check your AppleCare coverage

Posted on Feb 9th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

The purchase of any extended warranty is always somewhat of a gamble. In some cases, it can pan out in your favor, and in other cases you might…

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Quickly access special characters in OS X

Posted on Feb 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Special characters are all of those symbols and glyphs that are not available to you by way of direct keyboard input, and in modern operating systems…

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How to launch OS X apps via the Terminal

Posted on Feb 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

The Terminal is generally reserved as an environment for advanced configuration of your Mac, but there are those who resort to it on a regular basis…

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How to quickly delete or mark e-mail as unread in iOS 8

Posted on Feb 5th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When browsing through and managing your e-mail, you will likely regularly use three tasks: flagging messages, deleting unwanted ones, and then…

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How to quickly translate words with OS X’s built-in Dictionary

Posted on Feb 5th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

There are a number of online translation services that you can use to translate words, phrases, or even entire bodies of text into another language;…

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How to use the path menu in OS X

Posted on Feb 4th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

There are a number of hidden features in OS X that can greatly enhance how you handle windows, document organization, and other aspects of your…

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How to use LaunchAgents to monitor folder contents in OS X

Posted on Feb 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Watching folders for various changes in OS X can be exceptionally useful for automating tasks to handle any files added to the folder. This can be…

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How to bypass FileVault when you restart your Mac

Posted on Feb 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When you enable FiieVault on your Mac, you greatly enhance its security by encrypting all of its drive contents. This approach makes it exceptionally…

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Prevent iPads and Macs from picking up your iPhone calls

Posted on Jan 26th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

In the latest versions of iOS and OS X, Apple implemented a few ways to share content and services between your devices, so you can quickly pick up…

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Easily send large e-mail attachments with iCloud in Yosemite

Posted on Jan 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

Sending attachments via e-mail to a colleague or friend is perhaps the most common approach for sharing files, and is a method that is nearly as old…

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How to always have a document open in a specific program in OS X

Posted on Jan 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When a program is installed in OS X, the system will scan it for various capabilities, including what document formats it can handle, and then will…

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How to access your Mac with Chrome Remote Desktop in iOS

Posted on Jan 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If you are a Chrome user, then you might be interested in Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app for your iPhone or iPad, which will allow you to connect…

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Spice up OS X’s loading with Verbose mode

Posted on Jan 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

When starting up an old Mac running the Classic Mac OS, you would see a number of installed system extensions loading along the bottom of the screen,…

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Four ways to quickly access a file or folder in the Terminal

Posted on Jan 7th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you are at least vaguely familiar with the Terminal, then you will know that performing actions on files and folders requires you specify their…

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How to manage e-mail without marking messages as read

Posted on Jan 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you use Apple’s Mail program as your e-mail reader, you might find yourself at times needing to organize your messages, either by removing junk…

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How to make calls in OS X Yosemite using your iPhone

Posted on Dec 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One of the newer features in OS X Yosemite is the ability to make and take phone calls from your iPhone, which can come in handy if you are working…

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How to change your Mac’s text cursor blink rate

Posted on Dec 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One of the details of OS X that you will always encounter, but which you might take for granted, is the blink rate of your text input cursor. As you…

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Add shortcuts for the PDF menu items in Print dialogues

Posted on Dec 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

When you print any document in OS X, you can manage the print job as a PDF by accessing the small PDF menu at the bottom-left of the print panel,…

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Log shell script events to the OS X system console

Posted on Dec 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you are familiar with the Unix command line and shell scripting, then you will be right at home using the OS X Terminal, and can throw together a…

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Access QuickType suggestions in OS X Yosemite

Posted on Dec 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you have used Apple's iOS 8 and have enjoyed the new QuickType keyboard that is included with it, then you might be happy to know a similar…

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How to view your saved passwords in OS X

Posted on Dec 1st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When you ever entered a password in a Web page, and then save it in your keychain, you may find yourself relying solely on autofill to enter this…

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How to customize your Mac’s highlight color

Posted on Nov 28th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

One of the details that we perhaps take for granted when using our Macs is the highlight color of text and other items when we select them. For the…

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How to record your iPhone or iPad screen on your Mac

Posted on Nov 26th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

There are several ways to capture your iPhone or iPad's screen on your Mac; however, many of these approaches call for third-party software and…

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How to save battery life on your iPhone when navigating

Posted on Nov 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you have an iOS device then you have undoubtedly used it to find directions to some location. Be it to somewhere nearby or to a nearby city,…

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How to use Spotlight as more than a simple calculator

Posted on Nov 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

If you ever need to run a quick calculation or two when working on your Mac, then you can do so using Apple's Spotlight search; however, while you…

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How to change the default system font in Mac OS X

Posted on Nov 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 31 Comments

The default system font in OS X is the type face used for displaying practically all system features, including menu items, system preference labels,…

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How to subscribe to RSS feeds in Safari 8

Posted on Nov 20th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you have been a fan of using RSS feeds for keeping updated on the happenings of your favorite Web sites, then you will be happy to know that Apple…

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Quickly access old window zoom behavior in OS X Yosemite

Posted on Nov 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One of the new features in OS X Yosemite is a re-working of the full-screen window feature where in programs that support this option, the green zoom…

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How to reveal files in the Finder with Spotlight

Posted on Nov 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 15 Comments

Spotlight allows you to search for all of your files, applications, and other items on your Mac, allowing you to open them directly by highlighting…

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How to share your location from OS X

Posted on Nov 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When using your Mac, and especially if it is a laptop system that you take on the road, you might find yourself in a situation where you would like…

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Six useful text management panels in OS X

Posted on Nov 14th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When typing out documents in OS X you might resort to the services offered by Microsoft Word and or Apple’s Pages, as these have convenient tools…

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Reinstall App Store apps to switch associated Apple IDs

Posted on Nov 12th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The App Store included in OS X allows you to purchase and download many programs to your system, and while each download is registered to the Apple…

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How to add emoticons to OS X’s Message screensaver

Posted on Nov 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Apple includes a number of built-in screen savers in OS X that can show iTunes artwork, photos from your iPhoto library, and decorative patterns,…

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How to protect yourself from ‘Masque Attacks’ that replace iOS apps with malware

Posted on Nov 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Following the recent finding of the widespread WireLurker malware that allows an infected system to hijack iOS applications and replace contents to…

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Deregister your phone number from iMessage for texting on non-Apple devices

Posted on Nov 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Apple has released a new Web service that allows you to deregister a phone number from iMessage, on the chance you have switched to using a non-Apple…

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How to encrypt your Time Machine backups

Posted on Nov 7th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you enable FileVault on your Mac, you in effect prevent anyone from accessing your data without your password. Without encryption, someone can…

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FAQ on how to detect and remove WireLurker from OS X and iOS

Posted on Nov 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 15 Comments

Following the recent Wirelurker malware that was discovered yesterday, Apple has taken some rapid steps to fix it, including releasing an XProtect…

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Yosemite adds options to automatically install OS X updates

Posted on Nov 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

When software updates for OS X and apps you have purchased in the App Store become available, by default you will see a message in Notification…

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How to protect OS X from the “rootpipe” vulnerability

Posted on Nov 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 31 Comments

A relatively long-standing vulnerability in OS X has been uncovered by a Swedish hacker, Emil Kvarnhammar, who has dubbed it "rootpipe" by the so-far…

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How to disable smart quotes in OS X

Posted on Nov 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Whether it is composing an e-mail, writing a small note in a TextEdit document, or entering text in a field in Safari, you might run into OS X using…

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How to view and close OS X Safari tabs within iOS

Posted on Nov 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If you use Safari in OS X and on your iPhone or iPad, then you can manage browser tabs on one device through Safari on the other device. This is…

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How to uninstall App Store apps from the command line

Posted on Oct 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The App Store offers a quick way to find and install applications on your Mac, but Apple does not have an interface for removing any of the programs…

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All methods for restarting and shutting down your Mac

Posted on Oct 28th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

While shutting down and restarting your computer might sound trivial, and are perhaps obvious tasks in most cases, there are a number of ways to go…

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How to access your Mac’s printer from anywhere

Posted on Oct 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If you have a printer at home or at work that is configured with a Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro or other Mac that you have as a desktop workstation, then…

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How to use Markup in OS X Yosemite Mail

Posted on Oct 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One of OS X Yosemite's new features is the Markup feature in Mail, where instead of using Preview to annotate a PDF or image before attaching it to…

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How to make a bootable Yosemite installation drive in 10 steps

Posted on Oct 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

If you intend on upgrading your Mac to OS X Yosemite, then I recommend you first save the installer that is downloaded to your Applications folder,…

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How to configure Notification Center in OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Posted on Oct 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Unlike previous versions of OS X where notification center only showed you various system warnings, status updates, and alerts from programs you are…

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Seven subtle changes in OS X Yosemite

Posted on Oct 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Apple's new OS X Yosemite comes with a number of exciting new features, including integration with iOS 8 to send and receive voice and text chats, an…

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Quick Tip: Save the OS X Yosemite installer

Posted on Oct 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Apple released OS X Yosemite yesterday, and while you might have prepared your Mac by backing it up, and updating as many of your apps as possible,…

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Prepare your apps for OS X Yosemite

Posted on Oct 16th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Apple is expected to release OS X Yosemite today, where after months of testing with its developers and its new Public Beta program, the new version…

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How to mount a remote system as a drive using SSH in OS X

Posted on Oct 13th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Being a unix-like system, OS X includes the SSH remote login service that can be used to administer a system from the command line. Such remote…

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How to manage a missing or frozen mouse cursor in OS X

Posted on Oct 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Your mouse cursor in OS X is one of the main controls on your computer; however, there are times when you might find yourself searching all over your…

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19 essential keyboard commands that every Mac user should know

Posted on Oct 9th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Hotkeys are exceptionally useful for specifying actions you want a particular program to perform. In some cases, these are specific to a given…

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How to hide the iOS 8 QuickType keyboard

Posted on Oct 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

One of Apple's new features in iOS 8 is the QuickType keyboard, where the system will analyze your entered text to offer three suggestions of…

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Four useful hidden features of OS X that everyone could use

Posted on Oct 7th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Apple has built OS X to be quite intuitive, and while you can get many things done by pointing and clicking, and using the keyboard in standard ways,…

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How to remote login to your Mac with SSH

Posted on Oct 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Both administrators and power users who are used to configuring unix-based systems via the terminal will be right at home when using OS X, especially…

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How to create a ‘Shell Shock’ Bash Update installer for OS X 10.6

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 19 Comments

In response to the Shell Shock bug found in the Bash command line interpreter included in OS X, Apple issued several updates to tackle the issue.…

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Apple offers online iOS Activation Lock status tool

Posted on Oct 1st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Are you considering purchasing a used iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch second-hand from sites like eBay, Craigslist, or perhaps from an acquaintance? If…

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Time Lapse in iOS 8 keeps videos under 40 seconds

Posted on Oct 1st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

The new Time Lapse camera mode in iOS 8 allows you to take fast-motion videos that display only a few frames, as if separate images were taken at…

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iOS 8 ‘Reset All Settings’ bug erases iCloud Drive

Posted on Sep 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

One of Apple's latest services is the change to iCloud Drive, which transitions from its initial per-application use of cloud storage for documents,…

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Apple issues fix for ‘Shell Shock’ Bash vulnerability

Posted on Sep 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 12 Comments

Following its acknowledgement of the Shell Shock bug, Apple has issued an update to OS X versions 10.7.5 and above, which installs a new version of…

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How to unofficially fix the ‘Shell Shock’ bash vulnerability in OS X

Posted on Sep 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 80 Comments

The recent vulnerability that has affected systems running the popular Bash shell can allow an attacker to arbitrarily run code on any system that…

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How to create poetic nonsense in iOS 8

Posted on Sep 20th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If one person's gibberish is another person's poetry (or vice versa), then iOS 8 has you covered. Many of Apple's augmentations in iOS thorough…

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How to include system files in OS X searches

Posted on Sep 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

Searches in OS X will by default only include files you have access to, such as documents you have saved, and applications that you use; however,…

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How to launch and quit applications in OS X using the Terminal

Posted on Sep 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When you run any command in the OS X Terminal, you are running some program that has been coded and compiled to perform a specific function, be it…

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How to prepare your iPhone or iPad for iOS 8

Posted on Sep 15th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Apple has announced iOS 8 will be released on September 17, and as with prior iOS updates it will appear as a notice on your iPhone (models 4S, 5,…

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How to secure individual private files in OS X

Posted on Sep 12th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Your account in OS X should be relatively secure, and provided you store your files within the structure of your account (ie, the Documents, Music,…

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How to quickly record audio in OS X

Posted on Sep 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you need to record a quick sound bite, or other audio to your Mac, then while you might find yourself looking for a third-party program, or even…

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How to prepare for and upgrade your Mac to OS X Yosemite

Posted on Sep 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

Apple will soon be releasing OS X Yosemite, an upgrade to its Mac operating system that bring a slew of new features along with a significantly…

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Browse and share files without enabling File Sharing in OS X

Posted on Sep 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When you enable file sharing in OS X by checking the File Sharing service in the Sharing system preferences, your system's various shared folders…

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Terminal Tip: How to quickly open output in a text file

Posted on Sep 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

When using the OS X Terminal, you will be dealing with text output from the various commands you run, be it a directory listing after running the…

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Mac Skills: Switch to top-most windows

Posted on Sep 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When you use multiple applications on your Mac, you may end up with many windows open at once in each application. This may be for work you are…

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How to make secondary boot partitions read-only in OS X

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Do you dual-boot your Mac with at least one other installation of OS X? If so then you might benefit from setting up each installation so the other…

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How to reduce the size of a PNG while retaining transparency

Posted on Aug 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Many images that you create or otherwise handle in OS X will be in the PNG format. These can be screenshots, or built-in images that are part of…

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How to hide a hard drive partition on your Mac

Posted on Aug 27th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 22 Comments

Generally when you either partition your Mac's boot drive, or attach a secondary drive to your Mac, then provided the partition's formatting is…

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How to share files between user accounts in OS X

Posted on Aug 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

OS X is designed to isolate users' files from each other, so while you can have multiple user accounts on your Mac, out of convenience you might end…

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Change and manage Mail’s New Mail sound

Posted on Aug 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

If you use OS X Mail, as with most e-mail clients you will hear a small new mail notification sound when you receive new messages. If you do not like…

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Tip: Quickly zoom and open images with QuickLook

Posted on Aug 20th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When browsing files in the Finder, you have the option for previewing them using Apple's QuickLook feature. This allows you to either see some…

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Expand all collapsed items in a list in OS X

Posted on Aug 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

There are many times in OS X when you will come across items organized into list, be it in Finder windows where you might have List View selected, or…

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Convert various text file formats in the OS X Terminal with textutil

Posted on Aug 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

There are a number of ways you can convert a text document to another format, by simply opening it in a text editor like TextEdit and then choosing…

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How to forget Wi-Fi networks in OS X

Posted on Aug 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When using your Mac with Wi-Fi, you have the option for OS X o remember your Wi-Fi network so when you are in the vicinity of this hotspot, you will…

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How to quickly convert image formats with Preview

Posted on Aug 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Apple's Preview program is convenient for quickly editing image and PDF files. While it supports a number of options for annotating images and…

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How to view video files you cannot open in QuickTime

Posted on Aug 7th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 21 Comments

Apple provides you with a number of media-handling options in OS X, with QuickTime being the core service for displaying video; however, there will…

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Options for managing Finder windows in OS X

Posted on Aug 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Apple's default approach for window management in the Finder is to provide you with one window in which you can access most of the locations you need…

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Navigate OS X menus with your Mac’s keyboard

Posted on Aug 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

For the most part, to navigate menus in OS X you simply click one with your mouse and then click the desired command from the menu. While this is the…

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How to secure and lock down your Mac

Posted on Aug 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

There are numerous ways that a thief can get into your Mac, including booting your system to another hard drive to bypass the security of the…

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Get word and character counts for any selection in OS X

Posted on Aug 1st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

If you regularly need to count the words in text that you are composing or otherwise managing, then there are several approaches for doing this. A…

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Manage applications that use your location in OS X

Posted on Jul 31st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Some apps you use in OS X may handle location information to bring you directions, weather, or other details about your location without you needing…

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Testing Yosemite Beta? Send Apple feedback!

Posted on Jul 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Apple's Yosemite beta has been out for a few days now, and if you have decided to take the plunge and try it out either as your main OS or on a test…

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Organize Spotlight searches for better results

Posted on Jul 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

The Spotlight searching system in OS X is not only good for finding files, but because it includes applications and access to services like the…

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Five hotkey shortcuts you might not know about

Posted on Jul 28th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

The hotkeys available in OS X allow you to quickly have common commands at your fingertips, and with practice you can greatly speed up your workflow…

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How to factory-reset your Mac

Posted on Jul 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

It may be wise when selling or donating an old Mac to wipe all of your data off of it and offer the system to the new owners as close to how it came…

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Tips for opening links and searches in Safari

Posted on Jul 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

The default behavior in Safari for opening links, bookmarks, and Web searches is to display the results in the current browser window; however, if…

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Determine your Mac’s public IP address

Posted on Jul 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

There are plenty of reasons why you might wish to look up your current public IP address; whether it is to check some logged connection, or to…

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How to transfer Preview signatures to a new Mac

Posted on Jul 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Apple's Preview application comes with a signature feature that allows you to capture and embed your signature into any PDF file. While convenient,…

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Easily schedule tasks with Calendar in OS X

Posted on Jul 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

Managing documents and opening applications in OS X is relatively straightforward; however, there might be times when you would like to schedule…

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How to set up and use Folder Actions on your Mac

Posted on Jul 16th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

One of the hidden gems in OS X is a scripting service called Folder Actions, where you can bind an AppleScript to run whenever the contents of a…

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Create a service to print selected text in OS X

Posted on Jul 9th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

If you have used Windows systems you might have found its ability to print a selection of text to be rather useful, and may wish for this feature to…

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Hotkeys for navigating the Terminal in OS X

Posted on Jul 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If you regularly use the OS X Terminal, then there will undoubtedly be times you encounter the limitations of the cursor. For instance, if you have a…

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Switch only to a specific window in a background application

Posted on Jul 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If your computing habits are anything like mine, after a few hours of work you will end up with a plethora of windows open in various applications.…

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How to force-quit an application in OS X

Posted on Jul 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Force-quitting an application is a quick way to clear a program that is hanging, running slowly, or otherwise cannot be quit by normal means using…

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Make use of file links in text and word documents

Posted on Jun 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Many text-handling applications like Word, Mail and TextEdit support features for embedding links, so you can direct someone to another document or…

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Quickly sign any document with Preview

Posted on Jun 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

If you need to sign a form or other document in OS X, look no further than Apple's Preview application. Letters, contracts, and other documents are…

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Eight obscure but useful text-editing hotkeys in OS X

Posted on Jun 27th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

While you can use your Mac largely by clicking controls and menus with your mouse, if you take advantage of system and application hotkeys you can…

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Determine whether or not your Mac will support Handoff in Yosemite

Posted on Jun 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" will come with a new feature called Handoff, which in conjunction with other Macs and iDevices running iOS 8,…

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How to kill a process via the Terminal

Posted on Jun 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When processes and applications hang in OS X, sometimes the only way to re-gain functionality is to force-quit them. For applications like Word or…

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Tip: drag text to copy and make clippings

Posted on Jun 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When you need to copy and paste text from a Web page, or from a Text or Word document, you usually click and drag your cursor over the desired text…

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Tips for managing a stuffed e-mail inbox in Mail

Posted on Jun 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Even though you might have plenty of storage available in your e-mail account, after a while of using Mail in OS X, you might find your inbox crammed…

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How to share a Web page in OS X

Posted on Jun 13th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

If you are browsing the Web and wish to share the page you are visiting with others, then you can do so through several different means. Some of…

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Enable text selection in QuickLook

Posted on Jun 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Apple's QuickLook feature in OS X is a convenient option to have when browsing for files on your Mac's hard drive. By simply pressing the space bar…

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Yosemite introduces per-line scrolling in the Terminal

Posted on Jun 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

If you regularly use the Terminal in OS X, then you may be happy to know one feature that will likely make it into the final release of OS X Yosemite…

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How to increase the efficiency of the Spotlight menu in OS X

Posted on Jun 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Even though Apple's Spotlight indexing routine is a quick and convenient way to find files and folders on your system, for any given search it may…

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Network prioritization tips in OS X

Posted on Jun 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

If you use more than one type of network connection with your Mac, or if you access more than one Wi-Fi hotspot, then you might find one connection…

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Will your Mac run OS X 10.10 Yosemite?

Posted on Jun 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

With Apple's next version of OS X now available as a public beta, you might wonder whether or not your Mac will be able to run it. While any…

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How to safely test the OS X Yosemite beta

Posted on Jun 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 19 Comments

Along with its announcement of the next version of OS X, Apple has made OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" available to the public as part of its beta test…

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Copy and manage search results directly from the Spotlight menu

Posted on Jun 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If you need to find a document, program, or other file on your hard drive, then you can do so quickly by opening the Spotlight menu located at the…

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How to change or reset your password in OS X

Posted on May 31st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

The password on your Mac is the primary way you will secure and prevent unauthorized access to it. If you suspect your password is compromised,…

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How to change the default Web browser and E-mail client in OS X

Posted on May 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When you click a link in OS X, be it a Web link or a mailto link for sending an e-mail, OS X will open the default program that is associated for…

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Six tips for efficient use of your Mac

Posted on May 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

While OS X is built to be simple, there are often times when I see people taking many unnecessary steps to perform basic operations on their Macs.…

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How to quickly resize images in OS X

Posted on May 28th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

There may be times when you have a photo or other image on your Mac that you would like to resize. These may have been downloaded from the internet,…

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How to change or unlink files from applications in OS X

Posted on May 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

OS X will automatically associate programs to handle file types they are built to read. For instance, if you have a file with a non-standard…

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Merging the OS X GUI and the Terminal

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you regularly use the OS X Terminal for various operations on your Mac, then you might benefit from some of the unique ways Apple has implemented…

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How to combine two accounts in OS X

Posted on May 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you have a second user account on your Mac in which you have done some significant work, you might at some point wish to combine it with your main…

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Four window management options for OS X

Posted on May 20th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

If you regularly use many windows on your Mac, then you might find they can get cluttered as they overlap and otherwise hide each other. While Apple…

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Use OS X Finder shortcuts in Open and Save dialog boxes

Posted on May 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When browsing through documents, images, and other files on your Mac, you can use a number of shortcuts supported in the OS X Finder that allow you…

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Options for looking up ColorSync information

Posted on May 14th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

ColorSync is Apple's technology for matching color input and output on devices that handle graphics, an example of which would be having a printer…

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Print documents directly from the OS X Finder

Posted on May 13th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you regularly have documents you need to print, then you can do so directly from the Finder. While you might think of first opening a document in…

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How to look up file metadata in OS X

Posted on May 12th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you save files to disk on your Mac, OS X will include a number of metadata information along with the file, which programs and services such as…

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Hidden options for managing files and folders in list views

Posted on May 12th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

The OS X Finder has a number of useful tools and options for organizing and accessing your files, one of these being the various list views for files…

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Tips for upgrading your Mac’s RAM

Posted on May 9th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

While the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air systems do not have user-upgradable RAM, often other Mac systems Apple sells that do have this option…

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How to set up and use screen sharing in OS X

Posted on May 7th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

Screen Sharing is a feature in your Mac that allows you to graphically view and interact with a Mac in a remote location. By logging into your Mac in…

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Font types supported in OS X

Posted on May 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

While most modern fonts should be available in a format supported in OS X, you might have a collection or two that may be older types which you might…

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Tip: Auto-complete words in OS X

Posted on May 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Auto-complete options when using your Mac can often be exceptionally useful. For example, if you are a Terminal user, then when you enter a command…

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How to put your Mac’s display to sleep

Posted on May 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

When working at your Mac, there may be times when you would like to simply shut off the monitor without interrupting your work. For example, if you…

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Calibrate your Mac’s monitor to ensure proper color representation

Posted on May 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Every monitor you use with your Mac, be it a built-in one or an external one, will have different color output properties. For example, in one…

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How to put your Mac to sleep and keep it there

Posted on May 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Putting your Mac to sleep is perhaps one of the easiest tasks you can do; however, there are several options for doing this that you might not know…

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Tip: Drag destination folders to Save dialogue boxes

Posted on May 1st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When using OS X you will undoubtedly run across the standard save dialogue box, where you specify a location on your drive in which to save your…

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Manage OS X Terminal processes and windows with the inspector

Posted on Apr 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

If you are a Terminal user, and especially a power user, then you might regularly launch multiple Terminal windows, run various scripts, and have…

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Commands for finding files in the OS X Terminal

Posted on Apr 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The Terminal in OS X is a relatively powerful environment, where you have access to a number of scriptable tools that can help you configure, gather…

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How to block popup windows in Mac Web browsers

Posted on Apr 28th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Popup windows in Web browsers can be one of the more irritating aspects of browsing the Web. While most Web sites to not make use of popups, at times…

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View timestamps in Messages on your Mac and iPhone

Posted on Apr 28th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you are using Apple's iMessage service, you might wish to look up when a specific message arrived, especially if you are troubleshooting a…

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Tip: Hide or unhide applications to remove clutter

Posted on Apr 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

If you regularly use your Mac for multiple tasks, you might have a number of applications, application windows, and documents open at the same time.…

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How to detect and remove Genieo for Mac

Posted on Apr 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 43 Comments

In recent months there have been a growing number of concerns regarding a software package called Genieo, which in some cases seems to have…

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Tip: Use OS X services to reveal or open file paths

Posted on Apr 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

There are several ways to refer someone to a specific file or folder in OS X, especially if this resource is part of OS X and therefore should be…

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Use the Terminal to quickly get a Unix path to a file

Posted on Apr 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

While you can often access the files you need by browsing the filesystem in the Finder, sometimes you might need to specify the Unix path for a file…

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Wake up your Mac with your iPhone

Posted on Apr 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Waking a Mac up from sleep generally requires you tap a key on the keyboard, or click your mouse or trackpad; however, there are times when you might…

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Change your contextual internet search

Posted on Apr 16th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When you right-click a word in programs like Safari or in word processors, in addition to options for copying and pasting, or perhaps changing the…

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How to quickly look up words in OS X

Posted on Apr 15th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When browsing the Web, reading documents in programs TextEdit or Pages, you might come across a word or two that you do not know, or perhaps you are…

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How to restore files from Time Machine manually

Posted on Apr 14th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Apple's included Time Machine backup technology in OS X is a convenient and rather thorough way to make full-system backups of your Mac. It works by…

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Understanding and adjusting default permissions in OS X

Posted on Apr 13th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

Every file and folder in OS X has permissions associated with it, which allow the system to grant or deny access to specific users and groups. You…

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How to fix home folder permissions in OS X

Posted on Apr 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

If you run into odd slow-downs or problems with loading specific programs and services, then sometimes this can be caused by the inability of the…

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How to remove application preferences on your Mac

Posted on Apr 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Most programs and services you run in OS X will save preferences to disk as a property list (.plist) file in your account's hidden Library >…

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When and how to reset your Mac’s SMC

Posted on Apr 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

The System Management Controller, or SMC, is a controller in your Mac that is responsible for handling a number of power- and controls-related…

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How to make a custom Fusion Drive in OS X

Posted on Apr 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

In OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple switched its FileVault encryption technology from relying on disk images, to using a volume management technology called…

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Share a Reminders list with friends and colleagues

Posted on Apr 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

One of the iOS-inspired apps that Apple has brought to OS X is Reminders. While Apple used to include reminders in its iCal calendaring program, this…

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How to look up the audio capabilities of your Mac

Posted on Apr 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

While for the most part the only audio-related settings you interact with on your Mac are the volume controls, there might be times when you need to…

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Check what the OS X installer is doing

Posted on Apr 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

When you install applications in OS X, you usually download an installer in a .dmg image from the developer, in which there is either the program…

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Access old internet radio in iTunes 11

Posted on Apr 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

In the latest version of iTunes, Apple's iTunes Radio service has been revamped, so instead of offering a number of stream URLs to various…

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Built-in options for encrypting data on your Mac

Posted on Apr 6th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Data encryption is an important consideration if you keep sensitive or otherwise private documents on your Mac. While data encryption is not always…

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How to prepare a drive for use in OS X

Posted on Apr 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When you purchase a thumb drive or hard drive and attach or install it in your Mac, you likely will be able to use it right away; however, depending…

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How to wake your Mac over the network

Posted on Apr 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

While for the most part you usually wake your Mac by pressing a button on the keyboard or clicking the mouse, you can also do so over the network.…

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How to find your Mac’s MAC address

Posted on Apr 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

The MAC address for a system is its Media Access Control address, which is a unique string of hexadecimal characters that identifies your system's…

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About Disk Image file format options

Posted on Apr 4th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

One useful feature in OS X is support for disk images. These are container files that commonly end in the .dmg suffix, which represent virtual disks…

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Manage the Quick Look window in OS X

Posted on Apr 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The Quick Look service in OS X is useful for previewing images and other file contents, either directly in the Finder, or in programs like Mail where…

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Preserve file permissions when copying in the Finder

Posted on Apr 2nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When new files are created by programs in your account, they are inherently assigned your username as the owner, along with the default permissions…

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Prank your friends’ Macs this April Fools day

Posted on Apr 1st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

There are plenty of ways to go about subjecting your friends and family to antics, but every now and then you may run out of fun ideas. If you are…

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How to resize windows in OS X

Posted on Mar 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Resizing windows in OS X allows you to optimally use the real estate of your display. If you find yourself constantly using the same approach to…

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How to ward off iMessage spammers

Posted on Mar 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Apple's iMessage service is the default messaging system for anyone using OS X or iOS, so if you use one of these systems then you likely have an…

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Adjust Retina MacBook screenshots to be actual size

Posted on Mar 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

When you take a screenshot in OS X, you might expect the resulting image to be the same size as you see on screen; however, if you take a screenshot…

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How to take a screenshot in OS X

Posted on Mar 27th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 15 Comments

Built into Mac OS X is the ability to take screenshots using simple keyboard commands, which can be exceptionally useful for communicating what you…

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How to turn off notifications in OS X

Posted on Mar 26th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Apple's Notification Center in OS X is a central service that allows you to view messages and warnings from your system along the right-hand side of…

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From the forums: Create a boot disk from the OS X installer

Posted on Mar 26th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Starting with Lion, OS X has been distributed almost exclusively online through the App Store, or if you need to wipe your system and reinstall, then…

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Disable new power button sleep mode in OS X Mavericks

Posted on Mar 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

One of the new features in OS X Mavericks is a slight change to the way the power button on your Mac is used. While pressing the button on a…

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How to check the model number of your Mac

Posted on Mar 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Apple's common system for differentiating its various models in a given computer line is a bit unique, where instead of appending a collection of…

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How to properly manipulate defaults in OS X

Posted on Mar 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The "defaults" system in OS X is Apple's preferences-writing and management system, which many programs and system services use to read and write…

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How to back up your Mac

Posted on Mar 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When using or troubleshooting your Mac, you may be eager to jump in and get to work; however, it is worth your while to ensure your system is…

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How to check for free hard drive space in OS X

Posted on Mar 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Maintaining a small amount of free drive space is required to keep your Mac running optimally. Even though can add files until the hard drive is…

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How to use the system console in OS X

Posted on Mar 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When programs and services run on your system, they are programmed to give some sort of indication of what they are doing, either through a graphical…

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How to reinstall OS X

Posted on Mar 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

Generally a reinstallation of your operating system is a last-resort option, but while recommended as such, there are times when problems warrant a…

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How to verify and repair your hard disk in OS X

Posted on Mar 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

Hard disk maintenance is one of the few regular maintenance routines that I recommend people do for their Macs. Your hard drive's formatting is the…

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How to run and interpret Apple’s Hardware Tests on your Mac

Posted on Mar 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

In order for OS X or any software to run properly, your Mac's hardware must first be in running order. While symptoms of crashes, graphical…

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How to access Recovery Mode in OS X

Posted on Mar 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Recovery mode in OS X is a special boot options that allows you to run repair and reinstallation tools for your system, in addition to setting a…

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How to boot into Safe Mode in OS X

Posted on Mar 20th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

When troubleshooting non-specific problems with your Mac, one of the first steps to take is to boot the system into Safe Mode, which loads the OS in…

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How to reset the PRAM on your Mac

Posted on Mar 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

The Parameter RAM, or PRAM, on your Mac is a small amount of non-volatile memory (ie, persistent memory that is not cleared when the power is off)…

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