Troubleshooting

Recent Troubleshooting Articles:

How to manage “No Backup for XX Days” warnings in OS X

Posted on Apr 20th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

While enterprise-level backup options may offer robust solutions for workgroups, Apple's Time Machine service is a great backup option to use for a…

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Using the OS X crash reporter to diagnose a program failure

Posted on Apr 12th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Whenever a program crashes in OS X, you are presented with a small window that indicates the program quit unexpectedly (Apple's vernacular for "it…

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How to address ‘Battery Not Charging’ errors for your Mac

Posted on Apr 6th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When you plug your MacBook's power adapter in and its light turns amber, your system's battery should charge; however, there may be times when this…

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How to manage file ‘in use’ or ‘locked’ errors in OS X

Posted on Apr 4th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When a file is opened by a program, a filesystem lock is placed that prevents it from being accessed by another program. However, most programs in OS…

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Four easy steps to a faster Mac

Posted on Mar 31st, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Keeping your computer running at the speeds it ran at when you bought it may seem like a futile task, and often people just accept the fact that…

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How to address input device freezes on your Mac

Posted on Mar 29th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Your keyboard and mouse are the gateway to your computer, so if these stop working then you will find yourself somewhat hard-pressed to properly…

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Certificate expiration breaks older OS X installers

Posted on Mar 4th, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Replacement developer certificates Apple issued to fix security issues have caused signed packages created using the older replaced certificates to…

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Fix VIP mailboxes not showing all messages in Mail

Posted on Feb 3rd, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

The VIP mailbox in Apple's Mail program should show messages from contacts that you flag as VIP; however, there are instances where messages from…

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Overcome the OS X Dock getting stuck on a second monitor

Posted on Jan 22nd, 2016 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

If you have multiple monitors and are using OS X Yosemite or later, you will have Apple's latest multi-screen implementations available for use,…

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How to manage lost passwords in OS X

Posted on Oct 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

There are several ways to lock down your Mac, in order to prevent third-parties from either accessing your data, or using your system for purposes…

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How to generally manage app problems after upgrading OS X

Posted on Oct 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Whenever you upgrade OS X, you always chance an application or two not working with the new software changes. Hopefully problems are kept at a…

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Manage lost Mail messages after upgrading to El Capitan

Posted on Oct 22nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

One substantial issue that has affected users after upgrading to OS X El Capitan is that Mail messages might be missing. In some cases it may be a…

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Fix problems with internet accounts after upgrading OS X

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

When you upgrade OS X, the accounts you have configured in the Internet Accounts system preferences should migrate and be just as usable as they were…

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Troubleshoot and manage high battery usage in iOS 9

Posted on Oct 17th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Having long battery life is important for your iPhone, so it may be frustrating if you are seeing your battery levels dropping rapidly instead of…

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How to overcome your Mac not booting after upgrading OS X

Posted on Oct 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 12 Comments

When you upgrade your installation of OS X, the OS X installer will attempt to detect and remove any incompatible software that may destabilize your…

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Fix iBooks missing after upgrading to OS X El Capitan

Posted on Oct 9th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

After installing OS X El Capitan, you may find that iBooks will not access your book library. When you open the program, it will either show a blank…

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How to see software disabled by OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’

Posted on Oct 6th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

As with previous versions of OS X, when you install OS X 10.11 'El Capitan' the installer will detect any incompatible software you have on your…

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Split View not working in El Capitan? Its an easy fix.

Posted on Oct 4th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

One of El Capitan's new features is Split View, which similar to features introduced in Windows 7 allows you to quickly set an app to full screen in…

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Fix package managers not working after installing El Capitan

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

If you're a power user or have special software needs, then there are several package managers like Fink, MacPorts, and HomeBrew that can be used for…

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How to overcome OS X 10.11 El Capitan not installing

Posted on Oct 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

As with prior versions of OS X, the new version 10.11 "El Capitan" is available as a free purchase from the App Store, and should then download and…

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Quick fixes for static and other audio problems on your Mac

Posted on Sep 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

The basic audio setup in OS X systems has very few options for customization, and therefore should conform to standards that are used by most…

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Fix the News app missing from iOS 9 after upgrading

Posted on Sep 17th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 18 Comments

One of the new features of iOS 9 is Apple's News app, which offers a new way to subscribe to sources and interact with the latest headlines. The app…

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Fix persistent invalid certificate errors in OS X

Posted on Sep 10th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

When connecting to various online services, your Mac will use certificates to validate a connection. If a certificate being used for a connection is…

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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 overcome a “file can’t be deleted” error in OS X

Posted on Aug 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

When managing files and folders in the Finder, you will undoubtedly need to trash a few here and there; however, when you drag files to the trash you…

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How to manage iNode files in the “lost+found” directory

Posted on Aug 20th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

If you open your Mac's boot drive, you may find a folder called "lost+found" next to the System, Applications, Users, and other system directories at…

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Quick fixes for icons missing from your desktop

Posted on Aug 14th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

The desktop on your Mac serves multiple purposes, as both a representation of the Desktop folder contents in your home directory, and as a location…

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Overcome Gatekeeper automatically re-enabling in OS X Yosemite

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

The Gatekeeper feature in OS X is a security measure that adds a layer of protection by only allowing Apple-approved apps to run, be they either from…

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Fix the inability to move files around in your Mac

Posted on Jul 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

While OS X includes password security to prevent unauthorized changes to both system settings and access to your Mac, these features should not…

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Fix your Mac showing generic icons for files

Posted on Jul 17th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Identifying files by their icon is perhaps more important than being able to locate the programs you use, since for the most part you will likely be…

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Fix Mail’s smart mailboxes not working properly

Posted on Jul 13th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

If you use Apple Mail as your e-mail client, then you might find its Smart Mailbox feature useful for organizing your messages. As with the Finder's…

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Manage OS X always asking to use your keychain passwords

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

The keychain in OS X should run seamlessly in the background to store and retrieve passwords for the various services you use. At most it should ask…

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Fix Mail not sending or receiving messages after updating OS X

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

After having updated OS X to the latest version (currently version 10.10.4), you may find that while Mail will launch and display messages, it may…

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How to fix corrupted iTunes libraries after enabling Apple Music

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

Apple's new Apple Music service offers new and exciting ways to get streaming music on your Mac and iOS devices; however, after enabling it a number…

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Fix the OS X Finder not displaying the contents of specific folders

Posted on Jul 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

While rare, you might experience a problem in OS X where the Finder will not display the contents of specific folders. When this happens, you can…

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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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Apple Watch may lock after going to sleep

Posted on Jun 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

If you have an Apple Watch and are finding you need to unlock it regularly after it has gone to standby mode while still on your wrist, then you are…

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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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Fix your Mac’s accent menu not working

Posted on Jun 4th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

The accent menu in OS X is a small contextual menu reminiscent of that for iOS, where when you type a character that has optional accent characters…

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Tackle external hard drives randomly ejecting in OS X

Posted on Jun 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 32 Comments

A fault in OS X may exist for some users, where external drives unexpectedly eject and cause the system to display a "Disk ejected improperly"…

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Family Sharing may be draining your iPhone’s battery

Posted on May 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If your iPhone is suddenly not holding its charge, then the problem may be stemming from the use of Apple's Family Sharing service. Being a fairly…

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Messages bug will force your iPhone to restart 

Posted on May 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

If you have recently found your iPhone's Messages app crashes upon receiving a new messages, then you are not alone. Apparently a bug exists in the…

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Five tips for speeding up your iPhone or iPad

Posted on May 26th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Unless you are using a significantly older iOS device, then iOS should run at acceptable speeds on supported devices. Even if some apps have…

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What to do about error -36 and other I/O errors in OS X

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

While rare, in OS X you may run across a problem where upon copying or accessing files and folders, the system will stop and display an warning that…

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How to manually remove MacKeeper from your Mac

Posted on May 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 35 Comments

One of the more controversial pieces of software available for OS X is a package called MacKeeper, which by fairly aggressive and widespread…

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Fix your Mac’s network name getting (2) appended to it

Posted on May 18th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

When you enable services like screen sharing, file sharing, or printer sharing, OS X will broadcast your Mac's name on the local network so it can be…

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Intermittent but frequent OS X pauses may be from iCloud syncing

Posted on May 14th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

When using your Mac running OS X Yosemite, you may find that at certain times during the day your Mac will begin to pause, showing the spinning color…

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How to fix a stubborn application firewall in OS X

Posted on May 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When you use programs in OS X that accept incoming connections from the internet or other network resources, if you have the system's firewall…

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How to fix your Mac not waking from sleep

Posted on May 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 48 Comments

There may be an issue that some iMac users experience where after being in sleep for a period of time, their systems will no longer respond to…

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Overcome Bluetooth devices not staying paired after sleeping OS X

Posted on May 7th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

If you have bluetooth devices paired with your Mac, then they ought to automatically re-establish their connection when you restart your Mac or wake…

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Fix OS X crashing when a particular folder is opened

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

Does OS X sometimes crash when you open a particular folder? While such occurrences are fairly rare, there may be instances where the Finder runs run…

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Fix a faulty Digital Crown on your Apple Watch

Posted on May 4th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

One of the interface features of the Apple Watch that Apple has been proud of is its digital crown, which as a jog-dial acts somewhat similarly to…

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Apple Watch heart monitor woes confirmed by Apple

Posted on May 1st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

As with any new device, the Apple Watch has had its share of complaints from users who expected some functionality and found the device does not live…

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Five quick fixes for Wi-Fi troubles in OS X

Posted on Apr 30th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Perhaps one of the more ubiquitous problems that OS X users encounter is a periodic inability to maintain a steady Wi-Fi connection. While for many…

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Tackle Pro Video Formats 2.0.1 always appearing in Software Update

Posted on Apr 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

If you use your Mac for professional video editing with Final Cut Pro X, Motion, or Compressor software, then you may have been presented with the…

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iCloud syncing in Photos causing Wi-Fi hangups in OS X 10.10.3

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

Some people who have updated their Macs to OS X 10.10.3 are noticing dropouts in Wi-Fi connectivity. While such problems have affected past OS X…

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Fix missing ‘New Message’ sound in Mail after upgrading to OS X 10.10.3

Posted on Apr 24th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 17 Comments

When you receive messages in Mail, you have the option of sounding an audio alert so you know new messages have arrived. However, after upgrading to…

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Two fixes for Yosemite Recovery Update 1.0 always being available

Posted on Apr 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Along with the OS X 10.10.3 update, Apple issued Yosemite Recovery Update 1.0 to fix a few bugs and enhance the Recovery process for systems running…

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Manage a Mac pausing during Setup Assistant

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

If you set up a new Mac with a clean installation of OS X Yosemite, then you might find yourself in a situation where the OS X Setup Assistant…

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Remove caches to fix a slow Finder in OS X 10.10.3

Posted on Apr 20th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 17 Comments

After upgrading to OS X 10.10.3, you may find that navigating the Finder can be arduously slow at times, where the contents of folders you open may…

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Fix an incorrect default keyboard layout at the OS X login prompt

Posted on Apr 16th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

When you are at the login window in OS X, your system should be set to use the default keyboard layout you chose when you initially set up your Mac;…

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Address available hard drive space skyrocketing after installing OS X 10.10.3

Posted on Apr 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

An issue may occur on some Mac systems where after installing the OS X 10.10.3 update, the Finder and other services that report drive space may show…

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Fix OS X hanging at bootup after installing 10.10.3

Posted on Apr 14th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

After installing OS X 10.10.3, you will find your Mac undergo the standard restart that is part of the update process, but then see it hang up as OS…

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How to fix kernel panics after installing OS X updates

Posted on Apr 13th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 12 Comments

Kernel panics in OS X occur primarily because your Mac has faulty or incompatible hardware, or because you are using incompatible or poorly written…

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Fix Photos unable to migrate your photo library

Posted on Apr 9th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Apple’s new Photos program in OS X 10.10.3 may have difficulty when migrating your old iPhoto library. When it first runs, Photos will create a new…

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Fix OS X 10.10.3 failing to install

Posted on Apr 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

A few people who have attempted to install the latest OS X 10.10.3 update have found an issue where the update will take a while to install, and then…

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Tackle your Mac booting to a gray screen

Posted on Apr 7th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Given the efficiency and convenience of sleep mode on Mac systems, it is often a rarity that we end up restarting our Macs. When we do, we expect it…

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Faulty Spotlight plugins may cause incomplete searches

Posted on Apr 3rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

The Spotlight search in your Mac offers a quick way to find files; however, there may be times when even though Spotlight shows search results, it…

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How to overcome a massive memory leak in OS X

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

When programs perform tasks on OS X and other platforms, chunks of memory are allocated for their needs, but these should be relinquished when the…

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Can’t open files in Windows shared folders? This may help

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

If you have Windows systems on your local network, and have them configured to share files with Windows file sharing, then they should appear in your…

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Fix double login prompts on your Mac

Posted on Mar 31st, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

When booting your Mac you should only need to supply your username and password once in order to log in. However, there may be times upon…

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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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Unable to boot to a secondary hard drive? This may help

Posted on Mar 25th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

One long-standing and useful feature in OS X is its ability to boot from practically any mountable partition, including external drives. This allows…

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How to overcome Safari hijacked by a JavaScript warning

Posted on Mar 24th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

Whether it is from clicking on spam or otherwise being caught in a malicious trap, every now and then such oversights when browsing the Web can have…

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Remote Apple Events may break with Security Update 2015-002

Posted on Mar 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Remote Apple Events allows you to use AppleScript routines to control another Mac; however, if you have installed the latest security updates for OS…

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How to silence your Mac’s startup sound

Posted on Mar 13th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 20 Comments

When you press the power button to start up your Mac, you will be met with a boot chime that lets you know your system is healthy and ready to load…

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How to fix unexpected error -50 in OS X when deleting or moving files

Posted on Mar 11th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

Despite its user-friendly interface, OS X sometimes gives no more information than an error code when something goes wrong. One of these is error…

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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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Workaround for Numbers not evaluating odd roots

Posted on Mar 2nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

Numbers is intended to be an intuitive alternative to Microsoft Excel and other popular spreadsheets, but as a calculation program it is perhaps not…

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Force-quit processes to fix a hot Mac with blaring fans

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

Your MacBook has limited battery life, so what do you do when your system's fans suddenly crank on at full tilt, and you notice that your system is…

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Incorrect time on your Mac? Here’s how to fix that

Posted on Feb 23rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

The time that your Mac displays is not only for your convenience, but also a requirement for many of OS X’s services. This includes its ability to…

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Fix your trackpad button suddenly being light to the touch

Posted on Feb 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

The multi-touch trackpad’s on your MacBook should have a substantial click sound to it, and require a notable press to activate. Granted many…

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Overcome ‘Authentication Required’ error for shared printers in OS X

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

If you have a USB printer available, then one of the easiest ways to make it a communal printer is to share it on the network. However, there may be…

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Fix windows displaying off the edge of your screen

Posted on Feb 12th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 1 Comment

Every now and then when you wake your Mac from sleep, change resolution or other display settings, or otherwise adjust your system's display output,…

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Overcome processes ‘Not Responding’ in Activity Monitor

Posted on Feb 10th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Apple's Activity Monitor utility is a good tool for viewing the status of every program and background service that is running on your Mac, and as…

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Possible fix for Mail’s cursor moving when entering punctuation

Posted on Feb 3rd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

When using Mail in OS X Yosemite, you might run into an issue where the program will move the cursor back a few characters whenever you type certain…

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Fix ‘Folder Actions Dispatcher’ using high CPU in Yosemite

Posted on Jan 30th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 20 Comments

After upgrading to OS X Yosemite, you might find your system running rather slowly, even when there are no obvious reasons for it, such as a program…

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Printers not behaving? Reset them and start from scratch

Posted on Jan 29th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

While printing has somewhat taken a back seat to the use of PDFs and other electronic forms of communication, there are still plenty of times when…

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How to force OS X 10.10.2 to install on your Mac

Posted on Jan 28th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 19 Comments

An error may exist in Apple's latest 10.10.2 updates, where the update will not install on some systems running OS X 10.10.0 or 10.10.1. When the…

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Fix inaccessible and grayed out folders in the OS X Finder

Posted on Jan 27th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

All files and folders that you encounter when browsing the Finder in OS X should be displayed in regular font and icon color; however, there may be…

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Fix Mail unable to move Messages on your iPhone or iPad

Posted on Jan 22nd, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

As with Mail on OS X, the Mail app that Apple includes in iOS allows you to configure multiple e-mail accounts, but while you should be able to…

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Fix Smart folders not showing proper contents in OS X

Posted on Jan 19th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Smart folders in OS X allow you to group files and folders by a number of different criteria, including name, type, size, content, and hundreds of…

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Sleep and power settings possibly behind Wi-Fi dropouts in Yosemite

Posted on Jan 15th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

Along with its perks and new features, OS X Yosemite has not been without its share of problems, with at least some of these being associated with…

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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 determine what woke your Mac from sleep

Posted on Jan 14th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Sleep modes in OS X, as with other operating systems, allow you to quickly lock your Mac, and use less energy when not in use while being ready to…

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Fix Adobe Flash update installers not opening

Posted on Jan 13th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

In the past few days, Apple issued an update to its XProtect anti-malware system in OS X, part of which blocks versions of Adobe's Flash Player…

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How to manage intermittent lag in OS X Yosemite

Posted on Jan 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 32 Comments

One of the more common complaints about OS X Yosemite is that it appears to run slowly for some users; however, this is not because it is always…

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How to fix Touch ID not working on your iPhone or iPad

Posted on Jan 8th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Apple's Touch ID technology in its latest iPhones and iPads is a convenient way to unlock your system and authenticate for services like paying for…

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Eight Battery Saving settings for your iPhone and iPad

Posted on Jan 5th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

Apple touts significant battery lives for its iPhones and iPads, where you ought to be able to get about 10-14 hours of continuous use, and between…

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Fix the inability to access a file in OS X

Posted on Jan 5th, 2015 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

For security and privacy, you will not be allowed direct access to some hidden system files and those in other user accounts on your Mac, but…

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Prevent Siri from offering unsolicited conversation

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

Apple's Siri assistant in iOS is a neat addition to the iPhone and iPad, where you can use voice commands to manage content, look things up, and…

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Radical fix: Drill holes in your Mac to make it run cooler

Posted on Dec 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

MacBook systems have a notorious reputation for running hot when put under heavy load, which can make them uncomfortable to handle. This is…

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Fix buzzy or faint microphone recordings on your Mac

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

With the progression of audio options like iMessage audio messages and taking phone calls from iOS 8 in OS X, you might find yourself using your…

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How to manually patch NTP for OS X 10.6 and 10.7

Posted on Dec 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 94 Comments

The recent NTP (network time protocol) security update from Apple was the first that Apple silently pushed to users, updating their systems without…

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Reset LaunchPad to fix persistent empty folder bug

Posted on Dec 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

If you install many programs on your Mac, then in a similar way to managing Apps in iOS devices, you can click and drag the various icons in…

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Prevent OS X requesting permission to delete files on external drives

Posted on Dec 18th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

If you have an external drive that you use with your Mac, and provided it is in a format that your Mac can read, then you by default should be able…

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A fix for OS X hanging at startup, even in Safe Mode

Posted on Dec 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

When you start up your Mac, OS X will display a progress indicator on a background with an Apple symbol, right before loading the OS X interface. In…

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Fix your Mac stuck on encrypting with FileVault

Posted on Dec 16th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 63 Comments

Apple's FileVault disk encryption option in OS X is a security feature that is highly recommended, especially for portable systems that can be easily…

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Fix character typing problems in OS X Mail

Posted on Dec 15th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

Being your Mac’s default e-mail reader, Mail is likely the program you use to read messages on your various internet accounts (Google, Yahoo,…

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How to determine when your Spotlight index needs to be rebuilt

Posted on Dec 12th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

The Spotlight index in OS X is the database used for quickly accessing file information on your Mac. While this is primarily used for finding files…

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Fix reverting screensaver settings in OS X

Posted on Dec 10th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 12 Comments

The screensaver in OS X is a convenient tool to have enabled, even if its conventional use to prevent phosphor burn-in on CRT monitors is a somewhat…

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How to manually restore your Mail folder from Time Machine

Posted on Dec 7th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 40 Comments

If you have recently lost a large number of messages in OS X Mail, then provided you have a Time Machine backup of your system, you will have three…

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Prevent Messages from splitting into multiple conversations

Posted on Nov 13th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 3 Comments

When using Messages on either your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you might run into an issue where conversations will become split into multiple threads,…

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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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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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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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Transparency and graphics switching in Yosemite affecting MacBook Pros

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

Some MacBook Pro owners who have upgraded to OS X Yosemite are noticing a few problems with their systems showing regular graphical artifacts when…

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Fix or help stem Wi-Fi connectivity problems in OS X

Posted on Oct 31st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

After upgrading, restoring from backup, or otherwise heavily modifying your Mac's software setup, you might run into an issue with your system not…

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FAQ on fixing permissions in OS X

Posted on Oct 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

When you run into a slowdown or two on your Mac, or perhaps another problem, then one of the troubleshooting steps that is commonly and sometimes…

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FileVault bug makes Yosemite pause or hang at login

Posted on Oct 27th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 66 Comments

After having upgraded to OS X Yosemite, a number of people have found their Macs now take a relatively long time to log in. While powering on the…

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How to speed up a slow Yosemite upgrade

Posted on Oct 25th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

Whenever you upgrade a system there will always be times when configuration errors or incompatibilities may prevent specific features from working…

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Fix windows with controls off the edge of your screen

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

One frustrating issue you might encounter when running OS X is if a window is placed or sized in a way that prevents you from accessing some of its…

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New feature helps Safari page troubleshooting in OS X Yosemite

Posted on Oct 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

A small change in the way Safari manages web pages in Yosemite will allow you to more easily troubleshoot any pages that are unresponsive or…

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Show missing hard disks in the Finder sidebar

Posted on Oct 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 18 Comments

The Finder sidebar is a convenient location to access frequently used items such as hard drives, various folders in your home directory, network…

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Fix ‘Could Not Set Up Apple Pay’ error in iOS 8.1

Posted on Oct 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Apple's new Apple Pay service was made available yesterday with the release of iOS 8.1. With this update, any iOS device that contains a near field…

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Prevent the WindowServer process from dragging Yosemite down

Posted on Oct 20th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 88 Comments

One potential issue in OS X Yosemite that you might run into is a problem with the WindowServer, where at times this background process can use a…

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Fix OS X Yosemite always booting into Safe Mode

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

After upgrading to OS X Yosemite, you might encounter a problem where your Mac appears to always boot in Safe Mode, a maintenance boot environment…

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Fix Mail crashing after upgrading to Yosemite

Posted on Oct 19th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 141 Comments

After upgrading to OS X Yosemite, you might find Apple's Mail application may crash or hang when you open it, preventing you from accessing any new…

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How to manage small problems after upgrading to OS X Yosemite

Posted on Oct 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 13 Comments

While some problems with OS X will be very distinct, sometimes after upgrading there may be a few nondescript problems that occur, even if it's…

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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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Determine which OS X process IDs are for your Safari windows

Posted on Oct 11th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Quite often when browsing the Web, you might find yourself with multiple browser windows and tabs open. This may be convenient for workflow, but if a…

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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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Tackle iOS 8 Wi-Fi and Battery woes

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

Apple's iOS 8 was just released, and as with most initial releases, it has not come without a few bugs. While the OS includes a number of new…

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What to do if Mail constantly asks for passwords

Posted on Sep 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

When using Mail for accessing your e-mail, you might run into a problem where Mail repeatedly asks for your password, either when you are checking…

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Keep receipts and old RAM when upgrading

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

Do you have a Mac that supports full RAM upgrades, and are you considering replacing your Apple-supplied RAM? If so, then there are many reputable…

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Zap adware in OS X with The Safe Mac’s Adware Removal Tool

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

Does your Mac have adware installed on it? Chances are that it does not, but if you are seeing odd redirections to ads that have you suspecting…

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Fix iPhone not connecting to AirPort Wi-Fi networks

Posted on Aug 26th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

While there are many reasons why an iPhone will not connect to an AirPort base station or other Wi-Fi network, one may simply be an odd configuration…

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What apps are killing your battery life?

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

While Apple touts 7-9 hour battery lives for its various portable products, MacBook owners will know that sometimes this simply is not the case. Even…

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Quickly re-create a missing admin account on your Mac

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

When you set up OS X for the first time, your initial account will be an administrative one, allowing you to configure the system and install…

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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 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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Address bugs and problems with the Yosemite beta

Posted on Jul 24th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

As suggested previously, Apple today released the public beta of its upcoming OS X Yosemite operating system, and people who previously signed up…

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Tackle Web pages not loading in OS X

Posted on Jul 15th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Arguably Safari, Firefox, Chrome and other Web browsers are perhaps the most commonly used applications on your Mac, so when browsing various sites,…

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The only ‘required’ maintenance for your Mac

Posted on Jul 14th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 10 Comments

You may have heard that in order to keep your Mac running in tip top shape, you need to perform regular maintenance routines on it to clear out…

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Tackle problems with the iTunes 11.3 upgrade

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

Yesterday Apple released iTunes 11.3, which brings a few stability and compatibility issues with the program, along with improving the iTunes Extras…

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Fix Spotlight continually re-indexing your hard drive

Posted on Jul 7th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 6 Comments

Apple's Spotlight technology is its built-in searching routine for finding almost anything you will use in your account, and to do this it will…

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Tackle OS X only booting in Safe Mode

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

Safe Mode in OS X is a limited boot environment where only essential system services are active. It is a great option to have when troubleshooting…

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Tackle problems updating software via the App Store

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

If you have purchased programs through the App Store, then updates for them will also be available through the store. The same goes for OS X, where…

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How to speed up your old Mac

Posted on Jun 26th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 2 Comments

Do you have a Mac that is gaining a few years on it and is not performing the same as you remember when you first bought it? While you might not be…

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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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Use your Mac’s integrated graphics to save battery life

Posted on Jun 23rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

Apple's higher-end MacBook Pro systems come with two graphics cards: an integrated one on the CPU and the other a dedicated graphics processor. While…

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Fix downloaded Adobe Flash installers and updates not opening

Posted on Jun 16th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

While the Web is progressively moving away from its dependency on Adobe Flash, the plugin is still quite popular and sometimes required to view Web…

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How to verify and repair colorsync profiles in OS X

Posted on Jun 12th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 11 Comments

ColorSync is Apple's technology for matching colors between image-handling devices, so an image shown on one will appear with the same tones and hues…

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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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Fix About This Mac not showing proper disk space

Posted on May 27th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 12 Comments

If you need to look up how much of your Mac's disk space is being used, you can simply choose About This Mac from the Apple menu, and then click the…

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Troubleshooting Bluetooth connections in OS X

Posted on May 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 8 Comments

If you use Bluetooth devices such as speakers and headphones, mice, keyboards, and printers with your Mac, there may be instances where you might run…

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10.9.3 causing headaches for Mac Pro users

Posted on May 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

Some Mac Pro users have noticed that after updating their systems to OS X 10.9.3, their systems are showing significant graphical artifacts that can…

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Tackle Gmail not loading in OS X Mail

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

Google's Gmail service offers options to access your mail through an e-mail client, but if you configure Apple's Mail client to access your account,…

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iTunes 11.2.1 update fixes hidden Users folder bug

Posted on May 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

After updating to OS X 10.9.3, a number of OS X users have found the Users folder that contains home directories of all users on the system, has gone…

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Fix hidden Users folder after updating to OS X 10.9.3

Posted on May 16th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 16 Comments

Apple's OS X 10.9.3 update was released yesterday, bringing a number of security and bug fixes to Mavericks; however, some people have noticed that…

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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 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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Preparing for the 10.9.3 update

Posted on Apr 30th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 12 Comments

The developer seed builds for the upcoming 10.9.3 update for Mavericks have become more frequent, suggesting Apple is wrapping up the last few bugs…

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Fix Outlook 2011 forgetting passwords

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

If you use Microsoft Outlook 2011 for OS X, after upgrading to OS X Mavericks you might find the program periodically forgetting passwords for your…

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Enable MIDI playback in Web browsers for Mavericks and Mountain Lion

Posted on Apr 27th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 19 Comments

MIDI files are similar to digital sheet music, where notes on individual tracks are played with a selected instrument from a central sound library.…

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Fix iMessages only showing up on one device

Posted on Apr 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

Apple's iMessage service is its proprietary messaging technology, which works through iCloud to allow the synchronization of conversations between…

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Word font corruption may cause OS X to hang

Posted on Apr 21st, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 5 Comments

There may be some instances where opening a rogue Microsoft Word document on your Mac might result in a progressive hang of OS X applications and…

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How to troubleshoot font problems in OS X

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

Fonts are not just files, but rather system plug-ins, similar in ways to an extension or add-on application. When added and activated, they load into…

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Troubleshooting iMac Target Display mode

Posted on Apr 17th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 37 Comments

When Apple introduced its late-2009 iMac systems, it was clear the large built-in display on these systems could not only be used for the…

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Determine the reason why your Mac wakes up

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

When your Mac wakes form sleep, the OS X Kernel will output a message to the system console, containing a code that identifies the reason for the…

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Tackle Apple KEXTs not loading

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

Kernel extensions in OS X are add-ons to the core system software that provide low-level functionality to the system. These include device drivers…

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Tackle a hidden menu bar in OS X

Posted on Apr 14th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 9 Comments

The OS X Menu bar is the gray strip across the top of your monitor, that holds the apple menu and system and application menus on the left, and the…

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Test related settings when troubleshooting

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

Sometimes we get fixated on specific settings and possibilities when troubleshooting problems with our Macs, and in doing so might overlook other…

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Isolate issues using a new user account

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

When troubleshooting problems with your Mac, it is a good idea to try to isolate it as much as possible. Even if you cannot pinpoint the problem,…

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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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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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How to determine if your Mac’s hard drive is failing

Posted on Apr 8th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Your hard drive failing can mean loss or corruption to important data, or perhaps to applications and system software that can destabilize the…

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How to fix deep formatting problems with OS X drives

Posted on Apr 5th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 99 Comments

Even though formatting advances like Journaling in Apple's filesystem formats help prevent data corruption, problems can still happen that result in…

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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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Rebuild mailboxes to fix message handling problems in OS X Mail

Posted on Apr 3rd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 7 Comments

Apple's Mail program can connect to a number of different e-mail services, including popular ones like Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo, but in addition…

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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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Turn off auto-correct in OS X

Posted on Mar 29th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 14 Comments

When you either first set up your Mac, or if you have upgraded it to the latest versions of OS X, you will find Apple has changed some of the default…

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Troubleshooting daisy-chained peripherals in OS X

Posted on Mar 26th, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 0 Comments

While most Mac systems come with multiple USB, Thunderbolt, and firewire ports (for older systems), you may find yourself needing to daisy-chain your…

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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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Troubleshooting Mac power adaptors

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

If you own one of Apple's portable systems, you will have either a 60-watt or 85-watt power adaptor that comes with the unit for charging it. With…

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Fix QuickLook errors in OS X

Posted on Mar 22nd, 2014 - By Topher Kessler - 4 Comments

QuickLook is a service built into OS X that allows you to quickly preview the contents of many document types. When browsing through your files in…

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Diagnosing and fixing Wi-Fi signal quality problems in OS X

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

While Wi-Fi is a reliable connection technology for the most part, there are times when you might experience drop-outs or stalls in performance.…

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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 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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