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Macs: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How (and why) To Reset Your Mac's SMC
Resetting your Mac's SMC unit can fix quite a few common problems, as well as some uncommon ones.
Mac Stalls on Gray Screen at Startup
When your Mac stalls on the gray screen as it starts up, there's a wide variety of possible causes. This guide will take you through the process of troubleshooting the Mac gray screen startup issue.
How to Zip and Unzip Files and Folders on Mac
The Mac has a built-in archiving utility that you can use to zip (compress) or unzip files and folders. This FAQ will show you how to use the Archive Utility included in OS X.
How Can I Repair My Mac if it Won't Start?
My Mac won’t start. How can I repair my hard drive? The Mac has three good options for emergency startup and repair: booting from a different device, Safe Boot, and Single User Mode. All three options allow you to run various types of disk repair utilities that should get your Mac going again.
How Do You Eject a CD From a Mac?
Unlike many PCs, Macs don't have a manual eject button on their CD/DVD drives. You can eject a CD or DVD from a Mac using one of three methods: the eject key on the keyboard, the F12 key on the keyboard, or an application's eject command.
How to Use Your Mac's Safe Boot Option
Safe Boot: Safe Boot can get your Mac running again when you're having problems caused by corrupt applications or data, software installation issues, or damaged fonts or preference files. In all cases, the problem you may experience is either a Mac that fails to completely boot and freezes at some point along the way to the desktop, or a Mac that boots successfully, but then freezes or crashes when you undertake specific tasks or use specific applications.
How to Remove Safari Plug-ins
To remove Safari Plug-ins, you must delete or move the appropriate plug-in files from the Internet Plug-ins folder.
Create a Bootable Version of the OS X Mavericks...
The OS X Mavericks file you download from the Mac App Store contains a hidden installer image that can be used to create the bootable USB flash drive. Locating the installer image is the first of many steps. Page 2.
Troubleshooting Mac Startup Problems - Stuck at...
When your Mac gets stuck at the blue screen, chances are you're having a startup drive problem. Luckily, these problems are usually easy to fix. This guide will take you through the process of getting your Mac up and running again.
Fix SPOD – How to Fix a Spinning Pinwheel...
How to Fix a Spinning Pinwheel of Death: Once in a while, for no apparent reason, you may encounter the SPOD (Spinning Pinwheel of Death). You know, that multicolored pinwheel mouse pointer that signifies a temporary delay while your Mac tries to figure something out. In this case, your Mac is trying to think but nothing happens, so the pinwheel keeps spinning, and spinning, and spinning.
Control The Startup Process in Mac OS X With...
These startup keyboard shortcuts come in handy if you need to troubleshoot your Mac, or you just want to boot from a different volume than usual.
Reset PRAM
Reset PRAM: The Mac stores some of its system and device settings in a special type of non-volatile RAM commonly called the PRAM, short for Parameter RAM. Most Mac users don't think much about their Mac's PRAM, but it works hard anyway. It keeps track of startup volume, speaker volume, display settings, DVD region settings, the date, and the time, including your time zone.
Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to Repair Hard...
Disk Utility, an included applications with OS X, allows you to erase, format, and partition a drive, but also to repair problems that may crop up from time to time.
Mac Screen Sharing - How to Connect to Another...
Mac Screen Sharing: Screen sharing capability is built in to the Mac. With it, you can access a remote Mac's desktop, and view and manipulate files, folders, and applications, just as if you were sitting in front of the remote Mac.
How to Manage Bookmarks in Safari
Web browser bookmarks can quickly get out of hand, particularly if you tend to mark a lot of web sites for later perusal. Our guide to managing Safari bookmarks with folders can help you get and keep them under control.
View Hidden Folders on Your Mac Using Terminal
Your Mac has a few secrets, hidden folders and files that are invisible to you. You can use Terminal, which is included with OS X, to force your Mac to reveal its secrets.
How to Perform a Clean Install of OS X...
A clean install of OS X Mavericks requires a few more steps than the simpler upgrade install. Our guide to performing a clean install of Mavericks will help you successfully complete the process.
Use the Network Preference Pane to Change Your...
Configuring your Mac's DNS (Domain Name Server) settings is a pretty straightforward process. Even so, there are a few subtle nuances to be aware of that will help you get the most out of your DNS server.
Create an Emergency OS X Boot Device Using a...
Most USB flash drives are formatted for use with Windows. Before you can install OS X on a USB flash drive, you will need to change the drive’s formatting to the standard used by OS X (Mac OS X Extended Journaled). Page 3.
Hook Your Mac Up to Your HDTV
Your new big-screen HDTV probably has more video connections than your old TV. Why not use one of them for your Mac?
How to Access Your Library Folder on Your Mac
Have you noticed something missing? OS X hides your Library folder. It's not clear why Apple decided to hide the users Library folder, but there are two ways to get it back; one provided by Apple and one by the underlying file system. The method to use depends on whether you want permanent access to the Library folder, or only when you need to go there.
How to Move Your Apple Mail to a New Mac
Moving your Apple Mail data is a pretty simple task, but before you do, you may want to take a bit of time to clean up your current Mail setup. This will save time in copying data, and make the transfer of information more likely to succeed. Page 4.
Do You Need to Defragment a Mac’s Hard...
Do you need to defragment a Mac’s hard drive? About: Macs explains how your Mac is capable of defragmenting your hard drive on its own, without any intervention by you.
How to Perform a Clean Install of Snow Leopard...
Erase and Install of Snow Leopard: Previous versions of OS X had installers that could perform various types of installations. The Snow Leopard installer has no option for performing any type of installation other than an upgrade, but with a few extra steps, you can get it to perform an ‘Erase and Install’ for you.
My Browser Does Not Display a Web Site...
My browser is not displaying web sites. When I use my browser to visit a web site, it sometimes fails to load a web page or only displays part of the page. Sometimes I see timeout errors, yet at other times the site loads fine. What’s going on and how can I fix this problem?
Back Up or Move Your Safari Bookmarks to a New...
Back Up or Move Your Safari Bookmarks to a New Mac: Safari, Apple's popular web browser, has a lot going for it. It's easy to use, fast and versatile, and it adheres to web standards. It does, however, have one slightly annoying feature, or should I say it lacks a feature: a convenient way to import and export bookmarks.
Make the Most of the Finder Sidebar
The Finder sidebar is a handy place to store frequently used files, folders, and applications. It's also easy to customize.
Disk Utility - Add, Delete, and Resize Existing...
The version of Disk Utility bundled with OS X 10.5 or later has a few notable features, specifically, the ability to add, delete, and resize hard drive partitions without erasing data. If you need to resize a partition, or you would like to split a partition into multiple partitions, you can do it with Disk Utility, without losing the data that’s currently stored on the drive.
How to Find Your iPods Hidden Folders with...
It's easy to copy media files, music, audio books, podcasts, movies, and videos from your iPod to your Mac. Focus on Macs shows you how.
Safari Develop Menu: Enable Safari’s...
Safari Develop Menu: Enabling the Safari Develop menu brings a wealth of tools to web developers, as well as some helpful features for casual users.
Troubleshooting Safari - Slow Page Loads Caused...
DNS prefetching will usually make web site browsing faster, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect. If Safari seems to stall on certain web sites, this guide may help you resolve the problem.
How to Reset an Administrator Account’s...
You can reset a forgotten OS X administrator account password using a few different techniques. In this guide, we look at three methods of regaining access to an admin account.
How to Manage Auto Correct in OS X Lion
OS X spelling and grammar options, including the auto-correct spelling system, can be enabled and disabled both system-wide and at an application-by-application level. This guide will show you how to set the options to meet your needs.
Using an iMac As an External Display: How to...
The 27-inch iMacs introduced in late 2009 have many exciting features, but one that’s been a little overlooked is the ability to use the 27-inch iMac’s display as a separate monitor for video devices. These instructions will guide you through the use of Target Display Mode.
How to Calibrate Your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or...
MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air portables all use a battery with an internal processor designed to maximize battery performance. In order to make accurate predictions about remaining battery charge, the battery and its processor needs to undergo a calibration routine. The calibration routine helps the processor gauge the battery's current performance, and make accurate predictions about the remaining battery charge.
Experiencing a Mac OS X Kernel Panic? Here's...
When your Mac unexpectedly tells you that you have to restart, that's a kernel panic. Use this troubleshooting guide to resolve OS X kernel panic issues.
Protect Your Data! How to Copy a Startup Disk...
You can create a replica of your startup disk that is not only an exact copy, but bootable as well. This is the ideal type of backup to perform before updating any system software.
Can't Send Email in Apple Mail
Troubleshooting Apple Email and a Dimmed Send Button: A dimmed 'Send' button in Apple Mail means there isn't a correctly configured outgoing mail server (SMTP) associated with the Mail account. This can happen for a number of reasons but the two mostly likely are that the mail service you use made changes to its settings and you need to update your settings, or your Mail preference file is outdated, corrupt, or has the wrong file permissions associated with it.
Use the Apple Hardware Test Over the Internet...
When using the Internet to run the test, you don’t need to have the correct testing DVD, or install the diagnostic files on your Mac's drive.
Before You You Buy a Mac mini
Mac minis are small and inexpensive. They're a good choice for first-time Mac users, for adding to home theater systems, or for serving as very portable desktop computers for college-bound students. But as attractive as they are, Mac minis are not flawless.
How to Manage the Top Sites Feature in Safari
The Top Sites feature in Safari provides a visual representation of, and easy access to, the web sites you visit most often. In this quick tip, we show you how to manage Safari's Top Sites feature.
Using OS X’s Disk Utility
Disk Utility, a free application included with Mac OS X, is a multipurpose, easy-to-use tool for working with hard drives and drive images. Among other things, Disk Utility can erase, format, repair, and partition hard drives, as well as create RAID arrays. You can also use it to create a clone of any drive, including your startup drive.
iMac Upgrade Guide
iMac Upgrade Guide: When is it time to buy a new iMac? When is it time to just upgrade your iMac? Those are difficult questions, because the right answer varies from individual to individual, depending on needs and wants. The first step in making the right decision about whether to upgrade or buy new is to become familiar with the upgrades that are available for your iMac.
Add a Signature to Your Email Messages in Apple...
You can save yourself at least a few minutes a day by creating a signature to use in your email messages in Apple Mail. You can even create multiple signatures and switch between them.
How Can I Fix an Application That's Not Starting?
You can use Disk Utility’s Repair Permissions feature to fix a problem with applications that fail to launch, or have features that seem to have stopped working.
Before You Buy an iMac
The Apple iMac is a superb desktop computer that combines the power of an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or Intel Core 2 Quad processor with your choice of a 21.5-inch or 27-inch display, plus a large helping of Apple's well-deserved reputation for style. The result is a gorgeous, all-in-one desktop Mac that has been setting industry trends since its debut in 1998.
How to Format Your Macs Drives Using Disk Utility
Disk Utility, a free application included with Mac OS X, is a handy tool for working with hard drives, SSDs, removable media, and drive images. Disk Utility is also a good choice for erasing and formatting drives for the Mac.
Mac Screen Sharing
Mac Screen Sharing: Macs come with built-in screen sharing capabilities, which can be accessed from the Sharing preference pane. The Mac's screen sharing capability is based on the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) protocol, which means not only can you use another Mac to view your screen, you can use any computer that has a VNC client installed.
Drive Icons Missing From Your Mac’s...
Hard Drive Icons Not On Your Mac’s Desktop: It’s the Finder’s job to display the desktop and all of its icons, including those for hard drives. The problem is that a default install of OS X renders the desktop without the drive icons.
Do I need an anti-virus program for my Mac?
The Mac has a longstanding reputation as a secure operating system, with no known successful virus attacks in the wild. With a rich history of being virus free, do Macs need anti-virus protection?
How to Re-Download Apps From the Mac App Store
If you accidentally delete an app, or something goes wrong during the installation process, you can re-download the app from the Mac App Store (assuming that's where you purchased it). You can re-download apps in a number of ways. This guide provides details about the most common methods, and answers a few FAQs about the Mac App Store.
Tom's Mac Software Picks 2014
The Tom's Mac Software Picks 2014 list includes my weekly selection for the best recently released or updated Mac app. Winning applications can come from any software category as long as the app runs natively on the Mac, is well designed, and offers exceptional value.
Organize Your Apple Mail With Mailboxes
The first step to taking control of your email is to organize it. We'll show you how to organize your email messages in Apple Mail by creating mailboxes.
Top 10 Must Have Apps for Mac
Whenever a new Mac shows up here, or for that matter, whenever I reconfigure a Mac or install a new OS, one of the first things I do is install this base group of 10 applications.
Fix Magic Mouse Disconnects
Fix Magic Mouse Disconnects: There can be numerous reasons for a Magic Mouse to drop the Bluetooth connection, but in my experience, the most common reason is a loose battery terminal contact in the Magic Mouse.
Partition Your Mac's Hard Drive With Disk Utility
Disk Utility is the application of choice for partitioning a hard drive. Disk Utility is straightforward and easy to use, it provides a nice graphical interface, and best of all, it’s free. Disk Utility is included with the Mac OS.
Change How Your Mac Sleeps - Pick the Sleep...
Change How Your Mac Sleeps: Apple supports three main types of sleep modes for desktops and portables. The three modes are Sleep, Hibernation, and Safe Sleep, and they each work slightly differently.
Mac Troubleshooting - Reset User Account...
Resetting your Mac’s home folder permissions can be the key to fixing a number of annoying problems you may encounter, including the inability to copy files or move items to the trash, or always being asked to provide an administrator password.
Top 10 Troubleshooting Tips for Mac Startup...
Turning on your Mac only to discover that it won’t start up correctly can be a nightmare. These troubleshooting tips should help you get your Mac up and running again, so you can get back to work or play, as the case may be.
Want to Move Your Mac's Home Folder to a New...
Move Your Home Folder to a New Location: Your home folder is always located on the startup drive, the same one that houses the OS. This may not be an ideal location for your home folder, however. Storing the home folder on another drive may be a much better choice, especially if you want to increase the performance of your Mac by installing an SSD (Solid State Drive) to serve as your startup drive.
MacBook Upgrade Guide
MacBook Upgrade Guide: If you're thinking about upgrading your MacBook and wondering how difficult it might be, stop worrying. The MacBook is one of the easiest Macs to upgrade with more memory or a larger hard drive.
Enable Disk Utility's Debug Menu
OS X's Disk Utility has a hidden Debug menu that, when enabled, can give you access to a few more Disk Utility features than you normally see. While Disk Utility has had a Debug menu for quite a while, it became even more useful with the advent of OS X Lion.
A Quick Guide to Clean Installing OS X Lion on...
In this step-by-step article, we're going to look at installing Lion on a drive or partition, either internally on your Mac or on an external drive. For those of you who want to create a bootable USB flash drive with Lion installed, we have two methods you can use, which we will cover in a separate article.
Free Mac Backup Software
These 5 free Mac backup apps can save you from a disaster that's just waiting to happen. If you don't already back up your Mac on a regular basis (or even if you do), take a look at this collection, pick one of the apps, and start backing up your data right away.
Access Your Gmail Using Apple's Mail
Apple's Mail is one of the most intuitive email applications currently available for Macs. It can easily handle Gmail and other web-based email accounts.
OS X Mavericks Installation Guides
There's more than one way to install OS X Mavericks. With these guides you'll learn how to perform upgrade and clean installs. The guides will also show you how to create a bootable USB flash drive version of the Mavericks installer.
OS X User Accounts - Add Administrator Accounts...
Adding administrator user accounts to your Mac allows you to specify other individuals who can take on the administrator role. Administrators have an elevated set of privileges that allow them to install applications, change system preferences, and perform a variety of maintenance tasks.
Magic Mouse Tracking Error - An Easy Fix for a...
Magic Mouse Tracking Error: There are two common reasons for the Magic Mouse to exhibit hesitant tracking behavior. I addressed the first reason in the 'Magic Mouse Disconnects' article. The second reason is dirt in the optical tracking system.
Mac Performance Tips – Remove Login Items...
Mac Performance Tips – Remove Login Items You Don’t Need: Startup items, also know as login items, are applications, utilities, and helpers that run automatically during the startup or login process. In many cases, application installers add login items that an application may need. In other cases, the installers add login items because they assume you want to run their precious application every time you start your Mac.
How to Install Fonts in OS X
The Mac comes with a built-in collection of fonts, but you'll probably want to add more to your collection before long. You'll find a wide variety of free and low-cost fonts available on the web. Here's how to install them.
The Safari Toolbar, Bookmarks Bar, Tab Bar, and...
It's easy to customize the Safari toolbar, as well as hide or show the bookmarks, tab, and status bars.
How to Choose the Right External Hard Drive
Buying an external hard drive may seem to entail making difficult decisions, but once you understand the basic choices available, you'll find that selecting an external hard drive enclosure is a simple process.
Troubleshooting Apple Mail
Troubleshooting Apple Mail: Troubleshooting Apple Mail can at first seem like a difficult process, but Apple provides some built-in troubleshooting tools that can help you get your Mail application up and running quickly. When you're having trouble with Apple Mail, check out our Apple Mail Troubleshooting guides, which we've gathered in one place for quick access.
How to Set Up Apple Mail Rules
Apple Mail rules allow you to set up conditions and actions that tell Apple Mail how to process incoming messages. This guide will explore how to create Mail rules
iPhoto Libraries - Create and Populate...
Export Photos From iPhoto: There are a couple of options for exporting iPhoto images. You can export the unedited master of an image or the current version. I prefer to export the master, to ensure that I always have the original image from my camera in my iPhoto libraries. Page 3.
Use Disk Utility to Create a RAID 1 (Mirror)...
In this About: Macs guide, we will take you through the process of creating a mirrored RAID 1 array using Disk Utility.
How to Create a Bootable Flash Drive for...
The OS X Lion installer application that you downloaded from the Mac App Store includes an embedded bootable image that the application uses during the install process. In order to create our own USB flash-drive-based bootable Lion installer, we simply need to copy this embedded image to the flash drive. Page 3.
Using OS X as a File Server for a Network
Using OS X 10.5 as a File Server: File servers come in many forms, from dedicated computer systems like Apple’s Xserve, which has a base sticker price of $2,999, to NAS (Network Attached Storage) hard-drive-based systems, which can be found for as little as $49 (you supply the hard drives). But while buying a preconfigured solution is always an option, it’s not always the best option.
Installing Mac OS X Lion Server
Installing OS X Lion Server is a pretty straightforward task, but there are some pre-installation housekeeping chores that you must perform. If you don't prepare correctly, your Lion Server installation may have problems down the road.
Using iCloud for Data Storage
In addition to using iCloud to sync data between your Mac and your mobile device(s), you can also use it as a general cloud-based storage system. All it takes is a little bit of time to set up a few aliases on your Mac.
Eject Stuck CD/DVD: Use Terminal to Eject a...
Eject Stuck CD/DVD: Having a CD or DVD stuck in your Mac or an optical drive isn't a fun situation. And while there are a number of ways to force the media to be ejected, most require you to shut down. If that presents a problem, you can use Terminal to force eject the CD or DVD, without shutting down your Mac.
Setting Finder Views for Folders and Sub-Folders
Set the Default Finder View: Finder windows can open in one of four different views: Icon, List, Column, and Cover Flow. If you don’t set a default view, then folders will open depending on how they were last viewed, or to the last view that was used. Page 2.
What are the Windows keyboard equivalents for...
Almost any Windows keyboard that has a USB interface will work with a Mac. The only catch is that some of the keys on Windows keyboards have different names than those on Macintosh keyboards. This FAQ covers the Windows keyboard equivalents for the Mac's command, option, control, delete, and return keys.
Create Bootable Copies of the OS X Mountain...
The OS X Mountain Lion installer image can be copied to a USB flash drive, which can then be used as bootable media for subsequent installs of Mountain Lion. Page 4.
Faster Web Access: Test Your DNS Provider to...
With namebench, a new tool from Google Code, you can run a series of bench tests on your DNS provider to see just how well the service is performing. Why is this important? Because when you're browsing the web, your Internet connection uses DNS to look up the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the web site you're trying to reach. How fast the lookup can be performed determines how soon your web browser can start downloading the web site.
Make the Mouse Pointer on Your Mac Bigger
Enlarging the Mouse Pointer: With both larger and high-resolution displays becoming the norm, you may have noticed your mouse pointer is getting smaller. On both the newer 27-inch iMacs and the new 27-inch LCD Cinema Display, the monitor’s native resolution is high enough that your mouse cursor can be difficult to locate as it scurries across the screen. There is, however, a way to make the mouse pointer larger, so it's easier to spot.
How to Eject CDs or DVDs From Your Mac Even...
Ejecting CD/DVD: The Mac doesn't have an external eject button on its CD/DVD drive. Instead, it offers several options for ejecting a CD or DVD. Most of the eject options are for routine day-to-day use. But what do you do when a CD or DVD becomes stuck? Take a look at our guides to ejecting CDs and DVDs.
Using the Finder on Your Mac
Using the Finder on a Mac isn't very difficult, but there are a few quirks and secrets that all Mac users should know about. Learn how to use the Finder and simplify your daily activities with your Mac.
Back Up Your Mac: Time Machine and SuperDuper...
Backing up my Mac starts with Time Machine. The beauty of Time Machine is the ease of setting it up, plus the ease of recovering a file, project, or entire hard drive should something go wrong. Page 2.
Mac Backup Software, Hardware, and Guides for...
There are many Mac backup software programs available. With so many products to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Focus on Macs takes a look at some of the software and hardware that can help you with your Mac backups.
How to Personalize Your Mac by Changing Desktop...
Changing Desktop Icons: Your Mac’s desktop is a lot like your home; it needs to be personalized to make it seem like it’s your place. Changing desktop icons is one of the easiest ways to bring a touch of you to your Mac’s desktop, and it’s as easy as a few mouse clicks.
Mac Tips for MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and...
Getting the best usage out of your MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air may be just a matter of knowing the right tip or trick. This ever increasing list of tips will get you going on getting the most out of your portable Macs.
Display Hidden Files in OS X ‘Open’...
Have you ever needed to edit or view one of the many invisible files on your Mac? There is now a simple keyboard trick that allows hidden files and folders to display in any ‘Open’ or ‘Save’ dialog box.
Widgets on Your Mac Desktop
You can make Dashboard widgets appear on your Mac desktop by using Terminal to invoke Dashboard Development mode. Once you enter development mode, you can drag individual widgets from Dashboard to the desktop.
Safari Tune Up
Safari Tune Up: Optimizing Safari's performance is an easy way to ensure that you browse the web at the highest possible speed. Safari uses a collection of caches, a history list, and other techniques to help keep things speeding right along, but sometimes these performance techniques can lead to a slow down. Learn a few tricks to keep Safari humming along.
Time Machine Stuck on the “Preparing...
If Time Machine is taking a very long time preparing a backup, or appears to be stuck, this guide can help you resolve the problem and get Time Machine working correctly again.
Using Boot Camp Assistant to Install Windows on...
Boot Camp Assistant 4.x allows you to partition your Mac's drive and install Windows 7. This step-by-step guide will take you through the process, and point out a few pitfalls to avoid along the way.
Change the File Format Your Mac Uses to Save...
Screenshot Format: Your Mac has the ability to take screenshots with just a keyboard shortcut or two. If you want a few more advanced capabilities, you can use the included Grab application to take screenshots. But neither of these screenshot options provides an easy way for you to specify your preferred graphics file format for screenshots. Luckily, you can use Terminal, an application included with OS X, to change the default graphics format.
Resizing Your Mac's Windows with New Tricks
OS X Lion and later offers new methods of resizing windows. You can now not only resize a window by dragging from any edge or corner; with modifier keys, you can control the window's aspect ratio as well.
Setting Up an iCloud Account on Your Mac
Setting up iCloud on your Mac requires the correct version of OS X and an Apple ID. With these two key components in place, the process of turning on the iCloud services is a piece of cake.
Time Machine With Multiple Drives - How to Use...
With the introduction of OS X Mountain Lion, Time Machine now supports multiple backup drives. This guide will show you the details of setting up and using multiple drives with Time Machine.
My Mac displays a question mark when it boots....
If your Mac displays a flashing question mark after you turn it on, it may be a temporary hiccup or it may mean your Mac can't find a bootable operating system.
Setting up Facebook with Mac OS X Mountain Lion...
One of the new features in Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 is Facebook integration. This guide will show you how to set up and use the new Facebook services.
How Much Free Drive Space Do I Need?
How Much Free Drive Space Do I Need: What's the minimum amount of free drive space that I need? My Mac is starting to operate slowly, taking a long time to boot or to launch an application. It also seems unstable, sometimes giving me the rainbow cursor for very long periods of times, even locking up completely.
Setting Up Dropbox for the Mac
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud-based storage and syncing services for Macs, PCs, and mobile devices. If you haven't used Dropbox before, this guide will take you through the process of installing the service on your Mac.
OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Installation Guides
OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is still available from the Apple web site. Having the last version of the Mac OS that Apple sold on DVD can be a nice piece of insurance should you ever experience a drive failure. These guides will take you through the process of installing Snow Leopard on a Mac.
Create a Bootable DVD Copy of OS X Lion Installer
You can create a bootable copy of OS X Lion once you download OS X 10.7.x to your Mac.
Partition Types: Apple Partition Types and How...
Partition types, or as Apple refers to them, partition schemes, define how the partition map is organized on a hard drive. Apple directly supports three different partition schemes: GUID (Globally Unique IDentifier) Partition Table, Apple Partition Map, and Master Boot Record. With three different partition maps available, which one should you use when you format or partition a hard drive?
Keeping Your Mac Clean and Trouble-Free -...
Cleaning Your Mac’s Display: Cleaning a Mac's display is a very easy process, with only a few don’ts but a lot of do’s to consider. We're going to talk specifically about Apple displays, but these cleaning instructions should work for most LCD displays.
Snow Leopard Install: Basic Upgrade Install of...
The default installation method for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) is an upgrade from Leopard. If you prefer, you can erase your hard drive and start fresh with a clean install (in fact, I highly recommend that method), but in this step-by-step guide, we’ll perform the basic upgrade installation.
Mac Performance Tips - Give Your Mac a Tuneup
Is your Mac slowing down? This collection of Mac performance tips will keep your Mac running in tip-top shape and all it takes is a few minutes of your time.
Create Your Own OS X Recovery HD on Any Drive
You can use this step-by-step guide to create an OS X Recovery HD volume on any internal or external drive that's connected to your Mac.
How to Create a New User Account When You...
Having a spare OS X admin account is always a good idea. If disaster strikes, and you haven’t yet set up a spare admin account, this guide will show you a way to create one, even when you can’t access your regular user account.
OS X Mavericks Minimum Requirements
This guide describes the minimum requirements for OS X Mavericks, including a list of Macs that will run the new OS, as well as instructions for using Terminal to confirm that your Mac will support Mavericks.
OS X Memory Usage
Using Activity Monitor to Track Memory Usage: It can sometimes be difficult to get your head around OS X memory usage, especially when it comes time to consider upgrades for your Mac. Will adding more memory provide a significant performance increase? That's a question I often hear, so let's discover the answer together.
Moving Time Machine to a New Hard Drive
Moving Time Machine to a New Hard Drive: Starting with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.x), Apple simplified what’s required to successfully transfer a Time Machine backup. If you follow the steps below, you can move your current Time Machine backup to a new disk. Time Machine will then have enough room to save a larger number of backups, until it eventually fills up the available space on the new drive.
The Mac Trackpad
The Mac Trackpad: The glass trackpad on a new MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air is certainly fun to play with in the store. An Apple salesperson will quickly show you how to scroll, zoom, and right-click. But once you get your new Mac notebook home, some of the things you remember doing in the store may not seem to work the same way.
Installing OS X 10.5 Leopard - Erase and...
Installing OS X Leopard requires you to boot from the Leopard Install DVD. There are multiple ways to start this boot process, including a method for when your Mac isn’t working correctly. Page 2.
Using Boot Camp Assistant to Partition Your...
Boot Camp Assistant, part of Apple's Boot Camp, is the primary application for getting an Intel-based Mac ready to run Microsoft Windows. Using Boot Camp Assistant, you can create two partitions on your hard drive, one for Mac OS X and one for Windows.
Getting The Most Out of the Finder Pathbar
The Finder Path Bar is a nifty feature that’s new in OS X 10.5. Using the Finder Path Bar is easy, but first you have to make it visible.
Getting Windows 7 and Mac OS X to Play Together
Sharing Windows 7 and Mac OS X: Sharing Windows 7 and Mac OS X files and printers isn't a difficult process. But there are a few tricks and tips you need to be aware of to get your Windows 7 or Mac printers and files to be accessible to other users on your local network. To help you get Windows 7 and your Mac playing nicely together, I've collected these file and printer sharing guides. So, dive in and get connected.
Access Your Mac Data from a Windows 8 PC
In order to access your Mac's shared folders from a Windows 8 PC, you must either enter the IP address of your Mac or enable file sharing on the Windows PC.
How to Change iCloud Keychain's Security Code...
You can change your iCloud Keychain's security code or associated phone number using the iCloud preference pane and these instructions.
What Are Aliases, Symbolic Links, and Hard...
The Mac file system supports three types of shortcuts: aliases, symbolic links, and hard links. To make the best use of file shortcuts, it's important to understand the difference between them.
Use Your Mac to Share a Web Site
OS X uses the well-known Apache web server for sharing web sites on a local network. Setting up web sharing is an easy task for Mac users.
How to Share OS X Mountain Lion Files With...
OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8 can easily share files. This guide will take you through the file sharing configuration process on both your Mac and your PC.
Macs and Home Theater: Connect Your Mac to Your...
That big-screen HDTV is just begging to be connected to your Mac. This guide will take you through the process of connecting your Mac to your HDTV.
Hide the Dock When It's Not in Use
If you want to free up a little screen real estate, you can set the Dock to disappear when you're not actively using it.
Mac to Mac Transfer - Move Your Important Mac...
Mac to Mac Transfer: Your Mac contains tons of personal data, from your saved emails to your calendar events. Backing up this data, whether just to have a backup on hand or to move the data to a new Mac, is actually pretty easy. The problem is it's not always an intuitive process. I’ve gathered detailed instructions on moving this important info to your new Mac, as well as how to create backups of individual application data.
OS X Lion Scroll Bars
OS X Lion changed not only how scrolling works, but if and when scroll bars appear. You don’t have to live with Lion's scroll bar defaults; you can change them to meet your needs or preferences.
Using the Mac's Appearance Preferences Pane
The Appearance preferences pane controls the basic look and feel of your Mac’s user interface. By making adjustments in the Appearance preferences pane, you can change the overall look and feel of your Mac.
Troubleshooting Apple Mail - Using Apple Mail's...
Troubleshooting Apple Mail: Apple Mail is very straightforward to set up and use. Apple provides convenient guides that step you through the process for creating accounts. Apple also provides a few troubleshooting guides designed to help you when something isn't working. The three main assistants for diagnosing problems are the Activity window, the Connection Doctor, and Mail logs.
How to Perform a Clean Install of OS X Mountain...
You can install OS X Mountain Lion as an upgrade or as a clean install, which involves erasing everything on the target drive. This guide will take you through the process of performing a clean install on a drive other than a startup drive.
Safari Extensions: Enabling and Installing...
Managing Safari Extensions: Once you start loading up on extensions for your Safari browser, you're probably going to want to manage their use, or uninstall the extensions you don't like or just never use. Page 3.
What Do You Need to Run Mountain Lion on a Mac?
The minimum hardware requirements for Mountain Lion may prevent you from upgrading if you have an older 64-bit Intel Mac. This guide will show you how to determine if your Mac can run Mountain Lion.
Before You Buy Mac Memory
Before You Buy Mac Memory: Buying memory for a Mac seems like an easy task; find the cheapest price online and submit your order. But there's a tad more you need to know, to ensure you get the right memory for your Mac, the best deal, and the best quality.
Using the Archive Utility - Gain Control of...
Archive Utility is the Mac's built-in compression and expansion app. It supports many file types for expansion, and three very popular file types for compression.
AirDrop With or Without a Wireless Connection
AirDrop is designed for use over a wireless connection, but with a bit of a tweak, you can get it working on your wired Ethernet network as well.
How to Back Up Your iPhoto '11 Library
If you've imported some or all of your photos into iPhoto '11, you should also back up your iPhoto Library on a regular basis.
Mac Battery Tips
How long can you run your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air on a single charge? Much longer than you think with this collection of energy management tips for your Mac's battery.
iMovie 11 Advanced Tools - How to Turn on...
iMovie 11 Advanced Tools - How to Turn on iMovie 11's Advanced Tools: iMovie 11 is a consumer-oriented video editor, but that doesn't mean it's a lightweight. It offers a number of powerful yet easy-to-use tools on the surface. You may not know that it also has some advanced tools under the hood.
Time Machine - Backing Up Your Data Has Never...
Backing up files using Apple’s Time Machine couldn’t be easier. All it takes is a few clicks to make your data safe and secure.
Getting iCloud's Mail Working on Your Mac
Setting up Apple Mail to access your iCloud Mail account is not too difficult. It's relatively easy, in fact, but you need to perform the steps in a certain order. Once you follow the instructions in our quick tip, you'll be able to use your Mac Mail app to view, send, and receive mail from your iCloud account.
Add a Dock Spacer to Your Mac
Dock spacers allow you to organize your Mac’s Dock by creating a blank Dock icon that you can place wherever you wish on the Dock. You can use Dock spacers to create a separation between groups of Dock icons. Dock spacers work with OS X 10.5 Leopard and later.
Split Your Fusion Drive Apart
Deleting a Fusion drive is accomplished by first removing the Core Storage Logical volume, followed by deleting the Core Storage Logical Volume Group. Page 3.
Configure OS X Mountain Lion's Workgroup Name
Checking or changing your Windows 8 PC's Workgroup name is a simple process, as outlined here. Page 2.
OS X User Account - Add Standard User Accounts...
Adding standard user accounts allows you to share your Mac with multiple individuals. It’s easy to add user accounts; all you need is an existing administrative account.
Customize the Finder Toolbar
The Finder toolbar, a collection of buttons located at the top of a Finder window, is easy to customize.
Use The Dock Preference Pane to Customize The...
The Dock preferences pane allows you to customize how your Mac's Dock looks and behaves. You can adjust the size and location of the Dock, as well as apply special effects when applications are launched or
Install Lion Using a Bootable DVD
I'm going to show you how to create a bootable version of the OS X Lion installer. I'll also show you how to use the bootable DVD to erase a hard drive, and then install OS X Lion on it.

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