Disk Utility

How to hide mounted volumes from your desktop and the Finder

We’ve already covered how to completely prevent partitions from mounting under macOS but, as one iDB reader pointed out, sometimes you want a partition mounted and ready to use but still want the benefit of it not cluttering up your desktop and the Finder sidebar.

The example our reader enquired about was Time Machine, and that really is a perfect case in point. Many people want their Time Machine partition constantly mounted and backing up throughout the day but don’t need it to be visible at all. Finder’s preferences allow for hiding all volumes from the desktop but offer no control on a volume-by-volume basis, and though drives can be manually removed from the Finder window sidebar, this is an inelegant extra step and the drives still show elsewhere.

Luckily, there is a way to leave specific volumes mounted whilst hiding them from both the desktop and the entirety of the Finder in one fell swoop.

How to create blank disk images with Disk Utility

Should you ever find yourself in the need to create blank disk images, OS X’s built-in Disk Utility is your friend. A disk image usually has a .dmg extension and appears, looks and behaves like any ordinary file, with one key exception: launching it prompts OS X to mount the volume on the desktop.

These mountable disk images can be useful in a number of situations. For example, you may want to create blank disk images for storage.

Furthermore, disk images can be used as a virtual disk for software distribution, to burn CDs or DVDs and so forth. In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to create blank disk images in Disk Utility, at any size, with optional password protection, formatting options and more.

Using Disk Utility to format drives on your Mac

At times, you may have the need to erase and re-use a hard drive, solid state drive, or even a USB flash drive so it can be used for alternative purposes. Fortunately, your Mac comes with all the tools you’ll need to do this, making it super simple for you to erase and format that drive for your needs.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can format a USB flash drive using the Disk Utility built into your OS X operating system. This process also works with external hard drives, internal solid state drives, and any other drive that doesn’t contain your operating system on it.

Repairing Mac disk errors in OS X Recovery Mode

OS X on your Mac includes a disk-repairing app, called Disk Utility, which you can use to scan your connected drives for errors, erase a disk, repair disk permissions, check the disk’s structure for physical errors and more.

But what can you do, if anything, should your Mac experience issues preventing it from starting up properly? Not to worry, our friends, because OS X lets you launch a standalone version of Disk Utility from your Mac’s built in recovery partition.

In other words, OS X’s Recovery Mode gives you a chance to repair a malfunctioning startup disk that prevents your Mac from booting properly.

How to repair disk permissions on Mac

Some Mac hiccups and startup issues can be resolved by repairing disk permissions in OS X. Disk permissions allow your Mac to control what users have access to files and folders on your Mac.

Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to unintentionally mess up disk permissions. In fact, the very act of installing and uninstalling apps on your Mac can over time result in broken permissions.

And when file permissions break, your apps might be allowed to alter each other’s files or even modify read-only system files, which in turn can lead to various permission errors and erroneous behavior in OS X. It is therefore essential that disk permission in OS X are as they are supposed to be.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to verify and fix disk permissions in OS X, which is typically a basic troubleshooting step to fix any software issues your Mac might be plagued with.

How to delete a partition on Mac

In an earlier tutorial, we showed you how to create a new partition on Mac. But what if, after testing, you wish to delete the partition and relinquish its space? In this video tutorial, we’ll show you how easy it is to dissolve a partition using macOS’ built-in Disk Utility.

How to install beta software on a separate partition

Itching to run the latest macOS beta, but don’t want to upgrade your primary Mac installation with a beta release? You’d be wise to carefully consider the prospects of running a beta release as a daily driver. That said, it is possible to run beta software on your primary machine without compromising your current installation.

By creating a small test partition on your primary drive, you can create a great landing space for the beta. Read and watch our walkthrough to see how easy it is.