OS X El Capitan

Ensuring your Mac is receiving updates about new malware and compromised web plug-ins

Among the plethora of built-in OS X features that help keep your Mac secure is something called File Quarantine, a download validation technology that checks any downloads for known malware when you try to open them.

File Quarantine is also available in compatible applications like Safari, Messages, iChat and Mail that download files from the Internet or receive files from external sources, such as email attachments.

Additionally, OS X blocks compromised versions of web plug-ins from functioning, including Java web apps and Adobe Flash content, to further limit your Mac’s exposure to potential zero day exploits.

In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how you can make sure that File Quarantine updates are turned on, which will allow your Mac to receive latest malware definitions and information about compromised web plug-ins from Apple.

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.

Tip: quickly turn off your Mac’s screen with this handy keyboard shortcut

If you don’t want a bystander to read what’s on your Mac’s screen or just want to temporarily shut off the display—for instance, to save battery—you can take advantage of several built-in OS X features.

For that purpose, I’d typically define hot corners in Mission Control settings so that moving the mouse pointer to the upper left corner would instantly start my screen saver. The problem is, even a blank screen saver won’t completely shut off the display.

As it turns out, OS X makes your life even easier by providing a dedicated keyboard shortcut to quickly turn off a Mac’s display without having to define a screen saver or use dedicated third-party applications.

The ultimate guide to protecting your private information in Notes from the prying eyes

According to Apple, Notes is one of the most popular and most-frequently used stock applications on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

People use Notes for everything from memorizing recipes to keeping track of errands, creating shopping lists, storing inspirational quotes and even passwords, codes and medical data.

Not all notes contain sensitive information, but many do. Beginning with iOS 9.3 and OS X El Capitan 10.11.4, you can protect your notes with a password or Touch ID.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to set up Notes protection, secure items on a note-by-note basis so no one can view their contents and more.

How to hide Favorites in Safari

Safari for iOS and macOS lets you mark websites you fancy as your Favorites, so they’re easy to access when you select Safari’s Smart Search field at the top. Your Favorites also appear on new tabs and windows, are listed in your bookmarks, appear on a dedicated Favorites page and can be added as a bar below Safari’s toolbar.

It’s a convenient feature which enables a more productive browsing for those who remember to file websites they frequent as their Favorites.

On the downside, people starring at your iPhone, iPad and Mac will get to see your Favorites every time you open a new tab, type a URL or search. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you step-by-step through the process of removing your Favorites from various Safari views on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac.

How to disable suggested search terms in Safari

Safari’s Smart Search Field is tremendously useful. This unified search and address field performs functions of the separate address and search fields found in older editions of the browser.

The Smart Search Field lets you type in either an URL to visit or a search query to send to the default search engine. It’s also a place where search suggestions automagically pop up as you type. Suggested search terms are supplied by the search engine selected in Settings → Safari → Search Engine.

With this cool feature, you can type just the first few letters of a query and rely on the search engine to help you complete the search term without needing to type out the rest of your query. Bt certain users may not be fond of this feature for privacy reasons.

If you’re among them, use step-by-step instructions provided in this tutorial to turn suggested search terms off in Safari for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac.

How to move Photos library to a separate drive

In addition to moving your multi-gigabyte iTunes library to an external drive, a significant amount of Mac storage space can be freed up by moving your photo libraries onto a separate drive.

If you take a lot of pictures with a DSLR camera or your iOS devices and import them in Photos, you’ll fairly quickly run out of free space on most Macs.

This tutorial will guide you through the process of moving an entire library of photos to a drive other than the startup volume, preferably to a much larger external hard drive, in a way that won’t disrupt your photography workflow.

How to use bookmark folders in Safari

In Safari, you can save websites you visit frequently so you can quickly revisit them later without having to remember their URLs. Saved webpages are accessible in Safari’s Bookmarks menu on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac.

If you save a lot of bookmarks, they will clutter the Bookmarks menu over time so locating that favorite website of yours will begin to feel like finding a needle in the haystack. You can avoid this by creating themed folders for organizing your bookmarks.

This tutorial provides step by step instructions for creating new bookmark folders in Safari for iOS and OS X. You will also learn how to rename, reposition and delete these folders and file websites into them, all of which will help you organize your favorite websites to your liking.

How to disable transparency effects on your Mac

Public release of OS X Yosemite in 2014 has given the Mac’s user interface a fresh coat of paint in part through adopting much of the transparency effects that Apple added to iOS 7 in prior year.

Transparency is used throughout macOS and can be observed on the desktop and seen in drop-down menus, title bars, sidebars and toolbars.

This post will teach you how to disable transparency for all user interface elements that have a translucent appearance on your Mac.

How to use Finder’s interactive Path Bar on Mac

In addition to showing the full path to a file or folder within the Finder windows’ titlebars and copying a file’s path as text via contextual menus in the latest versions of macOS, your Mac has other cool tricks up its sleeve for a more efficient file system browsing.

Take, for example, the Path Bar, a little-known Finder feature which has been around for ages, since the earliest releases of OS X.

The Path Bar displays the interactive path to the current working directory at the bottom of all Finder windows. In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to show or hide the Path Bar and use it like a pro to navigate your Mac’s file system more efficiently than before.

How to copy file or folder’s complete path on your Mac directly from Finder

The Mac’s Finder isn’t as versatile a file manager when it comes to copying a file or folder’s full path as the Windows Explorer app is.

To be sure, macOS has long allowed you to enable an interactive file path at the bottom of Finder windows, and even show the complete path in a window’s titlebar, but these methods won’t let you copy an item’s full path to the system clipboard easily.

Starting with OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple has introduced a new Copy Pathname option that makes it very easy to do just that. And in this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to copy a file or folder’s complete path on Mac, directly from the Finder.

How to disable suggested events in Calendar on iOS and Mac

In addition to suggesting contacts from Mail data, the new Proactive assistant in iOS 9 and El Capitan can make smart event proposals based on information found in Mail.

For example, when you get an email with a date and time in the message body, Mail will offer to add a proposed event to the stock Calendar app. Emails from known providers (i.e. restaurant confirmations) end up in a special “Events Found in Mail” section in Calendar, awaiting your final confirmation.

Should you find this behavior distracting, annoying or downright creepy, don’t worry because Apple has kindly provided controls to disable the feature. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to prevent your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac from rummaging through your email looking for calendar events.