How to enable AirDrop file transfers between unsupported Macs and over Ethernet

By Joaquim Barbosa on Dec 5, 2016

The AirDrop file transfer protocol, introduced with Mac OS X Lion and iOS 7, is a fast and convenient way to transfer files between Apple devices. The current version of the service is interoperable between iOS and macOS, but requires both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be active in order to work. It also requires Mac OS X Yosemite or newer and a hardware model from 2012 or later.

However, the version of AirDrop that shipped as standard with OS X between 10.7 (Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks), whilst unable to send files to iOS devices, works without Bluetooth and on Mac models going back as far as 2008. Luckily, alongside the newer version, this legacy mode is still included on all Mac models to date, and as this guide will show, can be modified to have an even broader functionality.
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How to hide mounted volumes from your desktop and the Finder

By Joaquim Barbosa on Dec 2, 2016

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.

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How to extend Quick Look preview functionality on your Mac

By Joaquim Barbosa on Nov 29, 2016

If you’re not familiar with the Quick Look feature on macOS, try selecting a picture, folder, or text document on your computer and pressing the space bar. The rich preview that pops up is Quick Look working its magic. Apple introduced Quick Look in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and it has since gained support for many more file types natively, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite documents.

I use it daily and it has become an automatic part of my workflow, a natural response to wanting to inspect a file without waiting for a program to launch and without leaving off what I’m doing.

However, the problem that Quick Look faces is support. It requires a plugin for each file type it can preview, and out-of-the-box only a handful are supplied. More obscure file types are neglected, and display only a blank pane with the file icon, name, size, and date modified. In this guide, I will detail how to add plugins to Quick Look for a richer and more useful preview experience.

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How to prevent partitions from mounting when you boot up, log in, or connect drives to your Mac

By Joaquim Barbosa on Nov 24, 2016

With the exception of partitions in unreadable formats and certain hidden partitions such as EFI and Recovery HD, the default behaviour of macOS is to mount all partitions of a drive on boot-up, login, or on connecting an external drive.

Whilst this behaviour is useful for the novice or for those connecting a single USB stick to copy some files, it can become unwieldy and even annoying if you have many multi-partitioned drives attached to your Mac.

For example, my desktop Hackintosh has three internal drives, each with at least two partitions, and one of these drives is not even needed when booted under macOS – it is for Windows 10 and Linux. Add to this a couple of external hard drives with partitions for storage, OS installers and Time Machine backups for other computers, and your desktop and Finder sidebar can begin to look a real mess. It also takes time for the drives to mount on every boot and unmount on sleep or shutdown.

This guide will detail how to ensure only the drives of your choosing mount automatically, leaving the rest unmounted within macOS. Read More

 

How to convert CAF files to MP3 or AAC

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 14, 2016

From time to time, you might come across an audio file format known as .caf (Core Audio Format), which was originally created by Apple to put an end to file size barriers set by other audio file types.

Unfortunately, not every audio player or device works with .caf files, so it might do you good to know how to convert them to another audio file type using the software that comes with your Mac. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to convert .caf files to more commonly-used audio files such as AAC or MP3 with Garageband. Read More

 

Force quit not working on your Mac? Try this

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 11, 2016

When an app is dragging its feet on your Mac, you can force quit the app and try opening it again and usually this clears the problem. On the other hand, there can sometimes be circumstances where even trying to force quit an app doesn’t seem to work. Bummer, right?

If you’re having trouble trying to force quit an app on your Mac, we’ve got some ideas you can try to kill that app and re-launch it. Read More

 

The different kinds of memory states on your Mac and what they mean

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 31, 2016

I was recently asked about the difference between active, inactive, and wired memory on computers. Many memory measure tools use these terms to describe your memory usage and doesn’t really go into much depth about what they mean.

In this piece, I hope to shed some light on this confusion and explain the differences between these memory states the best I can. Read More

 

What Automatic Graphics Switching is on your MacBook Pro and how to use it

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 22, 2016

Depending on the model of MacBook Pro you have, you may be able to physically choose whether your computer uses the high power discreet graphics card for better performance or the low power integrated graphics chip for better battery life by using an option known as Automatic Graphics Switching. Read More

 

How to disable the fake clicking sound for Force Touch trackpads

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 5, 2016

Every Mac equipped with a Force Touch trackpad produces an audible ‘click’ sound in order to simulate the sound you would hear on a Mac without a Force Touch trackpad. It has no down travel and all you’re hearing is an audible sound when you click it.

In this tutorial, we’ll talk about how to disable that fake clicking sound. Read More

 

MacID update brings improvements for iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 28, 2016

An important update for the popular MacID utility for iOS and macOS has been released this week with improvements for iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra.

The utility is known for its ability to let you securely unlock your Mac with the Touch ID sensor on your iPhone or iPad, but it also has built-in features that let you unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch over Bluetooth or with a Tap to Unlock gesture on the trackpad. Read More

 

Typeeto lets you use your MacBook as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 27, 2016

While lots of people aspire to have a Bluetooth keyboard to use to type on their iPhone or iPad, not everyone has a pocket deep enough to go out and purchase another peripheral.

Fortunately, an app called Typeeto lets you use the keyboard built into your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro to type on your iOS devices. Read More

 

How to prepare your Mac for macOS Sierra

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 19, 2016

Apple officially launches macOS Sierra to the public on September 20th, and that means you should probably start preparing your Mac for the upgrade so everything goes as smoothly as possible on launch day.

In this piece, we’ll talk about why and how you can prepare your Mac for installing macOS Sierra so you can avoid hiccups and the frustration of error messages. Read More

 

How to disable the startup tone on your Mac

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 12, 2016

Whenever you turn on your Mac, you typically hear a startup tone just before your computer boots up. The tone is there to let you know your computer has passed a pre-boot test and its hardware is working properly.

Some people, however, prefer to boot up their computers in silence. If you’re one of those people, we’ll show you in this tutorial how you can disable the start-up tone on your Mac. Read More

 

macOS Sierra will release to the public on September 20th

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 7, 2016

Today’s Apple event was very busy for the iPhone and for the Apple Watch, but one thing that kind of flew under the radar was the Mac. At the keynote, Apple made it clear that macOS Sierra would be released to the public on September 20th. Read More

 

How to live stream the iPhone 7 event

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 6, 2016

It’s that time of the year again and Apple’s September 7th keynote will be kicking off tomorrow in what is expected to bring the unveiling of the next-generation iPhone and some other exciting surprises.

If you’re ready to tune in and see what Apple has to offer, we’ll be showing you in this piece how you can live-stream the event on various devices. Read More

 

What to do if your Mac shows the wrong battery level

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 6, 2016

All Macs with internal batteries have an indicator that appears in the Menu Bar. In rare circumstances, the indicator may not display the correct battery level.

In this piece, we’ll be talking about the various troubleshooting steps you should try to remedy this problem. Read More

 

How to delete a contact group from iCloud

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 6, 2016

Contact groups can be useful, but as your list of contacts changes over time, you may outgrow the need for some you already have, or develop a need to make more. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can delete a contact group from iCloud.com.

Spring-cleaning your contact group list helps reduce clutter in the Contacts app and makes it easier to find the contacts you want right when you need them. Read More

 

How to create a reminder that alerts you when getting in or out of your car

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 5, 2016

You can use the Reminders app built into your iPhone or iPad to remind yourself to do things at certain times throughout the day, but it can also be used for location-based reminders. Among these, you can have the app remind you of things when you get in or out of your car. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can set your Reminders app to do this. Read More

 

How to show email attachments as icons in the Mail app on Mac

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 5, 2016

If you send or receive emails on your Mac, then you might run into an attachment on occasion. For some file types, OS X displays the attachment inline with text, but in the case of high-resolution images, this can sometimes impact email readability.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to display attachments in the Mail app on your Mac as icons. Read More

 

Login is a beautiful OS X-inspired login screen for your jailbroken iPhone or iPad

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 4, 2016

Login is an absolutely stunning new jailbreak tweak that offers an OS X-inspired login screen meant to replace the basic Lock screen on your iPhone or iPad. Read More

 
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