How to encrypt Time Machine backups

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 27, 2015

In our second Time Machine tutorial, we’ll going to show you how to encrypt a Time Machine backup. Encrypting your backups is extremely easy and straightforward. All you need to do is select a single check box in order to enable encryption and enter a password. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do it, and why you should consider encrypting your backups.

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How to enable the three-finger drag gesture in OS X El Capitan

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 25, 2015

One of the first things that I do on a new OS X install is adjust the trackpad and mouse settings to my liking. I absolutely love using things like tap to click and the three finger drag gesture.

Imagine my horror when I could no longer find the three finger drag gesture as an option in System Preferences. It’s simply no longer in the place where it usually is: System Preferences > Trackpad. Well as it turns out, things aren’t so grim as they at first seemed.

Apple moved the three finger drag gesture option to another location, although the move doesn’t make a lot of sense if you ask me. In this post, I’ll show you how to enable the three finger drag gesture on OS X El Capitan. Read More

 

How to tell if your Mac supports AirDrop, a device-to-device wireless file transfer feature

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2015

AirDrop, one of the most overlooked features of both OS X and iOS, was designed to simplify wireless file sharing between Macs and iOS devices, without having to connect to an existing network or going through the hassle of having to type a password.

AirDrop debuted on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 7, but the two were not interoperable due to incompatible protocols. Starting with OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, AirDrop works between OS X and iOS more or less like a breeze.

However, AirDrop on Macs requires a modern Wi-Fi chipset, meaning older desktops and notebooks may be unsupported. Here’s how to tell if your Mac meets minimum system requirements for AirDrop. Read More

 

How to auto-hide the menu bar in OS X El Capitan

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 22, 2015

One of the more under the radar features of OS X El Capitan is the ability to auto-hide the menu bar. Just like the Dock, which has long had the ability to auto-hide in OS X, the menu bar can be hidden until needed.

Auto-hiding the menu bar brings the obvious benefit of having more on screen real estate and less distraction. With both the Dock and menu bar set to auto-hide, you can experience a shockingly clean interface as you go about your work. Read More

 

How to mute Safari tabs in OS X El Capitan

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 22, 2015

Like pinned tabs, tab muting isn’t a new idea, as it’s been implemented in other web browsers in the past. But OS X 10.11 brings native tab muting to the Safari browser for the very first time.

The ability to mute tabs at will brings more control to the user. It’s especially beneficial when encountering those annoying auto-playing advertisements.

In this video walkthrough, I’ll show you how to use Safari tab muting, and explain its ins and outs. Read More

 

Is your Mac able to take advantage of OS X El Capitan’s Metal?

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

When OS X 10.11 El Capitan launches this fall, it will feature Metal, a graphics framework Apple originally introduced for iPhones, iPads and iPods following the release of iOS 8 last fall. In addition to making El Capitan’s user interface and apps perform smoother than before, Metal for Mac is absolutely huge news for game developers and makers of graphics-intensive apps.

Like on iOS, El Capitan’s Metal significantly reduces the overhead of graphics frameworks such as OpenGL by enabling low-level access to your Mac’s graphics subsystem. Photo apps, games and video editing software like Adobe After Effects will experience up to ten times faster draw call performance by offloading certain tasks from the CPU onto the GPU.

But does your Mac sport modern hardware needed to support Metal’s features? It’s dead simple to determine this for yourself, here’s how. Read More

 

Apple issues Mac App Store patch for XARA exploits as additional fixes are ‘in progress’

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

A cross application resource attack (XARA) that researchers at Indiana University, Georgia Tech and China’s Peking University publicized last week seems to have been partially addressed as Apple issued a server-side fix on the Mac App Store to block malicious apps and secure app data.

Additional fixes are in the works for the XARA exploits on both iOS and OS X, a company spokesperson told iMore. XARA exploits allow malicious apps to steal iCloud credentials of a user, access private data in apps like 1Password and Evernote, hijack their iCloud Keychain passwords and more. Read More

 

How to delete a partition on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

In an earlier tutorial, we showed you how to create a new partition on Mac in order to install the OS X El Capitan beta. 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 OS X’s built-in Disk Utility. Read More

 

How to choose your startup disk on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

If you have multiple bootable partitions on your Mac, such as the case when you create a separate partition for testing a new OS like OS X El Capitan, you’ll need to know how to manage your Mac’s startup disk.

The startup disk is the disk that the Mac boots from when restarting your computer. You can change this disk permanently, or change it on a temporary case-by-case basis.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to establish a set startup disk, and how to change the startup disk on the fly as you reboot your Mac. Read More

 

How to install OS X El Capitan on a separate partition

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

Itching to run OS X El Capitan, 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 El Capitan on your primary machine without compromising your Yosemite or Mavericks installation.

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

 

How to set up Time Machine on OS X

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

Time Machine is a Mac utility that allows you to automate hourly, daily, and weekly backups on an external drive that’s connected directly to your Mac or via a local network. It’s seen as the first line of defense against data loss, and features simple setup.

Setting up Time Machine, in its most basic configuration, is extremely easy. All you need to do is launch the Time Machine preferences, turn on Time Machine, select a Backup Disk, and you’re pretty much set.

Of course, there’s much more to Time Machine than just the initial setup, but in this first post in our Time Machine tutorial series for OS X, we’ll cover some of the basic set up options. Read More

 

How to create a bootable OS X El Capitan USB flash drive

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

If you have a spare USB flash drive laying around, you should consider putting it to good use by creating a bootable installation drive for the OS X El Capitan Beta.

Creating a bootable drive has many benefits and uses. For starters, it makes it easy to install a fresh copy of whatever operating system you have configured on the drive. Secondly, it makes it easy to install an operating system on a separate partition, or on a virtual machine. Lastly, it’s just smart business to always have a quickly accessible and portable installation media laying around.

In this tutorial and video walkthrough, I’ll show you how to create a bootable USB drive for OS X El Capitan in just a few easy steps Read More

 

Review: LaCie Rugged RAID 4TB external drive – a good choice for Mac?

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 18, 2015

For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Neil Poulton designed LaCie Rugged RAID portable hard drive. This drive, with its can’t-miss color, is specifically designed to stand up to tough environments.

The Rugged RAID features a rubber non-slip casing that will help it absorb impacts and stand up to harsh conditions. In fact, it’s dust, water, and shock resistant. If you’re someone who travels with an external hard drive, then you’re automatically more susceptible to all three of these potential failure-inducing scenarios. This can make the LaCie drive an attractive prospect.

Not to be confused with similar-looking drives in the LaCie lineup, this Rugged RAID drive actually ships with two independent hard drives pre-configured with RAID 0 for a total of 4TB of space. This provides end users with lots of headroom and extremely fast read and write speeds.

But hard drive speed isn’t the only thing fast about this drive. The LaCie Rugged RAID is also equipped with a USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connection for high speed I/O up to 240MB/s. Even better is the fact that the Thunderbolt connection is bus powered, which makes it easy to travel with.

Needless to say, I’ve had high expectations for this hard drive ever since it was first announced. Does the LaCie Rugged RAID live up to this OS X user’s expectations? Read and watch the full review to find out. Read More

 

How to remove unused language files from your Mac and free up disk space

By Lory Gil on Jun 18, 2015

There are approximately 150 different localized languages coded into OS X. Most people only use one language on their computer, maybe two. That leaves hundreds of megabytes of space being used up by languages you will never access in your operating system.

Monolingual is a utility that allows you to remove many of the more than 150 foreign languages from your Mac, freeing up disk space for more important files. We’ve got a tutorial that explains how to download and use Monolingual to delete unnecessary language files, plus a couple of very important tips to follow before completing the process. Read More

 

How to automatically hide a Mac app when clicking elsewhere on the screen

By Timothy Reavis on Jun 18, 2015

Maintaining a clean workstation is perhaps one of the best ways to help with productivity and clear-thinking. Not only does this apply to one’s desk or office, but for those of us who work with computers, it extends to the Dock, folders, and desktop. Keeping things clean and orderly in OS X is vital for getting things done efficiently, and this Mac tip helps do exactly that.

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Major security flaws leave iOS and OS X vulnerable to wide ranging password theft

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2015

Your confidential information ranging from web passwords in Chrome and other browsers to app passwords to banking credentials stored and synced between devices though Apple’s iCloud Keychain service—even data you thought was stored safely in password managers like 1Password and LastPass—can be easily compromised due to a trio of major vulnerabilities discovered in Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems.

As discovered by a team of researchers at Indiana University, Georgia Tech and China’s Peking University and reported by The Register, Keychain’s access control lists, URL schemes and OS X’s app containers contain flaws creating serious attack vectors. Read More

 

Dreaded Wi-Fi and networking issues are a thing of the past in iOS 9 and El Capitan

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2015

It’s no secret Mac users are always more or less complaining about various Wi-Fi problems.

But if Apple’s support forums and the Interwebs are an indication, the level of annoyance with the networking stack in Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems has seemingly skyrocketed following the release of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite in the fall of last year.

Indeed, my MacBook Air running Yosemite drops Wi-Fi connection several times per day and takes about thirty seconds to re-connect to my home Wi-Fi after waking from sleep. Before Yosemite, I would be online literally as soon as I opened the lid.

Having installed El Capitan on my MacBook Air yesterday along with iOS 9 on my iPad Air, I’m happy to report that the vast majority of Wi-Fi problems plaguing users have become a thing of the past, here’s why. Read More

 

New El Capitan features Apple didn’t talk about during WWDC 2015 keynote

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2015

Monday’s WWDC 2015 keynote talk was a jam-packed day of announcements that included iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS 2, Apple Music, the News app and updates to Apple Pay, so much so that Tim Cook had to immediately cut to the chase and skip his opening round of business updates (“Everything is going fine”, he joked).

There just wasn’t enough time to talk about every little enhancement and nice-to-have so Apple execs focused on big ones that make for great headlines while relegating a bunch of platform updates, that mostly matter to developers anyway, to a single slide.

My colleague Cody already compiled an interesting list of nearly three-dozen features in iOS 9 that Apple didn’t talk about during the keynote. If you’ve found his post compelling, you may be interested in my list of technological improvements in OS X El Capitan that Apple didn’t show on stage. Read More

 

WWDC 2015 keynote posted to iTunes as a downloadable high-definition video podcast

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2015

Following promotional footage for Apple Music that the Cupertino company posted to its YouTube channel along with the inspirational ‘App Effect’ video, the entire keynote presentation has now been uploaded to iTunes and made available to everyone in the form of a video podcast.

In case you haven’t had a chance to sit through the whole keynote talk yesterday, you can now download the video to your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and watch it on your own time. Read More

 

OS X El Capitan enables custom filters and editing tools in Photos for Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2015

Last fall, iOS 8 brought us App Extensions.

App Extensions have given developers the means to extend Apple’s mobile operating system by infusing their app’s functionality into the Notification Center’s Today view, Share sheet options and actions, keyboards, cloud storage services and Photos.

App Extensions have been universally acclaimed and a lot ink has been spilled in writing about custom keyboards in iOS 8. As an iPhone photography fan, I was way more excited about App Extensions within the context of  Photos for iOS.

There was just one problem: OS X Yosemite doesn’t support App Extensions in Photos for Mac. Thankfully, newly announced OS X 10.11 El Capitan saw to that, meaning now developers of photo-editing apps can provide their own filters and editing tools in Photos for Mac. Read More

 
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