How to use Time Machine on your Mac – the full roundup

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 29, 2015

Over the last several months, we’ve revisited Time Machine, the backup utility present in OS X. We’ve showed you everything from performing an initial Time Machine setup, to encrypting Time Machine backups, to restoring specific files from those backups.

Time Machine is a great tool that every OS X user should become intimately familiar with, and in this roundup, we’ll revisit each of the topics covered over the last couple of months. Read More

 

10 Safari keyboard shortcuts that everyone should know

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 24, 2015

Safari is definitely the most energy efficient browser available for the Mac, so it’s wise to use it as your browser of choice, especially if you’re on a battery-reliant MacBook. If you’re going to use Safari as your full time browser, then it makes sense to learn some of the more important keyboard shortcuts to supercharge your workflow. In this post, we’ll consider 10 must-have Safari shortcuts to power up your browsing experience. Read More

 

How to pick a startup disk for your Mac at boot time

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2015

Most people are content with booting their Mac straight into OS X, but certain multi-boot situations warrant choosing a different startup disk. But why would anyone in their right mind have multiple operating systems on their computer, you ask.

Well, if you like trying out new things out before they’re available to everyone, chances are you keep El Capitan installed on a separate partition.

Besides, some people like yours truly prefer to keep a bootable USB thumb drive in a safe place for times when something terribly wrong goes with their Mac.

There are two ways to choosing a startup disk.

One involves choosing a boot disk via a System Preferences pane called Startup Disk, which my colleague Jeff recently covered. This tutorial deals with the other method which involves picking a boot disk as your Mac is starting up. Read More

 

How to boot your Mac in Verbose Mode

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 17, 2015

We previously discussed how booting your Mac into OS X’s Safe Mode can help troubleshoot various issues with your computer. In more obscure situations and borderline cases, however, Safe Mode may not be enough to understand why your Mac freezes or crashes during the system boot process.

Enter OS X’s Verbose Mode.

Not only does Verbose Mode makes it easy to access detailed status messages as your Mac is starting up, but also lets you see what’s really going on behind the scenes and watch as OS X loads kernel extensions and other startup items.

In this tutorial, we’re going to cover booting your Mac in OS X’s Verbose Mode, explain in which situations it might come in handy and give you some handy tips related to using Verbose Mode. Read More

 

How to move Music or Photos to a new Mac using Time Machine

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 15, 2015

With Time Machine, it’s easy to restore all of your data back to a new Mac or to a fresh install of OS X. As we outlined previously, users can choose to restore all data, or pick and choose the data that they wish to restore during the initial setup process of OS X, and that includes both music and photos.

Another option is to simply restore the entire Pictures or Music folder via the Time Machine interface. We show you how to do that via this post.

In the following tutorial, we’ll show you another quick and easy way to recover photo or music data from a Time Machine backup—directly from the backup folder on your Time Machine external drive. Read More

 

How to set up a new Mac from a Time Machine backup

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 1, 2015

One of the primary benefits to using Time Machine is that it allows you to restore your backup on a new Mac or a new OS X installation. This makes it so that you can essentially pick up where you left off from your old machine or old installation.

Fortunately, restoring Time Machine backups to a new Mac is extremely easy and straightforward. In this fifth tutorial in our Time Machine how-to series, we’ll show you how easy it is. Read More

 

How, why and when to boot your Mac in Safe Mode

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2015

Most of the time, your Mac “just works.”

But there will be times when a rogue app, a misbehaving service, outdated caches and other issue will cause your Mac to slow, stop starting up or exhibit other unwanted symptoms. Thankfully, Apple has provided a way to boot OS X in Safe Mode.

In Safe Mode, your Mac prevents some software, such as startup items, from loading. What does get loaded are the bare minimum level of drivers and essential software. This is by design, to help you troubleshoot your Mac and isolate the cause of a software conflict. As a bonus, booting in Safe Mode also forces a check of your startup disk.

Here’s what you need to know about Safe Mode on OS X, when you should use it and how to startup up any Mac in Safe Mode and get back to normal. Read More

 

How to hide Apple Music on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015

Now that you’ve tried Apple Music thanks to Apple’s generous three-month free trial, you may have decided that the service just isn’t cut for you.

Though impossible to get rid of it completely, you can temporarily hide most of Apple Music’s aspects.

Our previous tutorial has taught you how to disconnect from Apple Music’s Connect feature and today’s how-to lays out the steps to hide Apple Music on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac and go back to the old way of enjoying music. Read More

 

How to create a partition on your Time Machine external hard drive

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 25, 2015

Time Machine is extremely easy to use, and its flexibility makes it a great solution for keeping your Mac backed up safely. But with external drives being as large as they are, you may wish to use some of the space on your Time Machine drive for basic file storage.

There are many ways to go about this, but one of the best ways is to simply create a separate partition on your external drive. By doing this, you have a dedicated partition for file storage, and a dedicated partition for your Time Machine backups.

Although it’s possible to store files on your Time Machine partition, in my opinion, it’s a better practice to keep them separated. In this fourth entry into our Time Machine tutorial series, I’ll show you how simple it is to create a second partition on your Time Machine external drive. Read More

 

How to fix a slow, unresponsive and laggy mouse on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 25, 2015

Have you experienced a slow and jumpy cursor while using a Magic Mouse or other Bluetooth input device on your Mac? Admittedly, this may not apply to all of you, but if you’re like me and use a Magic Mouse with a MacBook Pro, you may have encountered this maddening issue.

The problem has to do with choppy, laggy, jumpy, and overall slow mouse performance while using a Bluetooth mouse. There are some things that you can do to troubleshoot, but I took all of the obvious steps, and still could not alleviate the issue. That is, until I realized that an unlikely culprit was causing my problems. Read More

 

How to restore DRM-laden Apple Music matched songs to DRM-free

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

Apple today released iTunes 12.2.1 which solves a few issue, among them an annoying bug that’s been driving more than a few early adopters of Apple Music crazy.

For context, Apple’s standalone $25 per year iTunes Match subscription is commonly used to legitimately replace matched songs in your library with DRM-free files from iTunes in the high-quality 256Kbps AAC format. Unfortunately, iTunes Match as part of Apple Music membership contains a flaw.

Even though Apple Music checks songs in your own library against its vast catalog, matched tracks get incorrectly labeled as Apple Music and wrapped inside FairPlay, Apple’s proprietary DRM system. As a result, you’re prevented from enjoying your own Matched music on non-Apple devices.

More importantly, Apple Music members who cancel their subscription may end up with DRM-protected matched tracks. Making matter worse, deleting a track in your Mac’s original library for the purpose of re-downloading it as a 256Kbps AAC file will prompt Apple Music to incorrectly replace the original, non-DRM version with a DRM-laden file.

This was never intended behavior: a flaw causes iTunes to incorrectly label songs from Matched to Apple Music. But worry not, iTunes 12.2.1 comes to the rescue: release notes state that the update resolves an issue “where iTunes incorrectly changed some songs from Matched to Apple Music”.

Here’re the steps you must take if your matched songs show up as DRM-protected Apple Music tracks. Read More

 

How to view and restore specific files using Time Machine

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 11, 2015

Time Machine is very useful, because not only does it allow you to back up all of your user data, but it also allows you to selectively view and restore portions of that data, even down to individual files.

In this tutorial, the forth in our series about Time Machine, I’m going to show you to how to view and restore an individual file using a Time Machine backup. Read More

 

How to disable Apple Music Connect

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 10, 2015

After you enable Apple Music on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.4 or later, the Music app gains the following five tabs alongside the bottom: For You, New, Radio, Connect and My Music.

Described by Apple as a place where “musicians give their fans a closer look at their work, their inspirations, and their world,”Apple Music Connect permits music lovers to view and follow an artist’s stream, like and comment on their posts and more.

Apple Music Connect is basically Ping 2.0. The feature is a tad crude in appearance and feels rough around the edges so little wonder that some folks don’t view Connect as valuable enough for it to deserve its own tab.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get rid of the Connect tab? Thankfully, there is.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Connect feature couldn’t be disabled: Apple has made sure to burry and hide it in an obscure place. In this post, I’m going to explain precisely how you can disconnect from Connect in Apple Music on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac and replace it with the infinitely more useful Playlists functionality. Read More

 

How to exclude files from being backed up in Time Machine

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 4, 2015

In our third Time Machine tutorial for OS X, we’ll show you how to exclude specific files from being included in your Time Machine backup. You’ll find that it’s extremely easy to curate your Time Machine backups using its preferences.

The thing that I really like about Time Machine is that you can exclude not only individual files, but entire folders of files as well. Have a look at our easy to use tutorial to find out how you can exclude certain data from becoming a part of your backup. Read More

 

How to master Apple Music liking system to influence ‘For You’ recommendations

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 3, 2015

Apple Music offers a section called For You which provides a personalized selection of music based on your listening habits. On the surface, it sounds great until a song you can’t stand listening to anymore or an artist you really aren’t a big fan of gets injected into the For You feed.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could teach Apple’s algorithm exactly what music you like and, more importantly, what you dislike? Thankfully there is, but it takes a bit of a learning curve to master the Apple Music recommendation system.

Here’s what you need to know regarding fine-tuning For You recommendations and customizing your listening experience on Apple Music. Read More

 

10 tips for Apple Music

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 30, 2015

Apple Music is here, and after using it for several hours today, I can attest that it’s pretty great. Not only does it live up to the hype, but it’s been relatively stable as well.

I think the future for artists on Apple Music is relatively bright. Here is a paid streaming service that I think many will be more than willing to get behind.

To celebrate the launch, here are 10 tips for getting more out of Apple Music. Read More

 

How to force quit a Mac app

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2015

If you run OS X Yosemite, you’re going to run into issues when a misbehaving app like Safari eats up system resources while refusing to quit the normal way. On iOS, it’s easy to force-quit any app iPhone or iPad app, and watchOS also provides a similar shortcut for purging an unresponsive task from its memory.

As it turns out, you can also force-quit any OS X app just as easily. Please take a minute to check out Apple’s easy to remember shortcuts for force-quitting apps. They’ll come in handy when an app starts to slow your system to a crawl or gets wacky to the point when force-quitting is the only remaining option left.

In this post, I’m going to teach you two methods of force-quitting a Mac app. Read More

 

How to halve your data usage on Chrome for Mac, iPhone and iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Google’s Chrome browser includes a handy feature designed to decrease bandwidth usage by up to fifty percent for mobile users on very slow networks. Called Data Saver, it works by passing webpages you visit to Google servers that compress graphics and other web content.

You can even tell Data Saver to replace the originally requested image with a small placeholder graphic, if the original image is likely not a crucial element of the page.

Here’s how you can reduce the amount of data that Chrome uses on your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad by enabling Data Saver mode to cut your bandwidth usage up to fifty percent, and even more. Read More

 

The top 10 must-know Cydia tips [Video]

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 27, 2015

Since I imagine that there are probably tons of new jailbreakers since the iOS 8.3 jailbreak touched down, now is a great time to review some of my favorite Cydia tips. But even if you’re a seasoned Cydia veteran, you may find a tip or two in this list that you’ll find handy. How many of these tips do you use on a regular basis? Watch our video and find out. Read More

 

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.

Read More

 
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