How to quickly toggle dark mode using a keyboard shortcut on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 27, 2015

Dark mode is one of the more popular features of OS X Yosemite, because it allows you to add a dark tint to both the dock and the menu bar on Mac. The standard way to enable dark mode involves venturing to System Preferences, opening the General section, and clicking on the enable dark mode option. But wouldn’t it be cool if you could toggle dark mode using a simple keyboard shortcut?

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How to make third-party menu bar icons look better with dark mode on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 26, 2015

OS X Yosemite introduced a new dark mode option to change the tint color of both the menu bar and the dock in OS X. While I’m a big fan of dark mode, some of the third-party apps that I use have not been updated to play nice with dark mode. This results in menu bar icons that look weird with dark mode enabled, because they don’t invert after toggling dark mode on.

If you’re someone who always uses dark mode and never switches to regular mode, there is a way to force these menu bar icons to look better with dark mode enabled… Read More

 

Mastering the menu bar’s volume button on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 25, 2015

The volume button in the menu bar seems extremely simple on the surface. When you click the button, you’re met with a basic volume slider for adjusting your Mac’s audio output. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this tiny menu bar control.

For example, did you know that you can also use the volume button to change your Mac’s sound output device, input device, and quickly access the sound preferences? Or what about its ability to change the volume of OS X’s alert sounds? Indeed, the unassuming volume button packs quite the utilitarian punch. Read More

 

How to restart the menu bar on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 24, 2015

On rare occasions, I encounter a frozen menu bar on my Mac. Perhaps you too have encountered a scenario where the beach ball appears when hovering over the menu bar. A lot of time, this can be resolved by killing the single app that’s causing problems. In other situations, you may need to completely kill and restart the menu bar to do the job. Read More

 

How to rearrange and remove stock menu bar icons on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 23, 2015

The menu bar is the bar located at the top of OS X that houses all of contextual buttons for apps near the left side of the bar, and all of the menu bar icons on the right side of the bar. The icons that appear there can be from third-party apps, or they can be from stock OS X system features like Wi-Fi, Sound, Bluetooth, etc.

Although you can’t alter the menu bar icons for third-party apps without a little trickery, you can easily do so for system features. In this post and video, I’ll show you how to remove and rearrange stock icons in the menu bar. Read More

 

How to create a new folder containing selected items on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 22, 2015

OS X allows users to create new folders with pre-selected items, and to be honest, it’s one of my favorite features of the Finder. All you need to do is highlight the items you want to place in a folder, right click, and execute the command. It makes cleaning up files extremely quick and easy, and I find myself using it on a daily basis. Read More

 

Empty Trash versus Secure Empty Trash – what’s the difference?

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 21, 2015

Did you know that there are actually two ways to empty the trash on your Mac? Perhaps you’ve seen both options before, but never gave it much thought. Just what is the deal with Empty Trash versus Secure Empty Trash? Which one should you use? By knowing what each empty trash command is capable of doing, you’ll be able to make more informed future decisions with regard to handling your Mac’s sanitation needs. Read More

 

How to straighten iPhone photos

By Sébastien Page on Feb 13, 2015

If you look at my Instagram account, you’ll clearly see a similarity to a majority of my shots: they usually feature some straight lines, generally the line of the horizon. I’m kind of obsessed with straight lines, because, well, I guess I’m just OCD like that. The problem is all photos aren’t shot perfectly straight, and more often than not, you’ll have to manually straighten them to get them leveled to your liking.

Straightening a photo isn’t a pro tip by any means, but the feature isn’t necessarily very obvious either, hence this quick tip on how to straighten a photo on iPhone. Read More

 

How to see places where your iPhone photos were taken

By Sébastien Page on Feb 11, 2015

Before iOS 7, there was an easy way to have a visual overview of where your photos were taken on a map. This feature called Places was actually part of the Photos app. While it arguably had limited purposes, the Places tab was sometimes a nice way to browse your photos based on the location where they were taken.

But with the release of iOS 7, that feature went bye bye and was replaced by a more subtle way of looking at the different locations where your photos were shot, assuming of course you have Location Services turned on for the Camera app. If the feature is similar, the way to access it is definitely more tricky.

In this post, we’ll show you how you can visualize the location where your photos were taken directly from the Photos app. Read More

 

How to disable WhatsApp read receipts

By Sébastien Page on Nov 12, 2014

WhatsApp recently introduced a new feature that automatically sends read receipts to the sender once the recipient has seen the message. Showing in the form of two blue check marks as seen in this screenshot above, this new feature could potentially raise privacy concerns for some users. If you don’t want your contacts to know whether you’ve read their messages or not, there are a couple ways to disable WhatsApp read receipts. Read More

 

How to stop iTunes from automatically syncing when you connect your iPhone

By Sébastien Page on Nov 5, 2014

A couple weeks after getting my new iMac, I am still tweaking the preferences of many applications so they work the way I want them to. I recently shared a way to stop iPhoto from automatically launching when you plug your iPhone in, and today, I will share with you a similar tip to stop iTunes from automatically syncing when you connect your iPhone. As often with these specific settings, the solution is simple but it might not always be obvious to everyone.

There are actually two ways to go at it. The first method is device-specific, meaning that you can tell iTunes not to sync when a specific device (ie. your iPhone) is being plugged in. The other method works with any iOS device you plug in. Read More

 

How to disable Notification Center and Control Center on the Lock screen

By Sébastien Page on Nov 3, 2014

By default, access to Notification Center and Control Center is available system-wide on iOS 8, meaning that you can access both features from the Lock screen, from the Home screen, and from any app. These two features are very convenient, but can also represent a security or privacy threat. With that in mind, iDB reader Eric asked us this morning on Twitter how to disable both grabbers for Notification and Control Center on the Lock screen. In this post we will show you how to do just that. Read More

 

How to show or hide filename extensions in OS X Yosemite

By Sébastien Page on Oct 29, 2014

I’m still tweaking my new iMac so it behaves the way I want it to. While all my main apps have been installed and set up as needed, there is still all these little things that need to be finetuned. One of those things is file extensions.

By default, OS X hides the extensions of filenames. I imagine this is made to simplify the view for casual users, and I’m totally fine with that. However, I like to see the extensions of files on my desktop or in Finder, which allows me to use files differently depending on their extensions.

In this post, I will show you how to hide or show the extensions of filenames on a Mac in OS X Yosemite. Read More

 

How to stop OS X Yosemite from asking for a password after waking your Mac

By Sébastien Page on Oct 28, 2014

I just got my all new iMac with Retina 5K display last week and I’m still going through all the settings to have it behave the way I want. One thing I noticed is that every time it goes to sleep or the screen saver kicks in, my Mac will require me to enter my user password when I wake it up.

What is a great security feature if you work in an office is somewhat of an annoyance to me, simply because I work from home and no one except my wife ever gets to touch my computer, making this password an extra step that I don’t need.

In this post, I’ll show you how to stop OS X Yosemite from requiring a password after waking up your Mac. Read More

 

How to use “Hey Siri” without being connected to power

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 8, 2014

“Hey Siri” is a new feature in iOS 8 that makes it possible to invoke Siri using only your voice. It’s nice for those moments when your hands are full or when your iPhone is across the room.

The only downside to “Hey Siri” is that your iPhone must be connected to a power source in order to use it. This restriction was placed there to save your iPhone’s battery life.

But, there is a way to use Hey Siri without being connected to a power source. It’s not as handy as using it while connected to power, but it’s a nice workaround for those situations where you need hands-free control. Read More

 

This trick lets you refresh the App Store app in a jiffy

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 26, 2014

Have you ever ventured into the App Store expecting a new update, only to find that the update has not yet appeared? Since the App Store has no refresh button, I used to force close the app, and reopen it to check for new updates.

But in iOS 8 there’s an even easier way to refresh the App Store. I’m not sure if it was purposely done, or if it’s a bug, or what. All I know is that this refresh trick works on iOS 8, and it doesn’t appear to work on lesser firmware.

Inside, I’ll show you how to quickly refresh the App Store and check for new updates in a flash. Check out the video. Read More

 

iOS 8 Tips app just got updated with 3 more tips

By Sébastien Page on Sep 15, 2014

Apple updated the new iOS 8 Tips app with three more tips earlier today. In this over-the-air update, Apple is now explaining future iOS 8 users how to see when a message was sent, how to use Siri to find out what song is currently playing on the radio or elsewhere, and how to use Family Share. This is the second update to the Tips app since it was introduced in iOS 8 beta 4. The first update happened on August 21. Read More

 

How to erase settings and data on your iPhone or iPad

By Sébastien Page on Aug 22, 2014

There are several reasons why you would want to delete all the data and information contained on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Maybe you want to sell your device to someone else, or give it to a family member. Or maybe you just want to start from scratch on a clean slate.

No matter what your reason may be, there are two ways to go at it. In this post, we will show you how to erase all content and settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch directly from your device, or from iTunes. Both methods can be used to delete music, videos, photos, apps, messages, emails, contacts – everything! Additionally, all your settings will be completely reset. Read More

 

Over-the-air update adds new tip to iOS 8 Tips app

By Sébastien Page on Aug 21, 2014

Apple just updated the Tips app that is present in iOS 8, explaining users how to quickly access their favorite contacts. The update, which happened over the air, is the first such update to the Tips app since it was introduced in iOS 8 beta 4. Read More

 

Quick tip: clean up your Downloads folder to regain storage space on your Mac

By Sébastien Page on Aug 20, 2014

Sometimes, the most simple and obvious tips are the best. Everybody knows about them because they’re usually based on good old common sense, yet, we usually forget about them. One such tip is to periodically clean up the Downloads folder of your Mac, which, depending on your setup and habits, could quickly go out of control.

The Downloads folder is the default location where any file you download from the internet is saved. Downloading the PDF of your bank statement? It’s downloaded to the Downloads folder. Downloading a song from an unofficial source? It’s most likely going to the Downloads folder. Read More

 
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