Discover hidden apps on your Mac’s disk drive

Apple iMac

Most of the apps on the Mac’s disk drive are in the Applications folder. Most people are aware that there is a Utilities subfolder with some additional apps, but few people know of a third folder with even more apps. Do you know where it is?

For some reason, perhaps because they are rarely used, Apple has hidden some apps in a folder where most people will never find them. Under some circumstances they can be useful and occasionally essential. You need to know where this folder is and what apps it contains.

Explore your computer with Finder

Go to the Go menu and select Computer.

OS X Finder

The Finder window will look something like this, with the Mac’s internal disk drive and Network.

OS X Finder

An alternative Applications folder

Open the MacBook folder (your Mac’s disk might have a different name). The open the System folder, followed by Library, CoreServices, and then Applications.

OS X Network Utility

Network Utility

There are eight apps here, but not all of them are useful. Let’s take a look at Network Utility. Double click it to open it.

Ping a website

This provides a series of network and internet tools on tabs across the top. Select Ping. This tool is used to check that a computer or device on the internet is working. You can ping websites and you just enter the address in the box and click Ping.

Only four pings were sent in the screenshot above (don’t overload it with an unlimited number) and the second line from the bottom in the results says 4 packets transmitted, 4 packets received, 0.0% packet loss. What this means is that the internet connection is working and the website is responding.

You could use ping if you are having problems accessing a website to check that it can actually be reached. A result of 100% packet loss would indicate a fault in the internet connection or the website. If other websites respond OK, but one doesn’t, it means that the website is down.

You can also ping devices on the network, such as a wireless printer, to check that it is working or simply switched on if it is located out of sight.

Traceroute

Another useful tool is Traceroute. If you are having problems accessing one or more websites and you contact technical support, they might ask you to run a traceroute and send them the results. Enter the website URL into the box, click Trace and when it has finished, select all the text with the mouse and press Command+C to copy it. Then switch to your email and press Command+V to paste it in.

Traceroute

Your computer is connected to a router, the router to another device on the internet, then that connects to another and another until eventually the website is reached. Traceroute lists all the devices you have to go through and how long it took. It may not make sense to you, but tech support people that deal with networking and the internet find it useful. You just need to know how to create a report and paste it in an email.
 

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