The weird way Finder tabs and folders work in OS X

Finder iconApple introduced tabs to Finder windows with OS X Mavericks, which is a fact that is very easy to forget. This is partly because old Mac users aren’t used to them and partly because the feature is hidden. It is very easy to simply carry on exactly as we always have completely oblivious to the fact that there are tabs. They also work in non-obvious ways.

Solve Mac problems with a detailed system information report

EtreCheck iconApple Macs are very reliable, but like all computers they do occasionally experience problems. Finding the cause of a problem is not always easy. Computers are often unfathomable, but there are tools that can help, like the free EtreCheck. Add it to yout Mac, just in case.

Protect your Mac with Free Avira Antivirus for Mac

Avira AntivirusApple Macs are much less likely to be infected by malware like viruses, Trojans and other nasties than Windows computers, but they are not completely immune. There have been some well publicised virus infections in recent years and large numbers of Macs were affected by malware such as the Flashback Trojan, OSX/Crisis and others. Yes, the Mac is safer, but it is not 100% safe.

Show or hide Chrome's menu bar notification icon

If you use the latest version of Chrome for browsing the web on your Apple iMac or MacBook, you will have noticed a new icon in the menu bar, a bell icon which is used to access notifications and Google Now. When Chrome is running, and it doesn't have to be on the screen, it can be minimised, clicking this icon will display a notifications panel that is similar to what you would see on an Android phone. Is it useful? Do you need it?

Solve Wi-Fi problems with Wireless Diagnostics for OS X

Black wireless routerWireless networks are brilliant - when they work. Mostly they do work perfectly well, but there are occasions where something isn't right and you have a poor connection or none at all. You can't get on the internet and you might not even be able to get on the Wi-Fi network. What can you do?

Replace Safari's status bar with superior one

Safari for MacDo you have the status bar at the bottom of Safari's browser window visible? If you do, it can show useful information like the destination of links, buttons and menus. The downside is that you lose a bit of screen space. That's OK on a 27in iMac, but if you use a MacBook you need every last pixel because the screen is small. Ultimate Status Bar maximise the screen space while providing an even more powerful status bar.

Clean the disk and find duplicates with AVG Cleaner

Clean up your Mac's diskThe disks in Apple Macs don't need cleaning, they never get cluttered up with junk, and they just work, don't they? Well, no. The Mac is good, but it is not imune to the build of clutter and file debris that goes with everyday usage of a modern computer. Unwanted files can clutter up the disk drive and duplicates steal space, leaving the drive underperforming.

Customise the menu bar in OS X

Computer monitorAt the right-hand side of the menu bar on the Mac are a group of useful items like the battery/power indicator, the date, the Wi-Fi indicator, your account name and so on. Have you ever wondered where they come from? It is actually quite interesting and there are additional items that can be placed on the menu bar that are normally hidden.

Where are your photos really stored on the Mac's disk drive?

Owl photoiPhoto does a great job of organising your all of your digital photos. You just have to plug in an iPhone, iPad or digital camera and it imports all the snapshots you have taken and it stores them on the disk drive. It even organises them for you. But where exactly does it put them and how do you access them outside of iPhoto?

Speed up Finder - tweak All My Files on Mac OS X

When you open a new Finder window in OS X on the Apple Mac, does it instantly appear or does it take a couple of seconds for the contents to refresh? It can be irritating when Finder is slow and you are in a hurry, and the problem could be the All My Files feature. It is possible to speed up Finder by customising All My Files.

Restore a lost OS X Mavericks recovery partition

Internal view of hard disk driveWhen OS X Mountain Lion or Mavericks is installed on an Apple Mac, a hidden recovery partition is added to the disk drive that contains tools for solving problems, backing up or restoring the disk contents, or to reinstall OS X. For various reasons, this useful recovery partition may be missing on your Mac.

Move iTunes music to another drive and free up space

Disk driveNot all Apple Macs have big disk drives and if you have had one for some time you might be running short of space. This is especially true of Macs with SSDs (solid state disks) and early MacBook Airs for example, only had 64GB SSDs. Even now entry level models only have 128GB. You can free up many gigabytes of disk space by moving the iTunes folder to another disk drive, such as an external unit.

My Mac is slow, does it need more memory?

Memory chipsSome people have found that after upgrading to the latest version of OS X on their Apple Mac, it runs more slowly than it used to.

One of the reasons for this could be that the Mac is running short of memory for apps and a quick look at Activity Monitor shows that all the memory in use. Is it really out of memory? It might not be and it's not obvious how to read Activity Monitor's memory display.

Shiny Soap cleans your Mac's disk

Shiny Soap for MacA question posted in an Apple help forum was "How do I clean my Mac's disk drive?" The reply was "You don't need to do that on a Mac." It is one of the many myths surrounding the Mac and although it may be better than some operating systems, it certainly does need cleaning occasionally to get rid of the file clutter. A clean disk will be more efficient than one that is clogged up with unnecessary files.

Create custom email signatures in Mail

MailboxAn email always has a From: that contains the sender's email address and sometimes it even contains a proper name. However, this is not an excuse to end an email improperly and not include a signature. A signature can contain more than just your name and it is an essential component of an email message. You may not have realised it, but you can create impressive signatures in Mail in OS X on the Mac.

Add Bing Highlights extension to Safari for easy searches

Extensions can be added to the Safari web browser on the Apple Mac to add extra features or to make existing ones easier to use. There is a whole online gallery full of of them and one you might want to take a closer look at is Bing Highlights. It makes searching the web simpler.

Security fixes for Apple TV

When you hear about security flaws and patches, you immediately think about OS X, Safari, and other applications, but there are other gadgets and devices that can present security problems too. Apple has released two updates for Apple TV within a month, for example. Is yours up to date?

Edit multiple photos in iPhoto

iPhoto on the Mac has some excellent editing facilities for enhancing photographs, fixing faults like brightness, saturation, contrast and so on. The usual way to edit a photo is to either double click it or to selected it and click Edit, but there is another way to edit photos and multiple images can be selected and edited simultaneously.

Get traffic information before a journey

It can be very irritating to set off on a journey and end up stuck in traffic. You sit there burning petrol, adding to the greenhouse gasses, getting more and more frustrated. A simple 15 minute journey can become half an hour or more, or an hour can turn into two.

Get Microsoft OneNote for the Mac free

Microsoft OneNote icon

Microsoft OneNote, part of the Office suite of applications, is now available from the Mac App Store for free. Just open the App Store, search for OneNote and install it. It is a 200MB+ download, so do it at home on a fast broadband connection rather than at a free Wi-Fi access point that might be slow or cost you money. It's a great app with a lovely design that is really useful for creating and storing notes.

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