Utilities

Add an activity monitor to the menu bar in OS X

MenuMetersHow soon after starting your Mac can you begin to use it? Why is it so slow? What is it doing? Is it OK to turn off or restart? OS X works hard behind the scenes on a variety of tasks, but you would never know because often nothing is displayed on the screen. It is useful to keep an eye on what it is doing and you can easily add activity monitors to the right side of the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Add Google Keep notes to the Dock in OS X

Google Keep iconWhen you are working on your computer or simply browsing the web for fun, you will occasionally need to temporarily store information. One way of doing this is with the Notes app or Stickies, the Mac's sticky notes app, but Google Keep now runs on the desktop and it offers several advantages over the OS X built in apps.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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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