OS X (formerly Mac OS X) is the marketing name for Apple's computer OS. Note the proper pronunciation is "ohh ess ten" and not "oh ess ex".

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34
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11answers
24k views

How can I figure out what's slowly eating my HD space?

Every few days I get notices on my MacBook that it's running or run out of hard drive space. Curiously, restarting the computer will enable me to recover gigabytes of space (this past time, it was ...
34
votes
14answers
111k views

How to combine two images into one on a Mac?

Say I have two photos (or any images), for example with the following dimensions: +----------+ +----------+ | | | | | | | | |320 x 428 | and ...
34
votes
4answers
46k views

Why are dot underscore ._ files created, and how can I avoid them?

I am using different operating systems on different machines on different locations. I am using a USB flash disk to keep my files (source codes etc.). I am new to Mac OS X and now I realize there are ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the dot in the centre of the red window close button for?

When I'm working with certain applications / windows in Mac OS X (I'm using 10.8, although I'm not sure that's relevant), I sometimes see a black dot in the centre of the red window close button. What ...
33
votes
6answers
16k views

How can I skip the Trash when deleting a file?

I frequently connect different external USB hard drives and flash drives to my computer and I would like to facilitate deleting files and regaining disk space from them. If I simply delete the file, ...
32
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I select buttons with just the keyboard?

Many user interface (UI) elements or dialog boxes have buttons. I would like to be able to select a button with just the keyboard, without the mouse. How can I do this?
32
votes
3answers
28k views

How can I make Safari show the URL when I hover over a link?

Safari 5.0.1 on OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) doesn't seem to have any status bar in which the URL of a link shows when the user moves the cursor over a link (without clicking) All other browsers I've ...
32
votes
3answers
16k views

What's the difference between Real, Virtual, Shared, and Private Memory?

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
32
votes
4answers
4k views

Prevent redraw of menu bar icons Yosemite

When switching between two screens, all the icons in the menu bar appear to be re-drawn, causing an annoying jittery effect. This started happening after upgrading to Yosemite. Is there any ...
31
votes
12answers
31k views

Why would I disable swap file in Mac OS X?

I came across a thread about installing an SSD drive in MacBook Pro. Someone in the comments also recommended to disable the swap file but didn't say why: sudo launchctl unload -w ...
31
votes
1answer
14k views

Open Finder window from current Terminal location?

If I am in a specific path in a Terminal window, how can I open that same window in a new Finder window? Note: This is the opposite of opening a Terminal from Finder.
30
votes
8answers
15k views

How can I make auto-hide/show for the dock faster?

I really like the auto-hide feature of the dock in Mac OS X. However, the animation for the dock to reappear is just a bit too slow for me. Since this is quite annoying, I disable the feature. Is ...
30
votes
8answers
268k views

Ctrl + Alt + Delete: Mac Equivalent?

Ctrl + Alt + Delete on Windows provides a variety of functions, the main one of interest being the Task Manager. Is there an equivalent keyboard shortcut & indeed Task Manager for carrying out ...
30
votes
5answers
24k views

How to turn off all animations on OS X

Is it possible to turn off all animations on OS X?
30
votes
12answers
49k views

What's a good Windows RDP client for Mac?

I administer a number of Windows machines, and am trying to find a really good application to remote desktop in to them from my Mac. I've tried CoRD, and I really like its library approach to saved ...
29
votes
11answers
84k views

How to arrange two windows easily to left and right side?

In Windows 7, we can easily arrange two windows with these shortcuts: Option (Alt) ⌥ + ← maximizes the window to the left side of the screen, and Option (Alt) ⌥ + → maximizes the window to the right ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

How to disable Full Screen Animation on OS X 10.9

When an OSX window is promoted to be full screen there is a one second transition animation. How can this be disabled system wide? We would like the transition from small window to full screen to be ...
28
votes
15answers
87k views

Is there a way to start the Terminal with a keyboard short cut?

Sort of like the Windows+R command in the windows world? That actually just lets you run a command but you get the idea.
28
votes
5answers
14k views

How can I modify the list of Applications under 'Open With…'?

I recently went to open an audio file, and wanted to open it in an editor instead of a player. I right-clicked it, hovered over 'Open With...' and was met with a very unsightly list. I have seen a ...
28
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I silently start up my MacBook Air?

When I start up my MacBook Air, it makes a loud startup sound unless I muted the computer prior to shutting down last time. However, I cannot guarantee that I had muted the computer last time before ...
27
votes
30answers
14k views

What OS X tweaks, hacks, or modifications couldn't you live without?

What OS X tweaks or customization applications do you find indispensable? Please search before posting in order to avoid duplicate entries. You can search within this question with inquestion:this ...
27
votes
4answers
22k views

Can I code using Swift on Mavericks?

Is is possible to code using Swift on OS X Mavericks? I found the manual on iBooks but that's as far as I can get right now.
27
votes
2answers
7k views

Task Switcher moves to non-primary display on Mavericks

I'm running OS X Mavericks on a computer with two displays that are not mirrored. One of them is configured as the primary display using the menu bar location in Displays System Preference, ...
26
votes
6answers
67k views

How to view Root directory and subdirectories in Finder?

Apparently, the Macintosh HD icon on the desktop points to the root directory but it is not showing all the contents. Some of the files and directories are the same as those which I see when I ...
26
votes
3answers
8k views

Optimize macbook pro for internal SSD+HDD drives

I upgraded my MacBook Pro by replacing the SuperDrive with an SSD. I'm now using the SSD as the boot volume and have all my applications. My home folder is on the HDD. My question is how to best ...
26
votes
4answers
35k views

How can I send a mail message later?

Back in the day, I remember having an e-mail program (perhaps it was Eudora?) that could schedule the sending of mail, so when composing a message, you could set some preference for when it would be ...
25
votes
5answers
34k views

Are there keyboard shortcuts for Home, End, PageDown, and PageUp in OS X?

How do I set keyboard shortcuts for Home, End, PageDown, and PageUp on a 13" MacBook Pro? Are there default keyboard shortcuts? Or can I do it with Automator (and if so, how)? I want them to work the ...
25
votes
5answers
15k views

Can I disable Dashboard in Mountain Lion?

I'm wondering if there's a way to disable the dashboard in Mountain Lion. I never use it and I think it's consuming processor and memory powers.
25
votes
2answers
12k views

Can I fix things so Archive Utility doesn't hang on all zip files?

I am using Mac OS X 10.8.2. I don't know exactly when it started (might have been after the upgrade to 10.8.2, but not sure), but now, any zip file I try to open starts up 'Archive Utility', but then ...
25
votes
6answers
16k views

What is wired memory?

I'm trying to figure out what is using all of the memory in my Macbook Pro running OS X Lion. I have 8 GB of memory total. When I quit all active programs except Finder and Activity Monitor, then run ...
25
votes
4answers
11k views

Can I change the behavior of the Home and End keys on an Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad?

I just bought an "Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad", then I connected it to my Macbook Pro running Lion. But the home and end key under the F14 key doesn't work as I expected. Say in "Pages", the ...
25
votes
3answers
19k views

Was the FileMerge application removed from OS X 10.7.3?

I just updated to 10.7.3 and can no longer find the FileMerge application, which is part of the Xcode developer tools package. Did apple remove this in 10.7.3? I've checked in my developer directory, ...
25
votes
5answers
5k views

Restricting Command+tab options to only apps that are in the current space

Edit: The original accepted answer is no longer valid for Mavericks. I am keeping it accepted for historical reasons, but all readers using Mavericks should use and up-vote this answer. By ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

Why does the OS X Software Update check take so long?

Why does it take so long for Software Update in OS X to tell me that I'm up to date? I'm currently running 10.7.2, but this has been the case for all versions of OS X I've run. I just performed a ...
25
votes
6answers
13k views

Change the mouse wheel scrolling acceleration

I am new Mac user and I don't really like the Magic Mouse so I reverted to a good old 3 button mouse with a scroll wheel. When I turn the wheel slowly, it only scrolls pixel per pixel (or per two ...
24
votes
6answers
10k views

Return vs. Enter?

I noticed that my MacBook's keyboard has the word enter above the return key. I also noticed that on Mac OS X, there's a special symbol for return ↩, and another for enter ⌤. How would I send the ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I uninstall a program completely on a Mac?

I come from a PC background... every time I want to uninstall an application, I must use add/remove programs. On the mac, you can simply run a .app file from wherever you want, and many say that the ...
24
votes
1answer
840 views

How do I stop Finder from warning me when I change a file extension?

When renaming a file in the Finder and changing the file extension, I get the following warning message: How can I disable it?
24
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I disable this message: “the disk was not ejected properly”?

Is there any way to disable the "the disk was not ejected properly" message? I use a KVM and need to switch between two systems and have a memory stick that is in the KVM. The problem is that it's ...
24
votes
7answers
8k views

How can I permanently dismiss Updates Available notifications?

With the Notification Center in Mountain Lion, I get an alert when software updates are available. The problem is, my only options are 'Details' and 'Update'. I don't want to interrupt my work to ...
23
votes
13answers
16k views

Copying the current directory's path to the clipboard

What's a quick way of copying the path to the directory that's currently open in Finder? Copying that path is very easy in Linux and Windows file managers - you just need to copy it from the address ...
23
votes
5answers
17k views

How can I run/stop/relaunch an application automatically, at boot/login/some other time?

How do you make a script or app to run or stop running automatically when the system is booted, a user logs on, at a specific time, when a disk is attached, etc.?
23
votes
6answers
10k views

Can Finder delete a file directly and bypass moving it to the Trash?

Is it possible to really delete a file (ie, bypass the Trash) from Finder? Currently, when I want to reclaim space from a USB drive, I rm files/folder from the Terminal, but I'd like to do it from the ...
23
votes
1answer
32k views

How do I launch Finder from terminal or command line [duplicate]

I use command line a lot, like most programmers. I want to be able to launch Finder, Safari or any other application for that matter from command line e.g. finder . where it will start Finder ...
23
votes
1answer
14k views

Can I still set my account picture to an image from disk in OS X Mountain Lion?

I can't seem to browse my hard disk for a custom image to use as my account picture anymore since installing OS X Mountain Lion. The new popover shows that I can now only choose from the default set ...
23
votes
7answers
65k views

What's a good XML viewer/editor for Mac OS X?

I use XML Editor from XMLmind for editing/viewing XML file in Mac. It's not bad, but I expect an XML editor for Mac. What options do I have including the commercial/free software?
23
votes
4answers
7k views

Cmd+Tab switches to the correct space, but doesn't bring app up to front

I have a problem (bug?) with application switching on Lion. I use two Spaces. Say one has Postbox open, and another has Firefox and Vim. Vim is in the foreground, and Firefox's window is behind it. ...
23
votes
4answers
13k views

Can I copy by highlighting and paste by middle click on Mac OS X?

I was using Linux for the last couple of years and I find it extremely useful to copy text by highlighting it as well as to paste by clicking a middle mouse button. I'm using a Mac now and I wonder ...
22
votes
2answers
31k views

How can I create a symbolic link in Terminal?

I know how to delete a symbolic link/soft link by using command rm in Terminal but I was wondering what command is used to create one?
22
votes
6answers
16k views

Is there a keyboard shortcut to move a window from one monitor to another?

Is there a free app that I can use to move a window from one monitor to the other monitor (assuming only two monitors) via the keyboard? I shouldn't have to use the mouse at all (e.g., for selecting ...