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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How to add characters to the press and hold character picker in OS X Lion?

In OS X Lion, there is a very useful feature for people like me who need to write in multiple languages, which pops up a small menu of additional characters when you hold down a letter. For instance, ...
39
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...
39
votes
5answers
54k 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 ...
39
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2answers
7k 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 ...
38
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2answers
51k 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?
38
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6answers
21k 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, ...
37
votes
10answers
2k views

Is it generally advisable to get anti-virus software for Mac OS X?

Is it worth to buy an anti-virus software for Mac OS X? I heard both opinions like "it's not possible to get a virus on Mac OS X" and "Mac OS X is also vulnerable against virus... " Which is true? ...
37
votes
10answers
407k 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 ...
37
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5answers
11k views

How do I remove duplicate “Open With” context menu items in Finder.app?

For whatever reason, the "Open With" context menu in Finder is always listing every app four times (exactly). I've read about (and tried) rebuilding the Launch Services database to restore the ...
37
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3answers
31k views

Change Dock color on left/right site in OS X 10.9 Mavericks

New in OS X Mavericks, when using the famous dock on the left or right site: It has a white background now. It makes it hard to see the icons and the design is awful. Does anyone know how to change ...
35
votes
11answers
29k 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
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15answers
109k 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.
34
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6answers
9k views

How can I activate buttons with just the keyboard?

Many user interface (UI) elements or dialog boxes have buttons. I would like to be able to activate a button with just the keyboard, without the mouse. How can I do this?
34
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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 ...
34
votes
2answers
9k 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, ...
33
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
33
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3answers
18k views

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

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
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13answers
33k 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
6answers
77k 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 ...
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5answers
29k views

How to turn off all animations on OS X

Is it possible to turn off all animations on OS X?
31
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11answers
100k 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 ...
30
votes
12answers
52k 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 ...
30
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5answers
15k 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 ...
30
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4answers
9k 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 ...
29
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30answers
16k 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 ...
29
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1answer
47k 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 ...
29
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6answers
18k 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 ...
29
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5answers
17k views

How to get rid of firewall “accept incoming connections” dialog?

I've accepted this so many times that firewall should already remember it. For example, I get it for Eclipse when starting my java programs in debugging mode ... sometimes this dialog is displayed ...
28
votes
5answers
40k 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 ...
28
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7answers
25k views

OS X computer name not matching what shows on terminal

My computer name in System Preferences > sharing is set to "archos" but is showing as "iphone" on the terminal. It just started doing this after I loaded Xcode for doing iPhone development. Last ...
28
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4answers
25k 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.
28
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4answers
40k 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 ...
27
votes
14answers
20k 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 ...
27
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6answers
18k 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
27
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13answers
15k views

Computer name keeps changing OSX 10.10 (14A389)

Since I upgraded to Yosemite 10.10 (14A389) my computer name keeps changing adding a (2) and (3) and so forth. Any ideas how to fix this?
27
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2answers
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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 ...
26
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5answers
16k 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.
26
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2answers
13k 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 ...
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
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7answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
21k 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, ...
26
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2answers
8k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
25
votes
11answers
106k views

How do I type the euro value sign € on a Mac?

I've tried bashing on my keyboard with the ⌥ alt/option key pressed with the ⇧ shift key pressed but I do not seem to be able to find how I can get the euro value sign. ⇧ shift+4 gives the dollar ...
25
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6answers
13k 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 ...
25
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5answers
14k views

What tool exists to identify the RGB value of a pixel?

I need to get the RGB for a pixel that is in an image. Under Windows this is easy but is there a way to do this on Mac OS X?
25
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3answers
41k views

Can I get the CPU temperature and fan speed from the command line in OS X?

Is there a command I can run from the command line in OS X to get the current CPU temperature and/or the fan speed(s)? To be more specific, I'd like to be able to get the same info available in the ...
25
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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 ...