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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5answers
24k views

Is there any way to set a MacBook Pro to not sleep when you close the lid?

The most common use case I have for this is when I'm playing music over AirTunes, but don't want an open laptop laying around. Or when I'm syncing or downloading something. This isn't the same as ...
20
votes
5answers
12k 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.?
102
votes
22answers
13k views

Is there a quick way to lock my Mac?

On Windows you can hit the keys Windows+L to lock your computer if you step away. I don't want to have to remember if sleep currently asks for a password, if there is a time out where my screen isn't ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Can I create a shortcut to open a specific application on OS X?

I want to create a keyboard shortcut to i.e. open Firefox while I am working in another application. I know I can use ⌘T when I am in Firefox to open a new tab. I haven't found a way to create that ...
352
votes
131answers
252k views

Please share your hidden OS X features or tips and tricks

Do you know any hidden or little-known nice feature of Mac OS X? It doesn't matter what it is—maybe just a short terminal command or a keyboard shortcut. Share your experiences on hidden Mac OS ...
44
votes
5answers
23k views

Isn't Inactive memory a waste of resources?

I'm looking for explanation of memory usage on my machine especially in light of the example in this screenshot below: I understand what is Free and Active means But what are the meanings of Wired ...
34
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
155k views

Roll back from OS X Mavericks ( or any newer OS) to Mountain Lion

I installed the developer preview of OS X Mavericks, & too many things broke. I can't stay on it & need to roll back to Mountain Lion. Any ways of doing that? Please help! I originally ...
9
votes
5answers
7k views

Create global shortcut to run command line applications

What steps do I need to run a command line program via a global shortcut? I setup Automator to create a new Run Shell Script and tried to assign a shortcut in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> ...
23
votes
4answers
11k 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
votes
11answers
16k 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
718 views

How can I get back a system file after deleting it from my Mac?

I've deleted a system file from my Mac and need to get it back. System files can include: hidden files in the root of / /System files /Library files /Applications files that ship with the core OS ...
138
votes
4answers
32k views

How can I disable animation when switching desktops in Lion?

I would very much like to disable the sliding animation that occurs when switching desktops via ctrl+→/← or ctrl+[number] in Lion. This was previously accomplished in previous versions ...
26
votes
5answers
5k views

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, ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I get admin access to a Mac without knowing the current password?

My Father died last year and I inherited his Mac Mini. My wife has retired and we are trying to set up the mini for her use but the changes we want to make require admin access and we do not have the ...
53
votes
8answers
25k views

How to simulate slow internet connections on the mac

What's a good software solution to slow down internet connections on the mac for testing and simulations? My primary need is when testing code in the iPhone / iOS simulator, so slowing down the ...
25
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
4k 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
9answers
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? ...
31
votes
12answers
26k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

One mac, Two or more storage devices - how to divide things?

We're at a crossroads where most Macs now have space and connections to contain two storage devices. SSD are fast, low capacity and expensive - HDD are in comparison slow, huge and cheap. Both iMacs ...
28
votes
4answers
31k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

OSX keeps switching to the first space

I use spaces with 10.9. I run a few applications in full screen mode. While focused on an application in full screen mode every minute or so I switched back to the first space. This happens with no ...
17
votes
4answers
20k views

How do I write to NTFS drives in OS X?

What is the best, easiest, preferably cheapest way to make Lion write to (external) NTFS-formatted drives in Mac OS X?
89
votes
52answers
16k views

What features of Mavericks are beneficial to you?

This question serves to share and collect the enhancements that make a large difference to how you use your Mac. Please post one feature per answer. Please also check to see if your answer has ...
44
votes
7answers
151k views

How can I manually delete old backups to free space for Time Machine?

I use a Time Capsule for backup and now I want the drive to back up data from an extra Mac. But the drive is filled up with old backups from Mac 1. There simply is not enough space available for the ...
28
votes
14answers
23k views

How do you maximize windows?

Unlike Windows, you cannot maximize a window in Mac with a click of the button. The little green (+) button next to the red and yellow buttons at the left of the windows does some strange stuff ...
41
votes
5answers
4k views

Do Macs need to be defragmented?

I don't see any application to defragment my Mac (running OS X). Is defragmenting not necessary for Mac OS X? If so, why not?
12
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I expand the number of special characters I can type using my keyboard?

I am aware that when I press ⌥ or ⇧⌥ on my Mac, I can type a variety of special characters. I also know that I can insert special characters using the character palette. Is there a way to expand the ...
16
votes
13answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Do you know a simple sound booster app for Mac?

Some videos on websites have the sound volume so low that even with all sound settings at maximum levels it's hard to listen. I'm looking for an app that would allow me to boost the Mac's volume. ...
14
votes
4answers
14k views

Do MacBooks have a true “Hibernate” option?

I've recently switched from Windows to a MacBook pro. In Windows, there are the following shutdown options: Standby - the machine goes into a "light sleep" from which it can awaken very quickly ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you get system diagnostic files from OS X?

I am trying to debug a crashed (or hanging) app. How do I get the diagnostic files from the crash?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

AirDrop on Unsupported Macs?

One of the Lion features I would really like to use is AirDrop. It would make transferring files so much faster than using a flash drive. Unfortunately, my Mac is a 2007 Black MacBook, and AirDrop is ...
3
votes
4answers
914 views

What techniques for disk, volume and file system management are possible with OS X, but troublesome within Disk Utility?

In the past, Disk Utility was the best starting point for the vast majority of disk-related tasks. As technologies within (or possible with) OS X have developed – without equal development of Disk ...
14
votes
10answers
26k views

Is there a way to password protect individual apps?

Is it possible to password protect a specific Mac application? For example, I am interested in protecting Mail because even if you cannot retrieve new emails, you still can read all the already ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Completely synchronise multiple Macs

I actually have a Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard (I plan on upgrading to Lion). I may have to buy an Mac mini in order to have a full dual screen (external identical screens) layout (see my previous ...
2
votes
3answers
239 views

Any recommendations for a before&after software installation scanner/uninstaller?

I'm trying to decide on an uninstaller that does before and after system scans. So far, I've come across these three: CleanApp (syniumsoftware.com/cleanapp/) - which I saw someone recommend in this ...
39
votes
32answers
10k views

What are your favorite Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts?

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts on Mac OS X?
42
votes
8answers
15k views

Can I make a DIY Fusion Drive?

I have a Mac Mini with two drives: a 256GB SSD and a 500GB HDD. From what I've read, the new Fusion Drive does all of it's magic in software, using the Core Storage APIs. Can I get my setup to ...
11
votes
4answers
19k views

Why is my Macbook Pro getting so slow?

On my MacBook Pro (Year 2009) it takes a long time until I'm logged in or until when a program is started. From day to dayit's getting slower. Programs like Safari or Word or MonoDevelop take up to 2 ...
28
votes
3answers
13k views

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

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
17
votes
4answers
12k views

How can I reinstall an application that the Mac App Store thinks is installed already?

I'm the developer of an application that is currently on the Mac App Store. I'm trying to download my own application so that I can test out the binary that is on the store. (As opposed to running it ...
16
votes
5answers
8k views

What does it mean if I have lots of “Inactive” memory at the end of a work day?

After a day's of work at my MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.6.5, Activity Monitor shows that the majority of my computer's 8 GB of memory is "Inactive", and only a tiny sliver of the pie chart is ...
12
votes
6answers
10k views

Unsaved Files in OS X Lion

Where do unsaved files go in Lion? I quit TextEdit without saving since I had no intention of saving, but with autosave the file still got save somewhere since when I reopen TextEdit the file I was ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How can ZFS be used with encryption on OS X?

Ideals: protection of home directories should be better than in Lion (for multiple administrators: FileVault 2 alone is less secure than FileVault 1) resizing a file system should be simple and ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it possible to burn a DVD out of the Lion app store install?

Is it possible to burn a DVD out of the Lion app store install?
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to show hidden files and folders in finder?

I have a folder that starts with a dot . but unable to display them in finder. How can I say that for folder X finder should also display hidden files/folders?
11
votes
10answers
9k views

What is an quick way to create a new blank file in Lion?

In Windows, one can create a new file using Right Click -> Add New -> Type of File. Is there an analogous action in Lion? I just want to create a new blank file on my Desktop.