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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35
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11answers
25k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
41k 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 ...
53
votes
6answers
31k 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 ...
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.?
111
votes
23answers
19k 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
8k 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 / - especially unix files in /private /System files /Library files ...
17
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
224k views

Can I downgrade to Mavericks after installing Yosemite (beta/developer preview)?

I have installed the developer preview for Yosemite. Huge mistake. Everything in my workspace is broken. I don't have any sort of backup image. I was wondering if I could re-download Mavericks and ...
37
votes
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 ...
385
votes
134answers
270k 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 ...
336
votes
7answers
245k views

How do I recompile Bash to avoid Shellshock (the remote exploit CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169)?

Given that Bash 3.2 (the version shipped by OSX) is vulnerable to the remote execution exploit known as "Shell Shock" (CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169) how do I rebuild Bash and secure my system ahead ...
38
votes
5answers
8k 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, ...
20
votes
4answers
170k 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 ...
25
votes
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
25k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
10k 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 -> ...
29
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
152
votes
4answers
40k 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 ...
93
votes
53answers
18k 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 ...
67
votes
8answers
38k 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 ...
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 ...
35
votes
4answers
47k 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 ...
25
votes
14answers
17k 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 ...
35
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? ...
32
votes
6answers
8k 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?
25
votes
12answers
8k views

Computer name keeps changing OSX 10.10 (14A389)

Since I upgraded to Yosemite 10.10 my computer name keeps changing adding a (2) and (3) and so forth. Any ideas how to fix this?
18
votes
5answers
22k 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?
14
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
64
votes
7answers
219k 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 ...
40
votes
14answers
32k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
31
votes
12answers
32k 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 ...
15
votes
12answers
14k 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.
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 ...
51
votes
4answers
12k views

Remap “Home” and “End” to beginning and end of line

Most of my computing time is spent in Linux (with occasional time in Windows). On these platforms the Home and End keys universally jump to the beginning or end of the current line. I am gradually ...
44
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
43
votes
11answers
61k views

DNS not resolving on Mac OS

Some of my coworkers are having troubles on their Macs - DNS resolution does not work under Mac OS. They're running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. They can use DNS in a Windows 7 virtual machine (VMware Fusion ...
43
votes
5answers
5k 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?
51
votes
8answers
19k views

Why is it not possible to use the “cut” command to manipulate a file in the Finder?

On OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), I don't seem to be able to us the "Cut" command on a file in the Finder, like you can do in Windows Explorer on Microsoft Windows. (In Windows, once you select a file and ...
17
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
6k 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?
11
votes
5answers
13k 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the version of Java verified by Oracle differ from the version shown at the command line?

Questions Why do versions differ? Should we trust Oracle's verification routine? In some cases, the version verified by Oracle is different from the version shown at the command line. Example ...
20
votes
5answers
10k views

How can I add a new application to the Open With menu?

How can I add an application to the Open With menu (shown after right-clicking) for a given file type, without making that file always open with that application? In this specific instance, I'd like ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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
33k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I change some but not all Apple keyboard function keys (dim vs F1, bright vs F2)?

I want to override F1 and F2 behavior, since I have external display and Mac can't control display's brightness. The rest of the keys should retain their non Fx I know about "Use all F1-F12 keys as ...
2
votes
3answers
269 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 ...