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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353
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131answers
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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 ...
139
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 ...
134
votes
6answers
59k views

How can I configure Mac Terminal to have color ls output?

How can I configure Mac Terminal to have color ls output? I am using MacOS 10.5
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 ...
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 ...
79
votes
53answers
13k views

What un(der)-documented features have you stumbled upon in Mountain Lion?

This question serves to share and collect the enhancements which are not documented by Apple, or documented poorly. Please justify your answer; if it is something that is well documented by Apple and ...
57
votes
22answers
51k views

OS X Terminal “must have” utilities

I've just read with pleasure, and learned a lot from these questions : OS X Terminal Tips and Tricks OS X Hidden features and nice tips & tricks OS X Applications you can't live without But I ...
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 ...
51
votes
13answers
13k views

Keyboard shortcut for restoring applications from the Mac OS X Dock?

Is there a keyboard shortcut to restore a minimised application window from the Dock? Almost all Apple Mac OSX applications respond to the Apple + M command which minimises the current application ...
49
votes
8answers
110k views

How can I mount an ext4 file system on OS X?

Is there a safe, stable application for reading from and writing to ext4 file systems on Mac OS X? If not, what's the best way to access the contents of an ext4 file system on Mac OS X?
49
votes
7answers
27k views

I am missing the option to see the remaining battery life as time in the menubar?

In previous versions of OS X the battery indicator in the menubar included options to show the remaining battery life as percentage or time (or nothing). In Mountain Lion, there's only an option to ...
48
votes
3answers
15k views

What versions of OS X are affected by Heartbleed?

What versions of OS X come default with the affected versions of OpenSSL? All Internet traffic right now is clogged with the same generic information in regards to the Heartbleed bug, without any ...
48
votes
4answers
3k views

Where did the ~/Library folder go in Lion?

I just installed Lion, and I can't find the Library folder in my user folder. Does the folder no longer exist? If it doesn't, where are my preferences? If it does, how do I get to it?
46
votes
7answers
152k 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 ...
46
votes
4answers
19k views

What do I type to produce the command symbol (⌘) in Mac OS X?

What combination of keys do I press to produce the command symbol (⌘) on Mac OS X? (I copied the above symbol from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_key.)
45
votes
5answers
25k views

How do I run an app in Full Screen mode on OS X Lion on my second monitor?

How do I get an app to run in Full Screen mode on OS X Lion on my second monitor? It seems to be stuck on my first monitor, and I'd like to move it.
44
votes
5answers
5k views

What's the quickest way to get a graphic on the clipboard saved to disk?

I have a graphic on the clipboard on OS X. What's the quickest way to get it onto disk as a png or jpg?
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 ...
43
votes
9answers
36k views

Write in NTFS using Mavericks

I was able to read and write NTFS filesystems normally in Mountain Lion, but after the upgrade this stopped to work. I installed ntfs-3g and fuse4x using homebrew in Mountain Lion and followed the ...
42
votes
12answers
5k views

How long can I expect my system to be unusable during an upgrade to OS X Lion?

I just downloaded Lion and am pretty eager to install it, but I can use every minute I have, so I'd rather not install it now if it means my system is unusable for 30+ minutes. How long should I ...
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 ...
42
votes
12answers
33k views

How to stop OS X from writing Spotlight and Trash files to memory cards and USB sticks?

When plugging a USB stick into a Mac, OS X creates a number of hidden files on the stick, including a Spotlight index and Trash folder. Example from the terminal for a USB stick "Untitled": $ ls -a ...
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?
41
votes
5answers
65k views

Can I open files in TextEdit from the Terminal in Mac OS X?

I frequently find that a terminal command to open a file in TextEdit would be very handy. Does such a command exist on Mac OS X?
39
votes
32answers
11k views

What are your favorite Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts?

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts on Mac OS X?
39
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
37
votes
7answers
212 views

Remember window sizes and placement when unplugging and replugging second monitor

Here's something that sucks: Plug in external monitor to laptop (Mac OS X Leopard in my case). Arrange your windows to have the IDE on one screen and browser on another. (Etc etc. Resize, ...
36
votes
26answers
78k views

Can anyone recommend an app for creating flowcharts and diagrams?

I'm seeking a Mac app for creating basic flowcharts and similar diagrams. Google has been no help; I've followed dozens of links to apps that either don't exist anymore, I can't find any real ...
35
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
34
votes
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 ...
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 ...
34
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
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? ...
32
votes
7answers
14k views

How can I achieve page-up and page-down in OS X?

I am using MacOSX Snow Leopard. How do I achieve page-up and page-down?
31
votes
9answers
25k views

What's a good graphical SFTP utility for OS X?

I need a small graphical utility, using which I can ssh to a server and see all the files and copy and paste (drag and drop) into my local machine. I am running Snow Leopard.
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 ...
31
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 ...
31
votes
8answers
48k views

Where does the Mac store account pictures?

I took a picture to add to my account on Mac. Now I want to use it on messenger, but I can't find it. On the account config, it's too small. I need to find the original. Where are the accout ...
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 ...
30
votes
8answers
67k views

How to change computer name so terminal displays it in Mac OS X Mountain Lion? [duplicate]

When I setup my computer I named it "Scott's MacBook Pro". And so when I go to System preferences->Sharing, it says Scott's MacBook Pro there as my computer name. However, opening up a terminal gives ...
30
votes
4answers
29k views

Why am I getting a “dubious ownership of file” error when Launch Agent runs my .plist file?

I have a Launch Agent configured to run a .plist file for example: /Library/LaunchAgent/foo.plist. Inside this .plist, it is set to run during LoginWindow and Aqua. When I attempt to launch my ...
29
votes
9answers
41k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
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 ...
28
votes
12answers
41k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
14k views

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

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
28
votes
4answers
6k 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
29answers
11k 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
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, ...
27
votes
6answers
10k views

How to move files to trash from command line?

I do a lot of terminal work, and today had the experience of typing rm fileInQuestion.txt Before finding out that I did actually need fileInQuestion.txt. If I'd deleted in the GUI then I would have ...