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". it is be replaced by macOS to match its the format of watchOS, tvOS, and ios.

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463
votes
137answers
302k 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 ...
406
votes
133answers
214k views

Got any tips or tricks for Terminal in Mac OS X?

One tip or trick per answer. My favorite is open . Opens the folder you're currently browsing in Finder. You can also pass URLs, images, documents or else to open. If you specify a program name ...
351
votes
7answers
262k 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 OS X) 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 ...
245
votes
8answers
158k 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
205
votes
7answers
106k views

Make the green full screen window icon on Yosemite maximize windows

On Mac OS X Yosemite the green icon in every window: is by default used to make the application full screen. How do I make it work the same way as in previous versions of Mac OS X, i.e. to ...
196
votes
4answers
62k 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 ...
188
votes
5answers
64k views

“File Open” dialog is missing sidebar items

I'm having the strangest issue since updating to OS X El Capitan. My "Open File" dialogs show the sidebar but all my main (and useful) locations are missing. Take a look at this screenshot. This ...
182
votes
239answers
40k views

Which OS X Applications do you find indispensable?

Please Search Prior To Posting! There are many applications already listed. In all likelihood, this includes the one you are thinking of. Please check the existing answers to avoid duplicates, and ...
175
votes
2answers
1.1m views

How to Retrieve the Wi-Fi Password of a Connected Network on a Mac

I need to find the password for a Wi-Fi network that I am already connected to. I'm using a MacBook Pro that's running OS X Lion. Any guidance is appreciated.
167
votes
107answers
53k views

What tiny thing in Lion makes you smile or has caught you off guard?

I would like to call for a place to list some little things that surprise you about Lion. There are so many articles and lists of all the new features with information overload, I would rather focus ...
162
votes
3answers
95k views

What is the “rootless” feature in El Capitan, really?

I have just learned about the "Rootless" feature in El Capitan, and I am hearing things like "There is no root user", "Nothing can modify /System" and "The world will end because we can't get root". ...
154
votes
5answers
81k views

How to fix brew after OSX upgrade to Yosemite?

I faced some issue with Homebrew. I upgraded to Yosemite. After the upgrade, homebrew seems to be broken. I would run any brew command and get this error /usr/local/bin/brew: /usr/local/Library/brew....
148
votes
6answers
50k 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 ...
142
votes
23answers
40k 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 ...
136
votes
8answers
302k 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 ...
131
votes
4answers
196k views

How can I create a symbolic link in Terminal?

What command is used to create a symbolic link/soft link?
116
votes
8answers
389k 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 ...
109
votes
25answers
148k views

OS X Terminal “must have” utilities [closed]

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 ...
108
votes
10answers
100k 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.)
106
votes
8answers
66k 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 ...
105
votes
5answers
192k 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?
104
votes
14answers
42k 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 ...
103
votes
53answers
19k 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 ...
103
votes
10answers
79k views

WindowServer high CPU on Yosemite

This is a follow up to So my Yosemite install is slow - what to do? Since installing Yosemite a week or so ago my machine is very sluggish. I am a web developer so I change windows/apps a lot. ...
97
votes
10answers
211k 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&...
93
votes
1answer
128k 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 ...
90
votes
4answers
39k 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.
89
votes
16answers
259k 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 |...
85
votes
53answers
14k 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 ...
85
votes
13answers
90k 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 /...
83
votes
9answers
29k views

Is it 'OK' to use the root user as a normal user?

I have enabled the root user on my Mac so I can log into it and run Finder etc. Being the lazy person that I am, just transferred everything from my home directory to /var/root. I'm not too sure of ...
83
votes
2answers
14k views

What functionality do 'marks' offer in the El Capitan Terminal?

Since upgrading to OS X El Capitan, I've noticed a change in the Terminal: Executed lines show an opening bracket on the left, and a closing bracket on the right, as shown in this screenshot: ...
83
votes
13answers
85k views

Write in NTFS using Mavericks [duplicate]

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 ...
77
votes
8answers
46k 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 "...
77
votes
11answers
1.0m 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 ...
76
votes
31answers
189k 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 ...
75
votes
4answers
55k 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 ...
74
votes
4answers
43k views

What are alternatives for Menumeters on El Capitan?

Menumeters no longer works on El Capitan (see here), what are some alternatives? I just want to see my network and CPU stats.
74
votes
4answers
159k views

How do you EXIT full screen mode in Yosemite?

OMG, I just discovered the new green button behavior in Yosemite that causes the window to go to full screen instead of maximizing it. That's fine, and I can live with option+click to get the old ...
74
votes
15answers
70k views

runaway distnoted process

Sometimes I see a distnoted process suddenly spin up and chew up 100% CPU (on one core) and a ton of memory, often in the neighborhood of 1.5G or so. This happens a few times a day, starting a month ...
71
votes
9answers
103k 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 ...
70
votes
8answers
48k 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?
69
votes
7answers
50k views

How can I use Gmail as the default mail client app in Mac OS X?

I use Gmail as my e-mail client, but when I click on a "mailto:" link, the Mail.app is opened. Is there a way to avoid the Mail.app opening in this case? Can I open Gmail instead?
69
votes
11answers
31k 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 ...
69
votes
3answers
17k 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, pre-...
68
votes
10answers
67k views

How to use pip after the OS X El Capitan upgrade?

After the El Capitan update, I am unable to run pip install. The error I get is that the "operation is not permitted" when pip tries to create new folders while installing. creating /System/Library/...
67
votes
3answers
56k views

Hotkey to show hidden files and folders in File Open dialog?

This question is very similar to Is it possible to always show hidden/dotfiles in Open/Save dialogs?. How to show hidden files and folders in finder? is also related. However, I don't want to always ...
66
votes
7answers
40k 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 ...
66
votes
6answers
61k views

How to turn off all animations on OS X

Is it possible to turn off all animations on OS X?
65
votes
1answer
27k views

How can I make ctrl+right/left arrow stop changing Desktops in Lion?

⌃ Control+→ and ⌃ Control+← switches desktops. I actually had this enabled in Spaces on Snow Leopard, but I'd like to turn this off because I use those key combinations when editing in Eclipse. How ...