412
votes
134answers
284k 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 ...
343
votes
7answers
256k 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 ...
199
votes
29answers
108k views

What Window Management Options exist for OS X?

I'd like to do something with my windows on OS X, where something includes options like re-arranging, moving, re-sizing, remembering positions, cloning across Spaces, etc. What options exist? Rules ...
192
votes
8answers
110k 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
168
votes
4answers
48k 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 ...
162
votes
7answers
75k 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 ...
157
votes
107answers
52k 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 ...
145
votes
8answers
59k views

How do I disable Chrome's two-finger back/forward navigation?

In dev builds of Chrome, they've implemented, refined, and released two-finger swipes left/right in order to browse back/forward in the browser history. Unfortunately, you can accidentally trigger it ...
140
votes
8answers
75k views

How do I remove the Google Chrome notifications bell icon from the Mac OS X menu bar?

Who invited this icon anyway? This bell showed up in my menu bar one day and there's no obvious way to disable it. How do I get rid of it?
139
votes
7answers
56k views

Why isn't iTunes shuffle random?

This is a problem that has bugged me for the last 5 years, across multiple devices, operating systems and installs of iTunes and iPods. I have found that the iTunes shuffle feature does not randomly ...
119
votes
23answers
26k 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 ...
116
votes
6answers
54k views

How can I trigger a Notification Center notification from an AppleScript or shell script?

I'd love to be able to take advantage of 10.8's Notification Center features in AppleScripts and shell scripts I write. Is there a built-in command or a third-party library I can use from either an ...
110
votes
57answers
21k views

What tiny thing in iOS 5 makes you smile, or has caught you off guard?

iOS 5 is here! Geofencing, new Voices in Voice Command/Siri, and Notification Center for all! We all know how heartfelt iOS makes you seem (Cards), how much control it gives you for managing your ...
102
votes
4answers
39k 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: ...
96
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 ...
89
votes
24answers
102k 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 ...
84
votes
2answers
558k views

How to find wifi password on my mac which is already connected

I need to find the password for my wifi network into which I'm already connected to. I'm using MacBook Pro with OSX Lion. Any guidance please.
84
votes
4answers
39k views

git auto-complete for *branches* at the command line?

On my linux machine I have autocomplete for branches with git. [Note we are talking about git branch completion, not bash completion (e.g. commands, files, etc). Thus NOT lane's answer at all] For ...
83
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 ...
82
votes
13answers
28k 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 ...
82
votes
16answers
61k views

Why is Git not found after installing OS X Lion?

I just upgraded to OS X Lion and now cannot initialize Git where it used to work fine: $ git add . -bash: git: command not found I'm new to Git and to programming, so I'm sure it's a quick fix, ...
82
votes
8answers
180k 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 ...
81
votes
9answers
58k 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.)
81
votes
16answers
76k views

Is there a Mac OS X Terminal version of the “free” command in Linux systems?

On Linux, I often use the free command to see the current amount of free and used memory in the system. For example: $ free total used free shared buffers cached ...
80
votes
7answers
54k views

What is the difference between iTerm2 and Terminal?

I keep hearing that iTerm2 is much better than Terminal. I downloaded iTerm2 today and played around with it, but I couldn't see what is so much better about iTerm2. iTerm2 seemed just like Terminal. ...
79
votes
8answers
48k 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 ...
79
votes
7answers
287k 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 ...
78
votes
3answers
33k views

What are pros and cons for MacPorts, Fink and Homebrew?

I'm just migrating from Ubuntu Linux to Mac, and everything is new and I'm re-learning a lot of stuff. On Linux I had the excellent apt-get to manage software packages. I googled for an alternative ...
78
votes
9answers
164k 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 ...
75
votes
6answers
79k views

What is installd, and why is it eating my CPU?

My Macbook is frying my lap, and the CPU monitor is going crazy: over 200% CPU being used by something called "installd". What is it? Can I kill it? (OS X 10.8.)
74
votes
5answers
125k 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?
74
votes
5answers
22k 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 ...
74
votes
10answers
60k views

How to change the default behaviour of the fullscreen/maximize button?

There is a question that deals with the different behaviour of the fullscreen button in the window bar. There, it is shown that by doing: ⌥ + ⇧ + Click on green or outer right icon (plus icon) I can ...
73
votes
9answers
44k 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. ...
70
votes
13answers
63k 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 ...
69
votes
13answers
72k 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 ...
67
votes
3answers
24k views

Why does Numbers hide a huge PNG file in exported Excel sheets?

OK, this is a weird one. I take my blank Numbers sheet: ...and export it to Excel: Whoah, that seems a little large. Let's rename the Excel doc to .zip and have a look inside: Digging a ...
67
votes
3answers
8k views

Can I disable the Lion animation when switching to/from fullscreen apps?

In Lion there is an animation when switching to and from full screen applications. Full screen apps are great, especially on a 11" screen, but this animation is getting very annoying. Is there a way ...
66
votes
4answers
109k views

How does iMessage know that the recipient is an iOS 5 device?

When you send a message using the Messages app, iOS seems to magically figure out that the recipient is on iOS 5 and automatically switches over to iMessage (blue messages instead of green SMSs). ...
65
votes
15answers
81k views

What file comparison tool can I use under OS X?

My favorite file comparison tool was Beyond Compare but since I recently switched to OS X, i'm no longer able to use it and I'm looking for an alternative, preferably a free one. Update: I made the ...
64
votes
6answers
52k views

How to remove unused MacPorts packages?

Whenever I install a program via MacPorts, it gets and installs lots of dependencies. When I uninstall said program, how do I make MacPorts recursively remove all unused dependencies with it?
62
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I get back Snow-Leopard-like application hiding (Cmd-H) in Lion?

Till Mac OS X Snow Leopard, pressing ⌘+H while using an application did two things... The application hid itself from view. The application placed itself at the end of the ⌘+⇥ ...
61
votes
7answers
27k 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 ...
60
votes
9answers
27k 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. Me being the lazy person that I am, just transferred everything from my home directory to /var/root. I'm not too sure of ...
60
votes
12answers
89k views

How do I turn off App Store notifications in Mountain Lion

The App Store on Mountain Lion pushes update notifications through Notification Center. Unfortunately, this also happens for users that are not system administrators (and so cannot run the App Store). ...
59
votes
9answers
115k views

Why doesn't .bashrc run automatically?

I put some alias commands in my .bashrc file, so that they might be loaded everytime I open a new Terminal window. Yet this doesn't happen. I have to select run script: in the ...
58
votes
2answers
82k views

How can I create a symbolic link in Terminal?

What command is used to create a symbolic link/soft link?
58
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a way to rename “Remaining” to “Apple Juice Remaining”?

On a MacBook Pro, is there a way to change the text in the battery life drop down? Specifically, where it says "X:XX Remaining" I want it to say "X:XX of Apple Juice Remaining" Why? Because a good ...
57
votes
13answers
52k views

How can I open a Terminal window directly from my current Finder location?

I was wondering if there was any was I could right click inside any instance of a "Finder" window such that I have an option that says "Open Terminal Here". It would be really helpful.
56
votes
6answers
35k 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 ...

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