Time Machine is foolproof backup software made by Apple, baked right into the Mac. Time Machine makes recovering from big problems easy because it keeps a snapshot of your Mac and makes it a breeze to migrate to a new Mac when the time comes to replace or upgrade your system.
Time Machine works with external hard drives. To get it to work, flip the switch in System Preference, tell it where to start backing up, and let it do its thing. As long as that drive is connected or that Time Capsule is on the network, your Mac will be backed up. The Help menu is so obvious that most of us overlook it altogether. But we do so at our peril because it can be a huge help. Clicking on the Help menu will bring up a search field, table of contents, lists of shortcuts, and other helpful tips and step-by-step instructions, often with visual cues to show you which menus to click on and what menu items to select.
Force quit will immediately quit a stubborn application, so you can restart your computer and get back to business. Apple set up the Mac App Store as a convenient and safe way to download software for your Mac, all using the same Apple ID and password you use for Music and iPhones apps. The Mac App Store is much more important than just as a way to download great new apps for your Mac. To keep your Mac running in tip-top shape and to keep everything as secure as possible, download updates when you see notifications from the Mac App Store or set apps to automatically update like on your iPhone.
On the M1 Macs, you can even install iPhone and iPad apps. In the past, you had to download and install drivers and software, but the Mac makes it a way easier to set up. Built right into macOS, Spotlight helps you quickly find things on your computer: documents, apps, images, contacts, maps, and files. Clicking on it brings up the Spotlight search field, and typing anything into the search field will cause Spotlight to start working.
Or you can hold down the command key on your keyboard and press the space bar, and Spotlight will appear. Once you get the hang of it, using Spotlight is the fastest way to launch apps, find documents, and do tons of other stuff really quickly. You can tailor your Dock to show you only the apps you care about. Your iPhone needs to be running iOS 8. If you have tons of iMessage conversations going on at any given time like we do, it can be extremely easy to lose track of who said what, where and when, which is especially true if you regularly use multi-people chats and mix work and pleasure.
Ever since OS X Yosemite, however, you can name group chats by clicking Details at the top right, then typing a name at the top. With Yosemite, you can now record whatever happens on the screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, which isn't just useful for developers to show off the apps and games they build, but can also be great for things like creating little tutorials or even just recording a bug so you can help a developer or a company fix it.
The chose New Movie Recording from the File menu and then, if it's not already selected for you, choose your connected iOS device as the 'camera' source from the drop-down menu next to the record button. Choose whether you want to record sound either from a built-in or external mic, or the audio the iOS device itself is producing from the same menu, then click the record icon. When you use the volume up and down keys on your Mac's keyboard, the difference between one tap and the next can actually be pretty big — especially if you're driving some meaty external speakers.
Up to six people in the same family can share purchases through the macOS Family Sharing feature. It's easy to set up, too. If you need more help with Family Sharing generally, check here , or if you just want to get started sharing purchases, go to here. Also, you must be signed in to iCloud on both devices using the same Apple ID. This lets you connect the two devices wirelessly. To use a wired connection, simply connect the two with a compatible cable.
Once the two are connected, whether wirelessly or via cable, the Sidecar icon will replace Airplay icon on the menu bar. And there you go! You can now use your iPad as a secondary display. Just remember, to take advantage of this feature, you must have a Mac computer released in or later and an Apple pencil compatible iPad model. Just hold Option and click the volume adjuster in the menu bar or press on one of the volume buttons on your keyboard. This will bring up a list of audio inputs and outputs.
You can then select the one you want. It used to be the case that the only files you could store on iCloud were from specially-built apps such as Apple's iWork suite, but now we have the upgraded iCloud Drive in macOS Sierra. Now, in macOS High Sierra, you can chuck any file you like onto either the Desktop or Documents folder, in addition to the iCloud Drive icon in the Finder sidebar, and those files and folders will be synced automatically.
All those files will sync to other Macs signed in with your Apple ID so long as you've enabled iCloud Drive on them and will also be available through icloud. On iOS, apps that can use iCloud will usually default to opening files from their special folder, but should also allow you to browse through your entire iCloud Drive to open files stored elsewhere. You might find that occasionally when you close your MacBook's lid or pick Sleep from the Apple menu on your iMac or Mac mini that it resolutely refuses to go to sleep.
Click this column header to sort by it and then you can easily find which apps are keeping your Mac awake, then quit them if necessary. There's a really cool, badly understood feature in Safari since Yosemite: the ability quickly to search within specific sites right from Safari's search bar. How it works is this: let's say you go to amazon. Now, what Safari can do is look at that URL and work out that it's a search and, just like you could, realize that if you wanted to search Amazon for 'iMac' instead of 'MacBook', then rather than waiting for the amazon.
See that last word in the URL change? To make that happen, all you have to do is type 'amazon iMac' into Safari's search bar and then you'll see one of the options is 'Search amazon. You have to do a search — any search — in a site first before Safari can recognize the syntax for a search string, but when you do, you'll see the sites listed in the Search tab of Safari's preferences.
You can even type just a part of the target site's URL. So long as you've searched once on Wikipedia, for example, you can type 'wiki apple' and you'll see the option to search Wikipedia for "apple". Whether because you suddenly realise you've left a dodgy tab open on an iPad you've just handed to a colleague or because it's just flat-out easier to go through and close a bunch of tabs on your Mac rather than on an iOS device, you should know that you can close tabs open on any device signed into your Apple ID from Safari since Yosemite.
Click the icon that looks like two overlapping squares in Safari or choose Show All Tabs from the View menu and you'll see all your open tabs on all your devices. Hover over each and you'll see a close button you can click.
This also works from iOS to Mac; swipe right to left on a cloud tab in its tab view and tap Delete; that tab will then be closed on the Mac. You can easily send someone your contact details either by doing it the old-fashioned way of dragging a contact card out of the Contacts app and then attaching it to an email, say, or by using the new Share commands since Yosemite, but the problem with this basic method is that you might have information on your card you don't want others to have.
For example, you might have defined a relationship with your spouse so that on your iPhone you can say "send a message to my wife" without having to specify who you mean, and you might want to keep that information private for security reasons. Now, it's easy. In Contacts' preferences, click vCard then Enable private me card. Now, when you go to your Me card in Contacts — and you might have to define one first — and click Edit, you get a series of checkboxes next to each field to show whether it would be included when you share a card.
The iPhone comes with a feature that enables it to share its 3G or 4G mobile broadband connection with other devices though this must be allowed by your network operator , making it perfect for getting your Mac online wherever you are. To begin, go to the Personal Hotspot option in the iPhone's Settings menu, and turn it on. To connect using USB, plug your iPhone into your Mac and you should get a dialog that takes you to the Network section in System Preferences, from which you can select the iPhone.
It can be annoying having to wait for someone else to print out large documents when you're in a hurry, so use this tip to minimize the wait if you have access to more than one printer. You can then select this Pool from the print dialogue in apps instead of your individual printers, and if one printer is in use, your Mac will automatically send the document to one that's free instead — no waiting!
It's pretty common for members of a family or a shared house to want to share their music, movies and TV shows with each other, and you can do this easily with Home Sharing. Otherwise, everyone will be able to access it. Network printers are massively useful, letting anyone on your network print wirelessly, but if you've got a great printer already connected to one Mac and don't want to replace it, you can still get the same convenience.
This will bring up a screen where you can select the printer to share, and specify who can use it, if necessary. Once this is set up, any Mac on the network can access that printer from the print dialogue, though the Mac the printer is connected to must be turned on. AirPlay is Apple's technology for streaming audio and video around your house, and it's available on both iOS devices and Macs. Most Macs can stream audio to AirPlay speakers, while newer Macs can also mirror their displays to an Apple TV, letting you show something on the big screen.
For basic AirPlay output from Apple Music and TV, you just need to click its symbol — the rectangle with the triangle cutting into it and choose where you want to send the music. If you want all of your system audio to come from the speakers instead of just music, though, hold Option and press a volume control key to open the Sound preferences, where you can choose an output or use the Menu bar tip we already mentioned. To start mirroring your screen, select it, then click on the name of your Apple TV.
As you probably know, you can add multiple users to your Mac, so that every person in your home or office, say, can have their own space to work and to set things up how they like them. But there's another kind of account you can turn on: a Guest account. Anyone can use it - no password needed - but once they're finished everything they do will be wiped. This is great not just for Macs in foyers or spare rooms, say, but it's also great for if a friend or colleague says, "Can I just borrow your Mac for a minute to do something?
That way you can be sure nobody will be able to access your stuff, but when they try to use your Mac they'll be offered the option of switching user and can then pick Guest. The Parental Controls in OS X are simple, but there are plenty of options in there — some of which are useful for other things than preventing underage access. You can limit computer use to a certain length of time every day, set a 'bedtime' after which users won't be able to use the computer, limit the functions of the Finder, limit what apps that user can use and more.
You could, for example, disallow a nervous computer user from modifying the Dock or changing their password. It used to be in Safari that if you wanted to delete caches and history, you only had the nuclear option: nix everything. Since Yosemite, though, when you choose Clear History and Website Data from the History menu of Safari, you get the option of covering your tracks by clearing data from the last hour, today, today and yesterday or, as before, from all time.
Email isn't really meant for file transfer, but — let's be honest — we all do it. Problem is, many email providers flat-out won't let you send attachments over a particular size often only a few megabytes so sending large files over email is usually a no-no.
With Mail since Yosemite, though and in fact with the webmail version of Mail at icloud. What in fact happens is that the attachment really gets uploaded to iCloud, and then a link is sent to your recipient where they have 30 days from which to download it. Some apps have more menu bar options than you can hope to keep track of, but instead of searching through each drop-down list manually, you can use the last Help menu to speed things up. It contains a search box, where you can type in the name of the option you're looking for.
Results come up underneath it, and hovering over a result will show you which menu it's in, or you can just click the result to select it. Don't forget that, if you have a modern Mac that has Bluetooth 4. The quickest way to do this is to right-click on the file you want to send then pick AirDrop from the Messages fly-out menu, then pick the device you want to send it to.
But, there's more! You can be quite flexible when it comes to windows in OS X or macOS — not only can you drag from any side to resize them these days, but you can also hold Option to resize them from two sides at once the one you're dragging and the opposite one , or hold Shift to resize it while keeping it locked to the same proportions. And while we're talking about windows, if you want to move any that are in the background without bringing them to the fore, hold Command and then drag them around.
When you copy text from some applications, and especially from the web, you tend to also copy its formatting, such as the text size, font choice and so on. When you then paste this into some text fields, such as in an email, it looks out of place, and can make things hard to read.
If there are certain apps that you'll always want to have open when you start up your Mac, you can set this up in System Preferences. Go to Users, make sure your user account is highlighted, then click Login Items. Be careful when doing this, though, as having a lot of programs running when you start up your Mac can really slow it down.
If you find your Mac is running slow, or the fans are kicking in when you don't appear to be doing anything too intensive, you can see if you can identify what's causing it.
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