All items in the category "Tips & Tricks"

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How to avoid going full screen in OS X Yosemite

You're no longer a slave to this full screen window behavior. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

You’re no longer a slave to this full screen window behavior. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

As of OS X Yosemite, the little green button in the upper left-hand corner of all your apps and windows has recently undergone a change in function. Instead of maximizing or re-sizing the windows, as in all previous versions of OS X, now the green button will take your window or app full screen.

If you’re tired of going full screen every time you click the green button, here’s how to avoid the screen take over.

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Quick tip will speed Mac data recovery and save you from heartache

Passwords can lock you out, too. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Passwords can lock you out, too. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Let me save you a huge headache — don’t set an EFI password on your Mac unless you have the original receipt for that machine.

If you buy your Mac off Craigslist, like I did, and your daughter writes half a novel for her high school class but never backs it up elsewhere (note – always back up your stuff!), and then her MacBook Air suddenly won’t boot up, the EFI password the previous owner put on the laptop will prevent you or Apple from accessing the hard drive or ever using the computer again.

Hypothetically, of course.

If you don’t want to have to tell your daughter she loses her computer and will need to wait a week while you find a way to connect her SSD to another Mac and find her files, disable that EFI password now.

Here’s how.

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Make your Mac safer for your kids

Parental control 1

Keep your kids safe with these handy tips!

Keeping your kids safe on your computer is one of the more important things you can focus on as a parent. Mac OS X has a great tool built right in to do just that: Parental Controls.

It’s fairly easy to set up Parental Controls on Mac, but if you need a quick hand at making them work for you, our video will walk you through the process.

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How to use a PS4 controller with your Mac

Get your game on -- wirelessly -- with a PS4 controller and your Mac. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Get your game on — wirelessly — with a PS4 controller and your Mac. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Now just might be the best time ever to be a Mac gamer, as a ton of big titles for PC and console are also available for Apple computers via the Mac App Store, Steam or GoG.com. It’s a golden era of cross-platform goodness, and it’s easier than ever to find a game you’ll love on the Mac.

Some of today’s hot titles demand a good controller, though. One of the best is Sony’s DualShock 4 controller (the same one that comes with the PlayStation 4). If you’ve got one, you’ve got easy access to a fantastic, ergonomic and just plain great gaming controller that will work with your Mac, requiring very little setup to make it happen.

Here’s our recipe for great wireless Mac gaming.

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Create a more secure iPhone passcode with special characters

Make your iPhone even more secure with special characters. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Make your iPhone even more secure with special characters. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Sure, you’ve got Touch ID set up on your iPhone 6, but you’ll still need a passcode to keep your iPhone secure. If you have an older iPhone without Touch ID, or your fingerprint isn’t recognized for any reason, you’ll need to fall back on a passcode.

If you want to make your passcode even more secure, try using our recipe for a code with special characters instead of a simple number-based solution.

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How to get all the awesome extra sounds for GarageBand 10

All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you dig creating fresh beats and smooth grooves on your Mac, you’ll likely love GarageBand. It’s a fantastic bit of musical creation kit for anyone, regardless of native ability or experience. You can use loops to make new songs, play your own music with MIDI keyboards–even make your own ringtones for your iPhone. It’s quite versatile.

When you download GarageBand from the Mac App Store, you’ll immediately get 50 sounds, 500 loops, 1 drummer, and 2 basic lessons for guitar and piano. Likely, though, you want the full package, which is available as a free download that expands the content to 200 sounds, 2,000 loops, 15 drummers, and 40 basic lessons for guitar and piano.

Here’s how to get it.

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How to mark all iMessages as read on your iPhone

Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of unread iMessages on your iPhone and tapping through them all just to get rid of your app badge anxiety seems like a bit too much effort.

Apple has your back, though, with a nicely designed way to mark all your iMessages as read. It might not be apparent at first glance where to find this magic trick. Here’s how.

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Hidden iOS 8 trick lets you change words to ALL CAPS with a tap

Shouting can be an important part of your internet experience. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Shouting can be an important part of your internet experience. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Sometimes you just need to emphasize something. One of the best ways to do so when you’re texting is to make the words you really need to get across in all capitals. Or maybe you just want to shout at someone, and an ALL CAPS sentence will certainly get that across for you.

Before now, I’ve always just deleted the word I was trying to emphasize and re-typed it after double-tapping the Shift key in iOS (for Caps Lock). Now, however, it looks like you can change the case of the word after you’ve typed it without deleting anything.

Here’s how.

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Hide iOS QuickType bar and free up screen space

QuickType just might be cramping your style. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

QuickType just might be cramping your style. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Got an iPhone 6 or smaller? You might be feeling a little cramped for space on your screen due to iOS 8’s new word-prediction system.

That little gray bar that sits just above your iOS keyboard is called the QuickType bar, and it’s where all the auto-correct and typing suggestions appear when you’re sending an email, typing a note or iMessaging with someone. The suggestions are based on your past conversations, which lets QuickType take your writing style into account. It even keeps track of who you’re writing to, since your word choice is typically tied to your conversation partner.

If you want to hide it because you need more space on your screen, you can do so in any of three ways. You can also bring it back if you’ve inadvertently hidden it and don’t know where it went.

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How to eject a stubborn disc from your Mac

How to eject a stubborn disc from your Mac

There’s a ton of reasons why a disc may get stuck in your Mac. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also bring you into a cold sweat — panicking about how to remove it when there’s no easy access.

But don’t worry: in today’s video we go over a few simple tricks to force eject your favorite album or movie without ripping apart your beautiful Mac.

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