All items in the category "Tips & Tricks"

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How to use your MacBook in closed-clamshell mode

Save yourself some desk space with this closed MacBook mode. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Save yourself some desk space with this closed MacBook mode. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I was setting up my MacBook Pro with Retina display to work with a new external monitor today, thinking that when I connected to the monitor via HDMI and closed the lid, I’d see the display up on the new monitor.

I was disappointed when I saw absolutely nothing up on my new monitor, so I went searching to find out how to make it work. Is it a special setting in the System Preferences? I haven’t had an external monitor for a while, now; maybe things are more complex.

Luckily for me (and you!), it turned out to be much simpler to make happen. Here’s the recipe.

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Even more essential Mac keyboard shortcuts

So many shortcuts, save a little time. Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr CC

So many shortcuts, save a little time. Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr CC

There are a ton of Mac keyboard shortcuts to make your digital life easier and more productive. Last week, we showed you 10 of the best shortcuts to keep in mind when using your Mac, and you responded with even more.

Here are Cult of Mac readers’ suggestions for even more fantastic Mac keyboard shortcuts.

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Become a Safari search master with quick iOS tip

Searching within Safari pages is pretty easy, but well-hidden. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

Searching within Safari pages is pretty easy, but well-hidden. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

On the Mac, it’s super-easy to search for a word or phrase within the currently loaded page. You simply hit Command-F on your keyboard and Safari, Chrome or any other web browser will open up a little field to type your search terms into.

But what about when you’re using mobile Safari on your iPhone or iPad? How do you find a specific word or phrase there?

It’s pretty simple, but not super-intuitive. Here’s our recipe for finding search terms on your iPhone’s version of Safari.

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Top 10 keyboard shortcuts every Mac user should know

Using these simple keyboard tricks will make your life so much better. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Using these simple keyboard tricks will make your life so much better. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Mastering a few crucial Mac keyboard shortcuts will make using your Apple computer easier and much more efficient. Cutting your reliance on your mouse will help you work more quickly, and you’ll undoubtedly impress your family, friends and co-workers to no end. You might end up becoming the go-to Mac person in your office, and we all know how wonderful that will be.

Here are the top 10 Mac keyboard shortcut tricks you really need to memorize right now, whether you’re a Mac newbie or a veteran user who still uses the mouse for everything out of habit.

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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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