how to

How to downgrade from Yosemite to Mavericks

Installed Yosemite developer preview and regretting it? Downgrade to Mavericks by following these instructions

You've installed a developer preview of OS X Yosemite, and you didn't take my previous advice to partition your hard drive. Now you're in a pickle: For whatever reason, you need to downgrade to Mavericks. How do you do it? Let's take a look.

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How to set up a complete backup strategy for your Mac: Time Machine, cloning, and the cloud!

Make sure to have multiple backup strategies to make sure you never lose a file

It's one thing to back up your Mac. It's another thing to have a coherent backup strategy that includes local and off-site components. That makes sure you're never more than a few minutes from recovering in the event of a critical failure or problem. In this how to, we'll look at how to set up just such a routine using a combination of backup strategies .

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How to tell if your Mac has Bluetooth 4.0 (BT LE)

Some features coming to iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are dependent on Bluetooth 4.0. Does your Mac have what it takes?

There are a lot of cool features coming to iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite this fall. One of the most hotly anticipated is Handoff, which enables you to pick up where you left off in an email, a document and other work between iOS and OS X devices. Handoff is elegantly choreographed dance between devices, operating systems and protocols. It's partly dependent on Bluetooth 4.0, the most recent widespread deployment of the popular short-distance wireless communication protocol, which includes Bluetooth Low Energy (BT LE). So, how can you tell if your Mac is properly equipped to take advantage of it?

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How to partition your Mac to test OS X Yosemite

Installing Yosemite? It's a beta. Put it somewhere it's not likely to cause problems — here's how

Regardless of whether you're using the Developer Preview or the forthcoming public beta, bear in mind that OS X Yosemite is beta software. It's best not to install it as the primary operating system on your only Mac, so here are instructions for making a new partition to run it from.

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How to unhide your /Users directory in 10.9.3

The new Mavericks update, 10.9.3, has taken away some people's ability to see their /Users directory. Here's how to fix it

Mavericks has been updated to 10.9.3, and a peculiar thing has happened to some people who have applied the update: Their /Users directory has gone missing. More specifically, it's been hidden. Unhiding it isn't a big deal, though it does require you to use a utility that many Mac users never go near: Terminal, the command line interface for OS X.

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How to reset your Mac to prepare it for sale

Selling your Mac? Clean it up first by reformatting the hard drive and installing a fresh copy of OS X. Here's how

If you're getting ready to sell your Mac, you need to prepare it to get ready to hand it off to its new owner. That means some housekeeping on your part to make the Mac tidy and ready for its new home.

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How to use Mac Recovery System to restore Mavericks

If your Mac can't boot up, don't panic. The built-in Recovery System can get you up and running

A flashing question mark or flashing globe on boot is one of the scariest sights imaginable to a Mac user. It means that the Mac is not finding the system software it needs to continue booting. You're not doing anything else on this Mac until this is fixed.

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How to easily backup (and restore) using Backblaze or CrashPlan

Backing up with Time Machine? That may not be enough. Time to think about offsite backup, too

Time Machine or another similar tool for OS X should be your first line of backup defense for your Mac. You should always have a way to recover if you delete an important file or if your hard drive fails. But backup hard drives can go bad, even the one in Apple's Time Capsule. What's more, if you have a major catastrophe, like a major robbery, house fire or natural disaster, you may not be able to restore from that backup. What do you do then? One solution is to use an offsite backup service. Backblaze and CrashPlan are two of the more popular services available for Mac users.

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How to set up and use Do Not Disturb mode on iPhone and iPad

While Notification Center is a great way to make sure you never miss an alert, there are some times when you might not want to hear the beeping and the buzzing that typically comes with them. Enter Do Not Disturb. With Do Not Disturb, your iPhone or iPad will keep collecting all your alerts but will do so quietly. Whether you're in a meeting, at a romantic dinner, or simply trying to get a good night's sleep, Do Not Disturb will make sure you can talk, eat, or sleep in peace and quiet, and still find all your alerts waiting for you when you're ready.

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How to install a fresh copy of OS X on your Mac

Most of the time you'll never have to worry about having to install a new operating system on your Mac - the one that's on there should work fine through thick and thin. But every once in a while you might want or need to - here are step by step instructions for making it happen.

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