how to

How to tweak the Mac's display settings for better visual accessibility

A few weeks ago a customer came in to the Apple reseller store I spend my weekends working in. She was a long time Mac user who'd had an older Mac and recently upgraded. But ever since she got her new Mac, she'd been experiencing powerful headaches that made it all but impossible to use the computer. Could anything be done to fix it? It turns out that we found some solutions that worked great — and they're built right in to the operating system.

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How to enable and disable notification banners on the Mac

OS X's Notification Center puts you in touch with what's happening on your Mac and elsewhere in the world — displaying banners, alerts, badge notifications and lock screen notifications to let you know what's going on. Notification banners — those little bubbles of information that appear in the upper right corner of your screen — can be helpful but they can also be distracting, so here's how you can turn them off.

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How to enable and disable notification sounds on your Mac

Sometimes it's best for your Mac to be seen and not heard. Applications and services often make a sound associated with their notification, but did you know that sound can be deactivated? Here's how.

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How to move your iPhone and iPad backups to an external drive

If you sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on your Mac, you know that the first thing iTunes does is back it up (unless you've told it not to). Depending on the size of your device and how much data you have stored on it, this can gobble up dozens of gigabytes of space. Did you know you can move those backups to an external hard drive? You can, and we can walk you through how.

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How to enable and disable notification badges on the Mac

Badges are those app notifications that show you that something is waiting for you — maybe a to-do list item is due, or maybe you have a new email. Sometimes badges can be helpful. Other times they can be really irritating. Here's how to activate them and deactivate them.

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How to turn off Lock screen notifications in OS X Mavericks

OS X Mavericks introduced notifications to Mac's lock screen. Here's how to turn them off, and why it matters.

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How to move your Mac's iTunes library to an external drive

If your iTunes library has grown beyond what you can or are willing to sacrifice on your Mac's internal hard disk, there are a couple of things you can do. You can move it to the cloud, using Apple's iTunes Match service, or, if you're not comfortable doing that, you can move it to an external disk. Here's how.

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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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