how to

How to add or change your Mac's login password

As a matter of basic security, you should frequently change all your passwords: This is especially true of the login password you use to get access to your Mac. If you haven't done it in a while (or perhaps ever), now's the time!

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How to compress a file on your Mac

Compressing archived files can save you gigabytes of precious hard drive or SSD space. What's more, the Mac has built-in file compression that you can access in one click from the Finder.

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How to view info about your Mac

You can't be expected to remember every detail about your Macintosh.

Esoteric details like CPU speed, RAM and storage capacity, and what exact version of the operating system aren't exactly the sort of informational tidbits many of us need to track all the time, let alone other information like your Mac's serial number. But these details can be crucial when it comes time to troubleshoot or get help with your Mac. Fortunately OS X makes it really easy for you to find this out. In fact, it's just a couple of clicks away.

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How to add recently used apps, docs, and more to your Mac's Dock

If you'd like to have instant access to recently used apps, docs, servers and other items from the Dock, some quick command line wizardry in Terminal is the ticket.

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How to view your purchased apps from the Mac App Store

It's easy to view and re-download the apps you've already purchased from the Mac App Store.

If you want to view the apps currently installed on your Mac, you can always open your Applications folder or Launchpad. But what about apps you purchased at one point but deleted, or apps you bought on another Mac? The Mac App Store gives you an easy and convenient way to look at all the apps you've already downloaded, as well as view apps you've deleted or ones you purchased on another Mac.

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How to add spaces to your Mac's Dock using Terminal

Want to better separate the apps within your Dock? Try adding a space to break them up.

OS X Yosemite's Dock gives you a handy way of launching applications that you use the most frequently with a single click. To organize them, you can click and drag them around however you like. What you can't do, at least not directly from within the Dock's preferences, is divide up the apps using an easy visual separator. Fortunately, there's a workaround — if you're comfortable using the Terminal command line.

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How to create a new user account on your Mac

Need to create a new user account on your Mac? It's easy. Just follow these steps.

If a new family member or even a new office co-worker is going to use your Macintosh, you can create a new user account for them in OS X Yosemite. Having separate user accounts means each person who uses the Mac can each have their own settings, like iCloud account information, application preferences, and desktop wallpaper. They can each have their own repository of files and folders. It's the safest way to make sure you're not overwriting or otherwise disturbing each other's files. Here's how to do it.

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How to set a Mac app as the default for specific file types

Double-clicking on a file in the Mac Finder will open it using the default app. But what if you want to change the default?

Over time you may install new apps on your Mac that you prefer using instead of others for certain kinds of files. If you find yourself using the Open with option regularly for a certain kind of file, it may be time to set a new default. This way you can simply double-click to use your program of choice, which is loads more convenient than using right-click menus each and every time.

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How to get notified when someone Messages your name on OS X

Want to get notified when someone talks about you in a group message on Messages on OS X? Here's a tip.

There's nothing more embarrassing than being part of a group conversation and missing some of it because you didn't know they were talking to you. If you'd like to make sure that when someone mentions you, you see it, follow these instruction to get the most out of Messages in OS X Yosemite.

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How to use a PC-formatted drive on the Mac

Macs can easily read PC-formatted hard disk drives. Writing to them, however, is a different story.

If you've switched to the Mac, welcome aboard. Your old external Windows PC drive will work great on the Mac. Apple has built OS X Yosemite and some previous OS X releases with the ability to read from those disks just fine. If you're using such a drive and you'd like to write new data to them, you'll find you can't unless you add new software. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a dime.

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