how to

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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How to span a window between two displays in Mavericks

If you use OS X Mavericks with multiple displays, you may have noticed a change in the system's behavior since you upgraded: You now get docks and menus in each window. But there's a drawback: you can't display a single window between multiple displays anymore. Either the app window is on one display or the other, but never both. Here's a handy tip for restoring that functionality, for anyone who misses it from Mountain Lion.

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How to reset Launchpad in Mavericks

Launchpad is the application launcher that Apple has included in OS X since Lion was released in 2011. It makes it dead easy to find and launch applications on your Mac, regardless of where they're installed. Apps you've installed using the Mac App Store are really easy to remove - you just click and hold the icon, similar to what you'd do on the Springboard interface of an iOS device.

But apps you've downloaded elsewhere can be a bit trickier. Occasionally, the database that Launchpad uses can get corrupted, and you may find links to "dead" apps that are no longer installed, or missing apps that you know are on your Mac. Here's how to fix that problem:

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