how to

How to access any Mac system preference in one click

Want to make a quick change to any System Preference setting? No need to open the System Preferences app, just click it from the Dock. Here's how!

Apple guru Dave Marra recently tweeted a great Mac tip that I'm going to share with you. Make sure to check out his Marrathon.com site for more great Mac tips.

I have to admit that I'm totally ashamed I didn't know this until just the other day, because Marra tells me it's been around since OS X 10.7 Lion.

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How to keep your Mac safe from adware like Genio and Installmac

Sluggish page loading, redirected web searches, popups you can't explain? Your Mac may be infected with adware, says a retail Mac expert.

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Mac Help: Master Yosemite's Privacy settings

Security is on everyone's mind these days. How secure is your Mac? Can other people figure out where you are? What apps have access to your most important data? Read on to understand how Yosemite's Privacy settings are configured, and how to master them.

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Ten ways to pester and delight your friends on iMessage

Last week, Ally somewhat accidentally discovered that if you change an iMessage's group name on your computer, it changes the name for everyone on the thread. It not only led to some pretty hilarious griefing for our other co-workers, but got me thinking about other ridiculous tricks and trolls for making iMessage conversations a little more — shall we say — interesting. So here are ten ridiculous games, tricks, and other nonsense to keep you and your friends laughing throughout the day.

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Mac Help: Creating a guest network

C Webber writes:

What's the best way to limit [a guest's] access to my Wi-Fi?

Here's the scenario: A friend or relative is visiting and wants Internet access, which you're happy to provide. But for whatever reason, you have misgivings about giving them open access to everything else on your home network. What should you do? There's a solution, if you have an AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, or Time Capsule of relatively recent (2009-later) vintage.

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How to resize multiple Finder columns at once in OS X Yosemite

Column view is a handy way to look at large collections of files in the Finder. It's my go-to default when I want to arrange contents of Finder windows in easy-to-track lists. I like to reset the column width, however, and I've discovered a handy trick to reset it across an entire window.

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How to change your Mac's Call Relay ringtone

One of OS X Yosemite's new Continuity features is the ability to accept (and make) phone calls when your iPhone is nearby. Call Relay is an incredibly useful feature, but when all of your devices ring with the same ringtone, it can get distracting. Here's how to give your Mac a distinct ringtone.

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How to batch rename files and photos in OS X Yosemite

Up until OS X Yosemite, it was a pain the butt to batch-rename files.

You either had to do it manually, arduously replacing the file names one by one, download a specialized utility, use some Terminal command-line wizardry, or perhaps resort to a tool like Apple's Automator utility. Not any more, thanks to Yosemite. Here's how!

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How to add tags to your dock in OS X Yosemite

Tags are a powerful yet often underutilized features of OS X Yosemite. With them, you can easily group even disparate files to keep them organized and make them easier to find later. There's even a great way to make your tags easily accessible — put them in the Dock.

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How to view WebM video on your iPhone or iPad

Google's WebM video file format has become nichely popular in the years since its debut. As a royalty-free alternative to H.264 standard, it's used for high-quality-but-low-bandwidth videos on sites like YouTube, Reddit, 4chan, and the like. I'm not going to get into the reasons why people might prefer WebMs to gifs, MP4s, MKVs, or FLVs; frankly, I see it as a personal/site-specific preference. But here's the thing: those people who desperately want to view WebMs on their iPhone? They run into a bit of a snag when using a mobile web browser.

Because Apple's QuickTime player codec doesn't support WebM. That means no WebM videos in Safari, no WebM videos in Chrome (which uses the same WebKit-based rendering engine on iOS), no WebM videos in any third-party browser or any app integrating a web view.

But don't woe over WebM just yet: There's a third-party app to save you from your troubles.

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