Mac Tips

How I saved 140 GB of hard disk space using iTunes Match

Have a large iTunes library? Consider getting it off your hard drive and into the cloud

Ever since I started using Macs with SSDs, I've become keenly aware of how much storage space I use. Over the years I've built up a great library of archived articles I've written, files I've saved, applications, and media.

But it's mostly music. Music occupied a huge amount of storage space on my Mac until fairly recently. Here's how I got rid of it using iTunes Match, and without losing the music.

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How to rip DVDs on OS X and get movies onto your Mac media server

Getting video from a DVD to your Mac isn't quite as easy as iTunes makes it for audio CDs, but we'll show you how

Part of setting up a Mac as your media server involves making it easy to access your media. For most of us, media includes movies and TV shows. And many of us have collected our favorites on DVDs over the years. Let's look at how to get video from the DVD to your Mac in a way that will make it much more convenient for you to access next time.

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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 easily back up and restore your Mac with Time Machine on OS X Mavericks

Time Machine is OS X's built-in backup software. It was introduced with OS X 10.5 "Leopard" and has been there ever since. If you've never used it, please start. Time Machine is absolutely the easiest way to back up your Mac, and is great for recovering individual files you've deleted or restoring your entire hard drive in the event of a catastrophe.

In this how to, I'm going to cover two aspects of using Time Machine - how to set it up initially and how to restore individual files. You can also use Time Machine to restore the entire contents of your hard drive with your OS X Recovery Partition.

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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 find and delete duplicate files on your Mac

No one likes to find themselves running out of hard drive space on their Mac. Weeding through files and deciding what to delete and what to keep is a painful process and one that none of us likes. One of the biggest causes of wasted space are duplicate files. Luckily there are a few easy ways to locate them and clear them out, in turn saving yourself some valuable disk space. Here's how!

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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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How to get back gigabytes of Mac disk space by deleting unused Steam games

Recently my 13 year old son wanted to install some new software on his Mac but found that he didn't have a lot of disk space. Surprising, given that his Mac mini came with a 320 GB hard drive. So we did some snooping around and discovered the culprit: dozens of gigabytes of space taken up with games that were installed using Valve's Steam software. We deleted what he wasn't using and freed up more than 80 GB! Here's how you can do the same.

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How to use Remote Disc in Mavericks

The CD/DVD drive is almost a thing of the past on the Mac - only one current Mac model includes one (the "standard" 13-inch MacBook Pro). If you need an optical drive but don't have an external handy, you may still be in luck thanks to a feature of OS X called Remote Disc. Here's how it works.

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