Mac Tips

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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How to use Help in Mavericks: A new Mac user's best friend

Macs have long had the reputation of being computers that you don't need hefty manuals to use. That's true, but that's not to say that documentation has no place on the Mac - it's just built in these days, thanks to a core feature of OS X Mavericks called Help. It's a menu that's often ignored, and it shouldn't be - even for experienced Mac users.

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How to turn off Smart Quotes in Mavericks

If you do a lot of writing, especially with system-level utilities like TextEdit, you may have noticed a change in the way OS X Mavericks handles text. By default, Mavericks keeps "smart quotes" on. This isn't optimal behavior, so here's a quick guide to turn them off.

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How to turn off autocorrection in OS X Mavericks

By default, OS X Mavericks turns on autocorrection. If you're a bad speller then this can come in handy and save you hours of embarrassment in e-mails and other documentation. It can also be an annoyance. I type fast and make mistakes, and some of the time Mavericks is able to correct my mistakes properly. Other times it guesses wrong, substituting words that I've mistyped with something else entirely. If you're having that problem, here's how to turn off autocorrection in Mavericks.

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