OS X tips

Make your Mac safer online: Five tips for better password security

Gotofail. Heartbleed. Target. Sony's PlayStation Network. The NSA. It seems like every few weeks, there's a new story circulating in the news about major security breach concerning systems that you rely on. What can you do to protect yourself?

The bottom line is that attacks do happen, so it's best to try to minimize the risk you face when these services inevitably are breached. Here are some tips to help you stay as safe as possible by changing your password habits.

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Five tips to get even better battery life from your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro

OS X Mavericks software and Haswell chipsets meant Apple could put a lot of emphasis in 2013 to improving battery life and power efficiency in its laptops. But that doesn't mean we can't do better. We can always do better. So here's five suggestions for how to improve the battery life of your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro even more.

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Did zapping Bluetooth fix your Wi-Fi? Let's figure out why

This past week I brought you a tip about fixing Wi-Fi wake from sleep issues on some Mavericks-equipped Macs. The fix involves deleting a file in your Mac's library folder.

Why it works is still beyond my understanding, but suffice it to say that it's fixed the problem for me, as well as for many of you. Now I'd like to take it to the next step to figure out why the problem is happening.

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Having Wi-Fi problems on your Mac running OS X Mavericks? Here's a fix!

As near as I can tell, somewhere along the way after I upgraded to Mavericks, my Retina MacBook Pro stopped working right. It wouldn't reconnect to a Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep. I had to manually reconnect it; often I'd have to toggle Wi-Fi off and on again to make it work. Turns out a wonky Bluetooth preference file was the culprit. I'm still not clear on why. Here's how to fix it.

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Top 10 keyboard shortcuts every new Mac owner needs to know!

If you just picked up your first Mac you may be scratching your head when you look at the keyboard for the first time. It's a little different than the Windows counterpart but that doesn't mean it's any harder to use and navigate. There is no shortage of handy keyboard shortcuts to help you move around OS X as fast and efficiently as possible. Here are the keyboard shortcuts we think every Mac owner should know right from the start:

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How to set your Mac's firmware password (and why you shouldn't)

Want to keep your roommate from posting your nude selfies on Facebook? Concerned that your Mac might fall into the wrong hands? You've already got a secure password on your Mac, maybe even file encryption. What happens if someone boots off an external hard drive?

Setting a firmware password is the solution. It comes with a few consequences and drawbacks, however. Follow along to read about the risks associated with firmware passwords as well as a guide on how to set one for those that think it's still worth it.

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How to quickly pan and zoom in Quick Look on your Mac

Quick Look is a nifty utility that's baked right into OS X that lets you view a preview of a file without actually having to open it. It had some issues when OS X Mavericks was released but updates have since then fixed lag issues. On top of viewing files quickly, you can also pan and zoom with just a single key stroke. Here's how:

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Running out of hard drive space on your Mac? Here's how to fix it!

Running out of hard drive space is incredibly annoying. OS X needs a good amount of free space to function properly so as things get full not only will you be unable to download or transfer large files, you'll start to get panicked warnings from the operating system. While hard drives keep getting bigger and cheaper, solid state drives do not. If you have a 2TB HD in your machine you'll be okay for longer. If you have a 128, 256, or even 512GB SSD, however, things can get full and fast. So what do you do? If you can't or simply don't want to upgrade your HD or SSD drive to something bigger, the first step is identifying what's causing the problem, then figuring out what you get rid of to free back up that precious empty space!

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Getting slow speeds or dropped connections on your Apple AirPort Wi-Fi router? Here's how to fix it!

There are lots of reasons why internet connections can drop randomly or significantly slow down. One of the most common reasons however is interference from something else. Perhaps a neighbor has a router or another device close by that's confusing your AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express. Changing the channel can often fix these issues. Here's how:

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How to restore archived contacts on a Mac

While we never plan on losing our contacts and information, disaster always seems to strike at the most inopportune moments. We've already shown you how to back up the Contacts app on a Mac which is the first step to assuring your contacts are safe. Hopefully you never have to use that backup but if you do, follow along and we'll show you how to get the contacts you've previous archived back on your Mac, safe and sound.

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