The Ultimate Mac User Book
Unveil useful tips, instructions, and apps for a better Mac life.
From basic shortcuts to hidden gems.
Table of Contents
Author and Editor: Tetiana Hanchar
Illustrator: Andrii Hakman
Contributing writers: Misha Berveno and Jane Palash
How to use this book
Welcome to the crowd of Mac enthusiasts! Not The IT Crowd — this book is less fun, we must admit it. But we’ve made every effort to make it useful for you. Whether you have a history with Windows computers and want to make a quick transition to Mac, or you’re looking for tips to upgrade your current workflow, it’s all here.
Here’s how to use The Ultimate Mac User Book to make the most out of it:
Make sure you read Chapter 1 if you’re new to Mac and have never used a Windows OS before.
If you’re switching from Windows — feel free to start with Chapter 2 and then move to Chapter 1 for a deep dive into macOS functionality.
Depending on your interests or profession, navigate through chapters 3-8 to unveil app bundles and tips for specific jobs. In the book, you’ll find ready-to-use workflows for writers, designers, developers, students, as well as people of any profession who want to hit new productivity milestones on Mac.
Chapter 9 covers 20 hacks every seasoned Mac user should be using (but only a few actually do).
If you’re here to solve a specific Mac problem, you can jump right into it.
Every chapter has a detailed table of contents for easy navigation.
The book covers all operating systems developed and released by the time of publishing, the latest being macOS 10.15 Catalina.
Once you go Mac, you never go back. This is true for many people — from creative folks to organization managers, from students to seniors. And we hope this is going to be very true for you once you read this book.
Reliable and intuitive, Macs still require a certain level of tech fluency. The family of Apple’s Macintosh operating systems is very versatile, with tons of features and enhancements built on top of each other. Navigating through all of them can be complicated. Especially if you’re a new user. Especially if you have no time to figure out how things work — you just want them to work. We’ve made a bold attempt to figure it all out and give you the distilled knowledge of macOS.
Hope you learn new Mac secrets and have fun experimenting with the tools mentioned in this guide.
So you got a new Mac
In this chapter:
Set up your Mac step by step The anatomy of Mac’s interfaceThe basics of apps and files managementSync, remove, and recover dataScreen and video recording
- Incremental macOS backup
- Full Mac HD clone backup
- How to clone Mac drive using Restore option of Disk Utility
- How to create a backup with Time Machine
- Using Time Machine on two hard drives
- How to backup a Mac to an external hard drive
- How to move photos library to an external HD
- How to connect multiple external hard drives
- Administrator account
- Create a new account on Mac
- Accounts with limited access
- How to delete a user account
- Rearranging menu items in macOS Sierra or later
- Rearranging menu items in older versions of macOS
- How to remove icons from the menu bar on Mac
- How to add icons to the menu bar on Mac
- How to customize and tidy Mac menu bar
- Change how the date and time are displayed in the menu bar
- How to replace menu bar app icons
- Hide menu bar items
- Using Finder views on Mac
- Organize your desktop with Stacks
- Preview and use Quick Actions (macOS Mojave and later)
How to recover deleted files after emptying the Trash
- How to grab a screenshot on Mac
- Why use a third-party screenshot utility
- Use snipping tool to capture screenshots
- Change where screenshots are saved by default
- Change the default name of a screenshot on Mac
- How to record screen activity in a video
- How to capture screen in animated GIFs
- A quick guide to iCloud
- How to use Dropbox on a Mac
- How to use Google Drive on a Mac
- How to mount cloud storages and web servers locally
- How to use tags to organize files on macOS
- Clutter control: Clean up desktop
- Find files faster
- Project shortcuts
- What about pics organizing?
Setting up your new Mac
Migration Assistant – Apple’s utility for transferring data, user accounts, and settings, native.
iCloud – Apple’s cloud storage for storing photos, music, and any other personal content.
Apple ID – Account Mac users use to access Apple services.FileVault – Disk encryption feature native to macOS.
Siri – Virtual assistant that works with all Apple devices, native.
Apple made it a breeze to set up your new Mac and fall in love with it in the process. Although on-screen instructions are pretty clear, there are lots of small details you might miss at the setup stage. We cover all of them in a comprehensive guide below.
First steps to a seamless experience
So your new, shiny Macintosh is ready to drive. Are you?
Follow the instructions and you’ll be able to use your new Mac in minutes:
- Press the Power button to turn on your Mac.
- Choose a preferred language that will be used system-wide.
- Select a keyboard layout from the ones suggested.
- Choose your Wi-Fi network and enter the password. If you use Ethernet to connect, choose Other Network Options > Ethernet.
- You’ll be given the option to transfer data to your new Mac from PC or another Mac with Migration Assistant. To skip this step, “Don’t transfer any
information now.” More about data migration in a moment.
- To be able to use Siri, Spotlight, Maps, and other location-related services, tick Enable Location Services on this Mac.
- Use your existing Apple ID to sign in – you should have it if you’ve used Apple devices before. In case you didn’t, you’ll be able to create Apple ID when you access iCloud or iTunes for the first time. We’ll guide you through the process of iCloud setup in a few minutes.
- Agree to Terms and Conditions.
- Set up your administrator user account. While creating a password, we recommend to add password hint, so that you could securely recover your account in case of password loss.
- Based on your current location, set the time zone. You can enable data and time to change automatically when your location changes.
- Enable FileVault to allow encrypt the contents of your hard drive.
- If you’re signed in, you can choose to save files from Desktop and Documents in iCloud. Obviously, consider whether you’ll have enough storage.
- Lastly, you can enable Siri, Apple’s native virtual assistant.
Migrate your data to a new MacIf you have personal data on an old device, you can transfer it to a new Mac with Migration Assistant. The program gives you three options – transfer from PC, another Mac, backup or startup disk.
If you transfer from another machine, make sure the two are connected via the same Wi-Fi network or Ethernet cable. Alternatively, connect your new Mac to a Time Machine backup.
On the new Mac, access Migration Assistant in Applications > Utilities. Do the same on your old computer. Note that you’ll have to download Migration Assistant for Windows if you’re transferring from PC. On both machines, choose the way to migrate data. If you see a security code, it should match on both computers.
For transferring from backup, it’s almost the same: Once you connect, you’ll see the list of available backups. Pick the one you want to use and migrate your data.
Depending on how much content you’re transferring, the whole process might take up to a few hours.
Set up iCloud
At the setup, you can activate Find My Mac – a useful feature that allows to track your Mac’s location or lock the device remotely.
While Find My Mac is a part of iCloud, make sure you have it set up. It’s easy to do with your Apple ID:
- Open System Preferences > iCloud.
- Enter your Apple ID to sign in.
- Optionally, tick the apps you want to use with iCloud – like Photos or Notes.
Once you sign in with Apple ID, your iCloud will be turned on, which means you can activate Find My Mac.
Backing up your data
Time Machine – Apple’s default backup program, native.
Disk Utility – system utility for managing hard disks and storage devices, native.
Next thing, create a backup plan for your new machine.
While macOS is more stable than ever and Macs hardly ever crash, it only needs one piece of software behaving badly to wipe out lots of precious data. And even if the worst never happens, many of us trash files only to discover later that we need them again. A backup of your Mac makes it easy to retrieve that file.
There are several different ways to backup a Mac, and for absolute safety, you should use all of them.
Incremental macOS backup
This type of backup makes a copy of all your data the first time you run it, then, at regular intervals, scans your Mac, identifies files that have been added or changed, and copies those to a backup file. This means that each run of the backup is quick and uses few resources, because it's only backing up new or changed files.
There are some things to remember when creating a backup strategy:
- Incremental backups only work if they run regularly so make sure you're always connected to the drive on which the backup will be stored, so the routine can run automatically when it needs to.
- Make at least two backups and keep one off site. That could be on an external hard drive you take home from work every day, or, more likely, on a
remote server or cloud storage service.
- Check your backups regularly. You should, say every month, make sure your backup routine is running properly and that you can restore from the latest backup without a problem.
Full Mac HD clone backup
The other prevalent type of backup is a complete clone of your startup drive, usually a bootable version. This gives you a complete copy of your main drive and allows you to get back up and running again quickly, should a disaster strike. It's useful when you install a beta version of a new macOS or when you're doing anything on your Mac that might cause a problem for the OS. You can use Disk Utility or a third-party tool to create a clone.
How to clone Mac drive using Restore option of Disk Utility
Disk Utility is a default tool that comes pre-installed on your Mac. To use it to clone your drive, follow these simple steps:
- Open Disk Utility on your Mac from Utilities or Applications.
- Click Erase at the top of the Disk Utility interface.
- Choose a media on left panel to mark your backup drive.
- In the drop-down list with Format options, choose macOS Extended (Journaled). Hit Erase again and wait for the drive to remount on Mac.
- Click Restore.
- Select the target drive which has to be cloned. Drag and drop it at the Source field.
- Drag and drop the destination Disk/Drive and leave it at the Destination field.
- Hit Restore. The contents of the drive will be copied and saved on the destination drive.
- See also:
Clones created with Disk Utility aren’t bootable backups. So if you want to create a bootable disk clone, you’ll need to use Get Backup Pro for the job.
How to create a backup with Time Machine
Time Machine is backup software built into every Mac and is the common way to create incremental backups.
You can backup to an external hard drive connected by USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt, or to a supported network drive such as Apple's own Time Capsule. Network-attached storage devices are good places to store Time Machine backups. After you set up Time Machine, it makes backups automatically hourly
for the past 24 hours, daily for the past month, and weekly for all previous months.
- Go to System Preferences and click on the Time Machine pane. Click the padlock and type in your user password, then check the box 'Back Up Automatically.'
- Click 'Select Disk' and navigate to the disk where you want backups to be stored. Select the disk.
- Click Options in the Time Machine window and if there are any folders you want to exclude from the backup, click the '+' navigate to the folder then click Exclude.
- Click Save when you're done to return to the main Time Machine window. Before you quit System Preferences, check the box labelled Show Time Machine in the menu bar. That way you'll be able to monitor when Time Machine is running, be alerted to problems, and quickly recover files when you need to.
Using Time Machine on two hard drives
You can use Time Machine to backup to two different hard drives, or more if you like. Time Machine will rotate the schedule among the drives so that it backs up to each disk in turn and will backup everything that's changed since the last backup was stored on that disk. You can switch disks before entering Time Machine - hold down the Option key, then choose Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu. If you work in different locations, you can keep different disks at each location, giving you additional security.
How to backup a Mac to an external hard drive
There are good reasons for backing up a Mac to an external hard drive. It's more reliable than wirelessly connecting to a Time Capsule or NAS and more secure than using a cloud service.
You should make sure your external hard drive is at least the same capacity as the disk you want to back up. And use the fastest connection available on your Mac. On newer Macs that's USB-C or USB 3. On older models, Thunderbolt or FireWire.If you use a Mac laptop, you'll want a portable drive. If not, a desktop external hard drive is perfect. Make sure you erase the drive and format it using APFS if you're running High Sierra or macOS Extended if you're running an older OS version.Then follow any of the procedures above, either using Time Machine, or third-party software, and select the external hard drive as the target for your backup.How to move photos library to an external HD
- Quit Photos.
- Navigate to your Pictures folder and drag the Photos library file to your external disk.
- Launch Photos while holding down the Alt (option) key and select Other Library. Navigate to the Photos library on your external HD.
- If you see a message warning you about incomplete items, click Delete Incomplete Items.
- In Photos, go to the Preferences menu and in the General tab, click Use as System Photo Library.
- If you want to use iCloud Photo Library, go to System Preferences, click on iCloud then "options" next to Photos and check the box next to iCloud Photo Library, if it's not already checked.
How to connect multiple external hard drives
There are three ways to connect multiple external hard drives to your Mac:
- Use separate ports for each drive, if you have enough of them. Just plug the
drives in and you should see them mount in the Finder. If not, run Disk Utility and mount them. You may have to erase and reformat the drives.
- Buy a USB hub or Thunderbolt dock. Hubs and docks have several ports, allowing you to plug in multiple hard drives. If they have their own power supply, they can also provide power for portable drives.
- Daisychain the drives. If your Mac has a FireWire port, you can connect one drive to another in a chain. It's not an ideal solution as all the drives will be using the same bandwidth, but it works.
Users & Groups – System Preferences pane for access control on Mac.
To access programs and change settings on a Mac, you need a user account. By default, as the owner of the machine, you have administrative rights – the highest power. If you want to share your new Mac with family or colleagues, you’ll have to create additional accounts with specific user roles and capabilities.
This is the first user account you create on Mac. Without an administrator account, you won’t be able to create and delete any other accounts. Neither will you make changes to the current settings or install new apps. In other words, an administrator has the full control over the computer’s life.
Tip:To check who resides on your Mac, access System Preferences > Users & Groups. The account marked as current is your administrator account. We recommend changing password for this account every few months for security reasons.
Create a new account on Mac
Here’s a quick way to create a new account for one of your family members or coworkers:
- Access Mac menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups.
- Click on the padlock in the bottom left corner and type your administrator password to unlock.
- Click the plus button to create an account.
- Choose the type of account, enter full name, account name, password + verified password, and password hint (so that you could recover password in case you lose it).
Accounts with limited access
When creating a new account, you’ll be asked to specify its type. Pick the one that matches the role capabilities:Standard account. In contrast to administrator, the owner of a standard user account can’t access system files, nor create and manage other accounts.
Managed with parental controls. You can activate parental controls built into apps on your Mac. If you choose this option, you’ll be asked to specify the age of a child: 4+, 9+, 12+, or 17+. To manually limit what your kids can access, click on the newly created account, check “Enable parental controls” > Open parental controls.
Sharing only. Provide access to specific files and folders on your Mac via sharing only account. Once you create the account, access System preferences > Sharing, and choose folders that you want to open for shared access.
Guest. Click on Guest User on the left of Users & Groups screen to enable temporary access to your Mac. Guest users can’t view or manage files stored on your computer. Neither can they change any settings. After a guest user logs out, all of his files and browsing history is wiped out automatically.
How to delete a user account
An administrator can easily remove any of the created accounts if you select it from the list in Users & Accounts, and then click on the minus button to delete. This will also remove all the files that the user stored in his home folders.
The Menu Bar
Menu Bar – Apple’s graphical control element with menus for an easy access.
Bartender – a third-party app for customizing the menu bar.
A set of icons and menus you see at the top of the screen is called the menu bar (or the top bar) – a place from where you can access app menus, check statuses, and run programs.
Without a doubt, the menu bar is one of Mac’s great features. It’s condensed, easy to tap into on the fly, and displays much-needed information in real time.
But, with every new icon app added, things become a little more cluttered and usability takes another hit. Fortunately, it’s possible to edit the menu bar to rearrange and remove icons so that it’s able to suit your needs at any given moment. Even if your brand-new, clean menu bar is not disturbing you just yet, ensure you’ll keep it under control in future.
Tip:Analyze what apps you use within one working day and keep only those you’ve used at least once. If the default programs don’t cover your needs, check out the annual collection of trending menu bar apps from Product Hunt, explore on Mac App Store or Setap.
Read on for the best ways to make the menu bar on Mac truly yours:
Rearranging menu items in macOS Sierra or later
To move an icon in the menu bar, hold Command (cmd), then click and hold the icon to drag it across the bar. Simple.
There are no restrictions here — feel free to move icons anywhere you see fit. Don’t like the clock all the way over there on the right-hand side? Drag it to somewhere more suitable.
The only icon that cannot be tampered with is the Notification Center. Apple has decided this must remain in the far right corner of the menu, which is fair enough — it looks good there.
Rearranging menu items in older versions of macOS
Movement of icons in older versions of macOS is reserved for selected apps only: Bluetooth, audio, Time Machine, WiFi, battery, clock, and user switching. Spotlight and Notification Center must stay put, as must all third-party apps.
To move icons around within the designated area, once again hold Command, then click and hold the icon to drag it.
How to remove icons from the menu bar on Mac
If there are items in the menu bar that you feel don’t belong there, hold Command, click on the icon, and drag it outside of the menu bar.
Note: this only works for first-party icons.
It is possible to remove third-party icons from the top bar on Mac by clicking on them and selecting “Quit” or “Close,” but this will stop the app from working until you reopen it.
Some apps give the option to remove icons from the top bar on Mac in their settings: [chosen app] > Preferences. However, a lot of apps won’t. To fully customize which icons appear in the menu bar, you should use third-party software.
If you’ve removed the first-party app and you’d like it back on the menu, it can be re-enabled in System Preferences.
How to add icons to the menu bar on MacIf you’re missing a specific system icon in the Mac’s menu bar, you can add it through System Preferences. For instance, to enable the Language icon, select Language & Region in the preference pane, click Input Sources, and check the box next to “Show Input menu in menu bar.”
Add menu bar extras
Because the menu options like Clock and Ink can’t be found in System Preferences, you might need to use the System folder as well:
- Open Finder.
- Select Go > Go to Folder from the menu bar.
- Type a path: /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras.
- Double-click an item and it will instantly appear in your menu bar.
You can easily remove any of the icons by holding Command and dragging it outside of the menu bar as described above.
How to customize and tidy Mac menu bar
It’s possible to change the look of the default menu bar items in System Preferences and third-party apps’ ones in their respective preferences. Most of the time, you’ll be able to at least switch the color to black and white.
If you want more control over how the menu bar looks and what it does, you should consider using the Bartender app. It lets you hide icons without quitting and rearrange icons in a way that better suits how you use the menu bar — something particularly useful if you’re running an older version of macOS.
App icons can be displayed when updating, shown in the Bartender Bar only, or hidden completely and accessed easily using a built-in search function.
Change how the date and time are displayed in the menu bar
In the right corner of your menu bar, click on date and time to Open Date & Time Preferences. Go to the Clock tab and unlock the preferences by entering your administrator password, so that you can make changes. To customize the look of the clock, choose between two different time display options: Digital or Analog. You can also tick the boxes for “Show date” and “Show the day of the week.”To instantly toggle between different display options, click on date and time in the menu bar and choose “View as Analog” or “View as Digital.”How to replace menu bar app iconsIf you want to have custom icons in your Mac’s menu bar, there’s a way to replace the default ones. To change the icon of a third-party app, find it in Applications, right-click to open a context menu, and choose “Show Package Contents.” Go to Resources folder to find the defaults – these can be used as templates for the
new icons. Once you have a custom icon ready, simply copy it into the same Resources folder.The same works for system icons, except you won’t find all of them in Applications. Here’s the path for you to take: Hard Disk > System > Library > CoreServices > Menu Extras. Once you’ve found the item you need, click on “Show Package Contents” and navigate to the icon via [MENUITEM.menu] > Contents > Resources.In both cases, it’s a good idea to create backups of the default icons before replacing them – just in case you’ll need them later.
Hide menu bar items
One low-key feature on Mac is the ability to auto-hide menu bar. To do this, open System Preferences > General. Check the option to “Automatically hide and show the menu bar” and the menu bar will immediately disappear.
To get the menu bar to show up again, simply move the cursor to the top of the screen and hold it there for a second.
Mac keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts – combinations of keys that enable the activation of multiple processes on a Mac.
Using keyboard shortcuts instead of reaching for your mouse or trackpad and hunting through menus is a great way to save time and get work done efficiently.
Even though for complex task you could use a keyboard assistant (which will semantically understand any operation you need to perform), for complex tasks, knowing essential shortcuts will speed up every repetitive action related to the basic Mac functionality.
Learning shortcuts takes time and practice; it’s only by using them repeatedly that you develop a habit. But then you start really saving time and boosting productivity to the point where you won’t know how you’ve lived without them.
Top time-saving Mac keyboard shortcuts
To help you, we’ve collected the best keyboard shortcuts for the Mac — those that will save you the most time every day. Remember: learn them and practice them.
Before we start with a list, let’s take a look at all the modifier keys:
Cmd = Command key (the one either side of the spacebar and looks like this: ⌘)
Ctrl = Control key, usually labelled “ctrl”
Alt = old-time Mac users would call this “option” and looks like this: ⌥
Shift = ⇧
Tab = ⇥
Now, let’s dive right in.
The obvious shortcuts you’ve probably heard about even if you’ve never used a computer before:
Cmd-X: Cut and copy to clipboard
Cmd-C: Copy to clipboard
Cmd-V: Paste the contents of clipboard.
Navigate quickly to a folder in Finder
When you’re in Finder, there are a number of shortcuts you can use to go directly to a folder.
Cmd-Shift-D goes to Desktop Cmd-Shift-H to your user folder
Cmd-Shift-A to Applications Cmd-Shift-I to iCloud Drive
Cmd-Shift-U to Utilities
Change the Finder view
In a Finder window, use the following shortcuts to change the view for all the items in a folder:
Cmd-1 to display Icons Cmd-2 for List
Cmd-3 for Columns Cmd-4 for Cover Flow
Navigate folders in the Finder
Going through folders in the Finder is especially easy with:
Cmd-[ to move left Cmd-] to move right
Add a selected item to a Finder window sidebar.
Select the item you’d like to add and press Cmd-Option-S.
View a Quick Look slideshow of selected files
First Shift- or Cmd-click the files you want to preview and then press Cmd-Option-Y to see the slideshow.
Use Cmd-F to search for something. In most applications, including word processors and web browsers, it’s used to search for bits of text on the page you’re on. Cmd-F in Finder opens a new Finder search window, with the cursor already in the search box.
Invoke Spotlight from anywhere
Press Cmd-Space from anywhere to pull up the Spotlight search bar.
Quickly open Accessibility options
Your Mac has a number of features, such as the ability to invert colors on the screen, to help those who have additional needs when it comes to using a computer. To access them quickly, press Cmd-Option-F5.
Switch applications quickly
Press Cmd-Tab and keep holding Cmd to pull up the macOS application switcher. Press Tab again to highlight the next app and let go when you reach the app you want to switch to. Pressing Cmd-Tab and letting go of both immediately switches to the next app without further interaction.
Open any application’s Preferences
Press Cmd-comma to open any application’s Preferences window.
Open the Get Info window
Get Info is available for every file and folder on your Mac and provides information such as the size of the file and the application that will be used by default. To open this window, click on the file or folder and press Cmd-I.
Show or hide the Dock
Press Cmd-Alt-D to show or hide the Dock in any application.
Note: this doesn’t work when applications are in full-screen mode.
Add a Finder item to the Dock
Select the item and press Ctrl-Shift-Cmd-T.
AirDrop is a great tool for transferring files quickly between Macs or between a Mac and an iOS device. To get to it right away, press Cmd-Shift-R in the Finder.
This one is a huge timesaver and can get you out of trouble, depending on the app you use it in. Press Cmd-Z to undo your most recent action. In apps that allow multiple undos, press it again to move back another step and so on. To redo something you’ve undone, it’s either Cmd-Shift-Z or Cmd-Y, depending on the app.
Press Alt-Right Arrow to jump a word or Cmd-Right Arrow to jump to the end of a line.
Alt-Left Arrow and Cmd-Left Arrow jump backwards a word and a line, respectively. To select text as you jump, hold down the Shift key.
Find misspelled words in a document
Press Cmd-semicolon to have misspelled words highlighted.
To select everything in a document or folder, press Cmd-A.
Paste in the correct style
While Cmd-V will paste whatever is in the clipboard, it does so in the style of the document you copied from. To paste text in the style of the document you’re pasting into, press Cmd-Option-Shift-V.
Take a screenshot
Press Cmd-Shift-3 to screenshot the whole screen. To grab a selection, press Cmd-Shift-4 and drag over the part of the screen you want to grab. To take a shot of a single window, press Cmd-Shift-4 then press Space and place the camera icon over the window you want to grab and click on it.
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Open a new tab in Safari (or any other web browser)
Press Cmd-T to open a new tab. If you close a tab by accident, Cmd-Shift-T will re-open it.
Zoom into a web page
In Safari, Firefox, or Chrome, you can make the contents of a web page larger or smaller using Cmd and either the + or - keys, depending on whether you want to zoom in or out. This also works in some other apps.
Zoom in anywhere
To make the universal zoom work, you’ll need to go to System Preferences, then click the Accessibility pane and choose the Zoom option, checking all the boxes. After that, you can press Cmd-Option-Plus to zoom in anywhere. Cmd-Option-
Minus will zoom out in stages. To return to 100%, press Cmd-Option-8.
Open Display Preferences
Press Option-F2 to show the Display Preferences window.
Open Sound Preferences
Press Option-F12 to show Sound Preferences.
34Adjust the volume in small incrementsPress Option-Shift-Volume Key to move the volume of your Mac’s audio up or down by smaller increments than just using the volume key alone.
Put your Mac to sleep
Hit Option-Cmd-Power (or Ctrl-Option-Cmd-Eject) and your Mac will go to sleep, gently and effortlessly.
Shut down your MacTo quit open programs and shut down your Mac without needing to hit a confirmation button, press Ctrl-Option-Cmd-Power (or Ctrl-Option-Cmd-Eject). This will simply shut down your Mac, safely and securely.
Restart your MacIf you want to restart your Mac, hit Ctrl-Cmd-Power (or Ctrl-Cmd/Eject). This will reboot your Mac.
Keep on learning
Presented above are introductory shortcuts, just one level above the ones everyone is used to. Once you learn them and use them daily, you’ll notice how your workflow suddenly starts to speed up. Soon enough, it would be time to step up you game with a collection of intermediate time-savers. But more on this later.
Trackpad or touchpad – a pointing input device that has a flat surface capable of detecting finger motions and translate them into commands. BetterTouchTool – a tool for customizing input devices, third-party.
No matter what you think of the keyboards on Apple's laptops, their huge, luxurious, Multi-Touch, Force Touch trackpads can't be beat. And macOS includes tons of handy trackpad gestures that you might not be using already. You can left-click, tap to click, select text, sweep every window out of the way to reveal your Desktop files, and so much more.
Common trackpad gestures on macOS
If you've got a Mac laptop, go to System Preferences and open the Trackpad pane. It's simply packed with gestures you might not be using that can really speed up some tasks on your Mac.
There's no mystery to these options, either. As you mouse over or select each gesture, a video preview on the right shows exactly what will happen. It's definitely worth a few minutes to watch all the previews and decide which gestures could work for you.
Some gestures even have options you can select in a drop-down menu. For example, in the Point & Click section, you can enable the Secondary Click gesture by checking its box, and then the drop-down lets you choose if that secondary click will be a two-finger tap or a click in a specific corner of the trackpad.
Here are some useful built-in gestures you might not be using. You can enable and customize them in System Preferences > Trackpad.
Look up & data detectors. This lets you select a word and then Force-click (or click with three fingers) to look it up in your Mac's dictionary and thesaurus. Find it in the Point & Click tab.
Tap to click. Check this box and you can click with just a tap of your finger, instead of needing to press down hard enough to hear the sound and feel the haptic feedback.
Scroll direction: Natural. Uncheck this box in the Scroll & Zoom tab if you want scrolling on your trackpad to work the same as it does with a mouse: Swipe up to scroll up, swipe down to scroll down. If this box is checked (and it is by default), scrolling works like it does on your iPhone and iPad: Swipe up to scroll down, and swipe down to scroll up. I uncheck this box within about 2 seconds of getting a new Mac, but it's really a personal preference.
Rotate: When you're editing a photo that needs to be rotated, this gesture in
the Scroll & Zoom tab lets you just turn the photo by rotating two fingers on the trackpad. It snaps into alignment at 90, 180, and 270 degrees, but you can stop anywhere you like.Notification Center. In More Gestures, this gesture lets you open the Notification Center with a quick swipe of two fingers from the right edge of your trackpad, like you're pulling in Notification Center from off the side of the screen.
Mission Control and App Exposé. If you tend to keep too many apps or just too many windows open, you need these two options in More Gestures. Mission Control lets you swipe up with four fingers to see every window you have open, across all apps. Swipe down with four fingers, and App Exposé displays the windows you have open in the current app.
More trackpad options in Accessibility
You can also access lots of useful trackpad options in Accessibility. One of such is the ability to select text by dragging three fingers over it, instead of trying to hold down trackpad with your thumb while dragging your index finger across the text, which tends to make your hand cramp up after a while.
This is found in System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse and Trackpad. First, you can adjust the double-click speed and specify a delay before folders spring-load when you hold a file over them. But the real magic is found when you click Trackpad Options.
Inside that menu is a checkbox to "Enable dragging" and a drop-down that lets you select "three-finger drag."
It takes a little practice before it's second nature. But that gesture lets you rearrange windows by dragging their title bar with three fingers, plus select text by dragging it with three fingers. Once you have the text selected, you can even drag it to a new place with another three-finger drag gesture.
Control your Mac apps with custom gestures
While System Preferences controls trackpad gestures that work across macOS, you can also create gestures to control features in the apps you use the most.To do that, you’ll need to install BetterTouchTool. The app even lets you add app-specific features as Touch Bar buttons, so they're always right at your fingertips. The Touch Bar is contextual, so once you get it set up for each app you use, the buttons on it will change as you move from app to app.
BetterTouchTool lives in your Mac's menu bar, where it can let you set up new trackpad gestures, customize other input devices, and have your windows snap to specific areas of the screen.
Tip:Buy BTT remote control app for $1.99 on the App Store and use it with BetterTouchTool to control gestures on Mac from your mobile devices.
Dock – one of the core features of Mac’s graphical user interface that’s used for launching and switching between apps.
At the bottom of your Mac’s screen, you’ll see a colorful line with app icons – the Dock. It’s basically a home to apps you use a lot as well as those that are running at the moment.
Adapting to your needs, the Dock changes as you want it to. You can fully customize the Dock’s position and size, hide it completely, pick the apps you want to keep and remove the rest. It’s your workflow dictating the rules here.
Customize the Dock’s position
Apple’s native app launcher is located at the bottom of a Mac’s screen. But you can change it by moving the Dock to the left or right. This way, you win additional vertical space for your windows. To change the location:
- Click on the Apple icon and open System Preferences.
- Select Dock.
- Choose the preferred option under Position on screen: Left, Right, or Bottom.
Hide the DockStill too distracting? You can set the Dock to hide automatically when you don’t use it. The app launcher will appear on the screen again if you hover the cursor over the spot where it’s normally located. To turn it into a ghost, access the Dock settings as described above. Tick the box next to “Automatically hide and show the Dock.” Enjoy the emptiness of your screen.
Add and remove items from the Dock
Maybe you don’t see the point to keep Photos in the Dock. Or you want to substitute it for that superstar app you’ve just downloaded. Here’s how to remove items from the Dock:
- Drag the app, file, or folder from the Dock.
- Let go of the item once you see the word “Remove” appearing above it.
- See it disappear in the abyss of your new Mac.
To enrich your Dock with apps:
- Launch Finder > Applications.
- Choose the app you want to add, drag it to the dock, and let go.
- To permanently keep the app that’s running in the Dock, right-click on the icon > Options > Keep in Dock.
In case you’re missing important functionality, do a little digging and get an alternative to the default program – like HyperDock with window previews or uBar for shrinking your Dock.
Search through your data
Spotlight – Apple’s search utility, in-built.
Finder – Default file manager on Mac, in-built.
Lacona – Search tool based on keyboard-driven commands for Mac, third-party.
Once you’re done with data transferring, it’s time to learn about data search.
Mac's search functionality is one of the best around. With the help of some apps and advanced search tips, you can actually find what you're looking for in no time.
There are three ways you can go about searching your hard drive for a file or folder: Spotlight, a Finder window, or Lacona. Let's take a look at all three.
Search with Spotlight
Everything is faster with Spotlight. This built-in tool helps you find apps, photos, documents, and other files with ease.
To perform a search with Spotlight, simply click on the Spotlight icon in the upper right-hand corner (the one that looks like a magnifying glass) or open it by pressing Command + Space and start typing whatever it is you want to find in the search bar. Spotlight will automatically start filtering results as you type.
Narrowing your searches in Spotlight
If you want to narrow the focus of your searches, Spotlight includes a few useful features.
First of all, you can add criteria to a basic search to locate a particular kind of file.
- Open Spotlight and start a search.
- Click on the plus button on the right side of the window.
- In the pop-up menu on the left, choose your search criteria.
- Add more search criteria options by clicking the plus button or remove them by clicking the minus button.
Only the items that match all of the search criteria will appear in the results. For instance, if you've selected Kind + Image + .PNG, only PNG images will be displayed.
To quickly access your search options again, click on Save below the search field.
This will save it to a Smart Folder.
The next option at your disposal is to search by the type of items using keywords. Do this by entering "kind:[search item]" after your search — e.g. "Joe Bloggs kind:email." This works for every kind of file or folder.
Finally, you can use metadata attributes contained within files to track down items with a specific name or items that were edited on a particular date.
Here are some examples of metadata attribute searches from Apple support:
trip kind:document searches for the word "trip" in documents only.author:tom searches for all items written by Tom.
meeting date:tomorrow searches for meetings you have planned for tomorrow.
kind:images created:5/16/16 searches for images created on a specific date.
kind:music by:"glenn miller" searches for music by Glenn Miller.
modified:<=6/29/16 searches for items modified on or before a specific date.
Spotlight keyboard shortcuts
To get even more out of the Spotlight feature, make a note of these keyboard shortcuts:
Command + Option + Space to open Spotlight in a Finder window.
Escape to clear the search box or close the Spotlight menu.
Command+Return to open the location of the first search item.
Command+I to get information on a search item.
Command + Option while hovering the cursor over the item to show path of a search result.
Command + Arrow Up or Command + Arrow Down to jump categories.
Hover the cursor over the item and press Command to show a preview of search results.
Search with Finder
Finder, like Spotlight, is a simple way to find files. The tool also lets you organize folders and files according to your preferences. You can open Finder by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock.
When it comes to finding what you're looking for, Finder works in exactly the same way as Spotlight. All of the search narrowing tips that we talked about above can also be applied here.
By default, files are displayed in Finder as icons. If you'd prefer to list them alphabetically, select View > List from the menu bar or click on the List icon. Use the same method to display items in columns, or in Cover Flow.
To edit the sidebar so that it displays shortcuts to your preferred items, simply drag them in or out of the sidebar.
Search with Lacona
Mac's built-in search functionality gets the job done for basic searches, but if you're looking for a more robust, feature-filled alternative to the Spotlight and Siri, you can try Lacona. The app is incredibly intuitive and blisteringly quick. Developers call it "what Siri for Mac could have been," and the first time you use it, you'll see why.
Once installed, you can call up Lacona by pressing a key and type in whatever it is that you want to do. In the case of this article, we're suggesting you use it to easily find files, but you can also use it to open apps, play music, send texts, schedule events, translate phrases, and much more.
- See also:
The more you use your Mac to store files, the easier it becomes to accidentally delete things that you want to keep. Here are tips on how to recover lost data on Mac.Search through PDFs
PDFs especially can be hard for your Mac’s standard search feature to handle. So you’ll need to install PDF Search for that.
This lightweight tool specializes in PDF formats, and is able to search the
contents of hundreds of files at once. Plus, unlike the competition, it’s able to search not just by exact keywords but keyword relevance. Backed up with a suite of annotation and saving features, it helps ensure that the relevant details for any project are only a few keystrokes away.
The app shows a new way to search PDF documents on your Mac. With innovative tools like page and power ranking, error recognition, and iOS sync, it brings an unseen level of control to your file management. Here’s how to use it best.
Index your folders to start search PDFs
To search PDF files, you’ll need to have the app index. You can index as many folders as you need. To start, click the PDF Scanner icon in the menu bar and go to the gear icon’s drop-down menu. Select Preferences and click over to the Search Folders tab.
Use the + and - buttons to choose which folders to index. When you’re ready, hit Apply.
Search for text inside multiple PDF files
Once you have your folders indexed, you can search them for individual words and phrases. How can you search for specific words in a PDF?
- Click the menu bar icon and type your search terms into the text field, then hit Enter. You’ll instantly be shown where your term occurs, highlighted in yellow.
- Use the arrows to cycle through each instance, or use the panel at left to jump to a particular page.
Mark up any PDF text
Once you’ve hunted down the information you need, the app can help ensure you don’t lose track of it. Highlight any text in a PDF document by using the Pen icon. Use the drop-down menu to change the highlight color or to underline or strikethrough text. Once you’ve made a change, the app will automatically prompt you to save your edits, so the next time you open the PDF you’ll be able to see your annotations.
How to use Finder on your Mac
Finder — a default utility that helps you see and organize files on Mac. macOS Mojave — the 15th version of Apple’s operating system released in September 2018.
The first thing you see when you launch a Mac is Finder—a smiling face in the Dock that gives you access to all files, tags, and locations on Mac. Click on the Finder icon and it will open a fully customizable window with the information about your files.
- See also:
For more details on how to manage windows on Mac, check this section.
In this guide, we’ll tell you how Finder handles your files ecosystem in a smart way. So that you keep everything at hand.
Using Finder views on Mac
To simplify your Mac life, Finder has four custom views that allow you to look at files in different ways: icon, list, column, or cover flow. Some of them will seem
more convenient to use in your workflow than the others. But we recommend to try all of them for different use cases to make the most out of it.
Basically, it’s your desktop. In the Icon view, you get a layout where each file and folder is displayed as an icon. The biggest advantage of the Icon view is that you can flexibly rearrange items across your Finder window.
It’s also visually appealing, with options for customizing background image, text, icon size, etc.
If you need to see the most extensive information about your files in the Finder window, List view is the right fit. Apart from the icons and file names, it also shows the size, file type, and date added/date last opened. So it makes sense to choose the List view if you need to see the date for each file in Finder.
The best way to focus on file hierarchy is to use the Column view. It allows you to see subfolders for each folder, tracking the path of every separate item on your Mac. What’s more, the Column view is an easy way to change the order or remove files and folders without opening them.
Cover flow view
Last but an interesting one, Cover flow view is the novelty introduced in macOS Mojave. The view brings icon thumbnails into focus—flip through icons and see
detailed specifications for each of them on the right side of the window. It’s particularly helpful if you want to have a closer look at album or book covers and images.
Organize your desktop with StacksAnother Finder update that arrived with Mojave is Stacks functionality. Stacks automatically organize your desktop files by category, so that you keep it clean and easy to navigate.Here’s how you organize files with Stacks:
- Activate Stacks in the menu bar of Finder: View > Use Stacks.
- Alternatively, right-click on your desktop and select Use Stacks.
- Click on the stack to view all files (the stack icon will appear as a folder with an arrow).
- Option-click on any stack to break all stacks into separate files.
- Select “Group Stacks by” option in the Finder menu bar and customize how your stacks should be sorted—by kind, date, or tags.
Preview and use Quick Actions (macOS Mojave and later)
The Preview pane accessible from the Finder menu allows to view detailed specifications to files as well as apply changes such as rotating or merging PDFs —without opening the files. Note that such Quick Actions are available only in macOS 10.14 and later.
To access the Preview pane, go to the Finder menu > View > Show Preview. For Quick Actions, select a file in Finder and click on the more icon > Customize. This will open a list of options.
- See also:
Finder also has robust search functionality, which gives you a quick access to files on Mac. Here’s how you search through you data with Finder.
How to create a new text file in any folder
Automator — an app for creating workflows and scripting your actions, native.
Terminal — a command line interface for Mac.
TextEdit — Apple’s text editing program, native.
TextSoap — a text cleaner for Mac, third-party.
Declutter — file organization utility for Mac, third-party.
The option you’ve probably used a lot on Windows but can’t use on Mac is creating a new file by right-clicking on any part of the desktop. There are easy alternatives, though.
Automate file creation with Automator
Automator, a workflow creator for Mac, is one of the options for creating text files. The app puts a dedicated program on your computer that you can create based on AppleScript in a few clicks.
Here’s how you make an app for text file creation:
- Open Automator and select Applications as a destination for your app.
- Select “New document” to create a new application.
- Choose “Application” as a type of document.
- Once you open the app input, select “Run AppleScript” from the Actions pane and drag it to the right side of the window.
- Type the script you see at the image below in the AppleScript box and save it (Automator menu > File > Save).
- Ensure the destination and file format is set to “Application” when saving.
- Open the Applications app with Finder and drag the app you just saved to the toolbar.
- Go to a folder and create a new text file with a click.
- See also:
For more custom workflows you can create with Automator, check outApple’s Automator User Guide.How to create new text files with TerminalUsing a simple command, you can also create text files via Terminal. Here’s how you set it up:
- Open Finder and choose a folder where you want to save your text file in the left pane.
- Go to Finder menu and select Services > New Terminal at Folder.
- In Terminal, type the command “touch MyFile.txt” and press Enter.
- The file named MyFile.txt will appear in your selected folder (you can customize the name in the command if you like).
How to create new files in text editors for Mac
If you want to kill two birds with one stone—not only create, but also edit, share, and markup in a text doc—you need dedicated software.
Without installing any third-party apps, you can create docs in TextEdit, Apple’s default program. Access the app via Applications, open a doc, and save it to a custom folder. You can choose between file formats such as Rich Text doc, Web Page, Word, etc.
If you are looking for editing perks, TextEdit’s functionality is too basic. The market is huge, though, so you won’t have a problem finding a substitute. For robust cleanup features and markdown, you can use TextSoap — it’s easy, flexible, and deals with a messy text in a few secs.
One you’re done with perfecting your content, choose Save from the top menu and select a destination folder—it’s nothing new.
Tip:So now when you know the easy ways to create text files on Mac, ensure you know how to organize them. Install a file organizer for Mac — like Declutter, an app that automatically puts your files into smart folders.
How to delete and recover data on Mac
iTunes — Apple’s audio playback program, available with macOS until 10.14, native.
iStat Menus — system monitoring tool for Mac, third-party.
CleanMyMac X — Mac utility for cleaning, optimizing, and protecting your computer, third-party.
Carbonite — backup software available by annual subscription, third-party.
Get Backup Pro — backup tool for Mac, available as a lifetime license or part of Setapp subscription, third-party.
AnyTrans — data syncing utility for macOS, iOS, and Android, third-party.
Disk Drill — data recovery solution for Mac, third-party.
If you know the rules, you won’t lose any precious data on Mac. Here’s a comprehensive guide on removing and recovering information—without endangering your privacy.
Uninstalling apps on Mac
To uninstall apps on Mac, you might need to do a bit more than just drag the icons to the Trash. While many apps leave leftovers behind, it’s important to find a way to remove every trace. Here’s an ultimate guide on how to uninstall apps on Mac – completely and irreversibly.
If you're anything like us, you install loads of apps on your Mac, always trying to find the best tool for the job and keen to try out new ones.
That, inevitably, means you have a hard drive or SSD full of applications you never use and which are sitting there taking up disk space.
Your Mac’s performance directly depends on how well you can run cleanups, freeing up valuable storage. In case you’ve recently switched from Windows, we recommend you forget every app removal strategy you’ve used before. With Mac, it’s all different. And lucky for you – much easier.
Uninstall apps on Mac vs Windows
To install and anchor a program in Windows, you have to use a native installation service. The same should be used to remove an app. If you simply remove the app folder, you’ll leave behind all the entries and files associated with the app in question. Because a user might not know where these files are stored, it’s impossible to remove apps without Windows Installer.
Uninstalling apps on Mac entails fewer security risks. Plus, you can choose your own way to completely delete apps.
When you install an app on Mac, the program itself will be stored separately from configurations – in /Applications. Therefore, you can easily access every app and associated system files, as well as delete the whole program folder from there. In case there are any leftovers, you can clean them away separately or use automated solutions.
How to delete an app on a Mac
The most popular misconception about removing apps on Mac is that it's enough to move the app icon into the Trash bin. For images, videos, and files that is enough but that is not the case with apps. Applications store lots of files in various places on your Mac, things like storing preferences and user data. To remove an app completely, you need to remove all of those files too.
There are three common ways to get rid of apps on Mac: manually, with Apple’s native uninstaller, or using third-party software.
How to delete applications from Launchpad
A native app launcher is the easiest shortcut to removing macOS applications.
Here’s how it works:
- Open Launchpad (press F4 or click on the rocket icon in Dock).
- Find the app by typing its name.
- Press Option and confirm you want to delete the app.
How to delete applications from Launchpad
As an alternative, you can uninstall programs using Finder. Quick and stress-free:
- Open Finder (click the first icon on the left in your Dock).
- Select Applications.
- Locate the program you want to remove and move it to the trash bin.
- Empty the Trash or remove a specific app from the trash bin (locate > right-click on the app > Delete Immediately).
Whichever of these two methods you use, neither helps you get rid of logs and associated system files.
How to completely delete an app manually (the hard way)
We started this article by telling you it's not enough to drag the app to the Trash but it's how you begin. Here’s your guide to manually removing a program:
- Drag the app icon or folder to the Trash bin.
- Locate associated files and preferences: Open Finder and click on Go > Go To Folder > type '~/Library' > Go.
- Go to Preferences and drag any files with the same name as your application to the Trash.
- Access Application Support folder and do the same.
- From your user Library, access the Go menu again and choose Computer.
- Click on your startup drive in the window that opens and then select Library.
- Repeat the steps above – search Preferences and Application support for files with the name of the app and delete them.
Here's a list of all places you should look for files:
- Application support files are located in ~/Library/Application
- Support Caches can be found in /Library/Caches/ and ~/Library/Caches
- Plugins are located in ~/Library/Address Book Plug-Ins/
- Library can be found in ~/Library/
- App preferences are located in ~/Library/Preferences/
- Crashes are found in ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/
- App saved states are located in ~/Library/Saved Application State/
- Binary and dock icons are located in /Applications/
Repeat for every app you want to delete.
Once you've deleted one app like that, you can go through the same process again for every app you no longer want on your Mac.
The easy way to completely delete apps from your Mac (the automated method)
Manual cleanup is not a safe (or easy) procedure to perform, so you might want to opt for a ready app uninstaller.
Using an app that will do all the hard work for you, you can save lots of time and effort. For instance, CleanMyMac X will scan your Mac for all the files associated
with any app you choose and delete them all at the press of a button.
Here’s how you delete an app with CleanMyMac X:
- Open Setapp and run CleanMyMac X.
- Look on the side bar for the Application section and click Uninstaller – you'll see the window fill up with all the apps on your Mac.
- Locate the app you want to remove and click on the box next to its name. You'll see all the files associated with the app listed in the window.
- Click Uninstall at the bottom of the window to remove the whole program.
You can remove multiple apps at once, including corresponding files and preferences.
Now you know how it works, you can click on the checkbox next to every app you want to remove and when you're done, click Uninstall. They'll all be removed at once.
Dealing with heavy apps without deleting
There are quite a few apps that brutally abuse your drive space with cache files. Xcode, Sketch, Final Cut, Photoshop, modeling and architecture software, you name it. For instance, Xcode generates junk even when you don't use it. To see if one of your apps is being greedy space-wise, you can use CleanMyMac X System Junk module.
Open the app and run a System Junk scan. Then go to Review Results and you'll see apps with overgrown cache files ready for cleanup. Select them, click Clean and have one less problem on your Mac.
Reset a faulty app instead of uninstalling
There are a couple of reasons to reset apps rather than delete: The app is buggy and crashes but you still need it, or the app is a system utility.
System utilities are impossible to delete but it doesn't mean they can't cause trouble and misbehave. In this case, you can reset them.
There is a reset option in CleanMyMac X. Go to the Uninstaller tab, choose the app in question, tap the right-click and choose Application reset.
This will remove all the additional files associated with the app and just leave the main file in your Applications folder. That will reset the app back to the state it was in when you first downloaded it.
Tip:Application reset also helps with apps that have started to accumulate too many resources. You can check on that using iStat Menus app. But keep in mind that all app data gets purged in a reset so you'll lose preferences and usage history if it was stored on your Mac.How to recover deleted files after emptying the Trash
If you accidentally delete a file you didn't mean to trash, don't panic. It’s happened to us all. You spend all day working on a text document or a spreadsheet and you save it to the Desktop to make it easier to find later. Then, at the end of the day, in an attempt to tidy up, you drag it to the Trash and without thinking about it, click Empty Trash. With a crunch, your whole day’s work is gone.
If only you’d started running Time Machine yesterday rather than tomorrow. If only you’d made a back up earlier in the day. If only.
What should you do first if this happens?
Thankfully, all is not lost.
It is possible, even if you haven’t taken precautions such as using Time Machine to recover files, photos, audio, music, emails you’ve dragged to the Trash and emptied. The first thing to do is… nothing! That’s right, don’t do anything else on your Mac. You need the disk’s file structure to remain exactly as it was when you emptied the Trash.
You might not realize, but files you delete from your computer aren't actually *gone* until those bytes on the hard drive are written over with new data. So
between your Mac's built-in tools and handy utilities like Disk Drill and CleanMyMac X, there's almost always a way to get a mistakenly deleted file back.
How to recover accidentally deleted files
How to recover deleted files after emptying the Trash? Here's what to do when you experience the stomach-sinking feeling of deleting a file you didn't want to delete.
See if the file was really deleted
It's possible you just moved your file to the Trash, which is just a holding pen. Files aren't deleted all the way until they're emptied from the Trash. So check there by clicking the Trash icon in your Mac's Dock. If your file is there, just drag it out to your Desktop, or to another folder in the Finder.
It's also smart to run a quick Spotlight search for your file—maybe you just moved it to iCloud by accident. Press Command-space and type the name of the file to see what your Mac can find. If you see it in the results, click it to open it, or press Command while you click the file to show where it's located in the Finder.
You can also ask Siri on the Mac to show you files you worked on today, or this week, or all your Pages documents, or some other search query that could turn up your file. I ask Siri, "Show me files I worked on today" quite often, and it's very handy.
Recover deleted files with Time MachineEven files that were fully deleted from the Trash are still accessible in your Time Machine backup.Time Machine backs up all of your files and folders for safe keeping. You can store your folders, or a whole hard drive in a cloud-storage folder or an external hard drive. Enabling it is simple (connect the device first if you are using an external drive):
- Go to System Preferences > Time Machine.
- Click Select Backup Disk and choose which disk you’d like to use for your backups.
- Check the Back Up Automatically box to enable automatic backups of your Mac to your chosen disk, cloud storage or external hard drive.
Now, if you’ve done the unthinkable and deleted something you really need in the trash, here is how you get it back from Time Machine (if the storage is another hard drive then that will need connecting to the Mac first):
- Go to System Preferences > Time Machine.
- Check the box next to Show Time Machine in the menu bar.
- Click on the Time Machine icon, then click Enter Time Machine.
- Find the file or folder you’d like to recover, then click Restore. Time Machine will copy the file or folder back to its original location.
Recover deleted files from a backup
It’s always better to avoid having to recover a file you’ve put into the Trash. The best way to do that is to back up your main disk regularly.
Time Machine is incredibly convenient, but maybe you back up your Mac another way. For instance, a bootable backup, which you can create with Get Backup Pro, has an extra advantage: If your Mac’s own hard drive dies, you can boot your system from the backup drive, and recover files individually, or copy the entire drive to a new drive or a new Mac. Depending on how you’ve deleted something, and whether it was backed-up first, some of the options above might be open to you. With Carbonite, another popular solution, you can set up automatic backups for your videos for a flat fee.
If you’re looking for a fast way to back up your iPhone, there’s a solution – an app called AnyTrans. Not only does it allow to run instant backups, according to your custom schedule, but also to back up specific files, and transfer data across devices.
Restore deleted photos on Mac with Photos app
How to recover deleted photos? When you delete a photo from the Photos app on your Mac, that photo isn't moved to the regular Trash. Instead, it stays in a little trash can inside the Photos app, called Recently Deleted. Photos hang around in the Recently Deleted folder for 30 days before they're deleted automatically.
So if you deleted a photo less than 30 days ago, it's probably still in Recently Deleted, which you'll find in the Photos app's sidebar, under Albums. Find it and select it there, and then click the Restore button to move it back to its original location in your Photos library.
Recover music in iTunes
When you delete a track from your iTunes library, you're asked if you want to simply remove it from your library, or move the song to the Trash. If you tell iTunes not to trash the file, the song is removed from your iTunes library but the actual file stays where it has always been. That means you can open a Finder window and navigate to ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media, where you'll find all your music and videos neatly organized.
Find the file you removed from iTunes, and just drag it onto the iTunes icon in your Dock to add it back to your library
If you told iTunes to move the file to the Trash, you can find it there and drag it back to your Desktop to recover it. Then, open iTunes > Preferences > Advanced, and make sure the box that says "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" is checked. Then you can drag the recovered file from your Desktop back onto the iTunes icon in your Dock, and the file will be added to your iTunes library, and copied into its proper place in the iTunes Media folder too.If the original file has been deleted from the Trash (either by accident or automatically, after 30 days), open your iTunes Media file in Time Machine and navigate back in time to before you deleted it (as outlined here), or recover it from another backup.
Restore older versions of a document
Many Mac apps - such as Text Edit, Preview, iWork, and others - keep older versions of files you've been working on, using a versioning feature built into macOS. This trick doesn't work on a file you deleted, but rather to restore an earlier version of a file—as in, you changed something and saved the file again,
then decided you wanted undo all those changes.
- Open the file, and then in the menubar, choose File > Revert To > Browse All Versions.
- You'll see a Time Machine-like interface showing all the versions of that file, going back in time.
- You can scroll back to the one you want and click Restore.
Tip:If you hold the Option key down, the Restore button changes to Restore a copy, and you'll wind up with both the older version and the new one.
How to recover a file from your Mac when you don’t have a backup
If you didn't back up your files, and you don't use Time Machine, you can still recover deleted files if they haven't been overwritten by new data just yet. You just need some recovery software.
There’s a utility called Disk Drill, which scans your Mac's hard drive for deleted files. If the file is on your boot drive—and let's face it, it probably is—Disk Drill will even walk you through three options to do this safely. You'll need to temporarily disable High Sierra's file system protection, create a recovery boot drive, or connect to another Mac, but everything's explained very clearly.
Once your drive has been scanned, it's easy to sort the results to find your file, preview it with Quick Look, and restore it back to its previous location. Disk Drill can even extract items from inside an iOS device backup.
When you realize you need a deleted file back, time is of the essence. After all, if you wait too long, new data could overwrite the deleted file on your hard drive.
You can recover files from any storage device on your Mac safely and effectively with just several clicks:
Step 1: Plug in an external storage deviceIt doesn’t matter whether it’s a flash drive, an external hard drive, or even an SD card. Anything will do, so long as it’s got enough free space to hold the file you want to recover. The key point is that you should never attempt to recover a file to the same disk you deleted it from.
Step 2: Launch recovery appWith the external storage disk plugged in, launch Disk Drill. Click on your Mac’s hard drive (not the disk you just plugged in) and click Recover. Wait. Depending on the size of your Mac’s startup disk and how often you use it and delete files from it, the scan could take a little while. The good news is that as your Mac’s disk isn’t corrupted, a Deep Scan shouldn’t be necessary.
Step 3: Review the results
When the scan is finished, you’ll see all the files Disk Drill has found listed in the window with information including the file name, type and modification date. There may be lots of files to look through, so use the filter at the top of the window. Click on the dropdown menu above the file path and select the type of file – JPEG, TXT, etc. – you’re looking for. That will narrow down the search. If you’re still having trouble, use the other two filters to set the file size and the time it was deleted.
Step 4: Preview the file to confirm
When you’ve found the file you accidentally put in the Trash, click the eye icon next to the file path to preview it. If the file is a text document or spreadsheet, check over it carefully to make sure it’s ok. If it’s a movie or music file, watch or listen to it all the way through to make sure the whole file is intact. If you’re happy that it’s ok, press the Recover button.
Step 5: Recover file from the Mac Trash
When you click Recover, you’ll be asked to choose where you want to save the recovered file. This is where the spare disk comes in. Navigate to that disk and choose it as the location. Follow the instructions onscreen to complete the recovery process. When it’s finished, your file will be saved on the external disk. You can now copy it back to your main hard drive and put it wherever you like (but not in the Trash!).
While Mac has capabilities for bringing your lost data back, it’s always better to have backups for the most valuable assets.
Screen and video recording
Snipping tool — a screenshot utility that allows to capture and record screen. Capto — a Mac app for capturing and editing screenshots, third-party. Dropshare — a Mac app with a storage for screenshots and recordings, third-party.
CleanShot — a snipping tools that allows to hide desktop icons, third-party. QuickTime Player — Apple’s media player with a feature of screen recording, native.
Have you ever guided your grandma, who called asking for help, through zipping a file and attaching it to an email? Like, with words? It's literally painful.
There's good reason why "show, not tell" is the rule of thumb for everything from UX design to tech support. So if you need to explain to someone how to do things on Mac, there's no better way than a snapshot, screencast, or animated GIF. In this post we'll show you how to do all three.
How to grab a screenshot on Mac
Everyone knows there's a keyboard shortcut for that, but clearly not everyone remembers what it is, judging by some 100,000 people googling "how to take a screenshot" every month. To capture your Mac’s screen, you can either rely on the macOS native snipping tool or get third-party software that’s good for the job.
Apple’s keyboard shortcuts to capture a screenshot
Here's a quick reminder for you with the combinations that capture screen on macOS:
- + Shift + 3 to take a screenshot of the whole screen
- + Shift + 4 to capture a selected area
- + Shift + 4 + press Space to take a quick screenshot of the active window. The resulting image will appear on your desktop as a .PNG file.
With transition to Mojave, the macOS snipping tool became even handier. The new shortcut has been added, and it’s powerful – covering all the controls you need to capture a screen:
- + Shift + 5 to launch the panel and see the options. They all are close at hand now.
Once you take a screenshot, it instantly appears at the right bottom of your screen as a floating thumbnail. Without digging around, you can edit, annotate, and share screen captures from there.
Why use a third-party screenshot utility
These five shortcuts will suffice if you need to quick screen capture for your
Mac's visible part of the screen. There is a number of limitations, though:
- You can’t capture a scrolling Web page using native shortcuts.
- In case you have a cluttered desktop, you should prepare it for screen capturing by clearing away the icons.
- Apple’s snipping tool lacks easy-access perks and sharing options – all screenshots are automatically saved to desktop.
Luckily, there are some apps that do that, so you should have no trouble finding a good one. Our personal favorites are Capto, a multipurpose screen capture utility for macOS, CleanShot for clutter-free screen recording, and Dropshare to store and share your screenshots.
Is it possible to screenshot my Mac remotely?
If you’re away from your Mac but need to grab a screenshot of your home desktop, you can do this by enabling Screen Sharing.
- Go to System Preferences and click Sharing.
- Click the Screen Sharing checkbox (if Remote Management is selected you’ll need to deselect it for this to work).
- Select the All users or Only these users (if your Mac has multiple users you can choose to give access to specific users or groups).
Now that Screen Sharing is set up, you can access your Mac from another computer. To take screenshot of a remote users desktop:
- Open a Finder window. Put the pointer on Shared and click Show.
- Click All to see the available computers and select your Mac from the list.
- Click Share Screen.
- Go to Screen Sharing > Preferences and set the Display to Scale to fit available space or Show full size depending on how large the screen of the computer you’re working on is.
- Use the Snipping Tool method to capture a screenshot.
Use snipping tool to capture screenshots
There’s a set of tools that make your screen capturing journey easier.
Use Capto to grab screen on Mac and edit the resulting screenshot the way you like: add captions and arrows, highlight or underline important parts, and whatnot. When you're done, you can save the screenshot in the format and resolution you need or just share it via Mail, Messages, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
To keep your captures and recordings in one spot, you should try Dropshare. If you use it with Setapp subscription, you should know that Setapp users get a complimentary plan from Dropshare – 10 GB of free storage. Should you take tons of screenshots for any specific task, your disk space won’t drain. What’s more, Dropshare ensures your content travels safe. You can share your screen recordings as password-protected links.
CleanShot – surprise, surprise – helps you take clean screenshots. With this small tool, you can forget about desktop clutter. In a few clicks, hide the icons
and set a custom wallpaper for your screen recordings. Less fuss – tidier screenshots.
Change where screenshots are saved by default
Screenshots are automatically saved to your Mac desktop as .png files and named “Screenshot date at time .png,” where “date” is the current date and “time” is the current time.
If you want to save screenshots to the clipboard instead, press and hold the Control key in addition to the screenshot command keys. So, to save a screenshot of the whole screen to the clipboard, press Control + ⌘ + Shift + 3.
There are, of course, third party utilities that can help you change where screenshots are saved too, but you can also do it using the Terminal. Don’t worry, it’s very easy. Here’s how to change your Mac’s screenshot location:
- Create a folder call Screenshots and place it where you want screenshots to be saved.
- Go to Applications > Utilities and launch Terminal.
- Type: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location
- Drag your new Screenshots folder onto the Terminal window after “location”
so that it displays the path of the new folder.
- The command should now look something like this: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Pictures/Screenshots, where “~/ Pictures/Screenshots” is the path to the folder you created.
- Type: killall SystemUIServer
- Press the Return key.
Done! All screenshots you take from now on will be saved in that folder. You can open your screenshots with Preview, Safari, or other image editing tools such as Capto.
Change the default name of a screenshot on Mac
Mac screenshots are automatically given a default name of “Screen Shot” plus the date and time that the screenshot was taken. The format isn't very search friendly, especially if you take a lot of screenshots.
Fortunately, you can change the file name to something more suitable with a command line.
- Launch the Terminal.
- Enter the following command line: defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "Your Chosen Name" and press Enter.
- Enter: killall SystemUIServer.
Now, whenever you take a screenshot, it will be saved under your chosen name. If you want to get rid of the date and time, swap out the command in step 2 for “defaults write com.apple.screencapture "include-date" 0.
How to record screen activity in a videoNow, when you create tutorials, tech reviews, or bug reports you want to be able to demonstrate everything that happens onscreen in motion. In such cases, a
simple snapshot won't do. Fortunately, there are a hundred and one apps for that purpose, including Apple's own built-in screen recorder QuickTime.
To make a screen capture video with QuickTime, do the following:
- Launch the QuickTime app.
- Click File in the menu and select New Screen Recording.
- In the window that pops up, hit the white arrow to pick which microphone you want to use and whether or not you want to show mouse clicks.
- Hit the red recording button.
- Follow the instructions to record the whole screen or a selected area.
- To wind up the recording, click the stop button in your menu bar.
After you record the video, you can use File and Edit menus in the menu bar to finalize some basic editing, rename the video, and choose where to save or share it.
QuickTime Player alternativesThere are pros and cons to using QuickTime Player for screen recording. Like most default apps, QuickTime is free and easy to use. You can also record audio through either your Mac’s microphone or an external one, and choose whether or not to show the mouse pointer on screen.
But as many default apps go, QuickTime Player is also somewhat limited in its functionality. The only choice for editing recordings once they’re complete is to trim the beginning and ending. There’s no option to add titles, additional images, or call-outs.
If you want to record your Mac’s system audio, you’ll need additional software to re-route it, so QuickTime thinks it’s coming from an external microphone. Finally, when you’re done recording, the only option is to save it as a movie file — you can’t share it directly to YouTube, for example.
To seriously edit the video you've recorded, you'll need to use another piece of software, so you might as well save yourself the trouble and use one app for both screen capture and post-production.
If you want to know how to record video on Mac easily, try the Capto app we mentioned earlier. Unlike QuickTime, it lets you record screen activity, webcam video, computer audio, and voiceover all at the same time, as well as choosing between recording a portion of your screen or the entire display.
Capto boasts much more editing power too: you can add captions, graphics, and other elements that come in handy in explanatory videos. On top, you can mute, fade in, or fade out both of the audio recording tracks to get professional sound without clicks and keyboard noise.
Here's how to record video from your screen with audio:
- Open Capto.
- Hit Record at the top of the window and select Screen or Area.
- Check the corresponding boxes in the menu that appears to include computer audio, microphone, and camera video.
- Hit the red round button to start recording.
- Click on the blinking red icon in the menu bar to stop recording.
Now the video is saved in Capto and is ready for editing. You can play with controls on the left to tweak the sound, trim, add annotations, highlight specific areas, adjust the size and placement of the camera video, and so on.
How to capture screen in animated GIFs
While GIFs may be mostly familiar to you from your Twitter feed, they are a surprisingly good way to make animated screenshots for quick how-to's and issue reports. Oftentimes they work even better than video, because they are lightweight and will be automatically played in your email or Slack message. Plus, you can use them in tutorial articles like this one without adding too much weight to the page.
Apple hasn't embraced GIFs yet, although with emoji in the Touch Bar already being a thing, you might as well expect a GIF maker in the next macOS update.
For now, however, you're going to need a third-party tool for animated screen capture. There are free tools like GIF Brewery and GIPHY Capture—unfortunately, most of them have time limitations, though.
For more flexibility, you might try a paid alternative like Gifox. It lives in your menu bar, so when you need animated screenshots, just open it and record a GIF in a few clicks. Gifox gives you plenty of control over how fast your GIF plays, how many times it repeats, and how high the quality is. You can even add a fancy shadow to it.
All that makes creating a GIF screencast pretty easy. Here's how you do it:
- Open Gifox from your menu bar.
- Select Area or Window in the upper left corner.
- Follow the instructions to start recording.
- Click the Stop button in the menu bar when you're done.
The app will save your GIF to the folder you choose in Preferences, or to your Dropbox/Google Drive account if you connect it.
Introduction to iTunes and its alternatives
iTunes — a media player developed by Apple, available as a part of macOS (before Catalina).
Apple ID — a personal account you use to access Apple services such as Mac App Store and FaceTime.
Catalina — macOS 10.15 released in September 2019.
Boom 3D — a volume booster and equalizer for Mac, third-party.
iTunes media player has been available for many years now, and it has expanded a lot. Since 2003, the creators at Apple have continued to develop new ways of improving the listening experience. Now iTunes offers more than just tunes — it plays the role of being a central hub for entertainment.
iTunes allows you to manage and control music in an instant so that you’ve got the soundtrack to suit your mood. Whether you’ve just bought an Apple device or ready to put your media in one place, or want to expand your music library, it’s important to know how to use iTunes for Mac.
The life of iTunes on your Mac has its limits, though. According to the Apple’s announcement at WWDC 2019, the company decided to break up iTunes into three dedicated apps – Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV.
Whatever your situation, the guide below will help you answer how does iTunes work, how to open an iTunes account, explain all the iTunes tutorials and iTunes troubleshooting tips as well as tell you how to deal with iTunes-less macOS.
How to use iTunes on macOS before Catalina
Once you login to iTunes, under the iTunes account menu you’ll find your media library where you can store all your favorite tracks and artists. Using iTunes allows you to organize your music library on Mac any way you want, then sync it with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, or stream to Apple TV.
If you sign in to iTunes store, you can browse different media collections for movies, radio, charts, and playlists recommendations created by Apple’s own discovery algorithm. Downloading the content into your iTunes library from any device will make it available for you to enjoy at anytime.
But before you get straight to listening the music you love, you first need to open iTunes account by creating iTunes logins.
Get your iTunes logins in order
Even if you’re not starting from scratch, it’s good to ensure you have the latest version of iTunes so you can have complete access to new content. As iTunes is a part of macOS, simply click on Apple menu ➙ System Preferences ➙ Software Update to verify you’re running the latest version.Now, you’ll need to set up iTunes account, which involves creating an Apple ID — a unique identification number that you’ll use every time you sign in to iTunes account.To create a new Apple ID on Mac:
- Open a browser window and go to the Apple ID account page.
- Click Create Your Apple ID.
- Enter your personal details, a password of your choice, and select your security questions.
- Click Continue to confirm.
In most cases, the email address you provide will be your new Apple ID. And chances are that you already have an Apple ID because whenever you set up a Mac (or other Apple device) you're prompted to enter your Apple ID or to create one if you don't have it.
Use Apple ID for the iTunes music login
After you have set up your Apple ID and password, you can use it as a login to open iTunes account.
How to create iTunes store account using an Apple ID:
- Open iTunes for Mac.
- Choose Account ➙ Sign In from the menu bar at the top of your computer screen.
Enter the Apple ID and password. Hit Enter to sign in to iTunes.
From iTunes you can easily edit your account information, change your payment method, and see your purchase history.
Discover Apple Music in the iTunes store
If you want to feel the full benefits of Apple’s offerings, you’ll want to access the iTunes store, which is now powered by Apple Music.
Signing up for the Apple Music subscription service gives you access to over 50 millions songs. With a pricing model of $9.99 a month for premium users, $14.99 for families, and $5.99 for students, many people ask, “What is iTunes without Apple Music?”
How to sign up to Apple Music on Mac:
- Sign in to iTunes store.
- Browse ➙ Apple Music ➙ Try It Free, then choose your subscription plan.
- Enter your Apple ID and password.
- Confirm your details.
- Choose genres and artists you like to start curating your collection.
Build your Music library manually
If you decide not to go for an Apple Music subscription, you can still handcraft your iTunes library by purchasing songs and albums one by one.
To purchase a song from the iTunes Store:
- Sign in to iTunes store.
- Search for a song you want to buy, select it, and then click the Buy Song button in the Price column.
- Use the iTunes music library window to control your music, and enjoy.
If you have a collection of music in other places, it just takes a few simple steps to get it all synced up with iTunes.
To copy music from Mac to iTunes:
- Use your Apple ID as a login to iTunes.
- In the iTunes app on your Mac, open your music library.
- From the menu bar at the top of your screen, choose File > Add to Library
- Locate a file, or folder to mass upload, then click Open.
How to use iTunes alternatives on macOS Catalina
Once you upgrade to macOS 10.15, your Dock will expand. Apple TV, Apple Music, and Podcasts will appear in it instead of iTunes. The process of using each of the apps is pretty similar to iTunes, so your flow is barely changing. Plus, if you own an iPhone, you’re already used to organizing media collection across separate apps.
Here are a couple of things you need to know if you switch:
- iTunes dies, iTunes Store survives. It will live in the sidebar in your Apple Music app and you can use it to buy new things, just as you did before.
- You can still use iTunes gift cards with the new apps and the App Store.
- Managing your personal account is no different. Click on the account button in the top bar of the Apple app you use and find all the setting there.
Tips and tricks for refining your media on Mac
iTunes or no iTunes, there are things you can do to make the management of your media files easier on Mac. From improving the music quality to moving favorite playlists across devices.
Supercharge your sound system
Now that you have procured your music library, these songs deserve to be listened to in the best quality you can give them. And the easiest way to enhance your listening experience is with 3D audio technology provided by Boom 3D.
Boom 3D is an app with a unique sound-staging algorithm that extracts audio components and adds incredible spatial effects. Normal stereo can feel less realistic than real life, and Boom 3D’s tech completely transforms the way you listen.
To experience real 3D surround sound on your Mac:
- Play a song in iTunes.
- Open Boom 3D app.
- Select the 3D surround button icon.
- Toggle the speakers on and off to get the effect of surround sound.
You can drag and drop any song onto Boom 3D’s interface which allows Boom 3D to create virtual sound sources to improve audio listening on headphones.
Turn your iTunes tracks into ringtones for iPhone
If you love custom ringtones, this hack is for you. Here’s an easy way to use iTunes to create a unique iPhone ringtone:
- Enter your music library and choose the track you’d like to use as a ringtone.
- Right-click the track > Get Info > Options.
- Select the start and end time (30 seconds max) and click OK.
- Open Preference > General > Import settings.
- Set the Import to AAC encoder if it’s not set by default and save the changes.
- Go back to the track, right-click, and select Create AAC Version.
- You’ll see the file listed twice in iTunes—choose the new one and select Show in Finder.
- Change the file name from M4A TO M4R for ringtone.
- In iTunes, delete the file you created and replace it by M4R file—you can drag it from Finder.
- Once you click to Ringtones, your track should be there—transfer it to iPhone next time you sync.
Back up and transfer music files in one go
Speaking of drag and drop—as it's not always necessary to use iTunes when you want to sync information between your Mac and iOS device—you can use a smart syncing app like AnyTrans, which makes not only file transferring a piece of cake but also work as a media downloader and backup manager.
AnyTrans will surely impress you by instantly creating backups and copies of your iPhone content on your Mac, as well as transferring data across iOS, iTunes, and iCloud.
How to import media from your iOS to Mac and iTunes:
- Open the AnyTrans app and follow quick setup instructions.
- Connect your iOS device to your computer via the USB cable.
- Click the “Connect to iTunes” button.
- Select file category you want to transfer. In this case, Music, Movie, or Playlists would be great.
- Click the Transfer button that looks like a large arrow to zap them from one device to the other.
Once you’ve waited for the transferring process to complete, you can repeat it for many other file categories that AnyTrans supports.
There’s a world of music out there. iTunes store login and Apple Music are just one method to access it. So explore the ropes, but make sure you experiment to refine your workflow as well.
How to manage cloud drives on Mac
iCloud — a cloud service by Apple.
Google Drive — a file storage and synchronization tool by Google.
Dropbox — a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, synchronization, and personal cloud software.
CloudMounter — a tool that connects cloud storage accounts to Finder, third-party.
There’s a lot of data you’ll want to store on Mac if you use it right. To cleverly manage space, you should learn how to deal with cloud drives. Apple comes with iCloud which gives every Mac user 5GB of free storage. There are tons of possibilities to stretch it with external drives, space usage optimizers, and more.
Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Amazon S3 are the most common choices of a cloud drive. Many of us use a few of these cloud storage services to help us safely store important video files, documents, photos, and more in the cloud. Cloud storage allows us to do things like create backups of important information or share files between colleagues at work. The affordability and accessibility of cloud storage makes it a popular choice for sharing and collaborating with others.
In this section, we’ll cover how to set up, sync, and mount cloud drives. So that your Mac space knows no limits.
A quick guide to iCloud
Anyone can have a free 5GB of secure cloud-storage before they run out and either need to delete apps, images or other synced files, or upgrade - whereby you can get anything from 50GB to 2TB of extra storage, costing between $0.99 to $9.99 per month.
Apple iOS devices and Macs are usually set to default sync with iCloud, which means everything from backups - which make it easier to recover and restore a stolen or lost device - to photos, songs, documents and videos end up filling up your iCloud account. If you sync a lot of files and images (always do this over Wi-Fi, so you don’t use all your phones data) then sooner or later, you are going to get an “iCloud Storage is Almost Full” or another similar message, which means you’re quickly running out of space.
Cleverly manage iCloud Storage
When it comes to managing iCloud storage you’ve got a few options. Here are all the ways you can avoid running out of space:
#1: Turn off automatic syncs
Every time your iOS device or Mac is connected to Wi-Fi it updates iCloud with anything new; so whenever you’ve taken a picture, updated a document or downloaded a new song, this change is stored in iCloud. What this means is you’ve got a copy in the cloud, which could be useful if you need a duplicate of something important, such as a treasured picture or important document.
But what if these updates aren't as important? You don’t always need a duplicate of everything. This is what causes iCloud to run out of space, forcing you to delete things or upgrade. Take a proactive approach to managing iCloud, when you turn off automatic syncs on every device, so you can only upload something when you chose. These settings can be easily changed in iPhones, iPads and Macs.
At the same time, make sure iCloud only syncs when connected to Wi-Fi, so you avoid using all your phones data.
#2: If, however, you need a lot of extra storage—upgrade
Apple offers extra iCloud storage from 50GB to 2TB of extra storage, costing between $0.99 to $9.99 per month. However, before you click yes, it might be worth shopping around and seeing who else offers storage space and whether you can get a better deal.
Dropbox, Box and iCloud all provide free (from 2GB to 20GB of free storage) and premium price plans, depending on how much space you need and whether this is for personal or business use.
Dropshare is another alternative, giving you more security and control of your file storage, which can either work in sync with another cloud provider, or you can store and share files directly from and to any device using Dropshare Cloud.
#3: Free up Mac storage space
Macs can get awfully full, especially if you’re using them all the time and have a lot of pictures, music, videos, documents and other files. Students, creative professionals, digital nomads and knowledge economy workers love Macs but don't always like the space restrictions, which is why iCloud storage is often useful until you run out of space.
One way to solve this persistent problem is with CleanMyMac, a popular and easy-to-use app that millions of people are using to find extra space without needing to manually dig through folders and files.
How to use Dropbox on a Mac
A number one cloud-based storage system today, Dropbox essentially made storing data online mainstream. This app simplifies syncing files across different devices and offers an easy way to share photos, folders, or send large files (i.e. too large for emails) to others. Although Dropbox isn’t the only cloud-based storage and syncing service for Mac, it remains extremely popular.
Even though, as a Mac user, you do already have iCloud storage and syncing service right at your fingertips, integrated with your Mac and other iOS devices, there are still reasons for you to download Dropbox for Mac.
Dropbox makes it easy to share whatever it contains, by offering advanced features such as shared folders or the ability to copy a Dropbox link to allow someone to download a file from your folder. Besides, Dropbox is one of the more common cloud services used by third-party productivity apps that could offer you great additional features.
How To Sync Dropbox On Mac Easily
While you can always access your data from the Dropbox website, in the long run, it's easier to install the Dropbox desktop app. Using the Dropbox desktop app means you won't have to manually upload or download files in your Dropbox folder and any time you make a change to a file and are connected to the internet that change will sync everywhere you have Dropbox installed. Dropbox app for Mac works even when you're offline — just like an ordinary folder.
How to install the Dropbox app for Mac
To download Dropbox for Mac, look for the Dropbox installer on dropbox.com. Once the download of the Dropbox installer is complete, you should be able to find it (DropboxInstaller.dmg) in your Mac’s Downloads folder. Open the file to start your Dropbox download app:
- Double-click on the Dropbox icon in the installer window.
- A warning sign will appear cautioning that Dropbox is an application you downloaded from the internet ➙ click Open to start the installation process.
- Once the basic installation is complete, Dropbox will ask you to sign in. If you don’t already have an existing Dropbox account, use the sign-up link near the bottom-right corner of the window and follow the online instructions to set up your Dropbox account.
If all is done right, after you sign in to your Dropbox on Mac, you’ll see a congratulations message for successfully completing the installation.
Now on to your Dropbox folder. To set it up:
- Click Open My Dropbox Folder button in the final installer window.
- Enter your Dropbox password ➙ then click OK.
- Dropbox will add itself to your Finder’s sidebar and deposit a Dropbox for Mac tutorial into your Dropbox folder (a Get Started with Dropbox .pdf file). Take a few moments to read through the guide — it provides a good outline for working with Dropbox.
Tips for using Dropbox on MacUnderstanding how does Dropbox work is easy. Once you install the Dropbox desktop app and set up your Dropbox account, it’ll appear on your computer as a special Dropbox folder, which will become the heart of how Dropbox works. Anything you place inside that folder is automatically copied to the cloud and synced with your other devices that run Dropbox.Note that Dropbox might not automatically copy all the files on your computer
(e.g. when you don’t have enough space) — you might have to pick and choose which ones you want to save.
Transferring files to the Dropbox folder is a matter of seconds. First Dropbox will show a blue icon with circling arrows in the lower left — this means copying the file and uploading it to the cloud. Once it’s done, the icon will turn green and display a check mark. If you wish to transfer multiple files at once:
- Hold ⌘ and click on each file you want to move.
- Drag one of the files to move all selected ones into the Dropbox folder.
What you don’t have to worry about is how to sync Dropbox. Dropbox for Mac automatically saves all data placed inside the folder across all devices. As long as you can access your account, you can download any file stored in your Dropbox folder on your local machine. For example, you can move pictures you took on your phone to Dropbox and look at them on your Mac in seconds.
One of Dropbox’s strongest features you should definitely benefit from is sharing files with colleagues and family members. To designate files for sharing:
- Right-click on the item you wish to share in your Dropbox.
- Select the option that says “Share…” with a Dropbox icon next to it.
- In the text field below the question “Who do you want to share with?”, type the email addresses of the people with whom you want to share the file.
- Grant the permission you want, either view only or with the ability to edit the file.
- Once done, you’ll be able to write a message for the recipient(s) if you want to do so. You can also create a link to send to people yourself if you don’t want Dropbox to send the link by email.
Using Dropbox on Mac as pure cloud storage is popular too, as it helps you keep backup copies of important files safe and ready to restore should need be.Dropbox is available in four pricing plans: the first three let you expand the amount of storage you have by referring others to the service. For example, the
basic free version of Dropbox will give you 500 MB per referral, expanding the initial 2 GB to a possible maximum of 18 GB of free storage. A Plus plan for $9.99 per month will give you 1 TB of storage space.
How to use Google Drive on a Mac
Google Drive is an online storage solution by Google. It allows you to store and sync data across your devices with its 15 GB of free storage space, while its integration with Google Docs for Mac gives your friends or coworkers access to the files or folders you designate for sharing.
There’s an official Google Drive app for Mac too — an upgraded 2017 version of which is called Backup & Sync and is sometimes referred to as the new Google Drive. Google Drive Backup and Sync download is free and you can expect to install it and have it running in no time and little effort.
How To Set Up And Use Google Drive For Mac
With Google Drive, you can create and edit documents online. But if you rely on Drive for files backup and sync, it’s much more convenient to use the app. To start using Google Drive on Mac, the first thing you need is a Google Drive account.
How to create a Google Drive account
If you have an account on any of Google services, like Gmail, YouTube, or Google Play, then you actually already have a Google Drive account.
Simply log in to a Google Drive website or app with your existing credentials. Or create a Google account for free by following these steps:
- Go to google.com/drive and click on the blue Go to Google Drive button.
- Click Create Account.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to create a new Google account (this will also serve as your new Gmail email address).
How to install Google Drive for MacOnce you have a Google account, you can download Google Drive for Mac and use it. Here’s how you can do the Google Backup and Sync download:
- Go to google.com/drive and click Download near the top of the page.
- Click on the Download button under Backup and Sync.
- Read and agree to the terms of service to start the download of Google Drive for Mac.
- The Google Drive Installer will be downloaded to your Mac’s Downloads folder.
When the download is complete, double-click the installer (the file is called InstallBackupAndSync.dmg). Then click and drag the Backup and Sync From Google icon to the Applications folder.
How to sync Google Drive on Mac for the first time
The first time you open Google Drive on Mac, you have to go through a few steps to get it set up properly. After that accessing Google Drive will be effortless. But to get things up and running:
- Launch Google Drive from the Applications folder by clicking on Backup and Sync From Google.
- A warning sign will appear cautioning that Google Drive is an application you downloaded from the internet ➙ click Open.
- On the welcome to Google Drive window that appears click Get Started.
- Sign in to your Google account with your Gmail email address and password.
- The Google Drive Installer will display a number of tips about using the app and then add a special Google Drive folder to your Home directory on Mac ➙ click Next.
- You can designate items in your Google Drive folder to be shared with anyone ➙ click Next ➙ Done.
The installer will finish by adding a Google Drive menu bar icon and a Google Drive sidebar icon to the Finder. This sets up the two key elements for you to work with Google Drive for Mac: Google Drive folder and Google Drive menu bar icon.Most of the time you’ll use the Google Drive folder — to store items you want to save to the Google cloud as well as share with others. Google Drive menu bar icon is handy for quick access and configuring Google Drive settings.
How to use Google Drive menu bar iconThe menu bar Google Drive icon gives you quick access to the Google Drive folder on your Mac, opens Google Drive in your browser, displays recent documents that you have added or updated, and tells you if the Google Drive sync has completed. But more importantly, the menu bar icon contains additional Google Drive settings. To set up Google Drive to your liking:
- Click on the Google Drive icon in the menu bar and a dropdown menu will appear.
- Click on the vertical ellipsis in the top right corner ➙ choose Preferences from the menu.
The Google Drive Preferences menu lets you configure your Google Drive settings with a three-tab interface.My Mac tab allows you to decide whether you want to keep the default setting and have all the folders in your Google Drive folder synced automatically to the cloud or designate only specific folders for Google Drive sync.
Google Drive tab manages the connection between your Google Drive folder and the cloud. This is where you go in case of Google Drive not syncing. To sync Google Drive folder with the cloud, make sure you’re signed in to your Google account.
Settings tab gives you options to have Google Drive automatically launch when you log in to your Mac, show confirmation messages when shared items are removed from Google Drive, and upgrade your storage to another plan.
How to use Google Drive on Mac
Now that your Google Drive setup is complete, you have access to this additional storage for you to do as you wish. However, one of the best uses would be to link your Google Drive to multiple devices — for easy access from all of them.
Also remember that Google Drive lets you create and work with others on documents in Google’s own versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in real-time (called Docs, Sheets, and Slides respectively). To enable collaboration on a Google Docs file, simply tap on Share in the top right corner and enter the names or email addresses of the people you wish to engage.
How to mount cloud storages and web servers locally
Cloud storage services get even better when you can mount them as local drives and thus extend the storage on your computer. Having cloud storage is like having a remote disk for Mac. Since firing your web browser or specific storage service app every time you want to upload or download a stored file can be time-consuming, you can save yourself many hours and stay organized when accessing your cloud-stored files with a locally accessible cloud network drive.
To connect your cloud storage apps to your computer as a local drive, you’ll need an app that can mount cloud drives as disks on your Mac. The CloudMounter app is a good choice, which will allow you to work with files stored online in the same manner as the local files on your computer.
Although your remote drives can be mounted manually, CloudMounter makes it easier to do things like move files between the cloud storage apps without needing to manually copy the files to your computer first.
CloudMounter also keeps your files safe. Even if someone gains access to your account, your cloud files will stay secure with CloudMounter’s AES-256 encryption. Finally, CloudMounter also allows you to set up SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) to mount remote SFTP drives.
How to add Google Drive to Finder
You can add Google Drive to Finder by default by going into your Applications folder and launching Google Drive. You will need to enter your login details for
Drive account to your local drive with CloudMounter to have better access to your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Once you link your account on your computer, you’ll be able to open or move files directly from Mac’s Finder as if they were a part of your local drive.
- Open the CloudMounter app by clicking on New Drive.
- Click on the Google Drive link in the Connections window.
- Enter your Google Drive login details.
- Click Mount.
- You’ll see your Google Drive appear in your Finder along with your computer’s hard drive.
- Click on the Google Drive folder to see all the files from your Google Drive.
To open a file from your Google Drive in your Finder, use the drop-down menu to click View on google.drive.com to have the file open on your browser.How to add Dropbox to FinderBy connecting your Dropbox account to Finder with CloudMounter, you’ll have
your Dropbox files within reach from your local computer drive in case you want to open, move, share, delete, or make any other file manipulations. Once you set up your Dropbox account with CloudMounter, you’ll be able to link multiple Dropbox accounts and you won’t need to have dropbox.app installed on your computer.
- Open the CloudMounter app by clicking on New Drive.
- Click on the Dropbox link in the pop up window.
- Enter your Dropbox account log in details.
- Click Mount.
- You’ll see your Dropbox file appear in the Finder.
- Click on the Dropbox folder to see all the files in your Dropbox account.
- To share a file or directory from your Dropbox, click on Copy Dropbox Link.
How to add iCloud Drive to Finder
To find files that you’ve downloaded or uploaded using Apple’s cloud storage system, you can access your iCloud Drive from a browser window or directly on the Finder. You don’t need an external app to find your iCloud Drive on your Mac — it should already be built-in to your finder.
- Open the Finder on your Mac.
- Locate your iCloud Drive icon on the sidebar.
There are tools that allow you to access cloud-stored files directly in your local computer file finder without having to individually access each separate cloud storage service through a web browser. Mac storage managers such as the CloudMounter make it easy to bring all your external cloud storage services together from the cloud into your computer’s Finder.
AirPlay — a proprietary protocol stack used to transmit audio, video, and screens across Apple devices.
Apple TV — a microconsole and digital media player developed by Apple.
Airplay is the best way to quickly share any digital content to your Apple devices. Popular with Apple TV, it’s a common option for sharing video to your TV screen in real time.
Here are the ways you can benefit from AirPlay:
Use it with Apple TV 4K to enjoy movies and iCloud photos in a terrific quality.
Share presentations right from your Mac if your audience needs them on a big screen.
Get AirPlay-enabled Smart TV from popular providers like Sony or Samsung.
Integrate with HomePod for a better music streaming experience.
How to AirPlay on Mac
The AirPlay icon should appear in your menu bar automatically once a connected device is nearby. If it doesn’t happen, enable the option in System Preferences:
- System Preferences > Displays.
- Check “Show mirroring options.”
- To connect from there, click on AirPlay Display and choose the device.
Make sure the device you want to use for AirPlay streaming and your Mac are connected to the same network.
Using AirPlay is not only a pleasure-for-the-sake-of-pleasure thing. Apart from an awesome cinematic experience, mirroring screen is a useful option if you want to share data without copying it. So you get to save lots of precious space on Mac.
Intro to macOS and its accessibility features
macOS — a series of graphical operating systems for Mac released by Apple starting 2001.
From interface to app features, macOS is a soul of a Mac, supporting every piece of its vital functionality. Every September, Apple releases a new version of macOS, upgrading the existing assets and adding the new ones.
The core elements of macOS are Finder, Dock, Spotlight, and Notifications — programs helping a user navigate between apps and features, conveniently.
Accessibility on macOS
macOS integrates Accessibility APIs for the built-in apps, which makes a Mac an easy-to-use machine for everyone. Here are the key accessibility assets of macOS:
VoiceOver: Basically, it’s when your Mac is speaking to you. Any action a user takes and anything that happens on Mac as a result of it is being voiced.
Zoom: A built-in Zoom for Mac allows you to do screen magnification, enlarging and focusing on any part of the display.
Switch Control: Set up easy switches to perform custom actions with a press. It works with tons of devices, from keyboard key to joystick.
Accessibility Keyboard: A fully customizable keyboard for Mac with toolbar support and auto-suggest features.
Speak selection: Enable your Mac to speak the words you’re reading. You can also set up automatic speaking by assigning a keyboard shortcut.
Accommodate display: Choose optimal color filters to adjust the view on your Mac screen — a great asset for users with vision issues.
Apple encourages app developers to support accessibility APIs and makes it easy to integrate such apps with macOS. So that every need is taken care of.
Organize files and folders on Mac
Spotless — an auto-cleanup utility for Mac, third-party.
Renamer — file renamer for Mac, third-party.
Workspaces — an app that helps organize items into dedicated workspaces, third-party.
Emulsion — an image organizer for Mac, third-party.
We so often throw everything into separate locations and pray they can find it when needed, taking a hit-and-hope approach. If only there were a way to arrange folders and find files faster. An efficient, proven system to avoid all the wasted time, stress and extra effort. We have an array of tips and tools for helping your bring things to order.
Let’s start with some simple rules for managing your files and folders:
- Clutter control: don’t put files on the desktop. Your desktop is supposed to be clean and display that amazing HD wallpaper you’ve got going on.
- Find files faster: name your files and folders strategically.
- Keep shortcuts to your project resources in one place to access them quickly. It solves the annoying part of switching between projects.
- Tagging. Instead of—or in addition to—folder structures, try tagging files. The benefit of tagging is the ability to add multiple tags to a file. Without a strong folder structure, tags are all that’s keeping your files from getting lost in chaos.
How to use tags to organize files on macOS
Let’s start in the end. Mac has its own tagging feature that lets you color code files and folders. You can use this to group your items so that you’re not scrolling through endless lists.
Tags work for files and folders stored on your Mac or iCloud account and are easy to add.
How to tag files and folders on macOS
To tag an open file, hold the pointer to the right of the title and click on the arrow, followed by the Tags field. Choose a tag from the list, or enter a new tag.
To tag a file in the Finder or on your Mac desktop, select the item that you want to tag, open the File menu and choose a color. If you want to choose a different tag or enter a new tag, click on Tags for additional options.
To tag a newly created file as you save it, click on File > Save and select the Tags field in the Save dialog. Enter a new tag or select one from the list.
Items can also be tagged from a Finder window by selecting a file or folder and clicking on the Tags button.
How to find tagged items on macOS
Once you’ve tagged your items you can easily find them by opening up a Finder window.
From the finder window, enter the tag name or color in the search field and locate your file from the list. Alternatively, you can ask Siri to find the file for you by asking it to, “Find files with a blue tag” or something similar.
To see every file with a particular tag, you can click on the tag color in the Finder sidebar. You can also choose which tags you want to see located in the sidebar by going to Finder > Preferences and choosing the appropriate tags.
To sort items by their tag, go to View > Show View Options and click the checkbox next to Tags. Click the Tags column in List view and the files will be arranged for simple viewing. Click on the column name again to revert the order back to how it was.
How to edit tags on macOS
To edit a tag that you’ve already created, go to Finder > Preferences > Tags.
From here you’ll be able to change the color by clicking on the color button and selecting a new option and change the name by clicking on the tag’s name.
To add a new tag, click on the + button.
How to remove a tag on macOS
If you want to remove a tag from an item, all you need to do is Control-click the item, click Tags, select the tags that you want to remove, and hit Delete.
Removing a tag from your Mac is equally straightforward. Go to Finder > Preferences > Tags, select the tags that you want to remove and click on the - button.
Clutter control: Clean up desktop
Gather all the files and folders you want to keep on the desktop and put them in a folder or two for temporary storage if you’re referring to it regularly. If you want to make sure to keep your desktop clear—easy to maintain with Spotless app.
With smart algorithms such as the Autotidy feature, users can input ‘tasks’ which specify where particular files belong with an easy-to-use drag and drop system. The app will store your instructions and automate the process by scheduling folders to be organized at regular intervals.
There’s no limit to the number of automated tasks you can create, making for a spotless Mac. Users can teach the app to organize their images, desktop or individual documents, using a range of different parameters, e.g. filename, extension, file size, modified date etc. This gives users full scope to organize and locate files efficiently, without having to do the dirty work.
Putting your important documents and folders in the hands of an AI robot may be daunting, but Spotless is heavily regulated to minimize possible risks. Before submitting a new task, users receive a full preview of changes to consolidate understanding and ensure no errors are made, as well as having comprehensive and configurable conflict resolution rules to safeguard your files. With a fully editable dashboard, users can search engagement history to track what actions Spotless has undertaken and have the power to restore files or undo any unwanted changes.
Find files fasterKeep in mind that you can search for files using folder names—the more specific, the more quickly you’ll find what you’re looking for. Think about saving an invoice. Do you think invoice1.pdf is a good name? Probably not. July invoice.pdf is not any better. So when you’re naming that invoice, think about how you might look for it. Probably:By date (I want the July 2018 invoice).
By company (I want the ABCom invoice).
By type of document (I want a invoice).
So a good name would allow you to look at the files in a folder and right away see what each file is without opening it. It would give you things you can use to search. So a good file name, in this case, could be 2017-07 ABCom invoice.pdf. The same concept applies to folders. Renamer app will be handy in batch renaming across files, including music and photo files.
The next step is to use workspaces to manage multitasking.
The nature of the macOS system doesn’t particularly lend itself to multitasking. Having to jump between the countless browser tabs open alongside your documents and any impending emails isn’t ideal, especially when you have a long to-do list.
If you want to create tailored workspaces where you could add any resources, along with handy widgets like a bookmark bar, there’s an app for it. Workspaces is a simple Mac organizer, facilitating and simplifying the art of multitasking. Through a designated ‘workspace’, you can access all relevant resources needed for the task in hand – web pages, emails, documents and more. By saving all the relevant documents to your workspace, you’ll eradicate all that wasted time
hunting for files and, with the inbuilt task list, you’ll be able to switch exercises with ease.
What about pics organizing?
We can all appreciate the perils involved in keeping your images organized. From those videos of unforgettable nights-out to the endless array of selfies, the camera roll can be a mighty mess. For so many of us, photo hoarders who love collecting and storing photos, keeping them arranged is a near enough impossible task. Or was.
Picture this, an app that helps you manage your entire gallery, accessible at your fingertips, without the need to delete any images. Using a powerful photo manager, Emulsion effortlessly arranges your images in a well-structured, consistent and beautiful way. The Live Folder feature allows images to remain in their primary location, while simultaneously storing them with automatic syncing.
Furthermore, the app utilizes macOS features seamlessly. By placing all images together in one easy-to-access panel, users can sort pictures by metadata, tags and notes, complete with full-screen options, quick look and gestures. Through tagging, Emulsion can sort images by people, locations, time and even colors, demonstrating the impressive AI behind the app.
Gemini — a handy tool for Mac that scans your files, detecting and removing duplicates or similar files.
When your Mac starts to run out of space, one of the most effective ways to clean it up is to find any duplicate files you can delete. Photos, videos, songs, email attachments, old documents—anything that’s easy to download and forget about.
Unsurprisingly, there are a few ways you can quickly find duplicate files and delete them, freeing up space you can use to create something new.
Best ways to find duplicates on your Mac
In just about a year, an average Mac collects 5 to 70 gigabytes of duplicate files. To find and sort through all of it manually could take up to 15 hours of your time, or just up to 2 hours if you automate the process with a few apps. Here, we’ll show you all the ways to get rid of duplicate junk.
Find duplicates manually
You can, of course, just go through every folder, hidden or not, and delete the files that you remember seeing somewhere else. But how long that would take you? Your files love to spread throughout multiple destinations, and some apps like iTunes or Photos keep their own libraries of your files, which are hard to get to. If you’re still going for the manual way, here’s our primer:
Check your Desktop and Downloads folders first.
To delete duplicate attachments in Mail, verify that you do have a copy somewhere online, then find the email in the app and go Message > Remove Attachments.
Open up Finder and put an asterisk in the search field, making sure you’re searching your whole Mac. The results will start appearing slowly. Choose to sort by Kind. Now the list will show you all the files with matching titles side by side. See which ones are actually the same and delete the copies.
Again, it is quite possible to scan your Mac for duplicates manually, but it requires a lot of time and patience. Luckily, there are better and more automatic ways to help you out.The automated way to find duplicates
Just as with most maintenance tasks, finding duplicates has been automated for quite some time now. Apps like Gemini and Disk Drill are able to scan your computer and clear out the excess completely in minutes.
Gemini is beyond easy to use. It’s able to swiftly inspect your Mac, sort all the results by type or date, and even find similar files beyond just duplicates.
When you launch the Gemini app, it will prompt you to add a folder to scan. This can be any folder on your Mac, including common folders like your Home folder, Pictures folder, and Music folder, where your iTunes library lives.
If you’re scanning your Pictures folder (or the Home folder, which contains it), Gemini has to launch the Photos app and keep it open to properly find duplicates inside your photo library.
After Gemini finishes the scan, it’ll show you how many duplicates it found and recommend which ones to automatically delete. The round graph on the left side of the window even breaks up your duplicate files into songs, videos, photos, documents, and other files.
You can click the Smart Cleanup button to delete the files that Gemini suggests or click Review Results to see all the duplicate files and make your own decisions.
The Review Results window contains everything you need to decide, too. For each duplicate file, you can see where each version lives on your hard drive, when it was last modified, how large the file is, and preview it. The sidebar also distinguishes exact duplicates from files that are just very similar. You can sort any list by size or file type, and then check the boxes for any files you are comfortable deleting.
To see everything you have selected for deletion so far (including the choices Gemini made on your behalf), just click the Selected section in the left-hand sidebar. And when you’re finished making selections, just click the Smart Cleanup button in the bottom-right and that’s it! Gemini deletes your duplicate files and you’re all done.
Get rid of useless mail clutter
While Gemini will scan files across iTunes, Photos, Dropbox, network drives, CleanMyMac X will help you tidy up mail.
If you work with your Mac’s native email client, it’s very likely that your computer still carries all the mail attachments since the beginning of time. The thing is, all of them are likely to be stored in your email inbox online, so you can really treat them like duplicates too. That’s where CleanMyMac X will come handy. All you need to do is select Mail Attachments and then Scan. CleanMyMac X will then detect files that remained unchanged and could be easily downloaded from your mail server. When you’re ready, click Clean and rid your Mac of gigabytes of clutter.
How to recover deleted files
Accidentally deleting files is a nightmare. It’s not that bad if you just put them in Trash, as you can go in and retrieve them with ease. But sometimes you automatically empty the trash, only to realize later what a big mistake that was. Worry not! There are a few ways you can save your files still.
If you’ve been cleaning up your duplicates with Gemini and got rid of a file you actually needed, you can quickly bring it back from the cleanup complete screen or go into Trash and restore it the traditional way.
In case you emptied your trash or permanently deleted a file, you would need to use the power of Disk Drill to bring it back. Here’s how:
- Launch the Disk Drill app and give the app permission to scan your drive.
- After the scan, select the drive you need to recover deleted files from and select Recover. Done!
All in all, deleting your files from the trash is not the end of the world. But if you realize you’ve just deleted the file you shouldn’t have, try to restore it immediately. The longer you wait the lower the chance of you recovering the file intact.
- See also:
Check the full guide on how to delete and recover deleted files on Mac here.
How to work with archives on Mac
Archive Utility — Apple’s compression utility for Mac, native.
Archiver — a file opener for Mac, third-party.
BetterZip — one-stop unzipper for all tasks, third-party.
We all encounter and have to deal with zip files in our day-to-day work. There are, of course, several methods for creating archives, such as built-in utilities, Terminal, and third-party apps. Below, we are going to explore all the best zipping and unzipping options available to you.
A common way to compress or uncompress files
Before we talk about some special apps and tools, we need to mention your Mac’s simple Archive Utility, stored in the Applications > Utilities folder. Yes, basic file compression is built right into macOS. Its functionality range is limited, but it’s good enough for quick zipping and unzipping of files and folders when you need to look into files someone has sent you or upload an image folder to Dropbox.
Zipping single files and folders with the Archive Utility is easy:
- If the files aren’t already in a folder, move them to one and give it a descriptive name.
- Right-click on the folder and choose Compress. Done!
Compressing multiple items works just about the same. The only difference is the names of the items that appear in the pop-up menu and the name of the zip file that is created.
To zip multiple files:
- Open the folder with files or folders you want to zip up.
- Select the items you want to include in the zip file and right-click on any one of the items to select Compress from the pop-up menu (this time, the word Compress will be followed by the number of items you have selected, such as Compress 10 Items).
When the compression is finished, the compressed items will be stored in a file called Archive.zip, which will be located in the same folder as the original items.
Once again, a progress bar will display. When the compression is finished, the items will be stored in a file called Archive.zip, which will be located in the same folder as the original items.
It’s just as easy to reverse the process and unzip files from an archive:
- Right-click on the zip archive.
- Choose “Open with” and then select Archive Utility.
- The archive will be unzipped and its folder available for use.
Sadly, compressing and decompressing files and folders is the only thing the default Archive Utility is capable of doing. If you want to preview the contents of an archive, merge or split archives, protect archives with passwords, or use an extended range of file types (e.g. RAR), you’d need some special tools. Fortunately, there are apps that can do all the above.
Сompression tips for macOS
It’s true that some lack of the Archive Utility’s functionality can be fixed by using Terminal, but it’s not exactly user-friendly or straightforward. A better way to go is using apps like BetterZip and Archiver, which are easy to use and give you all the features you could imagine.
BetterZip covers all the functionality of the Archive Utility but also packs lots of high-end features you’ll find very useful if you work with zip archives regularly. It allows you to add comments to archives, delete files from archives without unzipping them, and is fully AppleScriptable, so you can integrate it into your workflow. BetterZip will also suggest passwords for you to use to encrypt archives, and you can tell it to automatically trash archives once you’ve unzipped them.
Archiver is another great app for compressing and extracting files. If you find that you’re uncomfortable with BetterZip’s detail-heavy interface and would rather use a tool that has a simpler, more minimalist user interface, you should try Archiver.
It’s sort of midway between Archive Utility and BetterZip in terms of features, but has a more approachable design than the latter.
How to create an encrypted archive
Apple's Archive Utility doesn't provide ZIP archives' encryption with a password.
However, there is a way to do this if needed.
To place a file or folder into an encrypted ZIP file, you'll need to use the Terminal and perform the following actions:
- Type the following command, followed by a single space: zip -e ~/Desktop/ Archive.zip
- Drag the folder containing your desired files to the Terminal window, so the command looks like the following: zip -e ~/Desktop/Archive.zip /path-to-folder
- Press Enter and supply the password to use for the archive. The encrypted file will appear on your desktop.
This method might seem a bit complicated and not very convenient. If you plan on encrypting files regularly, your best bet is to use one of the more approachable tools. For example, one of the best features of BetterZip is the ability to encrypt archives when you create them:
- To set it up, open Preferences and click on the Presets tab.
- With Clean and Zip (the option you’ll probably use most often) selected in the Q and T columns, go to the Encryption method menu and select ‘Strong.’
- If you want to use the same password for every archive, type it in the box beneath. If you’d rather choose a password when you create an archive, leave the box blank.
- Close Preferences.
Unlike BetterZip, in Archiver you don’t need to set up encryption before you start:
- Drop a file or folder onto Archiver’s main window. Choose what type of archive you want to create, then give it a name.
- Click Encrypt, if you want to encrypt it, and choose the level of encryption. Then press Archive.
Look inside the archive without extraction
You can preview and read the contents of a zipped file without extraction by clicking on it and then pressing the spacebar to invoke Quick Look via BetterZip app:
- In the Finder, right-click on the archive you want to look into.
- Select Quick Look from the drop-down menu. The app will take over and show you a list of the files in the archive, with details of their names, types, and sizes.
- If you want to see more, choose Open with BetterZip. The archive will then open and you can preview the contents of each file, all without extracting it.
Add additional files to an archiveYou can easily add items into existing archive with BetterZip:
- Click the Add button in the toolbar and navigate to the file or files you want to add.
- When you’ve selected one or more files (Command-click for multiple files), click Add. The new files will be added to the existing files in the archive.
- Click and hold on Save and choose Clean and Zip to create a new zipped
archive consisting of the existing files and the ones you just added.
How to split an archiveIsn’t it annoying when you need to send an email but the attachment is too big? An easy way out is to split your zipped archive into smaller zip files with the Archiver app.
- Drop the zip folder you want to split onto the Archiver window.
- Click Split.
- Choose the appropriate chunk size and the type of extension.
- Click Split again.
How to fix the spinning color wheel
Spinning wheel — a multi-color spinning wheel that a user sees when a computer has to “think,” pausing for a few seconds to consider the command.
Few things give Mac users that sinking feeling more than the sight of a spinning color wheel, rainbow wheel, spinning beach ball of death or SBBOD as it's also commonly known. It’s official name is the Spinning Wait Cursor, and it’s a system indicator signifying that macOS cannot handle all the tasks given to it at this moment.
Why does it happen? It's a sign that an application is trying to deal with more processes than it can handle at any given time. Sometimes it will last only a few seconds and disappear, when processing cycles are freed up and the application is able to process all the tasks it needs to. Other times, the application will become persistently unresponsive and 'hang'. When that happens, the only solution is to force quit the app.
Quick ways to get rid of a spinning ball
To fix an application stuck with a spinning cursor:
- If you know which app is hanging, press Cmd-alt-escape and you'll see the Force Quit dialog box. The problematic app will be shown as 'not responding.'
- Select the app and press Force Quit. The app should now quit and the rainbow wheel will disappear.
- If the app refuses to force quit, or force quitting doesn't fix the problem, the next step is to restart your Mac.
How to stop the rainbow wheel issue
Getting rid of a spinning beachball is only part of the solution. As we said above, it's a symptom, not a cause of problems. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prevent it. The first is to identify which applications are putting the greatest strain on your Mac.
iStat Menus, available in Setapp, is a powerful performance monitoring tool for your Mac. It sits in your Mac's Finder menu bar and allows you to easily check which apps are hogging processor cycles or RAM. And helps you see how well or badly your Mac is running. If you need more detailed information, or need to quit specific processes (rather than applications), you can launch Activity Monitor
from within iStat Menus.
Getting rid of a spinning beachball is only part of the solution. As we said above, it's a symptom, not a cause of problems. Fortunately, there are a number of things
you can do to prevent it. The first is to identify which applications are putting the greatest strain on your Mac.
iStat Menus, available in Setapp, is a powerful performance monitoring tool for your Mac. It sits in your Mac's Finder menu bar and allows you to easily check which apps are hogging processor cycles or RAM. And helps you see how well or badly your Mac is running. If you need more detailed information, or need to quit specific processes (rather than applications), you can launch Activity Monitor
from within iStat Menus.
- See also:
Discover how iStat Menus and CleanMyMac X can help you remove apps from Mac.
How to set alarms and timers
Lungo — an app that keeps your Mac awake, third-party.
2Do — a comprehensive task manager, third-party.
WaitingList — a countdown timer for Mac, third-party.
On Mac, you can set alarms for tasks, events, meetings, and just about anything else that would require an alert. In this, we’ll show you how to set an alarm clock on Mac with the help of the Apple Calendar and some useful apps.
How to set an alarm on Mac with the Apple Calendar
The Apple Calendar is the place for all things schedule-related, including alarms.
To set a one-time alarm, you have to first create an event.
- Click on the Launchpad, then click on the Calendar app.
- Double-click the date that you want to set the alarm on.
- Right-click your preferred time slot and select New Event.
- Enter the name for your event, then click on the date and time section.
- Enter the time that you want the alarm to go off, then click on None next to alert.
- In the pop-up menu click Custom…, then Message. Click on Message with sound and choose an alarm chime.
- Select how many minutes before the event you want the alarm to go off, then click OK.
Any alarm that you set in your Mac Calendar app will automatically sync with your iPhone or iPad, so if you’re away from your computer you will still receive the alert.
This is not an option if you are looking how to set an alarm on Mac to wake up: the alert will not go off if your Mac sleeps at the time. To keep your Mac awake, use an app like Lungo. It keeps the Mac awake and prevents it from going into sleep mode.
To sum it up, if you need an alarm clock that works in sleep mode, install Lungo, set an even for morning, turn on Message with sound.
Easy ways to set alarms and timers on Mac
Using the Calendar app is perfect for one-off events such as a dentist appointment or a meeting with friends but if you’re relying on alarms to complete tasks, hit deadlines, and attend events, you’re going to need help from a third-party app.
While there are dozens of alarm-based apps available for Mac, three stand out above the rest: 2Do, BeFocused, and Waiting List.
They’re all different in what they have to offer which is why we recommend giving all three a home on your desktop.
Set one-time alerts
If there’s a special occasion for which you need an alarm, set one-time alerts.
Here’s how you can do it with Apple’s Calendar:
- Open Calendar from the Dock or Applications and double-click a specific date.
- In the “New event,” type the name of your custom event.
- Pick the date and time. In the “Alert” field, specify when the alarm should go off.
- In the drop-down menu, select “Message with sound” – you can pick the sound from the list of suggested options or upload your own audio.
Alternatively, you can remind yourself about important one-time deals with 2Do, a task management app that adapts to your needs and lets you set alarms for anything and everything.
Setting an alarm in 2Do starts with creating a New Task. This can be done in seconds by clicking on the + button from the top menu bar. Once you’ve named
the event and edited the dates, click on the alarm icon and set the alarm to suit. It’s as easy as that! When the alarm is set it will alert you whether you have 2Do running or not.
There is no wrong way to use 2Do. It’s simple, intuitive, and a must-have for busy lifestyles.
Custom birthday and event alerts
Okay, so it’s unlikely you’re going to forget about the things that you’re really looking forward – like your best friend’s birthday – but you don’t want to take any chances. Plus, it’s nice to have an alarm to signal something fun every once in a while.
There’s a stand-alone Birthday Calendar in Apple’s native app. If it doesn’t appear in your Calendar by default, you can easily add it in Preferences > General > Show birthday calendar.
In the same menu, you can customize alert preferences for your big events. For instance, you can set a default alert for all newly created events.
To grow the excitement, you can also create countdowns for parties or birthday events in WaitingList. This is a beautiful countdown timer that sits on your
desktop and displays all of your upcoming events. The app's smart widgets start by counting down the days. Then, as the event approaches, the hours, minutes, and seconds.
WaitingList has a simple and clear interface that makes adding countdowns an easy task. Click on the + button to create your event and the pencil icon to edit it. In the settings you’ll be able to set up alarms to alert you as the event approaches so that a) don’t miss anything, and b) can send your excitement into overdrive.
Plus, you get to choose the appearance of the event and the app offers some pretty amazing themes. The event design is basically its main benefit. It’s pretty cool to wait for a concert that looks like fireworks every time you open the app.
Sleep and wake times for MacYou can set your computer to wake up and go to sleep at specific time of the day, or customize sleeping time for when your Mac in inactive:
- Open System Preferences on Mac.
- Click on the Energy Saver icon.
- In the bottom right corner of the screen, select “Schedule.”
- Tick the box next to “Start up or wake” to create a daily schedule for your Mac and choose the time. If needed, add sleeping time as well.
- Click OK.
In the same menu, customize additional sleeping settings by toggling on Power Adopter: Set your hard disks to sleep when possible, prevent Mac from sleeping when the display is off, etc.
A new Mac is like a new universe. Whether you’re switching from Windows, or it’s your first computer, you have to get used to things. Start with mastering keyboard shortcuts and take our advice on file management, and you’re out of trouble. Well, at least, you won’t waste hours on finding the right folder.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, the next step is to make your Mac feel like home, or rather your office space—a cozy environment where you’re at the top of productivity.
In the next chapter, we’ll cover the vital tips for Windows switchers. So if you’re just starting your first journey with macOS, frantically searching for the Backspace key on the Mac’s keyboard, the following guide will save you. Spoiler: There’s no Backspace key on a Mac.
Switching from Windows
In this chapter:
Learn about the perks of macOS Your first steps to master a Mac Transferring data between Windows and Mac Your favorite Windows programs on Mac
- What can a Mac do that a PC can’t?
- Choosing the best operating system
- Is macOS really more productive?
- How to set up copy and paste on Mac
- Copy and paste two items on Mac
- Copy and paste between Apple devices
- Copy-Paste limitations and how to overcome them
- Format a USB drive before using it on Mac
- Easily open a USB flash drive on Mac
- How to recover files from a damaged USB flash drive
- Notepad++ for Mac
- Internet Explorer for Mac
- Paint for Mac
- Adobe Flash Player for Mac
- Microsoft Publisher for Mac
- Visio for Mac
- Microsoft Project for Mac
Introduction: First steps with macOS
Switching from Windows to macOS can be a blessing and a curse. Making the leap will require a lot of faith and getting used to, but once you get a hold of it, you’re going to reap many benefits.
You’ve long heard about the stability of Mac operating systems, their elegance and undeniable security. Everybody tells you that you’ll intuitively learn how to use macOS and you’ll shortly be won over by its simple yet excellent design. With no worries about viruses and a lot of power under the hood, you start to wonder why it took so long for you to take the plunge.
Now you remember: You were afraid of the learning curve and the complicated procedure of starting over. However, the process of switching from PC to Mac doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to struggle with getting accustomed to the new interface. If you’re worried about deciding on the best Mac, restoring your old data, or finding new apps to suit your needs, don’t be!
To get the most out of your PC to Mac migration, make sure you carefully go through this chapter to find exactly what to expect and discover the tools and tips that will make you feel like a true Mac user.
What can a Mac do that a PC can't?
Macs are universally praised for being intuitive, versatile, and adaptable to your specific needs. But there are also quite a few advantages they have over PCs when we look at them in detail.
- Print any file as a PDF.
Select print in any application, or press Command+P, and select at the bottom of the print dialog box an option to print the document as a PDF. This works in almost any app for text documents, spreadsheets, images, and more.
The multi-touch gestures on a trackpad or Magic Mouse are a huge aid to productivity and, once you master them, they help you work much faster.
- Time Machine.
Not only does Mac’s Time Machine allow you to carry out regular incremental backups and then recover your hard drive if a disaster strikes, it also allows you to roll back the clock and recover any individual file or folder you need.
- Preview files.
Select any compatible file in the Finder, tap the spacebar and you can preview its contents without having to open the default app. This alone will save you dozens of hours over time.
- Make music for free.
Garageband is a brilliant app from Apple for recording music and creating podcasts, and it’s a free download from the App Store.Choosing the best operating system
Apple doesn’t release a new operating system every year just for the fun of it. Each year they bring improvements that can boost hardware capabilities and offer you more power and usage benefits. That being said, you should always go for the latest version of an operating system for Mac.
But before you proceed, a word of caution: If you’re not a developer or have no intention in participating at the bug/issue hunt, stay away from Beta versions. Installing a macOS Beta version would spoil your first experience and you might end up believing the worst of macOS, when it would all be simply a big misunderstanding. Beta version for macOS is a trial version — tested by developers and the willing public in order to bring bug and issue fixes to the final release. So choose a full version and you’ll be fine.
Just like Windows, every macOS has some system requirements. And although we recommend you always go for the latest Mac operating system, that’s only to be decided after you purchase your Mac and know its hardware capabilities.
Here’s a nice infographic on the evolution of macOS over the years:
Cheetah OS X 10.0
March 24, 2001
“When you saw it, you wanted to lick it,” said Steve Jobs about Aqua – the brand new UI born with the release of Cheetah. Preview, Mail, QuickTime, and TextEdit make debut at this point.Puma OS X 10.1
September 25, 2001
No big functionality updates, the focus is shifted to performance instead. From improved file management to CD and DVD burning, Puma just makes it work better.Jaguar OS X 10.2
August 23, 2002
A large grey Apple logo appears for the first time, replacing Happy Mac at startup. Optimized search functionality of Finder and the first release of Accessibility API – Universal Access. App arrivals: iChat and Address Book.Panther OS X 10.3
October 24, 2003
Panther release introduces Exposé, a feature for seamless management of open applications. Safari officially becomes the default web browser.
Tiger OS X 10.4
April 29, 2005
A rich harvest for Mac, Tiger marks the launch of 200+ new features. Spotlight search and Dashboard are the top stars, with Apple TV, Automator, and VoiceOver joining the crowd.Leopard OS X 10.5
October 26, 2007
Long-awaited and Mac-changing. Leopard gives a spectacular leap, introducing Time Machine, Boot Camp, QuickLook, and full support for 64-bit software.SnowLeopard OS X 10.6
August 28, 2009
While Leopard did a great job, Snow Leopard arrives to refine it even more. Mainly, it comes with apps rewritten in 64 bit and OpenCL. The 2009 OS X release is also known for Mac App Store launch.Lion OS X 10.7
July 20, 2011
iCloud arrives. Apart from that, lots of iOS advancements find reflection in OS X Lion, covering Launchpad, multi-touch gestures, and more.
July 25, 2012
Mountain Lion adds new integrations and further iOS perks like Reminders, Notes, and Messages. It gets easier to track app updates via the Notification Center.Mavericks OS X 10.9
October 22, 2013
Maps, iBooks, and Tags debut in the first inanimate OS X – Mavericks. To enable secure password encryption and storage, iCloud Keychain in introduced.Yosemite OS X 10.10 October 16, 2014
A completely new sleek design is what Yosemite is remembered for. Continuity and Handoff integrated into the new OS strengthen bonds between iOS and OS X devices.El Capitan OS X 10.11 September 30, 2015
El Capitan features Split Views – dual-window functionality for arranging and managing app windows. Plus, OS X 10.11 comes with improved Safari, Mail, and Spotlight.
Sierra macOS 10.12
September 20, 2016
With Sierra, OS X dies and macOS is born. The renamed system introduces even more iOS perks like Siri and unlocking Mac with Apple Watch.High
Major improvements go unnoticed for a user, but the overall performance skyrockets, due to embracing Apple File System and a new video standard, HEVC.Mojave macOS 10.14
September 24, 2018
Visual refinements introduced via Dark Mode and Dynamic Desktop take central stage in Mojave. The new apps migrating from iOS include Stocks, News, Home, and Voice Memos.
The long-awaited Sidecar feature for connecting iPad’s screen to Mac. iTunes dies and resurrects as three separate apps. Catalina officially deems support for 32-bit app architecture.
Is macOS really more productive?
There’s no easy answer — productivity depends entirely on how you work and how you define “productive,” as well as which applications you use. For example, if you use Outlook or Excel, there’s no getting around the fact that those work better and run faster on Windows than they do on a Mac. That’s no surprise, given they're made by Microsoft.
However, the fact that Apple makes both the hardware and the system software for the Mac means there’s a tight integration between the two. It also means you’re less likely to run into problems with hardware drivers, for example. And there should be less chance of background processes hogging CPU cycles or RAM on a Mac than on a PC. And so using a Mac should be smoother, require fewer software updates, and allow you to get more work done. In that sense, macOS is more productive than Windows.
Then there’s Apple’s use of gestures and implementation of Mission Control and full-screen functionality. The ability to swipe between full-screen apps, for example, makes it very easy to work with several apps at once.
Tip:If not more productive, your Mac is definitely more intuitive. So here’s the hack for every switcher: Get used to uncomplicated actions. Windows users have to do lots of digging into the settings.If you want to master macOS faster, learn to look for a solution through Spotlight, Dock, or your menu bar first.
Right click on Mac
Apple products are synonymous with minimalist design: anything that’s superfluous has been deleted, anything that cramps its style gets left behind. So much so that many people who have made the jump from Windows to Mac will notice straight away that there’s no right click on Mac.
Instinct may tell you that to right click on a Mac means to click on the right side of the trackpad or the Apple Mouse. But no matter where you click, it’s still the left click.
So what’s the need to have a right click on Mac? Well, left click, your common everyday kind of click, takes the user forward, accepting the next logical step in the flow. However, right click allows the user to open more paths to take, it yields a host of alternative actions.
The need for these secondary actions and the physical loss of the Mac right click button has left many people hunting for the elusive Mac right click and turning to the internet to ask, “How do you right click on a Mac?”
How to left click on a Mac
Just so you know, there’s no need to be floored by the absenteeism of mouse buttons altogether, being able to left click requires little to no effort.
Simply apply pressure on the mouse or trackpad until it makes an audible click.
There you have it, how to left click on a Mac.
How to right click on a Mac using Control + click
If you ask Apple, “How do you right click on a Mac,” the recommended right-click solution is to press down the Control key while you click.
Holding the Control key switches your Apple mouse to the right-click mode. While
it might feel like a stretch, it’s worth trying out because keeping your hands close to the keyboard is often the most efficient way to get things done. Most keyboard warriors will prefer this handy trick as there are also thousands of other keyboard shortcuts that can be performed in a similar way.Whether you use a trackpad or an Apple Mouse, this solution will work every time. However, if you’re not used to using keyboard commands or prefer a more customized experience that feels right to you, below are more ways to get your Mac set up right from the start.Set up your System Preferences for Mouse or Trackpad
To right click using a trackpad, Apple Mouse, or a mouse from another manufacturer, the first place to familiarize yourself with is the System Preferences on your Apple device. System Preferences is an application on your Mac that allows you to configure and control the way you like your Mac to be set up.
Open System Preferences from the Dock:
- Move your cursor to the bottom of the screen
- Click on the cog icon to open System Preferences
Alternatively, you can open System Preferences from Finder:
- Move the cursor to the Dock and click the face icon to open up a Finder window.
- Make sure Applications is selected from the sidebar.
- Click on the cog icon to open System Preferences (you may have to scroll down the list to find it).
Yet another way to open System Preferences is from Launchpad:
- Click on the rocket icon in the Dock at the bottom of your screen to open Launchpad.
- Select the cog to open System Preferences (you can type System Preferences into the search bar as well).
Now that you have System Preferences open, you can use the Mouse and Trackpad options to program your setup in a way that feels right for you.
How to right click on a Mac
A trackpad is the built-in mouse on Apple MacBooks. It’s the sunken rectangle where your finger can zoom like an ice skater over the surface, making the cursor loop-the-loop or zip from side to side drawing Zoro-like slashes across the screen.
There are a number of ways to choose from to right click on Mac: tap with two fingers, click in the bottom right corner, click in the bottom left corner.
How to right click on Mac trackpad:
- Open Trackpad from System Preferences.
- Ensure the Point & Click tab is highlighted at the top of the Trackpad window.
- Check the box next to “Secondary click”.
- Choose from the dropdown menu the command you would like to have as you right click.
How to right click with Apple Mouse
If you have a Magic Mouse, Apple’s own mouse, you’re in luck. Magic Mice are already equipped with a right button to click. You might just have to set it up in the System Preferences.
How to right click on a Mac with mouse:
- Open Mouse from System Preferences.
- Switch to the Point & Click tab at the top.
- Check the box next to “Secondary click”.
- Choose from the dropdown menu the command to become your Mac right click.
Even if you have a trackpad on your MacBook, don’t be afraid to invest in a Magic Mouse if you like a robust setup.Right click on Mac using a third-party mouseNot using a trackpad or Magic Mouse to do your clicking? A third-party mouse will often need to be configured before using it like a native one, as its drivers may overwrite those of your Mac’s. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to install your mouse correctly. Then head to Mac’s Mouse System Preferences as per the instructions above to adjust the controls in a way that suits you.
Completely customize your gesturesIf you're just starting to discover Mac’s possibilities, it will be helpful for you to customize input devices according to your needs, and this is very easy to do using BetterTouchTool. BetterTouchTool is the app that puts total control at your fingertips, as it allows you to customize a variety of input devices.
Make your gestures do whatever you want:
- Open BetterTouchTool from Launchpad.
- Click Add New Gesture to create custom commands.
- Use the dropdown selector Touchpad/Mouse Gesture to take your pick from the defined gestures, or create your own with Custom.
- Add in keys to the gesture by selecting the checkbox next to the relevant key.
- Open the Predefined Action menu and click to select the action.
Ctrl+Alt+Delete on Mac
Ctrl+Alt+Delete function — a command that can be applied on a Windows-operated system to quit a program or reboot a computer. CPU — Central Processing Unit of a computer.
We know you have this question. Shoot it. Is there a Ctrl-Alt-Del equivalent for Mac? The answer is yes. And no. There’s no exact keyboard shortcut that performs the same task as Ctrl+Alt+Delete does on Windows, but you can achieve the same results on Mac, using different commands.
How to Perform "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" on Mac
The simplest solution would be to use Force Quit:
- Press ⌘+Option+Esc and you’ll bring up the Force Quit dialog box. This can be used at any time but, given that you can quit any app by making it active and pressing ⌘+Q, the only time you’ll need it is when an app stops responding or starts beachballing. The command would still work when the app is in full-screen mode.
- Once you’ve called up the dialog box, you’ll see a list of currently running apps. Usually the one that’s causing a problem will be labelled as not responding.
- Select the non-responding app and press Force Quit.
Tip:If apps regularly become unresponsive or start hogging processor cycles, iStat Menus can help get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem. It will show you which apps are using most CPU cycles. And if you need more information, you can launch Activity Monitor directly from the iStat Menus app.
Other ways to force quit apps on Mac
There are a couple of other ways to unfreeze app on Mac:
- Dock. If you hold down the Control and Option keys, and click on an app’s icon in the Dock, you’ll see Force Quit listed as an option in the menu that pops up. Select it and the app should force quit.
- Activity Monitor. You can double-click on any application in the Activity Monitor to bring up a separate window with more information about it and the Quit option to close it.
- Apple Menu. The third way to do the equivalent of Ctrl+Alt+Delete on a Mac keyboard is to click on the Apple menu and select Force Quit. This will bring up the Force Quit dialog box and you can select the unresponsive app from there.
What do you do when Force Quit doesn't work?
Sometimes it’s not just one app that’s unresponsive. What to do when your Mac freezes? How do you start Task Manager on a Mac?
Unlike Windows macOS doesn't use the typical Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut to choose frozen programs to Force Quit. If you have a frozen Mac that won’t do anything and you can’t use any of the methods above to force quit (tip: you can force quit the Finder if it’s misbehaving — it’s just an app), you need to force it to restart.
Simple steps to fix a Mac that is not responding:
- Hold down Command and Control and press the power button to restart it. If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, that won’t work. You’ll need to force it to shutdown and then start it normally. You do that by holding down the power button for five seconds. Your Mac will then forcibly shut down.
- You can restart your Mac again by waiting a few seconds and pressing the power button.
How to check performance with Activity Monitor
If your Mac is running slowly, but all your apps are still working, or if the fans seem to run more often than normal or are louder than usual, there may be a process hogging CPU cycles. Seems it is a good time to start Task Manager on a Mac. You can use Activity Monitor to discover the culprit.
Launch Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder in your Applications folder and click the CPU tab. Make sure the arrow next to CPU% is pointing down. If not, click it. If there are any apps or processes using up significant CPU cycles (more than half), they may have a problem. You can quit them by selecting the app or process (it could be a Safari tab) and pressing the X in the toolbar.
All in all, there is no direct equivalent of pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete on a Mac but by using a combination of the Force Quit function and Activity Monitor tool you can actually achieve a more informed result.
How to cut, copy and paste the right way
Kill command — Ctrl+K, resembles the cutting feature on Mac Yank command — Ctrl+Y, resembles the pasting feature on Mac Paste — Cloud clipboard manager for Mac, third-party Unclutter — a sticky notes app for Mac, third-party
Rocket Typist — macOS application for saving text snippets
Copying and pasting text is one of the most basic functions on any computer, including a Mac. It’s so fundamental to the way we use computers today that it seems astonishing to think that it wasn’t until iOS 3 (or iPhone OS 3 as it was known then), or a full two years after the original iPhone, that copy and paste came to Apple’s mobile devices.
However, it’s not just text that can be copied and pasted. In image editing applications, for example, you can copy and paste images, layers, and selections from one document to another. And in audio editing tools, you can copy and paste passages of music. In the Mac’s Finder, you can even copy and paste files and folders to move them from one folder to another, instead of clicking and dragging them — useful if you prefer to use the keyboard over a mouse or trackpad.
When you copy anything, whether it’s text, an image, or a file, it’s stored on Mac’s clipboard until you paste it somewhere else.
How to set up copy and paste on Mac
To copy anything, select it and press Command-C (or Command-X if you want to remove it and copy it to the clipboard). Then go to your destination and press Command-V. That will paste it into your destination. If you want to move a file
from one location to another, instead of copying it, press Command-Option-V, instead of Command-V.
When you paste the item to its new location, it remains on the clipboard so you can paste it again and again. But it’s removed when you copy something else. Unfortunately, the Mac’s clipboard can only store one item at a time.
You can view the contents of the Mac's clipboard at any time by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock, choosing the Edit menu, and then selecting Show Clipboard.
Seems, it's no big deal: use Command-C to copy, Command-X to cut, Command-V to paste. But is that really it or is there more to explore? There are actually a lot of features and possible improvements for macOS.
Paste and match style
How do you strip out the formatting of the copied text and make it match the destination? You've probably seen a quick shortcut in the "Edit" menu: Option-Shift-Command-V. This executes a "Paste and Match Style" command.
This shortcut is available in most default Apple applications, but some third-party apps neglect to include it.
Copy and Paste style only
To copy and paste the style only, not the text, open a TextEdit document, select the text containing the style that you'd like to copy and hit Command-Option-C, then select the text containing the formatting that you'd like to replace and hit Command-Option-V.
Select the text that should be killed and hit Control-K. The text should disappear.
Keep in mind: if you kill text with no selection, it jumps to the end of the paragraph.
There's one more cool hidden feature: hitting Control-K while inserting your cursor half way through a paragraph should kill all of the text from that point to the end of the paragraph.
Note that Control-K cuts, rather than copies, the text. As this feature uses a different functionality, it won’t remove what is currently on the “main” clipboard.
Reinserting text previously killed
Yanking inserts the most recent kill, leaving the cursor at the end of the inserted text. To do this, just hit Control-Y. This will work exactly like a paste command, it's just pulling from a different source.
Note that Kill and Yank works in most native Mac apps, including Notes, iWork, and most text editors — but they may not work in some web apps like Google Docs.
Copy and Paste two items on Mac
Say you want to copy two items from one app and paste them into another. To pull this off in one sweep, you would need some sort of secondary clipboard. It's a handy way to have two clipboards on your Mac:
- Instead of switching back and forth between the apps twice, copy the first with Command-C and the second with Control-K.
- To paste, use your default Command-V shortcut to paste the first item, and press Control-Y to yank your second clipboard item back from the dead and paste it into your document.
Copy and Paste between Apple devices
Universal Clipboard is a feature that was introduced in macOS Sierra and iOS 10, and allows you to copy and paste between Apple devices, as long as they’re
signed into the same iCloud account and connected to the same WiFi network, with Bluetooth switched on. They also need to be physically close to each other.
To use Universal Clipboard, all you have to do is copy on one device and paste on the other.
Copy-Paste limitations and how to overcome them
One of the big flaws with copy and paste on the Mac is the fact that the clipboard can only hold one item at a time. Wouldn’t it be great if you could store multiple items, categorize them, and then paste the right one whenever you need to? Well, the good news is that you can, by using a third-party clipboard manager, of which there are several available for macOS.
Paste is one such app. Paste automatically keeps everything you’ve cut or copied, whether it’s text, an image, a link, or anything else. You can then use the smart search feature to search for what you need and drag it off the board onto your document. Copied snippets can also be shared using AirDrop or synced with iCloud.
Unclutter, a tool designed to keep your Desktop tidy, also has a clipboard manager that retains the contents of your Mac’s clipboard. That way you can view your clipboard history and recall any item you need to paste.
If you need to store snippets of text that you use frequently, Rocket Typist is a great solution. It allows you to store chunks of text and then paste the ones you need by selecting them. Or you can create abbreviations for snippets so that whenever you type the abbreviation, it’s replaced with the snippet. Use it to store email templates, for example. You can organize your snippets in folders to keep them ready.
Copy Paste not working on Mac? Fix the issueHere's how to fix a stuck clipboard issue with Activity Monitor:
- Quit the Mac app(s) where copy/paste are not working as expected.
- Go to Applications > Utilities and double-click on Activity Monitor to launch it.
- In its search box, type “pboard”. When it shows the pboard process, select it and press the X in the toolbar, then click Force Quit.
- Exit Activity Monitor.
If it still doesn’t work, try using Terminal to fix it:
- Go to Applications > Utilities and double-click on Terminal to launch it.
- Type: killall pboard.
- Hit Return and close Terminal.
Try and copy and paste again in the same app as before. If neither Activity Monitor nor Terminal solves the problem, the next step is to restart your Mac.
Sometimes that issue means that Mouse Keys is enabled, or that some other app is conflicting with the standard keyboard shortcuts. As a workaround you may have to remove those shortcuts and get used to the default ones to switch layouts.
Copy and paste is such a fundamental part of macOS that we often forget about it — using it is so natural. However, there are, as you can see, a few tips and tricks that can help you get even more out of it. As good as the macOS clipboard is, it can only store one item at a time. If you want to store more, you’ll need a third-party app.
How to transfer data from Windows to Mac
IMAP server — Internet Message Access Protocol, a mail protocol used to access email on a remote server.
In the previous chapter, we’ve covered the ways to get your data on a new machine. Let’s quickly recap how you migrate across Windows and macOS specifically.
There are various ways you can transfer data from PC to Mac, effortlessly. If you’re lucky enough (or, better said, if you’ve been responsible enough) most to almost all of your important data will be stored in the cloud. That means that if you’ve been using Dropbox, Google Docs, or an IMAP server, you’ve already got a bunch of your files safely stored and ready to be used on your new Mac by just installing the specific app. This way, you’ll have little docs left to manually transfer from PC to Mac without a struggle.
Another possible method to transfer data from PC to Mac is by using Migration Assistant.
Here’s a quick guide to using Migration Assistant:
- Download and install the tool on your PC, making sure your Windows is up to date.
- Next, once you’re setting up your Mac, you’ll automatically be prompted by the assistant about your migration preferences. Here, select “From a Windows PC”.
- Enter your administrator ID and password and make sure you close any applications.
- Once your PC shows the same code as your Mac does, hit Continue to select the info you want to migrate.
That’s it! With the Migration Assistant you’ll get more than a replica of docs on a Mac, you’ll get as close as possible experience to the one you had on your PC. That means bookmarks will be recreated in Safari, your Contacts, Calendar, and so much more.
How to use a USB flash drive on Mac
IUSB flash drive — a small external flash drive that can be used with both Windows-operated computers and Macs that have USB ports.
SMC (System Management Controller) reset — a common troubleshooting command on Mac.
USB flash drives are a great way to store data — they’re cheap, portable, spacious and versatile, allowing you to quickly save your folders and files, and access them on another computer.
If you have a compatible format, it takes a few clicks to open a flash drive on Mac. But there might be a need to format it first.
Format a USB drive before using it on Mac
Out of the box these devices may function unreliably or even fail to work on Macs at all. The reason? Mac and Windows each use different file systems. After unboxing a new storage-based item, it’s a wise move to look into how to format a flash drive to reduce the likelihood of unexpected corruption, data loss, or other performance issues.
Thanks to Disk Utility, the issue of how to format a USB flash drive on Mac is fairly straightforward. Likewise, you can use this tool to format Micro SD cards, hard drives, and so on, getting your new device into the right condition:
- Plug the device into your Mac.
- Go to Applications ➙ Utilities and launch Disk Utility.
- Select the relevant device or drive on the left hand side and click Erase.
- Give the device a name and choose the desired format (more on that below).
- Click Erase to reformat the device.
When you format a USB drive on Mac, or any similar device for that matter, you need to erase everything that’s on it in order to do so. That’s not a problem if the device is new, but means you’ll need to take some precautionary measures if it’s not.
Easily open a USB flash drive on MacUsually, flash drives come formatted with exFAT, FAT, or FAT32 file system. If that’s your case, you’ll be able to instantly open a USB flash drive on Mac:
- Insert your USB flash drive into a port on Mac.
- Open Finder to view your flash drive inside.
- In the left pane, under Devices, click on the name of your USB flash drive.
- View the contents of your drive in the right pane of the window.
How to recover files from a damaged USB flash drive
The more you use a flash drive, the more likely it is that one day something bad will happen — particularly so if you use your USB device across different computers.
Failure due to physical damage is easy to spot but more often than not it’s something going inside the device that’s the problem.
Here are some of the common issues that affect USB flash drives:
Unsafe USB ejection.
Connecting the drive to a system that’s infected by malware.
Downloading an infected file to the device.
Mac fails to recognize the drive.
An error message displays when trying to access data.
File structure damaged.
Accidental deletion of files.
Files unable to open.
If you’ve experienced any of these problems, you’ve every right to feel panicked. Can a broken USB be fixed? Don’t give up hope, there’s a high probability that you can get your files back.
If your USB flash drive appears to be broken, there are a few quick recovery methods you can try.
First of all, try connecting the USB device to another port on your Mac. If it works on another port, then the issue is with the port and not your device.
If the flash drive isn’t recognized in any port, try connecting it to a different Mac.
If it works, then the issue could be related to your USB drivers.
To check for updates, open the Mac App Store and click on Updates.
You can also try a System Management Controller (SMC) reset — a well-known troubleshooting fix for USB issues.
Follow these instructions to reset the SMC on an iMac, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro:
- Shut down your Mac.
- Disconnect the power cable.
- Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds and release.
- Reconnect the power cable and boot up the Mac as usual.
If you’re using a MacBook, the method is slightly different:
- Shutdown your MacBook.
- Connect the power adapter.
- Hold Shift + Control + Option and the Power button at the same time.
- Release the keys at the same time.
- Boot up your system as usual.
If the flash drive is being recognized but your files aren’t available, you can try performing first aid using Disk Utility:
- Go to Spotlight > Disk Utility
- Click on the USB flash drive from the list on the left, then click First Aid.
- Click Run.
First Aid checks the volume for errors and attempts to fix them. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need the help of a third-party recovery tool like Disk Drill.
Disk Drill does all of the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is install it and follow these instructions:
- Connect your USB flash drive.
- Launch Disk Drill, leave the first three boxes checked and give it permission
- to scan your drive (you’ll need to enter your administrator password to do this)
- Select your drive from the list and click on the Recover button next to it. Disk Drill will scan your drive in search of files.
- Select your deleted file from the list and choose a location to store the file.
- Click on Recover and Disk Drill will put the file right back where it belongs.
If the Recover option can’t be used after a scan, Disk Drill can also perform a Quick Scan or a Deep Scan to scan drives at binary level and recover your data that way. Whichever option is required you can be sure Disk Drill will bring your files back to life.
macOS alternatives to Windows programs
The stickiness of any device you have in your life depends on the functionality package. Once you get used to a program you use every day on a phone or a computer, it’s hard to let go.If you’ve recently switched from Windows, there will be a couple of programs you’ll miss on Mac — just because you’re used to them. Luckily, macOS always has a decent alternative.
Notepad++ for Mac
Notepad++ — a text and source code editor for Windows
Wine — a free, open-source compatibility layer that allows Windows programs run on Unix-like operating systems
VMware Fusion — a software hypervisor (virtual machine monitor) for Mac CodeRunner — a code editor app for Mac, third-party Espresso — an easy web editor for Mac, third-party
TeaCode — a tool for Mac that accelerates coding, third-party.
It might seem surprising that Notepad++ is by far the most popular and trusted source-code editor on the Windows operating system. The program’s features are quite limited at best and the overall look too simplistic compared to some runner-ups. What it does have going for it though is a free distribution on an open-source license, which lets anyone build plugins and extensions as they see fit.
Turns out that’s exactly what more than 30 million developers who use Notepad++ on a regular basis are looking for. This simple text editor developed by Don Ho in 2003 has become the rockstar of the open-source movement in just a few short years. So naturally, if you’ve recently switched from Windows to macOS, you might be wondering how to download Notepad++ for Mac as well.
Unfortunately, the exact native Notepad++ Mac alternative doesn’t exist. And there are a few good reasons for it. Notepad++ is a non-commercial open-source project that was originally built by just one developer for the Windows operating system. That’s why it extensively leverages the Win32 API, and trying to port the software to macOS would require substantial investments in rewriting the whole codebase.
But worry not. There are ways you can still use Notepad++ Mac version with a few workarounds, by either running an emulator or a virtual machine. Additionally, you can always choose one of numerous outstanding Mac HTML editors that run natively and truly utilize all the possibilities of macOS.
Run NotePad for Mac with an emulator
One of the possible ways to run an actual Notepad app in macOS is using an emulator program, which essentially creates a compatibility layer between Windows and Mac, and thus able to load virtually any Windows-based software within its interface right on your Mac.
Sounds complicated because, in fact, it is. But by using one of the emulator apps such as Wine, you can quickly install and enjoy Notepad++ or any other Windows program you miss. Here’s how to do that:
- Download the Wine package from its official website and unzip the archive.
- Open up Terminal and type winecfg to create a C drive where Notepad for Mac will live.
- Download Notepad++ from its GitHub repository and put it in the newly created C drive.
- Back in the Terminal, navigate to the C drive directory and install the .exe file by typing wine [file name].
- To launch Notepad after the installation is complete, just type wine [file name] in the Terminal once more.
Done! Now you can run the Notepad++ you’re so used to, with all of its features, right on your Mac. As good as it is, the solution is not ideal — mostly because you’re essentially running an app within an app, which introduces twice as many bugs to the whole stack. There is, however, another option of using Notepad++ for Mac, and that’s setting up a virtual machine to basically run Windows on your Mac altogether.
Use Notepad for Mac with a virtual machine
If using Notepad++ for Mac with minimum bugs and maximum stability is a priority, then installing a virtual machine might seem like an attractive option. A virtual machine would basically run a full-scale Windows environment within your Mac, letting you install and use any Windows-only software without limits.
Out of all available virtual machine offerings, VMware Fusion has a long-standing reputation of being both robust and (relatively) easy to use. Here’s how to get it to install Windows on your Mac:
- Make sure you have an official ISO copy (and license keys) of the Windows version of your choice.
- Download and install VMware Fusion.
- When prompted, drag and drop the Windows ISO file onto the Installation Method window.
- Check the Use Easy Install option.
- Fill out your license credentials for Windows.
- Save your new virtual machine.
- Your Windows environment window should now be active!
After you set up your virtual machine, use it to download and run Notepad++ like you’ve used to. Overall, using VM software is a more stable solution than working through an emulator and it does accomplish what you’re after. But it would be fair to say that it does come with a few downsides as well:
Having to purchase and update both Windows and VMware Fusion.
Dealing with less than ideal integration of Windows in Mac, which can seem frustrating if you’re used to perfect native speed and reliability.
A better and simpler approach to the Notepad++ problem, that also lets you avoid emulators and virtual machines, would be finding a great Notepad++ Mac
substitute, of which there are lots. A true Mac-first code editor would leverage everything you love about Notepad with native compatibility and even allow for some great new features.
What’s the best Notepad++ Mac alternative?
It goes without saying that using Mac with software that was specifically made for macOS is an unbeatable experience. And when it comes to source code editors for Mac, CodeRunner instantly stands out.
CodeRunner is a multi-language programming editor ready to take on any software engineering task you can throw at it, from writing code in one of the supported 25 languages to swift debugging. Some good reasons to switch Notepad++ for CodeRunner include:
IDE-level code completion for most languages, which significantly speeds up the software development process.
Instant breakpoints that make debugging, one of the most tedious steps in any development project, part of a single integrated workflow.
Documentation support for all languages right from the app to minimize distractions and save time.
CodeRunner is an intuitive, fast, and versatile general-purpose programming editor that could become the Notepad++ Mac alternative you were looking for. It’s suitable for beginners and professional developers alike.
However, if your development work is mostly focused on the web, then choosing a more specialized Mac HTML editor could serve you better.
What’s the best HTML editor for Mac?
Without a doubt, you could use CodeRunner for basically every kind of a development project. But if you mostly find yourself developing for the web, it’s worth looking into trying out a designated web editor, which is designed to address problems specific to web development.
Espresso does just that — helps you design, code, build, and publish websites with ease. Unlike CodeRunner, its feature set is more specific to and heavily influenced by the needs of the web:
Live browser preview and CSS styling, so you can update your web project in real time without republishing, reloading, or even saving.
Built-in server infrastructure to allow for the flexibility of dynamic content on static websites.
Custom templates for any web component you frequently reuse.
Using a Mac HTML editor for web projects not only makes development faster and less buggy, it organizes the whole workflow in a way that significantly increases your productivity.
Whether you choose a general-purpose or web-specific Notepad++ Mac alternative, you can accelerate your development process even more by using an efficient code-expanding app.
How to write code faster with expanders
In any development project there are hundreds and even thousands of instances when you’re essentially writing the same thing over and over again.
The good news is there is no need to repeat yourself anymore if you employ dynamic snippets.
TeaCode is a native Mac app that lets you write code much faster by specifying abbreviations which turn into full snippets. There are over 80 expanders for Swift, PHP, Objective-C, and HTML already built in, and you can create your own easily as well.
The real benefit here is that you can use TeaCode right inside apps like Espresso and CodeRunner, supercharging them with extra productivity. This is one of the things that would be impossible to do in Notepad for Mac.
Internet Explorer for Mac
Internet Explorer — a default web browser for Windows, developed by Microsoft Safari — Apple’s default web browser.
Instead of Internet Explorer or Edge that you’re used to, Mac has its own proprietary browser called Safari. In fact if you try searching for “download Internet Explorer for Mac” you’ll quickly realize that the exact IE equivalent on Mac doesn’t exist.
Interestingly, at the dawn of the world wide web in the late 90s, Internet Explorer was the default browser on all Macs. But when Apple introduced Safari as the new default browser in 2003, Microsoft has decided to discontinue the development of IE for Mac shortly after. So unless you run Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier (why would you?), there is no way to directly install Internet Explorer on Mac. And you definitely shouldn’t use the Internet Explorer versions from pre-2003 right now.
How to use Internet Explorer on Mac
Although natively launching Internet Explorer on Mac isn’t possible, there are other ways to simulate IE for Mac experience. You could mask Safari as different versions of Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, you could also install a virtual machine and launch IE for Mac that way, or you could simply choose to use any other third-party browser available on macOS.
Simulate Internet Explorer on Mac with SafariMost of the time, if you need to use Internet Explorer on Mac, it’s probably for
testing purposes, to see how certain websites or web apps perform, or to access websites that require you to use IE (yes, those still exist).
Both of those use cases could be easily performed by Safari. To use Internet Explorer with Safari, you just need on developer tools:
- In Safari, go to Preferences > Advanced
- Check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
Now you can access developer tools directly from Safari, which let you inspect websites, empty caches, and most importantly simulate a variety of other browsers right through the Safari app. To use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer on Mac:
- Go to the Develop menu in Safari’s menu bar.
- Navigate to User Agent and select the browser you’re looking for, whether it’s Microsoft Edge, any of the Internet Explorer versions, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.
- The website you’re on will be automatically refreshed to reflect the browser of your choice. Just don’t forget to switch back!
The User Agent option in Safari should cover nearly all reasons for using Internet Explorer on Mac. However, if you do absolutely need to launch Internet Explorer for one reason or another, you could also try doing it with the help of a virtual machine.
Launch Internet Explorer on a virtual machine
While using a virtual machine for Internet Explorer is not by any means an easy solution, it’s still there for anyone who needs it. What virtual machine essentially does is installing a full-scale copy of Windows on your Mac and letting you launch it as an app on macOS. From there you can launch Internet Explorer or, in fact, any program you miss from your Windows days.
To set up virtual machine, first you need to buy a copy of some virtual machine software (VMware Fusion is a good one) and a license for Windows. Once you have those in place:
- Download both VMware fusion and the Windows ISO file.
- Launch VMware Fusion.
- In the Installation Method window, choose “Create a new custom virtual machine”.
- Drag and drop your Windows ISO file onto the dialogue window.
- Click Finish.
- Relaunch the virtual machine and click the play button to setup Windows.
Now every time you need to use Internet Explorer on Mac, you can just launch the virtual machine and use IE directly with Windows that way. There are certainly a few downsides to this solution. First, you have to purchase both VMware Fusion and a licensed copy of Windows for the sole purpose of using Internet Explorer. Second, virtual machines tend to be quite heavy on your processor, as they are running the whole operating system inside them.
Another option available to you in case you don’t specifically need to use IE for Mac but rather move away from Safari is to switch to any other third-party browser, all of which are freely available on macOS.
Use third-party browsers on MacIf Safari is not your first browser of choice and using Internet Explorer for Mac is
at the very least quite complicated, you can download any other stable and widely used browser out there and make it the default one on your macOS.
By far the most dominant browser of today, Google Chrome currently commands 45–65% browser market share. Developed by Google, the browser is available on both desktop and mobile devices, and thus boasts a significant amount of plugins and web apps that are exclusive to it. Chrome has also been praised for its speed and tight integration with all other Google products. As for the downsides, using Chrome means being subjected to Google’s pervading tracking and helping Google to effectively monopolize the web.
Firefox is another great everyday browser. Heir to the first commercial web browser called Netscape, it’s an open-source program owned by the not-for-profit Mozilla Foundation. Firefox is fast, secure, and boasts a supportive community around the world. All of this makes it a great alternative to Safari and Internet Explorer.
Brave is a newcomer to the browser arena that first appeared in 2015. Based on the open-source Chromium project (as is Google Chrome), the browser quickly gained a loyal following due to its aggressive privacy controls and ad blocking. Turning Brave into your default browser might seem a bit experimental at this point, but it nevertheless presents a good option for anyone concerned with privacy.
Microsoft EdgeAlthough not available on macOS as of early 2019, Microsoft has announced that it’s currently rewriting the Edge browser engine to run on Chromium (like Google Chrome and Brave), which means it will become compatible with macOS too upon
release. Fingers crossed, but in the meantime you can choose one of the alternative browsers listed above.
Overall, these are your three options of running Internet Explorer on Mac. You can use Safari’s User Agent to view any webpage just as Internet Explorer would, launch the actual Internet Explorer browser through a virtual machine running Windows, or choose one of the alternative browsers if all you want to do is get away from Safari on Mac.
However, if you’re new to Mac, a browser might not be the only thing you’re concerned about. You also need to find apps to cover all kinds of issues related to optimization, organization, security, and productivity.
Paint for Mac
Tayasui Sketches — a drawing tool for Mac, third-party.
It's true that objectively MS Paint is not the best raster graphic editor around. It's clunky, slow, not accessible to beginners, and at the same time doesn't offer enough for pro-level users. Still, Windows Paint might be the most widely used graphic software around. And lots of people wish there was Paint for Mac as well.
Is there Paint for Mac? Well, not really. Official Microsoft Paint for Mac doesn't exist. But there are in fact more accessible alternatives that allow you to do better things and present much less of a learning curve at the same time. One of them is already installed on your Mac by default, only that its toolkit is hidden inside the app called Preview.
Best MS Paint Alternatives For Mac
Since its inception, Mac has been the operating system of choice for creative enthusiasts and professionals around the globe. So it's no wonder that macOS is the primary destination for the best new drawing, painting, image and video editing, and sketching applications.
As mentioned above, beginning your journey with Preview will cover all your basic needs that Windows Paint used to do. To get a specific result, you can try apps with more to offer, such as Tayasui Sketches for painting or Capto for working on images.
Annotate and edit images with easeNot everyone knows that Mac's default Preview application is not only an image
viewer but also provides a basic painting and annotating toolkit that's just enough for it to be a decent substitute for Microsoft Paint for Mac. Here's how to access it.
- Right-click on any image and choose Open With > Preview.
- Locate the marker icon in the upper-right corner of the app window.
- Click on it to open all available tools.
All the tools in Preview are fairly close to what you used to see in MS Paint. There are three broad functionality groups separated by vertical dividers: selection, creation, and modification.
Using Preview is just as intuitive as it was with MS Paint. Let's say you want to draw a circle around an object on one of your images to bring someone's attention to it:
- Select the Sketch tool (third from the left).
- Simply draw around the object. By default Preview will autocomplete the shape you've drawn, getting it to a perfect oval, square, or triangle. You can, however, choose to keep the line freehand by selecting such option from a small pop-up menu.
- If you want to modify your line, choose Shape Style (fourth from the right) to
pick the appropriate line thickness and Border Color (third from the right) to alter the color of the line itself.
- And yes, Preview has the bucket tool as well. If you've drawn an enclosed shape, you can select the Fill Color tool (second from the right) and choose to fill your object with any color.
Just like that feel free to explore all the other tools Preview has to offer, such as Shapes, Text, Sign, Adjust Color, etc. We guarantee you won't miss MS Paint one bit.But why limit yourself in the first place? Since you're switching to a new platform altogether, pick the tools that will serve you in any situation, such as producing a high-quality tutorial, for example. For this, you'd need a more powerful app, such as Capto.Unlike Preview and Windows Paint, which offer bare-minimum functionality in terms of annotating your images, Capto is the top app for recording screen, whether it's just grabbing a screenshot or making a video, and modifying all the resulting files afterward.Starting with Capto couldn't be easier:
- In the app's Organizer window, where all Capto's images and videos are kept, you can either grab a new screenshot using the tools in the top bar (Screen,
Area, Window, etc.) or import any image you already have on your Mac just by dragging and dropping it onto the app's window.
- To modify an image, double-click on it to open.
- Choose the tool you need from the left-side bar. Beside the basic tools you might be familiar with from MS Paint and Preview, Capto features more advanced ones, such as Spotlight, Numbering, Blur, and Callout.
- To use a Numbering tool, for example, simply select it from the menu, choose the Type, Style, and Color, and leave the sequence of numbers on your image by clicking on the appropriate locations.
One of the best features of Capto, and one of the ones you wish Microsoft Paint for Mac would have, is its extensive sharing capabilities. As the app is mostly used to show someone how to do something, you also need an easy way to send the explanation to them.
To share your creation with Capto:
- When you're done with your image, click Share in the top-right corner of the app's window.
- By default, you have a selection of Mail, Messages, or AirDrop. Choose one of these or click Configure for more options.
- In the new menu, select one of the options you'd like to set up, from Dropbox
to your own server, and follow the login instructions on the right. Now you'll be able to share images from Capto through your favorite platform in no time.
Finally, don't forget that Capto goes beyond images and lets you record, edit, and share video tutorials as well.
- See also:
Check how you can use Capto to capture and record your screen here.
Paint at any level right from the get-go
When it comes to drawing and painting, a lot of people are used to MS Paint mostly for the lack of accessible alternatives. Macs, on the other hand, have plenty. And one of them is Tayasui Sketches.
Tayasui Sketches is a lot more than just Microsoft Paint for Mac. It combines natural drawing experience you're so used to with a near unlimited selection of beautiful digital brushes and colors.
Starting with Tayasui Sketches is just as easy as picking up a pen in real life — simply choose the paper type, select one of the tools in the left sidebar, and begin to draw.
Quickly you'll realize how none of the MS Paint's artistic brushes can compare to the flow and realistic beauty of the tools available in Tayasui Sketches. At the same time, the app doesn't require you to go through lengthy workshops and spend hours in settings, which positively distinguishes it from other professional alternatives.
It's likely that Tayasui Sketches will serve you for many years to come. It remains an indispensable tool for lots of professional artists. And even if you decide to switch to a different professional drawing app in the future, the foundational functionality would probably remain the same.
Adobe Flash Player for Mac
Adobe Flash Player — a computer software with a dedicated toolkit for managing content created on the Adobe Flash platform.
By the simple virtue of browsing the web over the years, nearly all of us have seen a variety of pop-ups asking us to download or upgrade Flash Player for Mac. Usually, there’s little explanation involved, which leaves you thinking, “Do I really need to install Adobe Flash Player on Mac?”
Adobe Flash is a proprietary software that started in the late ‘90s as a way to include advanced interactivity, gaming functionality, and video capability into your browser. By the early 2000s, Flash was supported by every major browser and seemingly ran the internet. That is until Steve Jobs himself declared a war on it.
In a press release published by Apple in 2010, Steve Jobs laid out his reasons for not integrating Adobe Flash in the Safari browser by default. His main criticism of the platform was its closed proprietary nature, slow updates, weak security, and increasing the availability of open standards that were arguably better equipped to handle browser interactivity.
For a long time, Adobe Flash security issues were the primary reason most developers discouraged people from installing the application. As you may have noticed, oftentimes Adobe Flash Player pop-ups haunt you on the least trustworthy websites. It’s highly likely that those were hackers using Adobe Flash installers to find a way into your system.
Fortunately, in the last 10 years, the popularity of Adobe Flash has decreased significantly. By now, 95% of all websites have switched to the open HTML5 standard. This even includes all the major video companies, such as Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube. In fact, the popularity of the Flash technology has declined so much now that Adobe decided to end its Flash support in 2020.
So is Adobe Flash Player safe? Generally, yes, given that you download Flash Player for Mac from Adobe’s official website. And sometimes there is no way around installing Flash as you might still need it to run that lagging 5% of the web properly. Whatever the reason, below we’ll discuss how to manage Adobe Flash safely and securely.
If you absolutely need to download Adobe Flash Player for Mac, you should at the very least do it securely. Good tips to note are install Flash only when required, disable it when not in use, update it regularly to get the latest security patches, and delete it completely as soon as you can make the full switch to more modern web technologies
Safely install Adobe Flash Player on Mac
If there would be only one takeaway from reading this article, it should be: never ever download Flash Player for Mac from unrecognized websites.
Using Macs in general is very safe. But by far the most popular way for hackers to get into your system is to persuade you to download malware that’s masking itself as a well-known program. And Flash Player for Mac tops the list, having the worst security record out of any software. Moreover, Adobe Flash is the number one reason Macs crash overall.
So when you are about to install Adobe Flash Player on Mac, you should:
- Go to get.adobe.com/flashplayer (this is the only official Flash Player for Mac distributor).
- Click “Download now”.
- Navigate to your Downloads folder and open the .dmg file.
- Proceed through the installation instructions.
- Restart the browser, after which Adobe Flash Player for Mac should be activated.
Update Adobe Flash Player for Mac regularlyOnce you have Flash Player installed, you need to remember to update it regularly (e.g. once a month) to avoid any security issues. To check whether there’s a new version of Flash available:
- Open System Preferences.
- Click on the Flash Player and navigate to the Updates tab.
- Select Check Now or Install Now if there’s an update available.
Disable Flash when not in useWhen you encounter a website that doesn’t work properly without Flash, proceed to install the player from the official (very important) website as per the steps above. But for complete security, turn off Flash right after you use it and enable it only when there’s no workaround.To disable Flash Player for Mac in Safari:
- Go to Preferences and then Websites.
- Scroll down to Plugins and uncheck the Adobe Flash Player.
Similarly, disabling Flash can be done in Content Settings in Chrome and Addons > Plugins in Firefox.
Completely uninstall Flash Player for Mac
There’s a lot of confusion with regards to deleting Flash Player. As we’ve seen, when you download Flash Player for Mac, it doesn’t install itself as an app, but rather integrates into your System Preferences.
Hence removing Flash Player is not as easy as just dragging it to the Trash. Adobe has a whole page devoted to the uninstallation process and makes you download a separate tool to delete Flash properly.
To remove Flash Player the Adobe way:
- Download the uninstaller for your macOS.
- Launch it as any app and follow the instructions.
- Restart your Mac.
However, due to the Flash Player’s pervasive presence on your Mac, it’s highly recommended that you use a professional uninstaller, CleanMyMac X.To uninstall Adobe Flash Player on Mac with CleanMyMac X:
- Navigate to the Uninstaller tab.
- Select Adobe from Vendors.
- Check the box next to Flash Player and click Uninstall.
Recover files lost to Flash Player
Sometimes you simply can’t prevent the malware from getting into your system. And most of the time you only realize that infiltration happened after the fact, when you discover some of your files completely gone.
Good news is you might be able to recover your files if you act quickly. As soon as you notice any files missing, install Disk Drill and follow this process:
- Launch Disk Drill from Applications.
- Find your hard drive in the list and click Recover.
- Choose one of the recommended options, from disabling system protection to connecting another Mac, to allow Disk Drill to recover lost files.
Finally, to stop compromised apps or files from getting into your system, use a malware protection utility in CleanMyMac X on a regular basis.To scan your Mac for viruses with CleanMyMac X:
- Select the Malware Removal tab.
- Click Scan.
- Delete anything suspicious that shows up in the report.
Microsoft Publisher for Mac
Microsoft Publisher — a desktop publishing app developed by Microsoft.
Swift Publisher — a desktop publisher for Mac, third-party.
PDF Search — an AI-powered tool for searching text inside a PDF, third-party.
MarsEdit — a blog editor for Mac, third-party.
As one of the most widely used layout programs in the world, Microsoft Publisher is beginner-friendly and lets virtually anyone design a variety of marketing materials, whether for web or print, with ease. Its tight integration with Office 365 contributes to it being the default choice for many when it comes to design software as well.
However, if you’ve recently switched from Windows to macOS and installed your favorite Microsoft software, you might have noticed that Microsoft Publisher is absent from the app lineup. How could it be? Is there Microsoft Publisher for Mac? What do you use instead? Let’s tackle all these questions one by one.
Is Microsoft Publisher available on Mac?
As the official Microsoft website indicates, Microsoft Publisher is available for PC only. But that shouldn’t discourage you in the slightest. After all, the key value proposition of Mac computers for the longest time has been an abundance of platform-specific designer-oriented software.
Not only there are lots of Microsoft Office Publisher for Mac alternatives — they are generally more intuitive and focused on getting the professional results you’re after much quicker. One of those options is Swift Publisher.
Create astonishing layouts with Swift Publisher
What exactly is a Microsoft Publisher equivalent for Mac? There are certain tools that professional full-time designers use to create books, brochures, and printed advertising. Generally, those apps take hundreds of hours to get a grasp of and, even after you know them quite well, demand highly manual approach.
The other category is software that was designed to be accessible to all but which is still capable of producing results comparable to its highly specialized alternatives. Microsoft Publisher is certainly in that camp, and by comparison Swift Publisher is too.
Swift Publisher provides you with more than 200 templates and 2,000 royalty-free images right from the get-go. That means whatever you’re planning to design has already been mocked up and all the media you need can be found with a quick search, no purchase required. To accompany all these images, the app also features a built-in image editor you can use for any necessary cropping or color correction.
Building out your perfect layout in Swift Publisher couldn’t be easier, as the whole interface operates on a drag-and-drop functionality to enable you to fill out the template you’ve chosen at the beginning. You can also change the template yourself with regards to master pages, grid, layers, tables, and more.
Unlike Microsoft Publisher for Mac, Swift Publisher makes full use of programmatic automation. For example, calendars and maps can be added in a snap to show timelines and directions. Contacts can be merged from Apple’s address book to output names. New QR codes can be created to guide users to where you want them to go.
Printing your project has never been so seamless. First, you can simply check out the layout integrity by printing samples at home. When you get the result you seek, the app allows you to further fine-tune the image resolution, mark bleeds, and customize anything else required by your commercial printer.
As you can see, the inability to download Microsoft Publisher for Mac shouldn’t affect your need for creative expression. Swift Publisher offers all the same features and more in a convenient and approachable package. But what if someone sends you a .pub file Macs can’t read? There are workarounds for that too.
How to open a .pub file on Mac
It’s true that none of Mac’s default apps would be able to peek inside the .pub file, simply due to how closed the Microsoft ecosystem is. Luckily, it’s less of a problem than it seems. A quick search online would reveal dozens of free web-based utilities that instantly convert Publisher files into PDFs, .docx, .png, etc.
Alternatively, you can notify your team of your recent switch to Mac and ask them to export .pub files to another format before those get sent to you. To do that your colleagues need to go to File then Export then Change File Type.
Most likely, all the files you’ll receive from now on would be PDFs, which are great, as they preserve the original formatting and can be read by any program that deals with images. With time though you’ll accumulate hundreds of PDF files, so your new challenge will be finding the right one quickly. That’s where PDF Search comes to the rescue.
PDF Search is a powerful utility that first and foremost scans any folder on your Mac for PDFs and then uses its AI capabilities to work with them. This app doesn’t just search for a word or phrase, it also analyzes a variety of semantically
related keyword combinations and ranks them for you based on relevancy. To put it simply, there has never been an easier way to scan your PDFs.
Publish flawless blog posts on the web
A frequently overlooked use case for Microsoft Publisher is laying out the content for the web, whether it’s a website or complex blog post. And while Swift Publisher is an outstanding tool for creating website mockups, it would seem like an overkill to use it for putting together a blog post. Working with a single-focused app like MarsEdit would make so much more sense.
MarsEdit is a lightweight but powerful all-in-one blogging tool. It lets you write, design, optimize, and publish outstanding blog posts using a single workflow, and thus saving time and reducing errors in the process.
When you launch MarsEdit for the first time, it asks you to connect the app to your existing blog, whether it’s on WordPress, Blogger, or Medium, so that it can import all your settings and configure the publishing process. That way, MarsEdit will also become the de facto content management system for your website — good news, as keeping a copy of all your posts offline certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Writing in MarsEdit is straightforward and distraction-free. You can also copy-paste the text from another app and even retain the Markdown syntax. Adding media is the best part, as MarsEdit supports a variety of image engines and even features a native image editor to make all the necessary adjustments. What’s
more, the app can scan Apple Photos, Lightroom, and Aperture for images.
You also get to preview your resulting blog posts in real time to avoid after-the-fact tweaking. And if you have more than one blog, you can simply switch accounts right within the app. To sum up, MarsEdit is exactly the software web publisher have been waiting for.
Despite the fact that there is no official Microsoft Office Publisher for Mac, you’re not left without tools that are crucial for your success. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Lots of apps could be called a Microsoft Publisher equivalent for Mac. Your task now is to pick the right one. Swift Publisher does the trick for nearly every use case, and MarsEdit effortlessly takes care of your web presence. Finally, in case someone sends you .pub file Macs can’t read, search online to resolve the issue and try any top-ranking utility.
Visio for Mac
Microsoft Visio — a diagramming and vector graphics app created by Microsoft. iThoughtsX — a brainstorming visualization tool for Mac, third-party
XMind — mind mapping software for Mac, third-party MindNode — a macOS app for visual brainstorming, third-party
With our work lives speeding up towards more — more responsibilities, more people to manage, more time at the office — we get overloaded with information. Naturally, we can only read so much text every day to deeply understand the problem at hand. That’s why well-designed imagery has been on the rise in the last decade or so. And there is no more popular visual editor than Microsoft Visio.
Microsoft Visio makes it easy to produce all the diagrams and workflow visualizations your team requires. You can collaborate with other people in real time to create organizational charts, engineering designs, and floor plans, which could also adapt, based on live data you have available.
The software is widely used by structural engineers, project managers, business analysts, and executives of all kinds. Unfortunately, there are two problems with it: Microsoft Visio for Mac is not officially available and, if it would be, its license costs well over $500.
So if you and your office work predominantly on macOS, what do you do? Luckily, a good Visio alternative for Mac does exist, even a few! And more impressively they are much cheaper than the original software.
While Visio sets the bar high for any alternative on Windows, its long-time absence from macOS has resulted in some strong competition from smaller independent startups. Apps like MindNode, XMind, and iThoughtsX have largely captured what would be MS Visio for Mac market share.
For good reasons. All three apps provide mind-mapping features that aid the confident decision making. At the same time, each one is different enough that they can be used in combination, depending on the goals you have in mind.
Create mind maps with ease
Sometimes you just want to put your thoughts down on (digital) paper. You don’t need complicated schemes. These are the times when you should fire up MindNode.
MindNode is a simple but delightful mind-mapping tool. It acts as the perfect Visio for Mac equivalent for everyday tasks, as it’s much more nimble at creating something quick.
Use the Quick Entry feature in your menu bar to put together images, words, links, and the connections between them, and MindNode’s Smart Layout will adjust your thoughts to become more readable and beautiful.
When you’re done, swiftly send the resulting file as a text outline to print or another more advanced app that will perfect what you’ve started. Just remember that MindNode excels at visualizing your initial ideas and doesn’t pretend to be an all-in-one tool.
Plan your work at scale
Working with teams tends to get exponentially complicated. While three can do a stand-up meeting to catch up, seven need some sort of a written process in place, and ten or more would certainly benefit from a dedicated project manager, whose job is in part to design effective workflows for the company.
XMind is your project manager’s best friend. The app not only allows you to create mind maps of any complexity, it also lets you transform them into Gantt charts to clearly display the resources each task would require and its timeline. Finally, with a quick glance, you can see where your team is overcommitting and where they could pick up the slack.
Good news is you don’t even have to design something from scratch. A wide variety of templates for every business function makes XMind an essential Visio alternative for Mac that gets you up and running in no time.
In addition, XMind makes it effortless to present, as the app features more than 60,000 icons to help you design outstanding maps and charts, and then turn them into slide-based presentations, perfectly fitting for any audience.
Gain complete control over visualizations
If your team is used to constantly stretch the possibilities of Visio, working with all of its features in some capacity, or even when you just need to up your game once in a while, a true Visio Mac alternative might be necessary. Look no further than iThoughtsX.
iThoughtsX enables you and your team to organize ideas, create task lists, brainstorm, plan ahead, set goals, write down meeting notes, and much more. No concept is too grand for iThoughtsX, which makes it a perfect Visio for Mac app choice.
It’s easy to integrate iThoughtsX into your team’s workflow, as it lets you import files from all other popular visualization apps such as XMind, ConceptDraw, Scrivener, Excel, and all types of text including Markdown. More importantly, it also lets you export to widely used Microsoft software like PowerPoint, Word, and Project, as well as PDF, PNG, and HTML.
Your team will immediately love iThoughtsX because of how well this Visio Mac alternative plays with the operating system. It features instant cloud synchronization via iCloud or Dropbox, can be edited simultaneously on Mac and iPhone, and looks gorgeous on retina screens.
Even given the three popular options of Visio alternative for Mac above, it’s a quite difficult choice. Think of it this way: MindNode is a perfect app to start your
new idea, get it out of your head, and maybe show someone on your team. XMind is a robust planning tool that can take on a complete organization of your team’s processes, from brainstorming as a group to allocating time and resources.
Finally, iThoughtsX is king of all, a true Visio equivalent for Mac that could match it on every level and then add some. It’s a heavy-hitter and should be used in that way, when you really need that extra power.
Microsoft Project for Mac
Microsoft Project — project management software designed for Windows Merlin Project Express — a macOS app for advanced project management, third-party
Whether you have a team of one or 1,000 — you need to make sure everyone knows what to do, when to do it, and how much time to spend on it. Most companies employ a full-time project manager to oversee the work process, and the most essential tool they use in their work is some form of project management software.
Project management software helps teams plan, organize, and manage their work. There are lots of alternatives on the market: some are as simple as to-do lists and others include all the bells and whistles, like budget estimations, forecasting, and cost control. The most popular and widely used option by far is Microsoft Project.
Microsoft Project was first developed in 1984 as an MS-DOS application, even before there were graphical interfaces. Over the years, it has gained a loyal global following and has become the go-to tool for the majority of project managers.
Sadly, if you predominantly work on Macs, Microsoft hasn’t released a Mac-compatible version just yet, although the rest of the Microsoft Office 365 suite is available on Macs (short of Microsoft Access). So what’s the best Microsoft Project alternative for Mac?
Naturally, since Microsoft hasn’t been in a hurry developing an MS Project for Mac build, lots of Mac-specific players have entered the game, occupying all possible niches based on cost, features, tech support, and more. But to understand what makes a perfect competitor to Microsoft Project management software, we need
to know what exactly Microsoft Project is revered for.
Microsoft Project supports all project management activities with:
Built-in customizable templates to quickly get up and running when new projects come in.
Gantt charts to clearly see the timeline and the capacity for execution.
Visual reports to evaluate progress on the go.
Besides, Microsoft Project is a great tool for your business portfolio optimization and project evaluation to see where your organization is going and how it is doing. Finally, the software also does a continuous resource analysis, predicting bottlenecks and showing where resources are currently being underused.
So the ideal alternative to replace Microsoft Project for Mac needs to cover most if not all of these features and do it well. And maybe even have a few cards up its sleeve too. For example, Microsoft Project’s cost of $500–1500 per install or $30–60 per user a month is a likely target for other up-and-coming apps.
When we consider all available Microsoft Project alternatives, one stands out right away. In many ways similar to what Microsoft Project on Mac would be, it offers a more intuitive interface, easier onboarding process, and simpler cost structure.
Use Merlin Project Express as MS Project for Mac
Merlin Project Express is an all-in-one planning software that doesn’t constrain you into any project management paradigm. Control multiple projects, resources, and budgets with ease in the way that streamlines your own workflow.
Some notable features of Merlin Project Express include:
Outstanding planning tools. The app lets you create tasks, sort out dependencies, track progress, and schedule for the future — all on one screen.
By-the-minute tracking. See how much income your project generates in real time. Check how busy and productive your team is, and how many hours a day get clocked in.
Custom templates. Create intuitive templates for all repetitive processes and have your colleagues fire up new projects in no time.
Precise resource management. Handle all information about your team, tools, and equipment in one secure place. Adding people is just as easy as dragging them from your Contacts, and the calendar view makes it effortless to see everything at once.
Accurate project timelines. When you have a large project on your hands, how do you predict its success? The best way to do it is to break everything down to smaller tasks, which don’t seem daunting and are much easier to keep track of.
Unlimited version-based attachments. Storing task-related information separately is a sure way to mismanagement on large projects. With Merlin Project Express, you just drop the required files right onto the task and it will keep it safe, including all the updated versions.
Hopefully, the mentioned tools will disclose the new, beautiful sides of macOS to you. But you should also know, there are many more appearing on the Mac App Store, Setapp, and other platforms every day — so don’t stop exploring and finding bells and whistles for your Mac!
The Mac lifestyle
In this chapter:
Travel and work remotely with a Mac Edit and download favorite video Tips for music fansOrganize your work routine on Mac
- A robust backup app
- Digital notebook
- Stable Wi-Fi, always
- Physical protection of your Mac
- Transferring files with ease
- Money management on the go
- Get your work together
- Communication without time zone obstacles
- Download streaming video with YouTube Premium
- How to legally download YouTube videos
- Downie: Save YouTube videos within seconds
- Play and download content with Elmedia Player
- Swiftly download large videos with Folx app
- AnyTrans to download and transfer content
- Edit images on macOS
- Watermark your photos
- Create time-lapse videos
- Professionally organize photos inside your library
- Keep an eye on your Mac’s performance
- Simple tweaks to improve your Mac’s life
- Choose the best Mac for gaming
- How to install Steam on Mac
- Download free music on Mac
- Choose the best music streaming service
- Convert audio on Mac
- How to enhance music volume
- Remove noise distractions
- Google Translate tricks for Mac users
- Binge-watching Netflix is good for you
- Install Mate Translate on Mac
The Mac rules of digital nomadism
Digital nomad — someone who uses the Internet to work remotely from any spot on a planet.
Who doesn’t want to make money while traveling? Spending your life cruising the world in the state of digital nomadism sounds like a dream lifestyle for the ever-increasing amount of people.
The truth is working remotely while traveling is not difficult. But as everything else, it takes careful planning and dutiful organization. Tons of companies in the US now allow their employees to work remotely abroad. So finding the job isn’t even the hard part — planning your journey, staying safe, and managing your budget is.
Luckily, there are a few tools that can help you out. Here’s the checklist:
A robust backup app
If your MacBook is your main source of income, its data is very valuable. In case it gets lost or corrupted, you’d be in a lot of trouble. So you should always have fresh backups for everything you do, which is even more important when you decide to work remotely abroad, as your Mac is much more vulnerable to being damaged or stolen.
Make sure you do regular incremental backups to a local external drive or online storage. With Anytrans you can compress and encrypt backups of all your devices
— macOS, iOS, Andriod — making it very useful for traveling. You can also use Get Backup Pro to create a complete bootable clone of your Mac. ChronoSync Express lets you run scheduled backups of your Mac, but you can use it to
synchronize files and folders between two different Macs as well — useful if you find yourself working on a different Mac while you travel and work remotely.
Whether you’re planning to write a blog to make money while traveling or simply communicate with colleagues remotely, you’re going to write a lot. And to do that you need an app that’s versatile enough for all kinds of writing formats (including Markdown) but is also easy on the eyes and lets you concentrate on the task at hand.
Ulysses does all those things. It’s one of the best writing tools on the Mac and keeps all your documents organized in one place, so you don’t have text files lose on your hard drive. Its distraction-free writing mode will help keep you focused, and it syncs with iCloud, so if you have the iPad or iPhone version you can swap between the two very easily.
Stable Wi-Fi, always
Perhaps your working has gone really remote, and you don’t have access to WiFi. Or maybe you do a lot of work on the move — or it could be that you’re staying connected to back home with plenty of video calls.
How often do you end up needing to connect to a mobile hotspot and run through your data? And if you’re on international charges, fees can quickly mount up. To minimize the data you’re using when connected to a mobile hotspot, use TripMode. It automatically activates once it connects to a familiar network, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to set it up.
You can also customize your access: If you’re working, you might only want data being used for emails, whereas if you’re chatting with family you may want everything shut down except for FaceTime to save both data and battery life. You can also examine which apps are using more data than you’d like, or where your data went on a particularly heavy-use session.
Physical protection of your Mac
We understand if you go into a digital nomad journey all by yourself. And we totally understand if you don’t want to talk to people in public spaces. But come on, somebody has to watch your Mac while you’re ordering muffins in a cafe. Or, an app can do that, completely human-free.
To ensure your Mac is protected in public places, have Beepify with you whenever you’re on the road. The app can be instantly activated to produce a loud sound when a stranger closes the Mac’s screen or tries to disconnect the charger. Plus, you get a notification to your messenger once the incident takes place.
Transferring files with easeUnless you’re going on a vacation, you’ll need to transfer files to your collaborators and clients. Email works fine for text documents and PDFs but will
struggle with large images. Cloud storage services are ok, but some companies will insist that you send files directly to their FTP server.
For the latter you should get a stable FTP client like Dcommander or CloudMounter. All make it incredibly easy to transfer files from your Mac to a %)/2 $) =>? 2% C=>? #)%4)%7 2% )4): D)8E@F 2% @/.G2: CH #$2%.')7 ,A ;2& :))3 $20
Money management on the go
If you’re going to travel and work remotely for more than a month or two, there are additional things you should think about. Managing money is crucial — you’ll need to set a budget and stick to it. You’d also want to block off time in your diary for fun stuff — after all, there’s no point in your travel lifestyle if you’re going to spend all your time working.
Quicken is one of those apps people will keep recommending if you’re new to Mac. Indeed, it’s pretty incredible what this app can do — not only help you track expenses, but also give advice on smart investing and performance analytics. If it’s worth the cost for you, go ahead and buy it — the price of a starter plan is $34.99 a year. For more affordable budget tracking, use MoneyWiz or Chronicle.
MoneyWiz allows you to plan budgets, forecast spending and pay bills. It displays your spending in infographics so you can get a handle on where your money is
going. And it can hook directly into your bank account to pay bills and allow you to manage your money. Chronicle also makes it easy to track and pay bills, and will remind you when it’s time to do so. Its capabilities are not as extensive as MoneyWiz’s but it could be just what you’re looking for if you only need to see how much your travel lifestyle costs you.
Get your work together
Organization is key. You’re juggling your workload with the trials of setting up in a new country, and there’s little room for error: You need to know your tasks for the day, their deadlines, and how they overlap, not just for managing your projects but also in your day-to-day living.
It could be tempting to enjoy your surroundings and lose enthusiasm for your work, or, conversely, dive into your work and neglect time for yourself. If you want everything in one place, Pagico is the app for you. Projects, tasks, and contacts are quickly accessed. Embracing the digital nomad lifestyle is inclusive of balancing ambition and leisure, and with Pagico you can manage your daily, weekly, and yearly goals to keep on track.
Communication without time zone obstacles
Have clients or friends in different timezones? Feel inspired at night but only want your email to land the next morning? There’s one hack you’ll need to learn: With Right Inbox, you can write emails at any time that works for you, then have them sent at a time that works for your recipients.
Right Inbox's email scheduling feature is very useful for digital nomads. The email reminder feature sends you automatic reminders when they become relevant so you never lose track of important emails while on the move.
One more thing you should know if you’ve switched to Mac is there are lots of unboring mail clients you can use. Unibox is a nice example. Supporting iCloud, Google and Outlook, the app creates an elegant inbox that chronologically collates all your messages for each contact into one place, so you don’t have to scroll through a mess of conversations to find all the emails you’ve exchanged.
Choose whether you see your attachments as a thumbnail preview, list information in a grid, or as part of the message, and, even better, keep your attachments from one contact all in one place.
Download YouTube videos
YouTube Premium — a paid streaming subscription service created by YouTube. Video downloader — an app that allows to save video content on a computer. Torrent client — an app that initiates, truncates, and manages the downloads of data using BitTorrent file protocol.
You may hate funny cat videos or game reviews, but the chances are you still use YouTube. A mammoth of video content, YouTube is a go-to spot for many. In fact, the platform has over 1 billion users which is one-third of all internet users. Huge.Or, maybe your daily companions are Vimeo and Twitch. One way or another, video content is a part of your digital life. The question is how to utilize it. On a Mac, you can legally save a video with YouTube downloaders to watch it anytime and anywhere. It’s not easy to step into the jungle of video downloaders and instantly pick the right fit — impossible if you’re new to Mac. There’s help, though.
Download streaming video with YouTube Premium
Streaming content is a huge chunk of your internet traffic. Think Vimeo, Twitch, YouTube, Dailymotion, and other platforms where you can watch video displayed in real time.
Relying on online streaming stymies your watching experience in many ways – from limited data usage to network issues. Plus Wi-Fi often fails you at the most crucial moments.
If you ask YouTube, it will probably suggest you use YouTube Premium, a native paid subscription service to save content. For the monthly cost of $11.99, it
allows you to download videos on iPhone and Android devices. Yes, you got it right – no Mac. To fill the gap and bring streaming content to a computer, you’ll have to consider third-party software.How to legally download YouTube videos
Whether to capture a few movies for an upcoming flight or save favorite clips to rewatch, Mac owners love downloaders. And it’s a piece of cake to find one. The problem with the majority of such tools is that there are too many of them. Not to mention they could be used for copyright infringement.
To legally save content from YouTube and video streaming services to Mac, you can use third-party apps as long as you’re not earning money from downloads or breach copyright. Decide on the functionality – maybe you want the tool to convert videos, batch-download, or save audio only – the options are very diverse, but definitely worth looking into.
Disclaimer: You may download from YouTube using third-party software if you represent a copyright holder or own the permission of a copyright holder. The YouTube content should be copied for personal use only. For a more thorough understanding, check out YouTube’s Terms of Service.
Below you’ll find a small collection of YouTube downloaders that we recommend you look into. Use the apps to play, manage, and automatically save videos. Best of all, you can use the full toolkit of apps reviewed in this article for a flat fee.
Downie: Save YouTube videos within secondsThe easiest version of a YouTube downloader you can imagine. Grab a link, drag it onto the app icon, wait a few seconds for the content to travel to your Mac. While you don’t really do much, you can do even less with the browser extension.Downie already has it, so you don’t have to install the extension separately – check the box in your browser preferences and you’re good to go. Magically, Downie can also scan text files for links and download video content from there.
In other words, Downie is a media downloader that commits to cherishing your time. Here are the key ways to align the app with your workflow:
- Enable Simple mode to get rid of distractions in Preferences > General. Perfect for those who are annoyed by a progress bar showing up each time a download takes place.
- Downie is also a search machine. You can find YouTube videos on for download by searching right in the app, without opening a browser.
- If you love YouTube concerts and music videos, you can download audio only. To set Downie to the MP3 mode, open Preferences > Postprocessing > Enforce MP3.
This downloader automatically converts all videos to MP4, but if you need more options there’s Permute to help. It covers virtually all media formats and works both for video and audio. The app is basically Downie’s cousin, created by the same team of developers, Charlie Monroe Software. So you get a discount if you buy two. Also, Downie and Permute are both available on Setapp.
Play and download video content with Elmedia Player
Elmedia Player is one of the best tools to entrust your movie watching experience with. Not only does it tell you how to save videos from YouTube, it also enables
viewing content ad-free, right from the app. Download audio, convert to different media formats, or stream via AirPlay – it solves tons of problems.
Not limitless, but the functionality is pretty impressive. It’s a good idea to work with Elmedia Player if you want to:
- Organize downloads and bring them into curated playlists.
- Play Vimeo, Dailymotion, and YouTube videos in the app, without downloading.
- Open and convert files to different formats – from MP3 TO MKV.
- Extract audio tracks from YouTube videos.
- Stream media content to all Apple devices that support AirPlay.
Compared to Apple’s native QuickTime, Elmedia Player supports a bigger number of formats and is generally a decent alternative to the default program.Swiftly download large videos with Folx appThere’s no better option than Folx if you’re big on big downloads. Combining the functionality of a download manager and torrent client, the app brings large videos to your Mac in a matter of minutes.
With your browser and Folx open, you can download any video from YouTube by URL. Once you have the URL, paste it directly into the search bar or click on the plus button > YouTube > paste the link. Give the app a few seconds to prepare a download, and click OK. Before you know it, the video is on your Mac.
The in-built torrent client that is available to Pro plan users works in a similar way
– simple and lightning fast. Navigate to the Torrent tab via the plus button. In the top search field, click on the three dots to select a torrent file, customize default preferences if needed, and click OK.
To accelerate the process, Folx splits downloads in up to 20 streams. The app also cleverly adjusts download speed to your online activities, so that not to hamper important programs and processes running on your Mac. To tweak the default speed settings in Folx, access Preferences > Smart Speed.
AnyTrans to download and transfer content
Many think of AnyTrans as an alternative to iTunes, but it’s much more than that. The app is an all-mighty file manager that works with all your devices. So whether you want to copy images from iPhone to Mac, or transfer from Android to iOS, AnyTrans has you covered.
Apart from cleverly managing your content, the app also helps you grab some
new. Using an in-built Media Downloader, you can save video from 900+ websites, including Vimeo, Dailymotion, and YouTube.
Capturing and instantly sharing media is why you should pick AnyTrans over the other options. It has limited functionality in terms of download preferences, but is pretty good for capturing short videos.
Photo editing: A complete guide
Markup tools — a set of editing tools like adding arrows and text, highlighting, etc.
Watermark — a mark on a photo that identifies an original owner of the photo.
Time-lapse video — a sequence of photos that is played as a video.
People love photos. We are more visual now than ever. With most of us using smartphones and digital cameras to share with the world everything from what we had for dinner to holiday and birthday memories. We snap, share and print more than ever before. All of this makes our choice of editing tools something worth thinking about.
Apple took care of you having a basic photo editing toolkit integrated with macOS
— the Photos and Preview apps. Let’s see what they are capable of and why you’ll need a bit of extra help.
Edit images on macOS
You can take a picture and instantly enhance it in Photos – crop, adjust color, or apply filters. On macOS 10.15 Catalina, you also get access to robust photo organization features like viewing images by days, months, or years.
The Preview app has an in-built Markup toolbox with some solid photo editing capabilities. If you need to remove image background or do some color adjustments, this could be your perfect go-to instrument.
But before entrusting photos to a default tool, define what has to be done. The chances are, Apple’s native software might fall short of meeting your needs.
Crop, straighten, rotate, and flip
To crop an image automatically or manually with Photos, open the photo and click Edit > Crop. Choose Auto for automatic cropping or customize aspect ratio if you want to crop a specific area. To manually straighten your photo, click Crop > Dial, and then adjust the area by dragging up and down.
Also, look no further if your task is to rotate or flip an image. Once you launch Photos, choose Image in the top menu bar, and click Rotate clockwise/ counterclockwise or Flip vertical/horizontal to apply desired changes.
To crop and straighten your photos instantly, try CameraBag Pro:
To straighten your image, drag the dial up or down.
To crop the photo, drag one corner inwards, then drag a box around the image until its positioned the way you want it.
Batch resize photos in Preview app
Let’s say you want to set custom dimensions for 20 images. It’s very likely, your eyes might betray you if you go through them one by one.
In the Preview app, you can batch resize any number of photos without even opening all of them. Drag images onto Preview icon in your dock and select
thumbnails for all by clicking Edit> Select All. Set any dimensions and press OK to see your photos in the new shape.Adjust lighting and exposure
Editing software won't turn a poor picture into a Pulitzer prize winner, but various apps can be used to improve and enhance the lighting of a picture. Within Photos, for example – Apple's native images app – you can make some changes to the light levels and overall warmth of an image. To quickly fix exposure, brightness, and other lighting values, click Edit and start adjusting by moving sliders to the right or to the left.
Other apps that are good at adjusting the light levels and exposure within an image include the following:
TouchRetouch: Includes a range of tools for selecting areas you want to erase. TouchRetouch is also great at making color adjustments to your photos to ensure that your final edited work looks the way it should, which includes lighting changes.
PhotoBulk: It can apply lighting adjustments to a whole folder of images in only a few clicks, taking a matter of minutes. Useful if you're someone who regularly needs to make simple, quick adjustments to large numbers of pictures with a short turnaround to think about.
Photolemur: An AI-powered photo enhancer that automates the editing process. You don't need to learn what the pros know and you don't need to spend hours messing around with sliders and editing every image manually. Using 12 smart AI-powered technologies, Photolemur identifies then makes changes to images, including adjustments to lighting, colors and exposure.
To adjust the lighting and color with CameraBag Pro:
- Click the Adjustments tab on the right-hand toolbar (first from the top). The color adjustments are grouped at the top and the lighting adjustments are below. Drag the slider in each adjustment left or right to change its value.
- Scroll further down and you'll see options for adjusting hue and saturation and for using curves to adjust highlights and shadow. To use curves, click on the Curves tool, choose whether you want to apply the change to all channels or only the red, blue or green channel. Then, when the curve appears, drag the points on it up or down.
Quickly retouch and correct Red-Eye in Photos
Apple's Photos app includes a healing brush and red-eye correction tools that enhance your images. To quickly retouch, click on the arrow next to the bandage icon, customize the size of your brush and apply it to a specific area in a photo. For red-eye correction, use the same logic or choose auto-correction.
Another option, great for beginners is using: TouchRetouch. It comes with a wide range of easy-to-use features that help you identify and remove imperfections.
The app includes a one-click tool for blemishes, and a clone stamp to copy pixels from one part of the picture to cover an imperfection you want removed. You can also crop a section of a photo if it proves too difficult to clone pixels.
Fix color balanceWhen making edits to photos, the color balance is worth reviewing to ensure
some areas aren't too warm or cold, depending on the look you are aiming for.
This is something you can change using Photos.
Once you open your image with Apple’s native app, click Edit and scroll down to SelectiveColor. In the drop-down menu, you can adjust Hue, Saturation, and Luminance, as well as customize a range of colors, based on your preferences.
More conveniently, you can make changes as part of a series of edits within other photo editing apps such as Emulsion.
Emulsion provides an immersive environment, created by photographers. Different areas of the picture can be made warmer, colder, brighter or darker - making small but necessary changes to enhance the original image to stunning effect.
Add photo effects and filters
The easiest way is to apply filters in Photos. Simply click Edit > Filters and fit any of the suggested effects on your photo. The collection is pretty limited though.
Some apps are more equipped than others for applying filters and special effects. Photolemur can also make enhancements and apply color and texture changes to single or whole batches of images. It can even enhance the color of foliage and the sky.
CameraBag Pro comes with dozens of filters, including black & white, classic photographic styles, grainy effects, mattes, vintage, numerous types of film stocks, and many more. Well worth testing out if you want to apply a range of styles to your images.
So what is the best app for photo editing?
Every app we've mentioned here has several features worth recommending, including Photos. What you choose partly depends on what you need and how familiar you are with photo editing software. Here is how we would classify the apps mentioned alongside Photos, a Mac tool available on every macOS device.
Quick and simple: Photos - for a basic tool that can make a few changes, we would always recommend Photos.
Accelerated editing and resizing: Preview. This native app is mainly known for its Markup toolbar – an easy access to basic color adjustment, cropping, etc. Also, the app batch resizing helps you change tons of your photos lightning fast.
Robust, ideal for professionals: CameraBag Pro. Described as the ultimate tool for bringing both advanced adjustments and one-click filters to your photos and videos. Emulsion comes a close second in this category, providing photographers and filmmakers with an immersive environment to work on your images, with an interface which scales from small laptops to professional 5k workstations.
AI-powered, smart automated editing: Photolemur is capable of taking away the strain of manual photo editing. It can produce better lighting than the original image, Photolemur uses 12 smart technologies that can automatically make adjustments to pictures.
Removing imperfections: TouchRetouch is an ideal option.
Bulk edits: Photobulk and CameraBag Pro.
Watermark your photos
So imagine you took the best photo in your life, put it on social media, and the next thing you know it’s on someone’s blog. The solution is to identify the photo as yours in a way that can’t easily be altered. In other words, add watermarks.
What is a watermark?A watermark is a mark made on a photograph, translucent enough that it doesn’t obscure or detract from the image, but visible to the naked eye, used as a means of identifying the original owner.Once you put a watermark on your image, with your name, logo, or website
URL, it’s very difficult for anyone to remove it without changing the image. It’s a very effective way of stopping unscrupulous social media users from claiming credit for your image.
Watermark images on a Mac
There are a number of ways to add watermarks some easy, others not so easy.
The best way to add a copyright watermark to an image in Photoshop is:
- Create your watermark by opening up a document in Photoshop and typing the text or adding the logo you want to use for the watermark.
- Adjust the size and remember to reduce the opacity so you can see the image through it. Save the image and close it.
- Open the first image you want to put watermark on. Go to the Window menu, select Actions, and click the New Action button at the bottom of the panel — it’s an icon of a document with a corner folded down.
- Give the Action a name that makes it obvious what it’s for — Watermark will do — and press Return. Photoshop will now start recording every step you take.
- Go to the File menu, choose Place, navigate to the file containing your watermark, and click Place at the bottom of the window. Resize your watermark and put it in the position you want. When you’re done, hit Return. Press the Stop button at the bottom of the Actions palette to stop recording.
- Close the image without saving it.
- Go to the File menu and choose Script, then Image Processor.
- Click Select Folder and navigate to the folder where your images are saved and click Open. Then, just below, do the same again, but this time navigate to the folder where you want to save the watermarked images.
- At the bottom of the window, click Run Action, and in the right-hand menu select the Action you created earlier.
- Click Run at the top of the window. Photoshop will now open all the images in the folder, one at a time. Watermark and save them in the folder you specified.
Does that seem complicated? Well, consider this. The steps above work perfectly if all the images in your folder are the same size and shape. If they’re not, you have to add several steps to the process to make sure the watermark is displayed correctly in every image. Then it gets really complicated. That’s why there are apps that do it better now.
Watermarking images in batches is much easier in PhotoBulk than in Photoshop.
Here’s the workflow for that:
- Launch PhotoBulk.
- Drag the photos you want to watermark onto PhotoBulk’s main window.
You’ll see thumbnails appear along the bottom.
- Check the box next to Watermark at the top of the sidebar.
- Choose whether you want a text, image, or date stamp for you watermark.
- If you choose text, you can type or paste the text in the box and format it. If you choose image, click Browse to navigate to the image you want to use and select it.
- Drag the box with the watermark into position and resize it.
- Press Start, choose a folder to save the watermarked images and click Save.
PhotoBulk will watermark each image in turn. You can add multiple watermarks to images, too. Once you’ve created and placed the first one, go back to step 4 and this time, press the plus icon at the top of the Watermark box and choose the type you want.
Create time-lapse videos
Time-lapse is a wonderful way to capture the essence of something. A sunrise, or sunset. A busy city scene. The tide, as it goes out or comes back in.
Anyone with an iPhone and a Mac can create it. You can do this one of two ways:
- Use a time-lapse mode on iPhone: Open the camera app > Scroll along to Time Lapse > Press the red button to start filming > Press the red button to stop.
- Make a time-lapse video from photos: Download the macOS app called GlueMotion to batch edit, deflicker and assemble sequences of images into time-lapse movies. You can crop, rotate, flip and adjust the colors of your photos, inclining the exposure, saturation or brightness. In a matter of minutes, instead of hours, GlueMotion will have combined your photos to create the perfect time-lapse video.
Calculate your time-lapse
Intervals reflect the flow of your time lapse. To set the right intervals, you should dive into your setting and analyze how often the scenes change within the setting. Next, choose how you want to display these changes in a time-lapse video. So it’s all about “feeling” the scene and experimenting with the flow.
Here are a few examples of average intervals between one shot and another:
Sunrise and sunset: 10 seconds.
Clouds moving: 5-20 seconds depending on the speed.
Crowd and commotion: 5 seconds.
Building construction: from 10 minutes to several months.
The number of frames you use determine the length of the video. On average, it takes 25 frames to produce one second of a time lapse. So if you need a 5 sec video, you’ll use 125 frames. As simple as that.
Keep in mind that if you set custom intervals, the number of frames will change accordingly. Let’s say you have to create a 10 sec time lapse with a 3 sec interval. To calculate the total number of frames, multiple fps (frames per second) by 10 and then multiply the received number by 3 (interval): (10 x 25 = 250) x 3 = 750.
Add audio to your time-lapse video
You can easily do it in iMovie, Apple’s native video editing software. Once you create a time lapse with GlueMotion, import it into iMovie and start personalizing the sounding:
- Click on Audio in the top left corner.
- Toggle between Effects and Theme music or import tracks from your computer.
- Drag the selected audio clip to your timeline or select a custom range to add a specific part of your clip.
Convert video into a time-lapse
If you don’t have time to shoot a time lapse or you lack skills to pick the right intervals between snaps, go with converting. Video editors like Adobe Premiere
- or Pro allow to quickly turn a standard video into a nice-looking time lapse or hyperlapse.
Here’s how you convert videos in Adobe Premiere Pro:
- Import your video and open the Effects panel on the right.
- Select Posterize time and drag it onto the timeline to customize the frame rate.
- Change the rate from the default 24 frames per second. If you set fpt to 1, you’ll see only one frame per second.
- To adjust the speed, right-click on the video and select speed/duration. Increase the speed several-fold so that the frames change at a normal rate.
Professionally organize photos inside your library
Some photos are on your laptop, some on the external hard drive, some still on your camera, some on your phone, and some in the cloud. Knowing what and where has increasingly become a nightmare.
But there is a solution. Using a combination of just a few apps and tricks, you can get your photo library back in shape and proudly exhibit your best shots to anyone interested.
Delete duplicates and similar photos
It might feel like the first step to photo organization is importing your images to a photo editor. But wait. What you definitely don’t want to do is to scan through hundreds of images you take on your average trip and manually delete the ones of the same view.
There is an app to help your here called Gemini, which will accept individual files or folders, show you identical photos or even similar ones, and suggest you delete the copies. Simply drop the folder onto the Gemini app, look through the suggested pairings, and select the images you don’t like. Then click Remove.
Import image collections
For the last few years, macOS has featured a decent tool for storing and organizing your photos — the Photos app. The good thing about it is that it’s able to import your photos from anywhere: existing folders on your Mac, your camera’s memory cards, or your iPhone through a USB cable. All you need to do is just drag and drop the images onto the app’s interface.
On macOS 10.15, you can also organize photos by views — days, months, and years — for easier navigation. So once you’ve deleted all the duplicates with Gemini, import what’s left into Photos to make your typical organization a breeze. Photos automatically reads all EXIF data from your images to split them into collections based on the dates your pictures were taken.
On macOS Catalina, the Photos app also has native duplicate search
capabilities — less powerful than in Gemini, but a decent solution for keeping your gallery organized.
Add places and people to photos
Overall, Photos is a good beginner-friendly app. On macOS Catalina, it includes native People and Places recognition. However, it doesn't cater for directly tagging people in photos. This is where Emulsion helps you.
When you launch Emulsion, choose to Create New Catalog and select an imported photo folder of your choice. By reading the EXIF date from your pictures, Emulsion will detect all locations the pictures were taken and can display them all on a single map if you select certain images from the catalog and then go File > Show Selected Images on Map.
Another brilliant feature is the ability to tag people in your photos, which is heaven if you take a lot of group portraits. To add a specific person to your list, go to Tools > Add Face or use a shortcut Option + Command + L. The circle around the face will appear, in which you can type the person’s name.
Then, to find this person in all your images algorithmically, go to Tools > Find Faces or use the Shift + Command + L shortcut. Now you can select all photos featuring your friend Henrik with just one click on his face on the left-side panel.
If you need to batch edit images metadata — great tool for photographers — use
MetaImage. The app also allows adding GPS coordinates and is the best on the market in terms of the variety of tag and image formats.
Add tags and mark favorites
To add a custom tag in Emulsion, right-click on any image and choose Apply Tag.
If none of the existing tags fit, you can select Add Tag and create a new one.
Selecting images grouped by tags is then done via the left-side panel.
It might be that you are not necessarily working with photos, but say inspirational images or creating moodboards and want to tag all of them appropriately. A perfect app to use here would be Inboard — a flexible organizer, enabling Pinterest-like display of your images.
Share your photos easily
In a lot of ways, we take pictures not only so we can remember them ourselves, but also so that others might enjoy them too. And for professional photographers, this is the whole point.
That’s why Inboard makes it so easy to export your images. If you used it, you should now have a gallery of beautiful inspirational retouched photographs in Inboard. To export them:
Select the exact images you’d like to export while holding down Command.
Go File > Export Selected Items and choose a destination.
Then you can share your photos through a variety of messaging apps, email, Dropbox, or iCloud. Pick something you already use heavily.
Import your images into Inboard by dragging them onto the app. Add tags by clicking on the particular image and typing