Category Archives: Mac Tips

Silencing Your Apple iOS or OS Device

There are so many sounds coming from your iPhone and Mac: mail notification, camera shutter, lock sound, plugged in sound, volume up and down quack – the list goes on.  You may not consider these particularly bothersome, but there’s a chance that sometime you may want extra quiet.  Besides the physical “mute” button on the phone and going into system preferences on your OS desk or laptop, how can you do it?

For iPhone and iPad, you can quickly and easily disable the “plugged in” chime or vibration by swiping your locked screen left to activate the camera.  Then plug in silently, press the home button to get back to your lock screen and check the upper right corner to make sure the lightning bolt charge indicator is on.

Have you ever felt like “If I hear one more quack today, I’m going to SNAP!”?  Well, on those days, you may have avoided listening to music or relaxing to YouTube videos, because when you adjust the volume – QUACK!  Fear not!  Simply press the “Shift” key at the same time as the volume up or down and enjoy the unaccompanied adjustment.  This is only a temporary mute.  If you want to mute your volume controls long term, go into System Preferences >Sound and uncheck the “play feedback sound when volume is changed” >Exit.  Now, if you press “Shift” while adjusting the volume you will hear the “quack”.

Now, of course, there are some notifications you actually want to get all the time.  Good news! There are endless ways to customize when and how you hear (or don’t hear) these sounds.  If you click this link, you’ll learn how to quiet the new mail notification on iPhone/iPad. If you have time, read the “Related Articles” at the bottom – there’s a rabbit hole of all the customizing you could ever want to do.  We’re grateful to the good folks at OSXDaily for offering up all these tutorials.

Here’s to a weekend filled with as much quiet or sound as you wish for, and to making your iPhone, iPad or Mac the quiet minion it’s meant to be!  Happy Friday!

From your friends at TechRestore.

Setup Emergency Contact (ICE) on Your iPhone

Most people know about ICE (in case of emergency) contacts in their phone.  But what if your phone is locked?  While you may never need it, having your emergency contact information available for anyone to find could come in handy.  If you have a medical condition or severe allergies, it could save your life! In the latest Apple Watch OS, you can call emergency services and text your emergency contacts just by pressing and holding the side button .

Setting up Medical ID on your iOS device is simple.  You can add as much information as you like (just remember, it’ll be visible to anyone who knows how to access it without unlocking the screen).

First, open the “Health” app (it should be on your iPhone iOS 8 and newer and you can’t delete it).   If you can’t find the icon on screen, swipe down and search for it.

Now in the bottom right corner, select “Medical ID” and then “Create Medical ID”.  Be sure to allow “Show When Locked”.

              

Now you will have the option to add all sorts of useful information, which emergency personnel may need to know, especially blood type, allergies, existing conditions, etc.

 

                                     

Scroll down to “Emergency Conctacts” and choose “add emergency contact”.  You can add as many people as you like from your contacts here, and designate their relationship to you.

Now, when your phone is locked, press the home button, and instead of entering your passcode, choose “Emergency” and on the bottom left corner, you will see “Medical ID” in red. When you choose it, it will show all your emergency contacts and allow you to call by pressing their name.  If you use the SOS feature on Apple Watch, it will text them your location after you contact emergency personnel.

                    

Here is a helpful guide to setting up the SOS feature on your Watch.   How to set up SOS on Apple Watch

And, if you’re still not convinced, here’s a story of the Medical ID/SOS in action!  College student credits Apple Watch with saving his life.

We hope you never have to use it, but being informed can make a difference.  Be sure your loved ones have this useful feature enabled, too!

Be careful out there.  From your friends at TechRestore.

How to Disable Apple Music Auto Renewal

If you’re like me and you want to try out Apple’s new music streaming service but aren’t sure if you want to keep it or don’t want to forget to opt of the automatic payments, then this tip is for you. I found this over at The Mac Observer and I found it helpful so I wanted to post it here.

Follow these steps to disable automatic payments:

 

  1. Launch the Music app on your device.
  2. Tap the Account Profile icon in the upper left corner.

account profile screen

  • Tap View Apple ID.

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  • Scroll down to Subscriptions and tap Manage2015-07-01 18.26.47
  • From there, tap the Automatic Renewal switch to turn off auto payments and then tap done.2015-07-01 18.29.14

You’ll still have access to all of Apple Music’s features during the 90 day trial period. If you decide that you like using Apple Music and want to pay for it, you can head back into your settings and turn Auto Renewal back on.

 

 

Adware Removal

os x finder security logoIf you’ve used the internet long enough, chances are you’ve encountered ad-injection software or adware. Adware presents itself in many annoying forms such as pop-up windows, ads, changing your homepage, and extra banners or toolbars when using your browser.

Adware is usually picked up when installing third-party software, it is disguised or bundled with other software that you intend to install. If you think your Mac has been infected with adware then use these steps to rid yourself of this issue.

Check Safari settings and extensions

  1. Open Safari
  2. From the menu bar select Safari > Preferences
  3. Select the General icon and make sure that the Homepage field contains the website you want.
  4. Select the Search icon and make sure that the search engine setting shows your preferred search engine. Some versions of Safari have this setting in the General pane instead.
  5. Click the Extensions icon. If you don’t want an extension or don’t recognize it, select the extension from the list and click Uninstall.

 Removing Adware

Downlite, VSearch, Conduit, Trovi, MyBrand, and Search Protect are all common adware that are found on Macs. You can use this “Go to Folder” method to find and remove each item listed in the sections below, one item at a time:

  1. Drag to select an entire line in the lists below, starting with /System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework, for example.
  2. Choose Edit > Copy.
  3. Open a Finder window, then choose View > As Columns.
  4. Choose Go > Go to Folder.
  5. Choose Edit > Paste to paste the line you copied into the text field.
  6. Press Return.
  • If the item is on your Mac, a window opens with the item you searched for already selected. Drag only that item to the Trash. If you’re asked to enter a password, enter your administrator password.
  • If the item is not on your Mac, you’ll see a message that the folder can’t be found. Continue to the next item in the list.

Repeat the steps above using the files listed below:

/System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework
/System/Library/Frameworks/VSearch.framework
/Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/Jack
/Library/InputManagers/CTLoader/
/Library/Application Support/Conduit/
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ConduitNPAPIPlugin.plugin
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/TroviNPAPIPlugin.plugin
/Applications/SearchProtect.app

After you remove the items above, restart your Mac. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash to permanently remove them.

If you found the above steps to be difficult, then you should try this adware removal tool called AdwareMedic that will do the leg work for you. AdwareMedic was created by Thomas Reed, a computer enthusiast and Mac fanatic. Thomas has a blog, thesafemac.com, dedicated to  malware and adware prevention and removal. His website is a valuable resource and worth checking out, as well as his comprehensive adware removal guide.

 

Apple ID

heroAn Apple ID is your user name for everything you do with Apple: Shop the iTunes Store, enable iCloud on all your devices, buy from the Apple Online Store, make a reservation at an Apple Retail Store, access the Apple Support website, and more.

It’s important to set up an Apple ID if you want take full advantage of all your Apple devices useful features. Security features like Find My iPhone which allows you to track your stolen or lost device, and cool features like  Handoff which allows you to seamlessly  pick up where you left off from on one device to another aren’t accessible without an Apple ID.

Any questions you might have in regard to Apple ID such as how to create one, how to change your ID, or set up and ID on all your devices can be answered here by reading this FAQ.

Using the iCloud Keychain

iCloud keychain iphoneiCloud Keychain is a useful utility in iOS and OS X that allows you to securely save and store your passwords, account names, and even credit cards to your Keychain across multiple devices. I find the password management utility to be one of the most helpful myself. The iCloud Keychain helps make managing and remembering multiple social media and email login credentials simple. In this quick guide I’ll show you how to setup the keychain to store your passwords, how to view your saved credentials, and how to generate a password using the Keychain.

 

How to Enable iCloud Keychain in iOS

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Keychain.
  4. Toggle iCloud Keychain to On.
  5. You will be asked to either set up an iCloud Keychain password or enter the existing one. You can also choose to verify with another device.

This is the first step you would take get started with iCloud Keychain, granted you have created an iCold account and have upgraded your devices to iOS 7.0.3 or later and OS X Mavericks or later.

How to generate a password  in iOS

  1. Launch the Safari app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Navigate to the site you’d like to create an account and generate a password for.
  3. Fill out any information that’s needed and then tap on the password field where you’d normally enter a password.
  4. A popup should appear. Tap on Suggest Password.
  5. A popup menu will now appear, tap on Use Suggested Password.

How to generate a password  in OS X

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac running OS X Mavericks or above.
  2. Navigate to the website you’d like to create a login for or change the password for.
  3. Once you’re in a password field, you will see a popup from iCloud Keychain suggesting a strong password for you.
  4. Click on Use Safari suggested password.

Coming up with and remembering multiple unique passwords for multiple accounts can be difficult. While the passwords generated by Safari aren’t the strongest, they are better than using the same password for multiple sites.

 

How to manually view passwords stored to Keychain in iOS 

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Safari.
  3. Tap on Passwords & AutoFill under the General section.
  4. Tap on either Saved Passwords.
  5. Enter your 4-digit passcode if you are prompted to do so.
  6. In this list, find the login you’d like to view the password for and tap on it.
  7. Here you can see the login credentials for that specific account.

 

How to manually view passwords stored to Keychain in OS X

  1. Open your Applications folder.
  2. From there open the Utility folder.
  3. Click on the Keychain Access app.
  4. When the Keychain Access window opens, find and click Passwords in the left sidebar.
  5. Find the account you wish to display the password for and double click it.
  6. A window displaying  the login credentials will open, though the password is still hidden. Mark the checkbox near the bottom to display password and finally enter your Keychain password to view it.

Being able to manually view your login credentials can be useful for remembering  your password or username when logging into public terminals or a device that that you’ve never used before.

 

 

Quick Tip: How to Block Favorites When Clicking on Safari Search Bar

By default, when clicking on the Safari 8 search bar, a popup window of your favorites appears in a scrollable grid. That new feature is a departure from previous behavior and could be distracting. If it is for you like it is for me, here’s how to block that feature.

 

Screenshot 2015-02-19 12.22.11

You can see what I’m talking about from the screenshot above. Some may find this a bit intrusive. If you want to disable this feature just head into the Safari preferences: Safari > Preferences > Search > “Show Favorites.”

 

20150209Safari-search2

 

Just deselect the checkbox if you don’t want that grid of favorites popping up when you click in the URL bar. Voila! Now you can browse the web with a little less visual clutter getting in your way. While you’re exploring Safari’s preferences, why not take a look at a post we published on how to get the full Safari web address back.

 

 

Apple’s First Quarter Results Conference Call

Apple will be streaming its FY 15 First Quarter Results Conference Call on January 27 at 2:00 p.m. PST.  Earnings and figures for the companies first quarter of 2015 will be announced. Investors, stockholders, and Apple fans alike should be eagerly awaiting the news.

Apple set sales records during last year’s first quarter, selling roughly 51 million iPhones worldwide. That record is likely to be broken this year with the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus having been released this past September.

global iPhone sales by quarter

Quarterly iPhone sales from 2007-2014

 

The event can be viewed here starting at 2:00 p.m. PST, and will be available for reply approximately two weeks thereafter. Streaming the broadcast requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or above, a Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or above or a PC running QuickTime 7 or later.

 

 

Essential Hotkeys For Mac To Make Your Life Easier

Mac-logoHotkeys exist to make your life easier, but often go unused  or forgotten by many users. Hotkeys make things like managing files,applications, and other system task a mere tap of the fingers. I’ve compiled a list of the many useful hotkeys I use on a daily basis when working on my Mac.

These following hotkeys are useful for managing windows and open applications. They can help to reduce onscreen clutter or quickly move between programs.

Command-W — Close the current window

Command-Q — Quit the current program

Command-M — Minimize the current window to the Dock

Command-H — Hide the current program but keep it running

Command-Tab — Cycle through open programs

Command- Tilde — Cycle between open windows for current program

 

This set of commands is useful when working with the Finder application or otherwise managing files.

Command-I — Get information on a file or folder such as timestamps, file size, or file type

Command-N — Create a new Finder window (can also be used with programs like Safari)

Shift-Command-N — Create a new folder in the current window

Command-delete — Move any selection to the trash (hold Shift with this hotkey to empty the trash)

 Command-P — Print the current document, or any selection of documents in the Finder (works with most applications as well)

Command-O — Open any document, or any selection of documents in the Finder

 

Save your self the trouble of having to drag and drop multiple files from place to place.

Command-C — Copy the current selection to the clipboard

Command-V — Paste that selection, copying it to the specified location. Include “Option” here to move the item instead of copying

Command-Space — Open a new Spotlight window

Command-F — Open a Finder Search starting at the current location (useful for quickly finding specific info in a word document or on a webpage)

These final hotkeys are especially useful when troubleshooting or trying to solve a problem with your mac.

Option-Command-Esc — Show the force-quit window to close frozen applications

Control-Eject — Shut down

Command-R— hold while starting your computer to boot to the recovery partition and access options for repairing your Mac like Disk Utility or reinstall OS X

Again, these are just hotkeys that I find exceptionally useful and help to make my work easier. Are there any  other useful ones that you use that you didn’t see on our list? Let us know down in the comments below.

How to Improve Performance of iOS 8 On Older Devices

When I installed iOS 8 on my older iPad 2, I noticed something. It got a bit slower. Launching or switching between apps just didn’t seem as fast and animations didn’t seem as smooth. Although I can’t expect my older iPad to keep up with a newer model, there are a few small tweaks that I can make. So here’s what I did.

ipad settings icon

change a few settings to improve performance

Reduce Motion

Turning on the reduce motion feature in iOS removes some animations and the parallax effect, which frees up resources and can add a small boost to performance. To turn on this feature go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Tap to turn Reduce Motion on.

Reduce Transparency

The next thing  you could do is reduce the transparency. Reducing the transparency will replace the frosted glass look of some areas and replace it with a solid gray. To change this go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency > On.

Check Storage

It is possible to see reduced performance if the  storage of your iPad is becoming full. If you notice your iPad’s performance suffering, check the amount of storage you have left. To do this go to Settings > General > Usage > Look at the Available Storage section. If you see that your storage is close to capacity, try deleting a few unused apps.

These tips should help to increase performance if your experiencing trouble after updating.

New WireLurker Malware Attacks iOS and OS X

Security research firm Palo Alto Networks published a research article Wednesday about a new malware that affects iOS and OS X devices.

malware depicted infecting computer

Wirelurker attacks iOS devices and Macs

From Palo Alto Networks:

WireLurker was used to trojanize 467 OS X applications on the Maiyadi App Store, a third-party Mac application store in China. In the past six months, these 467 infected applications were downloaded over 356,104 times and may have impacted hundreds of thousands of users.

WireLurker works by monitoring any iOS device connected via USB with an infected OS X computer. Once it detects such a device it installs third-party applications or other malicious applications onto the device. Once the malware has affected the device it can steal sensitive information, self replicate, request and receive updates from the creator, and hide itself within the system. This malware’s characteristics make for one  really nasty virus.

But there are steps that you can take to prevent or minimize your chance of infection.

  • Only download apps from trusted sources (e.g. Mac App store)
  • Use an antivirus software and keep signatures up to date
  • Do not pair your iOS device with any untrusted computer
  • Keep your iOS and OS X version up-to-date
  • In your OS X System Preferences under Security and Privacy make sure you have the option “Allow apps downloaded from: Mac App store and identified developers” checked
  • Avoid charging your device your device through unknown or untrusted sources

This shouldn’t be of much concern to most users, so far users have mostly been targeted in China. But precautions should still be taken to be safe.

Devices Compatible With Continuity For iOS and OS X

Continuity is a new feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that allows users to easily move between  their iOS device and Apple computer. With this feature you can receive and answer phone calls and SMS messages directly from your computer, as well as start typing an email on your iPad using the mail app and instantly continue from your computer. Awesome, right?

However, not all devices are compatible with this feature. You’ll need a device with iOS 8 and a computer with OS X Yosemite installed on it. Users with older hardware  will be out of luck, as this feature can only be used on more recent hardware.

handoff mac

Picture curtosey of Apple.com

Continuity is compatible with these Mac Models:

  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

And these iOS devices:

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPhone 4s (sharing iPhone calls only)
  • iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

Create a Bootable OS X Disk

So maybe you want to install Yosemite on multiple machines or maybe you’d like to have a physical copy to perform a clean install on your Mac. Then you my friend, need to create a bootable install disk. It’s simple, we’ll walk you through the process.

What you’ll need:

  • A copy of DiskMaker X (it’s free)
  • A 8GB or larger flash drive
  • A downloaded copy of Yosemite (App Store)

The DiskMaker X process couldn’t be simpler. Once you have installed and started DiskMaker X, the application will guide you through the process and locate the correct file for you.

First choose the flavor of OS you wish to install and confirm your selection at the next prompt.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.04.26

Next, connect the disk you want to use and choose it from the dialog box.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.05.35

Verify that you’ve chosen the correct disk because it will be formatted and erased at this point. Enter your administrator credentials when prompted to continue.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.06.22

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.09.57

And thats it! Just wait for the application to finish, it may take a while. It took me about 30 minutes.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.33.09

 Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.34.59

You now have a bootable OS X disk. To use the drive, just reboot your Mac with the drive connected while holding the option key, select the install disk, and follow the prompts.

Yosemite Wifi Fix

 

More and more users are adopting OS X Yosemite. But many of those users are experiencing wifi issues. The issues range from network connectivity issues to slow internet speeds.

1384438130_icon

While there is no official fix or update from Apple yet, you can try these tips if you’ve experienced any issues.

Get the Safari full web address back in Yosemite

If you’ve upgraded your Mac to OS 10.10 Yosemite and you noticed that Safari now just gives you a general, top level web address (IE eBay.com vs. eBay.com/xxx/xxxx/xxxx), there’s a quick solution to get the real addresses showing again.

Just go to Safari > Preferences > Smart Search Field
Check the box “Show full website address”

Fix Safari short URL problem

That’s it! Now you can go back to being the productive human that you’re used to being.