• June 17, 2021

    Pin Your Chats in Messages for Faster Access

    A new feature of Messages in both iOS 14 and macOS 11 Big Sur is the option to pin up to nine conversations at the top of the conversation list for easy access. No longer do you have to worry about them scrolling out of sight. On an iPhone or iPad, touch and hold a conversation and tap Pin in the menu that appears; on a Mac, Control-click the conversation and choose Pin. (Remove them by repeati... Read more
  • April 29, 2021

    Not a Fan of Big Sur’s Translucent Menu Bar? Here’s How to Disable It

    In macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple went back to a design direction from the earliest days of Mac OS X: a translucent menu bar. Since its color changes depending on the desktop picture, many people aren’t enamored of it (left, below). Luckily, reverting to the traditional opaque menu bar is simple. Open System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and select Reduce Transparency. That will turn the... Read more
  • April 22, 2021

    Apple Hid the Proxy Icon in Big Sur’s Finder. Here’s How to Reveal It

    This is a twofer tip. You may not have known that every document window in macOS has long had a proxy icon in the title bar, next to the filename. The proxy icon is not just cosmetic. You can drag it to Mail to attach the document to a message, to a Web browser to upload it, or to any other location you can drag a document’s icon in the Finder (top screenshot, below, showing Preview in C... Read more
  • March 11, 2021

    It’s Time to Consider Upgrading to macOS 11 Big Sur

    We’re cautious when it comes to recommending upgrades to new versions of macOS. Apple makes the upgrade process easy—though it can be time-consuming—but upgrading can create workflow interruptions, render favorite apps inoperable, and have other consequences. At the same time, it’s important to stay in sight of the cutting edge for security reasons and to take advantage of advances from Apple a... Read more
  • February 16, 2021

    Keep Your Mac Quiet at Night and During Presentations with Do Not Disturb

    We’re all accustomed to the Do Not Disturb feature on our iPhones since they’re with us for most of the day and often spend the night next to the bed. But Apple long ago added Do Not Disturb to the Mac as well, and it’s useful for muting your Mac at night to eliminate unnecessary noises and for preventing unwanted notifications during presentations. In System Preferences > Notifications >... Read more
  • January 14, 2021

    M1-Based Macs Have New Startup Modes: Here’s What You Need to Know

    For many years, Macs have relied on sets of keys held at startup to enable specific modes. Most notably, pressing Option displays the Startup Manager and lets you pick a boot drive, Command-R starts up from macOS Recovery, Command-Option-P-R resets the NVRAM, Shift starts up in Safe mode, D opens Apple Diagnostics to check the hardware, and T starts up in Target Disk Mode. Needless to say, obsc... Read more
  • November 11, 2020

    Apple Unveils New M1-Powered MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini

    Continuing its pandemic-driven approach of short, focused announcements, Apple once again took to the Internet to stream its “One More Thing” event. On center stage this time was the Mac, or specifically, three Macs, all of which replace the longstanding Intel chip with Apple’s new M1 chip. All three Macs can be ordered now and will be available within a week or so.

    What Is the M1 and Why ... Read more

  • September 14, 2020

    When Should You Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14?

    As we get into September, it’s a good bet that Apple will soon—either this month or next—be pushing out major upgrades for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Apple previewed these new versions at its Worldwide Developers Conference back in June, and they’ve been in public beta for a few months. Once Apple makes macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 available, the quest... Read more
  • August 3, 2020

    Where Did Your Scroll Bars Go? Use This Setting to Ensure They Show

    On the Mac, scroll bars are essential for both orienting yourself and navigating within a Web page or document window. But they may not appear unless you hover the pointer over the right spot or start scrolling with a gesture on a trackpad or a turn of a mouse scroll wheel. If that bothers you, go to System Preferences > General and under Show Scroll Bars, select Always. That way, scroll bar... Read more
  • August 3, 2020

    Your Time Machine Drive Just Filled Up. What Should You Do?

    It’s inevitable—your Time Machine backup drive is going to fill up. Time Machine is smart about backing up only files that have changed, but after months or years of usage, the drive will run out of space. What happens then? Before we explain, some background. On its first backup, Time Machine copies everything on your startup drive to the backup drive. After that, Time Machine keeps hourly ... Read more