It is oh-so-tempting to just pull that flash drive out of your USB port when you’re done with it. But resist the urge! Unceremoniously disconnecting an external drive from your Mac can result in all sorts of problems—namely, you could inadvertently damage files on the drive. Do yourself—and your data—a favor and eject your disk the proper way. OS X provides a few methods for doing so—here are three of them.
Dragging the icon: This method of ejecting a disk has been around as long as the Mac itself. Click the disk icon on the desktop (assuming you have your Mac set to show disks on the desktop), then drag it to the Trash icon in the Dock—it’ll turn into an Eject symbol. Wait a few seconds for the disk to disappear from the desktop and remove your disk.
If you’re relatively new to the Mac, it may not be immediately obvious as to how you would delete an app—after all, OS X doesn’t come with any sort of uninstaller like Windows does. Removing apps from your Mac is usually a very easy process, however, though there are some caveats.
From the Finder
Open a Finder window and navigate to your Applications folder. It should be accessible via the Favorites sidebar by default; if it isn’t there, pop open Spotlight and do a search for “Applications folder” and it should pop right up.
Back in the early days of OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system shipped with an Internet preference pane that let you change, among other things, your default Web browser and email app. At some point, Apple decided to put these settings in Safari and Mail, respectively, but with OS X Yosemite and later, the option to change your default Web browser returned to its rightful home in System Preferences.
If you’d like to change your Mac’s default browser, open System Preferences (look in the Apple menu if you don’t know where to find it), then click General. Next, find the pop-up menu labelled “Default web browser:” Click it, then choose whichever browser you’d like to use as your default.
If you’re relatively new to the Mac, you may not realize that OS X comes with a full suite of screenshot tools. Apple did a good job at hiding them, but once you know how to use OS X’s screenshot feature, it might just become an indispensable part of your workflow. Let’s take a look.
Take a screenshot using keyboard shortcuts
The easiest way to take screenshots on OS X may be to use one of the following keyboard shortcuts.
In today’s era of multi-terabyte hard drives, many of us don’t keep as close an eye on our disk usage as we used to. Still, even the largest drives fill up eventually. If you don’t know how to check your disk space use on OS X, here’s where to look.
While some of OS X’s applications have their own data structures—like Mail and Photos—Finder is likely where you will be doing most of your file organization. After you have created or collected hundreds (if not thousands) of files on your Mac, you might often find yourself needing to move these items around, print them, open them, and delete them so frequently that the basic uses of the mouse become somewhat limiting.
That’s where hidden options, like special hotkeys and modifiers, come in— you can use these to enhance your file management. With practice, you’ll eventually be able to quickly access what you need and organize it accordingly. Here is a handful of our favorite Finder tips and tricks.
If you’ve used a Mac longer than the span of a typical Hollywood awards show, you probably know that Command-P means print, Command-C means copy, and Command-V means paste. That great—it shows you already have a taste for how keyboard shortcuts can save you time. There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts for just about anything you can do with a mouse. But shortcuts can be intimidating. They’re not always intuitive and they can take a lot of time and practice to commit to “finger memory.”
Adding just a few keyboard shortcuts to your repertoire can be painless and easy. And painless in more ways than one, since shortcuts mean spending less time on the mouse, which in turn means a lower risk of Carpel Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI).
Let’s take a look at three of the places where you probably spend most of your time on the Mac and see how keyboard shortcuts can make you more efficient.