Remove extra application files with AppCleaner

One of the many great things about the Mac OS is how easy it is to install and remove applications.

To install: Download an app from the App Store and it’s automatically dropped into your Applications folder and ready to use.

Or: Download an application directly from a developer and drag the app to your Applications folder. Once again, ready to use.

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The mystery of the unsharable Google Apps calendar

Just a few days ago I had an interesting problem with sharing a Gmail calendar. The calendar belonged to a client with a corporate Google account for which he was the only authorized user. He’d recently acquired another company and wanted to create a shared calendar using email addresses that differed from his company domain.

Simple enough, right?

Well, not so much.

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Goodbye to the ghosts of emails past

After using Apple Mail for a few years you may have noticed that, when adding contacts to a new email message, a long list of email addresses appears. Some of these may be in your address book, but it’s often the case that these names are people you haven’t sent messages to in years or that you emailed once, but have no intention of emailing ever again.

Why the long memory? Apple’s Mail app, for the sake of convenience, collects the names of everyone you send email to so you don’t have to chase down an email addresses for people who aren’t in your Contacts app. It’s a nice feature, but may make addressing email messages a little messy after a few years go by. Fortunately, you have a couple of options for cleaning up the mess.

Get smart with Smart Addresses

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Mystery of the unmovable mail (and how to sync iOS email folders across all your devices)

If you’re using email on your iOS devices it’s likely you’ve encountered the following scenario: You’re going through your inbox, try to delete an email when the following message appears, “Unable to Move Message -> The message could not be moved to the mailbox Trash.”


Moving to your Mac, you discover you can delete the message without a hitch and that the message you delete from your Mac also disappears from your iOS device. But none of your iOS devices will let you delete the file.

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How to use a VPN to keep your network data safe

We’ve spent the last two weeks looking at applications you can use to protect your computer from unauthorized access: Apple’s built-in firewall for incoming access and Little Snitch for monitoring both inbound and outbound network access. But how do you keep people from looking at your network traffic while you’re on public Wi-Fi networks, such as those provided by your ISP, your favorite coffee shop, or the local library?

When you’re on public (read that untrusted) networks it’s possible for someone on the same network to capture and unwrap your network traffic and essentially ”listen” to your network conversations. This could potentially expose data you’re sending and receiving if your network data isn’t encrypted in some fashion.

When you connect to sites such as or your web banking service your network traffic is usually encrypted to keep your data safe, but there are many instances when sites you’re connecting to may be allowing that data to travel from your computer to their servers in the clear. On untrusted public networks this means it’s possible for nefarious individuals using packet sniffing software, such as Wireshark, to look at your private data. To avoid this kind of exposure on public networks it’s wise to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your data safe.

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Little Snitch keeps an eye on your Mac's Internet connections

After last week’s column on Apple’s built-in firewall, Frank Lowney asked the following question in the column’s comments section:

Although, we’re focused on incoming connections here, shouldn’t we also be concerned about outgoing connections as well? This seems especially important where there are data caps or outrageously expensive cellular data plans being used.

We need a comprehensive and coordinated gate keeping strategy for all connections.

Frank raises an interesting and important point. While Apple’s Application Level Firewall is great at putting on a good defense, monitoring your outbound traffic can be enlightening and possibly even a little disturbing. It can clue you in to which of your running applications are accessing and sending data to the Internet when you might not be expecting it to and it can help you to see if unexpected applications are sending data out when you don’t want them to.

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Fire up your Mac's firewall

A few weeks back, after the Working Mac column about scanning your Mac for viruses I received an email message from Yolanda:

Hope you can help your readers with something that I haven’t found. I’ve just purchased my first Mac after being on Windows for about 15 years, so I’m looking around for reputable recommendations of free and good anti-virus/firewall programs.

The article Yolanda linked to recommended ClamXav for scanning your Mac for viruses, but Yolanda was correct, there was no mention made of firewall applications.

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