Don't-Miss Mac app Stories

Installing Mountain Lion: What you need to know

Like Lion before it, Mountain Lion is available only as a direct download from Apple’s Mac App Store. This method of distribution is convenient, but it also raises a number of questions. Here’s a look at the details of purchasing, downloading, installing, and setting Apple’s lastest OS. We also take a look at some of the upgrade obstacles you might face.

How to make a bootable Mountain Lion install drive

Though you can install Mountain Lion directly from your Mac's hard drive, a bootable installer drive can be more convenient for installing the OS onto multiple Macs. And if your Mac is experiencing problems, a bootable installer makes a handy emergency drive. We walk you through the process of creating such a drive, step-by-step.

Hands on with Mountain Lion's OS X Recovery and Internet Recovery

Mountain Lion, like Lion before it, lets you boot your Mac into a special recovery mode called OS X Recovery. This mode includes a few essential utilities for fixing problems, restoring files, browsing the Web, and reinstalling the operating system. Here's our comprehensive look at this troubleshooting tool and the special Internet Recovery feature available on recent Macs.

Should you do a "clean install" of Mountain Lion?

Some Mac users prefer to do a "clean install" of each major new version of OS X, erasing their drive and starting over. Here’s a look at whether or not that's possible when installing Mountain Lion and, more important, whether it’s advisable.

Ten stellar keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can help you save time and keep your hands on my keyboard. Here are 10 of Kirk McElhearn's favorite shortcuts for the applications he uses most.

Move iTunes media files to other locations with TuneSpan

TuneSpan lets you move parts of your iTunes library to other hard drives, but still use the content for playback and syncing as usual. Kirk McElhearn walks you through how to use it.

Back up blog or FTP directory with AppleScript

A Hints reader wanted to back up his Wordpress blog, but didn't like the available backup plug-ins. So he wrote an AppleScript to do the job and set it to run automatically every day.

An alternative for AirPlay Mirroring

What to do about a Mac that supports Mountain Lion but not AirPlay Mirroring.

Get your Mac ready for Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8)

Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) is as easy to install as its predecessor, Lion (OS X 10.7), was. But there are still a few things you can do before downloading Mountain Lion to ensure that your Mac is ready and that the upgrade process goes smoothly.

Fine-tune volume and brightness in OS X

Normally, when you use the volume and brightness keys on your keyboard to adjust those output levels, your adjustments are made in whole steps on a scale of 1 to 10. But there's a keyboard shortcut that lets you adjust them more finely--and that keyboard shortcut has returned in OS X 10.7.4.

Running Windows 8 on your Mac

Whether it's for work or just out of curiosity, here are four options for flirting with the latest rough beast to shuffle out of Redmond.

Bugs & Fixes: From iOS app crashes to email problems

Ted Landau looks at recent iOS app corruption issues and email conundrums.

Sharing a wireless keyboard and mouse

Two Macs, one keyboard and one mouse (or one trackpad). Care to control those Macs with just one set of input devices? Chris Breen shows you how.

MacBook Woe: A tale of a near Mac disaster, averted by good backups

The hard drive in Lex Friedman's MacBook Pro failed after a water-related disaster at 30,000 feet. Good backups and some good luck prevented a true data disaster.

View a program's graphics in Preview

Need a program icon or an image from a template? You can easily access all of an application's graphical elements with this hint.