FAQ About Macs

Not many users personalize their Mac, as organizing everything on the computer is not exactly a barrel of laughs. However using a few neat tricks for searching, storing and working can make a difference, so sooner or later, Mac users want their devices to run faster. Mac OS offer some good technology, which can help quickly locate, move around or remove files and thus reach the goal: to speed up a Mac by cleaning its interiors. With all these flashiest interface features, and with your desktop straightened out, you can use your Mac much more efficiently.


Can I Get Rid of Problem Fonts?

Answer: Your computer uses the fonts to control the display of text. Various applications use different fonts, but duplicate fonts can cause conflicts, so keeping only trouble-free fonts ensures that everything runs smoothly. Besides, some fonts can be corrupted. A built-in application exists on Mac OS, which manages fonts. This app is called Font Book, and it is located in the Applications folder. Font Book easily identifies duplicate fonts, which will be marked with a small yellow triangle. To remove these fonts, highlight them, then choose Edit-Resolve Duplicates. If the Edit-Resolve Duplicates command doesn’t fix a conflict, highlight the duplicate fonts and choose Edit-Disable. To see if a font is corrupted, you can validate fonts. Just choose Edit-Select All, then select File-Validate Fonts. All the fonts that are corrupted will appear in the list with a yellow exclamation mark icon. Select its check box and click Remove Checked.

How to Clear the Cache?

Answer: In fact, programs you use improve performance by storing data accumulated on a hard drive. This data is called cache, and caches are used, by and large, to speed up a system. Clearing the cache shouldn’t be part of regular maintenance of your Mac, as deleting them without purpose defeats the objective of caches. However this concept of clearing out the caches often crops up in Mac speed tips. A faulty cache can bring a program to a halt, but caches are used to speed up a system. You should keep caches unless you have got problems with them.

Can I Turn Off Certain Mac OS X Functions? If Yes, What Can I Turn Off?

Answer: If you are running an old computer, fine-tuning Mac OS and applications can be not enough. Turning off Mac OS X functions limits the usefulness of the OS, but if your Mac runs quickly with fewer features being on, it may well be better than a Mac running slowly or not at all. You can turn off three memory hogs unless you need them badly: Universal Access, Bluetooth, Internet Sharing. Make sure however, you are not using a wireless mouse or wireless keyboard before turning off Bluetooth. Besides, some apps need universal access even if the user doesn’t require it.

How to Get Rid of Widgets?

Answer: Widgets are those small applications that we can see in Dashboard. The widgets are great to use but they take up a surprising amount of memory. What’s more, widgets take up RAM even when you’re not using Dashboard. So removing them from Dashboard helps speed up Mac OS. To remove unnecessary widgets :

  • Open Dashboard by pressing F4 or by clicking the Dashboard icon in the Dock.
  • Click the small plus icon in the bottom left of the screen to manage the widgets.
  • Then click the X icon in the top left of each widget to remove it.
  • When you remove a widget from Dashboard, it is not deleted from your Mac, it is just removed from Dashboard.
  • To add widgets again, use the widget shelf at the bottom of Dashboard.

How to Remove Dock Animations

Answer: The animated Dock is fun, but it’s a complex visual interface. On old Macs, this feature can cause quite a bit of processor slowdown. To avoid this, you can turn off Dock animations and thus help keep things running smoothly.

To do so:

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click Dock.
  • Deselect the Magnification and Animate Opening Applications check boxes.
  • Set Minimize Windows Using to Scale Effect.
  • This action should minimize the effect of the animated Dock on your Mac.

How to Cool Down Your Mac

Answer: Your computer will run a little faster when it is cooler. Don’t keep it in a refrigerator, but don’t be surprised when your Mac (especially notebook models) running in hot environment suffers from a little slowdown. Besides, aside from moving to a cooler environment, you can acquire devices that can help you keep your Mac notebook cooler. Some companies sell a range of notebook coolers that place additional fans underneath your Mac notebook. You can also use stands, such as Rain Design’s iLap, which lifts the notebook from a flat surface. This stand enables air to circulate underneath the computer.

You can also keep an eye on the amount of heat being emitted by your Mac with Fan Control. This app enables the user to increase the speed of a MacBook’s internal fans. The app is very useful if you use your Mac in a hot environment, but have no external cooler. It is free, and you can find it here: http://lobotomo.com/products/FanControl/index.html

What is a Library on a Mac?

Answer: On a Mac, Library folders hold all manner of system and application-related files from preferences and fonts to widgets. One library resides on Macintish HD (Macintosh HD – Library), and another one can be found here: Macintosh HD – Users – Your Name – Library. This arrangement allows features to be installed either for one or all user accounts, and when a user chooses a typeface in word processor, the fonts on offer consist of all the fonts in the general Library and all the fonts in the user’s personal Library (but the fonts in the Libraries of other users are not included!). The same goes for screen savers, widgets and so on.

My Mac Has Frozen, what Can I Do?

Answer: When your Mac is busy processing something, or it’s crashed (frozen), your mouse cursor will turn int a colorful spinning disc. Affectionately known as the spinning beachful of death, the colorful disc will sometimes disrupt only one application, but at other times everything will grind to a standstill. Either way, give the Mac a few minutes to sort itself out, and then try to quit the application, either from its application menu or with the shortcut the Command key + Q.

If that doesn’t work, you can choose Apple – Force Quit Applications or roll out the three fingered salute: hold down the Command key and Option and press Esc. A box will appear listing the applications that you currently have running. If one of them says “Not Responding”, select it and then press the Force Quit button; if “Not Responding” doesn’t appear, pick the application you suspect has caused the problem and Force Quit that. If the application isn’t in the list, see whether it shows up in the Activity Monitor list. If it does, select it there and press Quit Process. (If you Force Quit an application you’ll lose any unsaved work in that application. So if you’re working on something important and you haven’t saved for a while, give the machine five minutes or so to find its feet before trying to Force Quit).

The Mac Won't Switch On

Answer: If the Mac won’t even begin to start up. Check the obvious stuff. Is it definitely plugged in? Is the wall-socket working and switched on? All fine? Could it be that the Mac is already turned on and has frozen up with a dark screen? If so, hold down the power button for five seconds. After ten seconds or so, try again. If all this doesn’t work? Try unplugging all external devices, such as scanners, printers, iPod, etc.), except your mouse and keyboard. If you recently installed any internal parts, such as extra RAM, remove those too. Finally, if you have a Mac laptop, try a System Management Controller (SMC) reset by pressing ^ (Ctrl) + Command key at the same time as the power button.

If this action doesn’t work, try selecting Finder in the Force Quit box and pressing the Relaunch button. If this doesn’t work, quit all applications and restart. If there is no response to the command, you have to force your Mac to shut down : hold down the power button for around six seconds, then wait for ten seconds or so and restart. Hopefully, everything will be fine. If not, try repairing permission.

My Mac Freezes-Up During Start-Up

Answer: First, force your Mac to shut down by holding the power button for five seconds. After ten seconds or so, start up again. If the computer is still freezing, force shut-down again and, if you have an Ethernet cable attached to your Mac, disconnect it. Switch back on. Still no reaction? Try Emptying your PRAM, (which stands for Parameter RAM, and is pronounced p-ram). Restart your Mac and as soon as you hear the chime, hold down these four keys : Command key + Option + R + R. Keep them held down until you hear the chime again. Then release the keys to let the Mac start up.

If the problem still persists, reboot the computer in Safe Mode, and delete any non-Apple items found within these two folders: Macintosh HD – Library – Startupitems and Macintosh HD – System – Library – Startupitems. If that doesn’t fix the issue, boot in Safe Mode again, open System Preferences – Accounts – Login items. Then select each entry in turn and remove in by clicking the “-” button. Then restart.

Still no joy? Try booting in Single User Mode. When the scary-looking white text appears, carefully type the following lines, hitting the Enter key after each line:

mount -uw/

mv /Library/Preferences/cpm.apple.loginwindow.plist preferences2.old

mv/Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist preferences3.old


If you can’t access either of these modes, you can try running repairing permissions via Disk Utility from the Software Install source.

Why My Mac makes start-up beeps?

Answer: If your Mac makes one or more beeps when you switch on, there may be something wrong with its memory (RAM). Assuming you can get to the internal slots, make sure the chips are firmly pushed into place.

Should I install OnyX on My Mac?

Answer: We can’t tell you if you should download and install an application, as we are not familiar with your personal approach, your level of knowledge, your experience and so on. However OnyX is a brilliant multi-function utility that users can use to verify the startup disk and the structure of its system files. This app runs miscellaneous maintenance and cleaning tasks, allowing to configure parameters in the Finder, Dock, Safari, and other Apple’s applications. It deletes caches, removes unnecessary folders and files, rebuilds databases and indexes, etc. Used regularly OniX does a great job of keeping your Mac’s files, folders and preferences clean and tidy. OniX is available for free.

What to do if My Mac Does Anything Strange?

Answer: In case of misbehaviour, such as you Mac is messing up your icons or continually freezes up, or else runs slowly, and you don’t know what the problem is, follow these three steps (in this order!) before trying anything else:

  • Restart the Mac – this will fix the majority of problems.
  • Check your hard drive space – A full hard drive can cause slowness and other problems.
  • Select your hard drive’s icon on the desktop and click Get Info in the File Menu. If the figure next to Available is in megabytes (MB) rather than gigabytes (GB), then delete or back up some unwanted files and empty the trash.
  • Repair permissions.

What to Do if OX X Won't Let Me Access a File or Folder?

Answer: If you can’t open, delete or move a file or folder, make sure it isn’t locked, and that you have Read & Write permissions. If you still have no access, repair permissions: OS X’s permissions settings sometimes go pear-shaped, leading to all manner of problems. To repair permissions, open Disk Utility from Applications – Utilities. Select your Mac’s hard disk in the list and click First Aid then Repair Disk Permissions. If you can’t access Disk Utility. insert the Software Install disc that came with your Mac and reboot while holding down C. You’ll find Disk Utility in the Installer menu.d.

What to Do if the Trash Won't Empty

Answer: If you get an error message when you try to empty the Trash, quit all the applications and try to empty the Trash again. If this doesn’t work, open the Trash from the Dock and check the files to see if any are locked.

What to Do If a Deleted the Wrong File?

Answer: If you have accidentally deleted or overwritten an important folder or file, look in the Trash, but if the deleted file is no longer there, you can easily get it back using Time Machine, if you use it. If you don’t have any form of backup, you can probably dig the lost data up from the dark depths of the incredible universe of your your hard drive using data recovery software. Do this as soon as possible, as the longer you leave the deleted data there, the smaller your chances of getting the data back. You can download Mac data recovery applications and try a free trial to see which files you’ll be able to recover before having to cough up for the full version.

My CD and DVD Make a Noise, What to Do?

Answer: If a CD or DVD make a rattling noise while being used in your Mac, it’s probably a fault with the disc – this is quite common. But if the phenomenon happens on all discs, the drive may need to be repaired.

My CD and DVD Won't Eject, What to Do?

Answer: If a CD or a DVD won’t eject, even after restarting, then reboot the machine again and, the moment you hear the chime, hold down these four keys: the Command key + Option + O + F until the text appears. Next type these two lines, hitting Enter after each line:

eject cd


What is Target Mode?

Answer: Target Mode allows you to boot your Mac as an external drive to another Mac. Turn off the Mac you want to use as a hard drive and connect it to the other Mac with a FireWire cable. Hold down the T key on the first Mac and restart. Its hard drive will appear on the desktop of the other Mac. This can be a lifesaver if you can’t start up your Mac and you want to access its files; or if you’ve forgotten your password and don’t have your start-up disc to hand.

Can I Get Rid of Problem Fonts?

Answer: … to be continued

What to Do If My Mac Won't Sleep

Answer: If your Mac won’t sleep, make sure DVD player isn’t running. Next ensure that sleep isn’t turned off in the Energy Saver panel of System Preferences. If you have a Mac laptop, make sure the keyboard hasn’t come loose. If however it has, push it back into position.

My Mac Kicked the Bucket, What to Do?

Answer: If your Apple’s Mac truly crumbled, resist the temptation to throw it in the kitchen bin. Find out how to best dispose of it properly: you can sell your broken Apple computer to iGotOffer for best price online.

How can I See How Much Data Is Stored on My Mac?

Answer: To see how much data is currently stored on your Mac, select Macintosh HD on the Desktop and choose File – Info or hit the Command Key+I.

What to Do if My Mac Won't Sleep?

Answer: If the Mac won’t sleep, first, make sure DVD Player isn’t running. Next ensure that Sleep isn’t turned off in the Energy Saver panel of System Preferences. Finally, if you have a Mac laptop, make sure the keyboard hasn’t come loose; it it has, push it back into position.

What to Do If the Trash Won't Empty?

Answer: If you get an error message when you try to empty the Trash, quit all applications and try again. Still no luck? Open the Trash from the Dock and check the files to see if any are locked.


  • Sell your old Mac. Check on our prices for your old Macs. Sell them now to iGotOffer.com and save money for the new model!


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