Tips and Tricks for Your Mac OS Mavericks

By | July 26, 2014

You’ve just installed OS X Mavericks on your shiny MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, or even Mac Pro (you lucky thing) and now wondering what new tricks you get, what tips are best to get the most out of the new operating system, and how you can become the font of all knowledge when your mum or mates asks you what’s what.

We’ve compiled a list of dozens of tips for you to get the most out of the new features Apple has added to OS X Mavericks. In some instances, the changes can be tricky to find, but once you find them, your workflow can quickly change for the better. Some are new, some you might know already, but we can promise this: all will help you get more out of your laptop or desktop.



Automatically check for updates

You can now turn automatic app update checks on rather than having to manually go and check to see if your favourite app has been updated.

Download and install app updates

Once you’ve checked them you can also have Mavericks download the update in the background and if you want to go one step further you can have it install the update for you too.

Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs

Got more than one Mac in your house? Of course you have. Now just like iOS 7 you can have any Mac purchases you make automatically download on all your Macs rather than just the one you are buying it on. Go to System Preferences > App store and tick the relevant box.

Disable app updates

If all this automatic downloading and updating sounds a bit to heavy handed for your liking you can turn it off. System Preferences > App Store and tick what you don’t want.

Allow apps downloaded from anywhere

By default Apple stops you downloading every app available to help protect your computer from nefarious sources. To throw caution to the wind go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and tick whether you want apps only from the Mac App Store, identified developers or anywhere. It’s a feature that’s been available for sometime but with a new instal it’s worth noting where it is in case you want to change the settings with your new set-up.

Delaying updates

You now have the ability to delay updates if a restart is required for an update. You can now choose to either perform a Restart immediately, or choose an option like “Try in an Hour,” “Try Tonight,” or “Remind Me Tomorrow.”



Keep them off the Lock Screen

Just like iOS 7 you can see what notifications you’ve got while your computer is locked with the password. Mavericks gives you a summary of your notifications but this might let other people see how busy you’ve been or in the case of website push notifications what sites you read. To turn this feature off go to System Preferences > Notifications and select the apps in Notification Center that you don’t want to show on the lock screen. In each instance there will be a “Show notifications on lock screen” option. Untick the box.

Hide share buttons in Notification Center

Notification Center shows you all all the notifications you are getting on your computer and can be revealed by a two-finger swipe from the edge of your trackpad (right to left). Within the Notification Center you can now iMessage, tweet, or write a Facebook status update. If you don’t want to do this you can turn it off by going to System Preferences > Notifications and untick the Share Buttons option.

Sort Notifications by time

System Preferences > Notifications and then in the bottom left hand corner of the box select whether to “Sort Notification Center” by time or manually.

Do Not Disturb

If you’ve got work to do then the constant barrage of messages, alerts and other stuff can be annoying. Like before you can turn it off, either manually or a set time every day.

Do Not Disturb when mirroring to TVs and projectors

Tick this box and when you are doing a presentation you won’t get a message from your partner asking you to wear something sexy later (as if that ever happens anyway).

But allow FaceTime calls

Apple clearly thinks getting a FaceTime call is important, more so above and beyond anything else as you can override Do Not Disturb settings by allowing Everyone or just Favourites to interrupt you. You can also set it to Allow just repeated calls although by that point they are probably calling your mobile to tell you that your cat is dead.

Turn on Do Not Disturb without going to System Preferences

Open Notification Center on the desktop and scroll down. The Do Not Disturb option will appear.

Send iMessages in Notifications Center

Two-finger swipe on your trackpad or press the list icon in the top right of your screen in the menu bar and then press on the speech bubbles.

Replying to interactive bubbles

Every time you get a notification an interactive bubble appears at the top right hand side of your screen. You can automatically reply to any message you get by hovering over the bubble and then pressing the Reply button.

Deleting Mail via interactive bubbles

For Mail notifications you can also delete them without even looking at your inbox.



Prevent Spotlight from searching certain locations

Spotlight is the name of Apple’s search tool in OS X and now you can stop it searching certain locations like folders and the like. That’s handy if you don’t want others who use your computer coming across certain files you’ve got stored. The files still exist, but aren’t going to turn up in search results.

Enable Location Services

Websites and apps all want to know where you are these days and Apple lets you turn that feature off in Mavericks as default. Any app that wants to know where your location is has to be approved and you can managed this list at System Perferences > Security & Privacy > Location Services. It even lets you see which ones you have allowed have accessed that information in the last 24 hours.

Allowing apps to talk to other apps

You can set what access apps have to your core information in the same area: System Perferences > Security & Privacy. Look at the corresponding apps like Facebook or Calendars to see what apps are accessing what information on your computer.

Activating iCloud Keychain

Always encrypted and synced across all systems including your iPhone, iCloud Keychain is all about helping you store passwords. It remembers everything from passwords and credit card numbers. It stores your website usernames and passwords on the devices you’ve approved, protects them with AES 256-bit encryption and keeps them up to date on each device. iCloud Keychain works with credit card information too, all ready to autofill at the press of a button. To set it up go to System Preferences > iCloud and click on the Keychain box. You will be asked to set up a code, type in a phone number and away you go.

Now when you go to a website that needs you to generate a password Apple will suggest one for you.

Here are the tips I want to share with you, you can get more tips about your Mac in this post on our site whenever you want.

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