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It’s a fact of life that computers slow down. Sometimes it’s due to wear and tear but it can also be something as simple as your hard-drive filling up with files that are no longer needed. Or essential operating system files that are accidentally deleted.

When this happens, it’s time to consider reinstalling the operating system. It is a monumental pain in the neck as it is not a short process, but in the case of macOS, it is an easy process. You need an Internet connection though so don’t think about doing this on the bus or anything.

Table of Contents

This is something I have been meaning to do for a while but Procrastination is my friend. But today, for the purposes of this article, I have decided to get it done.

Step One – Backup All Essential Files

This is always the first step before reinstalling an operating system. To delete all unneeded files then backup the rest either on cloud storage, a USB stick, or a removable hard drive.

Remember to also backup your iTunes library, your iMovie database, and your Photos database. These can be dragged onto portable storage and then dragged back onto the computer again later when this process is over.

If you use Time Machine, then this backup process is very easy.

Step Two – Turn Off FileVault Step Three – Have You Encrypted The Start-Up Disk?

For reasons of security, you should have encrypted your startup disk from the very beginning. The slight downside to this is that if you forget the encryption password, you can never unlock it ever again and can never reinstall macOS.

Trust me, I am speaking from very bitter past experience here.

Assuming you know your password, restart the computer and at the same time, hold down the CMD + R keys. This will then show you the padlock screen above (which I had to photograph since I can’t do screenshots at this stage).

Enter your password and the screen will then change to show you this. Again, I had to take a photo with my iPhone so apologies for the not-so-perfect quality.

If you don’t know your password then you are seriously out of luck as not even Apple will unlock it for you.

Step Four – Erase The Contents Of The Hard Drive

As you can see from the menu above, there is an option called “Disk Utility”. Choose that and then select the disk where the operating system is installed on. In my case, there is only one disk but if you are dual-booting, you will have more than one.

the desired name of the newly formatted drive as well as the file format type (APFS). I would recommend leaving them as they are.

Erasing takes literally seconds (in my experience anyway). When it is done, the “Used” part of the disk should be minuscule (in my case, 20KB). At this point, everything on your computer is gone.

Close the Disk Utility window and you’ll be bounced back to the Utilities screen.

Step Five – Choose Your Preferred Reinstalling Option

Now there are actually two options in the Utilities window you can choose from.

The first is the Time Machine backup. If you are in the habit of regularly backing up with Time Machine, and one day, you accidentally delete a whole bunch of system files, you could just roll the computer back to a Time Machine backup from, say, the day before. This would be the equivalent of doing a System Restore on a Windows PC.

But I don’t use Time Machine (I manually backup). So for me and others like me, the only other option is to choose the “Reinstall macOS” you.

Step Six – Pretend To Read The User Agreement

You will now be asked to read the user agreement. Do what Apple will never know.

Now choose a disk to install the operating system on. In my case, there is only one disk. Choose it and continue.

The re-installation process will now begin.

The computer will restart several times during the process and can take up to an hour or more to finish. The nice thing is that it does everything by itself from now on so you can go off and do something else in the meantime. You’re not stuck staring at the screen watching your life slip away.

Step Seven – Set Everything Back Up Again

Once the system has been reinstalled, you will have to begin the tedious process of putting things back to the way they were. This will include :

Switching on the Firewall.

Switching on FileVault.

Re-encrypting the startup disk.

Reinstalling your apps.

Bringing essential files back onto the computer from your backups.

Adding a screen lock PIN code.

Essentially you have to go through System Preferences and check each thing one by one. The computer is now back to factory settings so any tweaks and customizations you previously made will be gone.

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How To Use Emoji In Mac Os X Mavericks

In the past, we’ve shown you how to use Emoji characters on your Mac without installing any type of software. However, in OS X Mavericks, Emoji is accessed a little differently. Don’t worry, it’s actually much easier and more convenient than before. So, here is how you to access and use Emoji in Mac OS X Mavericks.

2. Press the following keys on your keyboard altogether: Control + Command + Spacebar. You should now see small window pop-up containing Emoji characters.

Much like on a mobile device, you can switch between people, nature, objects, places, symbols, and more; plus you can access your recently used and favorite Emoji characters.

While some may think this is a kind of useful feature, others are sure to find it very handy – especially since you can also insert letterlike symbols, technical symbols and bullets/stars from the same window.

Image Credit: Mark McLaughlin

Charnita Fance

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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What’s New In Os X Yosemite

The WWDC in June is usually the first place new Apple hardware, software, and devices are shown. Sometimes they’re released at that point, and sometimes not until later in the fall, but it’s always a good measure of what Apple is planning. This week’s WWDC was no different and did not disappoint. Today we’ll discuss the changes to OS X Yosemite.

OS X Yosemite

Looks are everything, or at least that is usually what Apple’s motto seems to be. They always have beautiful interfaces and strive to have it be the first thing people notice. Each version seems to be even more so. For OS X Yosemite, Apple is streamlining toolbars and making windows translucent so that what you notice is your wallpaper and your project. They’ve changed to a fresh new typeface as well, a sans serif style.

The Notification Center now includes a Today feature making it look just like iOS, as it includes your Calendar, Reminders, Weather, etc. And Spotlight now has function similar to Siri. You can now look up information such as movies, Wikipedia, news, etc. Your results are also interactive.

In Mail, you can now send larger attachments, up to 5GB. Large attachments are automatically uploaded to iCloud. If your recipient is also using Mail, they’ll be able to download normally. If they don’t, they’ll receive a link to download it. Markup is now included as well. You can add shapes and text and annotation by drawing on a multi-touch trackpad. You can also fill out forms and PDFs.

No longer are iMessages just text. Now you can record a quick audio clip and send it along with your text message or instead of your text message. You can also name the conversations that you’re having to make it easier to refer back to later. Additionally, you’ll be able to add more people to the conversation without having to start a new message or can leave the conversation when you’re done with it.

iCloud will now be built right into the Finder. It will work like just another folder, allowing you to drag and drop files and folders there. Offline changes will sync up when you connect again to the Web. You can easily keep things organized with tags. iCloud Drive can be accessed on all your devices. And now to share files, you can share not just between iOS devices, but between two Macs or between Mac and iOS.

And that brings up the biggest, most exciting change. Mac and iOS will now be connected more so than they have been in the past. When a Mac running OS X Yosemite is near a device running iOS 8, they’ll recognize each other and work together.

You will now be able to answer your iPhone calls on your Mac. You’ll get a notification of your calls right on your Mac screen when the phone is ringing. It will show you the caller’s name, number, and profile picture. You can answer it speaking and listening through your Mac or decline it with the same options as your iPhone. You will also be able to make calls from your Mac.

While Pages has been doing this for awhile, several of the native apps will allow you to “handoff” from Mac to iOS and vice versa. You can be writing an email, working on a document, entering a Calendar note, or browsing in Safari. You can leave you Mac and pick up your iPad or iPhone to continue without missing a beat.

You don’t have to worry about not having WiFi for your laptop. Your Mac can use the personal hotspot of your iPhone, as long as they are within a certain range of each other. You don’t need to do any setup for this. Your iPhone will appear in the WiFi menu on your Mac. If your Mac isn’t using it, it disconnects to save battery life.

You can also now use the beta version of OS X Yosemite. Hurry, though, as only the first one million users will be allowed to use the beta. If you download and use it, let us know what you think.

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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Five Holiday Mac Os X Apps That Will Spread Cheer All Over Your Desktop

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, chúng tôi thought it would be fitting to compile of list of holiday cheer spreading Mac OS X applications. Some of the apps we came across will definitely make you chuckle, while others offer a very nice, subtle addition to your Desktop for the month of December. With rising energy costs why not save some money and throw some lights up on your desktop as apposed to all over your house? Certainly at least one of these applications will quench your thirst for holiday spirit on your Macintosh!

Update 12/3/2007: Try looking at the updated Christmas and Holiday Mac OS X apps to deck your Mac out this holiday season!

1. MacLampsX (developer’s site) (screenshot)

MacLampsX has long been a personal favorite of mine, and since its conception it has only improved. With 2.0 around the corner which is going to offer universal binary and multiple desktop support, now is a better time than ever to try out this wonderful application from the Arctic Mac. Version 1.1.1 is PowerPC only but runs perfectly on a MacBook Pro, taking as little as 2.0% of the cpu. Running MacLampsX isn’t going to raise your power bill, so hurry up and get those lights up!

2. Christmas Lights – Dashboard (developer’s site) (screenshot)

If having lights up full time is holiday spirit overload, give this nifty little dashboard widget a chance. Every time you have a craving for some blinking light action, just hit F12 and you’re in business. This well developed widget offers multiple light patterns, different colors and is very easy on the cpu. You won’t blow a fuse running this widget and it won’t annoy the neighbors, which makes Christmas Lights for the Dashboard a worthwhile download.

3. Snow for Mac OS X (developer’s site) (screenshot)

Snow for Mac OS X is yet another classic holiday application which has its roots in a program called “xsnow” for *nx/X11. Have no fear, theres no unix-bearded junkies included in the .sit, just snow, polar bears and Santa bringing Holiday Spirit to your desktop in a clever and well implemented way. Sadly this application has obviously been naughty and not nice, as it is still only PowerPC. But of course, Rosetta handles it just fine, and it runs quite well on a MacBook Pro.

4. Frosted Screensaver (developer’s site) (screenshot)

Frosted, The Screensaver offers a very well put together holiday scene during those times you aren’t using your Mac. But be warned, while your away from your Mac, baking cookies, or whatever you do, mute the volume! This writer was nearly shaken from his sleigh when a bizarre computerized voice rambled nonsense about “frosted snow” over my speakers. It definitely gave me a laugh and for that very reason I felt it absolutely had to be a part of this list. Check it out!

5. Snow Globe (developer’s site) (screenshot)

6. X-MasTree – Don’t forget a Christmas tree for your desktop! See our post here

7. Mac OS X Holiday and Christmas app fun – the top three Mac holiday apps

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How To Back Up Mac To An External Hard Drive (5 Steps)

Home » Tutorials » How to Back up Mac to an External Drive with Time Machine

If you read my previous post about how to format an external drive for Mac, you know that I bought a 2TB Seagate Expansion external hard drive and managed to create two partitions on the disk — one for Mac backup purposes, and the other for personal use.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to back up your Mac data to an external drive. You should back up your Mac on a regular basis, especially if you’re planning to perform macOS updates. I did this several weeks ago while preparing my MacBook Pro for a system update.

Please note that the backup tool that I used is Time Machine, a built-in app provided by Apple. If you want to back up your Mac data without using Time Machine, there are also other third-party Mac backup software worth considering.

Where is Time Machine on Mac?

In the Preferences pane, you’ll see the Time Machine app located between “Date & Time” and “Accessibility”.

What does Time Machine Backup?

Time Machine is the easiest way to back up Mac. And the app is created and recommended by Apple. Once you have a timely backup, it’s incredibly easy to restore all or part of your data in case of accidental deletion or a hard drive crash.

So, what kind of data does Time Machine backup? Everything!

Be aware that the recovery process can only be conducted when your Mac can start up normally.

Note: the screenshots below are taken based on an older macOS. If your Mac is running a newer version of macOS, they will look slightly different but the process should be similar.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive.

First, use the USB cable (or USB-C cable if you’re on the newest Mac model with Thunderbolt 4 ports) that comes with your external drive to connect that drive to your Mac.

Note: if your external drive can’t show up on Mac or macOS hints the drive is not supported, you’ll have to re-format it to a Mac-compatible file system before continuing the following steps.

Step 2: Select the disk for backup.

Now open Time Machine (I tell you how above) and select the disk you want to use. I have partitioned my Seagate drive into two new volumes, “Backup” and “Personal Use”, as you see from the screenshot. I chose “Backup”.

Step 3: Confirm backup (optional).

If you have used another disk for backup before, Time Machine will ask you whether you want to stop backing up to the previous disk and use the new one instead. It’s up to you. I selected “Replace”.

Step 4: Wait until the process is complete.

Now Time Machine will start to backup all your data. The progress bar gives you an estimate of how much time is left before the backup is complete.

I found it a bit inaccurate: Initially, it said “About 5 hours remaining”, but it only took two hours to finish. It’s worth noting that the remaining time may vary from case to case depending on the write speed of your external hard drive.

It says I have to wait 5 hoursAfter about an hour and a half, it says only 15 minutes remaining

Step 5: Eject your external drive and unplug it.

When the backup procedure is completed, don’t rush to disconnect your device as this could cause potential disk problems.

Final Tips

Like any other hardware device, an external hard drive will fail sooner or later. It’s best to make a copy of the data on your external drive — as they say, a “backup of your backups”!

One good option is to use cloud storage services like iDrive which I’ve been using and I really like the app because it’s super easy to use, and it also allows me to download Facebook photos automatically. Backblaze and Carbonite are also popular options in the market, though I am yet to give them a try.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of data backup these days. Without a proper backup, it’s really hard to restore data. Although you could try a third-party Mac data recovery software, chances are they won’t get all your lost data back.

The main takeaway here is to back up your Mac with Time Machine or another app, and create a second or third copy of those backups if you can.

How To Reset Google Nest Hub

When you start using any electronic gadget, you should not just learn how to use it but also reset it when things go wrong. Smart devices, like any other electronic device, may run into issues and your Google Nest Hub isn’t an exception either. If your Nest Hub device is behaving erratically or has become slow or unresponsive, you may be able to fix it by simply resetting it and setting it up back again. 

In this post, we’ll explain all the various reasons you may want to reset your Google Nest Hub and how you can do it to restore your device to its factory settings. 

How to reset your Google Nest Hub

If you have made up your mind and think resetting your Google Nest Hub is absolutely necessary, then you can follow the steps below to reset it to its factory settings. Resetting a nest Hub can only be done on the device physically; you cannot use voice commands or the Google Home app on your phone to reset your Nest Hub to its default settings. 

This method should work on all Nest Hub devices including the Google Nest Hub (1st generation), Google Nest Hub (2nd generation), and Google Nest Hub Max. 

To reset your Google Nest Hub, press and hold the Volume Up and Volume Down button at the back of your device for up to 10 seconds. 

Once the countdown ends, your Nest Hub will start resetting and will boot up as new. 

While you cannot reset your Nest Hub with voice controls, you can get instant instructions on how you can do it by saying “Hey Google, factory reset” or “Hey Google, reset my Nest Hub”. When you do that, the Assistant will tell you what to do to switch your device to factory settings. 

What happens when you reset your Nest Hub?

When you initiate a reset request on your Google Nest Hub, the device will prompt you with a message that continuing to press the volume buttons will result in your device getting reset. In addition to the on-screen prompt, the Assistant will also notify you about the same in a voice message as a sort of warning that you may lose your on-device data during the reset. 

Once the countdown ends, you’ll hear a chime from the Nest Hub and the device will reset shortly afterward. When the resetting process is complete, the Nest Hub should reboot to the setup screen, the same screen that you may have encountered when you initially configured your smart display.

From here, you can proceed to set it up the way you want if you wish to continue using the device. If you’re giving away your Nest Hub display, you can stop at the setup screen and unplug it from the power cord to keep it ready for someone else. 

Why do you need to reset your Nest Hub?

Before you proceed to reset your Google Nest Hub, you should ask yourself why you need to do it. If your Nest Hub device is working perfectly fine and you want to keep using it in the same home/workplace, there’s no need to reset it now. However, you may want to reset it for any one of the following reasons:

The primary reason for resetting the Nest Hub is to fix any issues that you may be facing with your unit. If your device has slowed down lately, isn’t responding to your voice requests, or if it’s struggling to connect to a Wi-Fi network, you should consider resetting the Nest Hub to resolve your issue if restarting it doesn’t fix it. 

You will also require the need to reset your Nest Hub if you want to connect the device to a newer Wi-Fi network. You won’t be able to connect your Nest Hub to another Wi-Fi network using the Google Home app as resetting it is the only way to do so. 

If you’re exchanging your Nest device for a newer model, you should consider resetting it first before giving it away. Since your Google account is linked to the Nest Hub when you set it up, you should remove it from the device for the safety of your account, so that no one else accesses it on your behalf in the future. The only way to remove your account from the Nest Hub is to reset it. 

You should also reset the Nest Hub if you’re lending it or sharing it with a friend or a family member who doesn’t live with you. This way, you can prevent others from accessing your Google account and also let them set it up with their own account. 

If you think someone has hacked your Google account or Nest Hub, you should reset the device as soon as possible to prevent them from gathering your personal data or spying on you or your voice activity. 

Google Nest Hub: Reset vs Reboot

You don’t need to reset your Google Nest Hub every time you run into a problem with it. Sometimes, you can resolve an issue with the device by simply rebooting it again instead of restoring the Nest Hub to its factory settings. If the issue you’re facing is relatively new and hasn’t happened often, you can consider restarting your device instead of resetting it. 

Rebooting your Nest Hub simply powers down the device and restarts it without deleting your account or removing any of your existing settings. When the device restarts, you can continue to use your Nest Hub as you did before without needing to set it up again or re-adding it on the Google Home app. Restarting your Nest Hub should solve general issues you may be facing with your device but if it doesn’t, you can proceed to reset it physically. 

How to reboot your Google Nest Hub

If you want to reboot your Google Nest Hub instead of a factory reset, you can follow the steps below to get it done. 

Method #1: Using the Google Home app

If you set up your Nest Hub using the Google Home app on your phone, you can use it to reboot your device without plugging it. To do that, open the Google Home app on Android or iPhone and select your Nest Hub from the list of devices you’ve connected to. 

This will open your Nest hub settings screen. Here, tap on the 3-dots icon at the top right corner. 

An overflow menu will appear at the bottom. Select Reboot from the list of options. 

To confirm your decision, tap on Reboot again in the prompt that shows up. 

Your Nest Hub device will now reboot on its own. 

Method #2: By powering it off manually

You can also reboot your Nest Hub device manually without accessing the Google Home app. To do that, unplug the power cord from the back of your Google Nest Hub and leave it unplugged for about 60 seconds. After a minute, plug the power cord back into your device and wait for it to restart. Your Nest Hub should boot up after a few seconds or minutes with all your existing settings intact. 

That’s all you need to know about resetting your Google Nest Hub. 

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