Mary’s X Files, March 2019

Tidy up your Files on macOS
~MacFormat Magazine
If you use your desktop as a dumping ground for files, you may often end up looking at a hideous mess – and standard view options in Finder can only do so much. But with masOS Mojave, you can wrench order from chaos by using Desktop Stacks. Command-click on the desktop and choose “Use Stacks”.

Stacks automatically sort whatever’s on your desktop by kind, date or tag. Also, you can scrub through items, or click a stack to see what’s lurking within. Zero-effort tidying!

Selling your Old iOS Device
~MacFormat Magazine
When you’re selling an old iOS device, keeping things tidy is of paramount importance. If you plan to use the data on a new device, back it up first. (Ideally, restore it to the new device before you ship the old one, just in case.) Then, in “Settings” on the device you’re selling, tap your name and sign out of iCloud. Then, in “General>Reset”, select “Reset All Settings”. Once the device has erased everything and reset, shut it down in the usual manner, and remove the SIM. Note that if you forget to remove a device from iCloud, you can do so later in Safari for Mac at iCloud.com.

Top Tips for Backup Success on macOS
~MacFormat Magazine
DO:
1. Make sure you have at least two backup copies of every piece of data you consider important.
2. Periodically verify that your backups are in working order.
3. Automate backups, whatever system you’re using. Only manually triggering them is a good way to forget and end up with no fallback.

DON’T:
1. Remove apps and system files, unless you definitely won’t ever need to reinstall your whole system and apps.
2. Carve a drive in two for multiple backup/cloning systems (like Time Machine and SuperDuper). Use a separate drive for each one.

How to Retain Siri Results in macOS
~MacFormat Magazine
1. Wake up Siri: Siri is a useful tool on macOS, but can be a little transient. Keeping a log of what’s been said is actually pretty easy though. Start by opening up Siri, either from the dock, the menu bar, or pressing “Command+Spacebar”.

2. Ask a Question: Siri’s range of knowledge – as long as you have an internet connection, of course – is pretty broad. Ask a question and you’ll get a brief summary. Ask for the result to be read out, or for more information, and you’ll get it.

3. Keep the Result Around: Siri’s displayed results each come with a small + icon in the top-right corner. Clck this and they’ll be pinned to Notification Center’s “Today” view, where they’ll stay until you click the “X” to close them – great for watching sports fixtures.

Prioritise Networks on MacOS
~iCreate
When the Mac is started the Wi-Fi is enabled and it begins searching for networks. There are often several, such as yours and all your neighbors’. Which should it connect to? The strongest? That may not be the one you want.

It actually connects in the order in
which networks are listed in System> Preferences>Network>Advanced>Wi-Fi.

Stop Distractions on MacOS
~iCreate
Pop-up notifications can be distracting when you are working. Some notifications require a click to dismiss. Enable “Do Not Disturb” from dawn till dusk to stop distractions. Go to System Preferences>Notifications and set the DND option.

Always Show Scrollbars on macOS
~iCreate
Scrollbars in windows and apps should be easy to use, but somehow macOS has turned them into a game of hide-and-seek. If you find them awkward to use then head to System Preferences>General and select the ‘Always’ option under ‘Show Scrollbars’.