MacKeeper Data Encryptor

Those who don’t want or can’t understand how to use tools included in Apple’s OS X may consider utilizing third-party software as an option.

There are many different applications out there, however, it is rather difficult to find the one with comprehensible interface, sufficient functionality and, you know, something more inside. Fortunately, a program we have used while writing a post about cleaning up RAM earlier this month has what we need. The app is called MacKeeper Data Encryptor.

Once you open MacKeeper for the first time, you won’t see this tool at once as it is hidden under Advanced Tools included in the package. However, once you finally get down to it, you will notice a quick guide with the instructions and recommendations.

Right after you click Set Up Data Encryptor, you will need to create a password to get access to this section of MacKeeper. We have chosen the password earlier, so we’ll Log In to Data Encryptor instead.

MacKeeper Data Encryptor

Once you log in with your password, you get an opportunity to Add files to the encryption list.

 

Log in to MacKeeper Data Encryptor

Let’s choose the folder we have already seen in this article.

Add files to the MacKeeper Data Encryption list

Clicking on the Encrypt button and choosing the desirable encryption method and password initiates the process that may take a while depending on the size of folder to encrypt, amount of RAM installed, age and condition of your Mac, its operating system etc.

Clicking on the Encrypt button will start the process

After the end of the process, you will need to hit the Hide button in order to prevent others from accessing your data.

Locate Lost Items allows to scan for hidden files

Locate Lost Items allows to scan a specific folder for hidden files in case one forgets their location. However, even this feature won’t help if you forget your password, so make sure you store it in a secure place.

This is how you can protect your computer and files on it from unauthorized access and data thefts. Let us know what you think about our tutorial in the comments section below.

How to Optimize the Usage of RAM on Mac?

“Beach ball of death”, “spinning wheel” and “rainbow pinwheel” are the things every Mac user hates to see on their machine. These dreadful signs usually reflect problems with the computer, for example, a failing hard drive, lack of free storage etc. However, if you see a spinning wheel on a relatively new Mac, most likely it is the result of insufficient RAM amount or its inefficient distribution among the apps and processes. If you’d like to learn how to manage your RAM effectively and keep your desktop or laptop as fast as it can possibly be – this article is for you.

Before describing methods of optimizing your Mac performance, let’s first find out what RAM is. Long story short, RAM or Random Access Memory is the ‘working memory’ of the computer and a thing that allows applications to be open and running alongside each other at the same time, so the more RAM you have – the better. Modern Mac computers come with at least 4GB of RAM, which can be upgraded (on certain models) to allow users perform more complicated tasks.

Checking your Mac’s Random Access Memory capacity can give you a hint in understanding the reasons for frequent freezes, slow boot, app crashes and other problems. Before taking steps to improve the performance of the computer, identify how many gigabytes of memory you have installed.

Now that you know what RAM is and how many gigs you have on your machine, we can move on to the tips on enhancing the performance of your Mac. Basically, there are three main methods of improving the speed of your computer:

  1. Upgrading RAM
  2. Tweaking and high-tuning the operating system
  3. Using specialized software.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

 

Upgrading RAM

Upgrading RAM, or, in other words, replacing the original pre-installed memory with a larger amount is an ultimately effective, but at the same time – quite expensive way of making your Mac work better. RAM upgrades are performed by Apple at the time of purchase of the device (certain MacBook Air models) or on demand of the customers, by Apple-authorized service providers or by third-party companies working without Apple’s certification. It is also possible to replace the RAM module on your own, however, if you don’t think you’re skilled enough in tearing down electronics, that’s not the best idea.

Those who want to upgrade RAM at the Apple Store should first make the appointment and come to the outlet at the time they have selected.

If you don’t have an Apple Store with a Genius Bar in your area, try finding your local authorized service provider. The technicians will replace old RAM modules with those of higher capacity. Of course, if your computer supports RAM upgrades.

Turning to third-party services should be considered as an option by those whose warranty has already expired or those who don’t have an Apple Store or Apple authorized service provider in the country.

If you know the difference between a screwdriver and a wrench, you can also upgrade RAM module on your own. You will need a compatible memory module, a set of tools for opening and disassembling your Mac and a good tutorial. Please note that a DIY-upgrade will void the warranty and may brick your computer, so be careful.

 

Tweaking and high-tuning the operating system

That is probably the most interesting part of this post. There’s a handful of methods of speeding up your Mac without replacing the RAM modules installed by default.

If you have a MacBook Air or an older MacBook Pro model, you won’t be able to physically upgrade RAM as it is soldered to the logic board. However, you can use some tweaks to make the operating system consume less memory. If you haven’t got a Mac right now, but plan to purchase it soon, keep one thing in mind: spend extra money, but choose the model with maximum amount of RAM or pay to upgrade the memory on the computers that have it soldered to the logic board.

Manage your login items

If you have a lot of applications set to launch automatically when you log in to your computer, the RAM consumption may rise drastically. To add/remove login items, open System PreferencesUsers & Groups, select a user and hit Login items. Remove the apps you don’t need to boot up alongside your operating system.

 

Control the amount of free storage on your drive

When the amount of RAM is not sufficient to handle all active processes, your Mac uses the free storage available on the hard drive or SSD, so make sure it is not stuffed with unused files (old documents, logs, caches etc.). Having at least several gigabytes of free storage on your Mac ensures you won’t see a beachball after you load your memory with something more difficult than internet browsing or listening to music.

 

Disable resource-intensive visual effects

  • Stop using animated desktop background
  • Open System PreferencesDock and make sure Automatically hide and show the Dock is unchecked
  • Go to System PreferencesDock and select Scale effect under Minimize windows using
  • Open System PreferencesMission Control and disable Dashboard (If you use OS X El Capitan, Dashboard is disabled by default)

 

Using specialized software

Users who are not very computer literate and those who simply don’t want to mess up with system settings, might consider using specialized software as the most acceptable option. Dedicated applications for RAM consumption optimization are much cheaper than physical memory upgrades, yet these apps can give you a hand in freeing up precious megabytes of RAM.

MacKeeper Memory Cleaner

MacKeeper Memory Cleaner is simple and effective tool for instant memory cleanup. Once opened, the utility scans all processes loaded in RAM and removes those that are inactive and unused by the system or current user. Apart from that, one can set up automatic cleanups and forget about opening the app each time the computer starts to work slower.

Together with Memory Cleaner, you get 16 other tools developed to make the more secure and efficient and this seems to be a good reason to give it a try. Want to know more? Read Mackeeper Review – Does It Actually WORK?’

You can find additional information about the product at its official website.

 

Memory Booster – RAM Optimizer

Basically, Memory Booster – RAM Optimizer is a Memory Cleaner alternative with a different design and a handy menu bar widget allowing you to keep an eye on the amount of free and used memory. The app utilizes the algorithms used by other popular cleaning utilities, so in terms of functionality is considered to be quite similar to the program described above. It lacks additional features included in the MacKeeper package, so it’s a good choice for those who don’t need any other tools to maintain their machines.

Head to the App Store to read more about Memory Booster – RAM Optimizer.

 

MemoryKeeper

MemoryKeeper is another App Store application for cleaning Random Access Memory. It’s probably the simplest and most intuitive tool among those mentioned in this and it’s absolutely free. RAM maintenance is lightning fast, apart from that, the design of MemoryKeeper is simply awesome. One can set up two cleanup modes, Quick and Full, as well as manage other options easily via the Preferences pane.

Read more about MemoryKeeper at its App Store page.

 

These are the simplest and the most effective steps that can help you perform more tasks with your Mac.

Do you know any other methods of RAM usage optimization on Mac computers? Let us know in the comments section down below.

Mac Battery Tips: From Obvious to Extreme

Mac Battery Tips: From Obvious to Extreme

 

While the International Earth Day is over, saving energy for whatever reasons is on everybody’s mind, though the agenda may vary from greater environmental good to saving money on your utility bills. If you are a laptop user who is constantly on the go, you probably want to make sure your device’s battery lasts and lasts and lasts for as long as possible, preferably forever.

 

There’s a variety of methods to extend your battery run-time from relatively common to pretty extreme ones, so lets check them out.

 

1

 

Calibration

 

2

 

To begin with, your battery needs to be in good shape and calibrated. The calibration process will allow your Mac to correctly estimate how much charge is remaining and when the charge will be used up completely. The calibration process should be done during the first days of Mac use and Apple recommends that you recalibrate the battery every month. Though from our experience recalibration once every 3-4 months is also acceptable.

 

Selecting Your Energy Preference

3Your Mac System Preference has the Energy preference pane which gives you options for managing your device’s energy use. It is probably the most obvious place to start if you need to extend your battery life. Some of the things you can do, include:

*Putting your hard drive to sleep when not in use.

*Turning off back lighting for Mac keyboard. This may come in handy in low light conditions, however if your conditions are generally fine, turning it off is a good way to conserve some battery power.

 

Switching off unused devices and services.

4There’s an assumption that you save more energy once you’ve switched off all your peripherals and charges that are not in use. However, simply disconnecting them is sufficient as it will bring the power draw to zero.

In addition, try turning off some of Mac built-in service, like AirPort or Bluetooth. You can also save power by turning the Wi-Fi off. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be disabled in System Preferences.

 

These may work too!

If you are up for a bit of experimenting, you may want to try these less conventional tips.

*Mute the sound

When you switch off your Mac’s built-in speakers, the battery stops being used to generate all of the default sounds associated with various events. You can do so by hitting the Mute button or via the Sound Preference pane.

*Check your email less.

Easier said than done, but turning off you mail auto-checking for new emails may make the difference, since your network connection (which uses a lot of battery power, especially if it’s Wi-Fi) won’t be used and your hard drive won’t be spun.

*Get rid of background notifications

Some apps have a background utility that is on all the time to check for updates. These mini-apps use your Mac’s memory, CPU and network. To turn them off you will need to check individual apps to see if such option exists, since there’s no central way to do it.

*White on black display.

If you want to try something quite extreme, but effectiveб set your desktop wallpaper to solid white via Desktop and Screen Saver preferences pane in System Preferences. This will invert the display colours making all text white and the white background black. If this sounds a bit too drastic to you, just turn down the display brightness.

 

I am sure, there are many other ways to preserve the battery power. Do share which ones work for you!

How to Keep Mac Windows Tidy and Organized?

Keeping your Mac windows organized is vital if you want to prevent yourself getting frustratingly muddled from endlessly opening up the wrong windows.

There are a few handy ways to keep your windows clean and out of your way but still keeping them live and ready to go…

 

Minimize Mac Windows

This is the most common method to choose to temporarily get rid of an unwanted window. There are a few easy methods you can pick from to minimize use your Mac windows

how to minimize mac windows

1.) My favourite choice – On the top left hand side of your open window are three coloured circles. Simply click on the middle yellow button (displaying a minus sign) to minimize your window instantly.
2.) For the next option you will need to click on the ‘Window’ tab from your applications toolbar.
A drop down menu will appear. Scroll through an pick ‘Minimize’.

Once you minimize a Mac window it will immediately shrink and placed safely in your Mac dock. Minimizing a window is a perfect solution to tidy away unused windows but still keep them live and accessible.

However, the more windows you minimize the more cluttered and confusing your Mac dock will become. This usually results in you clicking through numerous windows before you pull up the correct one – incredibly annoying – luckily there is an alternative route to tidy your Mac windows….

 

Hiding Mac Windows

If you have quite a few windows you wish to temporarily move off the screen I suggest you make use of the ‘Hide’ option.

Hiding you Mac windows will make all windows associated with a particular app totally disappear from sight. They will not shrink and be dumped in your dock, creating potentially more confusion. Instead like magic that will simply “poof” and vanish. But don’t worry, Apple will keep them live, untouched and safe, and they are very easy to bring back.

how to hide mac windows

How to Hide Mac Windows

1.) Once inside the app of the windows you wish to hide, from the toolbar click on the name of the app i.e. TextEdit.
2.) From the drop down menu select the option ‘Hide TextEdit’. Now you will see all the open windows in that application will instantly disappear.

 

How to Bring Back Hidden Windows on Mac?

Making your windows magically reappear is even easier then banishing them off the screen!
1.) Just simply click once on the applications name i.e. TextEdit and all the windows will instantly pop back up.

How to Hide Windows on Mac

If you love a clean organised desktop then you may be curious to learn about ‘hiding windows on Mac!

Learning how to hide windows on your Mac is a great trick to keep live windows neat and tidy and out of your way when you no longer need them but don’t wish to exit them for good.

This trick enables you to hideaway all open windows that are live in a certain application, such as an internet browser like Chrome and Safari or a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Like all nifty Apple Mac maneuvers it is very simple to perform…

 

How to Hide Windows on Mac

 1.) To start off you have to be inside your application to access the browsers/programs toolbar.

2.) In the apps toolbar, next to the mini apple logo we all love, click on the name of the app, i.e. Chrome.

3.) A menu will drop down. Scroll through until you reach the option ‘Hide Chrome’. Click on it with your cursor.

how hide a window on mac

4.) Immediately all the windows in that app disappear.

Note: Unlike minimize where the widow shrinks and quietly sits in your dock, your windows actually hide out of sight.

How to Bring Back Hidden Windows on Mac

If you have hidden your apps windows you may be slightly concerned where they have disappear off to as they will vanish without a trace. But don’t panic…. your windows are even easier to magically bring back then they were to make disappear.

1.) To bring back your hidden Mac windows just click on the application from your dock and they will instantly reappear!

How to Customize and Change Icons on Mac?

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a computer interior designer or just fancy putting your own stamp on your Mac icons by customising them, then you have come to the right Mac tutorial….

Customising and changing your Macs icons is surprisingly easy if you follow the steps correctly. Using the method listed bellow you will be able to change and set new icons for anything – Apps, Folders and even Files.

Simple steps to Change Mac icons…

 

1.) First you need to find a snazzy image you wish to replace the original icon. Once you have found this you will want to copy the image to your clipboard ready to paste over the original icon.

Note: Currently Apple will only allow you to select an existing icon image to be set for the new icon image. When I attempted to copy and paste a .jpg image the icon became the default Apple icon for .jpg images, not very attractive.

– Thankfully it is surprising simple to copy and existing icons image to your clipboard. Just open up your Finder window (Click desktop backdrop – from the Finder toolbar click on ‘File’ tab – from drop down menu select first option ‘New Finder Window’.)
– Click on the ‘Applications’ category on the left hand side and sieve through until you find a nice icon image you with to use.
– Click on it with your cursor to highlight it.
– Next we want to copy it to your clipboard. To do this you simply click on the ‘Edit’ tab in your desktops toolbar.
– Scroll through the list until you see the option ‘Copy’. Go ahead and click on this. Now you image is copied onto your clipboard and ready for pasting!

2.) Now we want to track down the Mac icon we wish to change. Do this by opening in up a new Finder window again.
3.) Once the window has opened up search for the icon you wish to change. You can search for it by typing the application or folders name into the search field on the top right, or using the categories on the left side to help narrow down your search.

how to change Mac icon
4.) Once locate click on the icon with your cursor to highlight it. The from the toolbar press the file File’ tab.
5.) From the menu select ‘Get info’.

customize icons on mac
6.) A long skinny window displaying information about the icon you are about to change. Click on the icon on the original icon logo up in the top left hand corner.
7.) Finally click on the ‘Edit’ tab from the toolbar then select ‘Paste’.

customize mac icons

That’s it! Now the new icon should appear replacing the old one.

Introduction to Apple Mac Icons!

One of the amazing benefits of owning and working on an Apple Mac computer is their internal design. While they are obviously the mot glamorous looking and aesthetically pleasing machine on the outside, it is their clever layout and swish graphics on the inside that make them so blissfully easy to use.

The creators at Apple have made their applications very simple to understand as they have paired each one up with a matching shiny icon. To skip the guess work the icons have been designed to resemble the application as closely as possible. For example your all important hard disk volume icon (Macintosh HD) looks like a hard drive, a simple text document looks like a piece of paper, iTunes is a circle with a music note in it and an icon for a folder looks like – yep you’ve guessed it… a folder with papers!

Apple Mac icons

App – Apple Mac icons for Applications have been individually designed to stand out from one another and make finding a certain app super duper easy.

mac app icons

Folders – Whilst all your storage folders are represented by a blue folder, if you are storing certain documents inside, the folder will show the relevant app symbol on the front to help you determine what sort of information is stored inside.

For example, if a folder just contains text documents the symbol on the front of the folder will be a piece of paper. If the folder contains apps, you will see the Apple app logo on the front and if the folder contains your groovy music tracks then it will have a nice music note printed on the front.

understanding Mac icons

 

File – Inside your folders are your files. Apple have also created file icons to help you easily sieve through and find certain file types.

For example a PDF file will show an image of a pile of photos with the text PDF underneath. One of the most common file types you will see is of course the text document. This is represented by a piece PDF paper with a text article and photo on.

apple icons mac

Sneaky Tip to Save Energy & Mac Battery Power

 If you are like me and spend most of your days cruising around your beloved Mac then you no are doubt being forever greeted with the annoying ‘Battery running low’ alert. Rapidly detangling your Apple charger lead like its an Olympic sport whilst your battery flashes 1% can be a bit hair raising. As I rarely turn off my Mac computer, this little sneaky trick saves energy and increases the life of your Mac battery….

 

How to Save Mac Battery Power

While most people set a funky screensaver to pop up when they are not using their computers, but unless you are proudly looking at it or using it to distract your dog whilst to dash to the kitchen to grab a cookie, your screensaver is not energy efficient. Your Mac utilizes its CPU, graphics chip and the display to present a screen saver. If you have a fun animated one, that will use up oodles more energy.

 

Sneaky Tip – To save energy and ensure your Mac battery lasts longer I recommend you set your OS X system to skip activating your screen saver whenever your mac is left idle and to just put the display straight to sleep instead.

Mac battery power

 

It is very easy to put your Mac straight to sleep and save energy, just follow these steps…

 

1.) From your toolbar click on the mini Apple logo on the left hand side with your cursor.

2.) A drop down menu will appear. Scroll down a little and select the option ’System Preferences’.

3.) Your System Preference window will now pop up. Browse through and select the ‘Energy Saver icon’ (Its looks like a light bulb).

4.) Next your Energy Saver window will be presented to you displaying two sliders. One titled ‘Computer Sleep’ and the other ’Display Sleep.’

save Mac battery power

‘Computer Sleep’ will ultimately save the most amount of energy as this option puts your entire computer, live programs and all, into a temporary snooze. To wake up your Mac just tap any key or move your cursor.

‘Display sleep’ is just a more efficient screensaver. It saves power but not as much as computer sleep, however it allows your Mac to come back to life absolutely instantly, whereas Computer sleep takes a second or two to wake up.

5.) Click and drag the sliders to set the time you wish your computer to sleep after it has gone idle. I usually have my ‘Display Sleep’ set for 5 mins (as I don’t want my screen to black out during a long news article). Then I have my ‘Computer Sleep’ set at 10 mins.

 

Hope you have found this sneaky energy saving tip helpful!

Mac Mission Control Explained – Tour of Elements

Using your Mac Mission control allows you to see everything you have open in one space. Whether this be an Internet browser window, your app store, iTunes, contact book, Mac mail, iPhoto etc. As a result Mission control makes it extremely easy to switch from one program to the next.

Bellow is a list of all the elements of Mac mission control that you may come across with a brief description to help you understand them. Please note that the numbers correlate to the elements numbered in the Mission control picture.

mac mission control elements

 

1.) Dashboard – Here you can see a minimized version of your Dashboard. This is where you can find helpful tools such as your calculator, dictionary, calendar, weather forecast etc. To access it from your mission control just click on the mini Dashboard icon.

 

2.) Desktops – It is possible to work on several desktops at once, perhaps you use one for work and one for relaxing etc. Mission control will display all of your opened Desktops with a mini icon at the top of the screen. You will be able to see which icon matches the Mac Desktop you are currently in as it will be slightly highlighted by a white boarder.

Tip: If you wish to close any additional desktops (not Desktop 1) – simply hover your cursor over the desktop icons you would like to close. An X should pop up on the upper left, click this and the desktop will close and vanish from your mission control.

 

3.) Full Screen Apps – These more exciting icons represent any Mac applications you may have open, such as iPhoto or Mac Mail etc.

 

4.) Add Desktop button – If you drift your cursor over to the upper right corner of your screen you will notice a + sign appear. Click this to add a new desktop to the mission control. You can also use it to drag any of the open Mac application icons or app windows to it if you would like to move the applications to a different or new Desktop.

 

5.) Application windows – The main section of your Mac Mission control allows you to get a closer look at your windows. You can move and hover your cursor over to highlight any window you wish to get a closer peek at, then click on it to to move it to the foreground.

Tip: Once on a highlighted window, gently tap your Space bar on your keyboard and the window will zoom in for a better preview. To zoom out just press the space bar once more.

Tip: If you would like to show multiple windows from the same app, like Safari has above, then go ahead and use one of these methods:

◦ Magic Trackpad – Hovering over the app (i.e. safari) with two fingers gently swipe in an upwards motion. To collapse the windows, with two fingers again, swipe in a downwards motion.

◦ Magic Mouse – It is a little different if you are using magic mouse. Instead of two fingers, we just use one. So swipe one finger upwards to expand the windows and swipe one finger downwards to collapse. Easy!

 

* You may notice that when you have a lot of desktops and windows open their labels may disappear. Do not worry, just hover your cursor over the icons to magnify them and reveal their label.

How to Exit Mac Mission Control

Just like opening up your Mac Mission Control the thoughtful creators at Apple have provide us with a selection of easy exit options…

Mac Mission Control

 Exit Mac Mission Control Option 1 – If you love the fun fingerfy trackpads swipes then this is the exit mission control method for you! Instead of swiping upwards to open, now swipe three fingers across your Trackpad or Magic Mouse in a ‘Downwards’ motion. This will return your screen back to normal and exit mission control.

 Exit Mac Mission Control Option 2 – For some strange reason this option does not always work for me, but if it does for you then it will be the fastest and easiest option their is…

Using two fingers double tap (remember not a double click, just a tap) on your track pad or Magic mouse.

 Exit Mac Mission Control Option 3 – When you are faced with Mission control and all of its open apps/ windows/ desktops displayed etc, if there is one you wish to proceed with just click on it and it will enlarge and automatically exit mission control.