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Disk Images are indeed most useful for file distribution, but they can also be used to store files on your system, any external media or on a local network server. The server option is most useful if you want to encrypt your files so that no one else can access them.

To create a Disk Image on your OS X system, simply follow the steps below:

2. Select “New Image” from the top row of options in Disk Utility.

3. A drop-down menu similar to the one below will show up. Here, you can name your image and set its size. For this tutorial, we’ve set it as 500MB, but you can set a size according to your own preferences.

(Tidbit: You can also encrypt your disk image here by using the “Encrypt” tab.)

Once created, the image will create and mount where you can copy files to it. However, you’ll notice that even if you don’t fill the 500MB image size, i.e if you enter less than 500MB of data, the image size will still be the same when you created it. So if you created an image that was 500MB in size, then the image file would be 500MB, even if there is only 90MB of data in it.

Now, this may seem logical to some people, but it might not be desired. You may want your disk to be able to contain 500MB of data but not always be 500MB on disk and only grow with the size of items you place in it. A dynamic resizable disk in OS X by following the below instructions:

How to “Sparse” or “Sparsebundle” Your Image With No Partition Scheme

Apple has included the options in Disk Utility to create “sparse” and “sparsebundle” image types. These images are dynamically resizable, meaning, if you create one without a partition, they will start with the size of the files you place in them. They’ll then grow as you keep on adding more files, up to the maximum size you set when creating the image.

To do this, when you’re creating your Disk Image using the steps above, simply select either “sparse” or “sparsebundle” from the “Image Format” menu when creating the image, and then choose “No Partition Map” from the “Partitions” menu, similar to the screenshot below:

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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How To Restore A Folder That Has Turned Into A Package In Os X

Like all software, macOS isn’t immune to the occasional bug or problem. While it’s a rare occurrence, folders on macOS can occasionally change from appearing as regular folders to appearing as packages, like those used to install new macOS apps. This might also happen by design, especially if you’re creating new software.

Thankfully, it’s an easy process to restore a folder on a Mac, if you need to. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest method is to use the Mac Terminal app. Here’s how to restore a folder on Mac, regardless of the format.

Table of Contents

Restore a Folder on Mac Using The Terminal

The Mac Finder app tries to automatically detect what a file or folder’s true purpose is so that it knows how to handle it correctly. If the wrong attributes have been applied to the folder, then Finder will treat your folder as a package and won’t allow you to access the files held within.

It’ll also do this if your folder has the wrong extension, like .app. For these instructions to work, you’ll need the macOS Xcode Developer Tools installed, as the getfileinfo and setfile commands aren’t installed on macOS by default.

To remove the has bundle attribute bit from your folder and restore access, type setfile -a b folder in the Terminal app, replacing folder with your folder location. 

Type getfileinfo -aB folder (replacing folder) to check the has bundle attribute status after this—if a 0 is returned, the attribute has been removed.

Once you’ve removed the has bundle attribute, attempt to access the folder in the Finder app, located as an icon on the Dock or in Launchpad. If you still can’t access the folder, check that your folder doesn’t have an unusual extension attached to it.

With the extension removed, your folder should return to normal in Finder, allowing you to open it as normal. 

You may also want to access files and folders from a genuine macOS package (like a PKG or DMG file). If that’s the case, the easiest method is to extract the contents into a new folder.

Extracting Mac Folders Using The Terminal

A true macOS package comes in various file formats, including PKG and DMG files. How you approach restoring or extracting folders in these formats differ slightly. If you want to restore folders from genuine macOS package files, the Terminal app allows you to do this.

These methods assume that you’re attempting to access folders from packaged PKG or DMG files. If the files are corrupted (or aren’t true PKG or DMG files), then these instructions won’t work.

Your DMG folder will be mounted as a folder under the Volumes directory on your macOS drive. To copy the contents of your DMG file to a new macOS folder, type cp -r /Volumes/File/ /Users/Username/Folder, replacing File with the original name of your DMG file, and replacing Username/Folder with the location to copy the files.

Type hdiutil info to locate the drive identifier for your mounted DMG file, then type hdiutil detach /dev/drive to unmount your DMG file, replacing /dev/drive with the correct device identifier.

The contents of your DMG file will be restored to a new folder, ready for you to access.

The contents of the PKG package file will be extracted to the location you specified.

Handling MacOS Files & Folders

If you don’t know how to restore a folder on Mac, try these methods first. In many cases, you can restore a broken macOS folder by fixing the extension or removing certain file attributes. If you have a genuine macOS package file in the PKG or DMG formats, you can extract the contents using the Terminal app.

How To Automatically Back Up Contacts In Os X

Nearly all of us have experienced a situation in which we have faced a corrupt hard drive, and due to not having any backups, have lost all our data. Good backups are always necessary. In this article we will show how you can use Automator to automate backing up your contacts in OS X.

1. Open up Automator on your Mac. You can do this by searching for it from Spotlight Search or by navigating to your Applications folder and opening Automator.

2. Select a new document if Automator prompts you to do so, and select “Calendar Alarm” in the type of document. This is a type of document that can be triggered by events in your calendar, meaning you can set it to run at specific intervals automatically.

3. From the left-hand “Actions” panel, choose Contacts, and drag “Find Contacts items” into the right-hand pane.

The option that comes up lets us filter which contacts we want to back up. As we’ll be backing up all of our contacts, simply leave the first two options to “people” and “All” as they are. Select “Name” and “is not” for the last two options and enter in “aaa.”

5. Now, from the second list, drag “Export vCards” to the right hand pane, making sure it sits underneath “Find Contacts People” in your workflow. Leave the Export option as it is (also seen in the screenshot below); just choose a custom location where you would like your Contacts to be backed up.

The following window should open up.

Here, in the Repeat section, you can set a regular interval for a regular backup of your contacts.

That’s it! It’s that simple to create an automatic task (workflow) to back up your contacts in OS X at a regular schedule. Although it is a bit lengthy, it’s a one-time setup that can prove to be life-saving in the occasion you have a hard drive failure. For that we recommend selecting a network drive location in the Automator workflow, but it’s entirely upto you.

Similarly, you can also mess around with other Automator options to create other backups. Let us know what you thought of this guide down in the Comments section.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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How To Enable And Use The Os X Character Viewer On Your Mac

The OS X keyboard offers a number of common characters for the particular language you have chosen, with additional characters available via modifier keys such as Shift, Command and Option. You should know that there are only a handful of characters that can be assigned to these keys, and these are just a handful of the vast number of characters that you can use when composing documents.

Some programs have their own input methods for accessing these additional characters, but if the program you’re using doesn’t support this, you can use the built-in OS X browser to find and use any of them, including and not limited to math symbols, Greek and Latin symbols, Chinese characters, emoticons, and even Braille.

All these characters are available in the system’s Character Viewer palette. This is disabled by default in the system, but it can be activated by the following method:

How To Enable OS X’s Character Viewer Palette:

1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.

3. In the “Keyboard” tab, enable the option next to “Show Keyboard & Character Views In Menu Bar.”

You’ll now see a small input menu show up next to the date and time in the system menu:

The input menu is a black-and-white icon, but if you select more than one country’s layout to include in the list, then the input menu will change to show the flag of the currently selected layout, a feature that some people may prefer to just the basic input icon.

Select the icon from the menu, and choose the Character viewer option.

How to Use a Character/Symbol from The Character Viewer Menu:

When you find a symbol you like,

Or, you can drag it from the window to the desired location where you would like to insert it.

Also, a group of the most recently accessed symbols will be kept in the Recently Used section so you can find them there.

You can also easily search for icons in the Character Viewer. For example, if you search for “Tongue,” you’ll get all the letters that make up the word tongue (t,o,n,g,u,e) as well as all symbols/emoticons/characters that include or represent tongues.

Do remember though that the search is not the best out there. You might find yourself in many instances where you can’t find what you’re looking for, but most of the time the search will be close enough.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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How To Hide All Desktop Icons In Mac Os X

Want to hide all desktop icons on a Mac? Desktop icon clutter can really impact workflow by overwhelming you with files and just too much stuff to look at. Inevitably, it can be hard to avoid since a lot of apps download things to the Desktop by default, we save things there, screenshots go there, it quickly becomes the generic catch-all location for documents and stuff that we’re working with.

If you decide you have too many icons on the desktop and maintaining the desktop is just too much to deal with, you can actually toggle a secret setting in Mac OS X to turn off the Mac desktop icons completely, thereby preventing them from being displayed at all. This effectively hides all the icons from showing up on the Mac desktop only, but all of your files and stuff will still be accessible from elsewhere through the file system and Finder. You can think of this kind of like disabling the desktop, because you can still actually save files and folders to the desktop, it’s just that the icons will not show up. Instead, you’ll just see your desktop wallpaper.

How to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac OS X from Appearing Completely

If you’re ready to hide all desktop icons on a Mac, you’ll be using the command line to accomplish this task. Here is how you can hide all Mac desktop icons by basically disabling the desktop from appearing:

Launch Terminal, found within /Applications/Utilities

Type the following defaults command string exactly:

defaults write CreateDesktop -bool false

Hit enter / return

Next you will then need to kill the Finder so that it relaunches and the changes take effect, do that with the following command in the Terminal prompt:

killall Finder

Again hit Return, this refreshes the Finder and the Desktop

Once the command is executed correctly, the Finder will refresh and all desktop icons will instantly disappear – the files will still exist, they are just no longer visible on the desktop.

This trick works to disable the desktop and hide all the desktop icons exactly the same in all versions of MacOS and Mac OS X, from Mac OS X Snow Leopard to OS X Yosemite to MacOS Mojave and everything in between, and presumably later too.

You can expedite the hiding of the desktop icons on the Mac by turning the command string into a single line to be copied and pasted into the Terminal window, like this:

defaults write CreateDesktop -bool false;killall Finder;say icons hidden

The desktop will no longer display icons, effectively hiding them from appearing. All of the files still exist, but they’re now discretely hidden in your home folder’s “Desktop” directory rather than cluttering up the visible desktop.

If you’re wondering what this looks like when it’s in effect, it’s basically a super-clean desktop like this:

Notice how there is literally nothing on the desktop? Just a clean image of the background wallpaper? That’s what this trick does.

Note that this process is different than simply hiding things like Mac hard drive icons and network shares from showing up on desktop, because this trick is all inclusive and hides every single icon regardless of what it is, completely preventing them from appearing on the Mac OS X Desktop whatsoever, despite still technically being stored in the users ~/Desktop directory. It’s obviously easy to implement, and it’s also easy to reverse if you decide the feature isn’t for you and you want to see everything visible as usual again.

So to be perfectly clear, this will hide your icons from showing on the Desktop by disabling that feature, but your desktop data, files, folders, and everything else is still available by manually going to the “~/Desktop” folder of the user account. None of your files are missing, they’re just tucked into your user Desktop folder on the Macintosh HD.

How to Show Desktop Icons Again in Mac OS X

To show the Desktop icons again, return to open the Mac Terminal and type the following defaults command – notice the only difference between the disabling of desktop and enabling of desktop is ‘false’ has been turned into ‘true’, thereby re-enabling desktop icon display on the Mac:

defaults write CreateDesktop -bool true

Again, kill the Finder and your icons will show on the desktop as usual:

killall Finder

Finder will relaunch, and the desktop will be revealed again with all of it’s icons shown. The image below shows an exaggerated example, with tons and tons of icons sitting on the wallpaper:

Similar to the hiding trick, you can condense those commands into a single command string to reveal the desktop icons again.

defaults write CreateDesktop -bool true;killall Finder;say icons visible

This even gives you a nice auditory clue announcing the state of the icons (icons hidden, or icons visible).

Other than being a nuisance to look at, desktop clutter can actually slow down a Mac (or any computer, for that matter), since each individual icon and thumbnail must be drawn by the operating system anytime the desktop is accessed or shown. As a result, every single file sitting on the desktop takes up a little slice of memory, and redrawing the thumbnail icons uses a tiny bit of CPU, but with hundreds of files laying about those will accumulate to a significant burden on the computers resources, thereby slowing down the computer. This is particularly true with old Macs, but it applies to newer models as well.

So when in doubt, keep that Mac desktop tidy and free of too many icons, or just hide the icons and files display like we described here so that you can gain a nice little speed boost until you sort through your files.


How To Hide The Menu Bar On External Secondary Displays In Mac Os X

For Mac users who use external screens, multi-display support has been greatly improved in new versions of OS X, but one feature that is either loved or hated is the addition of the secondary menu bar that is visible on the external display(s). The secondary menu bar serves the obvious purpose of providing easy access to menu items, but it also functions as an active focus indicator, letting you know which of the multiple displays has the currently active focus for windows and the mouse cursor. When one screen is active, the menu bar on that display will be shown at normal brightness, whereas the display that does not have focus will show a dimly faded translucent menu bar, as shown in this screen shot:

OS X provides a setting to hide the external display menu bar (or show it, if it’s hidden for some reason) if you don’t like it and the whole dimming indicator thing, though the wording of the setting doesn’t offer much hint that it has anything to do with menu bars or secondary screens.

Disable the Menu Bar on External Displays in OS X Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan

This will remove the menu bar from the external display completely, including the translucent display focus indicator:

Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and choose the “Mission Control” preference panel

Uncheck the box next to “Displays have separate Spaces”

Log out and log back in to the user account for the change to take effect (or reboot, but logging out and back in is usually much faster)

Note: if you toggle this off you may wish to set the primary display again to indicate which screen you want the Mac menu bar and Dock to appear on. The primary display also becomes where new windows and alert dialogs appear by default.

Toggling “Displays have separate spaces” to OFF does not play well with full-screen app mode, thus if you like how Mavericks handles full screen apps on multiple displays, you will not want to turn this feature off. That’s a fairly significant side effect and it’s important to understand that this basically causes OS X El Capitan, OS X Yosemite, and OS X Mavericks multi-display behavior to be like that of OS X Mountain Lion and other prior versions of Mac OS X. Yes, the secondary display is still entirely usable, so long as full screen apps are not used, since full screen apps become the “Spaces” this setting adjusts. Ideally, an update to OS X will separate the menu bar setting from the Spaces setting, into an optional and unrelated adjustment somewhere in Display preferences, similar to how you can indicate which display the menu bar shows up on.

There may be a defaults setting that can toggle the brightness and/or menu bar options separately, similar to how you can make terminal windows focus follow the mouse cursor, but we have not yet found it or been made aware of such a trick. If you know of one, send us an email, tweet, or post it on our Facebook or Google+ pages.

How Do I Show the External Displays Menu Bar?

By the way, the same setting for showing the secondary display menu bar in OS X also will allow you to see the Dock on an external display in OS X, something to keep in mind.

Thanks to @scottperezfox for the tip inspiration, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter if you haven’t done so yet.


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