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Convert images quickly from Finder

Posted in Finder Tips & Tricks

macOS offers a super simple and fast way to convert images, directly from the Finder. Thanks to the handy Quick Actions feature, Mac users are able to convert any images from anywhere in the Finder, with just a few clicks.

This is a powerful and useful feature that is often overlooked. Here’s how it works:

• From Finder, locate the image you want to convert

• Right-click, control-click, or two-finger click on the image you wish to convert, and go to “Quick Actions” and then select "Convert Image" from the menu

• Select the file format type you wish to convert the image to and select the image size (choose "Actual Size" if you do not want to resize the image), choose whether or not you wish to preserve metadata, then click on the "Convert" button

The image will convert almost instantly and appear in the same folder with the same file name as the origin image. This Quick Action image conversion tool is super fast and powerful, but is limited to JPG, PNG, and HEIF/HEIC formats. If you wish to convert to additional image file formats, you will have to use Preview.

Three quick macOS tips

Here are three quick macOS tips that once you start using should make the time you spend on your Mac a more effortless experience. The following assumes you're running macOS Ventura, but most if not all of these tips should work on earlier versions of Apple's Mac operating system.

• Open a Copy of a File by Default

Stationery Pad is a handy way to nix a step in your workflow if you regularly use document templates on your Mac. The long-standing Finder feature essentially tells a file's parent application to open a copy of it by default, ensuring that the original file remains unedited. Almost any file type can be defined as a template with Stationery Pad – it could be used to streamline common Photoshop jobs, create skeleton HTML/CSS files, or help with Word document invoicing.

To take advantage of it, right-click (Ctrl-click) the file that you want to use as a template, select Get Info, then check the Stationery Pad checkbox under the General section. Lastly, click the red traffic light button to close the Get Info window. Next time you double-click the template file, Finder will automatically create and open a copy of it, leaving the original untouched.

• Access More Preview File Format Options

When you come to save or export a file in Preview, Option-click the Format dropdown to get access to several additional file types.

• Add App/File/Folder Shortcuts to Finder's Toolbar

Here's how to add convenient app, file, and folder shortcuts to the toolbar of Finder windows: Simply begin to drag the item within the Finder window, then hold down the Command (⌘) key and drop it onto an available space in the toolbar.

How to fix "macOS could not be installed on your computer" error

The "macOS could not be installed on your computer" error is one of the last ones you want to see. It pops up when you're updating your Mac's operating system but can't complete the operation. Despite the wording, it doesn't mean your installation will never work. It just means it failed that one time. The bad news is this error could be occurring due to a number of reasons. The good news is you can get your Mac back up and functional with a little work.

What causes the "macOS could not be installed on your computer" error? Several issues could cause the problem. However, the error screen should give you some idea of what's gone amiss. Here are some messages you might see underneath the warning:

• The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged
• An error occurred installing macOS
• Unable to unmount volume for repair
• Storage system verify or repair failed
• An error occurred while verifying firmware

Some of these offer more information than others, but they point to different stages of the installation that failed. The following steps and fixes should sort out any of the problems mentioned above.

Fixing this error may require some patience. It's best to start with the simple fixes, which often solve the problem, but if they don't, you have other options. Here are the approaches to try.

1. Restart and try the installation again. This may seem counterintuitive to redo the thing that didn't work, but sometimes a restart is all your Mac needs to sort itself out.

2. Check the Date & Time setting. If the displayed date and time don't match reality, this could be the problem. Restart your Mac again if necessary, then go to System Settings > Date & Time and enable "Set time and date automatically" setting. After this, try the installation again to see if it works.

3. Free up space. In some cases, macOS fails to install because there isn't enough room on the hard drive. To see how much is available, click the Apple logo and select About This Mac, click More Info, scroll down and click Storage Settings. You'll see a breakdown of what's living on your computer. If the available space seems low, move some nonessential files off temporarily to see if that lets the installation proceed.

4. Reset the NVRAM ( This tiny chunk of memory stores basic information such as the time, monitor resolution, and which disk to start up from. You may need to go back into System Settings to switch any settings this changed, but you can try the installation again before that to make sure the problem is resolved.

5. Restore from a backup. If you use Time Machine to regularly back up your Mac, you can go back to an earlier state using Recovery Mode to see if it's more compatible with the installer.

6. Run Disk First Aid (launch Disk Utility located in /Applications/Utilities). This may help if you're getting the "Unable to mount volume" error. First Aid checks the internal hard drive and makes any fixes it can. It may even be able to mount the volume after it's done. Then you can retry the installation.

If none of the above worked, it may be time to turn your computer over to the professionals.

Reduce Google Chrome's memory and CPU usage

Google's Chrome browser has long been criticised for being a system resource hog, which is why developers have been busy working on ways to free up memory and keep things running smoothly when users have multiple windows and tabs open. The latest effort in that regard comes in the form of Memory Saver, a new feature that deactivates open tabs you haven't used in a while so that the tabs you are using offer the smoothest possible experience. With Memory Saver enabled, your inactive tabs remain open, and when you access an inactive tab, it reloads automatically. Google claims the new Memory Saver feature means Chrome uses up to 40% and 10 GB less memory. The company says the new performance setting is particularly good at keeping active video and gaming tabs running smoothly.

Google is rolling out Memory Saver mode over the next several weeks, but not everyone will see it yet. Fortunately, if the new Settings -> Performance menu is not visible for you, you can activate it manually by using the experimental features in Chrome Flags.

Before you proceed, be sure to bookmark any important tabs and save anything important that you're working on in Chrome, then update the browser to the latest version available (109.0.5414.119 as of writing).

• Launch Chrome and paste the following into the address bar: chrome://flags/#high-efficiency-mode-available

• Next to "Enable the high efficiency mode feature in the settings", change the Default setting to Enabled, then restart Chrome

• Now paste the following into the address bar: chrome://settings/performance

• In the new "Performance" menu, toggle the switch next to Memory Saver to enable it

• Restart Chrome for the changes to take effect

Apart from Memory Saver, Google is also rolling out an Energy Saver mode that makes Chrome automatically limit battery draining tasks when the battery hits 20 percent. It does this by reducing its image capture rate and other background tasks, so you may notice changes in gaming and video performance.

The mode can be toggled on or off in the same "Performance" page in Settings. If you don't see it (this setting is only visible on portable computers) and don't want to wait for it to roll out to you, simply follow the same steps as above, but replace the address with chrome://flags/#battery-saver-mode-available and select Enabled next to "Enable the battery saver mode feature in the settings", then restart the browser.

Disable AirDrop

AirDrop offers a fantastic wireless file sharing option for Mac, but not everyone may want to have it enabled. If you’re a Mac user you may find yourself in a situation where you’d like to disable AirDrop on the Mac for whatever reason. Using AirDrop is super easy, and you’ll find that turning the feature off is simple too.

Whether you’re wanting to stop receiving inbound AirDrop requests for files, trying to avoid a networking conflict, troubleshooting, or just limit your network footprint, it’s easy to turn off AirDrop on MacOS.

Turning off AirDrop in MacOS is the same in all versions of macOS and Mac OS X, regardless of system software version. Here’s how:

• Open the Finder on Mac

• Go to “AirDrop” in the Finder window sidebar, or pull down the Go menu and choose AirDrop from there

• Click the small blue text at the bottom of the AirDrop window that says “Allow me to be discovered by:” and select “No One” to turn AirDrop off

With AirDrop turned off you will not be discoverable by other devices that are looking for AirDrop destinations. This means you won’t be able to receive any files or data sharing requests from anyone via AirDrop.

If you’d like to enable AirDrop at any time, simply switch the AirDrop allowing options to either Contacts Only or Everyone, like so:

• Open the Finder on Mac

• Go to “AirDrop” in the Finder window sidebar, or pull down the Go menu and choose AirDrop
• Click the “Allow me to be discovered by:” text at the bottom of the window and choose “Contacts Only” or “Everyone”

This turns on AirDrop again and allows the Mac to be available for AirDrop requests. You will also need to make sure you have Bluetooth enabled on the Mac to be able to use AirDrop successfully.