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Resolve Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues caused by wireless interference

Wireless interference can cause Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices to disconnect or perform poorly. Bluetooth enabled keyboards and mice may not pair or connect consistently, or audio from Bluetooth enabled earphones or speakers may be choppy, but you can take steps to reduce or overcome it.

Any of these symptoms could be caused by interference affecting the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal:

• Device doesn't connect or stay connected
• Connection is slow and signal strength  is low
• Bluetooth audio skips, stutters, cuts off, or has static or buzzing
• Pointer movement is erratic or jumpy

These general steps can help achieve a cleaner, stronger wireless signal:

• Bring your Wi-Fi device and Wi-Fi router closer together. Bring the Bluetooth devices that are connecting to each other closer together.
• Avoid using your wireless devices near common sources of interference, such as power cables, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, wireless video cameras, and cordless phones.
• Reduce the number of active devices that use the same wireless frequency band. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices use the 2.4 GHz band, but many Wi-Fi devices can use the 5 GHz band instead. If your Wi-Fi router supports both bands, it might help to connect more of your Wi-Fi devices to the 5GHz band. Some dual-band routers manage this for you automatically.
• Configure your Wi-Fi router to use a different Wi-Fi channel, or have it scan for the channel with the least interference. Most routers perform this scan automatically on startup or when reset.

If you're using USB 3 devices with your computer, you can limit their potential to interfere with nearby wireless devices:

• Use a high-quality, shielded USB cable with each USB 3 device.
• Move your USB 3 devices—including any USB hubs—farther away from your wireless devices.
• Connect USB 3 devices to the ports farthest from your computer's Wi-Fi antenna. For example, if your computer has ports on the back, prefer the USB ports closest to the middle. If your computer has ports on the side, prefer the USB ports closest to the front.
• Turn off any USB 3 devices that aren't in use.

Avoid physical obstructions in the path of your wireless signal. For example, a metal surface between your Bluetooth mouse and computer could cause the mouse to perform poorly, and a metal-reinforced concrete floor between your Wi-Fi router and Wi-Fi device could cause poor Wi-Fi performance.

• Low interference potential: wood, glass, and many synthetic materials
• Medium interference potential: water, bricks, marble
• High interference potential: plaster, concrete, bulletproof glass
• Very high interference potential: metal

Access hidden files or folders

Have you ever wanted to access a hidden file from an Open window or a hidden folder from a Save dialog?

You can easily toggle hidden files by hitting Command+Shift+Period in any dialog window.

 

Get "Save As..." shortcut in macOS

The "Save As..." keyboard shortcut allows you to quickly save a new version of an active document without re-writing the currently active document, which is perfect for many productivity situations where you'd want to save a current file as a different file type for compatibility reasons or as a backup version, or as a different copy in a new location.

"Save As..." used to be a default option in the File menu but now it's hidden by default. Not to worry, with a simple keyboard app shortcut you can regain the uber convenient "Save As..." option in the File menu.

• Open the  Apple menu and choose "System Preferences"
• Select "Keyboard" and then choose the "Shortcuts" tab
• Select "App Shortcuts" then press the + plus button to create a new shortcut for All Applications
• Set the following for the keyboard shortcut:
Application: All Applications
Menu Title: "Save As…"
Keyboard Shortcut: click into the field, then press Command + Shift + S
• Click "Add" to finish adding the "Save As..." keyboard shortcut and close out of System Preferences

The "Save As..." will now appear by default in the File menu of apps, and be available instantly as the Command + Shift + S keyboard shortcut. You can test this out yourself by going to any app that supports file saving and you'll find the File menu now includes the "Save As..." option by default, along with the keyboard shortcut.

The modern macOS default keyboard shortcut for "Save As..." is the finger twisting combo of Command + Option + Shift + S. All we're doing in this particular App Shortcut is to remap that complex keystroke into the familiar and easier to manage Command + Shift + S keystroke, which was the default in Mac OS for much of Mac history. This change may not be for everyone, but if you're a fan of using "Save As...", you'll undoubtedly appreciate knowing that you can get this great file saving feature back with a simple effort.

 

Safari downloads pane

Posted in Safari Tips & Tricks

Did you know that Safari downloads pane (which opens when you click on the button in the upper right corner) offers some interesting features?

• Double-click a file's icon open it
• Select a file and press Command+C to copy a file's URL
• Select a downloaded file and drag it to a folder, to your Desktop, or even to a Dock icon to launch it with that application

 

Set iCloud to save emails on your Mac

Posted in Mail Tips & Tricks

It’s certainly not unusual to want to store your data only on locations over which you have full control and not some company’s cloud, even if that’s Apple.

Apple’s Mail and most email clients on every platform and from every third party optimize their defaults settings around leaving mail on a server. That’s the modern way, where we can reach the same mail storage on any device, as well as through web mail.

However, it’s possible to avoid all this. You just have to change a view settings and rethink how you file mail once you’ve dealt with it. You can archive messages on a single Mac and store them there without leaving a copy on the server but you’d better be making backups, Time Machine or otherwise, or you’ll be sunk if your drive fails.

Your Inbox will always remain on the server. The Inbox is essentially a window into messages that have arrived and you haven’t processed. You make one change in settings and one change in behavior for everything else.

In Mail in macOS, follow these steps:

• Select Mail > Preferences and click Accounts.
• Select iCloud in the list at left.
• In the Account Information tab, set Download Attachments to All (the only reason to avoid this if you get frequent large attachments in messages you delete without needing those attachments).
• In the Mailbox Behaviors tab, for each mailbox popup menu, select a mailbox listed under On My Mac (if no mailbox exists, you need to create it from the Mailboxes sidebar).

Now all the standard Mail behavior will result in messages being downloaded or stored on your Mac.

On the behavior side, create all the mailboxes you need under the On My Mac section of the Mailboxes list, and then as you receive email in your Inbox, file those locally into those folders. That removes the messages from the mail server, leaving it stored only on your Mac.