fixed : quick way to make hidden files visible on macOS

Question :

I sometimes need to view the invisible files on my Mac. I know I can do this using the Terminal.app, but isn’t there an easier way to do this ?

 

Answer :

To turn on the ‘Hidden File Viewer’ (or ‘Invisible File Viewer’) mode in MacOSX, you could use the command line in Terminal.app or you could use little apps named something like ‘Hidden File Viewer’ or similar.

In macOS 10.12 Sierra and newer, there is a far simpler way to do this :

  • press the [SHIFT] + [CMD] + [.] key-combo on your keyboard

Using this key-combo, you can switch the visibility of invisible files ON or OFF.

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : MacBook Pro sighs then hangs during startup without progress bar over and over again

Question :

I have a  2018 MacBook Pro 13″ with TouchBar and 4 Thunderbolt3 ports that seems to hang during startup : the MacBook ‘sighs’ (fan noise) during startup and shows only a black screen with a white Apple-logo, but no progress bar as usual… then it automatically restarts… and the same thing repeats itself…

Is there any way to solve this ?

 

Answer :

This might be caused by a hardware problem, so if it happens frequently, you should take your MacBook Pro to an AppleStore or authorized Apple Repair shop for repair.

But before you do so, try this, as it might fix your problem :

If you do see a progress bar during startup, look at this post :

fixed : MacBook Pro hangs during final stage of macOS startup

If you do not see a progress bar during startup, do this :

  • unplug everything else from the USB-C ports
  • now plug in the USB-C power-adapter
  • then, if you can, plug-in a USB-C-to-Ethernet-adapter and make an ethernet-connection to your network (and the Internet), if not leave it
  • then, press the ON/OFF-fingerscan-button (top-right in the Touch Bar) to restart your Mac
  • then, during restart, immediately press the [CMD]+[ALT]+[R] key-combo on your keyboard
  • keep this key-combo pressed for about 30 seconds, then release
  • now, leave your MacBook connected to power and internet overnight
  • in the morning, your MacBook will have reinstalled the latest version of macOS

…and you will be good to go 😉

If the problem persists overnight, you might want to try this also, before you decide to bring in your MacBook Pro for repair :

  • create a macOS installer on a USB-stick (or even a USB-C stick)
    • as your own MacBook Pro is not available for this, you need to do this on another Mac or ask someone to do this for you
    • instructions on doing this can be found here on Apple.com
  • then plug the USB-C stick (or USB-stick with a USB-to-USB-C-adapter) into your MacBook Pro
  • then restart your MacBook Pro, while pressing the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • release the [ALT]-key when the Startup Manager window opens
  • then select the USB-stick as your startup disk
  • then follow the onscreen instructions for (re)installing macOS

That’s it !

As mentioned before : if you keep running into this problem frequently, you might have a hardware problem and you should bring your MacBook Pro in for repair.

enjoy 😉

fixed : compress video for WhatsApp (or eMail)

Question :

I would like to send a small piece of a video I just shot at a birthday party to a group of friends on WhatsApp, but it’s too big to upload.

How can I compress it for easy viewing on Whatsapp ?

 

Answer :

If you have shot the video on your iPhone you can send it right away, and iOS will do the compression for you.

However, if you already have the video on your Mac and you want to compress it before you send it using WhatsApp Desktop (for macOS), do this :

  • make sure you trim down the length of the video to a clip that only includes the most relevant part of the video
    • you can do this in QuickTime Player (included in macOS for FREE)
  • use Smart Converter (FREE from Mac AppStore) and choose ‘for iPhone or iPod’, then click ‘Convert’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 10MB per 10 seconds)
  • use Handbrake (FREE from handbrake.fr) and choose ‘Presets’ > ‘Gmail Large 3 minutes 720p30’, then click ‘Start’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 2MB per 10 seconds)

Note : even though the frame rate and screen size are the same, the ‘Gmail’-ready file will be much smaller than the ‘iPhone’-ready file, even though (or rather ‘because’) this comes with the downside that quick-moving objects will blur in the ‘Gmail’-ready video (compared to the ‘iPhone’-ready video that hardly has any blur and is similar in size and quality to the ‘Fast 720p30’ preset in Handbrake) 

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : how to unzip downloaded .zip-file that appears as .exe-file ?

Question :

I have just downloaded some zipped archives from a support website, and even though most of them were .zip-files that were automatically unzipped by macOS, some are .exe-files which I can’t open or run on my Mac…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Sometimes, Windows computers create self-extracting Windows .exe-files instead of .zip-files or .rar-files when creating compressed archives to transport over the internet or using external drives or USB-sticks…

The built-in Unarchive.app in macOS cannot extract these kind of .exe-archives, but various other unzip-apps can.

Just go to the Mac AppStore, find TheUnarchiver.app, download it and use it for FREE ; the .exe-archives will now be extracted as if they were regular .zip-files or .rar-files

enjoy 😉

fixed : put iTunes Music database on external drive to save space

Question :

My internal HD is too full, so I want to make room for macOS to run smoothly again. As my iTunes Music database is huge, would it be possible to move that database onto an external HD that is continuously connected to my Mac ?

Is there any option to do so ?

 

Answer :

Yes, it is possible to move your entire iTunes Music database to an external HD. Apple does explicitly recommend to use an external HD that is connected to your Mac directly with USB, ThunderBolt or FireWire. (and Apple explicitly recommends against putting your active iTunes or Music.app database on a wireless drive or network drive)

To do this, do this :

  • get yourself an external HD, preferably one that is using a fast cable connection to connect to your Mac ; Samsung currently has some small and very good external HDs using USB-C for this : Samsung T5 Portable SSD
  • plug the external HD into your Mac
  • goto Applications –> Utilities –> Disk Utility
  • open Disk Utility
  • reformat the external HD as “Mac OS Extended”
  • now, in the Finder, create a new folder on the external HD named Music
  • inside that folder, create 2 new folders ; one named iTunes, the other named Music
  • then, in the Finder, goto Users –> [your name]  –> Music –> Music –> Music Library (if you don’t have one, skip the next step)
  • then drag&drop the Music Library folder into the Music folder inside the top-level Music folder on the external HD you have just created
  • …this may take a while
  • then, in the Finder, goto Users –> [your name]  –> Music –> iTunes –> iTunes Library (if you don’t have one, skip the next step)
  • then drag&drop the iTunes Library folder into the iTunes folder inside the top-level Music folder on the external HD you have just created
  • …this may take a while also
  • when done, open the Music.app (or iTunes.app if you are running an older version of macOS)
  • goto Music (or iTunes) in the top-bar of your screen –> Preferences
  • in the window that opens, select the Files tab, and at “Music Media folder location” click on the Change-button
  • in the Finder window that opens, select the Music (or iTunes) folder inside the Music folder on the external HD and click Open-button
  • back in the Files window, click the OK-button
  • now Music.app (or iTunes) will start up using the Music Library (or iTunes Library) on the external HD (and it will keep using the Music Library (or iTunes Library) on the external HD as its default library from now on)
  • check inside Music.app (or iTunes) to see if all your photos are now available (there’s no reason why they wouldn’t but just to make sure…)
  • now start using this setup as your new Music.app (or iTunes) setup, and if you don’t run into any problems in a few weeks (or even months if you need to) you can delete the Music Library (and/or iTunes Library) that was in the Music folder in your Home folder on your Mac’s internal drive to clear up some space

That’s it !

enjoy 😉