Category: "Macintosh OS X Tips"

  09:46:00 pm , Categories: Macintosh OS X Tips

Fixing a Mac That Keeps Booting Into Safe Mode

Link: http://osxdaily.com/2018/09/01/fix-mac-keeps-booting-safe-mode/

Fix a Mac that keeps booting into Safe Mode constantly

Safe Mode on the Mac is typically accessed intentionally and on a per-boot basis by holding down the Shift key during system restart or boot, then whenever the troubleshooting action is complete that required Safe Mode, the next reboot should be normal again. But sometimes a Mac can seemingly get stuck in Safe Mode regardless of restarting, and the Mac then constantly boots into Safe Mode, limiting the use of the computer. As you might already know, booting a Mac in Safe Mode is a common troubleshooting trick, but you certainly don’t want to be constantly booting into Safe Mode since the functionality of Mac OS is limited when doing so, thus if your Mac keeps booting into safe mode you will want to resolve that.

This guide will aim to fix a Mac that keeps booting into Safe Mode and return it to normal boot functionality.

Troubleshooting a Mac That Always Boots Into Safe Mode

There are a few reasons why a Mac may always be booting into Safe Mode. Let’s go through each of the most common reasons and address them individually.

1: Check if Shift Keys Are Stuck on the Mac, & Clean the Keyboard

Sometimes a Shift key can get stuck on a Mac for various reasons, and if the Shift key is stuck down (whether it’s visibly obvious or not) then the Mac will constantly boot into Safe Mode whether you intend it to or not. Thus the first thing you should do is check and clean the keyboard, and specifically check the Shift key to make sure that it’s working as expected.

You might want to use compressed air and blast around the shift keys on the keyboard to make sure nothing is lodged underneath it.

Checking for stuck keys is particularly important for the often problematic keyboard featured on the 2016-2018 MacBook Pro lineup and the 2015-2017 MacBook line, where the keyboard keys are notorious for getting stuck or jammed, whether by tiny particles of dust or debris, or seemingly at random. Apple has a rather comical / ridiculous support page here that advises holding the computer into various unusual tilted positions and blasting the keys with compressed air, to attempt to remedy stuck or unresponsive keys. While the keys don’t get stuck for everyone and this very well may not be your problem, it’s a common enough issue (there’s even a class action lawsuit on the matter) that checking to make sure your Shift keys are actually working as expected and not stuck is a critical troubleshooting step when trying to fix a Mac that is always booting in safe mode.

By the way, if you do have 2015-2017 MacBook Pro or a 2015-2017 MacBook, Apple has a keyboard repair program available here to replace and repair problematic keyboards (currently the 2018 MacBook Pro is not on that keyboard service repair list, but given that the keyboard is basically the same and various reports indicate the keys are sticking on the 2018 models too, that may change).

Long story short: check your Shift keys, and make sure the keyboard is clean.

A little tool called ‘Keyboard Cleaner’ can be helpful for cleaning a Mac keyboard, it halts keyboard input while running so that you can clean a MacBook Pro keyboard by wiping it down with a lightly damp cloth, and following that up with compressed air blasts around the keys can be a good idea too.

2: Reset NVRAM on the Mac

The next thing to try is to reset the NVRAM / PRAM on the Mac. This is performed right away when the Mac boots up and it will often resolve issues like when a Mac keeps booting into Safe Mode.

    • Restart the Mac, then immediately hold down Command + Option + P + R keys together
    • Keep holding the Command + Option + P + R keys until you hear the boot chime a second time, or for Macs without a boot chime until you see the Apple logo  flicker a second time, often this is around 20 seconds or so

After the NVRAM / PRAM is reset, the Mac will boot up as normal.

This can remedy a variety of situations where a Mac is booting into Safe Mode constantly, whether by error or intentional, for example if you (or someone else) had enabled Safe Mode from the command line by configuring nvram boot-args, resetting the NVRAM should clear that configuration adjustment out too.
Additional Troubleshooting Steps

Usually the two steps above, cleaning and inspecting the keys combined with resetting NVRAM, will resolve any issues with a Mac being stuck booting into Safe Mode every boot. If for some reason the problem persists, some other troubleshooting steps could be:

   •  Resetting the Mac SMC
   •  Disconnecting an external keyboard and trying a different external keyboard
   •  Making sure the Mac (or keyboard) has not suffered from liquid damage
   •  Making sure the Mac (or keyboard) has not suffered any other physical damage that would impair or prevent proper functionality
   •  Rarely, backing up the Mac and then reinstalling MacOS system software
   •  If a remotely administered machine is stuck in Safe Mode, try clearing NVRAM from the command line as instructed here by ssh

Did the steps outlined above fix your Mac and stop it from always booting in Safe Mode? Do you have another helpful troubleshooting method to resole this issue? Share your experiences in the comments below!

  09:36:00 pm , Categories: Macintosh OS X Tips

How to Access a Secret Login Console in Mac OS

Link: http://osxdaily.com/2018/09/02/access-login-console-terminal-mac/

Some versions of Mac OS support the ability to login any user account directly to the command line right from the traditional login screen, thereby bypassing the familiar Mac user interface. Instead you’re essentially signing a user directly into the Terminal (a bit like using the ssh client to connect to an SSH server), without having to load the desktop, Finder, WindowServer, or any other frills of the GUI. This can be handy for advanced users who need quick access to the complete command line from a particular user account, but want to skip the complete login and loading of the Mac OS graphical environment. Keep in mind not all versions of system software support this feature however, so it’ll take a bit of discovery to determine which do and which do not.

Before diving in, realize this is really only for advanced Mac users thoroughly comfortable with the command line environment. It’s also important to point out the hidden login Console / Terminal is completely different from Single User Mode or the Recovery Mode Terminal, which are supported on all Macs and Mac OS versions. For one, with the Console Login trick you can login directly as any user on the Mac with user level privileges, whereas Single User Mode always uses a root login with many system services and processes disabled, and is aimed for more administrative purposes. Two common uses of Single User Mode are repairing a disk with fsck and changing an admin password, or other troubleshooting tasks. Single User Mode and Recovery Terminal are really best for troubleshooting and is not an appropriate environment for more generic command line interactions, but the direct Console login can be used just like you would the Terminal app.
Does my MacOS version support Login Terminal / Console?

Console Login is not supported by all versions of Mac OS or Mac OS X. The Console login feature appears to be supported in Mac OS X 10.9.x (Mavericks), 10.8.x (Mountain lion), 10.7.x (Lion), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard), Leopard, Tiger, etc but may or may not be supported in MacoS Mojave (10.14) macOS 10.13.x (High Sierra), macOS 10.12.6 (Sierra), OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan), or 10.10 Yosemite. Feel free to report in the comments below if you have success with this or not, and your version of system software.

You can attempt to enable the login console in Mac OS / Mac OS X with the following defaults command, and then reboot the Mac to then follow the directions further below to see if you can access the login screen terminal:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist "DisableConsoleAccess" NO

If you attempt to load the Console from login screen on an unsupported Mac, you will either just see a blank black screen which appears to be inescapable, requiring you to forcibly reboot the Mac, or you will briefly see a flash of white text on the black screen, and then a blank black screen that also requires a reboot to escape. If you know of a way around this, share with us in the comments.

How to Access a Terminal at Login Screen in Mac OS

Note you must have automatic login turned off on the Mac, otherwise you will not have access to the login screen on boot from which to access the console. Remember, not all versions of Mac OS support this feature.

    • Reboot the Mac as usual
    • At the login screen, choose “Other”
    • For username, type the following and then hit return – no password is necessary yet

    >console

   •  Hit the Return key

    • If successful, you will see a login prompt at the command line, as if you just booted up a unix environment without a windowing environment, now enter a user name and password to login directly to the command line as that user

        •• NOTE: If unsuccessful, the screen will turn black and you will have to force reboot the Mac by holding down the Power key to exit

Assuming you successfully logged into the login Console, you will have full access to everything you would in a normal Terminal environment, but without any of the Mac OS graphical interface. You can exit out of this environment by rebooting from the command line with the shutdown or reboot commands.

Note you can access the “Other” field when hiding the login user name list or with the list of users at the logins screen enabled, but it will not work with Automatic Login enabled.

This is a little known trick, and that it’s supported in some versions of Mac OS but not in others further muddies the waters of when and where it will work, and if support has been pulled from modern versions (it appears to be missing from the latest macOS releases). MacWorld referenced the secret login Terminal some time ago and uncovered discussion of the trick from way back in 2002, suggesting that the console login may work in all earlier versions of Mac OS X but not in the most recent versions. To find out definitively what versions support the capability, user exploration in a wide variety of more recent Mac OS releases would be necessary. I was able to successfully access Terminal via the login console on a Mac running Mavericks, but not on a Mac running High Sierra or Sierra, for example. It’s entirely possible this feature is gone for good in modern macOS releases, in which case this will only apply to older Mac OS X system software.

Were you able to access the Login Console on your Mac or with your version of Mac OS? Share your experience in the comments below, and if you know any other tips or tricks relating to the little known login terminal screen, share those too.

 

  09:21:00 pm , Categories: Macintosh OS X Tips

How to Stop Word Capitalizing First Letter of Sentences Automatically

Link: http://osxdaily.com/2018/09/03/disable-word-capitalizing-first-letter-automatically

How to Stop Word Capitalizing First Letter of Sentences Automatically

Microsoft Word defaults to automatically capitalizing the first letter of a word in a sentence when it is typed. This can be convenient, or very annoying, depending on how you type, and thus first letter auto-capitalization is one of those Word features that is either loved or hated. If you fall into the latter camp and want to stop Word from automatically capitalizing the first letter of a word in a sentence, then you’re in the right place.

This article will show you how to disable first letter capitalization in the Word app of the Microsoft Office suite.

How to Disable Automatic Letter Capitalization in Word

This tutorial demonstrates turning off automatic first letter capitalization on Word for Mac, but the steps should be the same for Microsoft Word on a Windows PC or Mac:

    • Open Word if you have not done so already and create a new document or open any Word doc
    •  Pull down the “Tools” menu and choose “Autocorrect”



    • Locate the setting for “Capitalize first letter of sentences” and uncheck the box next to it



This article will show you how to disable first letter capitalization in the Word app of the Microsoft Office suite.

    Close out of Autocorrect settings and use Word as usual, the first letter of a new sentence will no longer automatically capitalize

Now you can type a new sentence or any word after a period and it will no longer automatically capitalize the first letter of a word after a period. Instead you’ll be using the Shift key to capitalize words yourself, as is the case with most other apps and typing experiences.

Some people really enjoy this feature because they feel it makes their typing a bit quicker or less prone to typographical errors, whereas some other people absolutely hate it because it’s not always appropriate to capitalize the first letter of a word at the start of a new sentence or after a period. Auto-capitalization can be particularly annoying if you’re comparing versions of Word documents side-by-side and you’re editing or rewording sentences and the auto-capitalization feature can kick in during that editing process, leaving you with more corrections necessary. Another situation where some people really don’t like the feature is if you frequently switch between multiple word processing apps (Word, Pages, LibreOffice, etc) and want the same general behavior to exist across all apps, particularly in regards to capitalizing words and using the Shift key.

Note this is an Office and Word specific setting, so changing this here will have no impact on other apps or the computer in general.

You’ll find that Office apps and Word have many other autocorrect options and settings available, each of which is separate from the universal Mac OS autocorrect setting that can be disabled systemwide but will not apply to app-specific autocorrect settings like those found in Word or even Pages and TextEdit, and the Mail app, which also have unique app-specific autocorrect options.

Did you find this helpful? Do you know any other particularly great Word tips or tricks? Share them in the comments! And you can find more helpful Microsoft Word tips here too.

  09:04:00 pm , Categories: Macintosh OS X Tips

How to Disable True Tone on MacBook Pro Display

Link: http://osxdaily.com/2018/09/08/how-disable-true-tone-macbook-pro/

The latest MacBook Pro models include True Tone capable displays which automatically adjust the screen colors to resemble external ambient lighting conditions. This feature can make the screen appearance more pleasing to the eye in some lighting situations, but if you require color accuracy for your work, you may find the True Tone feature to be a hindrance to your workflow, and thus you may want to disable True Tone on the MacBook Pro.

Quickly, it’s important to note that True Tone is a different feature from Night Shift, which has similar effects on color hue, but Night Shift warms the display only in the evening and night time hours, whereas True Tone will adjust the display hue and colors all day long in any lighting conditions. Additionally, Night Shift is software only, whereas True Tone works by detecting ambient lighting conditions and then adjusting the onscreen colors of the display to be more consistent with ambient lighting, typically making the screen hue more warm or cold as it shifts depending on.
How to Turn Off True Tone on MacBook Pro

If your MacBook Pro has a True Tone capable display, here is how to turn off that feature so that the screen colors are always consistent no matter the ambient lighting conditions:

    • Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
    • Go to the “Displays” preference panel and choose the “Display” tab
    • Uncheck the box next to “True Tone” to disable True Tone on the Mac
    • Close out of System Preferences as usual



If you disable True Tone the effects are immediate, and if the feature is currently active it will disable and the colors will shift back to their default state.

Of course you can reverse this decision at any time and re-enable True Tone on the display by toggling that setting back on again.

If you’re going to disable True Tone but want to have the screen colors to be softer on the eyes in the evenings and night times only, using Night Shift on the Mac is highly recommended on a schedule. It’s important to remember that Night Shift should be temporarily disabled for any color accurate work requirements as well.

While True Tone is a new feature to only certain model MacBook Pro machines (the 2018 hardware release and onward), it’s likely to expand further into the Mac lineup, and the feature also exists on some devices in the iOS world, including the iPhone and iPad Pro. Similarly, many users who require color accuracy on those devices may want to disable True Tone on iPhone and disable True Tone on iPad as well. Again, True Tone is hardware specific even in iOS, but Night Shift in iOS is available for every iPhone or iPad model and can be set on a schedule too.

Whether or not you like or use True Tone is probably going to depend on your particular work. Many casual users likely won’t even notice True Tone and thus will keep it on, and perhaps many Mac users who mostly work with text environments will find it to be most useful. However for Mac users who require color accuracy for their work, typically for design, photo editing, video editing, and other similar multimedia activity, disabling True Tone is likely going to be a necessity so that they can maintain an accurate color profile of their work.

Do you use True Tone on the Mac? Did you disable True Tone for Mac for color accuracy reasons, or for another reason? Let us know in the comments!

  08:38:00 pm , Categories: Macintosh OS X Tips

Convert ISO to VDI Virtual Box Image

Link: http://osxdaily.com/2018/06/15/convert-iso-to-vdi-virtualbox-image/

 

 

If you’re a regular VirtualBox user, you may appreciate knowing how to convert an ISO image file (.iso) into a VDI Virtual Box image file (.vdi). Converting an iso to vdi is different from simply booting VirtualBox from an iso, instead it is taking an .iso image, for example of a live boot image, and then converting that itself to a .vdi VirtualBox virtual disk image. This is useful for many reasons, whether to customize that image file, or for administration or testing purposes.

 

This guide will show you how to convert an iso image to a VirtualBox VDI disk image by using the command line on the Mac, but it should work the same with VirtualBox command line tools for Windows and Linux too.

 

This walkthrough assumes that you already have VirtualBox installed on the computer, whether it’s to run Windows 10 in a VirtualBox, Linux, or whatever. You will need VirtualBox installed because it includes the VBoxManage command line utility that is necessary for this iso to vdi conversion process to work.

How to Convert an ISO Image into VDI Disk Image

Assuming you already have the VirtualBox app installed, the conversion process from iso to vdi is quite simple. Open a new Terminal window and at the command line enter the following syntax:

VBoxManage convertfromraw DiskImage.iso VirtualDisk.vdi

For example if you have an iso in the Downloads/ directory and you want to convert it into a VirtualBox VDI file:

VBoxManage convertfromraw ~/Downloads/LinuxLiveBoot.iso ~/VMs/LinuxLiveBootVM.vdi

 

The conversion process can take a little while depending on the hardware.

Again this command should work on Mac OS, Linux, and Windows, anywhere with the ‘VBoxManage’ command available to it.

Note that “VBoxManage” is capitalized, and it’s important to use the proper capitalization otherwise the command will show as ‘not found’ because of a syntax error, not because it’s unavailable.

If some of this looks familiar to you it might be because we’ve discussed the VBoxManage command line tool in the past when demonstrating resizing a VirtualBox virtual disk VDI file.

One useful set of tricks with this is to take a live disk, a DVD, or boot drive, create an .iso image from the command line using that volume as the image, and then converting that to the VDI file that you can load into VirtualBox. Of course you can also just take any existing iso and convert it into a VDI file too, which is commonly desired by many systems administrators.

images copyrighted to OS-X Daily


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