How to downgrade from iTunes 11

Apple has most definitely decided to change the look and feel of iTunes with the release of version 11. Cover Flow is now gone and even the iTunes icon has changed. Many people simply do not like the way Apple has chosen to change this app, especially if you have come to rely on certain features. Luckily, you can downgrade to an earlier version of iTunes if you follow these directions.

Step 1: If you want to backup various iTunes data such as Ratings, Plays, Playlists, *etc, you will want to create an xml file containing all of this data. Open iTunes, go to File and choose Library, Export Library. Then choose a place to save on your hard drive or external device.

Step 2: Copy or move your iTunes Music folder to a new location on your hard drive or external device.

Step 3: Download AppZapper (in my opinion, the best uninstaller for the Mac) and open it. Go to Preferences and uncheck "Keep Apple applications safe".

Step 4: Drag the iTunes icon over AppZapper. The app will list all files associated with iTunes. Once you press Zap! iTunes will be eradicated from your Mac.

Step 5: If you want to use the very last version of iTunes before iTunes 11. I recommend downloading iTunes 10.7 because it is compatible with all the latest versions of iOS devices including the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini.

Step 6: Download the app Pacifist and launch it. Drag the iTunes 10.7 .dmg file to the open app window. If you see the "Not Authorized" text in the upper right corner, click on this and enter your admin password. Then choose the .dmg file in the list. Then click Install. Pacifist will ask if you want to replace certain files and then you will want to check "Don't ask again for this installation". Click Replace.

Step 7: Move back your iTunes Music folder to its original location within the iTunes folder.

Step 8: Now it is time to bring back your Playlist and other data. Open iTunes and go to File, Library, Import Playlist. Choose the .xml file you created earlier. It might take quite some time to import all of this data.

Now, you should be back up and running with no problems using an earlier version of *iTunes. These directions should work for older versions of iTunes as well on OS X 10.5 and later.

* Note: you might very well lose artwork associated with music and video files when doing this downgrade. Also, iTunes Match might have authorization issues, in which case, you might need to call Apple to have your Mac reauthorized to make iTunes Match work properly again.

* Note: If upon opening iTunes 10.7 you receive the error message "The file "iTunes Library.itl" cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of itunes." Simply go to your iTunes folder and move the file iTunes Library.itl to the trash and relaunch the app.

How to make a list of files in OS X

When you go to Spotlight or the Finder and search for files, or browse through folders, occasionally you might want to compile a list of files in text format without having to type all of the file locations by hand. With a few clicks, you can output directory listings to text with ease.

You can accomplish this basic task with TextEdit. Simply launch TextEdit, go to Format and choose Make Plain Text if necessary. Then go to Finder, browse and/or search for the files you wish to use for your list. Now select a single file or group of files and then drag to an open TextEdit window. You will see the full file path for each item.

How to fix Internet Sharing in OS X

Occasionally in OS X when you try to share your internet connection from your Mac with your iPhone, iPad or some other device via Wi-Fi you might have noticed the data is not working. You can establish a wireless connection, but no data will come through.

This is a glaring problem which Apple has resolved for many versions of OS X all the way into Mountain Lion. You have two options of solving this problem:

The easiest but not the optimal option is to go to System Preferences and select Security, unlock the padlock, then turn off your Firewall when you share your internet connection. This should enable data to pass between your computer and your iPod Touch, iPhone, etc.

The best option is to backup all of your files and reinstall OS X. This can be very inconvenient, but if you wish to use Internet Sharing and your Firewall at the same time, it appears to be the only solution at this time.

How to Backup and Restore Dashboard Widgets

Time Machine is one solution for backing up your Dashboard Widgets, but this option is not always optimal, especially when you have limited hard drive space, or if you would rather use other backup methods. Luckily, you can backup your widgets and reinstall each of them manually without much effort.

How to Backup

Step 1: Choose go to folder in Finder by typing Shift + Command + G and go to "~/Library/Preferences"

Step 2: In the Finder window, search for every file. Choose to sort files by name. Select all of the files the Finder displays, then copy them to a separate folder.

Step 3: Go to folder "~/Library/Widgets" Copy this folder along with all of the files to another backup folder. It is fine if you wish to only save only select widgets and not all of them.

Now all of your widgets and their associated files are backed up. Be sure to backup all of these files again if you decide to update your library otherwise you will have issues restoring them.

How to Restore

Step 1: On a Mac with which you want to restore your widgets, go to folder "~/Library/Preferences"

Step 2: Search for all files, highlight all of them and send them to the trash.

Step 3: Highlight all of your previously backed up files and move them to "~/Library/Preferences"

Step 4: Go to "~/Library/" and move your Widgets folder here.

Now simply restart your Mac and your widgets will show when you view your Dashboard. This has been confirmed to work with Macs running OS X 10.5 and higher.

View Full Screen in Preview App

As you might have noticed, when you are using the image viewing software native to OS X, called "Preview", if you try to search the menus looking for a way to go into full screen with a photo or set of photos, there is no listing for this anywhere to be found. This feature seems almost completely hidden.

Thankfully, all you have to do is select a group of images or one image and then choose to open with Preview. Now type Command + Shift + F to go into a full screen mode with a slideshow. This slideshow has an index sheet so you can look at thumbnails of a set of images making it easy to go directly to an image rather than waiting for it to slide by or having to scroll to the image one picture at a time.

This is identical to the Quick Look slideshow feature in Finder. The upside to using Preview is that you have cropping and other tools readily at your disposal.

Enable Safari highlighting feature

If you are browsing the web and you notice several items which you would like to highlight out of the many without having to select with your mouse or keyboard, there is an easy way to achieve this with a simple key command.

First, go to Preferences in Safari, and choose Advanced.

Next check the box next to Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage.

Now all you have to do is type Option + Tab to easily highlight items.

Customize software update frequency

You have the option of manually checking for updates or having an automatic check which can occur daily, weekly or monthly. This is especially helpful if you would like to not see the update window constantly opening up. You can also choose to have software downloaded upon installation to save on bandwidth.

Just go to Software Update in System Preferences and select the Scheduled Check pane to select your preferences.

Renaming your network in OS X

Instead of having the same self-assigned names like AirPort appear in the menu bar, or whatever the default name might be for a new device you install on your Mac network, you can have a custom name of your choice.

In case you haven't already discovered this, just go to Network in System Preferences.

From here, select a network connection on the left, such as AirPort, for example.

Go down to the little gear at the bottom left and choose Rename Service.

Stop OS X searching external drives

You can stop OS X from using Spotlight to index and search your external drives you have connected directly or wirelessly.

The solution to this is fairly simple. You have to configure Spotlight to exclude certain locations from searches. Luckily you can do this without a Terminal command.

Go to System Preferences, and go to Spotlight.

Select the Privacy pane. As you can see you can choose the plus button to add different folders and drives to a list of assigned locations for exclusion on Spotlight searching.

If you want to plug in an external drive and not have it indexed, you can simply add it to the list immediately after the drive is mounted to prevent deep indexing from occurring.

This is particularly helpful if you have large amounts of data you search through on a regular basis, but you don't want Spotlight showing some results which get in the way of things you access more readily, such as Applications and other files that have a greater priority for you in search results.

Set up a wireless network on your Mac

Ever wanted a wireless network without using a wireless router? You can do this easily with a Mac running OS X 10.2 or later.

Simply plug in your ethernet (LAN) cable to your cable modem obtained from your internet provider and plug it into the back of your iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, or MacBook Pro, or whatever computer happens to have an ethernet port built-in. You can also use Ethernet to USB adapters if need be.

Once plugged in, check to see if your Mac has been assigned an IP address and your internet is up and running. For example, just go to Safari and try to browse the web.

Once you have a connection working, go to System Preferences. Go to Sharing and select Internet Sharing.

As you can see on this settings pane there are a number of ways to share internet to and from different devices. But for the purposes of this article you want to select "Share your connection from" your "Ethernet", "To computers using" your "Airport".

Go to AirPort Options, from here you will be able to assign a network name and default channel. Also 40-bit and 128-bit encryption are both available and highly recommended if you will be using this feature for an extended period of time.

Now once you have this set up, you have created a wireless access point. Now you can search for local wireless connections using your iPhone or any other device. Choose your new network name and enter your password and everything should sync up. Be sure to set your devices to remember to password so you don't have to enter it again unless you choose a new Wi-Fi password.

The only downside to this way of having a Wi-Fi network in your home is that your internet connection will only be available when both your modem and machine are running at the same time. This type of scenario would be best for a desktop you have always running in the background.

The upside is that your desktop computer will have blazing fast internet from a direct wired connection, and your wireless devices will have simple and instant wireless access with decent to excellent bandwidth depending on your hardware.

Can't Delete Files in Trash Called "Locked Items"

You might have noticed when you move certain files to the your trash bin that you can't empty the trash and then also getting a message saying "There are some locked items in the Trash".

There are numerous reasons for this, but one of them might be that you have a file on your local drive that has a lock originating from your Mac or another user. If you have Administrator access and there aren't very many files you are trying to delete, you could simply select the file or files with the lock.

Simply type Command + I for Get Info. In this case, you will see there is a little check box marked Locked, and the easy fix should be to uncheck this box.

Another cause of a file being locked in the trash might be that you are attempting to delete certain files from a Windows machine or Windows formatted hard drive. In this case, it can be quite a pain to find a direct way to get to each file to make them easy for you to delete.

The ultimate solution to most of these problems is to simply hold down the Option key and click Empty Trash from the Finder menu as well as right-clicking and selecting it there.

How to use iCloud Reading List

The Reading List started in Safari 5.1 for Snow Leopard users, and it allows you to quickly save articles to a list, so that you can easily read them later. Also they clear out as soon as they are opened to avoid the hassle of having to go to your bookmarks menu and delete a specific bookmark once you are done.

With the introduction of iCloud you can have your Reading List match across all of your Apple devices running Safari as long as you have an internet connection. For instance, if you are out somewhere with only your iPhone browsing the web, it is nice being able to access something you want to read at a later time on your Mac at home.

The minimum requirements for iCloud and the Reading List to match across your OS X and iOS devices is that you must be running at least OS X Lion 10.7 with an iCloud account, and your iOS devices must be running at least iOS 5. There is no word yet if Apple will make this feature compatible with earlier versions of OS X or iOS.

To make the Reading List match your computer to your phone, simply sign in to your iCloud account from your iPhone running iOS 5 or later and you should have your Reading list from your iCloud enabled Mac show up right away. If you haven't set up iCloud yet, you can do so from System Preferences under Internet & Wireless on your Mac.