100 more things every Mac user should know: System

Macworld Staff
3 June, 2013
View more articles fromthe author

The next part of our updated ’100 things every Mac user should know covers numbers 30 to 37 – all related to System.

Two ways to make a clean migration to a new Mac

When you get a new Mac, you may want to transfer some of the apps and data from your old Mac, but leave behind all the useless clutter.

Unfortunately, you have no clean way to transfer only the specific applications and data you want while still guaranteeing that all necessary components and files are preserved.

That’s because many OS X apps are not self-contained. Instead, they store pieces in a variety of folders – and sometimes these pieces are invisible or have hard-to-identify names.

30 Use Migration Assistant 

The easiest and most reliable way to move stuff to your new Mac is to connect the two Macs with a FireWire 
or Ethernet cable and use Migration Assistant. You’ll 
find this utility located in 
/Applications/Utilities; it’s 
built into the Setup Assis
tant that runs automatically the first time that you turn 
on a new Mac.

Regrettably, Migration Assistant lets you select or deselect only broad categories of things to move; you can’t, for example, choose some apps but not others, or only a few subfolders within your Documents folder.

31. Reinstall your critical apps by downloading them again or using fresh copies.

As a compromise, we suggest that when running Migration Assistant, you deselect Applications and Other files and folders on [Volume Name], but leave Settings and all its sub-
categories selected along with all the user accounts and their corresponding subfolders. Finish starting OS X and then log in.

Now you can reinstall all 
your critical apps in two 
ways: You can either download them from the Mac App Store, or use fresh copies that you obtained directly from the developers.

This process may take a while, but it will lead to much less clutter and it will allow you to enjoy the latest, most up-to-date apps.

In case you are not able to install an application from scratch for some reason, you can run the Migration Assistant utility a second time. This round, select only Applications and let the utility copy everything (including all the extra clutter).

Six ways to troubleshoot a web connection

If you can’t get to a webpage, try the following steps.

32 Check your internet connection

The first thing to do is to confirm whether you can access other websites. If you can, your connection is fine.

33 Check the 
Wi-Fi menu

This is to make sure your Mac hasn’t dropped its connection; if it has, try reconnecting.

34 Try another device

If another Mac, iPhone or iPad on the same network can connect to the website that you are having trouble with, then restart your Mac and try again.

If this doesn’t work, try restarting your DSL or cable modem followed by your AirPort base station or other Wi-Fi router, if any. If you do all that and your connection is still down, it’s time to call your internet service provider.

35 Check the site

If your internet connection, your Mac and your browser all appear to be working correctly, then visit ‘Down for Everyone or Just Me?’ at www.isup.me and enter the URL you’re trying to reach.

This site does what its name says and tells you whether a site is truly down. If it is, then the cause is likely to be a server problem – and you can’t do much except wait for it to come back up again.

37. Change the DNS settings to bypass DNS-lookup problems caused by your ISP.

36 Switch to a different browser

If multiple browsers show the same behaviour, but the web
site is up for everyone else, then you might be experiencing a DNS problem.

37 Change your DNS settings

Open the Network pane of System Preferences, click 
the lock icon and enter your username and password. Next, select your current network connection, click Advanced and click DNS.

Click the plus (+) button and add two new DNS servers to the list: and

These DNS servers, operated by OpenDNS, can frequently bypass DNS-lookup problems that might be afflicting your local Internet service provider. Click OK and then Apply and try loading the webpage again.

See a sneak peek of tips 38 to 100  in the June print edition of Macworld Australia.

By Christopher Breen, Dan Frakes, Joe Kissell and Dan Miller, Macworld


Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us