7 of the Biggest Mac Annoyances & How to Fix Them

May 30, 2017 - 153 Comments

Fixing some frustrations on the Mac

The Mac is a fantastic platform that is intuitive, user friendly, easy to use, powerful, and comparatively free of problems and nuisances. But that’s not to say that Mac OS doesn’t have some frustrating aspects or features too. This post aims to address some of the bigger annoyances that may be encountered on a Mac, with easy solutions on how to adjust them and fix the perceived hassle.

We’re covering some common complaints with mysterious gestures, nagging alerts, sound effects, eye candy which can be visually challenging, unexpected click behavior, constant password entry, and more.

And yes, most of these tricks apply to all modern versions of Mac OS and Mac OS X, though which pertain to you, your Mac, and what you find annoying or not is going to entirely be subjective to each user.

Where are my scroll bars? Constantly Show the Scroll Bars

Many computer users like to have scroll bars always visible, rather than only when they are scrolling or based on the input method. This is easy to change in Mac OS.

This is easy to change by going to the  Apple menu > System Preferences > General > Show Scroll Bars > “Always”

Show the scroll bars on the Mac

What’s with all these Notification alerts? Disable the Constant Notifications Nagging & Alerts

Do you hate the endless stream of alerts and notification badges popping up in the corner of your Mac screen constantly? You know… new message, software updates available, iCloud photo posted, new text message, new email, your browser needs updating, disk not ejected properly, password required, new Calendar invite… etc etc, Notification Center can be an endless stream of distraction for some Mac users. If you’re annoyed with all that, you can use a workaround to disable the notifications completely by having perpetual Do Not Disturb mode enabled. Sure, you can manually toggle various Notification Center alerts off and on too, but that’s a lot more work, so here’s how to just turn on constant Do Not Disturb and get some peace

Go  Apple menu > System Preferences > Notifications > toggle “Turn on Do Not Disturb” from “12:01 am” to “12:00 am” to never see a pestering alert badge again (unless you turn off Do Not Disturb anyway).

Turn off constant Mac notifications and alerts

Why does a click not work as expected sometimes? Turn Off Force Click on Trackpad

The Force Click trackpad on newer MacBook models is an interesting idea, as it detects pressure on the trackpad and then triggers different actions depending on the pressure level. It’s current implementation has frustrated some Mac users who may find themselves accidentally enabling the feature or triggering an unexpected event without intentionally doing so, when all they want to do is click. Turning off Force Click prevents this confusion.

Go to the  Apple menu > System Preferences > Trackpad > Point & Click > uncheck “Force Click and haptic feedback”

Turn off force click

Why does my Mac quack or pop? Turn Off Popping Sound / Quack When Changing Volume

If you’d like to change your Mac computer volume in silence, you can turn off the auditory feedback on volume changes – a pop on modern Mac releases, a quack on older system software. This is one of those feature that’s either loved or hated, I personally like the volume feedback but I know some other Mac users who hate it. If you want to adjust this yourself, here is where to turn:

Go  Apple menu > System Preferences > Sound and turn off “Play feedback when volume is changed”

Stop the Mac quack or pop volume sound

How can I stop accidentally going back or forward? Disable the Sideways Page Swipe Gesture

Gestures can be fantastic, but not when you enable them accidentally or don’t know they work. I recently watched someone using a Mac and as they were swiping around on the screen they kept accidentally triggering the sideways swipe between pages gesture, which will go forward or backward in a web browser, move back and forth in pages and books, etc. They said it happened all the time and had no idea why…. this happens because a user has two fingers on the trackpad and a slight swipe left or right with two fingers on a trackpad defaults to going “back” or “forward”. This can be turned off if you find this to be cumbersome to your workflow:

Go  Apple menu > System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures > turn off “Swipe between pages”

Turn off swipe between pages gesture on Mac

How can I make things easier to see? Turn Off Visual Translucency Eye Candy Effects

The transparent effects through modern versions of Mac OS can look very fancy, but they can also make things a bit more visually challenging for reading and interacting with, and in some cases can slow down a Mac too. Transparency is easy to turn off on the Mac if you don’t like this sort of eye candy.

Go  Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > check “Reduce transparency”

Turn off transparent interface Mac

How can I stop typing my download password? Stop Entering a Password for Free Downloads

If you download free apps from the Mac App Store often, you may be tired of entering the Apple ID password constantly to complete a free purchase and download the app. This is an easy settings adjustment that lets you save the Mac App Store password for free downloads while still requiring it for purchases.

Go  Apple menu > System Preferences > App Store > Look for “Free Downloads” > Save Password

Stop entering a password for free downloads

Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any of your own to share? Do you have any other feature-related nuisances or annoyances with Mac OS that you’d like to figure out? Let us know in the comments!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Apple Sucketh says:

    I bought a 10+ year old machine on purpose, one operating system back. Unfortunately, they gave me the current one – so none of my awesome paid for software works and forget SaaS – sorry greedy crappy big biz – not paying you every friggin month – will do without.

    Anyhow, anyone know how to turn off the feature that increases the browser size to fit the full window (but not actually full screen)? That annoys the crap out of me.

    Thank you!

    • msanderz says:

      Hover mouse over upper left “Enter Full Screen”, press “Opt” key (ALT on my PC kbd) if it now shows a “+” mouse click the “+” and your screen should return to your previous setting.

  2. Joy Wooliscroft says:

    My dear children decided that at 80+ I should enter the IT world and they bought me this lovely MacBook Pro – bit like swapping my three wheeler trike for a formula 1 beast, but I am grateful for their concern.
    Sadly it seems that I have no aptitude for modern technology and when I see that the sentence I have just typed is printed backwards I am at a loss. I have looked for help online but so far have not found any.
    I am determined not to give up but would welcome any advice from this forum.
    Thank you

    • William Marston says:

      Hi, Joy Wooliscroft!

      There are settings for languages in Macintosh’s system (as I’m sure there is for Windows, Android, etc.).

      I found this at a page of OSXDAILY.com:

      “What you call “backward printing” is probably “mirror printing”. Go to print and click on Copies & Pages, then go to Print Settings. Click on Mirror Printing then go to Bi-Directional Printing. Make sure the check mark is there.
      Dec 18, 2005”

  3. Bonnie Latshaw says:

    Notifications, when clicked on to “open” the article mentioned, SOMETIMES works to open the article/webpage and SOMETIMES DOES NOT open the article or web page. I am on a MBP 2014 vintage with latest MacOS 11.6.3 and Firefox browser. I like the notifications that come through, but the inconsistent open/doesn’t open behavior is a mystery to me.

  4. Thom says:

    Why does the arrow on my screen lock onto one of my icons and follow it anywhere I try to get to on my screen???? This bug blocks me from opening ANYTHING else and I have to force my iMac to turn off or to restart !!!!!

  5. Annabel says:

    THANK YOU so much! I was being driven mad by the button that sends your webpage backwards when two fingers are on the pad and then I found your instructions:
    How can I stop accidentally going back or forward? Disable the Sideways Page Swipe Gesture.
    One small mini-stressor remove from my life, thank you!

  6. Dadda says:

    OSX gets worse with each iteration; increased GUI complexity, more mouse clicks to achieve the same result, emasculated or broken software, increased functionless eye candy and amimations. The last OSX that was any good was 10.6.8

    • Daniel says:

      Totally agree!
      Almost at the time Jobs died and Hurricane Cooks arrived…

    • Peter says:

      I HATE, HATE, HATE, the iOSif*ckation of the macOS. Hate!

      At every chance, I turn off everything about it that I can.

      Meanwhile, there are real problems Apple insists on not fixing.

      Incelcior! Froward Into The Future! More “Features!”

      A design element of a system that works entirely as intended, but gets in the way of workflow or effective use of the system.

  7. Patricia Bacall says:

    The sideways jitter in Mail with Catalina is driving me MAD! The email slides either left or right without my doing anything! Does anyone know how to turn this off or otherwise get it to stop? I’ve turned off horizontal scrolling in mouse controls and checked accessibility for solutions, but none of it applies to Mail specifically.

    • Daniel says:

      Damned !
      How could they have introduced such an undesirable effect?
      I inadvertently deleted some emails because of this! Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to suppress it.
      Also, message informations are now only accessible through the drop-down menu on the top left and this is another regression from previous versions of Mail!
      A lot of friends have the same issues with Mail…

  8. Allen says:

    Thank you!!

  9. Michael Spencer says:

    My fascination with the Macintosh began 36 years ago. and like many, any acquired level of ability came from sites like this one. For instance: anyone remember the totally excellent “MacWeek”? Or when MacWorld ruled our Macintosh world? Or MacUser?

    Anyone recall going to Mac World Expo (I don’t remember the final name) twice a year? My God how proud we were! I just want to point out the richness of our favorite platform, one that we have not allowed the other guys to enjoy. And why would they? The focus over there was the race to the bottom, commodity computers in hand.

    And those awful 90s! Constant compatibility apologies. Copeland! Rhapsody! S**t, Apple, just make up your damn mind! Days to forget, as well as remember. The dream kept alive–thank God for Guy Kawasaki’s MacEvangeList! Before the internet we depended on mailing lists, and then email. A frickin’ mailing list helped save the Mac!

    And speaking of transitions! The arrival of OSX was maddening, even to old timers like myself. Again MacWorld was there to help, offering hints.macworld.com, better known as OSX Hints. And good riddance to extension conflicts!

    Oh, sure, there was competition, and schisms. But the writers hereabouts are indeed True Believers, every one of them having contributed to the legacy- some mightily indeed.

    So, folks, OSXDaily has a fine pedigree, carrying the flame.

    I do hope that you stalwart ‘younger’ users, the ones that keep coming back, and keep buying – will honor the legacy. I sure do.

    And I’m not sure why I needed to riff on the Zen of Mac. Sometimes, needs must.

    • Paul says:

      Michael, thanks for this wonderful comment!

      Likewise my exposure to the Apple ecosystem started long ago, I was lucky enough to grow up with an Apple II and later a Mac, had MacWorld and MacUser subscriptions, and even MacAddict too which had the CD’s of shareware included which were amazing when otherwise we were all stuck on 14.4kbps and 28.8 kbps modems, haha! I’ve been steeped in it all for a long time, I have very fond memories of the SE/30, even some of the Performa and LC lines. I remember how stable System 7.6.1 felt, the new UI overhaul in Mac OS 8 which felt so modern, the rocky initial transition to Mac OS X (I ran 10.0 on an iBook and found it to be so unusable I switched back to Mac OS 9 and then went to Mac OS X again with 10.1) that was then resolved and became a solid and fantastic OS. And here years later with Mojave, Catalina, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS… the ecosystem is changing and growing, but it’s still my favorite computing platform by far. I have a lot of exposure to Windows and Linux too, but nothing has sparked by interest like the Mac, and I know that’s the case for many other people too.

      Anyway, for as long as we can, this site will continue! We try to share our passion for Apple products, while teaching people how to use their devices and hardware, how to troubleshoot things, perform various tasks and procedures, knowing that we have a broad audience of experts and longtime readers like yourself and many newcomers and novice users as well, so there’s a lot to cover and plenty to learn. Hopefully we keep everyones interest and keep everyone learning new things!


      Paul @ osxdaily

    • Holden says:

      Hate to be the bearer of bad news… but the Mac you love..

      …. the Mac that captured your heart and mind and started you down a path of creativity and expression where there was little to no competition at the time …

      ….that Mac…

      well, it died with Mr Jobs.

      There’s no “innovation” any longer… just corporate decisions to add “featurebugs” and cut the bottom line while raising consumer prices. This is evident in the iOS-integration of OSX – if they can get it all to one OS there’s less overhead. And hardware prices have more than doubled in 5 years. Apple is no longer about the user and no longer cares about the user beyond their credit card information.

      Much like the Newton era of Mac… this new Jobs-less era is merely going down the same path… only now Apple has billions so they can simply pretend their mishaps in hardware/software are non-existent. I mean the trash can Mac.. really??? New millennium colored iMacs.. Really?? Was anyone begging to bring back the Bondi Mac?

      Apple has risen to the level of their incompetence. They are just lucky Jobs got them filthy, stinking, ungodly, rich first.

  10. Earle Wright says:

    How can you sync the Messages on the Mac with the Messages on the iPhone. When I’m away from home, I use the iPhone for text messaging. When I am at home, I use the Mac so I have a reasonable keyboard that I can type on. Depending upon. If I text to the same person using both platforms, I have 2 conversations. Any way to merge the two so that the conversations on one platform are identical to those of the other platform?

    • Michael Spencer says:

      That’s a frequent question and one answered hereabouts. In short: be sure you are using the same Apple account on all of your devices.

    • Pat Bryant says:

      On your phone, assuming you’re up to date on software, there’s a setting to turn this on. I’m not looking at it but if you give it a shot I’m sure you’ll find it. It’s something like Settings/messages/messages on these devices. Add your Mac. This only works if your signed in to both devices with the same Apple ID.

  11. Jeff says:

    These tips are so helpful. Thank you!!

  12. Hax says:

    Apple keeps aiming for the bottom. Every iteration of OSX gets clunkier and clunkier, buggier and buggier, bloated adn more bloated. I really don’t think they care about anything but mobile and the horrible UX that has (most companies have done their best with mobile, but a usable UX/UI just isn’t in the cards on mobile devices.)
    Mac OSX, striving to become Windows XP!

    I don’t think I can hang on much longer. Might have to (gasp) go to linux.

    • BrooklynBob says:

      Stop complaining.

      • Daniel says:

        Why stop complaining?
        Ergonomics on the Mac has deteriorated from version to version, with the introduction of useless accessories such as the Touchbar and the removal of features that allowed the installation of addons to make up for Apple’s shortcomings. Cooks makes Apple’s profits with the iPhone and has nothing more to do with OSX development. That’s what reality is all about and that the users who made Apple success at least have the right to complain about being treated like dogs!

        • Henry-In-Florida says:

          Why not another rant!
          AppleCare is now a research project rather than a way to fix the problem. Seems every time I have a complaint, the point of my call is to gather data rather than fix the problem and with scheduling callbacks it takes a week to make the tiniest progress. In the end the result is the same, reinstall to fix the problem and answers as to what was the cause and when a true fix will result!
          There, rant complete.

      • Peter says:


        Just don’t complain. Expect ever crappier corporate software and attitude.

        Ok, Bob.

      • Maz says:

        Why should this person stop complaining… What a ridiculous reply you put. One should complain when it’s justified! Absolutely…

  13. Shalom says:

    The volume of my macbook air reduces by itself when watching movies or playing anything for no apparent reason. I have to keep increasing it and it keeps on reducing back.

    • Pat Bryant says:

      You’re not going to like this. Maybe you remember a time when you spilled just a tiny bit of that beverage on your keyboard and crossed your fingers that it wouldn’t cause trouble. Maybe not. Maybe a crumb from your cheese and crackers is now lodged under your volume key. The fact is that it’s physical damage causing this problem. Something that has happened to the machine while in your possession that is not related to Mac.

      • fastauntie says:

        It may well be physical damage. It is important to be careful with food and drink around the keyboard for just that reason. But that may not in fact be the problem in this case. You have not seen the Mac in question and have zero information aside from this one symptom. You know nothing about the context and haven’t asked any questions. You haven’t offered any reason for your flat statement. If you’d said that you were a Mac support professional, or linked to some authoritative article citing foreign substances in the keyboard as a cause of this specific problem, it would be easier to accept your answer. Support professionals, or helpful knowledgeable nonprofessionals, usually do ask for context and/or tell people when a specific cause has definitely been linked to their specific problem. But the fact that you haven’t done any of these things and immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s the user’s fault doesn’t make you sound either helpful or professional.

  14. Eric Knorpp says:

    Can anyone tell me how the heck I can swipe back and forth through folders in side a folder with my Magic Mouse 2? I have looked and asked everywhere and no answers. I can swipe between website pages but no folders like I use to do on my Laptop and older Magic Mouse. Please let me know it is driving me crazy!!!
    PS. I am talking about folders anywhere on the desktop or hard drives that have other folders in side, I want to swipe back to the previous open folder if that makes more sense..

  15. Tom says:

    That are not Annoyances. That are Features I like.

    • Daniel says:

      Sometimes, in front of the abusively complacent nature of some comments like Tom’s, I say to myself that the Cooks propaganda is working at full speed :)

  16. Nosen says:

    Recently if i am watching a movie or listening to music the volume on my MacBook Air reduces to the lowest and stays there. I have tried restarting it to no avail. What should i do?

  17. David says:

    I have few problems with my MacBook Pro (15-inch 2016), but one very annoying thing that happens all the time is that my MacMail will appear on my screen in front of anything I am doing. It just pops up there… and it is NOT because I have just received an email. It is as if MacMail gets busy thinking or something, and so the computer thinks it is active… and pops it up. (I always keep MacMail turned on in the background.) That is one annoying problem for which I wish there would be a solution.

    • kindofanonymous says:

      That is a good example on how a bug has been transported from Mac Os Version to the next. I didn’t notice it in recent times, but I think it’s still not gone.

  18. Bobbi says:

    I miss the color coding of files in a folder. There are many times that I have numerous ads that I need to place or 25 or more articles and I loved being able to color code them in my folder so I knew at a glance which ones I’d worked on and what I still needed to do.

    • Daniel says:

      I totally agree! Tim has decided to kill TotalFinder, and don’t tell me about the indispensable SIP! The mac has always been ultra secure before SIP being a basic UNIX system!

  19. Marcel says:

    The magic mouse. What a disaster. Always doing things I do not want. Most likely because of a second finger touching the top. Ergonomically bad. Have tried it for almost two years now and gets me to swear all the time. I’ll find out whether I can get a normal mouse.

  20. Judi Culbertson says:

    Thank you, thank you! I recently updated to a new MacBook Air and was really annoyed by these things. I’ve changed just about everything you mention and can’t thank you enough!



  21. Jaqui says:

    My issue is that every time I open a window it enlarges automatically and I can’t figure out how to turn it off. I have to click on the side of the page every time to go back to my original page. It’s really annoying. I haven’t changed any of my settings so I don’t know why this has started. It may have started two upgrades ago??? I just want it to stop. If I wanted to zoom in on something, I would. How do I stop this?

    • Pat Bryant says:

      I’d need more information to answer intelligently, so I’ll guess. I suspect you’ve installed some third party app, perhaps one that handles window management, but maybe not. Otherwise, is your OS up to date? This isn’t a Mac problem but some kind of software issue created by trying to fix another problem.

  22. Lisa says:

    Hello, on the mac mail, at times when I am deleting emails, it will highlight the ‘previous email’ (which I wanted to save) instead of the “next” email (to be reviewed for deletion.) How do i fix this or understand the logic…its very random.

    Thank you!

  23. Leonard clark says:

    I do not ask much but I asked why when my Mac wakes up it will not accept my password

  24. Jade says:

    Thank you so much for your article and replies to various comments here. They will be very helpful.

    I have one to add that may not have been addressed here yet. I seem to almost constantly have to fix the size or location of my browsing window when I move the cursor to click on the scroll bar to move down the page on a website. The next thing I know, I have to replace the browsing window back to its original place or size because it has moved! Is there a way to lock down the size and location of the window like on a Windows IOS?

    Also, is there a way to be able to scroll down a page in Pages without having to use the cursor and scroll bar? like just using the up or down keyes? They are unresponsive for me.

    Thanks again for your help!

    • Enobie says:

      I have this problem, too. Happens in both Firefox and Safari. I will be scrolling a loooong list to the bottom and the window will suddenly expand. Seems to happen for no apparent reason. What is going on?

  25. Lizzie says:

    When I go to save some documents in pages, the cursor automatically clicks in the tags bar and won’t click off of it, meaning I can’t access the save as menu. Does anyone know how to fix this? It is on one document mainly, which is a share document however this doesn’t happen with any other documents.

  26. Lizzie says:

    When I go to save some documents in pages, the cursor automatically clicks in the tags bar and won’t click off of it, meaning I can’t access the save as menu. Does anyone know how to fix this? It is on one document mainly, which is a share document however this doesn’t happen with any other documents.

  27. SMAS says:

    Here are my two biggest issues:

    (1) Why can’t we edit the subject line of emails in Mail like you can in outlook? I actually bought Outlook for Mac just to use that feature.

    (2) I like to use custom icons and after spending all this time changing the look of my dock bar with a kind of theme, they all go back to default icons when I have to update the OS with some new update .

  28. abilis says:

    This is how to set your mac like a windows PC so please

  29. T says:

    Thank you so much! There are some really annoying things that for some reason are built in and turned on as a default.
    Apple might think these are useful or fun to use, but I’d like them turned off as a default. Instead, Apple has turned on these “features” by default so that they annoy and frustrate the user to the point that the user does will do anything to turn it off.
    I’ve never once had one of these unexpected behaviors interrupt my work and make me think, “Yeah, I’m glad it does that.” Without exception, I’ve had to take time out of my work to turn off the annoying behavior.

    • Daniel says:

      Don’t worry, you are not the only one to think the same… The problem is that for Mr. Cooks, the money doesn’t come so much from the Mac as from the iPhone, so we don’t weigh enough in his balance, that’s all, it’s very sad but…

  30. mopsyd says:

    Hands down the most infuriating thing about MacOS is that it re-enables settings in the background that you have previously disabled. I have this problem with both the “swipe between pages” issue (which turns back on every time updates run), and also with the “Magic Quotes” which replace the standard ” character with a curly one. I am a programmer and TextEdit routinely destroys programs by putting incompatible characters in it “because it’s prettier”. I’ve shut this off about a hundred times and it keeps turning back on. I’ve written an info.plist to keep it permanently disabled and it still turns back on. Off means off apple. Take a hint.

  31. PJ O'Malley says:

    You might want to correct “It’s” to simply its.
    It’s means it is, but you want the possessive pronoun its, similar to his, hers, etc. “It’s current implementation has frustrated some Mac users . . .”

    • Ok says:

      Is your biggest annoyance with Mac that autocorrect sometimes changes its to it’s? Then turn off Autocorrect? Good idea PJ!

    • Jeff says:

      Wow, last I checked this is a technical forum, not one intended to concerns with grammar.

      Can it, twerp. And get a life.

      • Peter says:

        What I like reading best is people who go out of their way to annoyingly complain about how annoying it is to read someone’s annoying comment about grammar or punctuation!

  32. Alison Gouws says:

    PLEASE can someone tell me how to stop the cursor jumping all over the place in High Sierra 10.13.2? I have seen hundreds of posts on different sites and NONE of them have been answered by Adobe. It is driving me nuts.

  33. Hop David says:

    I used to love Apple. But each new system is a little worse than the earlier one.

  34. Gauri says:

    My old macbook pro is refusing to start up. i hear a whirring when i turn it on, i get the screen with the apple and it shows starting to load….goes about halfway and goes blank.

  35. Bert Visscher says:

    How can I shorten the fade-out time of the volume overlay, or make it not appear all together? For some reason, it interferes with animations in Firestorm.

  36. Mike says:

    I’m wondering why, although offered, I cannot email a webpage or Pages document from the open document. I click on the upper right “share page button” and select Email and the Page or Website freezes. Now I have to Force close, closing everything I’m in.

  37. Jean-Marie says:

    The top and bottom bar keep disappearing. What can I do to stop that. I know they re-appear when I move the cursor at the top or the bottom for the screen but I would rater have them stay visible

  38. Steven Sunday says:

    I was hoping very much that the latest Mac OS Sierra update, 10.12.6, would finally resolve the ongoing problem of not recognizing my WD My Book USB drive after I have attempted to eject the drive and I have received the message “Drive not properly ejected”, and I have been forced to use Force Eject. There appears to be no fix for this bug. I would very much like to be able to use my My Book drive again for manual backups when I want. I had no problem with this until I upgraded to Mac OS Sierra. Apple SHOULD give this bug priority for the new High Sierra OS coming Fall, 2017!!

  39. george Haling says:

    I have always kept my list of categorized radio stations
    in a format much smaller than the size of my Mac computer screen. I kept it at the bottom, nearly tucked away…yet there when I wanted to change stations.

    Somehow, this afternoon, I pushed something and that same screen suddenly enlarged to exactly the same dimensions as my computer screen….. effectively covering and making invisible whatever I have been working on at the time.

    What to do to reduce the radio station panal down to small again? Nothing I do seems to work.

    Grateful for advice in advance,
    George Haling

  40. wildcatherder says:

    I just upgraded all our Macs to Sierra. Our administrative assistant pointed out that the Right-click option for “Learn Spelling” is no longer there. I found this to be the case on other machines, as well. Upon further inspection, I find that there is now a Show Spelling and Grammar entry. When that window opens you have to “Find Next” until it hits the word you want, THEN the Learn button is enabled. We agreed that this is NOT an improvement.

  41. Posnovis says:

    While Finders implementation of merging folders has improved, it is still garbage compared to the Windows behavior. I can’t count the number of times I’ve lost files as a result.

    I want to merge folders with subfolders without having to move all the subfolders first.

    The current implementation merges top level folders but REPLACES subfolder’s content.

    Dumbest thing about OSX/macOS.

  42. Klaymen says:

    These features are a perfect part of macOS, I would never switch them off.

  43. Justin Matteson says:

    I’ve got over 360 gigs on my MacBook Pro and I am having problems with new operating system sierra .. constantly freezing up and getting the spinning ball. I’ve updated to Sierra. It seems like pretty much since then it’s constantly locking up you know with the spinning ball. I’ve emptied the caches and most of the time I can’t even force quit. I’ve also tried some of the other tricks that they people have said still having issues. Anyone please help?

    • Le Tim says:

      You should open Activity Monitor, go to “View” menu and choose “All Processes” and then sort by CPU to see what is consuming system resources. It is likely you have an errant process running in the background slowing things down.

      Mac OS has turned into a very inefficient operating system in my opinion, very resource heavy for no obvious reason. I always have activity monitor running and am killing processes constantly that go haywire, it feels like Windows 98 or something with constant task management fiddling.

    • Al says:

      If you upgraded in place, rather than doing a clean install of Sierra, it’s likely that there are gremlins from the upgrade process, especially if you jumped more than one version (i.e. 10.8.5 -> 10.12 is going to be much less stable than 10.11 – 10.12).

      I’d suggest running First Aid in Disk Utility to see if that helps.

      If it continues to be too glitchy to use, make a full backup of your system (Time Machine, bootable clone, or similar), and do a clean install of Sierra.

  44. Cynthia R Smith says:

    I am not able to use the email on my Mac. I just use gmail. Why is the email set up so difficult?

  45. Fnordmeister says:

    Re: Why does a click not work as expected sometimes? Turn Off Force Click on Trackpad

    The instructions say: Go to the  Apple menu > System Preferences > Trackpad > Point & Click > uncheck “Force Click and haptic feedback”

    I’m running El Capitan, and there is no “Force Click and haptic feedback” option in the pop-up.

    • Doogan says:

      If you do not have a Force Click trackpad you will not have that option in the settings, it is a hardware enabled feature like 3D Touch on iPhone. It is limited to modern MacBook hardware and the latest touchpad maybe magic thingy.

  46. SCR says:

    The biggest problem I’ve had is the Number-Lock on a MacBook Pro,WTF. My kids managed to enable the NumLock, which meant I couldn’t log back in to my laptop (as password contained a number), even Apple store didn’t know about this and how to fix. Managed to re-boot in a mode which allowed me to eventually turn of the Num-Lock (Function + F6), what a pain. Why is this even an option, such a problem.

  47. Ted says:

    WOW! I never knew there were so many crybaby, whiney Apple users….

    • Fnordmeister says:

      It’s not entirely their fault. When Apple says, “It just works”, it should.

      • Pat says:

        It does! I’ve never had all these problems….
        People don’t bother to read directions most of the time.
        I find it intuitive and easy to use.

        If you don’t like a feature you can usually adjust it or turn it off.
        No OS is going to be “perfect” for everyone right out of the box, we all have different wants and needs, that’s why things are customizable.

        I say, “Don’t whine if you don’t spend the time.” (reading directions). 🤪

  48. tom duffey says:

    I need to enter my email address quite often. Is there a shortcut?

  49. Mark says:

    I appreciated the comment about the swipes on trackpad, but you might also want to include the Mouse preference to turn it off for some mice (mouses?). I don’t use a trackpad, but I frequently accidentally swipe on my mouse.

    Thanks for the great tips!

  50. RM says:

    LOL at all of these comments. It only goes to show that Apple has to get their crap together – they are killing their own OS by bloating it the heck up with arguably beneficial features whilst crippling useful aspects of the OS. For shame, Tim Cook.

  51. dave says:

    i keep getting these annoying pop-ups telling me what to do.try to cancel them and they come right back.i don’t know if they are part of apple or some other add on help

  52. Joe says:

    I use to like Apple but their OS has become slow, buggy, and they have added many stupid features for both the user and developer. I now only use OS X 10.6.8. It’s fast and stable. The only other version would be 10.8.5. This (MacBook Air) may be the last Apple product I use unless they get their crap together.

    • Laura says:

      I agree. I cannot find a way to fix bugs such an unremediable hover click in this latest update. I always put off updating for the reason that the default is so annoying and requires me to reconfigure everything back to the silent, less complicated space in which I can actually work.

      But this hover click (which I was directed to fix under “accessibility) is a nightmare. Emails are being sent before I’m done; I find it impossible to navigate the internet. I’ve tried everything. I’d love to go back to 10.6.8. Is that possible? They system seems to do everything to make it impossible to stay with an OS that actually works.

  53. Atul says:

    Is there a way I could minimise an application by clicking on the icon? Just the way it is done on windows.

  54. amnon zamir says:

    I type a text, then the cursor “jumps” to another place in the text and typing continues from there.

    this happens a lot.
    is there a way to avoid this?

    • Palu says:

      You might be accidentally brushing the trackpad as you type on the Mac keyboard of a Mac laptop, and if you have ‘tap to click’ enabled then it’s easy to accidentally cause the cursor to fly around like that.

      This can also happen if the tracking surface is dirty.

      Finally, if you use an external mouse or external trackpad which has something obstructing the sensor or is touching the surface, causing the cursor to fly around erroneously.

      Those are the most likely causes of such an issue, check into them and report back if you have better success.

    • Frank Cox says:

      I turned touch pad off in system preferences and turned on external mouse. I tend to drag my palms and wrists due to carpal tunnel problem. Going to mouse and turning off pad worked perfectly. Good luck! Love my MAC!!!

  55. Robert Barzelay says:

    I have an odd issue with Mail.app. Some messages flash on & off. Not only that particular message, but also all answers and followup replies to that message flash on & off. It happens in about 1 of 20 messages. Yet, it is still annoying and I have no idea why this happens and how to stop it. Any suggestions?

  56. Emilio says:

    The permanent scroll bars are very useful, but plenty of bugs, for instance: in column view the bottom end of vertical bars where scroll bar shoud be, lacks the horizontal-displacement part, this one with two small vertical bars. It appears only if it has been previously clicked. Is is a bug since begin of the new scroll bar graphic method and never corrected.

    Apple now develops ONLY OSes (gradually abandoning other SWs), but quality is progressively worse. Is not to understand… the bigger and richer Apple is, the worse it does things (but Aple is yet the ‘less worse’ in the ‘computerscape’).

    • Kevin says:

      Seriously?! macOS is the most stable operating system bar none. Ask a pc user about windows 10 then get back to us. Apple do gradual incremental changes to their os’s so people don’t get IT shock when a new os comes out. MS completely changes its windows versions and it pisses its users off big time. Apple do it much better.

      I’m sorry progress doesn’t agree with you. You’re welcome to stay on whatever os you feel happy with.

  57. Justin Greer says:

    Is there anyway to get full track pad gestures on my new Mac mouse? it seems to me this could and should be available.

  58. Colin Reid says:

    Hi. I often send photos via the Mail application. One complaint I get back is the photo is embedded in the mail, it’s not an attachment, increasing the size of the email itself. Is it possible to make it an attachment, like Microsoft, rather than trying to send a huge email? I’ve tried some solutions and can send a Excel file (I use this in preference to Numbers because historically I’ve used Excel) as an attachment, but I can’t seem to manage the photos the same way? Cheers.

  59. Mary B-J says:

    Jay V, I too have a jumping cursor, and am not brushing the track pad. Tech support has not helped. There’s a lot of complaining about this on the web, but no fix that’s worked for me yet.

    • Fnordmeister says:

      That also happens to me sometimes, especially on Finder when it’s slow. If I type abcdef, it sometimes comes out as cdefab.

      It reads in the ab, then moves the cursor to the left of the text field (which is probably programmed), then starts typing cdef in front of the ab.

      • Stogy says:

        I am getting this problem too, but it isn’t a hardware issue. It happens when I select text from the middle of a sentence to type over it. After typing one letter, the cursor jumps to the end of the paragraph, and from there on, I am typing in the wrong place. It only happens when I am using web-based inputs, such as blogs/news comments.

        It is something that suddenly started a month or so ago – after a mac OSX update. It’s very irritating and means that I have to change the way I type/think.

    • michael p says:

      See my response to JV above.

  60. NanG says:

    YES! To Jay VerLinden’s comment/request to be able to color highlight the title of a file rather than have to use the dots and flags, which are useless to my work. At least provide an option so users can choose which option best fits their work needs, PLEASE!!!’

  61. Sandy says:

    Years ago someone outside of Apple figured out how to create a “lefty” cursor, which pointed the arrow toward the right. I’d love to have it back again! Is there one?

    Is there a way to copy just the Safari bookmarks on my iMac to my iPad? I have them organized just the way I want them.

    • Kevin says:

      There are third party cursor apps like Mousecape.

      As for safari bookmarks, why don’t you use iCloud? Select Safari in iCloud settings in system preferences and as long as your iPad is also logged in to the same iCloud account and safari bookmarks selected, your devices will match each other.

  62. Airfixfan says:

    Jay VerLinden: I agree. Coloring titles and icons (more on those later) was far better than it is now. But OK, I can live with the dots and flags —except that I run out of colors in no time!
    I want many more colors and/or the possibility to create my own; and it would be really nifty if I could use a combination of colors to denote a 2- or more categories item.
    Remember the many colors of riders on the old paper folders, and th epossibilty to attach a load of ‘m to one folder? If we still use that paper folder for an icon, why not give users teh old-school choice of more and combined colors?

    As for icons: when I save a web adress to my desktop and folders, they appear and are sorted as “documents”—which —clearly, right?— they are not.
    That’s a reat hassle. They’re more like aliases, I’d say. At least, that’s how I use ‘m.
    Is there no visual way to clearly and intuitively discriminate between real, written documents and web addresses?
    PDFs are documents and they get their own icon, so…? n dI already mentioned the Alias, which has a more-or-less cear variation on the kind item it leads to.

    • Kevin says:

      You can add more than one coloured tag to a file, but agree not being able to edit tag colours is a bit backward.

      As for webpage aliases, they actually are a document of sorts. I use the reading list in Safari. No need for messy @ web docs littering my desktop.

  63. Aifixfan says:

    To Nomi Kluger-Nash on spellcheks:
    Ther seems to be no spell checker on Firefox. I have to go throuhgh “seacrh on Google.” :-(
    The one that came with my Mac OSX 10.7.5, in particular in Safari and Mail, is superb, imho. And it will let me add my own words. :-)

    To Cheri on alphabetical Boolmarks:
    —A little work-around to alphabetize bookmarks (and many other items):
    1. create a temporary folder and copy all bookmarks to it. 2. use the Finder’s options under View to organize the items in this temp folder.
    3.Happy and sorted? OK!
    4. Now, copy all Bookmarks back into their sidebar or “All Bookmarks” folders. They should hold the order you commanded.

    Note: Firefox alphabetizes bookmarks automatically.

  64. Jay VerLinden says:

    My MacBook Pro (Sierra 10.12.5) keeps randomly jumping to different places on documents as I type. It doesn’t seem to matter what application I’m on (mail, excel, word are all affected) but in the middle of a word I’m suddenly typing on a different line than I was on. Is there a solution to this?

    • Mike says:

      Be careful about lazy-typing – if you brush the touchpad, typing will jump to wherever the cursor is.

    • Bill Walker says:

      Apple tested and replaced my trackpad, under warrantee, which requires a whole new top with keyboard. Although this improved it was still jumpy. I then covered my trackpad with poster board which makes it a lot less touchy. It doesn’t look very classy.

    • Michael says:

      This happens to me, too. A lot.
      Drives me nuts.

      • Greg Brown says:

        Is driving me crazy! I am working hard to keep both hands hovering a!bove the computer and I still find out I have skipped to a completely different part of the document. Hence the ! in the middle of the word above! It just did it!

    • michael p says:

      JV: there may be accumulated crud underneath where the trackpad meets the keyboard top, which has the effect of pushing down on the trackpad. If you’re capable, take the back off the computer, remove the trackpad, and clean the flange/edge, and underneath. It will take running something like a thin paper towel or a sheet of paper in between some of the parts.

      If that doesn’t work, my similar problem was solved with a new battery – the old one had swelled to the point where it was pressing the trackpad up and causing the effect you describe. If you have an older battery this may be a solution.

  65. Ellen says:

    every time I turn on the computer, it keeps hogging the resources anywhere from 1x to 6x telling me that I have to download the program. I did that some time ago to no avail. Also asked a question to other Mac users about it and followed someone’s fix. It did not fix it.

  66. Cheri Sandall says:

    I would like to be able to alphabetize bookmarks.

    • Jay VerLinden says:


    • Jay VerLinden says:

      And, while we’re making suggestions, I’d like to see a more robust method of using color to identify different files. There was a time when a user could essentially “fill” the title of a file which made different types of files easy to find. Then someone decided it would be better to use little colored dots on most files and “flags” in mail that are difficult to see and use. That was not an improvement.
      While that was not something that was available for bookmarks, it would also be very useful there, too.

      • stefan says:


      • Debba Robinson says:

        I agree! The little dots are useless. I SO miss having the entire file show up the color I use. My eyesight is bad enough – searching for colored dots is maddening!

      • martina weatherley says:

        I agree. I would also like to be able to continue deleting the colour dots from lists of ten or more files, all in one go, as was possible with previous mac computers/programs. I am having to un-colour half that at a time.

        And….another thing. I’m trying to discover why, when I drag jpegs onto Pages documents and try to rearrange them, do they start bouncing back into different positions?

      • Alexandra Parks says:

        Yes – Please bring back the coloured “fill” for file or folder titles. The coloured dots are simply not noticeable enough, and it was a feature that I found extremely useful.

      • Tim says:

        Since customizing folder icons is gone, try a great utility called Iconstix (https://trollin.loos.li) only $7.99
        It lets you create custom graphics or choose from icon graphic libraries. You can have amazing looking folders to really distinguish the look in Finder.
        Search google images for some examples.
        Also available in MAS.

    • Karen says:

      But you can move them to put them in your liked order.

    • Ian T says:

      There is a free app called SafariSort App which does this for you – including favourites and all your Folders.

    • sara says:

      That would be SO HELPFUL!

  67. Nomi Kluger-Nash says:

    The spell checker is not good at all. How to improve it? Problems: 1) the vocabulary is very limited, 2) it does not accept (as Microsoft does) my own words in their checker.

    Hoping there is an answer to this.

    Another comment; I was sent back to put in my name, and the the comment wasn’t sent due to so-called duplication of comment!

    • Anne says:

      The spelling checker deteriorated seriously in the last iOS upgrade.

      It “forgot” some of my spellings and had to be retrained. Other thinks I cannot train. It used to complete “blockquote” at “blockq”. Now I not only have to type the whole thing in, I have to override the choice it’s offering.

      It now capitalizes certain words. I write a lot of photo captions and if a particular word frequently comes first, it starts thinking that say, “sunset” should ALWAYS be capitalized (had to retype it there).

      Its vocabulary seems lower than before. I could go on and on.

      I notice a complete useless (for me) feature where it suggests emoji.

      Just awful.

      • Kevin says:

        This article isn’t about iOS, its about macOS.

        Just awful.

        • Will Hart says:

          As a long time user of Mac, it seems that now it does not have the same appeal as it once did. Since I upgraded to the crap High Sierra and now my Creative Suite is gone and my HP printer no longer works, as well as my preview. It has been in the ‘genius ‘ shop as well as been helped(?) at their customer service department and nothing still works. I’ve got a $2,000.00+door stop now… Thanks for reading this. Guess I’ll go the PC route.

          • Peter says:

            The Apple Plan is working as desired. Soon demand for laptops will disappear, and Apple can concentrate on their core proficiency: crappy tablets, overpriced music and bloated cell phones!

  68. Nomi Kluger-Nash says:

    The spell checker is not good at all. How to improve it? Problems: 1) the vocabulary is very limited, 2) it does not accept (as Microsoft does) my own words in their checker.

    Hoping there is an answer to this.

    • Kevin says:

      You can. Right click on any word you want added to your preferred spelling and select “Learn Spelling”, and it will be added, much easier than MS, or you can add specific words in the keyboard settings in system preferences.

      • Fnordmeister says:

        Better idea: Rewrite the spell checker so that if a certain word shows up N times, it’s automatically put into the dictionary. (If the programmer wants to remain a control freak, he/she can provide a pop-up to change the value of N.)

      • Art Adelman says:

        Sorry, but when I open TextEdit, I do not find the facility to add words to the spell check.

        What am I missing?

  69. Dieter Schaffner says:

    Re the annoying notifications that appear in the top right corner. Is there a way to change the location to another corner? Particularly the notifications about Security updates, and no option to turn off completely. If I’m not ready to install the update (I usually wait and read up about it, check for user comments etc) I can only delay the notification for 24 hours (Remind me tomorrow). I find this very annoying and pushy by Apple!

    • Kevin says:

      You can switch off notifications by turning on Do Not Disturb in notifications. For software update notifications you can turn that off in System Preferences/Appstore. Nobody is pushing anything onto you. If you took the time to understand your OS you’d know about all these things.

      • Doreen Hodgins says:

        This is not true, I don’t want to update to mohave as it will not allow many programs to run. So now I live with the notification to update. Every day I say Reming Me Tomorrow. I take to Apple and they had no answer. I will try the Do Not Disturb idea

        • Karen says:

          I so agree both the fact that you can’t move the notifications and I also do not wish to update to Mohave. It’s annoying and I’ve put up with it for years.
          In reply to the person who suggests one should know how your OS works. I know a lot of things like how to cast a sculpture or sew but with all the things I know how to do I’m not interested in spending that much time on the computer. I need to use it for work, I need to use it for everyday life it’s a great tool but so is a washing machine but I really don’t have the time to spend working out how it operates.

  70. Jim Parr says:

    I’d like to turn off the swiping gestures in Apple Mail. I often find myself about to delete an email or mark it read or unread when I don’t want to. It’s useful on the iPhone and I expect it there, but there’s no need for it on the Mac.

    • Sue D. says:

      I concur!

    • Wm Magill says:

      The Swiping features are inherent with a touchpad input device.

      Don’t use the touchpad and you won’t have those issues.

      • mishendr says:

        Not true, with my Mac I use a Magic Mouse, and the swiping-issue is there as well. Scrolling is nice, but scrolling through your list of emails and then constantly getting the “remove etc” options is an annoyance. I however conquer with DCJ001, most of the mentioned annoyances can be tweaked.

        • Mick Mueck says:

          Here are the notes I made on this some time ago (I believe it still all works):

          Delete swiping actions in Mail (which are far too easily triggered by the magic mouse)

          This tip came from http://blog.timac.org/?p=1021

          defaults write com.apple.mail EnableBundles -bool true

          Copy the file below into ~/Library/Mail/Bundles


          Find the Mail.app supported key in the Terminal using:
          defaults read /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/Info PluginCompatibilityUUID

          (the above might be different for each OS X version)

          Edit the Info.plist of the Mail plugin to add/edit these lines to contain the above UUID:


          Quit and restart Mail

  71. Ogles of Kansas says:

    Good list, I have some of this turned off on my Mac. My biggest issue with Mac is software quality and how macOS is just buggy and slow now compared to what it used to be. I also hate the touch bar and want abnormal keyboard again.

    I have some annoyances for iPhone

    – no headphone jack

    – alerts notifications for useless stuff

    – background activity drains battery

    – the new lock screen is still swiped constantly

    – keyboard clicks

    – iCloud

    – storage issues

    • DCJ001 says:

      All iPhones have headphone jacks. iPhone 7/7 Plus uses the Lightning port with an adapter.

      Notifications for useless stuff can easily be turned off.

      Background activity that drains the battery can be turned off.

      Lock screen?

      Keyboard clicks can be turned off.

      iCloud is great!

      Storage issues?

  72. David says:

    Also click ‘differntiate without color’ and increase the contrast a little bit, then it is more obvious what is a button and what is just text

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