Recover hard disk space on your Mac by removing unused Xcode Simulator

If you’re Xcode user, especially if you’ve been running Xcode for few years, you might have outdated versions of iOS Simulator sitting on your precious hard disk doing nothing. Open up the Terminal app and enter the following command to remove those unused Simulator.

xcrun simctl delete unavailable

You can easily recover 2 to 8 GB of hard disk space, depending on how many Xcode Simulator you’ve installed in the past.

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro Touch Bar

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Siri on the Touch Bar can get in the way if you have the habit of hitting the edge of the Touch Bar. It can be annoying if Siri is turned on accidentally.

If you do not use Siri on a regular basis, you can remove it from the Touch Bar. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard. Click on “Customise Control Strip”. The Mac is now treating the Touch Bar as an external display where you can move your cursor into. Use the trackpad or mouse to drag the Siri icon on the Touch Bar out into the main screen. 

Late-2016 MacBook Pro starts up when opening the lid or plugging in power

Late-2016 MacBook Pro starts up when opening the lid or plugging in power

Late-2016 MacBook Pro comes with a brand new start-up feature. When the notebook is powered off, it will automatically start up when you open the lids or connect to the power supply.

Specifically, when MacBook Pro is power off, it turns on when:

  • Open the lid of your Mac, even if it’s not connected to power. This is provided the MacBook Pro isn’t completely out of power.
  • Connect it to a power adapter while its lid is open.
  • Connect it to a power adapter while its lid is closed and it’s connected to an external display.

Source: Apple Support Article

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

One of the new feature in macOS Sierra is the Picture-to-Picture mode for Safari. First appeared in iPad, Picture-in-Picture allows you to detach a video so that it is always viewable while using other apps.

It is easy to enable Picture-to-Picture mode for YouTube video. First right-click on the video to bring up a menu. Then right-click again on the menu to bring out a different menu. Select “Enter Picture-in-Picture” from the menu. 

The video will now detach, and stay on top so that you can watch it while using other apps. You can control the video as usual, and also resize and reposition it on the screen.

Hand draw to search special character in Google Docs

Handdraw to search special character in Google Docs

If you’re trying to type a certain scientific symbol on your computer, it is at times tedious to browse through pages of special character pane to locate the symbol that you need. Google Docs has a helpful feature where you can hand draw your character to narrow down the search. 

On Google Docs menu, select Insert > Special Characters to bring up the dialog box. On the right panel there is an empty area for you to hand draw your symbol. Your input will then be used to narrow down the search with the filtered search result display on the left panel.

This tool is handy even if you’re not a regular Google Docs user. Simply use it to locate the symbols that you need, then copy and paste them from Google Docs to Pages, Word or whatever editor you’re using.

Quickly restart Google Chrome

Quickly restart Google Chrome

Google Chrome on the desktop is admittedly a memory hog compares to Safari and Firefox. Beside removing non-essential Chrome add-ons, one way to release Chrome’s memory usage is to restart the browser.

Here’s a handy way to quickly restart the browser with a Chrome URL. Simply key in “chrome://restart” on the address bar and hit Enter key.

To make it one step more convenient, you might want to bookmark (Command-D) the URL “chrome://restart” and save it to your Bookmark Bar for quick access.

How to disable built-in Trackpad on your MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

There are times when you might want to disable the built-in Trackpad on your MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. For example, you’re more used to using a mouse as an input device, you’re using an external trackpad device, or the trackpad is having issues and behave erratically.

To disable the trackpad, go to System Preferences > Accessibility. Select “Mouse & Trackpad” and check the box “Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present”.

How to disable built-in Trackpad on your MacBook MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

You will notice that there is no way to permanently disable the Trackpad. You will need an external mouse or input device in order to make the built-in Trackpad non-functional.

How to reveal hidden files in macOS Finder

There are many hidden files and folders in macOS. Hidden files are used by the operating system and applications for their inner working. These files by default are not shown in Finder to keep things simple and to prevent casual users from messing with them. 

However it is occasionally useful to access hidden files especially for troubleshooting purpose. To reveal hidden files in Finder, open the Terminal app and enter the following commands:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
$ killall Finder

The first command set the Finder default attribute AppleShowAllFiles to boolean YES in order to show files. The second command relaunch the Finder.

If you take a look at your desktop or Finder now, you can see that there are some new files that were previously hidden. A word of caution, hidden files are hidden for a reason. You can do serious damage to macOS if you don’t know what you’re doing making changes to hidden files.

To hide these system files in Finder again, repeat the same commands by changing the Finder default attribute AppleShowAllFiles to boolean NO, like so:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
$ killall Finder

You can hide the macOS Sierra upgrade banner in Mac App Store

You can hide the macOS Sierra upgrade banner in Mac App Store

If you’re still running an old version of macOS, you’re likely be annoyed by the big macOS Sierra banner that appears on the top of the “Updates” tab of the Mac App Store app. This is especially true for those with older Mac which technically is not able to upgrade to macOS Sierra. Fortunately you can easily get rid of the banner. Just right click on the banner and select the menu option “Hide Update”. The big banner will disappear.

Instantly add Finder item to macOS dock with a keyboard shortcut

Instantly add Finder item to macOS dock with a keyboard shortcut

Just about all macOS users are aware that you can add items to the dock by dragging the item from Finder into the dock. There is a quicker way by using a handy keyboard shortcut.

First select the item in Finder, be it an app in the Applications folder, a file or document, or even a folder. Enter Command+Control+Shift+T. The selected item will now be in the dock. Applications will be added to the left/top side of the dock, whereas documents or folder will be at the right/bottom end of the dock.