Learn the best quick fixes for your app troubles
21 Use Word docs without Microsoft Office
The iWork suite (which consists of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) is now available for free in the Mac App Store, though you need macOS Sierra. They can open Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, respectively. Each can also export your work to the corresponding Microsoft Office format. Go to File > Export To and then choose the relevant format, such as Word, from the options. Click Next in the sheet which appears, then Export.
22 Remove “Your browser has been locked” alert
If your Mac’s been infected by adware, your browser may show the message “Your Apple computer has been locked,” preventing you from visiting other websites. To fix this, start up macOS in safe mode by holding at startup, then open Finder. Choose Go > Go to Folder, then type ~/Library/LaunchAgents. Delete any unfamiliar files from this folder. Do the same for /Library/Launch Agents and /Library/LaunchDaemons. In Safari, go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions and disable any of them you don’t recognize.
23 Change your default web browser
Safari is the default web browser for macOS. Not all websites work well with it, however, so you may prefer to install another one. Most third-party browsers will, when first opened, ask if you want to set them as your default. Otherwise click > System Preferences > General and choose your new browser from the “Default web browser” pop-up menu. You can change back to using Safari in the same place.
24 Remove or change a payment method
If you want to remove or update the credit card you have on file with the App Store, go to > App Store, then, in the store’s Featured tab, click Account on the right-hand side and sign in with your Apple ID. Click Edit beside Payment Information. Under Payment Type, select a new card type, or click None to remove your card. (If you’re the organizer of a Family Sharing group, you must have valid card details on file.)
25 Run Windows programs
If you need to use a Windows program for which there’s no macOS equivalent, you can run a virtualized version of Windows from the macOS desktop using software such as VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop. These programs are convenient but not free, and will not give you the very best performance, as Windows is contained inside a virtual machine. Instead, you can install Windows alongside macOS using the Boot Camp Assistant tool. See apple.co/2tZowsu for a full guide.
26 Fully get rid of an app
Although you can drag any app from the Applications folder into the Trash, this doesn’t necessarily remove it from System Preferences, your user’s Library folder, or the menu bar. To remove an icon in System Preferences,
≈- click on it, then choose “Remove [name] Preference Pane.” Next, switch to Finder and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type ~/Library/Application Support and click Go. In the window that opens, find the folder that relates to the app you’re getting rid of and move it to the Trash. Restart your Mac, then empty the Trash.
27 Updates need an old Apple ID password
If you installed an app on your Mac using a different Apple ID to the one you use now, the Mac App Store will need that ID’s password to update the app. If you know the password, you can keep updating and using the app as normal. If this gets too annoying and the app is free to download, simply open the Applications folder, delete your existing copy of the app, then make sure you’re signed in to the store with your current Apple ID, and simply redownload the app.
28 Restore a missing Mac App Store app
If you have a new Mac or have been forced to wipe the startup disk to fix an error, some of your apps may be missing. To restore any app you’ve previously downloaded from the App Store, go to the store’s Purchased tab to see a list of them. Click Install next to an app to redownload it. To do this, you must be signed in with the original Apple ID you used to download the app.
29 Restore a missing third-party app
If you can’t find an app you previously downloaded, this may be because it’s no longer available on the App Store, or you installed it a different way, such as from a CD. If you keep Time Machine backups you can restore missing apps from them using Migration Assistant (see
bit.ly/migasst). If you obtained an app from a third-party site or online store, rather than the Mac App Store, many of those sources enable you to redownload apps, or recover the key that removes restrictions from a trial version, as long as you are able to sign in to your account.
30 Change the app used to open a file type
Many file types, such as text files, can be opened by various apps. If you want to change which app is used to open a file, click on the file in Finder and choose Get Info. In the window that opens, click the triangle next to “Open With” and choose your preferred app from the pop-up menu. Click the Change All button to ensure your Mac uses this app for all files of this type.
Remove adware to free up your Mac once more.
Use Finder’s Get Info window to change the app that’s used to open a particular file type.