Search include System Files and Invisible Files

Searching for data that you can’t find in a regular Spotlight search? Add System Files and Invisible files to your search.


How To Create Search

Click on the Desktop so the Finder is active. You’ll see Finder listed by the Apple in the Menu bar.


Command F will create a new search window.


Select Other


Add System Files


Add File Invisiblesearch_kind..

File visibility > Visible or Invisible



Beware of adware included in installers

Downloading an installer? Beware! You might getting more than you wanted. Before you install, check for additional installers. Especially Genieo. It’s Adware and will take over your browsing experience. OS X 10.9.3 added Genieo to list of incompatible software. Another good reason to upgrade to Mavericks.


After a user reported the following comment on Apple Discussions, I wanted to see what CNET was doing to a perfectly good utility installer. [Just to be clear, Etrecheck is just one example of what CNET is adding to installers. You can download Etrecheck directly using this link: It will not contain the adware. I advise downloading directly from the developer.]

Etrecheck is a no go on my system. Three days ago I downloaded it from CNET and ran it. It hijacked Safari and Firefox. Without asking It installed an Amazon shopping plugin, a Ebay plugin, a Searchme plugin, reset my home page and locked me to the new page. It took me a couple of hours to recover.

I downloaded Etrecheck from CNET. When I tried running the installer, Little Snitch brought up this request. There is no reason for Etrecheck be asking for a connection to


I continued the install on a test drive and found the following.

The first window looks OK.

cnet installer

However, the second window showed the following was going to be installed unless I select under custom install to remove the extensions CNET was installing along with the utility Etrecheck.

cnet installer ads


Move your data to a new User or a new Mavericks partition

Testing in a new User will quickly tell you if the problem is system wide or if it’s your User’s folder that contains the problem. more info

If the problem is your current User and you are unable to locate the source in your old User, you can use these steps to move to the new User.

If you continue to see the same problems in a new User, this indicates problems at the base level. See Below for instructions.

Transferring files from one account to another on the same Mac

You can move to the other User via the Shared folder.


Create a folder in shared for Desktop. I like to use folders I create not the root folders in Users. Drag items from Desktop into the “desktop” folder you created. If you drag the root folder it can give you permissions issues when you copy into the new User.


Drag items from Desktop into the “desktop” folder you created. I like to do one folder at a time.

  • Log out of the current account under the Apple in the Menu bar or use Fast User Switching.
  • Log into new User.

Add Shared folder to Toolbar in the new User for easy access. Hold Option key when dragging an icon to the Toolbar in Mavericks to add.


Drag items from Shared folder “desktop” (it actually copies) to the Desktop.

Log back into the original User.

Delete the files from Shared desktop folder you copied over to the new User. If you are low on disc space be careful since the process copies data. Move one item at a time then delete the original before starting the next copy.

Continue doing this for Documents, Music, Movies, Pictures etc.

The User’s Library folder is one you need to be very careful in what you bring over. Most likely the issue is in your User’s Library. Mail and most of the items in Application Support are safe to bring over. Bring over the Safari and Calendar folders only if you are not syncing via iCloud. Keychain can be brought over but best to start fresh. Keychain tends to keep a lot of old entries and starting fresh eliminates all the crud that has accumulated.

Remove old User after you have all data copied to the new User. Go to System Preferences > User’s & Groups. Select the account and click on the – to remove. You might want to leave the original User with the User’s Library in case there is something you really need but did not move over.

Transferring files when data is another drive or partition

This assumes you have either cloned your drive or backed up your data and have installed Mavericks on a new drive and need to move your data over to the new install. While Migration is an easy step it can bring over old files you do not want.

First make sure the User’s Library folder is made visible before switching to the new User.

Instead of using the Shared folder as described above, this time we will setup two Finder windows to transfer the data. Set one window for the new Mavericks User. Set the second window to show the User’s folder on the other drive. Drag your data from the old folders to the new Mavericks folders.

To make a Finder Window, select File > New Window


To view the other drive open Finder > Preferences > Sidebar > Devices



Check to show Your Computer and Your Hard disks.



Create an OS X Mavericks Partition

If you are unhappy with your upgrade to Mavericks, you can eliminate any issues installing over your old software by creating a partition on your drive or external drive to install a clean version of Mavericks for testing. The base install will quickly tell you if you will see a speed difference or if issues you were seeing are a result of old files that are conflicting with Mavericks.

  1. Open Disk Utility in Applications/Utilities.
  2. Select your drive in the left window.
  3. Name the new partition “Mavericks HD”. See below on how to determine size.
  4. Apply will modify the current partition table to add the new partition.

How to determine size of partition

You could make this partition as small as 30GB, but more is better. If you have the room and plan on moving all your data to this partition, first find how much space is currently used.

In this first example, I have a 160 GB drive with approx 49 GB used. I have 110 GB available so I have plenty of room to create a partition that is equal in size and still leave some breathing room on the first partition to run OS X. (You need a minimum of 10% free.)


  • Click on the drive – top name not Macintosh HD
  • Click on Partition tab
  • Click on + to add a second equal partition.
  • Rename Partiton – Mavericks HD (It’s easy to change later if desired)
  • Select Apply

(until you click on Apply, you can make changes.)

Not enough free space on drive?

This next example is for users that don’t have enough free disk space to make a full restore Mavericks drive. You can install Mavericks with a little room to spare for testing some files on a 30 GB partition. Make the partition as large as possible while still leaving some room for the other drive to boot. It’s recommended that you have 10% free for the system to “breathe”.

Follow the same steps as above but this time, drag down the center bar, to resize the bottom partition. This shows a 30 GB partition.

Click on Apply to create the partition.


Install Mavericks

Download Mavericks installer from Mac App Store (MAS). If you have previously downloaded, go to Purchases tab in the MAS and select to download again.


Put your cursor over OS X Mavericks (you will see the cursor turn into a hand. Click and it will take you to the download page.


The installer can be found in the Applications folder called Install Mac OS X Mavericks. Launch the installer and select your new Mavericks partition as destination.

The next post will describe how to move over your data without using Migration.


Use Gmail with Mavericks Mail

Like many users, I have had problems using my Gmail account with Mavericks Mail. Today I decided to test Mavericks Mail with a new Gmail account without using any of the known workarounds we have used in the past to get Gmail to work correctly with our email clients, I selected default settings in Mail and the following settings in Gmail > Settings in my browser. Surprise! It all just worked as expected.


  • No root folder required.
  • No prefix [Gmail]/ for custom folders.
  • I no longer had to assign folders under Mailbox >  “Use this folder for Drafts, Sent, Junk, Trash”.
  • When I deleted a message it actually went to Trash not to All Mail.

Gmail Browser Settings



It’s important that you select the All Mail folder. I know for many users this is an issue, but Mavericks Mail seems to require this setting. You might want to clean up the Label in the lower section. Many will be duplicates and/or empty. I would delete or remove.


Mail creates the All Mail folder under Archive


Tip: When setting up Gmail account in Mail, be sure to put your full email address as User in both the account window and in SMTP settings under the Advanced tab.

If you use Outlook for Mac, see Connect Outlook for Mac 2011 to Gmail’s IMAP service



How to enable User’s Library folder

Starting with Lion, you’ll need to enable the User’s Library folder in order to make any changes in your User’s Library/Preferences.

Option 1)

Select the Finder in the Dock. Under Go in the Menu bar > hold down the Option key and you’ll see the Library.


Option 2)

Open the Terminal and type

chflags nohidden /Users/[username]/Library/

Return key to activate

Option 3)  

Starting with Mavericks, Apple gave us a new option to turn on the User’s Library folder.

To toggle this option on, simply open a new Finder window and go to your home folder. Then press Command-J or choose “Show View Options” from the View menu. When done, you should see an option to “Show Library Folder” among other view options, which can be checked to reveal the Library folder.






Use OS X Recovery Disk Assistant to reset Your files and folder permissions

OS X Recovery Disk Assistant

  • Disk Utility in Applications/Utilities lets you verify and repair Mac OS X disks and permissions issues.
  • The Recovery drive has an additional Repair Permissions application utility hidden away. This allows you to repair permissions on YOUR files and folders.
    • This tool is located inside boot Repair Utilities.

We are going to use this option to repair permissions on your files and folders. After restarting your entire drive will be re-indexed by Spotlight.

  • Outlook users that are having difficulty with search even after re-indexing and creating a new Identity can use this option to fix search for their Identity.
  • Your Outlook identity opens without saving previous data.
  • Spotlight fails to index your files and folders.

Restart and hold down the Command and R keys during start-up to boot into the Recovery Disk Assistant. (This is a new feature for Lion/Mountain Lion/ Mavericks. Not an option for Snow Leopard)

You will boot into the Repair Utilities screen. On top, in the Menu Bar click the Utilities item then select Terminal.




In the Terminal window, type resetpassword and hit Return.





The Password reset utility launches, but you’re not going to reset the password.

  1. Select your startup volume at the top
  2. From the dropdown below it, select the user account with the problem.
  3. At the bottom of the window, you’ll see an area labeled ‘Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs’. Click the Reset button there.The reset process only takes a couple of minutes. It’s not obvious when it’s finished.
  4. Quit Reset Password
  5. Quit Terminal
  6. Quit OS X Utilities and restart your Mac. **

**While booted from the Repair drive, you can run Disk Utility to check or repair your hard drive. I suggest running Repair Drive while booted from the Recovery drive.

After you restart your entire hard drive will re-index. Depending on the size of your drive, this can take hours. Until this process is finished, Spotlight won’t know the contents of your disks and neither will Outlook. All lists like contacts, events, notes etc. are generated by the Spotlight searches.

Note: You can tell if Spotlight is still in progress by simply looking at the Spotlight menu: There’s a blinking dot in the middle of the magnifying glass while indexing is occurring. You can also open Activity Monitor in Applications/Utilities and type in md in the search filter. You should see mdworker32 and mdworker. The file, mdworker32 is for Outlook and mdworker is for system.


How to partition an external drive using Disk Utility

Outlook users that need to rebuild their Identities that do not have enough free space on their internal drives will need to use an external drive with enough free space for the rebuild.  I recommend a minimum of 300 GB free.

If you purchase a new drive, be sure to format it first using Disk Utility as Mac OS X Journaled. The drive must be formatted as GUID Partition Table to be bootable. I would not partition and use the entire new drive for the rebuild. You can always add a partition if needed after you complete the rebuild.

If you have an external drive that already has files on it but does have enough free space, use these steps to add a partition for the rebuild.

Using Disk Utility, select your external drive and add the largest partition available. I suggest a minimum of 300GB free.

  • Open Disk Utility
  • Select the disk where you want to create a new partition and click Partition
  • Select an existing partition in the Volume Scheme list, and click Add (+). Disk Utility splits the partition into two, leaving the data from that partition in one of the new partitions. If the partition is less than half-full, Disk Utility creates two partitions of equal size. Otherwise, it creates one partition large enough for the data, and another partition with the remaining space.
  • Resize the partitions as needed. You can drag the dividers between the partitions in the Volume Scheme list, or you can select a partition in the Volume Scheme list, and then enter a value in the Size field.
  • If this drive has never been used, choose a format. Select a filesystem type (Mac OS Extended Journaled is default). The drive must be formatted as GUID Partition Table to be bootable.
  • Click Apply.
  • See Disk Utility Help for additional info.

When I made my recovery partition, I used my Seagate 2TB that holds my clone backups for old OS X installs. I added a partition by selecting the bottom partition “Virtual” by clicking on the + sign.  If you no longer wish to keep this partition after recovering, you can remove and give the space back to the drive.


Use new User to test for problems

Your Home folder is your main User folder. Your Mac can have multiple User folders so each individual can have their own private personal space. You can also create a new test User for troubleshooting your Mac.

Troubleshooting is a process of elimination. Testing in a new User will quickly tell you if the problem is system wide or if it’s your User’s folder that contains the problem.

A new User will put you in the default setting and preferences with no conflicts from other applications that might be launched automatically in your User’s folder.


Go to System Preferences > Create a New User in Accounts (Users & Groups). Switch to the New User by logging out under the Apple in the Menu bar or use Fast User Switching.

You will not see the icon in the Dock for non Apple applications. Simply go to the Applications folder to open or drag to the Dock.

If you need to test specific data in the new User, place data in the Shared folder first.

Your Hard Drive/Users/Shared






Data in the Shared folder can be accessed by the new User. After you log into the new test User, drag from Shared (it actually copies) your data and place it on the Desktop for easy access.

Remember to drag your data back from Shared for access in your regular User after testing. This is especially important if you are testing your Entourage or Outlook Identity. If not, when you open Entourage or Outlook, it will open in a new blank Identity.

Any POP mail you download into the Identity in the test User will not be available unless you set to “leave on server” in Account > Advanced settings/Server.

Do you still see the issue?

If yes, then the problem is with your base files.
If no, then the problem is in your User’s folder.

If the problem exists in the new User, it could be the application or OS X files. See this link for further testing options.  There are specific instructions for Microsoft Office testing but it includes general troubleshooting tips. If you need personal help you can contact me for private help. See my rates here.

For free help you can ask on the forums:

Apple Discussions

Microsoft Office for Mac Forums


Use Search in Apple Mail

Mail uses tokens. From, To, Date, Contains etc are called tokens. More Info under Smart Search

I find that trying to enter multiple tokens in the “Find” box is difficult to see and manage since the search box fails to expand. For complex searches, follow these steps. This will bring up a search that is easier to use. For Entourage & Outlook users this should look more familiar.

1) Enter the person’s name. Select From, To or Entire Message. (you can enter any criteria to get started)  Alternatively, select New Smart Mailbox under Mailbox in the Menu bar.

2) Click on Save. I find this window to be easier to customize.

Continue clicking on the + to add criteria.

This last part is where Mail is not as elegant as Entourage or Outlook. You don’t see results without saving. This results in a smart folder added to the folder list.

If you decide to keep the smart folder,  you might want to create a template so the name is generic rather than a person’s name.

I used from criteria so it would not come up with any results for the template and the name would be search for my sidebar smart folder name.

Entering the from name field does not bring up results like the top search box so you would need the correct spelling for name.


To create a new search select to Edit Search by Control-Click (Right-click) on the Smart folder or select Mailbox in the Menu bar > Edit Smart Mailbox…