Conserve your MacBook’s battery with this keyboard setting

Did you know the MacBook has a setting to power off the keyboard backlight after a period of inactivity? I didn’t. This is the same concept as the Energy Saver feature for your display.

The setting is here: System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard > Turn keyboard backlight off after X secs of inactivity.

This isn’t something I would use all the time but it could come in handy in a pinch. Give it a try the next time you’re in a situation where you need to conserve your MacBook’s battery power.

How to View Folder Sizes on Mac Using Finder

I don’t often need to know the size of a folder but when I did I didn’t know how to find the size until recently.

When you use Finder’s List view to work with files on your Mac, the Size column tells you the size of each file, but when it comes to folders in the list, Finder just shows a couple of dashes instead.

Here’s how to view the size of a folder. Click File in the menu bar and hold the Option key, and Get Info will turn into Show Inspector. Unlike a Get Info panel, the Inspector panel is dynamically updated and will always display information for the active Finder window’s currently selected file or folder – including, of course, its size.

Magic Mouse randomly losing connection

I have been having issues with my Magic Mouse losing its connection. It was happening so often that it was driving me crazy. I had to do something about it.

I started by doing a google search for “Magic Mouse keeps losses connection”. I found a forum where other folks were having the same problem. This suggestion by sbeddoesdesign in an Apple Discussion Forum solved my problem:

I had this problem too, turns out a slight design flaw with the mouse is that smaller batteries come loose and power is lost, so the bluetooth dies. You’ll probably find that it loses connection when you’re moving it around quite a lot, in particular, when you lift it up off of the desk and put it back down again. See, different brands of battery tend to be ever so slightly varied in size, and smaller ones tend to be more ‘loose’ in the mouse and an be shaken loose when moving the mouse around.

The best solution (the one which worked for me) is to grab a set of Apple’s own rechargeable batteries from their store as they are just the right size to fit in the mouse without ever being shaken loose.

If you can’t do this, some people find that wedging a bunch of paper between the two batteries and between the batteries and the mouse door can help keep them in place.

Wedging a bunch of paper between the two batteries and between the batteries and the mouse door worked for me. If you’re experiencing the same problem with your Magic Mouse I hope this solves the problem for you as it did me.

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 privacy-first DNS service is now available as an iOS app

I’ve been using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service on my Mac since reading a post by Kirk McElhearn on the Intego Mac Security Blog about the service. The service was introduced April 1st of this year and is designed to be faster than traditional DNS services and more private which is what got my attention.

There are a number of things to explain here. First, DNS, or domain name system, is the system that acts like a sort of phone book on the Internet. Instead of having to remember a numerical IP address, such as 96.126.119.191, you can type intego.com to go to the Intego website. There is a huge directory that records the correspondence between these numerical addresses and domain names to facilitate Internet usage, and to make it easy to move a domain from one server to another.

Most people rely on the DNS server provided by their ISP or phone company. By default, your Macs and iOS devices look for this DNS server, which is either specified in your router, or in the server your iPhone connects to, in order to perform this address translation. But you don’t need to use this DNS server; you can use any one you want. In many cases, ISP’s DNS servers may not be the fastest ones, and this can have a big effect on your Internet usage. For example, if a web page is made up of multiple elements, that are not all hosted on the same server, your browser has to request these elements at a number of servers, and each different domain name requires a new request.

In addition, some ISPs may record the metadata of your Internet activity, or the requests you make: the websites you visit, the servers you connect to, and more.

Now, months after announcing its privacy-focused DNS service, Cloudflare is introducing an iOS app. Having had a good experience using 1.1.1.1 on my Macs I didn’t hesitate to install the iOS app on my iPhone and iPad. I’ve been running the app now for several days and it has been working great and definitely seems to be faster.

For instructions on setting up 1.1.1.1 on your Mac visit this page using your Mac and scroll down to Setup on Mac. For iOS, you can download the app from the App Store, or to set it up manually visit this page using your iOS device and scroll down to Setup on iOS.

WordPress.com counting my views in stats

I usually write and publish blog posts from my iMac. The other day I happened to be using my MacBook instead. So, after I wrote and published the article I wanted to view it. After viewing it I noticed that WordPress.com was counting my own views in stats. I was surprised that this was happening because it had never happened on my iMac.

The rule for WordPress.com is as long as you’re logged into your WordPress.com account your own views are automatically not counted. So why were my views being counted when I use my MacBook?

Here’s the reason. My iMac is running Sierra. My MacBook is running High Sierra. The privacy settings in Safari 12 are different for each macOS.

iMac running Sierra and Safari version 12

MacBook running High Sierra and Safari version 12

On my MacBook running Hight Sierra when Preferences > Privacy > Prevent cross-site tracking is enabled WordPress.com won’t recognize my site as logged in. It’s being blocked. So to prevent WordPress.com from counting my views I had to temporarily disable Prevent cross-site tracking.

iCloud sync issues on my MacBook

I’ve been having problems with iCloud sync on my MacBook. The odd thing is, it seems to only affect certain apps. For example, Bear always syncs and almost simultaneously. Ulysses almost never syncs unless I first trigger a sync by editing or starting a new sheet.

Today I saved a new file to iCloud from my iPhone so that I could edit it later on my MacBook. When I went to my MacBook to edit the file it wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure how to get the file to sync so on a whim I edited a file that was already on my iCloud Drive. That forced a sync and the file appeared.

This issue has been frustrating me for some time. So, today I disconnected iCloud Drive on my MacBook and then re-enabled it. After everything synced back up I ran a test to see if that might have fixed the problem. As a test, I created a file in iCloud Drive on my iPhone and then went to iCloud Drive on my MacBook to see if the file was there. It was. Fingers crossed my MacBook iCloud sync issue is now fixed.