Does Safari Take Time to Load Webpages? Here’s a Fix !

Have you ever noticed that even though your network connection is quite fast, it takes ages to load webpages in Safari? Now, people will argue that it is the Safari browser which causes all sorts of trouble but this is not quite true. For example, Chrome for Mac uses a lot of RAM than Safari and hence the performance can be slow. Next, people will say that the extensions are the culprit. However, extensions such as Adblock Plus are quite useful when it comes to blocking most of the unnecessary ads on webpages.

Let me show you how to make Safari run as it is meant to be using some simple steps. Firstly, let’s see how to clean the cache and cookies:

  1. Install a cleaning app such as CCleaner (I have used CCleaner for this procedure) and make sure Safari is not running.
  2. Open CCleaner and on the “Cleaner” tab, under “Safari”, check “Internet Cache” and  “Cookies”. These need to be definitely checked but other ones can also be checked if required.
  3. Then click on “Run Cleaner”
ccleaner-window

Figure 1 : CCleaner Window


The next few steps involves tweaking Java settings.

  1. Open “System Preferences” and click on “Java”.
  2. When the “Java Control Panel” opens, “General” tab.
  3. Then, click on “Network Settings…”.
  4. Finally, when the “Network Settings” window is opened, select “Direct connection” instead of “Use browser settings” and click on “OK on both “Network Settings” and on “Java Control Panel” windows.
  5. Quit “System Preferences”.
java-control-panel-and-java-network-settings

Figure 2 : Java Control Panel and Network Settings windows

When you open Safari again, you will surely notice the difference in loading speeds of webpages. Hope this helps.

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No AHT? No problem !

If you have a Mac, which was shipped with OS X Lion, you might have wondered that pressing  the “D” key right after the pressing the power button will not load Apple Hardware Test (AHT), in case if you wish to identify any issues in hardware of your Mac. Click on the link given below:

Using Apple Hardware Test – Apple Support

Here, it is stated : “Some Macintosh computers that shipped with OS X Lion and later support the use of Apple Hardware Test over the Internet”, but notice that the correct key or key combination that is needed to be pressed in order to initialise AHT is not given.

Let me explain how to perform the AHT over the internet.

  1. Power the laptop on. Make sure that there is an active internet connection
  2. Before the grey screen is appeared, press D and ⌥ (alt). Then the screen given below should appear. Don’t be alarmed by the terms “Internet Recovery” as that is the nomenclature given to the internet-based AHT.
internet_recovery

Figure 1 : Internet Recovery

Finally, follow the on-screen instructions. These will be the same as the ones given from Step 3 onwards, which are provided in the link above.

Hope this helps.

 

Let’s Get Your iTunes Library Organised

Have you ever noticed that a few tracks in your iTunes library, which belong to the same album have got organised as if they are from two different (yet identical) albums? (By identical, what I mean is that the details such as “Album Artist”, “Album Title” and even “Album Artwork”). Today, I will show you how to get this solved.

Screenshot of iTunes 12.4

Figure : Screenshot of iTunes 12.4 in full screen running on Mac OS X

First, make sure that your computer is running the latest version of Apple iTunes (The current version is 12.4.1). If the issue persists after updating, please follow the procedure given below:

  1. In iTunes, locate the tracks that belong to the same album but have been organised into two separate (yet identical) albums.
  2. Delete each track from the identical albums. When deleting tracks, click on “Delete Song” and then on “Keep File”. This will make sure that the files remain in the computer without their details (such as “Album Artist” and “Album Title”) getting affected.
  3. Click on “File” and then on “Add to Library”.
  4. When the Finder (in Mac OS X) or File Explorer” (in Windows) opens up, locate the files that need to be added.
  5. Finally, select the files and click on “Open”.

 

After following this, you will notice that the tracks have now got organised into the same album.

Hope this helps.

Mac Mail Strikes Again !

A week after installing the new operating system named OS X El Capitan on my Apple MacBook Pro, I tried to send an email using my Outlook email address via the Mac Mail app. Unfortunately, I got an error message stating “The sender address xxxxxxx@outlook.com was rejected by the server smtp-mail.outlook.com”. I would like to share how I fixed this issue with my fellow readers and victims.

Figure : Mac Mail running in OS X El Capitan

Figure : Mac Mail running in OS X El Capitan [1]

Follow the procedure given below :

  1. Open Mac Mail app.
  2. Click on “Mail” at the top and then click on “Preferences”
  3. Click on “Accounts” and then select the Outlook account.
  4. Under “Account Information” tab, locate “Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)”. Click on the drop-down menu and select “Edit SMTP server list”.
  5. Make sure the information given below tallies with the ones on the pop-up window [2]

Under “Account Information” tab :

  • Server name: smtp-mail.outlook.com

Under “Advanced” tab :

  • Port: 25 (or 587 if 25 is blocked)
  • Authentication: External (TLS client Certificate)
  • User Name: *Your full email address*
  • Password: *Your Outlook password*

Finally, click on “OK” and then close the window. In the next pop-up window, click on “Save”.

Hooray ! I was able to send emails via the Mac Mail app again. Hope this helps.

Continue reading

Apple Mail App, you alright mate?

Four days ago, Apple Mail app in my MacBook Pro, started to group unrelated emails from different email accounts into conversations. These had totally different recipients and subjects. Terrible, right? Well, let me go through the steps I used to solve the issue as lot of people (who are using OS X Yosemite in their Macs) are experiencing this.

Figure : Apple Mail app [1]

Figure : Apple Mail app [1]

First, I tried to rebuild the mailbox by clicking on “Mailbox” menu and then selecting “Rebuild” in Apple Mail app. The problem got solved, but temporarily. Bummer ! My next step was to contact Apple Support and they asked me to perform a manual re-indexing of the mailbox by taking the steps mentioned below :

  1. Close Apple Mail app (if it is already open)
  2. Go to the following path : ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/
  3. Delete every file that begins with “Envelope Index”
  4. Restart the computer and empty the Trash.
  5. Start the Mail app.

The problem was not solved. I tried re-adding the email accounts by deleting the previous ones within the Mail App. That was not the solution either. Repairing disk permissions and performing a disk repair through Disk Utility were my next moves. After realising that was not helpful, I contacted Apple Support again. Their next step was to create a new user account and see whether the problem persists. Too much work, right? Then, they asked me to reinstall OS X and if that does not help, perform a clean install. I reinstalled Yosemite by downloading it from the Mac App Store. Those grouped emails were not separated. There was no way that I was going to do a clean install as I thought that there has to be another way. Then I took the following procedure (If your emails can be accessed using a web browser, there is no need to be afraid of doing this or backing up your emails) :

  1. Close Apple Mail app (if it is already open)
  2. Open System Preferences and double-click on Internet Accounts.
  3. Remove the accounts (including Mail, Contacts, reminders…..everything !) where the emails are getting grouped unnecessarily.
  4. Open the Mail app and add the email accounts, which were removed.

Voilà! No more grouped unrelated emails!! I restarted my laptop just too see whether the problem has been solved, and it was solved indeed. However, if the problem arises again, please follow the four steps mentioned above. Also note that there is a possibility that emails in the same account (Outlook in my case) with different subjects could get grouped as well and the solution would be the same. This could be a bug in the OS X Yosemite and let’s hope that the software team at Apple will fix it soon.

Follow the above procedure if you get duplicates in the sent items as well (particularly if you have an Outlook email address). This method could also be applied if emails do not get received in your Outlook inbox within the Mail app.

References :

[1] Apple Mail app. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: http://cdn1.appleinsider.com/gallery/9517-1279-apps_mail_hero-l.png. [Accessed 02 January 2015].

Slow Mac after OS X Yosemite Update? Fear not !

When I installed OS X Yosemite, my first impressions were : “WOW”, “Amazing”. But two after the installation, my MacBook started to get slow. There was heavy Ram usage. Oh, I almost forgot. Just after the installation, web pages in Safari were loading so slow. Since so many people are having these issues with the new operating system released by Apple, I thought of sharing the methods that I used to get them resolved.

Apple MacBook Pro running OS X Yosemite [1]

Apple MacBook Pro running OS X Yosemite [1]

Solution for slow loading of web pages in Safari

  1. Go to Macintosh HD in Finder and open Library.
  2. Open “Launch Agents” and “Launch Daemons” (one at a time).
  3. See whether there is anything related to “Parallels”. If there are any “Parallels” files, move them to Trash.
  4. Empty the trash.

Voila ! Safari is now fast, eh?

Alright. The next was the most painful thing. Slow computer…OMG !! There was heavy RAM usage in the Activity Monitor. Three processes, namely “coreaudiod”, “identityservicesd” and “callservicesd” were not responding. I contacted Apple Support and they asked me to do a Disk Repair and Permissions Repair but the problem persisted. Then they asked me to do a clean install. Well, this was frustrating since I did not have a backup of my hard drive. I did not give up. Googled the issue and found out so many people are having the issue.

Luckily, I found out that in Audio Midi Setup under Utilities, there was a Digi CoreAudio device which I had no clue from where it got there. This problem can arise if you had Pro Tools installed in your Mac.

Audio MIDI Setup in Mac OS [2]

Solution for heavy RAM usage and non-responding services

  1. Find Digidesign CoreAudio.plugin in the following path : /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL
  2. Delete the plug-in and remove it from the trash.
  3. Reboot the system.

My laptop was fast after taking these steps. Goodbye “Not responding” processes ! This also solved the issue where the dock remains when I shut down my Mac, which terminates the shut down process and I had to force shut down.

N.B. There might be an audio device with a different name, in which case, you need to remove the plug-in associated with it. However, the path for finding it will be the same.

I hope this post helps for the people waiting to get these issues solved.

References

[1] MacBook Pro running OS X Yosemite. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: http://1.design-milk.com/images/2014/06/osx_design_spotlight_your_files1.jpg. [Accessed 11 November 2014].

[2] Audio MIDI Setup in Mac OS. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: https://cdn.tutsplus.com/audio/uploads/legacy/qt_089_multiple/image01.png. [Accessed 05 November 2014].