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How to deal with 5 OS X Mavericks quirks

How to deal with 5 OS X Mavericks quirks
Five major quirks have been discovered in Apple’s new OS X Mavericks, and here are the tips on dealing with them.
It’s hard you get things right the first time around. The same is true for Mavericks, the latest iteration of Mac OS X. The new OS adds a host of new features, all for the very economical price of zilch. Alas, like a lot of new software, it has it’s quirks as well. If the operating system does a commendable job for most people, it acts haggardly for others, with some applications working differently than expected or not at all.At that point you can cross your fingers and wait for an update, or you can take matters into your own hands. Not every issue can be resolved on your own, but a lot of them do have very simple solutions.

Mavericks download getting stuck

In the spirit of pessimism, ‘before you even start’ is a great time for things to go wrong. For some people, trouble starts before they’re even able to install the  Mac OS X update. The  Mavericks download will simply jam. It may take a few minutes (or hours, depending on your watchfulness) to diagnose this non-downloading state, but luckily it’s rather easy to resolve.

As with other  App Store installs, Mac OS X shows the (non-)progressing download in Launchpad, the iPhone-esque app launcher. If you haven’t kept Launchpad in your Dock, you’ll also find it in the Applications folder.

If your Mavericks download is paused, click the icon to get the juices flowing again. If that doesn’t solve the problem, click and hold the icon with your mouse. After a few seconds, the icons start vibrating and the Mavericks download shows a little (X) above it. Click this to close the download and start the updating process anew from the App Store.

Problems with the new mail app

If you favour Mail as your desktop email client, you might have noticed some discrepancies. Sadly, the issues with the Mail app in Mac OS X are numerous. There are two issues that are simple enough to solve, so that’s where we’ll lay our focus.2.1

Gmail archiving issues

All Mail is the label in Gmail that’s reserved for, well, all of your emails. It’s different from your inbox in that archived messages are moved from your inbox, but remain visible under the All Mail label. If you move messages out of your inbox in Mail, but they keep popping back up, you’ll need to enable the All Mail label in Gmail.Open your browser and sign in to your Gmail account. Click on the cog at the top right of the page and select Settings. In the Labels tab, under System labels, find All Mail and press show.

Slippery iCouds passwords

If you use your  iCloud email account, it’s possible Mail has a hard time remembering the password after upgrading to Mavericks. No matter how many times you enter it, Mail seems incapable of holding on to your slippery iClouds passwords. Such a frustrating problem, it’s a good thing that the solution is very straightforward.

Go to Mail > Preferences > Accounts > Advanced and select Apple Token from the authentication drop-down menu. Close the settings window and your iCloud password troubles should be a thing of the past.

Other issues with mail

As stated above, this isn’t the only issue with Mail. In fact, it’s riddled with strange quirks and consistencies. Phantom unread messages, problems with incoming and outgoing messages, deleting messages, and so on. There is no easy fix for most of these issues. However, Apple is working on an update to address the various problems of Mail. Right now, the update (Mail 7.0 build 1822) is available to Apple testers and employees.

‘Assistive Devices’ apps stop working

Some applications on Mac OS X, especially those that directly influence your computer, rely on the Assistive Devices framework to control your computer. In previous versions of Mac OS X, it was sufficient to enable assistive devices as a whole, once. With Mavericks, individual applications need to be cleared. As a result, some applications might have stopped functioning correctly after the transition to Mavericks.

Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility. You will find a list of applications that can be granted permission to control your computer. Check off applications like Moom (allowing it to automatically resize windows) or TextExpander (allowing it to automatically insert snippets of text) to get these working again in Mavericks.

Movie files don’t preview

Some movie files that promptly showed previews in quick look in previous Mac OS X versions, stopped doing so in Mavericks. This is because Mavericks is very specific about what codecs it does or does not like. In general, previews work fine for h.264 and MPEG-4 videos but not so well for other types of video.

For now, if you heavily rely on previews and quick look, your best option is to convert the video to a compatible format. Look at MakeUseOf’s list of best Mac applications to find a good conversion tool. Hopefully someone will write a quick look plug-in before too long, though.

Scrolling breaks

For some people, scrolling simply stopped working in some applications. Google Chrome seems to be particularly afflicted. Unless you’re satisfied with reading ten percent of each story, browsing without scrolling is a big no-go.

In newer versions of Mac OS X, the scroll bars fade away when you’re not actively scrolling. Ironically, the issue disappears when you force these fickle scrollbars to reappear. Go to System Preferences > General and select “Show scroll bars:” Always.

Updated: June 5, 2014 — 3:12 am
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