Remember the good ol’ days of Vista? Sorry, hardcore Apple fans. Mac OS X is no exception (I’m looking at you Lion). Annoyances enough to make you rip out your hair abound, driving users insane. Despair no more, lost one. I’ve dealt with my fair share of headaches and hope to spare you from another. The following is a list of some of my biggest gripes in OS X, and how to fix them.

  1. Deleting zip files after expanding them

  2. Delete-Zip-files
    The premise is simple. After opening a ZIP file, it remains on your computer refusing to leave, like that smelly homeless guy that always takes the front seat on the bus. What to do with this neglected and unwanted tragedy? Drag it to the Trash of course! “But…that’s too much work!” you say. I agree.

    Luckily, I wrote a tutorial explaining how to make the process completely automated, and them some.

  3. Installing applications

  4. Thanks to the Mac App Store, installing applications requires only a mere click of a button. Traditionally, the workflow is much more tedious. First, you download a zip file from a developer’s website, unzip the file, and proceed to double-click the .dmg file. Then you would drag the application file to your Applications folder. Afterwards, double-click the application and walk through the various instructions to install the application to your computer. Oh, and don’t forget to move the DMG file to your Trash.

    Try explaining that to your poor grandmother as she wonders what a DMG file is.

    dropzoneI’ve found a much more seamless solution using Dropzone, an app that serves as a drag-and-drop portal of sorts (read my review here). Using Dropzone, I can drag a DMG or ZIP file directly into the app on my dock, and the installation process is done for me in a matter of seconds. I don’t even have to remember to remove the DMG file afterwards. Dropzone does that for me.

  5. Assigning apps to open in a specific Space

  6. After upgrading to Lion, the setting for defining the Space in which specific apps open disappeared. Worse yet, Spaces were now horizontally organized as opposed to a grid structure, forcing me to adjust how I had been managing my application windows.

    For awhile, I had no clue how I would ever customize the Space of where my favorite apps would open. Luckily, the folks at 40tech tweeted me with some help.


    As explained above, just open the app and drag it to the Space you would like it to open in by default. Then, right-click the app icon on your dock, go to “Options,” and then assign the appropriate Space.

  7. “XYZ is an application downloaded from the internet. Are you sure you want to open it?”

  8. “Awww shucks. Thanks for being so considerate about my well-being, OS X! With my habit with downloading anything off the Internet, who’s going to prevent me from wreaking havoc and destroying the world?”

    That was me a year ago when I bought my first Mac.

    Over time, this loving relationship began to deteriorate.

    OS X: Ahhhh…I see you’ve downloaded a potentially harmful image from the Internet there, Tony. Hmmm…actually that’s the tenth time you’ve done that in the past hour. Quite a feat I might say.

    Tony: Uhhh sure. So, can you just open it for me? I don’t have all day here.

    OS X: Well, of course! Of course, my friend! I don’t want to interfere one little bit as I know how busy you are throughout your day. However, my creator has engineered me to tell you about the various harms that may be …

    Tony: Just shut the fuck up, and open the damn file already!

    Luckily, OS X Daily has provided a solution:

    There are two approaches you can take. The first is on a per-application basis, with the following command you enter in Terminal:

    xattr -d -r /Path/to/application/

    Just remember to change the path at the end to match the location of your application.

    To disable the warning messages outright, use the following:

    defaults write LSQuarantine -bool NO

    Reboot Finder by force quitting it in order for the changes to take effect.

    To revert back, enter the same command above, changing the NO to a YES.

  9. Open files in default apps

  10. always-open-with

    Click to enlarge

    We all have our favorite apps for everything; Pages for .doc files, Chrome for web browsing, and TextMate for coding. But when you’ve fallen in love with another application, say Sublime Text instead of TextMate, it’s a royal pain in the ass trying to open files in a different application. A simple fix as I describe next will allow you to change the default application when for opening certain files.

    First, right-click the file and navigate to Open With > Other… In the Finder window that opens, find the application you want to open the file in. Finally, select the option at the bottom that says “Always Open With” and then hit Open.

  11. Resume…not!

  12. One of Lion’s most highly-touted features was Resume, in which the state of your application is “saved” internally so that it when you launch the app again later you can get back to where you last left off. Pretty useful eh?

    Not to me, no.

    The most vexing thing about Resume is when I open documents in Pages. The problem occurs when I reopen the application with a new file after having opened it earlier. Pages will load both the new file and the previously saved document. Total elapsed time: eternity.


    To disable Resume in Lion, visit your System Preferences and click on General in the top-left under Personal. In the row under “Number of recent items,” deselect the box next to “Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps”. Now, all apps will stop saving their prior state. Hallelujah!

Clearly, there are countless of other annoyances I’ve failed to mention. Share any of your own in the comments section below!

  • gepa

    Hello Tony, When I did typical install of Dropbox under 10.6.8, Dropbox just added folders on its own. I didn’t even select any folders to add. Can you suggest where I can get info to figure this out? Thanks for your articles.