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how to delete a tag

There are multiple ways to remove tags in Mavericks. Which method you use partly depends on whether you want to:

1. delete a tag label from an individual file or files; or

2. delete an entire tag label from your system.

In this post, I’ll give you a couple of ways to do both.

1. Deleting a tag label from an individual file or files
There are several ways to do this. First, you can select the file in a Finder window and choose the ‘Edit Tags’ button in the Finder window Taskbar. From the popover menu that appears, simply click in the tab box and hit the ‘delete’ or backspace key to remove the tag. Hit ‘return’ to finish. Hitting ‘esc’ will close the popover but undo the removal of the tag.

tag delete 1


Alternatively, you can click a file’s ‘Get Info’ window (or do ‘Command-I’)  and remove the tag from the field there.

tag delete 2


2. Deleting a tag label from your entire system

There’s also a couple of different ways you can do this. If you have the tag that you want to delete showing in the Finder sidebar, you can right-click on it and choose ‘Delete Tag “<tag name>” from the contextual menu.

tags 3


You can achieve the same thing by opening Finder preferences, choosing the ‘Tags’ icon in the toolbar, and right-clicking on the tag you want to delete. Again, you’ll be presented with a ‘Delete Tag “<tag name>” option. Click and go!

delete tab 4




draft message crashes Mail

Mail 2_512x512

If you try to create a message with a corrupted or oversized attachment (suspect anything over 10MB), you might find that Mail keeps crashing every time you try to start it. This problem can be particularly annoying since you often can’t even get Mail open long enough to delete the problem message. Worse, even when you delete the problem message or attachment, it can just come straight back as soon as you try to refresh your messages from your web-based IMAP mail server. If this problem’s happening to you, here’s the solution.

First of all, disconnect from the internet and then quit Mail.
If you’re using 10.7 or later, click on Finder, choose ‘Go’ in the menubar and hold down the ‘option’ key. Choose ‘Library’ from the menu. For users of OS X 10.6 or earlier, navigate to

HOME > Library

in Finder.

Once you’ve found the user Library folder (note: this is not the same as the root or system library folder!), navigate to


In there you’ll see some folders called things like


for each email address you have. In each one there is a Drafts folder. Locate the correct one and delete the file.
Do NOT restart Mail, but open your internet connection, go to your web-based email through your browser and delete the draft from there too.
Now you can restart Mail. Choose ‘Rebuild’ from the Mailbox menu in the menubar.

Problem solved! 🙂

featured picture: ‘Mail – flurry style’ by Lukeedee

how to empty caches in Safari 6

Since the old ‘Empty Cache…’ item has gone missing in the main menu in Safari 6.0, you might be thinking this function has been removed. Actually, its still there, but is somewhat hidden.

Go to

Safari > Preferences > Advanced

and check the Show Develop menu in menubar button at the bottom.

In Safari’s menu bar, choose Develop > Empty Caches.

Alternatively, you can just use the keyboard shortcut


Don’t forget you also have quite a lot of flexibility by unchecking or checking different options in

Safari > Reset Safari

For example, you can clear just the cookie cache by unselecting everything except ‘Remove website data’ (this can also be achieved in the Privacy tab in Safari Preferences, too). 🙂

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‘delete’ doesn’t send files to Trash



If you find deleting a file deletes it immediately without sending it to the Trash first, you may need to fix permisssions on your Trash folder. 

Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > and type

ls -alF

Scroll up if necessary to the beginning of the list and you should see a couple of folders whose names begin with a dot.


Ignore .Trashes, but look at the permissions on .Trash, they should read like this (also see the pic above):

drwx- – – – – – <your_username> staff (size) (date) .Trash/

Ignore the numbers, but if the permissions are different or the username is not your account username, then do the following:

At the Terminal command prompt, type the following, replacing ‘your_username’ with (yep, you guessed it…) your username.

sudo chown -R your_username .Trash

For example, if my user name is ‘SnowLpd’ I would type
sudo chown -R SnowLpd .Trash

Then press ‘Return’. You will need to enter your password, which will be invisible when you type it (so type carefully). Now go and test your ‘delete’ function to see if the problem is cured. 🙂 


Related Posts

why does Trash ask for a password? (Permissions Part 1)



how to remove ‘Top Sites’ in Safari

If you are fed up with the ‘Top Sites’ feature in Safari 5, here’s how to remove it.

1. In Safari > Preferences > General, change ‘New windows open with’ and ‘New tabs open with’ to either ‘Homepage’ or ‘Empty page’ (as you prefer).

2. In Safari > Preferences > Bookmarks, uncheck ‘Include Top Sites’.

Now you also need to get rid of the caches, and to stop Safari from continually storing images of your web page history (Tip: Safari will still track your History in the normal way, but here we are going to prevent it from downloading the image files that are used in Top Sites), so:

3. In Safari > Reset Safari…, check ‘Reset Top Sites’ and ‘Remove all webpage preview images’.

Click ‘Reset’.

4. Go to your home folder Library (~/Library) by clicking on the Folder icon in the dock, pressing ‘shift-command-g’, and typing ~/Library in the box.

Navigate to Caches >

5. Click once on the Cache.db file. Hit ‘command-i’ on the keyboard. In the Get Info panel that opens, check the ‘Locked’ box. Close the panel.

6. Click on the Webpage Previews folder in and press ‘command-i’. Check the ‘Locked’ box. Close the panel.

7. Navigate back to Caches > Metadata > Safari> Bookmarks. Go into the Bookmarks folder, hit ‘command-a’ and then ‘command-delete’ to send all the selected files to the Trash.

8. With the Bookmarks folder selected in Finder, press ‘command-i’ and check the ‘Locked’ box. Close the panel.

That’s it. No more ‘Top Sites’, and no more wasted time or space downloading and storing webpage previews! :- )

And what about later versions of Safari? There’s no way to remove Top Sites in Safari 7 that I know of (if you know different, please leave a comment below). However, there’s no reason to suffer in silence! Let Apple’s Safari dev team know how much you dislike it:

Safari feedback

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how to remove Lion Recovery disk

If you have reverted your mac to Snow Leopard from Lion, its important that you also remove the Recovery HD, as it can compromise the security of your Snow Leopard installation (for security issues with Lion, see here). Reverting to SL via Time Machine or restoring from a clone will leave the Recovery partition in place, meaning anyone can boot into it and reset your Snow Leopard passwords merely by restarting your mac while holding down the ‘option’ key.

To remove the Recovery disk follow this procedure:

1. Revert back to Snow Leopard using Time Machine or a clone.

2. Once you’re up and running and have confirmed everything is good, go to Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and paste/type this command to confirm the presence of the Recovery HD:

diskutil list

then press ‘Return’. If you see a partition labelled something like this

Apple_Boot Recovery HD (see image above)

then you will need to continue with the rest of the procedure. If the Recovery HD is not listed here, you do not have the Recovery partition and need not worry further.

3. If you find the Recovery HD in the list, paste the following command into Terminal:

defaults write DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

Press ‘Return’.

Now open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility). In the menubar at the top, choose Debug > ‘Show every partition’

On the left in the main Disk Utility window, you’ll be able to see ‘Recovery HD’ (it’ll be greyed out). You can click ‘Mount’ in the taskbar to make it active, and you can now delete it using control-click/right click – erase or by using the ‘erase’ tab in DU’s window.

If you want to confirm that the Recovery disk is no longer present, go back to Terminal and type the command from step 2.

Related posts:
how to secure your mac (OS X Lion)

how to fix permissions (Permissions Pt 2)

(This post continues from here on file permission problems.)

Did you know there are two levels of permissions on your mac? User level and system level. Most discussions of fixing permissions only discuss the latter, but you may also need to fix the former (also sometimes called ‘ACLs’) for some problems caused by upgrading Lion on top of Snow Leopard.

4. System Level Permissions
You can safely repair your system level permissions at any time, and doing it once in a while is a good maintenance activity even if you’re not experiencing any problems. It’s also the first thing to do as soon as you notice any problems with apps launching, file access problems, or your computer seems to be running unusually slow.

How to do it:
— 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk and double click the app to open it.

— 2. Click your HDD icon in the left column (if you have more than one, click the one that contains your startup disk).

— 3. If it is not already selected, click on the ‘First Aid’ tab. Choose the ‘Repair Disk Permissions’ button near the bottom of the window (see the larger of the two windows in the screenshot above).

— 4. Wait for the process to finish (it could take ten minutes or more), then quit Disk Utility. You can ignore most of the error messages that appear unless they’re in red.

5. User Level Permissions (ACLs)
These permissions apply only to your ‘Home’ folder and its contents, and if you have more than one user you will need to do this procedure for any user experiencing a problem. However, unlike system level permissions, repairing ACLs isn’t something you should do unless there is a specific issue to be solved. Problems that this repair might help with include permission conflicts inherited from an earlier Snow Leopard or Leopard installation, such as Finder always asking for your password when you try to delete, move or copy a file.

To reset the ACLs in Lion: (To reset the ACLs in Leopard/Snow Leopard have a look here.)

— 1. Remove the current ACLs by opening (Applications > Utilities > and copy and pasting this command:

sudo chmod -RN ~

Press return. You’ll be asked for your password. Notice that when you type it in you won’t see anything on the screen. Press return again. If you get an error message, you probably didn’t type in your password correctly. Repeat this step till its accepted. It will take some time to complete. Then paste this command into Terminal also:

sudo chown -R `id -un` ~

and press return. Enter your password again if necessary.

— 2. Press the Power button on the computer and choose ‘Restart’. When the screen goes blank, hold down the ‘command’ and ‘R’ keys on the keyboard until you hear the start up chime. In the menu bar at the top, choose Utilities > Terminal

— 3. At the Terminal prompt type


Then hit ‘Return’

— 4. Forget about resetting your password; what you’re looking for is your hard disk icon at the top. Hit that, and then from the drop-down menu select your user account.

— 5. Go to the bottom of the dialogue window – leaving all password fields blank – and choose ‘Reset’ under ‘Reset Home Folder Permissions and ACLs’ (see the smaller of the two windows in the screenshot above, inside the red dotted line).

— 6. When the process finishes, quit everything and restart your Mac. 🙂

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why does Trash ask for a password? (Permissions Pt 1)

There are several reasons why Trash may ask for your password. Let’s deal with the obvious ones first:

1. FileVault is turned on
Solution: either turn FileVault off, or put up with the behaviour.

2. If you are using an account with ‘Parental Controls’ enabled, the person who set up your account may have denied you permission to delete, modify or move some or all files.
Solution: Speak to mom!

If 1 and 2, aren’t your problem, then you may have some permissions errors.

3. Check Permissions on .Trash
— 1. Open a Terminal window (Applications >Utilities > and check the permissions by typing/pasting in the following:

ls -al

You should end up with a long list, among which will be the permissions for your .Trash folder. Mine looks like this:

drwx—— 2 SnowLpd staff 68 29 Nov 15:33 .Trash

— 2. What’s important here that the name after the series of ‘drwx’ letters is the same as your user name (my user name, as you can see, is ‘SnowLpd’). If it is, then ignore the rest of this post and go to the post Permissions Pt2.

If the name is not the same, then you need to type this command into Terminal:

sudo chown -R your_username .Trash

Where you replace your_username with (surprise…) your user name, which is also the name of your home folder (note there’s a space both before and after your_username). Thus, for example, if in the previous step it said ‘root’ instead of my username, then I’d type in ‘sudo chown -R SnowLpd .Trash’.

—3. Now press ‘Return’. You will be prompted for your admin password. Type it in, but notice that you won’t see anything as you type, so type carefully. Hit ‘Return’ again. You should be returned to the Terminal prompt pretty quickly. Quit and see if your problems are solved.

4. If your .Trash permissions were OK, then you may need to fix either system permissions or ACL permissions. To do that, go to the next post.

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how to uninstall MacKeeper – updated

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Last updated: Dec 30, 2016

If you’re unfamiliar with the reputation of MacKeeper but have come here because you downloaded it – or it downloaded itself after you were inadvertantly redirected to some unwanted website – and are now wondering whether you made a mistake, let me present you with a few facts.

MacKeeper is one of the most infamous pieces of software on the macOS platform. This post itself was first published in September 2011, and has since received over 2 million hits from people wishing to uninstall MacKeeper from their computers.

When I ran MacKeeper’s free trial version on a brand new clean install of macOS, it told me that my system was in ‘serious’ condition and that I needed to buy MacKeeper in order to solve all my problems.

MacKeeper on Mavericks

It seems, then, that MacKeeper thinks macOS, freshly installed, is a poor piece of software engineering, but the feeling is mutual. macOS doesn’t like MacKeeper much either. macOS provides the following warning about MacKeeper:

12/05/2015 17:48:00.946[1]: (com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper) This service is defined to be constantly running and is inherently inefficient.

If you have installed MacKeeper and wish to remove it, read on.

i. If you have used MacKeeper’s encryption feature, be sure to unencrypt before you uninstall MacKeeper. You should also check whether any of your personal files are stored in /Documents/MacKeeper Backups.

Backups & other disks
ii. If you have any disks connected to your mac, including Time Machine, eject them before you start the uninstall procedure.

iii. If you have anything in the Trash, empty it now before you start.

You are now ready to uninstall MacKeeper.

The Easy Way

As I’ve been involved in helping people uninstall MacKeeper for over 5 years, I eventually got round to the task of automating the process so that folks who were not that technically proficient with computers could take advantage of the information on this page.

If that sounds like you, then the easiest way to uninstall MacKeeper is to use my app DetectX. DetectX can be used for free for 30 days, and you will only need to use it once to remove MacKeeper. Of course, we hope that in so doing you might use the remaining 29 days to check out its other features and find it worthwhile beyond that (😀), but that’s entirely up to you.

If you use DetectX to remove MacKeeper and you have no further use of it after that, just drag it to the Trash and its gone.

After several years of testing and refining DetectX’s removal procedure, I now recommend using DetectX even for proficient users as it is simply faster, more reliable and less prone to error than doing it any other way. Let me repeat that using DetectX to remove MacKeeper is entirely free. You do not need to sign up to anything, subscribe to anything or give anyone your email address. Just download the app, run it, remove MacKeeper and be on your way. Therefore, the only people who should really consider the manual option are those that are running versions of macOS that are too old to run DetectX. Currently, there are versions of DetectX available for macOS 10.6.8 (Intel only) thru to 10.12.

The Manual Way

If you need to remove MacKeeper manually then follow these instrutions carefully. They’ve been refined over the years by many people who contributed in the hundreds of comments that follow this post and have been proven to work without exception. However, bear in mind that the onus is on you to follow the instructions to the letter. For that reason, go slow, read carefully and don’t do anything if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you have any doubts, post a question in the comments.

Here we go!

1. If MacKeeper is running, quit it. From the sidebar in any Finder window, choose your hard disk icon and go to your Library folder. Look in the Application Support folder for the folder inside it called ‘MacKeeper’:

/Library/Application Support/MacKeeper

Drag this folder to the Trash.

2. Still in Library, look for and trash any of these you find in the same way:



3. If you are using OS X Lion 10.7 or later, use the ‘Go’ menu in Finder’s menubar and hold down the ‘option’ key. Choose ‘Library’ from the menu (yes, this is a different Library folder from the one you were just in). If you are using Snow Leopard or Leopard, just click on the little ‘Home‘ icon in the Finder sidebar and navigate to the Library. Then trash any and all of these that you find:







Be careful not to delete the wrong files: only those that have got the words ‘zeobit’, ‘MacKeeper’, ‘911’ or ‘911bundle’ should be trashed.

Update May 2015:

Due to recent changes in MacKeeper, the following files should also be searched for and removed:

~/Library/Application Support/MacKeeper Helper






~/Documents/MacKeeper Backups





The last item above will require removal in Terminal or turning on of invisible files in the GUI (various 3rd party apps can do this, including my own DetectX and FastTasks 2).

4. Go to Applications > Utilities > Keychain and double click on it. Notice the padlock in the window is up there on the left, rather than down the bottom. Click on it and enter your admin password. Now go through all the items in the ‘Keychains‘ list (such as Login, System, Root) with ‘All items’ selected in the ‘Category’ list. Anything you find related to ‘MacKeeper’ or ‘zeobit’, click on it, then choose Edit > Delete from the menu.
(Thanks to Al for also mentioning this point in the Comments below! 🙂 ).

5. Open the Activity Monitor utility (Applications>Utilities>Activity In 10.10 Yosemite or later, select the View menu and choose ‘All Processes’. For earlier versions of macOS, select ‘All Processes from the drop down menu just over on the right of the dialogue box. Next, scroll down the list of items shown and see if any processes called ‘MacKeeper’, ‘zeobit’ or ‘911 bundle’ are still running. Older versions of MacKeeper may have a ‘WINE’ process running, so also look for ‘wine’. Anything you find, click on it and hit the ‘Quit Process’ or ‘X’ button (Yosemite) in the top left corner.

6. Go to your Applications folder from a Finder window and select MacKeeper. Then, hold down ‘command’ and press ‘delete’ once. If you assigned MacKeeper to be pinned in the Dock, be sure to also drag the icon off the Dock and release it anywhere over the desktop. It will, satisfyingly, disappear in the ‘poof’ of a cloud. 😀

7. When you’re done filling up your trash can with all this junk, click on the Finder> Empty Trash.

8. Go to

 > System Preferences > Users & Groups (or ‘Accounts’ for Snow Leopard) | Login Items

If you see anything to do with MacKeeper in the list of items there, highlight it, then click the little minus ‘-‘ button near the bottom of the list.

9. Restart your Mac. Everything should be back to normal, but check the Activity Monitor one last time to be sure.

Supplementary: If you have a problem with MacKeeper pop-ups while using your browser, try clearing out the caches, like this:

In Safari menubar, choose ‘Safari > Reset Safari’. Make sure all the options are checked.
This will not only clear out your caches, but everything else stored by the browser. Don’t worry, it won’t affect your bookmarks, but it will reset your ‘top sites’ and history.

In Firefox menubar, choose ‘Tools > Clear Recent History…’ and choose ‘Everything’. Again, it’ll clear everything out but won’t delete your bookmarks.

Obviously, if you use any other browsers like Opera or something you’ll have to find the same options for those too.

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1. If you have any problems carrying out the steps, try starting your Mac up in Safe mode, and then running the procedure.
2. You can safely ignore any MacKeeper files that are in the BOM or Receipts folders.
3. If you have only downloaded the MacKeeper package but not ran the installer, you only need to send the .pkg file in your Downloads folder to the Trash. That’s it!

4. If you are seeing ads on this site, we recommend that you use an adblocker!

This post has been refined and improved over time thanks to suggestions and replies made in the Comments and on Apple Support Communities. Thanks especially to Al, Lyndon and Jack.

taming Versions…sort of

If you’re working with large files in Keynote, Pages, Numbers or other Versions-supported programs, and making multiple changes at regular intervals, Versions could just be eating up your hard disk and causing a big-slow down in your work.

If you want to reclaim all that space and speed things back up, go delete the .documentrevisions-V100 folder in the root directory of your hard disk, the place where Lion stores all your document versions. Be aware that this means you will lose ALL Version history for ALL your Version-supported applications. If you are comfortable with that, read on…

You need to do four things: enable the root user, show hidden files, change the permissions on the folder and finally check the folder’s contents and delete it. Here’s how:

1. Show hidden files
In Terminal (Applications > Utilities) type

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
Press ‘Return’, then type
killall Finder

2. Enable root user
Go to  > System Preferences…Users & Groups
Click ‘Login Options’
Click ‘Network Account Server: Join’
In the resulting dialogue box, ignore the text input and click the button below, ‘Open Directory Utility’
Click the padlock at the bottom of the next box and enter your admin password.
At the top menu bar of Directory Utility, choose the ‘Edit’ menu > Enable Root User
If you are requested to set a password for it, set the same one as your Admin password (this ensures you won’t forget it).
Log out through  > Log out (username), then log back in with user ‘root’ and the password you just enabled.

3. Change Permissions
Now go look in the root directory of your hard disk.
You should see a greyed out folder called ‘DocumentRevisions-V100’. If it has a ‘no entry’ icon on it, click the folder and press ‘Cmd-i’ on the keyboard (or right click the folder and choose ‘Get info’).
Scroll down to the bottom of the box, click the padlock, and enter your root password if necessary. Change all the permissions to ‘read & write’, and click on the ‘gear wheel/cog’ and choose ‘Apply to enclosed items’ if it appears.
Choose ‘OK’ in the warning dialogue box.

4. Deleting Versions history
Now you are ready to go and look inside the Versions directory. I recommend you have a nosey about and check the file sizes both of the folder itself and of the individual contents. Now, here’s a warning: you can’t just delete some of the contents in the folder. If you do, in about 24hrs Lion will see that the folder is corrupt and mark the whole thing as ‘bad’ and make a new Versions (.DocumentRevisions-V100) folder. What this means is that you will lose access to Versions in the UI, but you won’t get your disk space back as it won’t delete the ‘bad’ folder.

The only option is to either lock the thing back up and leave it alone, OR delete the entire .DocumentRevisions-V100 folder with all its contents.

Restart your computer logging in as your usual user.

Lion will make a new, empty DocumentRevisions-V100 folder to replace the one you deleted and start filling it up with versions you make from then on. You’ll have reclaimed your disk space (and removed all your previous versions), but you’ll need to keep doing the same process at regular intervals.

a. No, this does not affect your original saves or any duplicates. Only the versions.

b. Messing about as a root user can have serious consequences if you mess with other stuff. Do as the instructions say and nothing else unless you know what you’re doing. After you’ve deleted the Versions folder and emptied the Trash, go back to Directory Utility > Edit and disable the root user.

c. To stop seeing the hidden files, type the same command as given in 1. above into Terminal, but change ‘YES’ to ‘NO’. Don’t forget to do the ‘killall’ command afterwards.

d. If you have trouble saving documents without re-booting after deleting .DocumentRevisions-V100, try this script from Apple Discussions user Yvan. This will recreate a clean (i.e., empty) Versions folder every time you reboot, saving you the hassle of regularly cleaning out the .DocumentRevision-V100 folder (as well as preventing any ‘Save’ issues.)

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