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frozen menubar, disappearing icons

An out-of-control mds process can show itself with a number of symptoms across the menubar:

— disappearing or frozen Spotlight icon in the right-hand corner
— the menubar clock stopping
— other menubar icons like TM frozen or failing to appear

Try this quick-fix solution with the Activity Monitor:

1. Open Activity (Applications > Utilities > Activity

2. Select ‘All Processes’ from the drop down menu next to the search bar (called ‘Filter:’) and type in ‘mds’.

3. Select the process name ‘mds‘ with user ‘root‘. Click the ‘Quit Process’ button at the top. You will be asked to supply your password.

maximizing screen space in OS X

If you don’t like full-screen apps because they hide the menubar, or you’re using Snow Leopard and you need to increase screen real-estate, here’s a few tricks you can try.

1. Try to maximize the app to take up all the rest of the screen space by clicking the green indicator light in the top left corner (there are three in a row, red, amber, green).

2. You can hide or collapse the toolbar (that’s the top part of the app that the indicator lights and other icons sit in) in some apps by clicking the elongated button on the far-right of the toolbar (if present). Alternatively, if there’s no button, look in the menubar at the top for ‘View > Hide Toolbar‘. While you’re there, look for ‘Hide Status Bar‘, which is the strip at the bottom of an application window.

3. Try either right-clicking or ‘control’ clicking anywhere on the toolbar and experimenting with the options. Some apps will let you hide the toolbars (like Office for Mac), while others give you options such as ‘use text only’ to remove icons which will reduce the size of the toolbar. Experiment to see what works best.

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