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how to recover disappearing Notes

There appears to be a bug in Apple’s in OS X 10.8 that sometimes causes notes to disappear. If you need to recover the text of any note that’s gone missing on your mac, try pasting this into It’s all one line, so copy and paste it as a whole, then hit ‘return’:

cd ~/Library/Containers/; strings NotesV1.storedata | grep body | open -f

The resulting TextEdit window can be searched or scrolled through for your missing text.

Due to this problem, a lot of people are giving up using altogether and switching to alternatives like Evernote or nvALT. However, if for some reason you either want or need to keep using Notes, you might try saving that command above as its own little App that you can keep in the Dock (beats having to dig out or remember the Terminal code all the time).

To do so, we’re going to use the Applescript Editor. It lives in the /Applications/Utilities folder, but you can access it simply by clicking on Spotlight and typing Apples.

With the Editor open, paste this into the window (note, this is slightly different from the command above, as we have to tell AppleScript how to use the code):

do shell script "cd ~/Library/Containers/; strings NotesV1.storedata | grep body | open -f"

Press ‘Command-K’ to compile the script. If there are no errors, hit ‘Command-R’ to run it. If everything checks out fine, then hit ‘Command-S’ to bring up the ‘Save’ box. Change the ‘File Format:’ option at the bottom to ‘Application’, give the app a snappy name (‘findNotes’ ??), then choose your Applications folder as the destination before hitting ‘Save’.

Save Dialog in Applescript Editor

The last thing to do is to go to your Applications folder and drag the icon to the Dock. Now, you can simply click the icon to produce the TextEdit window whenever a Note goes missing.

(Final tip: by the way, if you don’t like the Applescript icon in your Dock, you can always change it to an icon of your own! 🙂 )

Related posts:
getting to grips with AppleScript
sync notes between mac and android
FastTasks – download the free OS X utility from Applehelpwriter


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). 🙂

Related Posts
FastTasks – a free utility from Applehelpwriter

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.

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