Siri Tips

Like Siri on your iOS devices, Siri on your Mac is your intelligent personal assistant that helps you multitask and get things done just by asking. For example, while you work on a document, you can ask Siri to send a message to your coworker saying that the document is on the way—without having to stop what you’re doing.

Here are just a few examples of the many things that you can ask Siri to do:

  • “Show the PDFs in my Downloads folder”
  • “How much free space do I have on my Mac?”
  • “Play the top 40 jazz songs”
  • “What’s the weather in Lake Tahoe?”
  • “Show me all of the files I shared with Cecilia last week”
  • “Search the web for images of the Eiffel Tower”
  • “Find tweets from José Bautista”
  • “FaceTime Victoria”
  • “Add Laura to my 10 AM meeting”
  • “How do you spell broccoli?”
  • “Show my photos from yesterday”
  • “What time is it in Monterrey, Mexico?”

Ask Siri a question

Click the Siri icon  in the menu bar or Dock. Siri asks “What can I help you with?” Then say what you need. 
To learn about Siri’s capabilities on the Mac, just ask Siri “What can you do?”

Click the Siri icon  again or clickmicrophone iconin the search result to ask another question. Siri remains open on your desktop in front of any other apps, or you can close the window with a swipe.

To ask Siri a question, you can instead hold down both the Command (⌘) key and Space bar until Siri asks, “What can I help you with?”

 If you’re using a Mac mini or a Mac Pro, connect a microphone for Siri to hear your requests. Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences and click Sound.
Then select your microphone in the Input tab.


Ask Siri to find files on your Mac

Siri makes it easy to find files on your Mac, using various criteria. For example, you can ask Siri to search for all the documents that you opened this week. Then you can ask Siri to refine your results to just the ones with the word “annual” in the title.


Keep Siri results where you can find them

You can keep important information from Siri—like sports schedules, Twitter feeds, files that are related to your big project, and much more—right in Notification Center so you can access it easily. Just click plus sign at the top of your Siri results. They’ll even stay up to date, so you always know where to find game times, trending topics, or important documents.

Search and drag Siri results

You can ask Siri to search for information, and then drag the results into a window or application on your desktop. For example, you can ask Siri to find an image on the web, and then you can drag it into your Pages document. Or you can ask Siri to find a restaurant, then drag the location from Maps into an invitation.

Edit your Siri request

To edit your request instead of making a new request, double-click your words in the Siri window, then enter your changes from the keyboard.

Double-click your words to edit them.

Then press Return to search again.

Change Siri settings

Go to System Preferences and click Siri. Or you can just ask Siri to open Siri Preferences.

In Siri Preferences, you can:

  • Turn Siri on or off
  • Change the language or dialect that Siri expects you to use
  • Change the gender and dialect of the voice that Siri uses when speaking to you
  • Turn off voice feedback so that Siri shows results silently

Get help


Gatekeeper Tips

Fix the “App can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer” Error in Mac OS X

Since OS X Mountain Lion, the Mac defaults to preventing applications from unidentified developers or sources from being launched. You’ll discover the message in OS X 10.8 when you try to launch a Mac app that didn’t come from a verified source or from the Mac App Store, and you’ll get an alert dialog that says “[App name] can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”.

App Can't be Opened from Unidentified Developer warning

This new security feature is called GateKeeper, and it doesn’t mean you can’t run those unverified apps on the Mac, you just have to either temporarily skirt the security blanket of GateKeeper, or turn off the app limitations entirely.

Temporarily Get Around “App Can’t Be Opened” Gatekeeper Alert Message

This is probably the best option for most users, since it maintains some security:

  1. Right-click (or control-click) the application in question and choose “Open”
  2. Click the “Open” button at the next dialog warning to launch the app anyway

You can do this with any third party app that gives you this warning dialog and open it anyway.

Temporarily get around the App Cant Be Opened message in Mac OS X

If you get tired of constantly right-clicking apps to open them, return to pre-Mountain Lion levels of app security by turning off Gatekeepers app verification completely.

Disable GateKeeper’s Unidentified App Developer Prevention Completely

This is generally best for advanced users who know what apps to trust and not to trust:

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple  menu
  2. Choose “Security & Privacy” and then click the “General” tab, followed by clicking the lock icon in the corner to unlock the settings
  3. Look for “Allow applications downloaded from:” and choose “Anywhere”
  4. Accept the security warning and allow
  5. You can now launch any app from any location or developer

Disable Gatekeeper blocking unidentified apps in OS X Mountain Lion


Bypass Gatekeeper in OS X Mavericks with Security Preferences

Gatekeeper is an application level security feature on the Mac that aims to prevent unauthorized and unidentified apps from being launched in OS X, thereby preventing potential security problems like exploits or trojans from running on a Mac. The feature is most often encountered when an app has been downloaded from the web, and upon attempting to launch the app a warning dialog will prompt the user with a message saying something along the lines of “This app can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”. We’ve covered how you can get bypass that error message on a case-by-case basis by using the right-click “Open” trick, but the latest version of OS X brings another option which may be easier for some users to selectively launch apps and bypass Gatekeeper. This is advantageous because users can continue to retain the strict security preference of leaving Gatekeeper enabled and intact, which is generally recommended.

Bypass Gatekeeper App Launch Warnings from System Preferences

This solution is temporary, providing a per-application launch bypass. It does not disable Gatekeeper in OS X.

    • Attempt to launch the application inquestion, encountering the normal “can’t be opened” message, then click “OK”


    • Launch System Preferences by choosing it from the  Apple menu
    • Select the “Security & Privacy” control panel, and go to the “General” tab
    • Under the “Allow apps downloaded from:” look for the following message: “ was blocked from opening because it is not from an identified developer.”


  • If you trust the application and want to launch it bypassing Gatekeeper, click “Open Anwyay”

The full Security preference panel looks like the following, with Open Anyway highlighted within the Gatekeeper section.


If the “Open Anyway” option is not visible then you likely must unlock the security preferences by clicking the little padlock icon in the corner and entering an administrative password.

Choosing “Open Anyway” will launch the application in question directly from Security System Preferences, and you’ll be able to use it as normal. This approach is obviously slightly more time consuming than using the right-click Open trick, but it may be advantageous for certain users in select situations.

Gatekeeper is really aimed at protecting novice and average Mac users, while advanced OS X users who are more comfortable with things may find the warnings to be intrusive or annoying. If you don’t want to receive the warnings at all, you can simply disable Gatekeeper completely through the Security System Preferences by choosing “Anywhere” from the allow apps list.

This feature was first introduced to the Mac with OS X Mountain Lion, but the “Open Anyway” option inside the Security preferences is new with OS X Mavericks.

Credit OS X Daily :


System Preferences controls system-wide settings (“global” settings), and is available from the Apple () menu at the upper-left corner of the screen. System Preferences lets you to adjust things like your screen resolution, keyboard control, mouse control, sound, printer settings, sharing settings, accounts, and more.

Customize your mouse, and trackpad
We all type, point, and click differently. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you optimize your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. Here’s how to do this.

Optimize your mouse
The Mouse preferences pane looks different depending on what kind of mouse you use. These settings let you set the sensitivity of the mouse to control how fast the pointer moves across your screen when you move your mouse, and adjust for your double-click reflexes. Other controls may be available, depending on the type of mouse you’re using.

  1. Open System Preferences and click Mouse.
  2. To control how fast the pointer (cursor) moves across your screen when you move the mouse, move the Tracking slider left to slow it down, or right to speed it up.
  3. If Double-Click Speed appears, move the Double-Click slider left to slow it down, or right to speed it up.
  4. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can set its scroll speed using the Scrolling or Scrolling Speed slider.

Optimize your trackpad

  1. Open System Preferences and click Trackpad. These settings let you set the sensitivity of the trackpad, to control how fast the arrow moves across your screen when you move your finger across the trackpad, and also adjust for your double-click speed.
  2. To change your tracking speed and click settings, click the Point & Click tab. Then move the Tracking slider to adjust how fast the arrow moves across your screen; move it left to slow it down, or right to speed it up. You can also enable secondary-click, by selecting the “Secondary click” checkbox. You can then click using two fingers to secondary-click. The secondary-click can be used to display shortcut (contextual) menus for an application.
  3. To change your scroll and zoom settings, click the Scroll & Zoom tab. You can enable and disable scroll and zoom gestures.
  4. To change other gesture settings, click the More Gestures tab. You can enable and disable gestures for swipe, Mission Control, Exposé, Launchpad, and desktop.

Some ways to use your trackpad

  1. Use one finger to point, tap to click, and drag items on your screen.
  2. Drag two fingers up, down, or sideways to scroll in an active window.
  3. Use two-finger pinching to zoom in or out on PDFs, images, photos, and more.
  4. Use two-finger rotating to rotate photos, pages, and more.
  5. Swipe three fingers to quickly page through a document, move to the previous or next photo, and more.
  6. Swipe four fingers left or right to activate Application Switcher so you can cycle through open applications.
  7. Pinch close with four or five fingers to open Launchpad.

Change your sounds

  1. Open System Preferences and click Sound.
  2. To change the alert sound, played when your Mac wants to get your attention, click the Sound Effects tab, and select a sound in the alert sound list.
  3. If you want to hear sound effects play when you do other things in the Finder, such as when you drag stuff to, or empty, the Trash, or remove items from the Dock, select the “Play user interface sound effects” checkbox.
  4. To change the overall volume of sound effects, move the “Alert volume” slider left to turn the volume down, or right to turn it up.
  5. To adjust the overall volume of your Mac, move the “Output volume” slider left to turn the volume down, or right to turn it up. If you’d rather have your Mac quiet, select the Mute checkbox.
  6. To adjust the sound balance for your internal or external speakers, click the Output tab, select your speaker device from the list, and move the Balance slider left to hear more from the left channel, or right to hear more from the right channel.Your Mac has plenty of functions and commands that can be triggered by a simple keyboard shortcut, pressing two or three keys simultaneously to perform an action.

Change your Mac’s sleep settings
To conserve energy, all Macs have the ability to sleep. When you haven’t used your Mac for a set amount of time, it enters a low-power mode until you wake it by pressing the keyboard, trackpad, or moving the mouse. Sleep doesn’t turn off your computer; it merely puts it into an inactive state that consumes less power. Waking your Mac from sleep is faster than waiting for your Mac to start up after a shutdown.

This is especially helpful for conserving battery life on portable Macs. But sometimes you may need to alter your computer’s sleep settings, such as when you’re burning a DVD—if you’re not interacting with your Mac during this time, it could go to sleep during the process. Or, you may want to have your Mac go to sleep earlier than scheduled. Here’s how to change sleep preferences.

Set the sleep time

  1. Open System Preferences and click Energy Saver.
  2. Move the sliders for both the computer and display to change the times in which they go to sleep.
  3. Select any other options you want, such as sleep, wake, and power failure options.

Customize Your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro sleep settings
If you’re using a portable Mac, you can set different sleep times for your battery and power adapter use.

  1. In Energy Saver preferences, choose the Power Adapter or Battery tab.
  2. To change the sleep times for your power source choice, move the computer and display sliders to change the sleep time.

Change your OS language
Your Mac is set to display the language for the country in which you bought the computer. For example, if you bought your Mac in the United States, your Mac is set to English. If you bought your Mac in France, your Mac is set to French. But if you prefer to use a different language, you can.

  1. Open System Preferences and click Language & Text.
  2. Click the Language tab.
  3. In the Languages pane, drag your preferred language to the top of the list.
  4. To apply the language throughout your system, restart your Mac or log out and log back in.

You can also customize various aspects of any application by choosing Preferences from the application menu. For example, to configure settings for the TextEdit application, open it from your Dock or the Applications folder, then from the TextEdit menu, choose Preferences. Other application preferences can be configured in similar fashion.