How to Disable AVG Antivirus App Icon in Mac Menu Bar?

I’m not super paranoid about Mac security as I haven’t been caught by any virus or malware (yet), since I started to use my Mac. But it seems recent years there are some anecdotes (maybe facts) saying macOS isn’t safe any more.

Personally, I think the trend is to the benefits of the antivirus makers whose revenue comes from system protection software. AVG is one of them. I’ve installed AVG Antivirus on my Mac and liked its quick scan and through scan features.

But, one thing I felt annoying is the icon keeps showing up on Mac menu bar (screenshot here), every time I turn on my machine. This is not cool because I’m organized and I care a lot about desktop cleanness.

I don’t like this ūüôĀ

Fortunately, preventing it from showing up is quite easy. Here’s how to disable the icon step by step:

Step 1: Click the AVG icon and select “Open AVG Antivirus…”.

Step 2: On the top left corner, click on AVG AntiVirus > Preferences.

Step 3: Under “General” tab, uncheck this option “Show AVG AntiVirus icon in the task bar.”

Step 4: Bingo! Now the icon should disappear from your Mac menu bar.

P.S. not sure why AVG calls it “task bar” but on Macs we’re used to call it “menu bar” (that’s also what Apple describes, see here). Also, in case you want to rearrange menu bar icons instead of removing it, check out this tip from HowtoGeek.

Does MacBook Pro Have BlueTooth? How to Tell What Version It Has

Bluetooth is a technology that makes our lives easier. It has been popular for years. You probably have heard, or even used it at some point of your digital life.

As a lover of MacBook Pro, one of the questions I have in mind and got asked several times was: does a MacBook Pro have Bluetooth? How to check what Bluetooth version my Mac is equipped with?

Today I’m going to show you the answer.

Does MacBook Pro have BlueTooth?

Yes. According to Apple, here’s what it says:

“Most Mac computers come with Bluetooth technology built-in….and you can pair your Mac with a Bluetooth device”

That means, as long as your mobile devices (e.g. a mouse, an iPhone/iPad, etc.) are Bluetooth-enabled, they can be connected to your Mac without problems.

How to tell what Bluetooth version your MacBook Pro has?

Step 1: Click the Apple logo icon on top left corner, then select About This Mac.

Step 2: Click the “System Report” button to continue.

Step 3: Under Hardware tab, find Bluetooth. Scroll down and locate this line called “LMP Version:”, it indicates the version of Bluetooth your Mac is currently with. For example, my MacBook Pro is with Bluetooth 4.0 (see the screenshot below).

Bluetooth 4.0 vs 4.1 vs 4.2 (and 5.0)

In general, newer versions are faster, more reliable and secure.

If you are interested in knowing a little bit further about Bluetooth technology, here are some useful resources to explore.

Happy New Year to All Mac Fans

Hey y’all.

I know what you’re doing at this moment, definitely not sitting in front of your computer or reading my blog ūüôā

As new year is around the corner, very soon…I want to take this opportunity to wish all Mac fans (especially, my dear blog readers) a happy and prosperous 2017!

2016 has been a gorgeous year for me as I learned a lot along the way, both work and life.

Cheers and I look forward to any challenges or opportunities up coming in the new year.

Happy holidays and have fun!!

Is It Worth Upgrading a MacBook with an SSD?

So you’ve been told that getting an SSD can boost your Macbook performance, and you’re thinking about doing so? But, is it really worth it to upgrade your MacBook Air or Pro to an SSD?

In this article, I’ll share a few of my own opinions.

What is SSD?

SSD is short for Solid-state drive. In case you are new to the SSD world, check out the wiki for more information.

The common misconception about SSD

There are a lot of debates over HDDs vs SSDs in the past several years. Bill from EMC outlined the top three misconceptions about solid-state drive. The article was written in 2014. According to him, the common misconception was that SSDs are unreliable.

That is not true. According to PCMag’s explanation of difference between SSD and HDD, SSDs win HDDs on durability because

…an SSD has no moving parts, so it is more likely to keep your data safe in the event you drop your laptop bag or your system is shaken about by an earthquake while it’s operating…

Bill¬†also mentioned that SSDs were expensive than HDDs, which was and still is true. But, earlier this year Lucas Mearian posted an article in¬†PCWorld¬†stating that SSD prices are coming close to HDDs. Here’s a graph you’ll find interesting.

Is it worth upgrading your Macbook to SSD?

In my opinion, it depends on your goal, and more important, the current situation of your Mac.

If your MacBook is a couple of years old and runs really slow to a point that affects your productivity (in particular, assuming you use it to do work most of the time), then you should consider replacing the internal hard drive with an SSD. Typical models include 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

If your MacBook is relatively new and it works okay to deal with most errands. Then I’d not recommend you to upgrade even if it has performance issues. Because you can resume some speed by unloading some apps, cleaning out unnecessary files, etc.

Be careful when choosing an SSD for your Mac

It’s common perception that a product receives good reviews and customer feedback, it must be good.¬†But what if I told you that’s not exactly true?

What do I mean? Take a look at this SSD shadiness: “Kingston and PNY caught bait-and-switching cheaper components after good reviews”.

Seriously, I was shocked by the news reported by Joel Hruska from ExtremeTech (thanks Joel! I¬†always have full respect to courageous journalists). I don’t know how dare these established tech companies¬†tossed out business ethics.

Anyway, the takeaway to you is watch out for those SSD brands and manufactures that had bad reputation. It’s always safe to read reviews from different sources and compare what users had to say about their using experience.

How to install an SSD to your MacBook?

You don’t have to be super tech-savvy to do this. In fact, there are tons of great video tutorials out there to help you out. iFixit, for example, is one of my favorites. For MacBook Pros, this guide has detailed a 4-step instructions.

A general rule you should follow is to make backups before you proceed. This is very important and should always be kept in mind. Set up Time Machine, or have a solid online backup mechanism in place.

Hope you find these tips useful. Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s the life looking life for an SSD-based MacBook? Or any other reasons that are holding you back from upgrading?

Drop me a line in the comment!

How to Show Battery Percentage on macOS

Today a reader left a message to me. It was related to displaying the battery percentage on her new MacBook Pro.

Hey, I just bought a new MacBook, completely new to the macOS world. I was trying to figure out the proper setting to make the battery percentage show up so I can better prepare myself in case the percentage falls under 10% and enters sleep mode automatically (like Windows 10, maybe). Please help!

Well, first off — I want to make it clear that Macs, unlike PCs, don’t force the system to enter sleep mode when battery level is below 10%. At least, based on my personal experience, I’ve never encountered this situation when my MacBook sleeps or shuts down when the battery crosses the 10% line. In fact, most of the time I can still use my Mac for 10-15 minutes before I have to plug in the charger.

As to how to show the remaining battery percentage besides the¬†icon bar, it’s actually quite simple:

On the menu bar, click on the battery icon, and select “Show Percentage” in the drop-down menu options.

Then you’ll see the percentage shows up on the left side of the battery icon (e.g. in my case, it says 96% which would last quite a few hours normally)

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? There is no need to configure this though Settings or System Preferences. The beauty of macOS!

The Magic Mouse Disconnecting Issue Is Driving Me Nuts

Okay, I barely complain about anything related to Apple products I use in public because I’m an advocate of Apple.

But I’m kind of annoyed by this kind problem for a long time. And today, the issue happened more often than usual.

It’s related to Magic Mouse I use. Late last year, I bought a Magic Mouse 2 (without battery) and used it ever since. I managed to resolve most of the issues I encountered including: how to auto connect, unable to finger scroll, etc.

However, there is one issue remains. Here’s the symptom:

  • It keeps disconnecting every 1-2 hours. And today I happened twice or three times in the past hour.
  • Sometimes after I start up my Mac, the mouse won’t be connected unless I log out my account and log in again.

I’ve tried almost every possible solution available on the Internet. For example, here are a few threads and blog articles I’ve read:

But nope, all the fixes don’t work for me…what a bummer.

I don’t how much patience I would have to endure this before it’s fixed. Or maybe I should return the product and get a non-Apple mouse instead? (yep, I heavily rely on a mouse to navigate).

Any help would be much appreciated.

Fixing Dictionary App Keeps Popping up Issue

If you are experiencing this issue as I did — the¬†Dictionary/definition keeps popping up when you type or use the mouse, here’s the solution for you.

The problem appeared on my MacBook from yesterday, which I had no idea what I did. I was just typing on Google docs and some words got automatically highlighted, followed by a Dictionary app showed up that provided a definition of the word the mouse pointed at (see this screenshot). The weirdest thing was that my screen sometimes enlarged itself.

dictionary-app-shows

At first, I thought it was due to that I haven’t updated system to latest OS — so I went ahead and upgraded OS. But the issue still persisted.

The real solution

It’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is disable an option via in the trackpad setting.

Step 1: on your Mac, open System Preferences.

mac-system-preferences

Step 2: click Trackpad.

settings-trackpad-mac

Step 3: under Point & Click tab, uncheck “Look up & data detectors”.

points-click-look-up

That’s it. Quite simple, right?

Not sure how I messed up and checked this option. My guess is that I might have mis-clicked it while I was cleaning my Mac screen and keyboard.

Anyway, hope this tip has helped you out.

Now We’ve Got MacBooster 4: New Interface & Added Features

It’s always great to see a new release or upgrade for a Mac software. That means months’ of hard working are paid off to the app developer team behind the product.

Today, I just got to know that IObit released a new version for MacBooster. Now we’ve got MacBooster 4! Actually this happened in September, so this post is a bit late (but better late than never, right :D)

According to this IObit forum posting, that the newer version has a new system status UI, and a few new features like Real-time Protection, Extensions Manager, and Privacy Clean.

Nick Peers from MacWorld also covered the news. This sentence he wrote brings to my attention.

We’re not as convinced by its virus-scanning tools, which seem bolted on somewhat, and the lack of any backup mechanism to protect your system in case something goes wrong

Very interesting point, isn’t it? The security market has always been a topic for debate on the Internet, since the PC age. When it comes to Mac, no surprise it’d incur skepticism.

Also, this MacBooster review seems very thorough and unbiased -does not always say good things about an app, I enjoy reading it. Good job, Chris!

Note: in case you don’t know, for those of you who are already using MacBooster 3, IObit charges $10 upgrade fee to activate MacBooster 4. Do you think it’s reasonable? I’d like to hear from you. In my experience, software upgrade is usually free.

Can’t Imagine Technology Ages SO FAST

As I was browsing Mac news this morning (as usual), I read this MacRumors article:

Apple to Obsolete iPhone 4 and Late 2010 MacBook Air on October 31

Like many others, I was kind of surprised that Apple did so. If you have chance to scroll down in the article to the comments section, you’ll see many readers have similar feeling.

Some even say “and still it’s the best iPhone ever :)”, you know what that means ;D

To me, I just felt a bit sad for 2010 MacBook Air users. Well, maybe it’s the trend, but I don’t know. To me, it seems the value of a Mac (like many other types of consumer electronics) discounts faster than ever before.

Is this the trend? And is the MacBook Air pricing reasonable? I have to wonder…

How to Record Your iPhone Screen on Mac (without Jailbreak)

If you are a fan of mobile gaming, a marketer of an iPhone app, or a Youtuber, you probably have wondered whether there is a way to make a screen video of your iPhone.

In fact, there are many methods (and apps) out there. But, not all of them are easy to use. Some even require you to jailbreak your device which is illegal in many countries.

Thankfully, Apple has added a new feature to QuickTime Player that allows you to not only play/share a video, but also record movies from external devices like iPhones.

You don’t have to jailbreak your iPhone any more. All you need are:

  • Mac with OS X Yosemite or El Capitan.
  • iPhone with iOS 8 or later
  • The Lightning cable (for connection)

How to do that? Take a look at the step by step tutorial made by Hans from Tweaking4All, it’s quite good and fun to read (he’s humorous :-/).

I’m sure you’ll love the pup on his iPhone screen ūüôā