Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.

There’s no getting around it: the Mac App Store is slow. If you try to avoid opening it whenever possible, you’re probably pretty annoyed when you see the update notification in the menu bar. You’ve got to open the App Store, click the “Updates” button, and wait while the application is “Checking for Updates.”

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There’s a piracy app that lets users find any TV show, movie, or song you can imagine. Streams and downloads are both easy to find, and the software is already used by hundreds of millions of people.

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If you’ve got a Roku, odds are you’ve already connected your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon account for streaming. You probably know that you can buy movies and TV episodes on other services too, like Google Play. But there is a lot of free content on the Roku too…if you know where to look.

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Macs are supposed to be intuitive, but a few things are downright hidden from users. For example: in the menu bar, the keyboard shortcuts for various actions are laid out using somewhat confusing symbols.

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Five hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so you’ll literally never be able to watch everything. The real challenge is sorting through everything that you could be watching and deciding what sounds good—like you could in the old days of TV.

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Whether you want to occasionally test a website in Safari, or try out a little bit of software in the Mac environment, having access to the latest version of macOS in a virtual machine is useful. Unfortunately, you’re not really supposed to do this—so getting macOS running in VirtualBox is, to say the least, tricky.

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Giving away your Roku? Whether you’re giving it to a friend or selling it online, you probably don’t want to leave your Roku account connected to the device.

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It’s one of the great annoyances of the streaming media age: figuring out which shows and movies are on which services. Searching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other sites individually takes up way too much time, especially when you just want to relax and watch something.

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Does streaming video on your Roku make the Internet unusable for everyone else in the house? Are you up against your ISP’s bandwidth cap, and want to limit data usage? If so, you’ve probably browsed the Roku’s settings looking for a bandwidth cap, and found nothing.

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Laptop trackpads can be annoying. Your palm hits them while you’re typing, moving your cursor and messing up your flow. This can be particularly annoying if you have an external mouse connected, and aren’t even using the trackpad.

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The Roku doesn’t have a power button, and there’s no obvious way to restart it in the user interface. Annoying, right? It’s a problem when things crash, yes, but also because things like updates and adding private channels are largely triggered by rebooting the system. Isn’t there any way to force the thing to restart, without unplugging the power and plugging it back in?

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Do you regularly type the same long words, or even phrases? Complex emoticons, addresses, or even commonly misspelled words can be annoying to type, but macOS has a feature that can help.

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You sit down to watch something, only to realize you don’t know where your remote is. All hope is lost.

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The Roku Channel Store offers hundreds of video sources, not to mention the hidden channels you can find around the web. Keep adding things, and eventually you’ll have way more channels than you can navigate quickly. Isn’t there some way to move your favorites, like Netflix and PBS, toward the top?

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One of the coolest features of recent Rokus—including the Roku Premier Plus, the Roku Ultra, and the slightly older Roku 3 and 4—is the headphone jack on the remote. If your Roku came with a set of headphones, you have this feature.

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When it comes to arranging windows, macOS is lagging behind…well, Windows. On Microsoft’s operating system, you can easily arrange two applications so they both take up half the screen, which is perfect for things like researching and writing at the same time. On macOS, though, you need to do any such arranging on your own.

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You might think emoji only belong on your phone, and it’s true these post-modern hieroglyphs didn’t really take off until the smartphone revolution. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use them on your computer, especially if you own a Mac. There are all kinds of emoji-specific features baked right into macOS.

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Sometimes a GIF alone isn’t enough; sometimes you want to add a little bit of text. Photoshop can do the job, but the process isn’t as intuitive as you’d imagine, especially if you’ve never edited animation in Photoshop before.

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The Mac App Store is the default way to upgrade or install macOS, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Maybe you’ve got multiple Macs and a limited amount of bandwidth, and don’t want to download the entire operating system for every system. Or maybe you’re looking to install the operating system from scratch.

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Are there particular Terminal commands you find yourself running several time a day? Do you wish you could trigger them quickly, with just a keystroke?

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If Windows 8 taught us (and Microsoft) anything, it’s that users really love the Start menu. If you’re switching to the Mac, you might wonder why macOS doesn’t offer one, or really anything quite like one.

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Tech tutorials that start with 3 minutes of “hey guys what’s up” are the worst. Get to the point! Here’s how you can bypass that nonsense when sharing a video with your friends.

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When you double-click a ZIP file on your Mac, the files are automatically uncompressed and the ZIP itself is sent to the Trash. What if that’s not what you want?

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So you accidentally made a vertical video. Annoying, especially when the footage itself is clearly supposed to be horizontal. What’s a well-meaning videographer to do?

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There are a thousand potential reasons your Mac is having problems. Maybe an application is hogging resources. Maybe your hard drive is failing. Or maybe you’ve got malware. EtreCheck is a free program that runs over 50 diagnostics on your Mac, then gives you a tidy report outlining all of them—so you know where to start looking.

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