Slow Mac – Spotify could be the reason why

So, I have seen a couple of Macs in the past few weeks, of decent spec, running really slowly as well as taking ages to boot (many minutes), I checked all the usual things, such as verify disk, repair permissions, console logs etc. and there were no obvious issues

anyway, I took a look at login items and the only common item for both machines was that the Spotify app was set to run at startup

once this was disabled it was like they were new machines!

if you’re Mac is running slow, and everything seems fine, then try following

Open System Preferences

Then Users & Groups

Then click on your account, and then Login Items

click on Spotify and then click on the minus button at the bottom of the window


Next, click on Finder

then press CMD SHIFT G

paste in the following location


delete the com.spotify.webhelper.plist file


Then reboot the machine


On both the machines I did this on, it was like they were brand new, and both owners were very pleased with the result, hopefully this works for you too

Oh, and the Spotify app still works, a good result all round


Parallels – Disable Adverts

So, you’ve forked out for Parallels – wise choice, its a great bit of software, but annoyingly, you get bombarded with adverts, bit annoying when they’ve already got your business, but there is a solution – and by entering the following into a Terminal window, the nuisance will end


defaults write com.parallels.Parallels\ Desktop ProductPromo.ForcePromoOff -bool YES


Enjoy your advert free Parallels experience

Apple Diagnostics

Another recent discovery was that Apple have changed the traditional Apple Hardware Test for a more modern Apple Diagnostics program

Heres a little checklist for you to check that all your hardware is fully functional


If your Mac was released after June 2013, then you will need to run Apple Diagnostics

This is done by holding down D as you power on the machine


If your Mac was released before June 2013 and is running 10.7 or newer, then you will access a more traditional Apple Hardware Test

again, this is accessed by holding down D as you power on the machine


If your Mac is older, and won’t run 10.7 or above, then buy a new one 🙂

alternatively, Apple Hardware Test should be available on one of the original Mac OS installation disks

you’ve guessed it, insert the disk into the Mac, restart the machine and hold down D to access the Apple Hardware Test


If you’ve run the tests and you’ve got an error, then check out the following page for what the error code relates to



Create a Mavericks USB Key

Something that has been around for  while, but I’ve just stumbled across it, is Diskmaker X

This nifty app will do all the donkey work in creating a bootable Mac OS X USB Key, you just need to following

1. Mavericks Installation app from the Mac App Store

2. Diskmaker X app from their website

3. an empty 8GB USB Key


Once you have downloaded the Mavericks app from the App Store and Diskmaker X from their website, then insert your USB Key into your Mac

Run Diskmaker X

When prompted, choose 10.9

It will then look for your Mavericks app, when it finds it, choose ‘Use this copy’

Then if you are using an 8GB USB key, then choose  ‘An 8GB USB Thumb Drive’

If you are using a partition on a larger drive, then choose ‘Another kind of disk’

Confirm the choice of disk by clicking on ‘Choose this disk’

When it warns you about erasing the drive, confirm that you wish to continue by clicking on ‘Erase and create the disk’

You will then be warned that you will need to input your admin password, so click ‘Continue’ and then enter your admin username and password when prompted

The process is fully automated, so from now until completion it will take around an hour, maybe longer on slower machines, you will get a dialog box when it has completed, confirming this and asking you for a donation, it’s not compulsory, but as it is quite a useful app, its always good to encourage future development, so please consider it.


You can then boot into the USB from the Startup Disk option in System Preferences, or by holding down ALT when the machine boots up



Mac Mail – Ghost Unread Count


So, after having the problem with ghost unread mail appearing on my iPhone, I then had to deal with this on the Mac Mail app.

This has happened before, and can usually be simply fixed by clicking on the offending folder (usually Inbox), then clicking on ‘Mailbox’ in the menu bar, then clicking on ‘Rebuild’

it takes a little while but usually resolves the issue, this also works pretty well if the inbox is showing no messages at all, just a blank window, anyway, back to the problem, so this time, this didn’t work, so I had to resort to a more drastic rebuild.

First, quit Mail

Once it is no longer running, click on Finder

then press SHIFT, CMD, G

then paste in the following location and click on Go


In that folder you need to remove all files starting with Envelope (usually Envelope Index, Envelope Index-shm, Envelope Index-wal), normally, I move these to the Desktop until everything is all working again

Once there are no files starting with Envelope in that location, then click on Mail to Rebuild the Index, Once this has finished, your mail should be back to normal, no missing unread items.