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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintAs you may know, finding hidden defau1ts write preference hacks is much tougher in Snow Leopard than it was in previous OS X releases. That's why there are only 15 such hints here (versus 43 for 10.5). To help fix this situation, a while back I put out a call on Twitter for macosxhints' readers to dig deep within 10.6 to help me find new hidden defau1ts write commands. While the response wasn't exactly overwhelming in size, a few readers did manage to find some hidden gems. Read on to see what's been uncovered....

Before we begin, it's very important that if you're going to try to these, you must copy and paste the defau1ts write commands. If you make a typo while trying to hand-type these, the results could be disastrous!

Enable tabbed Finder windows
  • What it does: You've seen it in rumored OS X betas. You've seen mock-ups created by third parties. You may have even enabled it yourself using TotalFinder in Snow Leopard. But there's an official Apple-provided solution available that basically brings the Safari tab model into the Finder.
  • Terminal command: defau1ts write com.apple.Finder EnableSafariTabs -bool True
  • Credit: Yours truly dug this one up.
Allow Safari to use Firefox plug-ins
  • What it does: Safari is a great browser, but it lacks any official plug-in support. As a result, users are forced to use unsupported workarounds that break seemingly every time Safari is updated. The world of Safari plug-ins is also tiny compared to that of Firefox. This hack opens up the world of Firefox plug-ins to users of Safari. No more will you feel short-shifted by the incredible tools available to Firefox users.
  • Terminal command: defau1ts write com.apple.Safari EnableMozAddonSupport -bool true
  • Credit: From user os9er
Force Apple to reply to your emails
  • What it does: What it says. How many times have you sent an email to Apple, only to never hear back? Whether it's a bug report, a feature request, even praise for a job well done...it doesn't seem to matter what you write, once sent to Apple it's a one-way street. With this hidden setting enabled, any emails sent to an @apple.com email address will include the Must Answer flag. The Must Answer flag will create a floating Stickies note that's sized at 2/3rds screen size (on all attached displays) until the Apple employee has replied. It also includes some logic to insure that the reply isn't simply a blank or very short message.
  • Terminal command: defau1ts write com.apple.Mail AppleMustAnswer -bool TRUE
  • Credit: From reader (and Macworld author) kirkmc
Show Beatles music in iTunes Store
  • What it does: The recent release of iTunes 9.1 includes a hidden pref that enables purchase of Beatles music in the iTunes Store -- apparently the music is in late beta, and will soon be generally available. But why wait when you can get it now?
  • Terminal command: defau1ts write com.apple.iTunes AppleCorps -bool TRUE
  • Credit: Reader wishes to remain anonymous (probably someone at Apple!)
Use Time Machine to restore files from the future
  • What it does: Enables one to restore files from a future date, not just the past, thereby fulfilling the promise of the Time Machine name. For instance, instead of typing that essay due in two weeks, install this modification, enter Time Machine, navigate to your Homework folder, and move the time slider forward just under two weeks. You'll see there your completed essay; hit Create (the renamed Restore button in future-forward mode) and you'll find the essay in your Homework folder when you exit Time Machine.
  • Terminal command: defau1ts write com.apple.TimeMachine RestoreFromFuture -bool TRUE
  • Credit: From reader zpjet
Full credit for all of today's hidden tips really should go to zpjet, who found the Time Machine future-looking mode, and inspired the rest of the 'submissions.'
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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard | 34 comments | Create New Account
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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: xgoetzfried on Apr 01, '10 07:35:38AM

Today is April, 1st :-)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: ncr100 on Apr 01, '10 09:25:51AM

Confirmed working!

Great hints! I showed tabbed finder to my coworkers and they are now all off to the Apple Store to buy Macs!

Does anybody know if this works on the iPad too?



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: Superboy on Apr 01, '10 08:04:31AM

Gah, you got me with the first one :P



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: petersconsult on Apr 01, '10 08:09:10AM

grrrr....
I believed the Finder tabs one until i saw the other ones...
Darn, i guess it'll have to be TotalFinder for a while (not that it's such a bad thing)...

That was a good one!



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: booshtukka on Apr 01, '10 08:14:15AM

Man, I was really falling for this! Tabbed finder windows! That could be real! But then they slowly got less and less credible. Ah well.

Good one. :)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: chrisfriend on Apr 01, '10 08:16:02AM

Bravo, Rob. Excellent, valuable, productivity-enhancing hint…the best kind!

The order of the hints, too, is impeccable. You must have spent a good deal of time, um, gathering these.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: McSvenster on Apr 01, '10 08:20:04AM

woops, You got me :-)
I should have read the rest of the article... but I had to try the tabbed finder as son as I saw the "hint"



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: robg on Apr 01, '10 08:21:32AM

If only you'd followed the directions and copied and pasted (note there's something subtly wrong with 'defau1ts') :)

-rob.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: MJCube on Apr 01, '10 10:28:37AM
defau1ts” is what I noticed! And right away I searched down the page for comments about it, and was thoroughly confused before reading the actual “hints”. Good job, Rob & everyone!! (I am generally on the lookout this day of the year.)

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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: PatrickS on Apr 01, '10 08:21:06AM
You missed the defaults write com.apple.Terminal AprilFools -bool TRUE option which will result in Terminal.app laughing at you whenever you call defaults from the shell.

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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: tempel on Apr 01, '10 08:34:20AM

Very nice buildup. It was nice to go thinking from "interesting, I didn't know that" to "whoa, did they really implement that?" to "wait, ..." and end up with "ahaa, fooled!" :^D

Thanks.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: Ayjona on Apr 01, '10 08:52:54AM

Ah, so you basically used zpjet first hint to look at a future backup of the site's hint files for today?

How very recursive of you ;-)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: Sven G on Apr 01, '10 08:57:29AM

I, too, actually tried the Finder tabs hint (before reading the other ones): well, almost too good to be true...! :-)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: eccent on Apr 01, '10 09:10:48AM

Some of these may be in Secrets

http://secrets.blacktree.com/



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: dilvish1984 on Apr 01, '10 11:51:14PM

Actually, the first item in this set was in Secrets for a very short time, apparently. It shows up in their deleted list with April 1st as the date added.

I went there right away to see if it had already been added (before reading the rest of Rob's post) -- I'm guessing somebody else ran there right away to add it (also, one assumes, before reading the rest of this post...)

Nice job, Rob! Does this mean your April Fools joke has gone viral?



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: pr10n on Apr 01, '10 09:13:11AM

I read each with growing scepticism but I didn't clue in until seeing the AppleCorps preference.

Well done.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: meall on Apr 01, '10 09:24:29AM

I did all of them in rows before trying them, and my system crashed... I tryed rebooting it, and no way, the system is no longer on the HD. So I tryed booting with the Snow Leopard DVD, but the DVD reader is locked...

Dammm, that was not funny Rob!!!!





But remember it is still April first as I write this!



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: dmnelson on Apr 01, '10 09:46:07AM

I was pretty excited when I read the Finder tabs tip, but then I read the others and realized... April fools! You had me going on the first one. Too bad it doesn't work. :)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: David Allen on Apr 01, '10 09:57:08AM

OK, you got me doubly well. I was so happy to ditch TotalFinder that I immediately stopped reading and uninstalled TF before cutting and pasting the command unsuccessfully 3 or 4 times!

Then I read the Firefox add-ons and started thinking that I surely had been had with the first one.

---
Dah•veed |David Allen|
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: slswift on Apr 01, '10 10:25:42AM

I will simply add my "kudos!"

I made it all the way to the Apple Email before I caught on. Dang! And THAT was the one I REALLY wanted! ;-)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: robertcoogan on Apr 01, '10 10:28:10AM

<snif>

...had my hopes up there...tabbed browsing can't be a myth!



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: ragmaxone on Apr 01, '10 11:37:46AM

this is an amazing hint !
thx a lot



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LMAO!
Authored by: slb on Apr 01, '10 11:51:45AM

Gads, I can't believe I fell for this - after already getting nailed by my Dad.
Good fun. Thanks for the laugh :)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: poenn on Apr 01, '10 02:54:39PM

I was sooo close to trying out the tabbed Finder, but then I read on... Great "hint"! :-)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: donmoemu on Apr 01, '10 07:48:04PM

That was great! I should have caught it... but...



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: Franz G. on Apr 01, '10 11:30:41PM

Haha! I love this. Was about to fall for it. Seemed so suspicious but would have been really great!



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: robogobo on Apr 02, '10 01:25:42AM

Funny, I tried all of them and they work perfectly. Great hint!



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: DoctorB on Apr 04, '10 06:05:24PM

Got me also. So excited about the tabbed Finder I tried it immediately... then I continued to read. Zing! But thanks for the link to TotalFinder! Somehow I'd not run across that before.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: schutt on Apr 09, '10 12:32:01PM

Nice. Your are missing an important one though:

defau1ts write com.apple.Finder EnableKilobyte -bool True

This will allow Finder in 10.6 to report file sizes in proper kilobytes instead of hard drive marketing scam decimal 'kilobytes'.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: renaultssoftware on Apr 11, '10 04:43:35AM

I declare, let's stone Rob to death using PC boxes. Just for doing something that wasted my time. (Why did we have to change the defau1ts to defaults, by the way?)



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: robg on Apr 16, '10 05:32:26PM

I listed these as "defau1ts" so that those searching for "defaults write" in the future wouldn't find them. And so that, if someone did try them (using copy-and-paste, as I suggested), they would fail to work (so no way they could possibly harm something).

-rob.



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All I needed was the last one
Authored by: SOX on Apr 14, '10 07:36:37PM

I ran the last one, and restored from the future and discovered I had all the others installed already!

there is however one problem with the restore from future implementation. it takes a long time to do the restore. for example, when I asked it to restore 1 day in the future it took over 24 hour of wall-clock time to complete. Slow! On my old 486 PC this ran in just a few seconds. Apple needs to do better.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: wusamah on Apr 22, '10 05:23:07AM

Gaaaahhhh!!!! Why you %^$(*&*@#!!!

I was reading this at work on a PC. I was so excited and went to print it out to take it home to try on my Mac. As I was walking from the printer, away from my desk, reading the rest of the hint I get to the Restore File From the Future. I paused, then I thought wait a minute....

Of all the April Fool jokes that I managed to detect all over the net, this was the only one that got me flat and square.

I will, for certain, forward this to all my Mac user colleagues and see how many will fall for it.



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10.6:Use newly-found hidden prefs hacks in Snow Leopard
Authored by: Jynto on Mar 16, '12 11:05:21AM

I tried the Time Machine hint, but my future-backups only go up to 21 December 2012. Now I'm really scared!

Ah, on a serious note, this page helped me find the awesomeness that is TotalFinder. So thank you for that. :-)



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