Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Delete a podcast that won't go away on iOS device Apps
I recently tried to download an episode of a podcast on my iPhone, but the download failed. Nevertheless, the podcast was listed on my iPhone, with one episode, but trying to play that episode did nothing. There was no way to delete it. When I deleted it from within the Podcasts app, it seemed to go away, but when I deleted the Podcasts app to use the Music app for listening to Podcasts, it was still there.

I tried turning off syncing of podcasts in iTunes, syncing, then turning it back on, but it was still there. There was no obvious way to delete this "phantom" podcast.

I finally tried going into Settings > General > Usage > Music, and saw the podcast listed in the Podcasts list. A swipe to the right on its name, a tap on the Delete button, and it was finally gone.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 4.63 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[9,132 views]  View Printable Version
View hidden web passwords Web Browsers
Have you used your keychain to store your passwords? Do you wish there was an easy way to see what the password for a specific site is? Here are two different ways to accomplish this task without leaving your browser!

Both of these methods utilize the same functionality: they change the type of text box a password is entered into from a "password" box (masked with asterisks or •) to a "text" box, displaying its contents.

The first method can be done in Safari or Chrome (since they're both WebKit). Right-click or Control-click on the masked password field and select Inspect Element. Within the Inspector, you'll find the input HTML tag is highlighted. One of the attributes there will be type="password". Simply clicking on password will allow you to change it; type in text and, without closing the Inspector window, look at the password field to see your password revealed.

The second method is even easier, and does what is described above, just using Javascript. Drag the text below to your Bookmarks bar or menu. Whenever you're on a page with a password field whose text is hidden, click on it or select it to reveal the password.

[kirkmc adds: A couple of points. First, you can find your passwords in Safari 6's Passwords preferences. Check Show Passwords, and enter your user account password, and the'll all display. However, sometimes you're on a website where you have several logins, and it can be useful to see which one is getting entered by the keychain.

Second, bear in mind the security risk here. Assume you add this bookmarklet to your Safari bookmarks toolbar; anyone who comes to your computer could eventually click on it if they're on a page where your keychain has entered a password. Of course, they'd already have access to the page, if your keychain was unlocked, but them seeing the password could be more serious, if you tend to use the same password on multiple sites.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (8)  
  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (30 votes cast)
[24,169 views]  View Printable Version
Copy and paste Calendar events in text form Apps
If you use Calendar (née iCal), you can copy all visible events in any view and paste them in text form into any application. For example, if you're in Day view, you can copy all your events and paste them in an e-mail to send to someone, to show them your schedule. Press Command-A to select them all, then Command-C to copy them.

The name of the event will be in bold, and the date will display like this:

scheduled October 5, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM

Calendar will warn you if you are copying repeating events that only the currently visible event will be copied.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work with my calendar application of choice, BusyCal.

H/t ThomasWoodrowWilson on Reddit.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (1)  
  • Currently 3.57 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,158 views]  View Printable Version
How to back up an iOS device to iCloud iOS devices
Following yesterday's hint about fixing an iOS device that wouldn't launch third-party apps, I realized that it would be useful to back up my iPhone via iCloud, in case I have a problem away from home. I looked around, and saw that we don't have anything about this on the site, so I thought I'd write a brief primer.

You can turn on iCloud backups in iTunes: connect your iOS device, then, on the Summary tab, in the Backups section, click on Back Up to iCloud. However, when you sync your device, it won't back up to iCloud. The only away for this to happen is, according to Apple, when a device is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, connected to a power source, and has its screen locked. And, this only happens once a day.

However, you can force a first iCloud backup on the device by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup, then tapping on Back Up Now. (You can also turn on or off iCloud backups here; this has the same effect as the iTunes setting.)

It's worth noting exactly what gets backed up to iCloud. Apple has a technical document explaining this in detail. Note that iCloud backups don't back up content synced via iTunes: music, movies and TV shows not purchased from the iTunes store; podcasts; audiobooks; and photos synced from your Mac. However, any purchased content is backed up (technically, it's just a list of the content), and this content isn't counted against your iCloud storage quota. What will take up the most space in your iCloud backup is photos and videos on your device, so if you're tight on space, think of downloading these to your computer, or uploading them to some other storage service.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (4)  
  • Currently 3.31 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (13 votes cast)
[12,013 views]  View Printable Version
Rename and dock Finder sidebar foldiers System 10.7
You can rename folders in Finder window sidebars from a contextual menu. This also renames the folder that it links to, so use with caution. You can also drag a folder from the Finder sidebar to the Dock.

[kirkmc adds: This isn't new; renaming goes back at least to 10.6, but you can't drag a folder from the Finder sidebar to the Dock until 10.7. Nevertheless, it's not on the site, so it's worth mentioning]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (3)  
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (27 votes cast)
[11,580 views]  View Printable Version
Fix an iOS device that refuses to launch 3rd-party Apps iOS devices
I was recently stymied by my iPhone 3GS that refused to launch any third-party apps. I would open an app, the start screen of that app would flash, and then I would be dropped back to the home screen as if the app crashed.

Due to extenuating circumstances, I was unable to restore from a backup. Also, I wasn't at my usual computer that manages my iPhone, so there was the fear that I would lose all my non-iTunes Store acquired music, apps, etc. And to top it all off, iCloud restoration was not an option as I'm still running iOS 4.x.

Before I stumbled on the solution, I believed the only option available to me was to wipe my phone and reload iOS from scratch.

You can try the following steps to restore launching of third-party apps:

1. Download any free app to your iOS device (you can delete it later). Third-party apps should now open. If not, continue with the following:

2. Connect your iOS device to a Mac or PC with an empty iTunes library on it (if necessary, use option when opening iTunes to force a new library location, or create a new user account with an empty library).

If you need to restore functionality and you're not at your usual computer, make sure you first go to iTunes preferences, click on Devices and select Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically. Note: Make sure you do not allow iTunes to sync your iOS device to any different copy of iTunes, as you will lose all your iPhone's contacts, notes, apps, music, etc.!

3. In the iTunes source list, right-click your iOS device and select Transfer Purchases from [your device name].

4. Let it transfer all your purchased music and downloaded apps to iTunes. (You may need to sign into iTunes.)

After iTunes transfers your purchases, try to open a third-party app. If it still doesn't work, try opening an app after each step of the following:

5. Right-click your iOS device and select Backup (note that this is different than sync).

6. Reboot your iDevice

Hopefully these steps will save someone a lengthy troubleshooting session to get their apps working! Thanks goes to Alvin Alexander at for providing step 1.

PS: If you perform step 5 on someone else's computer, make sure you use secure delete on the backup files once you've finished. On Macs, the backup is located ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ and on Windows it's located C:UsersuserAppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup.

[kirkmc adds: Fortunately, I'm unable to test this, bit it makes sense. It's worth posting in case it might help someone resolve a similar problem. Naturally, the best way to solve this is to simply restore the device, but if, like the poster, the computer than syncs with your iOS device isn't available, this is a good option. Or iCloud backups, if your device is compatible with that feature.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 2.71 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[5,511 views]  View Printable Version
Swap panorama pan direction on iPhone iOS devices
The regular panorama feature on the iPhone 4S and 5 under iOS6 let's you take panoramas from left to right, but a simple tap allows right to left panning.

While in panorama mode, just tap the white arrow in the center of the screen to change pan directions. To swap back, tap the arrow again.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 3.75 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (12 votes cast)
[4,394 views]  View Printable Version
How to repair an Xsan file system OS X Server
Apple has published a technical note explaining how to repair an Xsan file system. They explain that one uses the following commands to do this:

sudo cvfsck -j VolumeName
sudo cvfsck -nv VolumeName

Note that this is different from the standard fsck command used with a regular file system. See the Apple document for more information on using this command.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 1.80 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (40 votes cast)
[3,932 views]  View Printable Version
One possible solution to iPhone Wi-Fi problems iOS devices
Does your iPhone constantly defer to 3G or 4G, even when you are standing right next to your Wi-Fi router?

I recently discovered that the two iPhones (a 3GS and a 4S) in my household were both deferring to using 3G and 4G instead of using Wi-Fi. All the other devices (two laptops, one iPad 2, and two Direct TV boxes) were doing just fine.

I looked all through many tutorials online and tried a number of weird tricks and resets and was getting pretty flustered about it. Then I looked into why it would be affecting out phones and not our other devices and found this:

Pre-iPhone 5 models do NOT support the newer 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum. All the other devices in my house, including the iPad2, DO support the 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum. This means that the only devices using the 2.4GHz range on my router were the two iPhones.

I logged into my router's control panel to have a look at the 2.4GHz settings. At first I was considering changing its security settings from WPA2 to WPA Enterprise, but first I decide to try something simpler. I changed the 2.4GHz channel setting from "Auto" to a dedicated channel, and everything was back to normal.

I wish I could provide an explanation for why this worked. It seems there are many of people having this issue. I hope this helps you if you are.

[kirkmc adds: It is entirely possible that there was interference from other people's routers on the channel you were using. By changing the channel, you found one that is less encumbered. But this is certainly something to try if you are having Wi-Fi connection problems, and not just with an iPhone

5GHz is not really "new," it's just not been supported by mobile devices for very long. I've had a 5GHz network in my home for a few years, even though, for a long time, only my Macs would connect to it.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 3.44 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (9 votes cast)
[21,569 views]  View Printable Version
Arrange icons on the Apple TV menu Other Hardware
Apple has published a technical note explaining how to re-position icons on the Apple TV. While you can't move those on the top row, you can move others, as follows:
  1. Select the icon you want to move
  2. Press and hold Select on the remote
  3. When the icon begins to jiggle, use the remote to move the icon to a new position
  4. Press Select again to finish
I actually find this to be simpler than on an iOS device. Now, if only they could add folders to the Apple TV...
  Post a comment  •  Comments (4)  
  • Currently 3.11 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (9 votes cast)
[6,820 views]  View Printable Version