Posts Tagged ‘windows’

Techie Tip of the Week: Windows Users – Save Frequently Implemented Searches!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

A few weeks ago, we talked about how Mac users can saved frequently implemented searches using Smart Folders. This week, we’ll explore how you can perform a similar function on Windows.

To save a search for future use on a Windows machine:

  1. Open Windows Explorer (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer).
  2. Perform your search by entering the keywords, filename, or the other criteria you are searching in the Search box.
  3. In the Windows Explorer toolbar, click Save search.
  4. In the Filename field, enter a name for your search.
  5. Click Save.

Your saved search will now appear in your Favorites section in Windows Explorer.

To perform a saved search, click the name in the Favorites section.

Techie Tip of the Week: Show Hidden Files

Friday, September 21st, 2012

By default, your operating system hides certain files — generally related to the system operations, user preferences, and other files that most users would not need (or want) to see in a particular folder.

Suppose you DO want to view these hidden files. Maybe you want to edit the .htaccess file used to manipulate web servers (e.g., restricting access) on your Mac or Windows machine. Or you want to see or edit the library files used by the programs installed on your computer. Or you want to make sure that malicious users haven’t sneaked in a virus by making it hidden. How do you change your computer’s settings to allow users to view hidden files?

Windows Users

To view hidden files on Windows 7/Vista/XP:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. In Windows 7 or Vista, click Appearance and Personalization.
    In Windows XP, click Appearance and Themes.
  4. Click Folder Options.
  5. Click the View tab.
  6. In Windows 7 or Vista, in Advanced settings, click Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
    In Windows XP, in Hidden Files and Folders, click Show hidden files and folders.
  7. Click OK.

Mac Users

To view hidden files on a machine running Mac OS X (including Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion):

  1. Launch the Terminal application (Application >; Utilities >; Terminal).
  2. Enter the following command and press return:
    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  3. Enter the following command and press return:
    killall Finder
Note: To re-hide hidden files, enter the following command and press return:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Reading Mac Formatted Drives on Windows Devices (and Windows Formatted Drives on Mac Devices)

Friday, June 15th, 2012

portmanteau of Mac and Windows LogoHave you ever saved an important file onto a flash drive or external hard drive on a Mac and then were unable to open it on a Windows machine?

Or copied files onto your Windows external drive that you couldn’t edit on your Mac?

The problem lies in the way in which the drive was formatted. By default, Windows devices use the NTFS file system. Modern Macs can read but not write to NTFS-formatted devices. By default, the Mac uses the HFS+ (or “Mac OS Extended”) file system. Windows machines, by default, cannot read HFS+ drives. Both Macs and Windows devices can read and write to drives formatted in the FAT file system, but FAT32 (the latest version of FAT) only allows for a maximum of 2 GB of data — enough for flash drives, perhaps, but no longer sufficient for most hard drive uses.

So, what can you do? Install software that recognizes the “foreign” drives.

An excellent list of tools you can use is found on

In particular, I’ve had good experience with both MacDrive ($49.99, 5-day free trial) and HFSExplorer (freeware).