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Moutain LionI’m not an Apple fanboy, and typically I don’t complain about Apple hardware or software, because usually Apple’s products meet and exceed my expectations. I’m okay with troubleshooting problems as they arise, while taking advantage of the hundreds of OS X features that are part of my day-to-day workflow. We’ve covered a lot of these features in our OS X Mountain Lion guide.

However, I do sometimes shake my head in wonder about some of the obvious quirks that Apple knows exist or overlooks. I wonder what Apple developers were thinking when they built or revised some features. Below I list my top quirks, found in Mountain Lion—including problems with Safari Share, Mail Archive, and iCloud—and suggest, when I can, a few possible work-arounds. I’m sure many MUO Mac users out there can add to this list, so please do so in the comments section.

Sharing Feature

In Mountain Lion, Apple incorporated more sharing features within Safari and few other applications. And they were correct to do so. What advance application these days doesn’t have sharing features? But please tell me why the sharing feature for posting webpage links in Safari does not include the title of an article for posting a  webpage link to Twitter or Facebook? The post will include the link, but not the title. Nearly all the third-party apps (such as the YoruFuKurou Twitter client) include the title when sharing a link.

Share button

Fix: well, sorry to say there isn’t one. You have to actually copy and paste the title in the share box, or type it in. How boring.

Screen Shot 2012 10 13 at 3 17 02 PM

Email this Page

Another Safari share feature that befuddles me is why did Apple remove the ability to “Email This Link” in the Share feature? Most of the time, I don’t want to embed an entire webpage in an email. I just want to share a link to it. Sharing a link can still be done in iOS Safari, so why change it in Mountain Lion?

Mail this page

Fix: Again, you have to manually copy and paste the link in an email. It’s such a waste of time, but I see no other solution, unless you want to build an advance automation macro in Keyboard Maestro or maybe Automator. By the way, the following screen capture shows the results of Email this Link that used to be in Safari.

Email Link

Archive Mail

While we’re on the subject of email, one of the new features of Mountain Lion’s Mail is the Archive button which can be added to Mail’s toolbar and is used to archive selected messages. You can also right-click or Control-click on the selected messages and choose Archive from the drop-down menu. The messages are put into a special mailbox folder that appears on the left-side panel of Mail. But guess what? It seems that the archived mail is actually kept in your mailbox.

Archive button

Messages remain in the Archive mailbox until you delete or move them. Why not allow users to save archived messages to another folder outside of Mail?

Archived mail

Fix: Well, obviously the fix is to right-click or Control-click on the Archive Mailbox and export your archived messages. However, I have to warn you: exported messages lose all their formatting, and are converted to a text-only document, including visible HTML coding that makes reading the messages very difficult.

Where is Save As?

After several complaints about the removal of “Save As…” in Lion,  Apple brought it back in Mountain Lion. If you want to save another version of a document you’re working on in say TextEdit, you can use Option+Shift+Command+S shortcut to do so. If you want to see Save As in the menu bar of a supported application, you have to hold down the Option key when you click on File in the menu bar. Save As… will show up.

Save as menu

But here’s the problem: there are two ways to deal with this Save As feature. If you use the above keyboard shortcut, you will get the old drop-down Save As dialogue box so you can save the document where you want.


But guess what? Apple forgot one tiny detail: the word “copy” is not added for you. You will have to add it yourself. The new version by default will be saved in the same iCloud or Finder folder of the original, or you can save it somewhere else.

However, I discovered  that if you use Shift-Command+S, you will get a duplicate of the file, plus the word “copy” added to the title of the file; and the ability to save the new version to iCloud or on your Finder.

Save as copy

Fix: Use the Shift+Command+S shortcut if you want “copy” automatically added for you.

Where is iCloud?

Many people still don’t get the whole ‘save to the cloud’ technology. But even the ones of us who do might ask, where is the iCloud folder in the Finder of our Mac? If you use Dropbox, you know exactly where the folder is on your computer and mobile device. When you launch TextEdit or Pages, the iCloud folder will automatically open so you can select and open an existing file or start a new one. No problem here.

Icloud folder 1

But say you want to locate the file in iCloud that resides somewhere in your Finder. Where is it? Well, it’s buried in your Home Library > Mobile Documents folders. While that may seem okay, I can tell you it’s not a place to visit and find files on a regular basis, especially if you have lots of other mobile documents being saved there. It can get very crowded in there.

Icloud folder

Fix: If you need to access the iCloud folder a lot in the Finder, I would just drag the Mobile Documents folder into the Finder toolbar to quickly access it.

Finder toolbar

Where is the Home Library?

I referred to the Home Library above, but if you’re scratching your head to find it, don’t feel bad. In Lion, Apple made the Home Library invisible. In order to reveal it, you go to Finder > Go, and then hold down the Option key, and Library will show up in the drop-down menu.


Fix: I’m not sure why Apple insists on hiding the Library folder. But again, when you have it open in the Finder, I suggest dragging it onto the Finder toolbar so you can open it when needed.

Where are Recent Searches?

In Mountain Lion, Apple finally updated Safari to combine the URL address bar and the search field into one place. So when you start to type in the address/search field, Safari automatically starts listing what you may be looking for. I guess that’s cool.

Screen Shot 2012 10 13 at 5 29 14 PM

But here’s the problem: Apple took out the feature that saved your most recent search queries. You may remember, it looked like this:

Mac safari search cache

But now that handy feature is gone.

Fix: Well, if you look closely, Safari will provide a list of Bookmarks and History topics and URLs as you type, but that’s not always accurate, and it doesn’t always show your most recent queriers. So because I often perform lots of searches, I use both Dunno and History Hound to get at my recent or saved searches. These are not built-in solutions, but really, Apple should just bring that feature back.

Well, that’s it for my complaints. What about yours? What features do you find lacking in Mountain Lion? And what’s your work-around for them?

And to show you that we have much love for Apple, here’s our directory of other articles about Mountain Lion that you may find useful.

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  1. Cat von Hassel-Davies
    December 28, 2012 at 4:20 am

    I wish Apple would install an easier way to create a folder on the fly when making a bookmark in Safari. There are a lot of times I go to add a bookmark and realize I don't have a folder made for that category. I have to back out, create the folder and then add the bookmark. ANNOYING!!!

  2. Siddhant Chaurasia
    October 23, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I am still on Lion as I find Lion better than Mountain Lion

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Siddhant, how do you find it better? ML seems pretty stable on my iMac.

      • Siddhant Chaurasia
        October 24, 2012 at 1:00 am

        Well for me I really miss the RSS in Safari and Mail. Also there are some battery bugs that I have heard from my friends

        • ex2bot
          October 24, 2012 at 4:19 am

          Supposedly the battery life is back to normal in 10.8.2.

        • Bakari Chavanu
          October 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

          That's a good one, Siddhant. They did take out the RSS in Safari. I didn't use it much, but if I were only subscribing to a handful of feeds, it would definitely be an option.

  3. Austin Halsell
    October 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I hate Gatekeeper. It's not the most annoying 10.8 feature, but I constantly forget about it. So I'll try to open something, like Pixa or another beta/non-App store app, and nothing happens, but I don't really notice nothings happening because I'm also trying to do something else at the same time. Then I go back to the new app hasn't opened. This cycle repeats until I remember Gatekeeper and then right-click Open.

    I know that the inconvenience/annoyance is mostly on my end, but since there is no error or warning message to accompany Gatekeeper, it graduates from user error to ML annoying feature for me. Anyone else?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Yeah, Austin, I just disabled Gatekeeper (System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General). I download files on a regular basis, and for now I just don't have to time to be bothered with it.

  4. Scutterman
    October 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I'm not sure if this is in Mountain Lion, but certainly earlier versions have a TCP / IP bug related to failed uploads that webkit refuse to fix because it's part of the core OS and I'm guessing isn't considered important enough for the core team to fix. It's been around for about 7 years and caused me quite a headache when a client came to me and said they couldn't upload using either Chrome or Safari

    There's also the fact that Webkit doesn't implement table headers in the expected manner, and that's not going to get fixed because it is technically adhering to the specifications.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Scutterman, I don't know anything about the Webkit, so I appreciate you providing this information. It's a subject I need to take a look at.

      • Scutterman
        October 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm

        I only know of them because I do web development and I've come across them recently.
        The table headers are generic to Webkit, so it affects Chrome and Safari across all operating systems. To give more detail, the W3C specifications state that "the table header tag [<thead>] may be repeated at the top of every page when printing". Firefox and IE implement this (IE requires a css rule similar to "display: table-header-group;") but Webkit and Opera don't.
        Technically both are correct according to the specification, but I find the Firefox / IE implementation to be far more useful.

  5. Dino Pearsons
    October 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I have yet to find something that bothers me in ML. I'm mostly happy with the features, and most of the new ones I ignore.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      I agree, Dino. Seems like about 90% of the OS works just fine.

  6. Ahmed Khalil
    October 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    nice article thanks for sharing hope apple read it too

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      You're welcome, Ahmed.

  7. Mac Witty
    October 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    The whole "package" with Save is what I find most annoying. Give me back the old Save function , including no auto save over my originals

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Man, I agree. I still haven't gotten the entire new Save function under control. It appears that in TextEdit, a new document is automatically saved, with the file named "Untitled". I have to rename the title. I still need to look into this feature.

    • ex2bot
      October 24, 2012 at 4:16 am

      You can have the old Save As... behavior back exactly as long as you've updated to 10.8.2. Go to System Preferences>Keyboard, click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, click Application Shortcuts from the list, click the + to add a new shortcut, and type in Save As...

      (exactly like that). Keep in mind that you have to type Save As... exactly as it shows up in the menu. Set the shortcut to shift-command-S (the old keyboard shortcut).

      Now it will show up in your menu in apps that utilize the new document versioning system, and it should work as it did in 10.6 and before.

  8. gpvprasad
    October 20, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Actually companies should go back to basics

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Because they are always trying to stay competitive, they keep adding sometimes unnecessary features that people end up not really using.

  9. Rani Karana
    October 20, 2012 at 2:48 am

    How about better dual monitor support when it comes to full screening an app or program?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 20, 2012 at 3:36 am

      Oh, Rani, definitely. I should have pointed that out. Thanks.

      • Rani Karana
        October 20, 2012 at 6:07 am

        Yeah, no problem. I managed to get Mac on my desktop and I was so disappointed when I saw that I couldn't exactly take full advantage of dual monitors. Lol.

        • Bakari Chavanu
          October 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

          Rani, you might look into Keyboard Maestro, a Mac automation software, that help you set up hacks for dual monitors–such as sending windows or opening automatically opening apps on the second screen.

        • Rani Karana
          October 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          Alright, I sure will! Thank you!

  10. Anonymous
    October 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    They should fix the journalling bug in HFS+ first, a fix is available in the Linux version of the file system.
    The "Archiving" of email is a MS invention because of shortcomings in their file system, that is not a problem in MacOS. It is simple to make a filter that moves messages to an "archive" but it takes just 25GB to store 10 times what MS can store in their ".pst" files. Why delete messages?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 20, 2012 at 3:35 am

      Knut, thanks for pointing this out.

  11. Dick
    October 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Hi, about sharing a web page link: if you share the page with email you can pick the format on the top righthand side of the new mail, you can choose between the whole page, just the link or as pdf.

    Regards, Dick

  12. Anonymous
    October 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Here's one that's been going on before ML, and I defy anyone to explain the logic behind it. Go to Finder. Right click on any file and look for "Send File." I know what you THINK is going to happen. You THINK it's going to open up Safari. Guess what it opens? OPERA!!!!!! I'm not kidding. Even if you DON'T have Opera installed, it STILL looks to open it. Hey Apple, wtf?

    • Anonymous
      October 20, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Great feature! What Safari does not offer of features, Opera provide - finally Apple admits this (Opera includes an email client that replace "Mail") - and it is "Made in Norway".

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 20, 2012 at 3:34 am

      Brian, I'm not finding the Send File on right-click. If Opera is opening, maybe it's because Opera is set as your default web browser?

      • Mac Witty
        October 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

        Neither can I find "Send file" - and I have Opera installed. I'm not sure but there was (and maybe are) a problem with Opera if you have installed Adobe CS. Opera was then installed deep in the program and took over when it came to torrent downloading.

        • Anonymous
          October 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

          That's weird. I remember first seeing this issue a couple years ago before I ever heard of Opera. I have Opera now, but it's not my default. Surprising that you guys don't see a Send File option. It's like when you finally get into the mechanic and the car runs like a top. Dammit!

        • spiffy
          October 22, 2012 at 1:22 am

          I think I know to what you're alluding, Brian. IIRC, an Opera based reader was included, albeit hidden, when I first used my first Macbook Pro. I thought it had to do with working around the issue MS found themselves in when they were sued for bundling in IE with Windows and not really showing alternative browsers, but oddly enough I found that anything remotely related to Adobe apps had Opera components built in as well. It's been a while since I've dug into any of that, but I found it odd all around. As for that option (send file), I've only even seen that come up in the e-mail readers.