Use Google By Default and 5 Other OS X Yosemite “Fixes”
More than a few Mac users are unhappy with changes in Yosemite – like Bing showing up by default, and transparency slowing down the system. Here are a few things that might be bugging you, and how to fix them.
Use Google By Default In Spotlight
Remember when Google and Apple got along, and Microsoft was the enemy? Those days are long gone, with Apple and Google’s fight for mobile dominance tainting what was once an alliance. Apple’s gone so far as to turn to onetime rival Microsoft to provide the search backend for Siri in the form of Bing.
It’s no surprise, then, that Bing also powers web searches in Yosemite’s new and improved Spotlight. But that doesn’t mean Mac users are happy about it.
Search for anything in Spotlight and you’ll likely see these Bing Results. If you prefer Google, there’s no option to switch – but there is a workaround. First, head to the Spotlight page in your System Preferences, and turn off “Bing Web Searches”.
It’s not a one-to-one replacement: you’ll need to specify that you want to search Google. The official Bing results show up among the search results; these Google results show up in the preview area. But if you want Google in Spotlight, this is your only option. .
Google remains the default search engine in Apple’s web browser, Safari, but if you’re not getting Google results check Safari’s settings.
You can pick between four search engines from here.
Shorten Spotlight’s Surplus
Speaking of Spotlight: many Mac users are annoyed by the sheer volume of results given by Yosemite. Happily, Yosemite gives you a lot of control.
Head to System Preferences, then Spotlight. You can uncheck anything to stop seeing those results, and you can click-and-drag items to change the order they show up in. It’s not perfect – the system could be much better at figuring out what you want – but at least this gives you the ability to remove results that aren’t useful to you.
Too Much Transparency Is Slowing Down Your Mac
Yosemite borrows that translucency effect from recent versions of iOS, and it shows up everywhere. Some people like it; others don’t like using up system resources for little actual benefit (outside aesthetics).
If you’re in the second camp, know that you can turn this transparency off. Just head to System Preferences, then Accessibility.
You’ll see a “Reduce Transparency” setting: click it, and everything will become more solid.
This improved performance on my 2011 Macbook Pro; your results may vary, but give it a shot.
Slow Notification Center
I’m a big fan of the new notification widgets in Yosemite , but not everyone is. Part of the reason: notification centre is slower with widgets turned on, which is a drag when you just want to scroll through notifications. If this is bugging you, remove all the widgets.
Open the notification center, then click the “Edit” button at the bottom. You can now remove widgets by clicking the red circles beside them. Remove them all and things should open quicker.
Alternatively, the transparency fix above also helps notification center run better, so give that a shot first if you kind of like the widgets.
Safari’s Missing URLs
If you use Safari as your browser, you’ve probably noticed the address bar no longer shows the full URL; instead, it shows you only which website you’re on.
You can still see, and copy, the full URL by clicking it – this is mostly an aesthetic change. And some people like it, but if you’d rather see the full URL all the time just head to Safari’s Preferences. You’ll find the appropriate toggle under the Advanced tab, just check Show full website addresses.
Just like that, you’ll once again see the full URL.
Safari’s Missing Bookmarks Bar
Apple did a lot to “reduce clutter” in Safari, and another victim of this was the Favorites Bar. If you miss always seeing your favourite bookmarks, know that the old bar can be toggled from the “View” menu or by hitting Shift+Command+B.
What Else Annoys You In Yosemite?
It’s not all bad – there are more than a few great new features in Yosemite . But Apple might be overreaching with a few recent changes.
What do you think? Are changes like those above minor, or are they ignoring what their users want? Feel free to discuss this, and point out any other annoyances, in the comments below.