How to Use the macOS Help Menu

The ever-present Help menu in your Mac's menu bar is an easily overlooked aspect of macOS, but it's home to some surprising and extremely handy features that every user can benefit from.


Apart from being a useful first port of call for any queries you may have about the application in use or your Mac in general, it also serves as a menu navigator. Let's take a closer look.

How to Use the Mac Help Menu


You can use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-/ to quickly access the macOS Help Menu. At the top of the Help menu is a Search field for typing in the subject you need help with. Below this, you'll also see a direct link to the help documentation for the currently active application, which is useful for looking up topics manually.


If it's an Apple app you're using, search results come from the official macOS User Guide, while the direct help link below the search field takes you straight to the relevant section of the guide, or in the case of Finder, the main contents page.


It's important to remember that if the active app is a third-party one, the contents of the Help menu can differ depending on how much effort the developer has put into it. For example, some apps may include FAQs, manuals, or links to online help, while others may offer very little.

How to Use Help's Action Search Feature


Another neat built-in feature of the Help menu is its ability to point to available actions in other menus for the currently active app.


Next time you type into the Help menu's Search field, check to see if the results include any Menu Items. Hover over one of these with your mouse, and macOS will locate the action for you by pointing an arrow at it in the corresponding menu. Hit Enter, and the action will be performed for you.



Depending on the app, this feature can even extend to contextual menu functions. For instance, you can use Safari's Help field to search your bookmarks and recent browsing history for keywords to quickly navigate back to web pages. Next time you're in your favorite app, try out its Help menu functions to see how deeply they've been implemented.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

Confirmed: Toronto's Eaton Centre is Finally Getting a New Apple Store

The busiest shopping mall in North America for the past several years will finally be getting a brand new Apple Store in the not too distant future.

Apple's new store will take over this Abercrombie & Fitch location via Pedro Marques

A new building permit for the Eaton Centre shopping mall in Toronto, Canada was applied for three days ago, proposing interior alterations to unit 2105A. The space is currently occupied by apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, which will be relocating to a new store directly across the hall in spring 2019.

When finished, the unit will be a new "ground floor Apple Store," according to the building permit. Abercrombie & Fitch is currently located on "Level 2" of the Eaton Centre near the south Queen Street entrance to the mall. Apple will "move" its existing store into the space, the application confirms.


MacRumors was first to report on Apple's plans at the Eaton Centre last week based on info from people familiar with the matter.

The biggest benefit of Apple's planned move will be additional space. Abercrombie & Fitch currently has a 10,680-square-foot unit, more than twice the size of Apple's current 4,977-square-foot store, according to an Eaton Centre floor plan.

Not only is the Eaton Centre the busiest shopping mall in North America, but it is home to Apple's only store in Downtown Toronto. An expansion would be a sigh of relief for not only customers but the team staffing the busy store, as the location has developed a reputation for being frequently overcrowded.

Apple's current store at the Eaton Centre

Toronto-based photographer and urban planning aficionado Pedro Marques has informed MacRumors that two stores next to Abercrombie & Fitch will soon be vacating, including Scotch & Soda and Baby Gap, potentially giving Apple up to 15,000 square feet of space for its new store — triple the size of its current store.

The new store would feature Apple's updated retail aesthetic, which typically includes large glass doors, massive video screens for Today at Apple sessions and product marketing, and wall-mounted sequoia wood shelves called Avenues that display Beats headphones, iPhone cases, and other accessories.

Depending on how long the City of Toronto's zoning and safety reviews take, the new store could potentially open in time for the 2019 holiday shopping season. However, no timeframe has been specified as of yet.

Apple and the Eaton Centre's owner and property management company Cadillac Fairview did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Apple has four existing stores in Toronto at Yorkdale, Sherway Gardens, Fairview, and the aforementioned Eaton Centre, but all of them are within shopping malls. Rumors suggest Apple also plans to open a new street-facing store at The One, an upcoming condominium bordering Downtown Toronto slated to open by 2022.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: Canada

How to Use AirPods With Your Mac and Customize Controls

If you've set up your AirPods with your iPhone and your Mac is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, then your AirPods should be ready to use with your Mac.


Ideally, all you need to do is put your AirPods in your ears, click the Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, select your AirPods from the dropdown list, and click Connect.

If you don't see your AirPods in the Bluetooth menu, you can pair them manually with your Mac in the following way.

How to Pair AirPods With Your Mac


  1. On your Mac, launch System Preferences from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...).

  2. Click the Bluetooth pane.

  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.

  4. With your AirPods in their charging case, open the lid.

  5. Press and hold the button on the back of the charging case until the status light between the AirPods flashes white.

  6. Select your AirPods in the Bluetooth devices list and click Connect.
Next time you want to use your AirPods with your Mac, place them in your ears and they should automatically pair. If they don't (if they pair with your nearby iPhone instead, for example) simply click the Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, select your AirPods in the dropdown list, and click Connect.

Customizing AirPod Controls


Apple AirPods support a number of gestural touch controls that you can customize, including the option to change tracks with a double tap.

All of these options can be accessed in the Settings app while the AirPods are connected to your iPhone or iPad. But you can also access them when your AirPods are connected to your Mac. Here's how:
  1. On your Mac, launch System Preferences from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...).

  2. Click the Bluetooth pane.

  3. In the Bluetooth devices list, click the Options button next to your AirPods.
From this menu, you can enable or disable manual ear detection, choose to use the left or right AirPod microphone, and choose what happens when you double tap an AirPod.


Double-tap options include Siri, Play/Pause, Off, Next Track, and Previous Track. Note that you can also set different gestures for the left and the right AirPod.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 Update to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave 10.14.3 update to developers and public beta testers, a few days after releasing the third beta and more than a month after the launch of macOS Mojave 10.14.2.

The new macOS Mojave 10.14.3 beta can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after the proper profile has been installed from Apple's Developer Center or the public beta testing site.


We don't yet know what improvements the next update to macOS Mojave will bring, but it is likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't able to be addressed in the macOS 10.14.2 update.

No new features were found in the first three betas of macOS 10.14.3, but if we find anything new in the fourth beta, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 73 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 73 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web API, JavaScript, CSS, Media, WebRTC, Web Animations, Web Authentication, WebGPU, and Web Inspector.

The new Safari Technology Preview update is available for both macOS High Sierra and macOS Mojave, the newest version of the Mac operating system that was released to the public in September 2018.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple’s aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

CES 2019: Elgato Unveils Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock With Dual USB-C, Dual USB-A, Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort, and More

Elgato parent company Corsair at CES 2019 this week unveiled its new Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock. The dock connects to the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with a single Thunderbolt 3 cable and provides a wide variety of additional I/O connectivity options, eliminating the need for multiple adapters.


The dock is equipped with two USB-C ports with transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s, two USB-A ports with transfer speeds up to 5 Gb/s, two Thunderbolt 3 ports with transfer speeds up to 40 Gb/s, one DisplayPort 1.2, one Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and audio output, and SD and microSD card readers.

The dock can drive a 5K external display at 60Hz over Thunderbolt, or two 4K external displays simultaneously, with one connected via DisplayPort and the other via Thunderbolt. 4K at 60Hz is also supported via HDMI 2.0 with an adapter.

The new Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock is available now for $349.99 from Amazon, Corsair, and select other retailers and distributors around the world.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, which helps us keep the site running.

Apple Hires Prominent Facebook Critic for Internal-Facing Product Privacy Role

Apple has recruited a former Facebook employee who went on to become one of the social network's most ardent critics, reports The Financial Times (paywall). Sandy Parakilas monitored the privacy and policy compliance of Facebook developers for 18 months before leaving the social network in 2012.

Sandy Parakilas talking to Bloomberg

During his time at the company, Parakilas felt his concerns about its data-sharing policies were downplayed, according to FT.

Last year, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Parakilas also gave evidence to the British parliament's digital, culture, media, and sport committee, and told MPs that Facebook's data protection practices were "far outside the bounds of what should have been allowed" between 2010 and 2014.
Mr Parakilas has urged the tech industry to improve its data protection practices, increase the use of encrypted messaging and "verify the truth of statements that can be viewed by millions of people".

"We now live in a world where racist demagogues and their dictator buddies can cynically exploit our tools to seize power," he wrote in a blog post in late 2016. "There is no such thing as a 'neutral platform'. Facebook, Twitter and Google all profited from this perversion of democracy."
According to FT's sources, Parakilas will work in Apple's privacy team as a product manager, an internal-facing role designed to ensure that new products in development protect users' privacy and minimize data collection.

Apple has made much of its privacy focus in recent years. In 2018, CEO Tim Cook singled out user privacy a "core value" of Apple's that reaches way back to before smartphones had become a feature of people's daily lives.

Recently, in the heart of Las Vegas where the Consumer Electronics Show is currently underway, Apple put up a giant sign touting the security of its devices to remind the tech industry of its heavy emphasis on privacy.

Apple does not have a presence at the show, but CES attendees will be seeing products from companies with less of a privacy focus like Google and Amazon.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Earned Over $15 Million in 2018, Not Counting Stock Awards

Apple CEO Tim Cook earned more than $15 million in salary in 2018 according to the 2018 proxy statement Apple filed with the SEC today.

Cook earned a base salary of $3 million along with $12 million in incentives awarded for performance-based reasons, and another $682,000 in unspecified "Other Compensation." Cook earned a total of $3 million more than he did in 2017.

Cook's listed salary does not include stock awards that he received in 2018, and when taking that into account, he earned an additional $121 million. In the future, Cook is set to receive stock worth upwards of $189 million as shares vest.

Other Apple executives received a base salary of $1 million, along with bonuses of more than $25 million. Angela Ahrendts, Jeff Williams, Luca Maestri, and Kate Adams, Apple's general counsel, all earned over $26 million in 2018, stock awards included.

All Apple executives are earning well over the median salary at Apple, which was $55,426 owing to the large number of retail and support employees that work for Apple. At almost $16 million, Cook earns 283 times what the median Apple employees do.


Apple's full proxy statement contains additional salary details, proposals that will be voted on at the shareholders meeting in March, and information on Apple's achievements in 2018, such as reaching 100 percent renewable energy in its global facilities, shipping the two billionth iOS device, launching the Everyone Can Create curriculum, and more.

Apple's Annual Shareholders Meeting to Take Place on March 1 at Apple Park, Pre-Registration Required

Apple's annual shareholders meeting is set to take place at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 1, 2019, the company said today in a filing with the SEC.

Apple has been holding its shareholder meetings at Steve Jobs Theater since last year, and because space is limited, the company asks that shareholders pre-register for the event.

Shareholders can register to attend the meeting at Proxyvote.com starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time on February 6. Apple says that registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The record date for the meeting is January 2, 2019, and only shareholders as of the record date who have registered in advance and have a valid registration confirmation will be allowed to enter the meeting.

Last year's shareholders meeting was rather tame, focusing primarily on discussing shareholder proposals, many of which were routine proposals for re-electing the board of directors, compensating executives, and more. Apple did make a few comments about topics that include acquisitions, customer satisfaction, and wearables, so similar information could be shared this year.

CES 2019: LifeProof Launches $99 'Lifeactiv' Water Resistant Battery Pack

LifeProof today announced the launch of a $99 Lifeactiv Power Pack 20, a 20,000 mAh battery pack that features a USB-C port and built-in water resistance.

The Lifeactiv Power Pack 20 includes two 10,000mAh batteries inside, and with the USB-C port, it can charge Apple's USB-C MacBooks, iPad Pro models, and iPhones with a USB-C to Lightning cable.


According to LifeProof, the Power Pack is waterproof in up to 6.6 feet of water for a period of one hour, drop proof up to 6.6 feet, and sealed from dirt and snow, making it an ideal battery pack for outdoor usage.

To survive a water drop and to keep it safe from liquids, the charging port door on the Lifeactiv needs to be closed before it's exposed to moisture.

The 20,000mAh Lifeactiv Power Pack 20 from LifeProof is available for purchase today for $99 from the LifeProof website.

Apple Seeds Third Beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 Update to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave 10.14.3 update to developers and public beta testers, three weeks after releasing the second beta and a month after the launch of macOS Mojave 10.14.2.

The new macOS Mojave 10.14.3 beta can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after the proper profile has been installed from Apple's Developer Center or through the public beta testing program.


We don't yet know what improvements the next update to macOS Mojave will bring, but it is likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't able to be addressed in the macOS 10.14.2 update.

No new features were found in the first two betas of macOS 10.14.3, but if we find anything new in the third beta, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

CES 2019: Seagate Launches New Seagate and LaCie SSDs and HDDs

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Seagate is launching a number of new external hard drives and solid state drives under its Seagate and LaCie brand names, offering up a new range of data storage solutions.

Seagate's premium LaCie brand is launching two new products, including the LaCie Mobile Drive and the LaCie Mobile SSD.

The LaCie Mobile Drive offers up to 5TB of storage for those who need a lot of storage space, while the LaCie Mobile SSD offers up to 2TB of storage space and transfer speeds of 540MB/s, for instances when quick data transfer is needed.


The two new LaCie drives, which are launching in January, feature a unique diamond-cut design that's meant to complement the aesthetics of Apple's Mac notebook lineup.

LaCie's Mobile Drive offers a two year warranty, while the LaCie Mobile SSD offers a three year warranty and a three year subscription to the Seagate Rescue Data Recovery plan.

Under the Seagate brand, multiple new Backup Plus drives are launching. The Backup Plus Ultra Touch, available in 1TB or 2TB capacities, is designed to offer a "high-touch sensory experience" with features that include automatic backup and multi-device folder sync.


The Backup Plus Slim, available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, and the Backup Plus Portable, in 4TB and 5TB capacities, are Seagate's newest drives in a classic line, offering an aluminum finish in black, blue, and silver, with automatic backup included.

All new Backup Plus models ship with a complimentary two month subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

Seagate's Backup Plus Ultra Touch will be available starting in February. while the Backup Plus Slim and Backup Plus Portable will launch in March.