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Bugs & Fixes: A roundup of Mavericks troubleshooting tips

Ted Landau | Nov. 4, 2013
Apple has released its latest OS update, OS X 10.9 Mavericks. While it is a stable release, it's not bug-free. We round up the problems that have been picked up by the Apple news media.

Mail not remembering your iCloud password?TUAW discovered an odd issue where, after updating to Mavericks, Mail no longer retains a memory of your iCloud password. No matter how many times you re-enter it, Mail keeps re-asking for the password. To solve this irritating glitch, go to the Accounts tab of Mail's Preferences and click the Advanced tab. From here, check the Authentication menu. If the active selection is not Apple Token, change it.

Preferences cached. Most experienced Mac users know that you can modify an application's preferences via editing the app's .plist file (typically stored in the Preferences folder of your Library folder). Several apps, including Apple's Xcode, allow you to do this via an OS X interface. However, OS X Hints found that, starting in Mavericks, any changes you make to .plist files via these apps will not take effect immediately--even if you quit and relaunch the relevant app. An older cached copy of the preferences remains in effect--until some unspecified period of time has passed. To work around this, you can log out and back in. Or you can make changes via the defaults command in Terminal. Changes made via Terminal take effect immediately.

Movies not previewing.Macworld's own Chris Breen offers advice on how to deal with .mov movie files that no longer show up in QuickLook. The problem is that Mavericks is "very particular about the kinds of movie codecs it allows," probably so as to better match how things work in iOS (a matching trend that affects numerous aspects of Mavericks). While there is no fix that allows viewing the unaltered movie file the Quick Look, you can still view the movie in QuickTime X, although only after it gets converted to a compatible format. To open and view a movie without converting it, you can instead use the older QuickTime 7 Pro.

Dual display confusion. Mavericks offers improved support for dual display setups. Among other things, the menubar now appears in both displays. You can even get the Dock to shift to a second display. To do so, move the cursor to the bottom of the second display; the Dock will pop up. However, all is not perfect. I've found that whenever you launch an app from the Dock, it opens in the display currently showing the Dock. This is true even if the app's windows were in the other monitor when you last quit the application. Others have reported similar problems when restarting a Mac: all app windows re-open in the main display.

Gmail and OS X Mail trouble. I don't have the space to go into the details here. Suffice it to say that, if you use Gmail with OS X's Mail app in Mavericks, you may see long delays before your messages appear. You may similarly find that, after adjusting Gmail's All Mail setting, your entire archive of messages on Gmail re-downloads to your Mac. This is presumably not what you wanted to happen. Joe Kissell, writing in TidBITS, has all the dirt on this and other conflicts between Gmail and Mail in Mavericks. A bit of good news: 9to5Mac reports that Apple is working on a Mail update that will fix this and several other issues.


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