OS X Lion problems solved

Common OS X Lion annoyances fixed

Fixing common OS X Lion problems

OS X Lion is a great operating system, but as with any new large-scale software project, some people will encounter OS X Lion problems and issues.

Some of those issues will be incompatibilities, others will be bugs, and still others will be minor niggles that could all too easily become major OS X Lion annoyances.

Read on to discover our pick of the problems together with our solutions. And, afterwards, why not read our OS X Lion tips and tricks?

Q: I'm worried that my apps won't work

OS x lion install problems

Some apps, such as Office 2004 and Logic Pro 8, aren't supported by Lion (officially, anyway: there's a way to make Logic Pro 8 work). Find out whether your apps will still work before you upgrade by visiting Roaring Apps.

Q: Lion's download only, and my broadband is slow and capped. How do I get it?

Get thee to an Apple Store, where you can use the free Wi-Fi to download Lion. If that's not an option, Apple plans a USB stick version for later this year - although it'll be two or three times Lion's £20.99 download price.

Q: How do I install Lion on multiple Macs?

You'll need to be running Snow Leopard for this one. Download but don't run the Lion installer (it zaps itself once you've used it) from the Mac App Store. Find it in your Applications folder, right-click and choose "Show Package Contents". Look for Contents > SharedSupport > InstallESD.dmg. Now, launch Disk Utility from Applications > Utilities and drag InstallESD.dmg to the sidebar.

If you're burning a DVD, all you need to do now is insert a blank disk, select InstallESD.dmg in the sidebar and click on Burn.

Q: I don't have a DVD drive either!

Make sure you have an 8GB USB drive - smaller capacities aren't sufficient - and follow the steps above to locate InstallESD.dmg. Now, go to Disk Utility, select your drive, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for its format and click Erase. Make sure you've got the USB drive selected here!

In Disk Utility, drag InstallESD.dmg, control or right-click and select Restore. The source is InstallESD.dmg and the destination is your USB drive. Once it's done - it takes a while - stick it in the machine you want to install Lion on, reboot and hold down the Option key. Select your USB drive and Lion will now install.

Q: Lion says "some features of Mac OS X Lion are not supported for the disk" during installation

During installation, Lion creates a recovery partition on your hard disk, and if it encounters problems doing that you'll get the error message above. It's often the result of fiddling with Boot Camp, although we encountered it on an unfiddled-with MacBook Pro. Reinstalling Snow Leopard and running the Lion installer again fixed the problem for us, although as Apple notes, if you're using RAID drives the partition won't work. It won't stop Lion from working, but it means you can't use FileVault or Lion's disk repair tools.

Q: Lion freezes when I play video clips

OS x lion install problems

The Internet is full of people whose computers lock up at the first sniff of a YouTube clip, and Apple's working on a fix. We found that updating the third-party QuickTime codec collection Perian solved our non-Flash freezes, while the ClickToFlash plugin stops unwanted Flash videos from playing in Safari. If you're using Chrome, you can disable Flash by typing about:plugins in the address bar.

Q: Where's Front Row?

It's gone - but a nice man can get it back! But not if you've upgraded to iTunes 10.4!

Q: My Mac won't sleep

Your Mac may be trying to share with other computers. Have a look in System Preferences > Sharing and untick any services you don't need. Internet Sharing seems to be the culprit on many people's machines.

Q: LaunchPad is full of crap!

OS x lion install problems

The free LaunchPad Cleaner is your friend.

Q: How do I stop All My Files appearing in new Finder windows?

You can change the default in Finder > Preferences > General.

Q: How do I Save As?

In Lion-friendly apps, Save As is no longer there. Instead, you have to choose Duplicate. You can then save the duplicated file with a new name.

Q: How do I get the Dock in full screen mode?

Scroll to the bottom (or to the left or right if that's where your Dock lives), and then try to scroll again in the same direction. Behold the dock!

Q: Where's my Library folder?

OS x lion install problems

Library is hidden by default. Bring it back by launching Terminal and typing chflags nohidden /Library - or just navigate to it by Option-clicking the Go menu in Finder.

Q: How do I stop applications re-opening everything?

Quit by using Command-Option-Q or press Option when you select Quit from the menu bar. When you reopen the program it won't open all your previous windows.

Q: How do I make Lion work like Snow Leopard did?

If you don't like natural scrolling and wish you had the keyboard repeat back, it's easy to change: in System Preferences > Mouse and > Trackpad, untick "Move content in the direction of finger movement" to return scrolling to normal. To disable the accented characters pop-over and get your keyboard to repeat, open Terminal and type: defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false. Logout and login for the change to take effect.


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