Have an older Mac but want Hey Siri voice commands? With a little effort, you can get ‘Hey Siri’ on unsupported Macs by using a creative workaround. While new Mac models can enable Hey Siri on the Mac as easily as checking a setting in system preferences, older Macs do not support the same Hey Siri feature. This tutorial will show you how you can replicate the exact same “Hey Siri” capability on any Mac that does not support Hey Siri by default, as long as it has regular Siri functionality.
This has been tested and confirmed to work on Macs that have Siri and without official Hey Siri support. This includes Macs running macOS Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra, as long as Siri is enabled on the Mac you will be able to use this workaround approach to mimic Hey Siri functionality. You will need a microphone, and the Mac must have Siri support. The rest is just a matter of configuring the Mac to listen for a special command and then tie that command to Siri to replicate Hey Siri hands-free voice commands on a Mac.
How to Enable “Hey Siri” on Unsupported Macs
This is a multiple-step process to setup Hey Siri on an unsupported Mac, follow the steps carefully:
Go to Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
Choose “Siri” preference panel and make sure Siri is enabled
Now go to the “Keyboard” preference panel and to the “Dictation” tab and check the box for “Dictation” to ON and then check “Use Enhanced Dictation” as well
Next go to the “Accessibility” system preference panel and choose ‘Dictation’ from the sidebar, and check the box for “Enable dictation keyword phrase” and type in ‘Hey’ * and then click the “Dictation Commands” button
Check the box for “Use advanced commands” then click the + plus button
Configure the advanced Dictation command as follows:
When I say: “Siri”
While using: “Any Application”
Perform: Run Workflow -> Other -> Navigate to /Applications folder and select “Siri.app”
The configuration should look like the following, with the Perform action being “Open Siri.app”, if everything matches choose “Done”
Confirm that the “Hey Siri” trick is working by saying “Hey Siri what’s the weather” or some other Siri command
Assuming you configured things as described above, you will now have a fully functioning “Hey Siri” hands-free voice commanded assistant on a Mac, even if that Mac does not officially support Hey Siri.
Try it out yourself, it works! The response time and accuracy seems about the same as official Hey Siri on the Mac.
Basically anything from the Mac Siri commands list will work when activated through voice this way.
* You can use any other dictation keyword phrase, we’re using “Hey” so that we can mimic the “Hey Siri” feature. But you can use “Open the pod bay doors Hal” or something else if you feel like it.
How to Turn Off the Hey Siri Workaround on Older Macs
If you want to turn this off, you can return to the Accessibility Dictation section and uncheck the various boxes. If you want to disable Enhanced Dictation and disable Siri in general you can do that too. You may have noticed that Enhanced Dictation downloads a 1.2gb package for it to work, but you can remove Enhanced Dictation to reclaim that disk space on the Macif desired.
While this is obviously for the Mac, enabling Hey Siri on iPhone or iPad is easy and supports many devices, and you can enable Hey Siri on Apple Watch too. Whichever device you use Siri on you can use many Siri commands from the list and yes even the funny Siri commands that are just plain goofy.
Intel Power Gadget for Mac is a processor monitoring tool that allows computer users to monitor the performance of an Intel processor in real-time. Intel Power Gadget will show you power and energy information in watts, the clock speed frequency of the CPU in GHz, the temperature of the CPU, and CPU utilization. It’s a handy utility for many reasons, and some Mac users may even use it as an alternative system monitor sort of like Activity Monitor.
Newer versions of MacOS can sometimes have trouble installing Intel Power Gadget, and many MacOS Mojave users have discovered the installation fails or the app doesn’t work. This installation failure is usually due to a default security setting in MacOS, and is easy to resolve.
How to Install Intel Power Gadget on MacOS
Installing Intel Power Gadget on the Mac is easy, though you may run into a Gatekeeper security block that can cause installation trouble. Here’s how to successfully install the tool in modern macOS releases:
Launch the “Install Intel Power Gadget.pkg” from the mounted disk image as usual and start the installation process
If you see a ‘System Extension Blocked’ message, click on “Open Security Preferences”, otherwise go to the Apple menu and choose ‘System Preferences’ followed by ‘Security’
Under the ‘General’ section of the Security preference panel, click the button to “Allow” the ‘system software from developer Intel corporation apps’ which was blocked by Gatekeeper *
The Intel Power Gadget installer should proceed as usual and successfully install, if it fails then just run the “Install Intel Power Gadget.pkg” package installer again
When finished, launch Intel Power Gadget from the /Applications folder as usual
If you run Intel Power Gadget while you’re using the Mac, you may notice that processor performance can change around quite a bit depending on what you’re doing and what sort of apps you’re using.
It is completely normal for the processor charts to be changing constantly, and you’ll find that the processor clock speed may go up or down, as will both CPU temperature and power, typically correlated with processor utilization – this makes sense as more processing utilization requires more power to have a higher clock speed, which raises the temperature of the CPU, and of course the opposite can happen as well with CPU speed lowering along with lower power and lower temperature and utilization when the Mac is less busy. If you’re interested in doing so, you can see this directly and test it yourself by running any CPU intensive task, like the Terminal command ‘yes’, which is often used for stress testing a Mac (or any Linux PC):
As you can see the graphs for power, frequency, temperature, and utilization suddenly shoot way up as the ‘yes’ command runs in the adjacent Terminal window as a stress test, which is normal and expected behavior for the processor.
Uninstalling Intel Power Gadget on Mac
Decide you don’t need Intel Power Gadget? Uninstalling Intel Power Gadget is quite simple. Simply navigate to the /Applications folder and open the Intel Power Gadget directory, then run the included ‘Uninstaller.pkg’ package file. This will remove the Intel Power Gadget application and the associated kernel extension from the Mac.
* If you’re a truly advanced Mac user and you’re bothered by these type of security measures causing installation issues, you can choose to allow apps from anywhere in macOS by disabling Gatekeeper, though that is strongly not recommended for the vast majority of Mac users. There are quite a few apps that can fail to install because of the stricter security standards that are in place in modern macOS releases, and if you’re the type of person running Intel Power Gadget then you may encounter also a similar issue with installing VirtualBox in MacOS where the kernel driver fails to install, thereby preventing that app to work as well. Typically you can bypass Gatekeeper on a one-off basis as discussed here, which is arguably the best approach, but you can also just turn it off completely if needed.
If you’re a Hackintosh PC user, you may appreciate knowing that Unibeast now allows you to install and run MacOS Mojave on supported Intel PC hardware.
Like all else involved in the Hackintosh process, this is for advanced users, as unofficially installing MacOS system software onto select supported generic Intel PC hardware is not necessarily simple or for the faint of heart. But it does work!
If the concept of running MacOS Mojave on non-Apple Intel PC hardware appeals to you, and you’re comfortable downloading and modifying software packages, creating custom bootable install disks, adjusting BIOS settings on a PC, installing system software, tinkering with drivers and configurations to get audio, network, and graphics working, and a host of other technically advanced requirements, then out the lengthy and extremely detailed multi-step guide from tonymacx86 as linked below.
It’s important to emphasize that Unibeast is not supported by Apple, as obviously Apple only wants you running MacOS Mojave on actually supported Mac hardware from Apple (likewise, they obviously do not support the DosDude tool to run Mojave on unsupported Macs either), so if you go this route you’re entirely on your own. Using a Hackintosh is probably also be against the MacOS Licensing and Terms of Service or other agreements, so read those TOS and Licensing agreements thoroughly before whatever decisions and risks you make.
Going the Hackintosh route is impractical for nearly anyone aside from very technically savvy individuals, and if you want to run MacOS it’s much easier to just buy a new Mac Mini, a new Retina MacBook Air, or some other new Mac hardware, plus buying an actual Apple product will get you official Apple support, a full warranty, full iMessage functionality, and much more.
Nonetheless, using Unibeast for the unofficial Hackintosh option remains for those who are dedicated and advanced computer users that are comfortable building their own PCs and tinkering with many layers of hardware and software.
For many Hackintosh users, the primary benefit of jumping through these hoops seems to be that they’re able to use MacOS and Mac software on some hardware configurations that are not currently offered by Apple – for example, in a modern upgradable PC tower enclosure with many internal drive bays, which is highly desired by many professional Mac users – but with Apple apparently working on new pro-level Mac hardware, perhaps the current Hackintosh PC demand will peter out the same way it did once before when the Hackintosh Netbook trend died out soon after the release of MacBook Air. Time will tell!
Dashboard is disabled by default in MacOS Mojave, but if you’re a fan of the handy underappreciated widgets feature on the Mac, for quick access to things like unit conversion tools, weather reports, calendar, a dictionary and thesaurus, world clocks, and more, then you will be happy to know that you can quickly enable Dashboard in MacOS Mojave.
You can use Dashboard in MacOS as a Space or as an Overlay. Dashboard as a Space puts it alongside other virtual desktops in Mission Control, whereas Dashboard as an Overlay places it hovering over the current desktop or app.
Enabling Dashboard in MacOS Mojave
Here is how you can turn on Dashboard in Mac OS:
Open the System Preferences via the Apple menu
Choose “Mission Control”
Look for “Dashboard” and pull down the dropdown menu next to that, choosing either “Space” or “Overlay”
Access Dashboard as usual (often F12 key, or via Mission Control)
Accessing and dismissing Dashboard can be done through a number of ways, including key shortcut (typically F12 or FN + F12), swiping gestures, Mission Control like any other desktop space, or a Hot Corner, depending on how you have it configured.
While Dashboard is disabled by default in MacOS Mojave for whatever reason, it’s obviously still fairly easy to enable. Why it’s turned off is anyones guess, but it’s that way even on a clean install of macOS Mojave, so even if you had it turned off before but forgot about it, that won’t impact going forward, it just needs to be manually enabled nowadays.
Of course you can also disable Dashboard again if you decide you don’t need the feature after all, that’s just a matter of returning to the Mission Control settings and selecting “Off” as the option.
The Dock in MacOS Mojave includes a new feature that displays a trio of recently used applications alongside your regular Dock app icons. The Recent Applications section of the Dock adjusts and updates automatically as you launch and quit apps, and while it offers a convenient way to reopen apps you were using not long ago, some users may prefer to not have the feature enabled for whatever reason.
If you want to disable the Recent Applications section of the Dock in MacOS, perhaps to reduce clutter or to make the Dock footprint smaller, then read on to learn how to make the change in MacOS 10.14 or later.
How to Disable Recent Applications in Dock for MacOS
Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
Choose the “Dock” preference panel
Uncheck the box next to “Show recent applications in Dock” to hide the recent apps from the Dock in Mac OS
Once you toggle off the “Show recent applications in Dock” switch, the app icons shown in the Recent Apps section will immediately disappear from the Mac Dock, shrinking the Dock down a bit.
Here’s an example of what the Dock looks like with the Recent Applications feature disabled:
And here’s an example of the same Dock and what it looks like with Recent Applications feature enabled, which is the default in MacOS:
As you can see you’ll find up to three app icons in the Dock that compose the “Recent Apps” section, and by toggling the setting off or on that’s where the recent app icons will be visible or hidden.
If you’ve searched the Mac App Store from Mojave, you’ve probably noticed the High Sierra installer is nowhere to be found. But not to worry, we’ll show you how you can download macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 from macOS Mojave 10.14.
How to Download macOS High Sierra from Mojave
Need the macOS High Sierra installer again but you’re running macOS Mojave? Here’s how to get it:
Note that this is not a downgrade process nor is it intended to be, it’s merely downloading the macOS High Sierra installer onto a Mac running the newer macOS Mojave release. You can not install an older macOS release over a newer release. Instead, if you want to downgrade for whatever reason, your best bet would be to downgrade from macOS Mojave to High Sierra (or earlier) by using Time Machine backups made prior to the initial Mojave update. Another option would be to perform a macOS High Sierra clean install, though a clean install completely erases a Mac and removes all data from the computer, making it less practical for most users given that most users want to maintain their personal data.
Interestingly enough, if you try and search the Mac App Store for “macOS High Sierra” from within macOS Mojave, you will not find the installer in the Mac App Store listings. For whatever reason, Apple has hidden the installer, and thus you must click on a direct download link that opens directly to the MacOS High Sierra download page within the App Store.
Users who had previously downloaded other versions of macOS (including High Sierra) using the same Apple ID can also find the prior macOS releases available from the “Purchases” section of the Mac App Store.
If you’re a Mac command line user you may have noticed that many frequently used commands entered into the Terminal (or iTerm) result in an “Operation not permitted” error message since updating to MacOS Mojave 10.14 or later. The “Operation not permitted” error in the Terminal can be seen after issuing even simple commands like using ‘ls’ ‘mv’ and ‘cp’ within the users own directory, but also in many other directory locations on the Mac, and when trying to use many defaults commands. Obviously this type of error message makes navigating and using the command line in MacOS Mojave to be quite difficult if not impossible for many purposes. Don’t worry, the Terminal is not broken in new MacOS versions.
This walkthrough will show you how to fix “Operation not permitted” error messages seen at the command line in Terminal for Mac OS in Mojave 10.14 or later.
How to Fix “Operation not permitted” Error in Terminal for Mac OS
Pull down the Apple menu and choose ‘System Preferences’
Choose “Security & Privacy” control panel
Now select the “Privacy” tab, then from the left-side menu select “Full Disk Access”
Click the lock icon in the lower left corner of the preference panel and authenticate with an admin level login
Now click the [+] plus button to add an application with full disk access
Navigate to the /Applications/Utilities/ folder and choose “Terminal” to grant Terminal with Full Disk Access privileges
Relaunch Terminal, the “Operation not permitted” error messages will be gone
If you have not encountered the “Operation not permitted” error message in the Terminal of MacOS (Mojave 10.14 or later) yet, then it’s likely because you haven’t wandered into a directory or file path that has the additional access restrictions (or that you don’t use Terminal, in which case this entire article is not for you).
While many of the various core System and root directories will throw error messages in macOS Terminal too, you can also find the error message even when trying to work in the users own Home directory, including in many of the user ~/Library/ folders, like ~/Library/Messages (where iMessage attachments and chat logs are stored in Mac OS) and ~/Library/Mail/ (where user-level mail plugins, mailbox data, and other Mail app data is stored), and many others.
You can test this yourself, before and after making the settings adjustment outlined above with a simple command like using ls on one of the protected folders:
If Terminal does not have Full Disk Access granted, you will see the “Operation not permitted” error message.
If Terminal does have Full Disk Access granted, or if SIP is disabled, you will not see that error message in the MacOS Terminal.
In case you were wondering, yes that does mean there are actually two ways to fix the “Operation not permitted” errors you may encounter in MacOS Terminal; the first which we detail here is rather simple that grants additional access privileges to Terminal app, and the other is a bit more dramatic which involves disabling System Integrity Protection on the Mac which is generally not recommended and we won’t specifically cover here, though simply disabling SIP and rebooting is typically enough to make the error go away if you’d rather go that route.
The “Operation not permitted” message is one of a variety of command line errors you may encounter in Mac OS Terminal. Another frequently seen command line error is the the “command not found” error message which can also be encountered in the Terminal for MacOS for a variety of different reasons as well.
If you are (or were) participating in the beta testing program for MacOS Mojave and have since updated to the final version of Mojave, you may wish to no longer receive beta software updates. By opting out of beta updates in MacOS Mojave, you will be sure that a Mac only receives final stable builds of future macOS releases, rather than any of the ongoing beta testing builds.
Halting the beta system software updates is recommended for most Mac users who were participating in the MacOS Mojave beta program at any casual level, particularly public beta users. If you’re a developer running beta system software for testing purposes, this may not apply to you.
Read on to learn exactly how to opt out of beta system software updates and stop receiving them on a Mac.
Note: Apple has changed the way to opt a Mac out of the beta software updates, and while in previous versions of Mac OS X you could opt-out of beta updates through the App Store control panel in a fairly obvious manner, MacOS Mojave now has you visit a different preference panel to then find an obscure small button to un-enroll a Mac from beta updates. If you previously went looking for the setting and missed it, you’re not alone.
How to Stop Receiving Beta Updates in MacOS Mojave
No longer want to get beta system software updates in MacOS Mojave? Here’s how to leave the beta program and instead get final stable builds of future MacOS releases instead:
Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
Choose the “Software Update” preference panel
On the left side of the Software Update control panel, look for the small text that says “This Mac is enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program”
Directly underneath the beta enrollment message, click on the tiny blue text that reads “Details…” (yes it’s a button)
A pop-up message will appear on screen reading “This Mac is enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program. Do you want to restore default update settings? Any previous updates will not be removed, and this Mac will no longer receive beta updates.”
Choose “Restore Defaults” to opt-out of the MacOS Beta program and stop receiving beta MacOS software updates
Enter the admin password if requested, then close System Preferences when finished
That’s it, now only final public builds of MacOS Mojave and future Mac OS system software updates will be shown in Software Update on that Mac. For example, you would only see MacOS 10.14.1 final rather than any of the various beta versions of that release.
You should not opt out of receiving beta software updates if you are actively running a beta version of MacOS, instead you’d want to first update macOS Mojave beta to the final version of macOS Mojave, and then opt out of the beta updates afterwards.
The beta update opt-out button is a bit obscure and the wording contained within the dialog is a little confusing, particularly compared to opting out of beta updates in prior versions of Mac OS system software, but nonetheless if you choose “Restore Defaults” after clicking the tiny ‘Details’ button then that Mac will stop getting any beta software updates.
A similar tip is available for iPhone and iPad users, and you can easily leave the iOS 12 beta testing program on any enrolled iOS device as well. Once again you’d only want to do that if you’re actively on an iOS final release.
Today’s the day, Mac users: the latest version of macOS, called Mojave (and officially it’s version 10.14), is now available. It’s not a major revamp of the operating system (it’s been a while since the Mac has had one of those), but it does add new features that can help you be more productive with your Mac.
That being said, you may be hesitant to upgrade. After all, what you’re using now works fine, and why risk the potential for problems? We hear you, and if you don’t want to upgrade right away, you’ll be fine. But in case you’re on the fence, here are a few reasons why you should upgrade to macOS Mojave now.
MacOS Mojave Dark Mode is easier on the eyes
The first new feature Apple discussed at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference unveiling of Mojave, the first feature that the Mojave website highlights, and the first feature I’m covering here is Dark Mode, which uses darker colors for user interface elements like the toolbar and menus. Being first implies a sense of importance, but to some, Dark Mode may seem like an odd feature to highlight first. “Yeah, so the Mac uses dark stuff. So what?”
Think about how you use your Mac (or computers in general). When you’re looking at a computer screen, you’re basically staring at a light source. And if you’re like me, you do almost all of your work all day long while staring at this light source. With a traditional Mac UI, you’re usually using windows that are predominating bright white, and staring at the light for a while can cause eye fatigue.
A familiar Light Mode window in. macOS Mojave…
…and a new Dark Mode window.
Dark Mode feels a lot more comfortable to me, though I don’t feel more or less fatigued at the end of the day. (That’s probably due to the fact that I make it a point to take quick “vision” breaks every 30 minutes or so.) Some people think Dark Mode helps you focus on what you’re working on; I can’t say I agree or disagree, I don’t notice a difference in where my attention is at. But while I’m working, being in Dark Mode feels more pleasing, and I now have a preference for it. I’m also looking forward to more apps offering Dark Mode interfaces.
MacOS Mojave Continuity Camera
Before Continuity Camera, it took a bit of effort to get a photo or scan on to your Mac. With Continuity Camera, the process is a lot more efficient.
You can scan images directly into Notes.
In apps that support the feature, all you need to do is click in the area where you want your image to appear, and then go to the File menu and look for an option to import a scan or photo from your iPhone or iPad. Select it, and an indicator appear in your Mac app and your iOS device’s camera automatically launches. You can then snap a pic or “scan” your document, and the result is automatically inserted in your document. So easy. Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t allow you to select a pic that’s already on your iOS device for placement in your document, but maybe that’s for a future update.
Continuity Camera works right now with Mojave’s bundled apps, like Notes, Mail, Messages, and in the Finder. It also works with Apple’s Numbers, Pages, and Keynote. Look for third-parties to add this functionality soon.
Using an iPhone X to scan a receipt in Notes for Mac.
MacOS Mojave improved security features
Security isn’t a glamorous topic, but there are a few now security features that make Mojave an attractive upgrade.
Because of what I do for a living, I’m often downloading and trying new software, sometimes from developers with whom I’m not familiar. So I run a few utilities to keep an eye on what’s going on with my Mac. One of the utilities I use is OverSight, which flashes an alert any time an app wants to access the Mac’s FaceTime camera and microphone.
macOS Mojave now lets you know if apps are trying to access your Mac’s microphone, camera, and other items.
An OverSight-like feature is now built into Mojave that can alert you when an app wants to accessalong the camera and mic, as well as iTunes device backups, Time Machine backups, your Mail database, your Message history, your Safari data, and other data.
Even better is that Safari in Mojave has improved Intelligent Tracking Prevention. What this does is that it blocks attempts to track the websites that you visit. If you trigger one of these tracks (often by clicking on a comment button, or when you Like something on Facebook), Safari posts an alert to let you know that you need to allow tracking to continue on.
Mojave also has more features for managing password, such as the ability to create strong passwords, the ability to automatically enter in a security code that you get vis SMS, and password auditing. These are great features, but as a longtime 1Password user, I don’t think I’ll be giving it up for Mojave’s built-in features. I prefer 1Password’s management tools, even though it means I’m not being efficient about my password usage.
MacOS Mojave Quick Look for quick image edits
As the family documentarian, it’s my job to take pictures and videos of family events. But I don’t just shoot and then file away the results; I look at the pics and videos and edit them. Usually, they’re easy edits, but it feels like a hassle to preview a file to see if it needs to be edited, and then open those files that do in an app.
Crop a photo directly in Quick Look. No need to open an app.
Mojave makes Quick Look most robust, providing simple editing tools so you don’t even need to open an app. Now when you preview an image (select it and then press the space bar), you can click on the Quick Actions icon between the Rotate icon and the Open in Preview button, and a set of editing tools appears. You can rotate in 90-degree increments and crop images, and there’s even a set of markup tools you can use to write notations. For audio and video, you can trim clips.
If you are perusing through dozens and dozens of photos and videos, the new Quick Look Quick Actions helps a ton with simple crops and trims. It can be a real time saver.
MacOS Mojave News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and App Store
If you frequently use the News, Stocks, and Voice Memos apps on your iPhone or iPad, then you’ll probably find good use for them on your Mojave Mac. With the News and Stocks apps, your preferences can be saved to iCloud, so your topics, channels, watch list, and more are syncs between all your devices. Voice Memos can save your recording to iCloud so you can access them on any device.
The new News app in macOS Mojave.
Of these apps, I’ll get the most use out of the News app. It seems that people tend to rely on social networks to get their news, but with social networks, the people you follow are the arbiter of what shows up on your feed—and for a lot of people, that’s preferable. I like to have more control over the articles that are fed to me, and that includes topics that may not necessarily jibe with that of the people I follow. The News app allows you to set your sources and subjects, so you can get a feed that’s customized to your interests.
Apple has also redesigned the App Store, so it’s easier to find apps. The company is also putting a more effort into your ability to learn about new software, by featuring App Store editors’ picks and curated app lists.
Group FaceTime: Coming soon to macOS Mojave
If these reasons aren’t compelling enough for you to upgrade to Mojave now, there’s a feature coming soon that will make you want to upgrade: Group FaceTime. When it becomes available—Apple says it’ll be here later this fall—you’ll be able to do a group chat with up to 32 people using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. If this feature was available now (and it worked well), it’d be the number one reason why you should upgrade to Mojave.
Let’s hope Group FaceTime comes to the Mac sooner than later.