There are many features of macOS that are unknown to many. In some cases, a macOS user can wait years before making a new discovery. In other words, until you’ve read some of the best hidden customization settings in macOS to help you get the most out of your Mac.
1. Cleaning up system preferences
System Preferences on Mac is a one stop shop for all of your main settings. However, for all the items you need in this menu, you don’t have many. Use this handy tip to clean up the menu and leave only the settings you want.
1. To start, open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu at the top left of the screen and then click on “System Preferences”.
2. Then click on “Display” at the top of the screen.
3. Select “Personalize” from the shortcut drop-down list.
4. You can now uncheck the menus that you do not need or do not want to access.
2. Find the Emojis
Did you know that the Mac has its own emoji keyboard? They’re all available directly from your Mac keyboard, and you probably didn’t know they were there. Accessing emojis is as simple as hitting Control + Order + Space. Once you have reached this combination, the emoji selector opens automatically. You can use emojis in various apps, especially Safari, Mail, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, and iMessage.
3. Rename multiple files at once
This is certainly one of the most practical tips, especially for photo management. To do this, go to the Finder and find a bunch of photos, documents or any type of file you prefer.
1. Once you’ve located a group of photos, for example, hold Order on the keyboard and start selecting additional files or photos.
2. Once you have identified all the files or photos you want to rename, right click on your mouse or trackpad.
3. Look for the option that says “Rename X items”. X is the number of elements that you rename. Select this menu option.
4. You can now rename one file and the others will apply the same format. If you named the first photo “David’s Graduation Party”, Apple will start with the first photo you selected as number one and number the others.
4. Automatically start programs
One of the simplest tips you can find on a Mac is to start applications at launch.
1. Go to System Preferences and choose “Users and Groups”.
2. On the right side of the window, you will have an option for “Connection elements”.
3. Under this heading, you can add or remove applications using the plus or minus buttons.
4. A warning for this tip as well: do not initialize too many programs at launch, or you may slow down the start-up time of your computer. Adding Spotify / Apple Music, browser, Twitter and small apps is perfectly fine.
5. Combine Windows Open App with Tabs
Instead of leaving multiple application windows open, combine them with tabs.
For example, open two windows for Apple Maps. Then go to the menu bar and select “Window -> Merge all windows” and instead of two open Apple Map windows, they will combine into one application with two tabs. This works for most of Apple’s default software, including Maps, Calendar, Finder, etc.
6. Spotlight on Math
macOS comes with a calculator, but sometimes you just want to do a quick math calculation. Did you know that Spotlight can do math or currency calculations?
Open Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass at the top right of the Mac menu bar or by pressing Order + Space on the keyboard. Once opened, enter the calculation you want to perform in the search bar. The answer appears as a search result that can be copied and pasted.
To convert currencies, open Spotlight again and enter the amount you want to convert. For example, if you put $ 100 in the search bar, currency conversions to Japanese yen, Swiss francs, Canadian dollars, British pounds and euros will be returned.
7. Create keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are not new to most computer users, but did you know that Apple lets you create your own?
1. Go to “System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Application Shortcuts” then press the “+” button.
2. You can now choose what you want to name the shortcut as well as the keyboard shortcut itself. Choose the combination you remember.
3. Click on “Add” and you are done. The shortcut is now activated.
8. Stop automatic content playback
Few things on the Internet are more frustrating than the automatic reading of ads and videos. Fortunately, Safari really makes it easy to end this practice.
1. Open Safari and go to Preferences at the top of the menu bar.
2. Go to the “Websites” tab.
3. Find the option labeled “AutoPlay” and open the drop-down menu to choose to automatically stop audio and video playback. You can also completely block videos with audio on.
9. Disable Siri
Everyone knows the distinct sound of Siri’s responses, but that doesn’t mean they are necessary. Instead, opt for a silent Siri response with this macOS setting.
1. Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences -> Siri”.
2. Find the “Voice Feedback” menu option and check the “Off” box.
3. You are now free to ask Siri questions as you would before, but the answers are no longer spoken out loud. They remain visible, so you don’t lose any functionality with this setting, just the audio.
The tips mentioned above are just a few of the hidden customization settings in Mac, with more features like changing folder icons, managing multiple application windows, etc. These have showcased the power of macOS and all the simple ways to adapt it for your own use. What is your favorite hidden Mac setting?
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