50 Useful Mac OS Tricks You Did Not Know About
Finally switched to Mac almost 5 years ago. Before that, I came across macOS for work, so the overall experience with the system is even greater. It would seem that I can call myself an expert.
Nevertheless, I regularly come across new opportunities that I did not even suspect about. Here are fifty of those whom I met recently. For convenience, I divided them by application.
Initially, it seems that macOS is a closed operating system that cannot be customized. But Finder alone proves the opposite.
1. Add files to the side menu
Just drag and drop the file into it while holding ⌘Command
There are no problems with adding folders to the side menu. I have here a dozen additional work and life.
But I could not add files here before. It turns out that it is very simple.
Here you can put, as an option, tables with working calculations for the fastest access.
2. Move folders to the toolbar
To pin files or folders to it, hold ⌘Command
Another way to speed up access to files and folders is to transfer them to the toolbar.
3. Create a folder shortcut in the Dock
Choose “Add to Dock” from the context menu of any item in the Finder sidebar.
First, you need to add a file or folder to the side menu, and from there, anything is easily transferred to the Dock
4. Make a smart shortcut for the file
Choose the option “Create an alias” from the context menu of the file in Finder
There are no familiar shortcuts that are familiar to everyone on Windows in macOS. But instead of them in the system, there are aliases.
Unlike shortcuts, aliases are attached specifically to a file or folder, and not to their location. Therefore, you can move the originals without any restrictions at all. It is very comfortable.
5. Change the default folder
Go to Finder> “Settings”> “General” and select the folder under “Show in new Finder windows”
By default, Finder opens a folder with recent files in new windows. However, this can be changed.
By the way, you can create a folder with the aliases of your most requested files and set it by default for new Finder windows. Lifehack.
6. Reload Finder
Open the system menu , go to the “Force shutdown” menu, select Finder and click “Restart”
Honestly, macOS is much more stable than Windows. But here, applications sometimes freeze. Most programs can be forced to terminate through the Dock context menu, but with Finder, this technique will not work.
You can restart the Finder through a separate menu of the operating system.
7. Rename multiple files at a time
Select several files in the Finder, open the context menu and select “Rename objects”
Few people know that Finder has a multifunctional tool for group renaming of files – it is easy to activate it.
Using it, you can add or replace text in the name, number files, and even enter a date in the name.
8. Create a smart search folder
Click on “New Smart Folder” in the “File” menu in Finder
Another convenient Finder tool is smart folders. In fact, using it you can create a special search filter with several conditions and get quick access to the most important information.
9. Add breadcrumbs for navigation
Turn on “Show Path Bar” in the “View” menu in Finder
Breadcrumbs – this is the path to a file or folder. They can be placed at the bottom of the window and navigated to any directory by double-clicking.
10. Quickly open a new tab
To do this, press ⌘Command + T
Yes, Finder also has tabs, and you can add a new one with a simple keyboard shortcut.
Safari is the easiest browser you can think of, so it’s fast and energy-efficient. But he also has interesting chips that you definitely need to try.
11. Quickly go to the address bar
To do this, press ⌘Command + L
After using this keyboard shortcut, the input focus will immediately move to the address bar, and you can enter the site domain or search query.
12. Determine image resolution
Just open it in a new tab.
Look at the name of the image tab – at the end of it, the image resolution will be indicated.
13. Enable icons for open tabs
Activate “Display website icons on tabs” in the “Tabs” menu in the “Settings” of the browser
This relatively new feature makes it possible to quickly navigate in all open tabs of the operating system.
14. Switch between tabs
Use ⌘Command and numbers 1–9, which are equivalent to tab numbers
Keyboard shortcuts for switching between tabs are super-convenient.
15. Show all saved passwords
You can view them in the “Passwords” menu in the “Settings”
To see the password for a particular account, you just need to select it in the list.
Pay attention to the yellow marks with exclamation marks. They indicate passwords that are repeated.
Spotlight is a unique search engine built into macOS. But with it you can not only search for information on your computer’s hard drive.
16. Search for information on a specific type
Just enter the command “Type:” and its name before the request
After the command without space, you can use “audio”, “tables”, “images” and many other types of data that will be used for search.
17. Get the definition of the word
Enter the word and immediately get its definition in the dictionary
Spotlight can search for data from a dictionary built into the operating system. Use it!
18. Count the expression
macOS search engine calculator
Mac search engine cleverly interacts with Calculator and can count both the most primitive expressions and complex trigonometric functions.
19. Convert values
Spotlight can even translate quantities
I did not manage to find any physical quantity about which Spotlight does not know. The search engine is also friendly with exchange rates.
20. Exclude folders from search
This can be done in the “Privacy” section of the “System Preferences” menu> Spotlight
If there are any classified materials on your computer’s drive, it’s best to exclude them from Spotlight searches — just in case.
Even the “Menu Bar” of your Mac can be flexibly customized. To do this, you need to know just a few simple tricks that will change your view of this element of the system.
21. Hide the menu bar
You can hide the menu bar through System Preferences> General
If you actively use keyboard shortcuts, the menu bar is almost useless – it only takes up space on the screen. It can be automatically hidden from the screen. At the same time, it will appear if you move the cursor to the top edge.
22. Move icons on the menu bar
Just drag them while holding ⌘Command
Thus, you can easily reorder the icons on the right side of the menu bar as you wish.
23. Delete icons in the menu bar
It is necessary to “throw” them out of there with ⌘Command clamped, but this does not work with all the icons
It’s a pity that removing absolutely all the icons from the menu bar this way will not work with all desire – it’s better to use the special Bartender 3 program.
24. Add percent for battery
Press the battery and select “Show in percent”
Add percent for the battery to know exactly how charged it is.
25. Change date and time display
You can change the options for displaying the date and time in the menu “System Settings”> “Date and Time”> “Clock”
You can use a digital or analog clock, add the day of the week and date to it, change the time format.
I practically do not use Siri on the iPhone and Apple Watch, but on the Mac my voice assistant is much more in demand. All because you can command him, doing other tasks.
26. Open any application
Just say “Open” and the name of the application
With Siri, cool to switch between applications. For example, while typing this text, I can simultaneously ask her to start a graphical editor to process the pictures.
27. Show files recently
Need to ask Siri “Show me the latest files”
The voice assistant can show recent documents in a small window in the corner of the screen, and you can easily drag them into the document without additional manipulations.
28. Manage system settings
There are enough commands: “Turn on Bluetooth”, “Turn off Wi-Fi”, “Turn up the volume”, “Decrease the brightness” and so on
Siri has access to all the basic settings that can be quickly changed by voice.
29. Search files on the Internet
You can, for example, say “Find cats on the Internet”
Siri can find images for your text while you type – just ask her about it.
30. Find out information about the computer
Siri knows absolutely everything about your computer: “What processor does this Mac have,” “How much RAM does my Mac have,” “what is the serial number for this Mac”
Of course, you can simply go to the “About This Mac” menu, but it’s much more interesting to ask Siri to tell you about him.
Recently, on Windows, the situation with trackpads has improved a bit, but they are very far from the Mac. By the way, here is a set of gestures that you definitely need to know.
31. Launch the menu with all applications
To do this, bring four fingers together
This menu is called Launchpad – it gets shortcuts to absolutely all the applications that you install on the Mac.
32. Show desktop
Just spread four fingers
This is an analog of the “Minimize all windows” function from Windows. I have not known about it for at least a year since the start of using the Mac.
33. Switch between desktops
Four fingers swipe left and right
So you can switch not only between desktops but also between applications that are open in full screen.
34. Open the menu of active applications
Four fingers up
The menu of active applications is called Mission Control. It shows the windows of all active programs and makes it possible to conveniently navigate between them.
By the way, if you hover over the windows of any application and swipe up with two fingers, they will increase.
35. Rewind a track in iTunes
Hover over the progress bar and swipe left and right with two fingers
It is very convenient to rewind musical compositions with swipes – this way you can find the most interesting fragment of the track.
“Terminal” provides access to those operating system settings that can almost never be activated in any other way.
36. Make your Mac talk
To do this, enter the phrase after the Say command
“Terminal” speaks Siri in voice and perfectly copes with the Russian language.
Just turn it into an audiobook will not work. He reads exactly one paragraph and perceives the second and further as separate commands, so he stops at them.
37. Prevent Mac from entering sleep mode
You can enable the ban using the Caffeinate command
When macOS goes to sleep, it pauses many active applications – especially when running a Mac on battery power.
To avoid this, you can use special command for the “Terminal” when it is active until it is turned off.
38. Show hidden files in Finder
Show: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE && killall Finder ; hide: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool FALSE && killall Finder
Editing hidden system files may be necessary for its more flexible configuration.
39. Hide folders from prying eyes
Enter the command chflags hidden ~ / Desktop / X-Files to hide the folder, and chflags nohidden ~ / Desktop / Secret to show it again. ~ / Desktop / X-Files – path and folder name
In this way, you can hide some secret documents from the computer that cannot be accessed.
40. Disable shadow for screenshots
Disable: defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE && killall SystemUIServer ; return: defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool FALSE && killall SystemUIServer
By default, screenshots are created with an absurd shadow that only interferes with their use. I advise you to turn it off.
41. Change the format of screenshots
On JPG: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type JPG && killall SystemUIServer
The standard format for screenshots is PNG. It is of high quality, but large in volume. Instead, you can use JPG, which is not so clear but weighs significantly less.
42. Change the location of saving screenshots
Here is the command: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~ / Desktop / Screenshots && killall SystemUIServer , ~ / Desktop / Screenshots – path and folder name
By default, screenshots are saved to the desktop. But this can be changed using this command.
43. Check server availability
Just enter the Ping command, and then the required site domain
Using this command, you can check whether there is a connection with a specific site or server or not, and also analyze its delay.
44. Add text to the login screen
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText “techy360.com” , where “techy360.com” is the inscription inside quotes for the login screen
You can add a caption to the Mac login screen. It can be a hint for your account password.
45. View the history of the “Terminal” teams
Just enter the History command
So you can see all the latest commands that were entered into the “Terminal”.
macOS has too many interesting features to even include in such voluminous material. Here are five more interesting ones I recommend trying.
46. Insert text without source formatting
To do this, use the shortcut ⌘Command + ⌥Option + ⇧Shift + V
This technique is especially useful when you copy information from the Internet to Pages or Word. With it, you can insert text using the current formatting of your document, not the site.
47. Change the background for the lock screen
Go to / Library / Desktop Pictures / via the Go to> Go to Folder menu in Finder and replace Mojave.heic with a picture of the same name
After the release of macOS Mojave on the Mac lock screen after a reboot, not your desktop wallpaper, but a standard background with the Mojave desert. But that can be changed.
48. Set a new icon for the folder or program
Copy all or part of the picture from any image editor, open the “Properties” of the program or folder, select its icon and paste through ⌘Command + V
For example, I don’t like the icons of Adobe applications, so on my Mac, I definitely change them. But you can find any other use for this chip.
49. Block your Mac instantly
To do this, use the shortcut ⌘Command + ⌃Control + Q
If you need to urgently move away from the computer, it is better to block it with this key combination. This way you secure your files.
50. Select application for default files
Go to the “Properties” of the file of the desired type, select the application in the menu “Open in the program” and click “Configure”
After this simple manipulation, all files of a given format will be opened through a new application.
These are all macOS tricks I recently started using. If you know any others, be sure to write, and we will also take them into service.