Videos by Category: System Preferences

Multiple Screen Display Arrangement
12/6/18
If you are using more than one screen with your Mac, you can set where each screen is located relative to the others in your desktop's virtual space. You can choose which screen is the main one by dragging the menu bar representation to that screen. You can also adjust the rotation of your screens to use them vertically.
Privacy Preferences in macOS Mojave
10/23/18
Mojave changes how apps ask for privacy settings and gives you easier control of those settings. In System Preferences, Security & Privacy, Privacy, you can see all of the permissions that have been granted to apps and change them. However, for typical users it is often hard to determine why an app needs access to a specific type of information.
Using Dark Mode With macOS Mojave
10/1/18
A new feature of macOS Mojave is Dark Mode. This favors light text on a dark background instead of dark text on a light background in the system and standard apps. You can see the change in the menu bar, app toolbars and sidebars, and even the backgrounds of apps like Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Mail and Maps. Not all apps will change, especially third-party apps. Document content and images will not change either, as they keep using the true color specified in the document. You can also change the accent color used in standard interface elements throughout macOS.
Using macOS Mojave Dynamic Desktops
9/25/18
The new Dynamic Desktop feature will change the image on your desktop depending on the time of day, or more accurately, the position of the sun. You can see this in action by manually adjusting your Mac's time. Apple includes two dynamic desktops with Mojave, but we may see more from Apple or third-parties at some point.
A Beginner's Guide to Mac Display Preferences
5/11/18
New Mac users may not have yet explored their display preferences. You can stick with the native resolution for your display or choose one that shows text and graphics larger or smaller. Which setting you use is a personal preference, and it is easy to switch between them when you need something different.
Using Smart Quotes
3/21/18
Smart quotes will allow you to type the same double and single quote keys on your keyboard but get different curly quotes in the correct direction in your text. It uses the character before the quote to determine which character to show. You can turn this feature off and on and use Undo to get straight quotes in individual cases.
Mac Privacy Preferences
2/20/18
You can view and change your Mac's privacy preferences in System Preferences, Security & Privacy. You can see which apps you have installed that requested access to things like Contacts, Photos, Location and other information. You can grant and revoke privacy permissions to these apps. You can also read more about what these apps can access.
Start Screen Saver With a Button
11/13/17
Normally, the screen saver starts after a period of inactivity, or when you use a Hot Corner. But you can also create a button in the Dock to start your screen saver with a click. This can be a handy way to quickly lock your Mac too.
Customizing the Menubar Clock
8/10/17
The clock that appears on the right side of your menubar can be customized to suit your needs. You can choose what to display and even switch to a compact analog clock. In System Preferences, you can set the time to be spoken aloud at regular intervals. There are many third-party apps in the App Store that offer even more options.
A Beginner's Guide to Desktop Backgrounds
8/4/17
The desktop background is the large image that appears behind everything you do on your Mac. You can change it in System Preferences. You can select from many provided images, choose a solid color, or use any of your own photos as a desktop background. You can also have the desktop background automatically change from a selection of images on a regular basis.
A Beginner's Guide to System Preferences
7/28/17
System Preferences is a small app that you can easily access where you can change some basic settings on your Mac. System Preferences is broken into categories, and then each category can be further broken down into subcategories with the names at the top. In macOS, unlike Settings in iOS, System Preferences is where you can find system settings, but not app preferences. Those are found in each individual app.
Using Night Shift on Your Mac
4/7/17
Night Shift is a new Sierra feature for recent Macs that shifts the colors on your screen to include less blue light. This can be useful for people using their Macs in the evening as more blue light may make it harder for some to get to sleep. Learn how to turn this feature on and off, and adjust it on your Mac.
Run a Screensaver as Your Desktop Background
3/15/17

A little-known trick will allow you to run your Mac's screensaver as a desktop background. You can use this to have an animated desktop, display useful information, or just for fun. It could be useful in situations where you have your Mac just playing music in a shared space and want something more interesting being shown than just a static image.

Set a Lock Screen Message
2/27/17
You can set a text message to appear on your Mac's lock screen. Use this to put contact information or instructions for someone who may find your lost MacBook. Change the message often to fit your situation.
Understanding Purgeable Space
2/17/17
In Sierra if you look at your hard drive storage you may see an item labeled Purgeable Space. The files here would include downloaded media and documents in iCloud Drive that Sierra knows it can safely remove if space is needed. There is no need to try to manually manage Purgeable space as macOS will clear them and re-download them as needed.
Access the Menu Bar With the Keyboard
2/3/17

If you'd rather not take your hands off the keyboard to access the Mac menu bar, you can execute any menu command using a keyboard shortcut. You can then use the arrow keys to navigate through the menu items and Return to select one. You can do something similar with the Dock as well.

Using Hot Corners
1/31/17
Hot Corners is a feature of macOS that allows you to perform functions when the cursor is moved to one of the four corners of your screen. You can trigger Mission Control, put your Mac to sleep, run Launchpad and other functions. You can also set Hot Corners to only trigger if you have modifier keys pressed.
Scroll Bar Options
1/30/17
Your an customize how the scroll bars in macOS work using some settings in System Preferences. You can decide whether the scroll bars are always present, or only when scrolling. You can also decide what you want to happen when the space above or below the current position is clicked.
Running Any App With Sierra Gatekeeper
1/27/17
In Sierra the system Gatekeeper function has been changed to only allow apps either from the App Store or from identified developers. But if you need to run other software, such as special software in a work environment, you can still run any software if you know how to override Gatekeeper.
Ways To Put Your MacBook To Sleep
1/23/17
Putting your MacBook to sleep it critical when you are not using it, even for a few minutes. There are many ways to quickly and easily put it to sleep, from keyboard shortcuts to gestures to physical actions. Find one that works for you to get the most from your MacBook's battery.
Understanding Login Items
1/6/17
Login Items allows you to set applications to start automatically when you first log in to your Mac. They are used by many apps to run supporting apps in the background. You may have some items there added by apps and not realize it. You can also add your own apps. It is important to understand what the checkboxes next to the apps in the list do. If you want to stop an app from automatically launching, unchecking it won't do that. You need to remove the app from the list.
Use Custom System and Mail Alerts in Sierra
12/12/16
You can use your own sounds for alerts in macOS Sierra and Mail. You'll need to convert the sounds to AIF format and put them in the Library folder. Then these custom sounds will show up after restarting System Preferences or Mail.
Search For Preferences and Settings
11/15/16
Both macOS and iOS allow you to search for system settings. You can use the Search field at the top of System Preferences, or the Search field in the Settings app to quickly find specific items. But the results aren't perfect.
Reassign the Caps Lock Key
11/1/16
If you don't use the Caps Lock key, you can disable it to prevent accidental use. You can also re-assign it as an optional Command, Control, Option or Esc key.
Setting Custom Alert Sounds On Your Mac
1/19/15
You can change the alert sound on your Mac using System Preferences. There are a variety of built-in sounds to choose from. You can also import your own sound files by placing them into a special folder. These files must use a special format, or at least have the file extension set to that format.
Uninterruptible Power Supplies
12/10/14
Next to a back drive, a UPS is the most important accessory you need if you own an iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro. Essentially a power strip with a battery, a UPS will keep your Mac running if you have a power outage or even a split-second power interruption. Then you can shut down your Mac gracefully and not lose any work. Most UPSes today come with a USB connection that you can connect to your Mac. Then you get a new section in System Preferences where you can set your Mac to shut down on its own if power is out and the battery is in use.
Energy Saver Preferences
12/3/14
Learn about the Energy Saver system preferences. You can set an amount of time before your Mac goes to sleep or puts the display to sleep. This will help conserve energy and prolong your battery charge. There are also other settings that can help, and even a way to schedule your Mac to sleep or wake up. You can have different settings for battery versus being plugged in.
MacMost Now 915: Color Calibrating Your Mac
9/9/13
Built into System Preferences is a tool that lets you color calibrate your Mac's display. This can help the colors you see on your Mac's screen match the colors you then get on printouts and when looking at real-world objects. Even if you are not a graphics professional, it may be a good idea to calibrate your screen so images you see online more closely match the real world.
MacMost Now 891: Customizing Your Desktop With GeekTool
7/15/13
The free GeekTool app allows you to put images, file content and shell script output right on your Desktop background. You can use this to customize your desktop in a variety of ways, such as showing current weather, news or financial information. Or, you can use it to monitor your Mac or systems on the Internet.
MacMost Now 855: Mountain Lion Scroll Bars
4/22/13
Scroll Bars in Lion and Mountain Lion will appear and disappear depending on your actions. You can set them to always be present, or to change based on your input device. With two fingers on your trackpad, you can scroll easily. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll.