Videos by Category: System Preferences

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.
MacMost Now 827: Using TinkerTool To Customize Your Mac
2/15/13

If you want to go beyond System Preferences and change other settings on your Mac, you can do so with the Terminal window. But TinkerTool makes it even easier by giving you a list of potential settings and a user interface to make the changes without typing.

MacMost Now 822: Quick Access To Displays Preferences
2/4/13
Mountain Lion took away quick access to your Displays preferences by removing the menu bar icon that was in previous versions of OS X. But you can still get to Displays preferences quickly using a keyboard shortcut, the Dock, or an AppleScript. You can also get a third-party app that adds the handy menu bar icon back.
MacMost Now 820: Making a Better Login Image
1/30/13
You have many options when creating a login image for your Mac user account. You can take a picture with your Mac's camera, and then zoom in and reposition it. You can also apply a variety of special filters to make it more interesting. You can get an image from elsewhere and drag and drop it to create a more unique login image.
MacMost Now 677: Lion Screen Zoom
2/29/12
You can use Lion's screen zoom feature to quickly get closer to items on your screen. You can use keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out. You can also zoom in on content in Safari with a separate feature that maintains the look of the web page.
MacMost Now 622: Speech Recognition For Your Mac
10/24/11
While Siri has brought speech commands to the iPhone 4S, Mac users have long had the ability to speak commands to your computers. Learn how to enable Speakable Items on your Mac, find out which commands work and how. You can also add custom commands and have your Mac speak to you.
MacMost Now 596: Understanding the Function Keys
8/24/11
The function keys, also called the F-keys, serve two purposes on your Mac. Found at the top of all Apple keyboards, these keys can be used for special functions like volume control, iTunes playback or accessing Mission Control. But they can also be used as F1, F2, F3, etc., keys. Find out how to switch between the two modes.
MacMost Now 551: Login Items
5/9/11
Login Items are applications that launch automatically when you log in to your user account on your Mac. Utilities supporting some of your applications may be found there. You can also add your own applications, scripts, folders, documents and even web bookmarks.
MacMost Now 533: Restoring Lost Dock and Finder Items
3/28/11
A common problem for new Mac users is to find an application missing from the Dock. Or, to find that it only appears when the application is running. Items can also go missing from the Finder sidebar or the desktop. This video explains why these can disappear and how to get them back.
MacMost Now 448: Default Folder X
9/8/10
The handy utility Default Folder X adds extra functionality to your save and open dialogs. You can quickly navigate to folders already open on your desktop, jump to recent and favorite folders, set a default folder for each application, and make changes to files you see in the dialog boxes.
MacMost Now 447: OnyX Maintenance Utility
9/6/10
If you are an advanced user with trouble, or someone who like to tinker with Mac OS X settings, then take a look at OnyX. This free utility gives you easy access to Terminal commands and hidden preferences.
MacMost Now 444: Airport Location Utility
8/30/10
The Airport Location utility allows you to take snapshots of your Mac's preferences and then manually or automatically switch between these preferences. This could save time if you use your Mac in different environments or in different modes. For instance, you could create snapshots for work, home, library or travel and then easily change dozens of settings with just one action.