Home PC/ Laptops 55 Mac tips, tricks, troubleshooters and time-savers

55 Mac tips, tricks, troubleshooters and time-savers


We love our Macs, and we additionally love discovering new issues to do with them. Whether or not it’s utilizing your iPad as a second display, AirDropping humorous issues to members of the family, or discovering sooner methods to do on a regular basis issues, we’ve by no means met a Mac tip we didn’t like. And on this information, we’re going to share our favorites with you.

Though the screenshots right here have been taken in macOS Monterey, all of our suggestions work on a number of variations of macOS – so if you happen to’re utilizing a comparatively latest mannequin, your Mac’s lined too.

1. Do conversions in Highlight

Since Excessive Sierra, Highlight has been capable of do unit conversions resembling changing greenback values into British kilos, or kilograms into kilos. For instance, kind ‘$1,000 in GBP’ to transform {dollars} to Sterling.

Spotlight currency conversion dialog

(Picture credit score: Future)

2. Summon Siri

Press and maintain Command+Area bar or click on the Siri button within the Dock or menu bar and you’ve got the identical Siri service you’re used to in your iPhone. Along with acquainted duties resembling telling you the climate forecast, you may also ask Siri to find particular recordsdata, toggle system features or launch apps.

3. Run Home windows

Intel Macs can run Home windows natively by way of Boot Camp, however you may also use a virtualization app resembling VMWare Fusion, VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop to run Home windows apps in your Mac desktop – and now you can do it on M1 Macs too

4. Use shortcuts for screenshots

Want a screengrab? Command+Shift+3 takes a full display (or when you’ve got a number of screens, a number of full screens), whereas Command+Shift+4 lets you seize a range or, if you happen to hit the spacebar, the window you click on on. To seize the Contact Bar hit Command+Shift+6.

5. Present or disguise the menu bar

You possibly can auto-hide the menu bar simply as you possibly can with the Dock. The choices dwell in System Preferences > Dock & menu bar. 

Mac System Preferences dialog

(Picture credit score: Future)

6. Use unique characters

Along with the accent keyboard shortcut (Choice+E earlier than OS X 10.7 or press and maintain the letter on later macOS variations) you possibly can convey up a menu of emoji and different characters. In the newest macOS variations you’ll often discover it inside an app’s Edit menu, labeled Emoji & Symbols; on older Macs, it’s known as Particular Characters. 

Screen shot showing a selection of macOS emoji

(Picture credit score: Future)

7. Signal PDFs in Mail

Should you’re emailed a PDF to signal, you don't have to fret about printing it, signing it and scanning it again in: you possibly can signal it proper in Mail. Drag a PDF into the e-mail you’re sending and hover over it – on the top-right you’ll see just a little button seem. Click on it and also you get a variety of Markup choices, together with one for signing paperwork. You possibly can add your signature by both holding up a signed piece of paper to the webcam in your Mac (it does a improbable job of reducing it out of the background) or by drawing it on the trackpad.

8. Annotate PDFs and pictures

Preview is an extremely highly effective software. Past letting you, properly, preview PDFs and pictures, Preview permits for a ton of annotations which might be suitable with Adobe Acrobat – broadly utilized by Home windows customers and lots of firms  – making it simple to share annotated paperwork with colleagues, whatever the platform they use.

Ensure the Edit Toolbar is seen (underneath the View menu) and also you'll see choices for drawing shapes, arrows, speech and thought bubbles, and extra.

Screen shot showing options for annotating PDFs in Preview

(Picture credit score: Future)

9. Crop, resize and tweak photos

To crop a picture in Preview, draw a range with the common Rectangular Choice software then both hit Command+Ok or obtained to Instruments > Crop. Alternatively, present the Edit Toolbar and make a extra complicated choice both with the On the spot Alpha software or the Sensible Lasso.

10. Batch-rename recordsdata

In Yosemite onwards, you possibly can merely choose a gaggle of recordsdata and select ‘Rename’ from the right-click contextual menu or the drop-down button marked with a cog icon in Finder home windows. When you hit ‘Rename,’ you get the choice of including textual content, changing textual content, or making use of a format resembling a reputation and an robotically incrementing counter.

Screenshot showing Batch Rename options

(Picture credit score: Future)

11. Use Break up Display view

Should you’re nonetheless on macOS Mojave or older, you possibly can maintain down a left-click on an app's inexperienced maximize button on the top-left nook, then drag it to your most well-liked place on the left-hand or right-hand aspect of the show.

When you’ve got macOS Catalina or later, left-click and maintain on the app window’s inexperienced maximize button to see a drop-down menu with the choices ‘Enter Full Display,’ ‘Tile Window to Left of Display,’ or ‘Tile Window to Proper of Display.’ When you’ve got a secondary display this menu may even provide the possibility to maneuver the energetic window to that display.

12. Join a digital camera with Picture Seize

Picture Seize lets you import all your digital camera’s pictures without delay to the folder of your selecting, or higher but, you possibly can choose and select which pictures to retailer in your Mac whereas deciding whether or not to maintain or delete the originals one after the other.

What’s extra, you possibly can join wirelessly to a scanner to import scanned paperwork or pictures to your most well-liked listing. You too can hyperlink your digital camera to any macOS utility that you really want. So if you would like Photoshop to open each time you join your iPhone, Picture Seize might be configured to make that occur.

Your Mac, your method

13. Change file and folder icons

Proper-click the file or folder whose icon you need to copy, choose ‘Get Information’ and replica the preview picture. Now, right-click the file or folder whose icon you need to change, choose ‘Get Information,’ click on on its icon and press Management+V to stick it.

14. Use Shortcuts for velocity

Apple introduced Shortcuts to the Mac in macOS Monterey, and it’s a good way of automating frequent duties. You possibly can construct your personal from the Starter Shortcuts included, plus there’s an incredible gallery of shortcuts you possibly can obtain.

15. Make keyboard macros 

In System Preferences > Keyboard > Textual content you possibly can create shortcuts that insert total blocks of textual content and emoji. We use this function for signatures, emoji strings and even doc skeleton constructions.

Screen shot showing macOS Keyboard text options

(Picture credit score: Future)

16. Tame notifications with Focus

The brand new macOS Focus (System Preferences > Notifications & Focus) lets you create totally different eventualities and alter what, and who, can ship you notifications whenever you’re in it. So, for instance, you might need a piece focus and a private focus, with totally different settings for every.

17. Change the default format for screenshots

If you wish to save your screenshots as JPEGs, open Terminal and sort ‘defaults write com.apple.screencapture kind JPG’ then hit Enter. The change will go into impact when you restart your Mac.

18. Edit the sidebar

You possibly can customise the Finder sidebar by dragging folders onto it. You too can toggle gadgets by opening Finder’s preferences and clicking the Sidebar tab.

Screen shot showing macOS sidebar options

(Picture credit score: Future)

19. Change your Mac’s identify

You possibly can change the identify that seems on different linked gadgets, and different folks’s AirDrop, in System Preferences > Sharing > Pc Title.

20. Open apps robotically at login

Proper-click an app within the Dock and choose Choices > Open At Login.

Sharing is caring

21. Add a visitor account to your Mac

If you wish to let others use your Mac with out seeing any of your stuff, create a Visitor account in System Preferences > Customers & Teams. When your visitor logs out, all data and recordsdata of their account are erased.

Screen shot showing macOS Guest User options

(Picture credit score: Future)

22. Get Wi-Fi passwords you possibly can’t keep in mind

Should you ever end up in an unfamiliar place, otherwise you’ve simply forgotten your Wi-Fi password, you should use Keychain Entry in your Mac to seek out it. The method is easy: open Keychain Entry by looking for it in Highlight, search the identify of the connection, and double-click the iCloud Keychain similar to the SSID you’re on the lookout for. Faucet ‘Present Password’ and enter your Keychain passcode.

23. Share something with anybody

The Share Sheet in Finder home windows, Safari and apps resembling Maps and Notes is customizable: go to System Preferences > Extensions > Share Menu to personalize yours.

Screen shot showing Share menu options for extensions

(Picture credit score: Future)

24. View somebody’s display remotely

One simple technique to view another person’s display or management their Mac over the web – which is invaluable if you happen to’re making an attempt to assist a relative troubleshoot their laptop issues – is to launch Display Sharing by looking for it with Highlight then coming into the Apple ID of the individual you’re making an attempt to contact. Should you or they don’t comprehend it, simply have them look within the iCloud pane of System Preferences. And, whilst you’re in that display, make sure that they’ve ‘Display Sharing’ enabled within the Sharing pane of System Preferences.

25. Share your media with different gadgets

Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Media Sharing and allow ‘Residence Sharing.’ This lets you share your media library with all gadgets signed in together with your Apple ID.

26. Ship SMS messages and extra out of your Mac

The Messages app can entry your iPhone SMS texts so you may also ship and obtain SMS texts out of your Mac. Merely go into your iPhone’s Settings > Messages and choose your Mac in Textual content Message Forwarding.

27. Share purchases with your loved ones

As much as six folks in the identical household can share purchases by means of the macOS Household Sharing function.

Screen shot showing macOS Family sharing options

(Picture credit score: Future)

28. Use your iPad as a secondary Mac show

In Massive Sur or later, go to Management Heart > Show and select your iPad from the ‘Join To’ part; in Catalina, you’ll use the AirPlay icon as a substitute. Your iPad will then act as a separate show. To vary to display mirroring return into Show or AirPlay and select the mirror possibility.

29. Throw recordsdata out of your Mac

Supplied AirDrop is turned on on the vacation spot machine, you possibly can AirDrop a file to it by right-clicking in your Mac and selecting Share > AirDrop.

Screen shot showing macOS share menu with Airdrop selected

(Picture credit score: Future)

30. Rename group chats in Messages

From OS X Yosemite onwards, you possibly can identify group chats by clicking Particulars on the top-right, then typing a reputation on the high.

31. Share a printer between a number of Macs

Go to System Preferences > Sharing and test the ‘Printer Sharing’ service. This can convey up a display the place you possibly can choose the printer to share and specify who can use it, if essential. As soon as that is arrange, any Mac on the community can entry that printer from the print dialog, although the Mac to which the printer is linked have to be turned on.

32. Use Display Time with your loved ones

In System Preferences > Household Sharing, scroll down till you see ‘Display Time.’ This lets you set time and app limits for members of the family, so, for instance, you possibly can restrict gaming time however not instructional apps. You should use it for you too if you happen to’re making an attempt to interrupt your social media behavior.

screen shot showing macOS Screen Time notification

(Picture credit score: Future)

33. E mail huge recordsdata

From Yosemite onwards, Mail will add actually large recordsdata to the cloud and ship the recipient a hyperlink, quite than a file which may be too large for his or her mailbox. You possibly can ship recordsdata as much as 5GB with a complete storage restrict of 1TB. Information are deleted after 30 days.

34. Resolve what to share about your self

In Contacts' Preferences, click on on the vCard tab and test ‘Allow personal me card.’ Now, whenever you go to your Me card in Contacts – you might need to outline one first – and click on Edit, you get a sequence of checkboxes subsequent to every area to indicate whether or not it could be included whenever you share a card.

Screen shot showing macOS vCard options

(Picture credit score: Future)

Sound and imaginative and prescient

35. Regulate audio quantity in smaller increments

If you use the quantity up and down keys in your Mac's keyboard the distinction between one faucet and the subsequent might be fairly large – particularly if you happen to're driving some meaty exterior audio system. Maintain down Choice+Shift as you faucet these keys, although, and the increments change into a lot smaller.

36. File your iPhone or iPad’s display

Join the iOS machine to your Mac utilizing its cable, then launch QuickTime Participant. Select ‘New Film Recording’ from the File menu after which, if it's not already chosen for you, choose your linked iOS machine because the digital camera supply from the drop-down menu subsequent to the report button. Select if you wish to report sound (both from a built-in or exterior mic or the audio the iOS machine itself is producing) from the identical drop-down menu after which click on the report button.

37. Change audio settings from the menu bar

Maintain down Choice and click on the quantity adjuster within the menu bar (or press one of many quantity buttons in your keyboard). This can convey up a listing of audio inputs and outputs. You possibly can then choose the one you need.

Screen shot showing macOS audio output settings

(Picture credit score: Future)

38. Stream to different gadgets with AirPlay 

For primary AirPlay output from Apple Music and TV you simply have to click on its image – the rectangle with the triangle reducing into it – and select the place you need to ship the music. If you would like all of your system audio to come back from the audio system, not simply music, maintain Choice and press a quantity management key to open the Sound preferences. Right here you possibly can select an output (or use the menu bar tip we already talked about).

When you’ve got an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible TV, the AirPlay icon will seem robotically within the menu bar or Management Heart. To begin mirroring your display, choose it and click on on the identify of your Apple TV or good TV.

On a regular basis enhancements

39. Take advantage of iCloud Drive

In Excessive Sierra or later, something you retailer on the desktop or in your Paperwork folder might be synced with iCloud Drive. We’ve discovered that invaluable as a result of we hold present paperwork on the desktop – so with no effort they’re accessible in Information on iPhone and iPad in addition to on iCloud.com.

40. Search inside web sites

Should you’ve visited a web site in your Mac, Safari can search inside it – so if you happen to kind ‘Amazon Mac’ you’ll see an possibility to look your standard Amazon web site for the key phrase Mac. Click on that to see the outcomes.

Screen show showing macOS options for searching websites in safari

(Picture credit score: Future)

41. Shut open tabs on different gadgets

In Safari, click on the icon that appears like two overlapping squares (or select Present All Tabs from the View menu) and also you'll see all of the open tabs on all of your gadgets. Hover over every one and also you'll see an in depth button you possibly can click on. Word that the arrival of Tab Teams seems to have damaged this function in macOS Monterey.

42. Use your iPhone to get on-line 

To start, go to the Private Hotspot possibility within the iPhone's Settings menu, and switch it on. If you wish to join over Wi-Fi, discover the Wi-Fi community created by the iPhone in your Mac's Wi-Fi choices, choose it, and enter the password proven within the iPhone.

Screen shot showing macOS wi-fi hotspot settings

(Picture credit score: Future)

43. Print to the subsequent accessible printer

In System Preferences > Print & Fax (or Printers & Scanners on latest variations of macOS), you possibly can choose a number of printers and create a Printer Pool.

You possibly can then choose this Pool from the print dialogue in apps as a substitute of the person printers. If one printer is in use, your Mac will robotically ship the doc to 1 that's free as a substitute – no ready!

44. Cowl your tracks in Safari

You possibly can take away some or all your looking historical past in Safari by opening Historical past and clicking on the Clear Historical past button. This may delete the final hour, the final day, the final two days, or all historical past not simply in your Mac however on different gadgets signed into your iCloud account too.

45. Discover menu gadgets quick with Assist

Some apps have huge menus, so if you happen to can’t keep in mind the place the actual command you want is simply click on Assist and sort the choice you’re on the lookout for.

Screen shot showing macOS menu search feature

(Picture credit score: Future)

46. Management resizing together with your keyboard

Maintain down Choice whenever you resize a window and it’ll resize either side equally. Maintain down Shift as a substitute and the window resizes proportionally to the alternative edge. Maintain down each to resize the window proportionally round its middle.

47. Transfer background home windows

Need to transfer a window with out bringing it to the entrance? Maintain down Command after which you possibly can drag it. 

48. Paste textual content with out the formatting

To stick textual content with none formatting, press Choice+Shift concurrently Command+V.

Screen shot showing macOS Paste and Match Style menu option selected

(Picture credit score: Future)

49. Change the refresh price for an exterior show

In System Preferences, choose Shows after which Choice-click on Scaled. You’ll now see a drop-down with choices to alter the monitor’s refresh price.

50. Use the identical exterior drive for Mac and PC

In Disk Utility, divide the drive into two volumes and format the one you need to use with a Home windows PC as ExFAT. You possibly can then reformat that in Home windows as NTFS to get one of the best information speeds.

Troubleshooting suggestions

51. Discover forgotten passwords in Safari

Safari shops the passwords not simply out of your Mac, however out of your iPhone and iPad too. You possibly can entry them by going to Safari > Preferences > Passwords. It’ll additionally warn you if any of your passwords have been compromised and have to be modified.

Screen show showing macOS saved passwords list

(Picture credit score: Future)

52. Remedy an insomniac Mac

Ever since OS X Yosemite, you possibly can go to View > Column whenever you’re on Exercise Monitor’s CPU tab to indicate a column of processes which might be stopping sleep. Click on this column header to type by it, and you may simply discover which apps are preserving your Mac awake, then give up them if essential.

53. Troubleshoot apps with Exercise Monitor

Launch Exercise Monitor to see present processes and the sources they take up. The columns present you issues such because the CPU utilization of a course of or the RAM it's taking over. If there's a course of that's hogging sources and also you're assured it's not wanted, you possibly can finish it by deciding on it and clicking ‘Give up Course of’.

Screen shot showing macOS Activity Monitor window

(Picture credit score: Future)

54. Ensure Highlight isn’t skipping something necessary

If Highlight isn’t discovering recordsdata you recognize are there, the folder or class that they’re in could also be excluded from its indexing. You possibly can test in System Preferences > Highlight: unchecked classes don’t present up in search outcomes. Click on on Privateness to see any excluded drives or folders.

55. Again up your Mac 

Ever since OS X 10.5, Apple has made it simple to again up utilizing Time Machine. Ideally, you ought to be doing different issues to again up information as properly, however on the very least use Time Machine.

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