23 January 2024

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Ronald Smith

Hey there Mac users! Are you ready to level up your computer skills and amp up your productivity? Well, I’ve got some exciting news for you. I’ve put together a list of 20 incredible Mac tips and tricks that you most likely haven’t stumbled upon yet.

These little-known secrets range from nifty keyboard shortcuts to game-changing productivity hacks that will totally transform your workflow. Whether you’re a creative genius, a wordsmith, or just a casual user, these tips are bound to make your life simpler and give your Mac skills a serious boost.

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Imagine the possibilities when you dive into the fascinating world of Mac keyboard shortcuts. From capturing screen magic to lightning-fast Spotlight searches, we’ve got it all. Wanna know more? Keep reading!

1. Hide Icons Like a Pro in System Preferences

I’ve got some helpful tips and cool tricks for you to keep your Mac secure, especially from those nosy kids of yours.

First off, let’s talk about how you can hide certain icons in the System Preferences. This way, even if someone else has access to your Mac, they won’t be able to find those icons so easily.

To get started, open up your System Preferences. Then, click on View in the Menu Bar. Look for Customize and give it a friendly click.

Now, you’ll see a bunch of checkboxes next to the icons. Take a good look and uncheck the ones you want to hide. When you’re done, click on the word Done.

Guess what? Those unchecked icons will magically disappear! It’s like a secret hideout just for you.

So, go ahead and use these tips to customize your Mac and keep it safe from prying eyes. You’re in control now!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

2. Bye-bye, Dashboard!

If you don’t see any use for that Dashboard thing on the far left where you can put your widgets, you can kiss it goodbye with this simple trick in Terminal:

Hit me with this in Terminal: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

Then, don’t forget to reset the Dock with this nifty command:

Let’s refresh it with: killall Dock

If you ever change your mind and want the Dashboard back in action, give it a second chance with this command:

Use this in Terminal: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

3. How to Hide Your Username on the Menu Bar

Hey there! Did you know that your username is displayed on the Menu Bar, right next to the date and time, by default? But don’t worry, if you want to tidy up your Mac’s Menu Bar, I’ll show you how to remove it.

First, open the “System Preferences” by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, and selecting “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

Once you’re in the “System Preferences” window, find and click on the “Users & Groups” option. It should have an icon that looks like a blue figure on a white background.

Here comes the important step. In the “Users & Groups” window, you’ll see a bunch of options. Look for “Login Options” and click on it. It’s located in the bottom left corner of the window and has a little lock icon next to it.

If the lock icon is locked, you’ll need to unlock it first. Simply double click on the lock and enter your password when prompted. This will allow you to make changes.

Once you’ve unlocked the “Login Options”, you’ll see a few checkboxes. Look for the one that says, “Show fast user switching menu as” and uncheck it.

That’s it! Your username will no longer be displayed on the Menu Bar. Now it’s all clean and neat.

Remember, if you ever want to show your username again, just follow these steps and check the “Show fast user switching menu as” checkbox.

I hope this helps you in organizing your Mac’s Menu Bar. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Happy customizing!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

4. Get Rid of Annoying Notifications Forever

Are you tired of being bothered by constant updates from the notification center? Well, I have some good news for you! Not only can you turn off those pesky notifications with the Do Not Disturb feature, but you can also completely remove the notification center from your menu bar.

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

Hey there! I’ve got a handy trick to help you get rid of that pesky Notification icon on your Mac’s Menu Bar. Just follow these steps:

First, open Terminal. You can find it in your Applications folder, under Utilities. Alternatively, you can use the Spotlight search (just press Command + Spacebar and type in “Terminal”).

Once you have Terminal open, enter the following command:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui KeepAlive -bool false

After entering the command, hit the Enter key. Don’t worry if you see a prompt asking for your password; this is a security measure to ensure that only authorized users can make changes.

Next, enter this command in Terminal:

killall NotificationCenter

Again, hit Enter to execute the command. This will restart the Notification Center on your Mac.

Lastly, log out of your Mac by clicking on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “Log Out [your username].” Once you’re logged out, go ahead and log back in.

And just like that, the Notification icon on your Menu Bar should be gone! No more distractions or clutter. Enjoy your clean, focused workspace!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

5. How to Position Your Dock at the Corners of Your Screen

Did you know that you can move your dock to the corners of your screen instead of its usual spot in the middle, or on the left and right sides? It’s true! And it’s super easy to do. Just follow the steps below, and soon you’ll have your dock perfectly aligned with the corners of your screen!

First, you’ll need to open Terminal. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Just press Command + Spacebar on your keyboard to open Spotlight, then type in “Terminal” and hit Enter. Easy peasy!

Once you have Terminal open, all you need to do is type in the following command:

defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string start

Press Enter, and voila! You’ve done it! Your dock will now be aligned to the top corners of your screen if your dock is horizontal, or to the left side if it’s vertical. How cool is that?

Now, whenever you open an app or minimize a window, the dock will be right there, ready and waiting for you to click on your favorite icons. It’s like having a personal assistant for your computer!

So go ahead and give it a try. Move your dock to the corners of your screen and see how it feels. You might just find that you like it even better than the default middle alignment. And if you ever want to switch it back, just open Terminal again and enter the command:

defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string middle

Simple, right? Now you have the power to customize your dock and make it work exactly how you want it to. Happy dock aligning!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

Have you ever wondered how to rearrange the docks on your screen? Well, I have good news for you. By using a simple command, you can make the horizontal docks align to the bottom corners and the vertical dock appear on the right side of your screen.

Here’s the command: defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string end

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

To go back to the default middle alignment, just type in this command:

“`defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string middle“`

Just a note: you’ll need to reset the dock by typing in this command to see the changes:

“`killall Dock“`

Here’s another cool trick: you can use Emoji in your text on your Mac just like you do on your iPhone! To access Emoji, simply press Command + Control + Space at the same time. This will bring up a special Emoji menu that you can use in any app where you can type. So go ahead and have fun with all those smiley faces and thumbs up!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

7. Discover Which App Is Using Up Your Mac’s Battery

Hey there! Did you know that you can find out which application is sucking away your Mac’s battery life? It’s super easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Activity Monitor by pressing Command + Space and typing “Activity Monitor”.
  2. Once the Activity Monitor is open, click on the Energy tab at the top.
  3. Now, to see more detailed information, you need to enable the Energy Impact column. Don’t worry, it’s quick and simple!
  4. Just right-click (or Control-click) on any of the column headers.
  5. In the drop-down menu, check the box next to “Energy Impact”.
  6. Voila! You will now see a new column called “Energy Impact”, showing you which applications are using the most power.
  7. If you notice an app with a high Energy Impact value, it means that it’s draining your battery faster than the others.
  8. To extend your Mac’s battery life, you can quit that app by selecting it and clicking on the “X” button in the top-left corner of the Activity Monitor.

See, it’s that simple! Now you can easily identify and close any power-hungry applications to optimize your Mac’s battery performance. Give it a try, and enjoy longer and more efficient battery life!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

8. Save Power and Boost Performance by Disabling App Nap for Specific Apps

Here’s a neat trick I discovered for maximizing battery life and multitasking speed on your Mac. Apple created a feature called App Nap, which conserves energy by temporarily slowing down apps that aren’t actively being used in the background. While this is great for extending battery life, it does impact the startup time of these apps.

If you find yourself needing to switch between apps quickly and value speed over battery longevity, you can disable App Nap for select apps. It’s super easy to do. Just follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the app you want to disable App Nap for.
  2. Select Get Info.
  3. In the Info window that appears, check the option that says Prevent App Nap.

By doing this, you’re ensuring that the app stays running at full speed even when it’s not in use in the background. It’s worth noting, though, that disabling App Nap will cause your battery to drain more quickly.

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

9. Drag and Drop Dashboard

Guess what? You can now move the Dashboard wherever you like, just by clicking and dragging it! It’s like magic! Want to place it on your second monitor in a two-screen setup? No problem!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

10. Discover More on the Activity Monitor Dock Icon

Hey there! Did you know that the Activity Monitor has some cool dock icons you can check out? It’s true! Just right-click on the icon and select “Dock Icon” to unlock a world of possibilities.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to pick from four awesome activities that you can show off on your dock. How cool is that? But hey, if you ever want to switch back to the regular icon, just choose “Show Application Icon” and you’ll be good to go.

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

11. Get Offline Dictation Up and Running

Want to use dictation on your Mac even when you don’t have an internet connection? No problem! Just follow these simple steps to enable offline dictation:

  1. Head over to System Preferences and click on Dictation & Speech.
  2. Tick the box that says Use Enhanced Dictation. This will download a file, so make sure you have enough space on your device.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be ready to dictate offline whenever you want. It’s that easy!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

Tip 12: Boost Your Efficiency with the Text Expander

Hey there! If you’re already a pro at using keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work and get more done, then you’re gonna love this Mac feature called text expansion! It lets you type a simple keyword that instantly expands into a longer phrase. Pretty cool, right? To access this amazing tool, just go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text.

One thing to keep in mind is that this awesome feature only works with certain Mac apps. But hey, even if it’s just a few apps, it can still save you a ton of time and effort!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

Step 13: Choose Whether Apps Update Automatically or Not

Like on an iPhone or iPad, you can decide if apps on a Mac should update themselves or if you’d rather do it yourself. If you prefer to stay in the loop and read about the changes that come with each update, you can turn off automatic app updates. Here’s how:

  1. First, open System Preferences.
  2. Next, click on App Store.
  3. Finally, uncheck the box that says Install app updates.

From now on, you’ll receive notifications about available app updates, giving you the freedom to choose when to update each one on your own terms.

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

14. Keep Your Lock Screen to Yourself

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my Mac’s lock screen to be a little more personal and private. If you feel the same way, let me show you how to hide those pesky notifications that pop up when your Mac is locked.

First, open up your System Preferences. You can find it by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen and selecting “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

Once you’re in the System Preferences, look for the Notifications icon. It looks like a speech bubble. Click on it to proceed.

Now, you’ll see a list of all the apps that are allowed to display notifications on your lock screen. Find the app that you want to hide notifications from and click on it.

Within the app’s settings, you’ll see a box that says “Show notifications on lock screen.” Uncheck this box, and that app’s notifications will no longer appear on your lock screen.

Repeat this process for any other apps that you want to hide notifications from. Once you’re done, close the System Preferences window.

There you go! Now, when your Mac is locked, you can enjoy some much-needed privacy without being bombarded with notifications.

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

15. How to Move Application Windows in The Background

If you want to move a window in the background without switching to it, simply follow these steps:

  1. First, hold down the Command key on your keyboard.
  2. Next, click and drag the application window that you want to move.

By holding down the Command key, you can easily move a window without interrupting your current task.

16. How to Use The Built-in Spelling and Grammar Checker

Did you know that Apple has a handy feature to help you with spelling and grammar? Here’s how to use it:

  1. Select the text that you want to check.
  2. Now, press this keyboard shortcut: Command + Shift + ;

Once you’ve entered the shortcut, a spelling and grammar checker will appear, highlighting any errors in your selected text. This feature can be a big help in ensuring your writing is polished and mistake-free!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

Step 17: Simplify and Focus

Sometimes, when things get really tough, we have to take extreme measures. If trying to do too many things at once is making it hard for you to get things done, there’s a way to help yourself out. You can switch to a “single application” mode that lets you focus on just one thing at a time. Here’s how:

In your computer’s Terminal, type in this command: defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool true

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to enter this command to see the changes:

killall Dock

Now, your computer will only show you one application at a time. It might slow you down a bit, but it’ll help you concentrate on what you’re doing without any distractions from other applications running in the background.

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

18. How to Show Dock on a Secondary Screen

Did you know that you can make the Dock appear on your secondary screen? It’s super easy! Just move your mouse cursor to the bottom of the other screen, and voila! After a quick one-second wait, the Dock will magically vanish from your main screen and pop up on your secondary screen.

19. Bye-Bye Startup Sound

Are you tired of that super loud Mac startup sound? I feel you! Lucky for you, there’s a way to permanently get rid of it. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Open Terminal (don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds).

2. Copy and paste this command: sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80 and hit Enter.

Boom! No more annoying startup sound. Enjoy the silence!

But wait! What if you change your mind and want the sound back? No worries, I’ve got you covered. Just open Terminal again and enter this command: sudo nvram -d SystemAudioVolume and press Enter.

20. Unleash the Hidden Wallpapers

Psst! I’ve got a secret to share. Your Mac is hiding some amazing wallpapers, and I can show you how to find them.

1. Open Finder, and then press the Command + Shift + G keys simultaneously (Go to Folder).

2. A little box will pop up. Type in this secret path: /Library/Desktop Pictures/ and click on the Go button.

3. Voila! You’ve just stumbled upon a treasure trove of hidden wallpapers. Pick your favorite and give your Mac’s background a fresh, new look!

20 Awesome Mac Tips & Tricks You've Probably Never Heard Of

Once you’ve got these 4 folders, simply choose a wallpaper and drag it onto your desktop background. It’s as easy as that!