System Preferences

How to automatically hide the Dock on Mac

Did you know you can set your Dock to automatically hide when not in use? This is a great way to regain a little bit of screen real estate on your Mac. In this post, we will show you how to automatically hide and show the Dock, and we’ll even share a pro tip to make the hide/show animation faster.

No Escape key on your MacBook Pro? Sierra lets you remap its function to a modifier key

With less than 24 hours away until Apple’s “Hello again” Mac event, images of an unreleased MacBook Pro found in the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update have all but confirmed a rumored OLED touch bar replacing the row with hardware function keys.

The Internet immediately complained about the apparent loss of the hardware Escape key that seems to have fallen victim to these programmable OLED keys. While the OLED Bar could display a soft-Escape key in the left corner, users can now assign its function to one of the hardware modifier keys.

As Jeff Geerling first noted yesterday, the latest macOS 10.12.1 Sierra update now conveniently lets you remap an Escape action to a Caps Lock, Control, Option or Command modifier key—which wasn’t possible in earlier macOS editions.

Dark Mode discovered in Safari and System Preferences on macOS Sierra

It looks like iOS 10 may not be the only Apple operating system to include dark interface assets as Mac developer Guilherme Rambo tweeted out a number of screenshots showing a dark interface theme in several stock applications on macOS Sierra, including Safari and System Preferences.

This mode is different in appearance than macOS’s existing setting for enabling dark menu bar and the Dock in System Preferences → General.

How to customize your view of System Preferences icons on your Mac

Like iOS’s built-in Settings app, the System Preferences application on OS X lets you customize the various aspects of your Mac to your liking.

For instance, you can adjust the size and location of the Dock, select a desktop background, set your computer’s clock to a different time zone, customize how your keyboard, mouse and trackpad work and much more.

With System Preferences, changing your computer’s settings happens in one easily accessible central place. Our recent tutorial has shown you how to manually remove a third-party pane from System Preferences if it stays intact after uninstalling its container app.

Today, we’re going to discuss customizing your view of System Preferences and teach you to organize System Preferences icons and show and hide individual icons from the view.

How to manually remove System Preferences panes from your Mac

Some third-party apps you install on your Mac might nest custom panes within OS X’s System Preferences, mostly those distributed outside the Mac App Store due to sandboxing requirements. Uninstalling such an app automatically removes the underlying pane from System Preferences but not always, leaving you scratching your head.

Case in point: Tuxera’s MacFUSE, a dynamically loadable kernel extension.

I needed to mount files to an NTFS-formatted drive the other day so I installed MacFUSE. After removing the app a few days later using its own uninstaller, I noticed its pane in System Preferences was left intact. Should that happen to you, here’s how you can safely remove stubborn System Preferences panes from your Mac.

How to pick a startup disk for your Mac at boot time

Most people are content with booting their Mac straight into macOS, but certain multi-boot situations warrant choosing a different startup disk. But why would anyone in their right mind have multiple operating systems on their computer, you ask?

Well, if you like trying out new things out before they’re available to everyone, chances are you keep the latest beta of macOS installed on a separate partition.

Besides, some people like yours truly prefer to keep a bootable USB thumb drive in a safe place for times when something terribly wrong goes with their Mac.

There are two ways to choosing a startup disk.

One involves choosing a boot disk via a System Preferences pane called Startup Disk, which my colleague Jeff recently covered. This tutorial deals with the other method which involves picking a boot disk as your Mac is starting up.