How to quickly find specific system preferences on a mac

Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast. Read more.

Need to change a setting on your Mac but don’t know where to find it? There are two fast and easy ways to locate the specific system preference you’d like to change. Here’s how.

Search Within System Preferences

The most in-depth way to find a setting on your Mac is by searching within the macOS System Preferences app. To launch it, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen, and select “System Preferences.”

Once the System Preferences window pops up, locate the search field in the upper-right corner of the window and click it.

In the search field, type a word or two that describes what you’re looking for. For example, you could type “network” to see networking options, or “mouse” and see a list of all preferences that relate to mice.

System Preferences will return a list of the most likely options and also highlight icons in the System Preferences window. Click the result that matches what you’re looking for, and you’ll be taken directly to the preference pane with those settings.

Search for System Preferences with Spotlight

You can also search for specific system preferences using Spotlight Search on your Mac. This is particularly handy if you want to quickly change a setting without worrying about how to find it.

First, launch Spotlight by pressing Command+Space or clicking the “magnifying glass icon” in your menu bar.

Once the Spotlight search bar pops up, type in a word that describes the preference you’re looking for. For example, you could type “keyboard” to see keyboard-related preference sections.

When you see the result you want in the list to the left, double-lick it, and the System Preferences app will open directly to the correct preferences section.

Once you’ve made the change you want, close System Preferences, and you’re all set. Now that you know how to find everything, you’ll be able to customize your Mac to just how to like it. Have fun!

Need to change a setting on your Mac but don’t know where to find it? There are two quick and easy ways to find the specific system setting you want to change. Here is how.

Search in the system settings

The most thorough way to find a setting on your Mac is to look in the macOS System Preferences app. To start it, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and choose System Preferences.

Once the System Preferences window appears, find the search box in the top right corner of the window and click on it.

In the search box, enter a word or two that describe what you’re looking for. To the example, you can type “network” to view network options, or type “mouse” and view a list of all mouse-related settings.

System Preferences will return a list of the most likely options, and will also highlight icons in the System Preferences window. Click on the result that matches your search and you will be taken straight to the settings area with these settings.

Use Spotlight to search for system settings

You can also search for specific system preferences using Spotlight Search on your Mac. This is especially useful when you want to quickly change a setting without worrying about how to find it.

First start Spotlight by pressing Command + Spacebar or clicking the “magnifying glass” icon in your menu bar.

Once the Spotlight search bar appears, enter a word that describes the setting you are looking for. To the example, you can enter “keyboard” to display keyboard-related setting sections.

When you see the result you want in the list on the left, double-click it and the System Preferences app will open directly to the correct settings section.

After making the change you want, close System Preferences and you’re done. Now that you know how to find everything, it’s time to customize your Mac the way you want. Have fun!

Last updated on June 4, 2022

The system preferences app contains all the system settings like software updates, audio settings, graphic settings, etc. So if you want to change or modify a setting on your Mac, the System Preferences app is the right place to go. There are several ways to open the system preferences app; for example, if your mouse isn’t working, you can go to the system preferences app using just your keyboard. Similarly, if your keyboard doesn’t connect to the MacBook for some reason, you can use your mouse to open the system preferences window.

we will be happy to help you, please submit this form, if your solution is not covered in this article.

This post will cover all the various methods of launching or navigating to the system preferences app using your mouse, keyboard, terminal app, login screen, and many more. Therefore, please pay close attention to the content of this article to stay updated and learn a way to fix the problem when your external devices like mouse or keyboard stop responding or not working.

6 Ways to Open System Preferences on Mac Quickly

Method. 1→ How to open system preferences on Mac using a keyboard

Starting the System Preferences app using your Mac’s keyboard is easy. Follow the quick and easy procedure below to open the System Preferences window on MacBook using the keyboard.

Step. 1→On the [Desktop] home screen of your Mac, press the “Option + F2” together to open the display system panel.

Step. 2→While in the display system panel, press the “Command + L” simultaneously to go to the main system preferences window.

You can also use the Spotlight Finder app to open the System Preferences app.

Step. 1→On the home screen of your Mac, press the “Command + space bar” on your keyboard to open Spotlight search.

Step. 2→Then write “System preferences” in the search bar and press the enter key.

Note: If you are using the Windows keyboard on Mac, press “ALT+F2” Y “Command + L” to open the system preferences window.

Method. 2→ How to open system preferences on Mac without keyboard

If your MacBook keyboard isn’t working due to some bugs, glitches, or hardware issues and you need to access the System Preferences app to monitor or change some Mac settings, you can do so using your mouse. Follow the simple instructions below to open System Preferences on your Mac without using the keyboard.

Step. 1→First, left click on theapple logoin the upper left corner of your Mac screen.

Step. 2→Then, from the list of available options and settings in the dropdown menu, selectSystem preferences.

This method will open the main System Preferences window on your Mac without using your Mac’s keyboard.

Method. 3→ How to open system preferences on Mac using a mouse

If you want to open the System Preferences pane on your MacBook using just your Mac’s mouse or trackpad, follow the process below.

Step. 1→use yourmouseto move the on-screen cursor to the upper left corner of the screen.

Step. 2→. Then tap on theapple iconto open the drop-down menu.

Step. 3→Finally, click on the button “System preferences” to launch the main system preferences window from the drop-down menu.

Once you have completed this step, use your mouse to navigate through any of the available settings or options in the system preferences window and change them as per your choice.

Method. 4→ How to open system preferences on Mac without a mouse

The only way to open the System Preferences app on your Macbook without using the mouse is to use the keyboard on your MacBook. There are two standard ways that Mac users can navigate to the System Preferences window without using the mouse, both of which are described below.

  • Using the display system window

Step. 1→Open the system display panel on your MacBook by pressing the “Option + F2” on your MacBook keyboard.

Step. 2→On the display system panel, touch the “Command + L” to open the system preferences app.

Note: If you are using the Windows for Mac keyboard, press “Option + F2” after “Command + L” to open the System Preferences Startup window.

  • Using Spotlight Search

Step. 1→Start the featured search by pressing the button “CMD + space bar” buttons on your keyboard.

Step. 2→Finally, use your keyboard to type “System preferences” in the search bar and press enter.

Once you’re in the MacBook’s system preferences window, use your keyboard to navigate to the setting or option you want to access. If you’re going to open your Mac’s mouse settings, press the “METER” on your keyboard to highlight all the settings that start with the letter “M”. Now, use the arrow keys to move around and select the mouse settings.

Method. 5→ How to open system preferences on Mac login screen

Mac users can easily enable a set of accessibility options in the login window to make the login process on your Mac faster and easier. The following set of instructions will guide you through the entire process of enabling accessibility options in the login window on your MacBook.

Step. 1→Go to theSystem preferencesapp tapping on theapple logoat the top of the screen.

Step. 2→Then, in the system preferences window, click on “Users and groups.” (If you see the lock icon at the bottom of the window, click it and fill in your admin login details to unlock it.)

Step. 3→Of all the available options, select “Login Options” and tap on the “Accessibility options” action.

Step. 4→Now choose “VoiceOver, Zoom, Accessibility Keyboard, or Switch Control option” as the accessibility options you want to enable in the login window.

Step. 5→Hit the “Apply” to apply and save changes.

Method. 6→ How to access system preferences on a Mac terminal

Another simple yet effective method to access the System Preferences panel on MacBook is with the help of the Terminal app. Write down the steps listed below to access the System Preferences tab using the Terminal app on your Mac.

Step. 1→throw theterminal applicationby clicking the launchpad icon in your Mac’s Dock and typing “Terminal” in the search field. You can also use the Finder app to open the Terminal app by going to /Applications/Utilities binder.

Step. 2→Now select the “preferences” option in the Terminal application.

Step. 3→Finally, click on “General” to change or monitor the general preferences of your MacBook.

These were the handy and simple methods to quickly locate or open the system preferences window on your MacBook. Each method has a unique and distinct application and use; if your mouse is not working, you can use method number four to open system preferences app etc. So go through each of these methods and implement them to quickly access system preferences on your MacBook.

Whether you’re new to the Mac or just can’t figure out where a specific preference option is buried, you’ll love the convenience of the built-in search function in OS X System Preferences. This is an often overlooked feature that can prevent a lot of frustration when looking for some less-than-obvious settings panels, and it’s very simple to use:

  • Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu as usual
  • Type what you are looking for into the Search box
  • Either select the preference panel icon, or, select the item from the search box to jump directly to options

System Preferences will cast a shadow over the preference panels that don’t contain what you’re looking for, and a very obvious spotlight onto the preference panels that do contain the terms. Even better, you can actually navigate in the search box to jump directly to the preference option, even if it’s buried several options and tabs deep within a panel.

In the example screen shot, we’re searching for “DHCP”, which is set through a tab in a sub-preference panel for TCP/IP, something that if you’re new to the Mac you may not know. This works with a wide variety of things that are both obvious and not obvious, and it will even find non-exact phrases like “Lock Screen”, which will match up to the security panel where the “Require password for sleep and screen saver” feature is enabled, despite not even coming close to sharing the searched phrase.

Though many preferences and settings in Mac OS are easy to find, some aren’t always located in the most obvious locations within System Preferences, and it’s also just easy to forget which panel is going to adjust what you’re looking for on the Mac. Fortunately, the Mac System Preference control panel has a universal search engine built into the application, and so the next time you can’t find a specific system setting in Mac OS X, just turn to this search feature.

If you’ve overlooked the System Preference searching ability, or perhaps just underestimated the usefulness of it, don’t feel too bad, until you give it a whirl it may not be particularly obvious how handy it is.

Searching the Mac System Preferences for Specific Settings in MacOS

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and open “System Preferences” if you haven’t already done so
  2. Look in the upper right hand corner for the Search box, type the setting to search for here, as matches are found they will show up in the drop down list, and the icons of the control panels matching the request will highlight as well
  3. Select the appropriate match from the drop down list and hit the Return key to immediately jump to that setting option within System Preferences

The video below demonstrates searching within the Mac System Preferences this way:

You can locate and jump to any system setting instantly using this trick, whether you’re trying to get to DNS settings, auto-correct, dark mode, FileVault, you name it, you search for it, and if it’s in there you will find it.

Do keep in mind not all settings are stored within System Preferences, and many other settings, options, and preferences, are separately placed in the Finder Preferences or in individual application preferences and settings too.

The System Preference searching ability has been around in Mac OS X for a long time, and is basically version agnostic, whereas a similar ability to search within Settings of iOS too is a more recent addition to the mobile side of things. Nonetheless, whether you’re on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, you can now quickly locate whatever setting you wish, no more guessing, or hunting around for the obscure settings, just search and you’re there!

Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He’s covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He’s even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8. Read more.

System Preferences are a Mac users one-stop location to make changes to the operating system, tweak the hardware, and configure features like Siri and Parental Controls. Most people access the System Preferences by clicking on it in the Dock. But there are at least six other ways to access the System Preferences.

Some of these methods let you access all of the System Preferences, while some let you pick the exact one you’re after. Once you learn them, however, they will save you a little time here and there, which adds up over the long run.

Open Them from the Apple Menu

In case you hadn’t noticed, when you click on the Apple menu in the upper-left corner, there’s a shortcut to the System Preferences right below About This Mac.

If you already have System Preferences in your Dock, this is an extra click, but if your Dock is overloaded with icons, this is a nice alternative that lets you remove the System Preferences Dock icon entirely.

Right-Click for any Setting from the Dock

If you do keep the dock icon, there’s no need to even open the System Preferences at all. Click and hold on the Dock icon to see a list of everything.

From there, you can go right to the preference pane you want.

Use Spotlight to Access Any Setting

Not a fan of the mouse? Use Spotlight instead. Just press Command+Space and type the name of the setting you seek and it will appear in the search results.

Note, if you don’t see any System Preferences show up, you might have disabled them from appearing in Spotlight search results, and you will need to reenable them for this method to work.

Search for Forgotten Settings

If you have forgotten exactly where a specific setting is, you can use the search pane in the upper-right corner to find where it is hiding. As you type your search term, suggestions will appear with their locations spotlighted in white.

Use the Show All Button or View Menu

Finally, if you already have the System Preferences open and you’re accessing one particular preference pane, click the Show All button on the toolbar to return to the main panel. You can also accomplish this using the Command+L keyboard shortcut.

If you don’t want to go back to the main panel, however, click and hold the Show All button. The System Preferences appear as a list, then just scroll to the pane you want.

Alternatively, you can do the same with the System Preferences View menu.

You’re not going to use these methods to access the System Preferences all the time, but it’s good to know how to use them some of the time, as a situation warrants.

Posted on May 7th, 2020 by Kirk McElhearn

There are lots of settings, preferences, and options on the Mac, and many of these settings are organized in one app: System Preferences. You can access this app from the Apple menu, and it offers a plethora of options for customizing your Mac’s environment, and many of its features.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to use the System Preferences app, how to customize its display, and how to change essential settings for your Mac.

The System Preferences App

If you choose the Apple menu then System Preferences, the app opens, displaying a couple dozen different icons. Each icon leads you to a different group of settings and options.

This app is organized in three or four sections. At the top is your name, and two icons at the right lead to settings for your Apple ID and Family Sharing. Below that are two sections of icons: the first section covers personal settings, and the second has settings for how your Mac interacts with hardware. Finally, if you have any third party apps that have installed preference panes, they display in a fourth section; as you can see above, I use Backblaze for backups, and it installs a preference pane to configure its features.

But this organization can be confusing; there is an easier way to sort these icons. If you choose View > Organize Alphabetically, they display in alphabetical order, regardless of whether they are built-in or third-party preferences. Not only is the app more compact, but it’s easier to find the different icons this way.

When you click the View menu, you can see that you can also access each of the preference panes from that menu. And, clicking the grid button in the toolbar also displays an alphabetical menu. So you may not need to change the display of the icons in the app, if you prefer navigating via these menus.

You may find that you return to System Preferences often, or you may never use it after you first set up your Mac. If you do often use this app, there’s a trick to make it a lot simpler. There may be preference panes that you never use, so wouldn’t it be great if you could hide them? Choose View > Customize, and all the icons display with checkmarks. Uncheck those that you don’t need. For example, if you don’t have an optical drive, uncheck CDs & DVDs; if you don’t use Siri, uncheck it; and if you only have one drive connected to your Mac, you could uncheck Startup Disk.

Should you need to access these preference panes in the future, choose View > Customize again, and check them.

Finding Settings

Some of the preference panes are simple: Software Update, for example, has one checkbox, and an Advanced button where you adjust some settings. Otherwise, it does nothing, unless you have system updates available, in which case it displays a button to start updating your Mac. But a pane like Security & Privacy has dozens of options, and they can be hard to find. Fortunately, the System Preferences app lets you use a search field to find what you want.

If you’re looking for a setting to allow apps to access files on your Mac, you may know that the setting is in the Security & Privacy pane, but not in which section. So type “file” in the search box, and the app shows you a number of options. It highlights the icons where the search term appears, and you can choose from one of the suggestions below the search box to go exactly where you want.

Apple ID Settings

If you click Apple ID at the top of the window, you can access all the settings related to your Apple ID and iCloud account.

The preference pane opens with iCloud selected in the sidebar, where you can turn on or off different iCloud services, or set options for some of them. You can manage your storage, and you can change your storage plan from the bottom of the window.

At the top of the sidebar, you can access and change settings for your name, address, phone number, and payment sources. And further down in the sidebar, you can view all the devices that are signed into your iCloud account. Click one to find information such as a serial number, and whether Apple Pay and Find My is enabled for each device. And you can click Remove from Account if you find a device that you no longer own.

Settings Available to Administrators

A number of preference panes show padlocks on the bottom left corner of the System Preferences app window. This means that only an administrator can make changes. These include settings like changing the startup disk, sharing options, network settings, and security and privacy preferences. To make changes to these settings, you need to enter an administrator’s password, or, if a non-administrator account is active, you need to authenticate with the user name and password of an administrator.

Some preference panes have padlocks, but still allow some settings to be changed by non-administrators. For example, you can see above, in the Security & Privacy pane, that settings regarding requiring a password when the computer is asleep or using an Apple Watch to unlock the Mac don’t require administrator authorization. However, a more important setting about allowing apps downloaded from different locations is protected, and is dimmed.

Understanding the Various Preference Panes

You probably won’t often need to make changes to the settings in System Preferences. It’s a place to go when you set up a new Mac: for example, go to the General pane to choose appearance settings, go to Internet Accounts when you add new accounts, enable file sharing and media sharing in the Sharing pane, and create user accounts in Users & Groups. You’ll want to adjust some settings for your mouse or trackpad, maybe tweak the sound settings, and turn on Time Machine.

But you may be visiting some preference panes more often, especially because of macOS Catalina’s security settings. The Security & Privacy pane is where you go to allow apps to access files and folders, among other things; some apps will display dialogs instructing you to do this.

It’s a good idea to browse through the various preference panes, to have an idea of what customization options you have on your Mac. Check out some of our other articles that discuss a number of security features you can set, how to leverage options for the Dock, some useful settings in the Accessibility pane, and read some detailed information about understanding user accounts.

By David W. Martin • 6:00 am, August 26, 2011

Mac OS X Lion has a lot of hidden features tied to the keyboard that are easy to miss. There are all kinds of key sequences that act as shortcuts to various system features. The tip for today will show you how to quickly access the System Preferences panes related to the function keys at the top of the keyboard on your Mac.

Apple keyboards like the one on my MacBook Air or Apple wireless Bluetooth keyboard offer function keys labeled F1 to F12. Each of these keys performs a specific function. On the MacBook Air the keys do the following:

  • F1-F2 Dim or brighten the display.
  • F3 Launch Mission Control.
  • F4 Enter Launchpad.
  • F5-F6 Dim or brighten keyboard backlighting.
  • F7 Control playback reverse or previous.
  • F8 Control playback play or pause.
  • F9 Control playback forward or next.
  • F10 Volume mute.
  • F11 Volume lower.
  • F12 Volume raise.

If you press the Option key and the following function keys at the same time this is what happens on the MacBook Air:

Option+F1 or Option+F2 – Displays opens in System Preferences.

Option+F3 – Mission Control opens in System Preferences.

Option+F5 or Option+F6 – Keyboard opens in System Preferences.

Option+F10, Option+F11, or Option+F12 – Sound opens in System Preferences.

Similar options are available to you on your Mac just give each one a whirl and see what happens.

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 adjust icon grouping in System Preferences

Step 1: Launch System Preferences on your Mac by clicking its icon in the Dock. Alternatively, choose Apple menu → System Preferences to launch the app. You will see a grid of icons representing Apple’s built-in and third-party preference panes, depending on your system and any apps you have installed.

Step 2: To group the icons by categories, choose Organize by Categories from the View menu. For alphabetical grouping, select Organize Alphabetically in the menu.

The screenshot top of post shows default organization of System Preferences by category. Grouping those icons alphabetically is shown below.

Choosing your view of the preference icons doesn’t affect your Mac’s functionality.

How to show or hide icons in System Preferences

Step 1: Launch System Preferences on your Mac.

Step 2: Choose Customize in System Preferences’ View menu.

This will show a checkmark next to each icon within the System Preferences window.

Step 3: To show a preference pane, tick its corresponding icon. To hide it from view, deselect its corresponding icon. In my example, I’m going to hide the icons for Parental Controls and System Disk as I rarely use these features.

Step 4: Click Done in the upper-left corner to finish adjusting your view.

As the above screenshot attests, Parental Controls and System Disk icons are now hidden from my System Preferences view.

What does hiding preference icons do?

In short, hiding icons ≠ uninstalling panes.

Preference panes remain active after removing their icons from your System Preferences view. If you hide an icon, its preference pane remains accessible through System Preferences’s built-in search field and the View menu, or via a contextual menu that pops up after clicking and holding the System Preferences icon in the Dock.

You cannot manually remove Apple’s stock panes from System Preferences.

Why System Preferences lacks settings for apps like Mail and Safari?

System Preferences differs somewhat from iOS’s Settings app in that it doesn’t include app-specific settings unless their developers have provided a custom preference pane.

To access settings for a specific app such as Mail or Safari, open the app in question, click the app’s name in the menu bar and then choose the Preferences option.

Hat tip goes to Jonathan Caprell for giving us a heads-up on this feature.

Можно воспользоваться меню «Переход» для мгновенного перехода к нужной папке — например, папке «Документы» или другой недавно открытой папке. Если точное имя и расположение папки известны, ее можно открыть, введя путь к ней.

Переход к папке из списка в меню «Переход»

В Finder на Mac выберите меню «Переход».

Выберите один из следующих вариантов.

На уровень выше: Выберите этот вариант, чтобы открыть вышестоящую папку для текущего окна. Например, если Вы находитесь в папке «Загрузки», этот вариант позволит открыть Вашу папку пользователя.

«Недавние», «Документы» или другие папки из списка. Выберите папку из списка.

Недавно использованные папки. Выберите папку из подменю. Чтобы изменить количество недавно использованных папок, отображаемых в списке, выберите меню Apple

> «Системные настройки», затем нажмите «Основные» . Нажмите всплывающее меню «Недавно использованные объекты», затем выберите число.

Совет. Чтобы перейти в папку «Библиотека» в домашней папке пользователя, удерживайте нажатой клавишу Option и выберите «Библиотека».

Переход к папке с помощью ввода пути к ней

В Finder на Mac выберите «Переход» > «Переход к папке».

Начните вводить имя пути папки (например, /Библиотеки/Fonts/ или

В процессе ввода отображаются подходящие папки.

Введите косую черту (/) в начале имени пути, чтобы показать, что начальная точка является верхним уровнем структуры папок Вашего компьютера.

Введите косую черту в конце, чтобы показать, что это путь к папке, а не к файлу.

Введите знак тильды (

), чтобы показать на Вашу папку пользователя. Большинство Ваших личных папок, таких как «Документы», «Музыка» и «Изображения» находится в Вашей папке пользователя.

Введите любую часть имени пути. Предлагаемые имена путей содержат введенный Вами текст в начале, середине или конце имени папки.

Примечание. Печатайте, не волнуясь об ошибках. Небольшие опечатки игнорируются в предлагаемых именах путей.

Нажмите Tab, чтобы подтвердить завершение частично введенного имени пути папки.

Нажмите стрелку вверх или стрелку вниз, чтобы пролистать предлагаемые и недавние имена путей.

Нажмите подходящую папку, чтобы просмотреть подпапки.

Дважды нажмите папку назначения.

Примечание. Также можно вставить скопированный путь, а затем нажать клавишу «Ввод». Чтобы узнать, как скопировать путь к папке, см. раздел Просмотр информации о файлах, папках и дисках.

Apple’s Mac computers offer a lot of settings, preferences and options all organized in a single place: System Preferences. Accessed from the Apple menu, this is the main hub for all of your basic settings within macOS. Everything that you can hope or want to configure can be done right here. There are settings for everything from Bluetooth to Siri to tweaking the settings of your keyboard, printer or mouse. Want to change your wallpaper or change the position of your dock? That can be done in System Preferences as well. Here is everything you need to know about macOS System Preferences.

System Preferences Layout

The first thing to know about System Preferences is its layout. The app is organized into four distinct sections.

1. The top left is basic and just your name plus a preselected logo.

2. At the top right of the screen are two icons that lead to Apple ID and Family Sharing options. Clicking on Apple ID will open another window where you will see all of your Apple ID and iCloud account settings. This includes what’s currently syncing with iCloud, existing payment options linked to the App Store, and resetting or changing your Apple ID password.

3. Moving more toward the middle are two sections of icons.

  • The first one covers more personal settings that you will need for your Mac. This includes things like the system language, dock settings, choosing a wallpaper, setting up Internet accounts, adding additional users and more.
  • The second one is more focused on how your Mac interacts with hardware or software. This includes things like setting up external displays, tweaking your keyboard settings or adding new Bluetooth devices like a keyboard. You will also find settings here for Time Machine backups.

4. Finally, the fourth section at the bottom of the preferences screen is where you will see any third-party apps that have a preferences pane.

If this layout feels confusing, and it often can be, you can choose to view the preferences window another way. Go to “View -> Organize alphabetically,” and you can see all of the settings in alphabetical order. This has the side benefit of making the app feel slightly more compact and less overwhelming for new Mac users.

Settings Options

Each preference window includes a new set or sets of options that can be changed, tweaked or altered. For example, if you go into the “Dock” pane, you will find options for changing the size of the Dock, moving it to the left or right of the screen rather than the bottom as well as what happens when you minimize a window. You can also choose to hide the dock so it only appears when you bring your mouse toward the bottom of the screen. As you can tell from just the Dock preferences choices, each pane has a variety of options available to it.

Some panes have locks on them, as indicated by a closed gold lock. Administrator access is required to make any changes. A good example of this is going into “System Preferences -> Users & Groups -> Login Items.” This settings pane allows the Mac owner to change what apps start up every time the Mac is rebooted. In order to make a change here, the user or owner must know the admin password. Any option that requires an admin password is also dimmed so it cannot be clicked on without the unlock password being entered.

Finding Options

There is a good chance, especially for new Mac owners but also for experienced users, that you might not know where a setting option lives. In that case, the search field at the top right of the preferences window is your best friend. Any option that matches your search will show up as a list as well in the preferences pane it is located in. While the search function might seem redundant, it’s actually a really great resource to help jump directly to a tab rather than poking around in a variety of windows.

When You See a Red Badge

Oh no, a red badge appears on the System Preferences app icon on your dock. What does it mean? There is nothing to worry about. Apple will provide a red-badge indicator in the event you have not completely set up iCloud. Alternatively, if you have a macOS software update that needs to be completed, a red badge will also appear indicating the computer needs to restart or begin the update.

Remove Unwanted Preferences

In the event the System Preferences window is too overwhelming or if you only want to see the options you use most, you can remove unwanted options. Cleaning up the menu will allow you to only leave the settings you want. To get started, open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu at the top left of the screen and then clicking “System Preferences.”

1. Begin by clicking on “View” at the top of the screen and then selecting “Customize” from the drop-down list.

2. Uncheck any of the menu options you don’t need or want access to.

3. These options can be added back at any time, so removing them is not permanent.

Mac’s System Preferences menu is your go-to for any and all changes or tweaks you want to make to your Mac. Becoming familiar with it, especially for new Mac users, is critical to getting everything you can out of your Mac purchase. Once you are familiar with the System Preferences, the next thing is to understand how the system folders work.

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В приложении Safari на компьютере Mac в разделе «Веб-сайты» можно настроить параметры просмотра отдельных веб-сайтов. Чтобы изменить эти настройки, выберите меню «Safari» > «Настройки» и нажмите «Веб-сайты».

Параметры, которые можно настроить (например, режим «Для чтения» и правила блокирования контента) перечислены слева.

Чтобы применить настройки параметра для веб-сайта справа, необходимо выбрать этот параметр, а затем выбрать нужный вариант из всплывающего меню рядом с веб-сайтом.

Вкл. Автоматически включать режим «Для чтения» в Safari, чтобы отображать статьи на веб-сайте без рекламы и других отвлекающих элементов.

Выкл. По умолчанию не использовать «Для чтения» на этом сайте. (Можно включить режим «Для чтения» для отдельных статей на этом сайте вручную.)

Правила блокирования контента

Вкл. Не показывать рекламу и другой нежелательный контент на сайте.

Выкл. Не блокировать рекламу и другой нежелательный контент на сайте.

Всегда. Все видео на сайте могут воспроизводиться автоматически.

Только для файлов без звука. Только видео без звука будут воспроизводиться автоматически.

Никогда. Видео не будут воспроизводиться автоматически.

Выбрать увеличение масштаба (в процентах), чтобы текст и изображения на сайте были лучше видны.

Спрашивать. Сайт должен запрашивать разрешение, чтобы использовать камеру на Mac.

Отказать. Сайт не может использовать камеру.

Разрешить. Сайт всегда может использовать камеру.

Спрашивать. Сайт должен запрашивать разрешение, чтобы использовать микрофон на Mac.

Отказать. Сайт не может использовать микрофон.

Разрешить. Сайт всегда может использовать микрофон.

Спрашивать. Сайт должен запрашивать разрешение, чтобы использовать камеру и микрофон на Mac.

Отказать. Сайт не может использовать камеру и микрофон.

Спрашивать. Сайт должен запрашивать разрешение, чтобы использовать Вашу геопозицию.

Отказать. Сайт не может использовать Вашу геопозицию.

Разрешить. Сайт всегда может использовать Вашу геопозицию.

Спрашивать. Сайт должен запрашивать разрешение, чтобы начать загрузку.

Отказать. Сайт не может выполнять загрузку на Ваше устройство.

Разрешить. Сайт всегда может выполнять загрузку на Ваше устройство.

Разрешить. Сайт может отправлять Вам уведомления.

Отказать. Сайт не может отправлять Вам уведомления.

Разрешить веб-сайтам запрашивать разрешение на отправку уведомлений. При посещении веб-сайта, который хочет отправлять уведомления, отображается диалоговое окно с вопросом: хотите ли Вы их получать. Чтобы это диалоговое окно больше не открывалось, снимите этот флажок.

Сайты, которым Вы разрешили отправлять уведомления, также перечислены в Системных настройках. См. раздел Настройка уведомлений от веб-сайтов.

Можно блокировать всплывающие окна, которые появляются при открытии или закрытии веб-страниц.

Блокировать и оповещать. Когда Вы открываете сайт, Safari отображает значок в поле смарт-поиска. Вы можете нажать этот значок, чтобы отобразить всплывающие окна.

Заблокировать. Сайт не может отображать всплывающие окна.

Разрешить. Сайт может отображать всплывающие окна.

Примечание. Некоторые веб-сайты используют всплывающие окна для отображения важной информации.

Спрашивать. Вы увидите диалоговое окно с вопросом: разрешаете ли Вы сайту использовать WebGL.

Заблокировать. Сайт не может показывать содержимое WebGL.

Разрешить. Сайт может использовать WebGL, кроме случаев, когда WebGL представляет угрозу безопасности компьютера.

Разрешать всегда. Сайт может использовать WebGL, даже если WebGL представляет критическую угрозу безопасности компьютера. Вариант «Разрешать всегда» создает определенные риски для безопасности, поэтому выбирать его следует только для тех веб-сайтов, которым Вы доверяете.

Параметр «WebGL» отображается только для компьютеров, на которых WebGL может представлять угрозу безопасности. Если этот параметр не отображается, сайт может отображать содержимое WebGL.

Веб-сайты, открытые в данный момент

Веб-сайты, открытые в окне или вкладке браузера Safari. Для некоторых из этих веб-сайтов уже может быть выбран вариант во всплывающем меню.

Список настроенных Вами веб-сайтов. Если список «Настроенные веб-сайты» пуст, Вы еще не настроили ни одного веб-сайта или очистили список.

Удаление выбранного веб-сайта из списка настроенных веб-сайтов.

При посещении других веб-сайтов

В этом всплывающем меню можно выбрать параметр, чтобы применить его к любому веб-сайту, для которого еще не задана настройка.

Чтобы применить настройку ко всем веб‑сайтам, убедитесь, что список «Настроенные веб‑сайты» пуст (чтобы быстро очистить этот список, выберите веб‑сайты и нажмите «Удалить»). Затем нажмите это всплывающее меню и выберите нужный вариант.

Here’s another short collection of useful Mac tips for anyone trying to get too much done in too little time.

If you work from home, you’re probably busier than ever these days. These 10 Mac tips should help you get more done faster.

How to combine files into a PDF with Preview

So, you’ve got two or more different PDF documents and you want to combine them all into one, perhaps for a report? There are two ways to achieve this:

  • Find and select the documents you want to combine and Control-click them to access the available controls. At the bottom, select Quick Actions and then choose “Create PDF.”
  • Or open one of the files in Preview and use the top left drop-down menu to select Thumbnails. You should then see previews of each page of the document appear in the sidebar. Once the thumbnails of the first PDF are visible, you can add more PDFs using drag and drop into the sidebar — like adding a page. Even multi-page PDFs can be added with this one gesture. It’s dead useful.

How to merge calendars

As can happen with other data on our Macs, we may eventually end up with multiple calendars for different purposes. That gives rise to the need to merge some of these to help keep and organize the data inside them. Here is how to merge different calendars.

Open Calendar and click on Calendars at the top of the screen to find all your current groups. Now select a calendar you want to merge and control-click its entry in the list; that will summon up a menu from which you should choose Merge. You’ll be given the opportunity to merge this calendar with another from the list. Events from both calendars will be combined.

One more tip: To see all your upcoming entries from all your calendars, just type a period (.) in the Calendar search box.

[Also read: 10+ WFH tips for Mac users]

How to speed up iCloud

Saved something on one of your Apple devices, but it hasn’t showed up yet on your Mac? Or are you looking for a Photo that doesn’t yet seem to have proliferated across iCloud? There are a few things you can do but one that seems to work best is to ensure both devices are connected to power — and restart the Mac.

Send a Safari page… fast

Here’s a super-useful Safari tip: If you are working on or researching a topic in collaboration with someone else, or simply want to quickly share a web page, tap Command-I to open a new email containing the content of the page you are on. Or you can use Command-Shift-I to create a new email containing only the URL of the page.

A fast way to access System Preferences

This is a quick way to access specific System Preferences: Press and hold the System Preferences icon in your Dock. Wait just a second and a contextual menu listing all those preferences will appear, just select and click on the one you need to access.

Make use of Smart Folders

Automate project management with Smart Folders. These can automatically gather tasks with certain keywords, dates and many other parameters. Take a look.

Use Text snippets

I’ve been a fan of these ever since I came across them. If you have text you regularly need to write, why not make life a little easier to use snd re-use by creating a Text Snippet? These are snippets of text you can automatically place in any document by dragging-&-dropping the snippet into any document.

Here is how to create one:

  • Write the text (addresses, legal warnings, whatever it might be, and it can include links).
  • Select the text and drag it to your desktop.
  • You’ll now find a Text Snippet on your Desktop.
  • Give it a memorable name and save it in a new folder somewhere.
  • Call that folder Snippets and drag the folder into the left-hand column of a Finder window, after which it should always be visible there.
  • You can add as many Snippets to that folder as you want.

In the future, you can just drag the relevant snippet from the easy-to-access folder in the Finder sindow sidebar directly into the document to save a little time.

Many people like to use Text Replacement for tasks like these. But I like the ease-of-use of Snippets, plus I don’t need to remember keyboard combinations.

If your Mac seems slow and sluggish.

If your Mac performance seems slower than normal, it might be that an open browser window, email app or some application processes may be using all your available memory. The solution is simple: quit your browser first. If you see an improvement, then it was probably a website eating up the memory. If you don’t, restart your Mac.

If no discernible improvement is then seen, then you may need other forms of support.

What to do if you forgot your Apple ID

If you forget your Apple ID password, you can reset it at the Apple ID website; just tap Forgotten your Apple ID or password and follow the process there. You will need to use the email address associated with your account and answer some security questions.

How to type a degree symbol

There are two keyboard shortcuts that let you type a degree symbol:

  • Option-Shift-8 gives you 99° (the temperature symbol).
  • Option-K provides 99˚ (the degree symbol).

I can’t really tell the difference between the two, but now you know.

There is also Option-0, which is used in some languages. º

Want more tips? Try these.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill group on MeWe.

Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing (mainly about Apple and technology) since 1999.

Whenever I reinstall my Mac OS and/or buy a new Mac, I have to configure manually almost all the options of mouse, dock, etc.

I’d like to know if Mac OS or some software can provide some way to save all the configurations I set up with the System Preferences app into a shell file, creating something like Mathias Bynens’

6 Answers 6

The System Preferences appear to be stored in various places, depending on whether they are user or system specific. A lot of them are stored in either /Library/Preferences/ or $HOME/Library/Preferences/ (for per-user settings). But each preference pane will have its own way of storing them.

You can see which preferences are stored this way by typing:

Where is either the start of the filename in your per-user system preferences, or the full path to a .plist file. For example:

The former will show your per-user customisation of the screensaver settings, while the latter will show the system screensaver settings.

The settings are largely organised by preference pane, though not necessarily that straight forward. You’ll likely have to poke around in /Library/Preferences and sub-folders (especially SystemConfiguration ) to find them all.

One option would be to just copy the relevant files out, and put them back in place for new installations.

Another way would be to export and import it as required.

Exporting the Power Management (Energy Saver) System Preferences to pm.plist:

Importing those preferences from pm.plist on the new computer:

You may even want to edit the various exported .plist files if there are specific system preferences you do/don’t want to share between computers. That way you can have some customisation locally, and the import command will not overwrite those, just add the ones you’ve set in the .plist files. You can use the defaults command to modify your own .plist files as well (but make sure you specify the full path to the file, not just a name, or you may be modifying your per-user preferences).

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macrumors newbie
  • Oct 4, 2008
  • #1
  • Hi, if I have made some changes to preference (eg network) that I want to restore/reverse from a older Time Machine backup, how can I do that?

    For the matter, (hypothetically) if I needed to restore something more complicated (eg I updated the OS to a new patch, and found it not working well and want to reverse), is it possible to do it by Time Machine?


    macrumors G5
    • Oct 4, 2008
  • #2
  • 1) Yes, this is possible. You just need to know which preference file contains the information you wish to restore. Alas, this isn’t possible through Time Machine’s interface, unless you happen to know both the folder that the preference file is stored in, along with which specific preference file needs restoring.

    2) The simple answer: No. It would be nice if you could do this, but it does not work.


    macrumors newbie
    • Oct 4, 2008
  • #3
  • cdcastillo

    macrumors 68000
    • Oct 4, 2008
  • #4
  • Hi, if I have made some changes to preference (eg network) that I want to restore/reverse from a older Time Machine backup, how can I do that?

    For the matter, (hypothetically) if I needed to restore something more complicated (eg I updated the OS to a new patch, and found it not working well and want to reverse), is it possible to do it by Time Machine?

    Ok, I’d wrote a very long explanation of how easy was to acomplish the second thing you asked for, and the stupid couple (safari/macrumors policy to erase passwords that seem too “easy” to guess) just made me lose it all. I have a broken/immobilized hand, so writing with just one hand is even more excruciatingly slow.

    Short version: after a system update, to reverse it, just restore the ENTIRE hard drive to a point before the update. PLEASE NOTE you will lose ALL work you have done since the update.

    Службы геолокации позволяют приложениям и сайтам собирать и использовать информацию с учетом текущего местонахождения Вашего компьютера Mac. Местонахождение определяется приблизительно, по близлежащим сетям Wi-Fi. Службы размещения собирают информацию таким способом, который не идентифицирует Вас лично.

    Отключение служб геолокации

    На Mac выберите пункт меню Apple

    > «Системные настройки», нажмите «Защита и безопасность» , затем нажмите «Конфиденциальность».

    Нажмите «Службы геолокации».

    Если слева внизу отображается запертый замок , нажмите его, чтобы разблокировать панель настроек.

    Снимите флажок «Включить службы геолокации».

    Когда на Вашем Mac выключены Службы геолокации, Ваше точное местоположение не отправляется в Apple. Чтобы предлагать Вам релевантные предложения при поиске, Apple может использовать IP-адрес Вашего подключения к интернету, приблизительно определяя Вашу геопозицию путем ее сопоставления с географическим регионом.

    Даже если Вы отключили Службы геолокации, приложения и веб-сайты сторонних разработчиков могут продолжать использовать другие способы определения Вашего местонахождения. Однако в целях безопасности информация о местонахождении Вашего компьютера Mac может быть использована при совершении экстренных вызовов для оказания помощи независимо от того, включены ли Службы геолокации.

    Выбор приложений и системных служб, которые могут использовать службы геолокации

    На Mac выберите пункт меню Apple

    > «Системные настройки», нажмите «Защита и безопасность» , затем нажмите «Конфиденциальность».

    Нажмите «Службы геолокации».

    Если слева внизу отображается запертый замок , нажмите его, чтобы разблокировать панель настроек.

    Установите флажок рядом с приложением, чтобы разрешить ему использовать службы геолокации. Снимите флажок, чтобы отключить службы геолокации для этого приложения.

    Если Вы отключили Службы геопозиции для определенного приложения, то в следующий раз, когда это приложение попытается ими воспользоваться, Вам будет предложено снова включить Службы геопозиции.

    Нажмите значок с изображением замка, чтобы разблокировать данный раздел, затем введите имя и пароль администратора.

    Чтобы функции Предложения Siri и Предложения Safari могли использовать сведения о местонахождении Вашего Mac, установите флажок «Геолокационные предложения».

    Чтобы компьютер Mac мог определять значимые для Вас места и показывать полезную актуальную информацию в Картах, Календаре, Напоминаниях и других приложениях, установите флажок «Значимые места». Информация о Значимых местах хранится в зашифрованном виде и не может быть прочитана Apple. Нажмите «Подробнее», чтобы просмотреть список распознанных мест. Можно выбирать и удалять места из списка, а также удалить все места, нажав > «Очистить историю».

    Если Вы разрешите сторонним приложениям или веб-сайтам использовать свою текущую геопозицию, любая собранная ими информация будет регулироваться их условиями использования и политиками конфиденциальности. Рекомендуем Вам ознакомиться с политиками конфиденциальности соответствующих сторон.

    Когда включены Предложения Safari или Предложения Siri, местонахождение Вашего Mac в момент запроса к Safari или Spotlight передается в Apple. Это помогает повысить качество предложений и улучшить другие продукты и услуги Apple.