Apple’s macOS is renowned for its elegant interface and intuitive user experience. But even longtime Mac aficionados may be unfamiliar with many tricks and customizations tucked away in the operating system.
Learning these hidden usability gems can greatly enhance your computing efficiency and personalize your workflows. In this quick guide, we uncover pro tips to improve productivity, increase accessibility, and unlock performance boosts.
With just minutes of focused tweaking, you can tailor a Mac setup that supercharges and smoothes your unique usage patterns. Read on to discover power-user tips and tricks for working faster and smarter using macOS!
1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts help maximize efficiency on Mac. Master shortcuts for frequent actions like copy/paste (⌘C/⌘V), taking screenshots (Shift+⌘3/4), switching between open apps (⌘Tab), getting to the desktop (F11), etc. to rapidly execute tasks instead of needing the trackpad/mouse. You can also consider customizing shortcuts under System Preferences as well.
2. Organize Files With Tags And Folders
Implement a consistent file organization system using macOS’s tagging feature to associate keyword colors or flags that make search easy. Additionally, create smart folders that automatically group files sharing common attributes like tags or metadata attributes. Folders and smart folders reduce clutter.
3. Customize the Dock
Tweak Dock settings to match preferred workflow. Enable auto-hide to obstruct the screen less, adjust icon sizes using slider, add spacer dots to visually separate apps/folders for clearer grouping, pin important folders to the right edge, and remove unused Dock apps to reduce icon overload.
4. Turn Websites Into Apps
Transforming websites into apps is a clever strategy to streamline your workflow and enhance your user experience on Mac. This approach involves converting frequently visited websites into standalone applications that behave more like traditional desktop applications than browser tabs. By doing so, you can enjoy several benefits that contribute to improved efficiency and convenience. You can learn how to make website an app on Mac by using Automator. Simply open the Automator app, create a new document, select “Workflow”, and navigate to “Internet”.
After that, select “Get Specified URLs”, add the URL you want to make an app out of, then use the Website Popup action to customize the settings for your new app. Finally, click “Run”.
5. Set Up Multiple Desktops
Virtual desktops allow you to create separate spaces, each containing its own open apps/windows, that can be swiped between just like full-screen apps. Having desktops for separate tasks helps organize many open windows across neat workspaces instead of juggling everything on one crowded desktop.
6. Use Airdrop Wireless Transfer
Airdrop leverages Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to effortlessly share files wirelessly between nearby Macs and iOS devices without requiring internet connectivity. It avoids slow upload/download waits. Just drag and drop files onto nearby user icons in the Finder sidebar to instantly transfer documents locally.
7. Automate Tasks With Automator
Automator lets users string together sequences of actions performed on specified files/folders to construct mini-automation that can repeatedly accomplish mundane tasks automatically. Build workflows like resizing batch photos, renaming files sequentially, auto-tagging documents with metadata attributes, zipping attachments for emails, etc.
8. Activate Dark Mode For Eye Comfort
Dark Mode inverts the typically bright white interface elements to black or dark gray across the operating system and compatible apps. The darker themes make screens easier on the eyes when working in dim environments by reducing eye strain. You can enable the feature across the macOS under System Preferences > General or use the Control Center.
9. Use Time Machine Backups
Leverage Time Machine, the built-in backup utility, to maintain updated copies of your system and files by backing up Mac data to external storage devices. Time Machine makes incremental snapshots allowing tracking back file state historically. If files get lost, damaged, or accidentally changed, browse Time Machine backups to recover previous unaltered versions from specific dates.
10. Optimize Notification Centers
Fine-tune notifications individually per app using the Notifications preference pane so only important alerts come through prominently while suppressing unnecessary distractions. You can also disable notifications for low-priority apps. Additionally, customize alert styles, sounds, badge icons, etc. per app too. Keep refining as your notification needs evolve.
10. Add Guest User
Enabling a guest user account allows providing temporary access to your Mac for friends, family, or public use without compromising privacy or security. The guest account isolates the desktop environment, apps, and files of each guest session from your main user account.
When guests sign in, they get a clean desktop to work from. Any files created by them are restricted to the guest home folder and do not persist across multiple sign-in sessions. As a matter of fact, you can control the app that would be available for the guest user.
While macOS offers an exemplary computing experience out-of-the-box, there exists an array of power user modifications ready for unlocking even greater productivity, customization, and performance gains. With this starter collection of pro-Mac techniques, you now have diverse ways to streamline common interactions, accelerate repetitive tasks, declutter distractions, and truly boost efficiencies.