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10 macOS settings you need to change today

The Apple Mac Studio and Studio Display (Image via Apple)
The Apple Mac Studio and Studio Display (Image via Apple)

There are a plethora of settings that can be changed in the macOS operating software, and some of them are hidden in plain sight.

Apple is known for releasing the most polished software on the market. However, that doesn't mean it cannot be further smoothened to make the user experience easier and more convenient.

To boost productivity, personalize your desktop, and make the most of your Apple device, a lot of settings can be optimized, some of which are listed in this article.

Disclaimer: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.


Turning on File Vault, setting up Hot Corners, and 8 other great ways to tweak your macOS settings

1) Enable Universal Control

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Universal Control is great for those who have multiple Apple devices and use them regularly. Handoff is a particularly handy feature that allows users to begin a task on one device and continue doing it on another. For example, if you are reading an article on your Mac but have to leave, you can use Handoff to continue reading it on your iPhone.

To set up this feature, go to System Preferences, click on General, and select "Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices." The same feature has to be turned on in other devices.


2) Tweak battery settings

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There are various ways to improve a MacBook's already efficient battery life and make the most of it. An option called "Optimized Battery Charging" can be turned on to reduce energy usage and improve the device's battery health.

Go to System Preferences, select Battery, and check "Optimized Battery Charging" to turn this feature on.


3) Turn on File Vault

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A File Vault can be made to prevent unauthorized access to your precious files. This will encrypt the files you want and ask you to elect a Recovery Key to your iCloud account in order to decrypt your data and access it.

To do this, go to System Preferences, click on Security & Privacy, tap on the FileVault tab and turn it on. You will then need to enter an administrator name and password.


4) Enable Spatialize Stereo

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To make the most of your Mac's surround sound abilities, Spatial Stereo can be turned on. This feature can turn non-Dolby audio into surround sound and improve the user experience.

To turn it on when listening to basic stereo audio, go to the Control Center, click on the Sound pane, and tap on Spatialize Stereo. This will only work on compatible audio devices.


5) Enable Mail Privacy Protection

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Enabling Mail Privacy Protection is highly recommended if you want to hide your IP address and make it harder for email spammers to follow your mail activity. This way, senders will not have a mode to track your behavior.

To do this, open the Mail app, go to preferences, click on the Privacy tab and check Protect Mail Activity.


6) Launch programs at startup

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Some people only use a few applications on their macOS device, but opening all of them every time can be hectic. Instead, having them automatically launched at startup can save some time and energy.

To make use of this feature, go to System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, and select the Login Items tab. Click on the add button, choose the applications you wish to start up at launch, and tap on Add.


7) Set up keyboard shortcuts

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macOS users can create personalized keyboard shortcuts for menu commands that can make the workflow efficient. More key combinations can be created to perform intricate actions.

To do this, go to System Preferences, click on Keyboard, tap on Shortcuts, and select App Shortcuts. Click on the Keyboard Shortcut field, press the key combination you want to use as a shortcut, and tap on Add.


8) Set up Hot Corners

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Hot Corner is a feature that has been on macOS for a while, but some users still don't know how useful it can be. Using this feature, some actions can be triggered by taking the cursor to any of the corners of the screen.

To turn this macOS feature on, go to System Preferences, click on Desktop & Screen Saver, select Screen Saver, and tap on Mission Control. Click on Hot Corners, and for each corner, a specific action can be assigned, which can also be edited later.


9) Pin controls to the menu bar

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The Menu Bar on the macOS can be personalized to add controls that you would use more or remove controls that you do not use. Some functions such as WiFi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, Keyboard brightness, and more can be added or removed.

To edit the menu bar, go to System Preferences and then the Dock & Menu Bar. Check the "Show in Menu Bar" box for the controls you'd like to have on the Menu Bar.


10) Turn on automatic software updates

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Keeping your macOS software updated is necessary to ensure that your device's security is up-to-date and fixes bugs. This can also be done manually, but it's hassle-free to have it done automatically in the background.

To do this, go to the Apple menu on your macOS, click on About This Mac, tap on Software Update, and tick "Automatically Keep my Mac up to date."

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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