macOS Configuration

macOS Configuration

With every new Mac I get gitty like a kid on a Christmas morning to set it up with configurations & apps of choice. There are too many configurations to remember, hence figured in documenting them will benefit both you & I. The setup below was done on Big Sur 11.4.

Mouse

Larger mouse sizes help reduce cognitive load when trying to find them.

  • Cursor size to 3.
  • Uncheck "Shake mouse pointer locate."
System Settings -> Accessibility -> Display -> Cursor

Keyboard

Keyboard navigation always beats mouse in speed. You can enable tabbing through apps' controls, with the focused view at hand highlighted, and the Space bar emulating clicks.

  • Check "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls."
System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts

Sound

I dislike Mac making noises. They not only can be irritable, but too unexpectedly play back during Zoom calls.

  • Set "Alert volume" to 0.
  • Uncheck "Play sound on startup."
  • Uncheck "Play feedback when volume is changed."
System Settings -> Sound -> Sound Effects

Dock & Menu Bar

Minimized app windows into doc icon appears camouflaged, minimize app windows in the dock instead.

  • Uncheck "Minimize windows into application icon."

Zen = Hidden Dock + Hidden Menu + 0 desktop icons.

  • Check "Automatically hide and show the Dock."
  • Check "Automatically hide and show the menu bar" (Big Sur onwards).

Recent applications in Dock is a cop out; decide if it's in or out.

  • Uncheck "Show recent applications in Dock."
System Settings -> Dock & Menu Bar

Clock & Dates

  • Time format: 24-Hour Time (More concise).
  • First day of the week: Monday (Accurately reflects work week).
System Settings -> Language & Region

Menu bar:

  • Show day of the week.
  • Show date.
System Settings -> Dock & Menu Bar -> Clock

Screen Saver

  • Check "Show screen saver after 10 minutes."
  • Check "Show with clock."
System Settings -> Desktop & Screen Saver

Hot corners

  • Top left: Mission Control.
  • Top right: Desktop.
  • Bottom right: Start Screensaver (allows for quickly leaving computer with lock).
System Settings -> Desktop & Screen Saver -> Hot Corners...

Mission Control

  • Uncheck "Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most  recent use."
  • Uncheck "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application" (This annoying for apps that can have multiple windows like Safari).
  • Check "Displays have separate Spaces."
System Settings -> Mission Control

Security

  • Check "Require password 5 seconds after sleep or screen saver begins."
System Settings -> Security & Privacy -> General
  • Turn On FileVault. (Using iMac hence didn't enable here).
System Settings -> Security & Privacy -> FileVault
  • Turn On Firewall.
System Settings -> Security & Privacy -> Firewall

Spotlight

Not a fan of Google searching against every local search.

  • Uncheck "Siri Suggestions."
System Settings -> Spotlight -> Search Results

Menu bar:

  • Uncheck "Show in Menu Bar" (Command + Space is easy enough).
System Settings -> Dock & Menu Bar -> Spotlight

Siri

I'm personally not ready to talk to my computer yet.

  • Uncheck "Enable Ask Siri."
  • Uncheck "Show Siri in menu bar."
System Settings -> Siri

General

  • Appearance: "Auto" (Switches between Light & Dark depending on hour).
  • Accent Color: "Multicolor."
  • Highlight Color: "Accent Color."
  • Sidebar icon size: "Large."
System Settings -> General

TrackPad

  • Check "Secondary click": "Click or tap with two fingers."
  • Check "Tap to click."
System Settings -> Track Pad -> Point & Click
  • Check "Scroll direction": "Natural."
  • Check "Zoom in or out."
  • Check "Smart zoom."
  • Check "Rotate."
System Settings -> Track Pad -> Scroll & Zoom
  • Uncheck "App Exposé."
  • Check "Show Desktop."
System Settings -> Track Pad -> More Gestures

Finder

View Options:

Finder -> View -> Show View Options
  • Check "Always open in column view."
  • Check "Browse in column view."
  • Group By "None."
  • Sort By "Name."
  • Text Size: 16.
Finder -> View -> Show View Options

Finder Preferences:

  • Uncheck "Hard disks."
  • "New Finder windows show": "[Home Folder]."
  • Uncheck "Open folders in tabs instead of new windows."
Finder -> Command + , -> General
  • Uncheck all tags (Folder organization for the win).
Finder -> Command + , -> Tags
  • Uncheck "Recents."
  • Uncheck "iCloud Drive."
  • Uncheck "Recent Tags."
Finder -> Command + , -> Sidebar
  • Check "Show all filename extensions."
  • Check "When performing a search": "Search the Current Folder" (Let Spotlight do hard drive searches).
Finder -> Command + , -> Advanced

Sidebar Favorites:

  • Create 1:1 mapping of important folders placed in Home folder with Sidebar.

That concludes my list! If you got comments, or think I missed a configuration, email me.