10 MacOS tricks to squeeze each final drop of goodness out of your Mac

Your Mac has highly effective options underneath the hood. We’ll present you the right way to unlock them.

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Been utilizing a Mac for some time, or are you new to Apple’s platform? Regardless if it is a shiny new M1-powered iMac or an older MacBook, it is easy to neglect among the extra helpful or helpful apps, shortcuts and instruments. As an example, do you know you should utilize the Preview app to signal a doc in a few seconds? Or that you could drag settings like Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb from the Management Heart to your menu bar? You’ll quickly. 

The present software program, MacOS 11 Massive Sur, made important modifications to the way in which the Mac appears and works. However at its core, the Mac remains to be a Mac, simply with a extra iOS-like interface and borrowed options such because the Management Heart. 

Crank your Mac talent stage to 10 with these important suggestions and tips. 

Get free updates for years 

It’s miles too simple to take routine software program updates with no consideration — they’re one thing we simply count on from system makers now. Not solely do software program updates add new options, however they proceed to optimize your pc and embody necessary safety updates as nicely. 

Do your self a favor and ensure you preserve your Mac up to date every time a brand new replace is launched. It is completely wonderful to attend a day or two to ensure no main bugs slipped via testing undetected, however after that click on on the Apple brand within the top-left nook of the menu bar, choose System Preferences adopted by Software program Updates

Apple has continued to launch updates for units which can be extremely previous. Right here, have a look at the checklist of Macs that can run MacOS Massive Sur, the newest working system. (I’ve a 2011 iMac that was lastly left behind practically 10 years after I purchased it.) 


Maintain your Mac up to date for safety fixes and new options. It would not price you something. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Make the Management Heart and menu bar give you the results you want

Arguably one of many largest interface modifications Apple made to MacOS Massive Sur is the addition of the Management Heart to the menu bar. For individuals who do not personal an iPhone or an iPad, Management Heart is the place you may discover all of the, nicely, controls for settings like Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and show brightness on that respective system. 


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Utilizing the Management Heart is straightforward sufficient, you click on on the icon, choose the setting you need to change and that is about it. 

However here is a professional tip: If you end up lacking fast entry to any of the settings now included within the Management Heart, simply drag that icon out of it and place it in your Menu Bar. 

For instance, I steadily fiddle with Bluetooth units and should handle what my Mac is linked to. With this trick, I can transfer the Bluetooth icon again to the menu bar (the place it ought to all the time be, ha!) and entry it with fewer clicks. The identical goes for anything within the Management Heart. 

After I discovered about this trick my thoughts was blown. Significantly. 

Hidden characteristic: Signal a doc proper out of your Mac

One among my favourite hidden options of MacOS is that you should utilize Preview to signal paperwork. I exploit it on a regular basis to signal paperwork for work or my youngsters’ faculty. 

The gist of it’s this: Open the doc you might want to register Preview, then click on on the pencil icon on the high, adopted by the signature brand. You possibly can then use your iPhone to create and save your signature, which is then added to your doc. 

I’ve a extra full walkthrough you may take a look at for those who’re in want of a free software to signal something from a mortgage on a brand new automobile to a area journey permission slip.


Transfer and resize your signature whereas including it to your doc. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Make your iPad an additional show in a snap

Apple Sidecar permits you to use your iPad as an exterior show to your Mac. It is a utterly wi-fi connection, and takes only a second to activate. Your iPad might want to have iPadOS 13 or later put in, and your Mac will want MacOS Catalina or newer. 

Along with your iPad close to your Mac, you may activate Sidecar a few alternative ways. The simplest is to go to Management Heart > Show and choose your iPad in your Mac. In any other case, you may open system preferences and open the Sidecar settings panel. 

Your iPad can both mirror your Mac’s show, or act as an prolonged desktop, supplying you with one other display and more room to place home windows and apps. You possibly can even proceed to make use of your iPad and different apps, then return to the Sidecar view with out breaking the connection. If you are going to use it for an extended time period, I counsel connecting your iPad to your Mac with a cable. 


You possibly can simply share info between your iPad and Mac. 

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Choose up the place you left off in your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad 

Continuity is a characteristic you would possibly already be utilizing and never even notice it. The nondescript identify is what Apple makes use of to hyperlink your whole Apple devices collectively, permitting you to choose up a process in your Mac the place you left off in your iPhone. Or one thing as seemingly easy as taking a cellphone name in your Mac — that is Continuity in motion. 

However maybe my favourite and most used side of Continuity is Handoff. In the event you’ve ever seen an app icon seem after which disappear on the far proper facet of the app dock in your Mac — that is Handoff. In the event you had been to click on that app icon, it could open no matter app you are utilizing in your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad in your Mac. 

For instance, for those who’re writing an e-mail in your iPhone however need to end it in your Mac, click on the Mail app icon and the compose window will open, along with your draft prepared so that you can end. 

I typically will copy a string of textual content on one system, however want to stick it right into a textual content area on one other system. Continuity features a Common Clipboard characteristic, so so long as each units are close to one another, you may copy in your Mac and paste in your iPhone with out doing something particular in any respect. Attempt it. It is actually superior. 

Share MacOS document

It is true. You possibly can share your Apple-created paperwork similar to Google docs. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Overlook Google Docs with these built-in Mac apps

Each Mac comes with Pages, Numbers and Keynote put in out of the field. These three apps are the Google equal of Docs, Sheets and Slides, or Microsoft’s equal of Phrase, Excel and PowerPoint. 

One of many largest attracts to Google Docs is the power to share and collaborate in actual time with fellow customers utilizing your favourite net browser. It is a helpful software, little question, and one I exploit each single day. 

Nevertheless, Apple’s suite of apps have a collaboration software of their very own constructed proper in, and the individuals you are working with do not even should personal a Mac. You possibly can ship an invitation to any doc by clicking on the Collaborate button and sending your invite. From there you too can set permissions, and require a password to entry the hyperlink. 

You possibly can then work collectively on a doc in actual time, similar to you’d with Google Docs. Whoever you are working with can open the hyperlink, add their identify so modifications are credited to them, and begin working within the doc immediately in Chrome or Microsoft Edge. 

Use your iPhone to scan paperwork and photographs

Talking of Apple’s creativity suite, here is an oft-forgotten characteristic constructed into MacOS that makes scanning a doc or importing a photograph right into a doc a breeze. 

To examine if an app helps this characteristic, right-click in any textual content area and search for a piece along with your close by iPhone listed. Beneath that part would be the possibility(s) supported by the app. For instance, once I right-click in a Pages doc, I’m proven three choices for my iPhone 12 Professional: take photograph, scan paperwork or add sketch. 

Choose the choice that works finest for you, after which unlock your iPhone or iPad. It’ll robotically open the right display based mostly in your choice, and whenever you’re performed will probably be added to your doc. 


Sharing a folder out of your Mac takes a few clicks. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Create and share iCloud folders the straightforward method

Apple made it attainable to share iCloud Drive folders with the launch of iOS 13 a few years in the past. It really works similar to sharing a folder on Dropbox or OneDrive does, solely as a substitute of utilizing a third-party service, you are utilizing one thing that is constructed immediately into your Mac. 

I coated the right way to share a folder and all its caveats when the characteristic made its debut. Make certain to test it out, particularly for those who’re uninterested in paying for a number of cloud storage providers. 


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Use your favourite iPhone and iPad apps in your Mac

Apple’s newest Mac computer systems all use the corporate’s personal processor, the M1. As a result of it is the identical sort of processor that powers your iPhone or iPad, and due to modifications Apple has made to MacOS Massive Sur, you may set up and use the identical apps you do in your cellphone or pill immediately in your Mac. 

There are a number of alternative ways of getting iPhone and iPad apps onto your M1 Mac, however I coated the entire particulars right here


iPhone and iPad apps aren’t included within the default search outcomes. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

GarageBand and iMovie: Not only for professionals

Every Mac consists of GarageBand and iMovie, Apple’s core audio and video enhancing instruments, respectively. It is simple to take a look at both app as one thing for professionals or artistic individuals, and whereas there’s some reality to that, each apps are simple to make use of and get began with. 

I’ve personally used GarageBand to file podcasts and interviews, each of which don’t have anything to do with musical devices. As for iMovie, I’ve created numerous trailers utilizing the inbuilt scenes and instruments with my youngsters. I used every a kind of periods as a strategy to train myself the right way to use iMovie and edit video, again once I was doing CNET How To movies. 

I admit, it is easy to get intimidated by each apps. However for those who’re trying to choose up a brand new interest, open both one and begin experimenting. 

There’s loads extra the Mac can do moreover this checklist. Like the remainder of the new options on Massive Sur. There are a number of hidden options you need to know, too. In the event you simply obtained a Mac, ensure you set it up the correct method

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