MacOS: 10 suggestions which can be positive to make you a Mac energy consumer

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

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Regardless in the event you’ve been utilizing a Mac for some time or Apple’s laptop platform is new to you, there are many options ready to be found. Or rediscovered, for that matter. It is easy to overlook among the extra helpful or helpful apps, shortcuts and instruments. For example, do you know you need to use 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. 

And now that we all know extra about MacOS Monterey that can be launched this fall, I am much more excited to proceed discovering new options on my MacBook Professional. The present software program, MacOS 11 Huge Sur, made important modifications to the way in which the Mac seems and works. However at its core, the Mac continues 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 (MacOS) 11 with these important suggestions and tips.

Free working system updates for years 

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

Do your self a favor and ensure you hold your Mac up to date every time a brand new replace is launched. It is completely high-quality to attend a day or two to verify no main bugs slipped by 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Apple has continued to launch updates for gadgets which can be extremely outdated. Right here, have a look at the record of Macs that may run MacOS Huge Sur, the newest working system. (I’ve a 2011 iMac that was lastly left behind practically 10 years after I purchased it.) 


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

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Put Management Heart and the menu bar to work 

Arguably one of many largest interface modifications Apple made to MacOS Huge 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 gadget. 


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Utilizing the Management Heart is simple 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 ceaselessly fiddle with Bluetooth gadgets and need to 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. 

Once I discovered about this trick my thoughts was blown. Critically. 

Hidden characteristic: Signal a doc in your Mac

Certainly one of my favourite hidden MacOS options is that you need to use Preview to signal paperwork. I take advantage of it on a regular basis to signal paperwork for work or my children’ college. 

The gist of it’s this: Open the doc it is advisable to check in Preview, then click on on the pencil icon on the prime, adopted by the signature brand. You’ll be able to then use your iPhone to create and save your signature, which is then added to your doc. 

I’ve a extra full walkthrough you possibly can take a look at in the event you’re in want of a free software to signal something from a mortgage on a brand new automobile to a subject journey permission slip.


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

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Flip your iPad into an additional show with a few clicks 

Apple Sidecar means that you can use your iPad as an exterior show in 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. 

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

Your iPad can both mirror your Mac’s show, or act as an prolonged desktop, providing you with one other display screen and extra space to place home windows and apps. You’ll be able to 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 a protracted time frame, I recommend connecting your iPad to your Mac with a cable. 


You’ll be able to simply share data between your iPad and Mac. 

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Simply swap between your Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad 

Continuity is a characteristic you would possibly already be utilizing and never even understand it. The nondescript title is what Apple makes use of to hyperlink all your 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 telephone name in your Mac — that is Continuity in motion. 

However maybe my favourite and most used side of Continuity is Handoff. When 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. When you have been to click on that app icon, it will open no matter app you are utilizing in your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad in your Mac. 

For instance, in the event you’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, together with your draft prepared so that you can end. 

I usually will copy a string of textual content on one gadget, however want to stick it right into a textual content subject on one other gadget. Continuity features a Common Clipboard characteristic, so so long as each gadgets are close to one another, you possibly can copy in your Mac and paste in your iPhone with out doing something particular in any respect. Strive it. It is really superior. 

Share MacOS document

It is true. You’ll be able to share your Apple-created paperwork similar to Google docs. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Overlook about 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 internet browser. It is a helpful software, little question, and one I take advantage of 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 need to personal a Mac. You’ll be able to ship an invitation to any doc by clicking on the Collaborate button and sending your invite. From there you can too set permissions, and require a password to entry the hyperlink. 

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

Use your iPhone as a scanner

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 subject and search for a piece together with your close by iPhone listed. Underneath that part would be the choice(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 picture, scan paperwork or add sketch. 

Choose the choice that works greatest for you, after which unlock your iPhone or iPad. It can robotically open the right display screen primarily based in your choice, and if you’re carried out 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 with ease

Apple made it potential 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 straight into your Mac. 

I lined the right way to share a folder and all its caveats when the characteristic made its debut. Ensure to test it out, particularly in the event you’re bored with paying for a number of cloud storage companies.

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Make your individual iPhone ringtone


It is true. You should utilize 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 kind of processor that powers your iPhone or iPad, and because of modifications Apple has made to MacOS Huge Sur, you possibly can set up and use the identical apps you do in your telephone or pill straight in your Mac. 

There are just a few other ways of getting iPhone and iPad apps onto your M1 Mac, however I lined all the 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 modifying instruments, respectively. It is easy to have 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 children. I used every a type 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 simple to get intimidated by each apps. However in the event you’re trying to decide up a brand new passion, open both one and begin experimenting. 

There’s a lot extra the Mac can do apart from this record. Like the remainder of the new options on Huge Sur. There are a number of hidden options you must know, too. When you simply acquired a Mac, ensure you set it up the precise approach

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