7 Powerful macOS Features You’re Probably Not Using

A 2021 MacBook Pro (14-inch) laptop.
Justin Duino / Sensible Geek

It helps to know methods to use a few of your Mac’s strongest options, even when they appear daunting and sophisticated at first look. It could possibly allow you to establish and repair issues, automate repetitive duties, and pace up countless workflows.


Coming into textual content utilizing a command immediate won’t ever be as user-friendly as your Mac’s graphical consumer interface (GUI), however that does not imply you need to keep away from it altogether. You should utilize the Terminal app (underneath Functions > Utilities) to do absolutely anything in your Mac, from primary file operations to blacklisting web sites or altering system preferences for which there isn’t any rocker.

We have put collectively an inventory of 16 Terminal instructions each Mac consumer ought to know, which incorporates all of the fundamentals like navigating the file system, utilizing flags (which change the conduct of instructions), and operating instructions in as root (or superuser). There are additionally tips you are able to do utilizing the terminal, like including empty areas to the dock or hiding recordsdata.

Use Terminal to delete the file from quarantine

One other trick that may make your time with the Terminal simpler is the flexibility to pull and drop folders and recordsdata immediately into the window. This fills within the folder path, eliminating the opportunity of a typo-related error when operating a command. That is particularly helpful when whitelisting apps which were quarantined.


Automator is a strong visible instrument for automating repetitive duties and creating shortcuts you should utilize again and again. Certainly one of Automator’s most helpful options is the flexibility so as to add automations to your Mac’s “Fast Actions” context menu.

These are context delicate, so in case you create an automation that solely applies to picture recordsdata, it is going to solely present up when you will have chosen a picture file. We use it extensively to batch resize pictures to predefined sizes, prepared for posting to How-To Geek. It’s also possible to create automations to add recordsdata to a vacation spot of your alternative, set up an APP file to the Functions folder, or set up font recordsdata to your font library.

Create a Quick Action in Automator for Mac

Take a look at our information to getting began with Automator, discovered within the Functions > Utilities folder in your Mac.


The Shortcuts app is a bit like Automator in that it may be used to run highly effective workflows and automations constructed utilizing a drag-and-drop interface. Shortcuts aren’t as highly effective as Automator by way of uncooked usefulness, however the app is a bit simpler to make use of, and the outcomes might be simply shared with different customers.

We have an inventory of eight useful Mac shortcuts you possibly can set up with only a few clicks, plus 5 extra designed for workplace productiveness. You possibly can create your individual utilizing the Shortcuts app in your Functions folder utilizing native macOS and suitable third-party apps. These might be triggered out of your Mac’s menu bar or utilizing Siri.

Shortcuts on macOS Monterey.

Shortcuts sync through iCloud and may also be used on iPhone and iPad (the place the app was initially launched).

Exercise Monitor

Exercise Monitor is the Mac equal of Home windows Job Supervisor, displaying you precisely what’s operating in your Mac at any given time. Understanding this instrument will help you establish and take away unresponsive apps and spot apps which are consuming essentially the most energy and different sources.

macOS Activity Monitor

Many of the processes you notice listed below are system companies like kernel_task, cloudd, and mdworker, which do not need to be tampered with. There are a couple of tips to establish non-system processes that may be safely terminated. It’s also possible to use Exercise Monitor to verify in case you are operating a local Apple Silicon utility or a legacy Intel utility by means of Rosetta 2.

Certainly one of our favourite Exercise Monitor suggestions is to maintain the app in your dock and use it to view CPU, reminiscence, or community utilization.

RELATED: How one can Monitor CPU Utilization on Your Mac’s Dock

Script editor (AppleScript)

AppleScript has been round since 1993, and it is getting a bit lengthy within the tooth now. You would be forgiven for not caring about this one because the creation of latest instruments like Automator and Shortcuts, however there are nonetheless instances when it is useful. In fact, you will need to study AppleScript first (it is a language, in spite of everything).

You are able to do this utilizing both Apple’s developer documentation or a extra user-friendly useful resource like this information to automating Mac OS X or Macworld’s AppleScript tutorial. You should utilize AppleScript to automate duties just like Automator, then launch scripts as apps or utilizing the menu bar.

Run DOSBox with a custom .conf file using AppleScript

We not too long ago used a script to start out DOSBox and request a customized configuration file, which then provides the flag for that configuration to the executable to rapidly arrange and launch a Home windows 98 surroundings.

disk utility

Disk Utility is a great tool in case you’re utilizing exterior drives or having storage-related points. You should utilize this instrument to format disks and partitions utilizing the “Erase” perform, create new volumes on suitable file methods, in addition to view all disk pictures and extra volumes at present hooked up to your Mac.

There are additionally extra highly effective capabilities, reminiscent of the flexibility to create an encrypted disk picture from an current folder or quantity (underneath File > New Picture), configure a RAID array (underneath File > RAID Wizard) or to revive volumes from backup pictures that you’ve already created. It’s also possible to use the “First Help” operation on any linked drive to verify (and repair) errors.

Run First Aid in Disk Utility on macOS

Usually talking, you do not have to fret about Disk Utility till you run into disk issues or have to do issues like partitioning. You have to be cautious when erasing or creating new partitions to make sure that you do not lose useful knowledge that isn’t backed up.


Highlight is your Mac’s built-in search engine that may be rapidly triggered utilizing Command + Spacebar. Highlight can achieve this a lot that you simply’d be forgiven for lacking out on a few of the extra highly effective options. You most likely use Highlight to seek for recordsdata and folders, however do you know you will get higher outcomes in case you use pure language to slim the sphere?

Launch any Mac utility or System Preferences pane (System Settings) by merely typing its identify in Highlight. You possibly can carry out fast calculations immediately within the search field or convert models together with distance, temperature and forex. You possibly can even get the climate forecast by typing “climate in ” within the search subject.

Featured Weather for Mac

As soon as you discover one thing, you should utilize keyboard shortcuts like Command+Enter to open the vacation spot in Finder, Command+i to launch the “Get Data” window for an entry, and Command+C to repeat the outcome on to your clipboard.

Most of those tips additionally work with Highlight for iPhone and iPad. Mastering Highlight can dramatically pace up the time it takes to carry out on a regular basis duties like launching apps and opening folders.

Bonus: Third-Get together Apps Homebrew

Homebrew isn’t included with macOS, so it’s technically not a “macOS function” however by the point you employ it many instances it is going to really feel like a vital instrument. Homebrew allows you to set up software program in your Mac utilizing the kind of package deal supervisor generally discovered on Linux.

Set up it by operating the next command in Terminal:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://uncooked.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/set up/HEAD/set up.sh)"

You possibly can then seek for packages utilizing the brew cask search command, and set up no matter you discover utilizing brew cask set up . Homebrew may even hold this software program updated for you with the brew cask improve command.

Be taught extra about Homebrew for Mac and methods to use it, then take a look at the complete listing of instructions.

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