The personal settings which control the configurable options on your Mac or iOS device. Examples include what wallpapers are displayed, when a screen saver will be displayed, or whether or not Time Machine is enabled and how it is configured.

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29
votes
1answer
74k views

How do I get F11 and F12 to behave like normal function keys?

I have a 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 15" and I'm trying to set the function keys to perform as normal function keys. So I want the behaviour to be inverted from the standard behaviour where I need to ...
27
votes
5answers
17k views

Can I disable Dashboard in Mountain Lion?

I'm wondering if there's a way to disable the dashboard in Mountain Lion. I never use it and I think it's consuming processor and memory powers.
25
votes
7answers
98k views

How can I add new folders to the Favorites in the Finder sidebar?

I'd like to create a new Favorites folder item in the Finder, how can I tell the Finder that I would like a particular folder to appear in my list of Favorites shown on the left hand sidebar of the ...
16
votes
3answers
15k views

How do I set a custom avatar for my account profile in Mountain Lion?

I just got Mountain Lion. On previous versions of OS X, I could choose a photo from the filesystem as my account avatar. This doesn't seem possible under the Users & Groups section of System ...
16
votes
9answers
5k views

Recent items menus have stopped working on my iMac

Recently I noticed that on my iMac, running El Capitan, the Open Recent menu has stopped getting updated, both in the Apple menus, and for apps, and both for the Open Recent menu item, and the list ...
15
votes
2answers
13k views

How to use plain text smileys (disable automatic emoji substitution) in Messages.app?

How to use plain text smileys (disable automatic emoji substitution) in Messages.app? In OS X 10.8 there was a setting for this in the app’s Preferences pane, but in OS X 10.9 that doesn’t seem to be ...
15
votes
3answers
20k views

System-wide finder view preferences

I know that .DS_Store files are created in every directory I enter with the finder in Mac OS X, and that keeps track of the folder's metadata (including how is it being displayed). I also know that ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are my plists in ~/Library/Preferences accompanied by a matching lockfile in Lion?

$ cd ~/Library/Preferences $ ls -1 | grep plist | head -10 AddressBookMe.plist com.adiumX.adiumX.plist com.adiumX.adiumX.plist.lockfile com.apple.AddressBook.plist com.apple.AddressBook.plist.lockfile ...
11
votes
5answers
30k views

How to disable frequently visited items and favorites under the address bar in Safari 8?

I want to remove the following frequently visited items and favorites under the address bar in Safari 8. How can I do this?
10
votes
1answer
20k views

What exactly does Background App Refresh in iOS 7 do?

I upgraded to iOS 7 yesterday, and I read that iOS 7 allows applications to not only update themselves in the background, but also retrieve current data (like stocks, weather etc.) so they are already ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I change the location of screenshot in OS X Lion?

The old method that works for Leopard/Snow Leopard doesn't work any more on Lion: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/kamus/Pictures/snap Has something changed or does anyone ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

How to change tap to click using “defaults write” from command line?

I want to change the trackpad tap-to-click property from the command line. Graphically, I can do it by clicking System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Tap to Click. How can I do it from the command line? ...
8
votes
2answers
42k views

Allow Apps won't unlock in Security & Privacy - Yosemite

When I was running Mountain Lion I selected "Allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere" in Security & Privacy. I updated to Yosemite a few days ago. The update set that back to: "Mac App Store and ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

How do I disable Microsoft Outlook 2010 calendar notifications?

I use "Mail" as my default mail client and "iCal" as my default calendar. However I have to use outlook when sending emails to work because their outlook for windows clients don't support inlining and ...
8
votes
1answer
584 views

Is there a way to force “low power” graphics?

Is there a plist or hidden config to set my graphics/energy preference to "Always use low power/ integrated graphics"? Seems like energy saver preferences only allow choosing between: Smart auto ...
8
votes
1answer
534 views

Disable or Mute Trash Sound

How can I disable the sound when deleting a file from Finder in OS X Mountain Lion? I do not see any specific mention of it under System Preferences or Finder Preferences. I don't want to disable ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Use external display only with MacBook?

I have a Mid 2010 MacBook. Is it possible to make the external display into the only one, so that I can close the lid and keep working on my MacBook with an external keyboard/mouse and monitor?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Does using a brightness reducing app save battery?

I installed the app Brightness Slider on my MacBook because the lowest brightness setting in the System Prefs isn't low enough at times. When I choose a brightness setting below what the System Prefs ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Modifier key settings not sticking

I just purchased a MacBook Air with OSX v10.8.4. When I edit the modifier keys (I want to change Caps Lock to Ctrl), it works for a while, but then reverts back to defaults some time later. I'm making ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there a way to export syntax color settings from one Xcode installation to a new one?

I have installed a new XCode 4 on a machine and I'd like to copy/paste the syntax coloring settings from the first one to the new one. How may I do this ?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I stop my Mac from attempting Time Machine Backups?

I have a 2005 PowerBook running 10.5.8 that, in its previous life, was my personal, full time machine that I used all the way through graduate school. It has been relegated to very light duty in the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Finder- Reopen Last Closed Window

Finder does not seem to navigate to the last folder opened. For instance, when I am saving several files or images - it would be nice to (and used to ) open in the last place I placed something - now ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Where can I find a list of Apple preferences/plist files & what they're used for?

Does anyone know of a resource that lists the Preferences files/plists (pertinent to OS X and Apple applications, not third-party apps) found in ~/Library/Preferences (and the other locations too, but ...
5
votes
5answers
14k views

How to increase “tracking speed” beyond the maximum?

For a Macbook Pro, I've set trackpad settings for Three Fingers to "Dragging": However the tracking speed is too slow, and often it's impossible to drag for a larger distance due to the size of the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does three-finger swipe gesture not support natural scrolling?

There are three page swipe gesture options in Lion: Scroll left or right with two fingers, which is new to Lion, has a neat animation and is currently supported only by Safari. Swipe left or right ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Where does OS X store mouse preferences?

I couldn't figure out where the settings I change with the "Mouse" system preferences are stored. Neither plist ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple..plist nor /Library/Preferences/com.apple..plist changes ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I completely disable automatic keyboard backlighting on Macbook Pro with OSX Lion?

I have the system pref "Automatically illuminate the keyboard in low light" disabled. However, when I wake the computer from sleep and the login prompt appears, the keyboard backlight turns on. ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Enabling both trackpad Drag Lock and 3 Finger Drag at once?

OSX has two methods of dragging with the track pad, “drag lock” (double tap then drag until you tap to release) and “three finger drag” where you touch three fingers and drag until you release. The ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I enable SSH without using the gui or apple script on snow leopard?

A while back here How can I enable internet sharing without using the gui or apple script on snow leopard? I asked if any one knows how to enable Internet sharing without using GUI or apple script, I ...
4
votes
3answers
192 views

What files are accessed when an app starts up?

I am wondering if there is a way to see which files an application accesses (reads or writes) when starting up. /usr/bin/fs_usage seems like one tool, but I wondered if there are others. I am trying ...
4
votes
2answers
913 views

Bluetooth Device Shows Up In Menu But Not In Preferences

I have an issue where an old iPhone I no longer own shows up in the Bluetooth menu but not in the bluetooth preferences. Screenshots below. Anyone else experiencing this? How to go about removing the ...
4
votes
2answers
979 views

How does the defaults domain ‘Network’ work? (/Network/Library/Preferences/)

How does the Network preference/defaults domain work on Mac OS? I see it referenced in a lot of Apple documentation, but I don’t understand this particular preference domain. I get the user defaults ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Where are cellular data preferences stored in iOS?

In Settings → Cellular (Mobile in UK), settings can be changed regarding mobile data, including per-app switches for all installed apps to enable or disable mobile data. Where are these preferences ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Copying printer preset .plist files (Mavericks)

I am trying to copy a custom print preset from one computer to another. My understanding is that the presets are stored in ~/Library/Preferences with the name com.apple.print.custompresets.forprinter....
4
votes
5answers
9k views

How to fix iBooks “Two pages” mode

I have a number of books in iBooks on my MacBook. All of them were showing nicely in "Two Pages" mode, until I clicked the "Show Notes" button, on two of them. Those books changed to "Single Page" ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Quicktime now reopens last video. How to avoid?

It seems to be a new behavior in Lion but here is what is happening for me: I open a video file Quicktime launches and play the video When I'm done, I hit CmdQ Now, with Lion, when opening another ...
3
votes
4answers
30k views

Make iTunes stop prompting me for my username and password

On OSX Lion, iTunes keeps prompting me to enter my username and password to "sign in to enable this computer for automatic downloads." In the past I tried checking the box to remember my password but ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Where is the “Double click on titlebar to minimize” setting located in Mavericks? [duplicate]

I just updated my MacBook Air to Mavericks and I can't find the checkbox to enable the "Double-click on window title to minimize it" feature. I thought I was in the System preferences > General ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How to control order of startup items for users at login?

I have seen a few applications with mixed reviews that will allow a user to change the order of startup items. I would simply prefer the "bare metal" method and stick to using the shell or the Open ...
3
votes
1answer
446 views

Mass Load of Keyboard/Text mappings in Mavericks

Under System Preferences/Keyboard/Text, you can enter a list of "spelling corrections" which can easily act as a macro-replacement for quick typing. It is easy to enter them one-by-one, but is there ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Screensaver changes images too quickly – is there a way to adjust it?

I like to display my own images using the Mac OS X screensaver, but it seems that Mountain Lion has shortened the duration for which each image is displayed. The duration is too short for my tastes – ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to set Magic Trackpad option via Terminal?

Is it possible to set the magic trackpad options with the menu topics: Point click, scroll & zoom, etc. by using the Terminal?
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Mavericks Mail will not save preferences

I have the updated version of Mail, and still having Gmail problems, but one problem at a time here… Currently the headache is that it will not save any preferences: window layout, junk mail filtering ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How to disable “Fast Start” in Safari?

In Mavericks’ Safari, the “feature” named “Fast Start” begins to load the first result of the search typed in the search bar. How can I disable such folly ?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Sync apps preferences between multiple Macs

I tend to keep all my stuff in Dropbox. Now that I bought a second Mac, I thought that keeping also my applications preferences in Dropbox would have been a good idea. I managed to sync some of the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Show desktop keyboard shortcut doesn't work

I have F5 key bound to the show desktop shortcut in keyboard shortcuts. However when I press F5 on the keyboard (with fn on the built in keyboard, or with/without fn on the Apple wireless keyboard), ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

The system preference panes will not load

When I open System Preferences and click on an item it says 'Loading Users & Groups' at the top of the window, but will not load the pane. I've tried deleting the property list file: /library/...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

Running two separate instances of Safari in the same user session

I would like to run two separate Safaris at the same time. Each Safari having his own session, history, cookies, and so on. I can do that with two users on my Mac. But doing that in the same user ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Where do applications store local settings?

Where does OS X store local settings for applications such as license keys, Skype favorite contacts, etc. Yesterday I was troubleshooting an issue with an Apple rep and he had me delete a bunch of ...
3
votes
2answers
663 views

Where is the screenshot property list now located in Mavericks?

Previously, the screenshot property list could be found at: ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.screencapture.plist In Mavericks, this file no longer exists. In the past, I used to be able to manipulate ...