System Preferences, the application for OS X that allows you to modify various system settings. The application is organized into different preference panes.

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8
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6answers
28k views

Is there a keyboard shortcut for launching Activity Monitor?

I can't seem to find a shortcut for launching the activity monitor. Does it have one?
8
votes
5answers
12k views

Issue with deleting user account

I want to delete a user account before selling my machine, so I chose the secure delete account option in System Preferences > Users & Groups. I think I saw a progress bar at first as it was ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Can user accounts be managed via the command line?

Is there any way to add, remove, or modify user accounts via the command line? I'm not talking about an account for a system process or daemon, I mean is there any way to add a user account, change, ...
8
votes
2answers
831 views

Secondary click in Lion with two fingers OR bottom-right corner click

I just did a clean install of Lion on my 2010 MBP. It seems as though in the system preferences for the built-in trackpad, I have the option of setting the secondary click gesture to "Click or tap ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I move my menubar to an external monitor?

I just asked this question (Using External Monitor and Spaces. Want Mouse to move Up/Down, not Left/Right?) and @calavera gave me a great answer, thanks! But now I have another question. It seems ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Spotlight in upper right screen corner in Mountain Lion

In the System Preferences panel for Spotlight in OS X 10.8, it claims "Spotlight is located at the top right corner of the screen". On my system, this no longer appears to be true; the Notification ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a GUI for OS X LaunchAgents?

I'm a web developer by day and a lot of the software I install on my computer (namely databases and web servers) come with an optional LaunchAgent to automate starting/stopping processes on boot. I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Disable screensaver password requirement from command line

I am trying to enable and disable the screensaver password requirement from the command line. defaults read com.apple.screensaver shows a variable askForPassword set to either 0 or 1, depending on ...
7
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How to open a specific pane in system preferences from dock?

When I add the system preferences to the dock and click it, it opens in the common view. How can I open a specific pane at once from the dock?
6
votes
1answer
462 views

Always Asked to Configure Firewall for iTunes

Whenever I open iTunes, I get the standard OS X dialog, Do you want the application "iTunes.app" to accept incoming network connections? Every time I click allow, but I am asked the same thing without ...
6
votes
2answers
235 views

Where does System Preferences store the name of the Time Machine Destination

I am trying to create a script to determine the destination of time machine on a number of computers I manage. It shows very clearly via Time Machine Settings in System Prefs. I need to be able to ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Using External Monitor. Want Mouse to move Up/Down, not Left/Right?

I've got an external monitor and want to be able to use the monitor above the laptop. It seems I'm supposed to use "Spaces" to support an external monitor which I have done and I've set up two ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Can't unlock preferences - no password dialog

In system preferences, if I click the "lock" icon to allow me to make changes as the administrator, no dialog opens. The message "Authenticating..." appears momentarily, then disappears, and the lock ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I export text substitutions from Lion for import into Mountain Lion

I am trying to migrate to a brand new install of Mountain Lion. I am trying to migrate select data from my old Lion install. Does anybody know where the text replacement definitions in System ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a fast way to change proxy setting?

On my laptop I usually have a ssh connection open and use the remote machine as a proxy server just so that all my network traffic is over ssh. I know that it's hopeless and we're all doomed, but it ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Find and Change system shortcut

As I know you can find a limit of shortcut in system preference > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcut where you can find other shortcut and how must change it? for example if I change the cmd + O to enter ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

MySQL does not start on startup

In the System Preferences panel, I have the MySQL there. I chose it to start up every time my Mac starts up, however this doesn't work, I have restarted MySQL many times, but it will not start up ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

Is there a 3rd party program that can change the cursor size?

I've always used a larger mouse icon in Windows (made it easier to find when zipping around multiple screens :p). Recently switched to using OSX and discovered that the option to enlarge the mouse ...
5
votes
1answer
353 views

How to enable Three Finger Drag from command line

I'm trying to write a shell script that will automatically set the trackpad to use the three-finger-drag option that you can find in the system preferences. I've tried a number of different things, ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

How do I create a menu shortcut which involves the delete key?

In Addressbook I want to create a keyboard shortcut for the Menu entry Delete Group using the key combination option-command-delete. So I went to System Preferences --> Keyboard --> Keyboard ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Where is the date and time preference data saved on Mac?

I need to check programmatically whether Set Date and Time automatically is checked or not on a Mac System Preferences. I didn't find any .plist file that contained this information, can anybody tell ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Trackpad Gestures - Three-finger swipe unresponsive until I use two-finger scroll (OS X Lion)

Sometime within the last week or so, I noticed this really weird glitch with my trackpad. I have always used the three-finger swipe to navigate forwards and backwards on web browsers, between tabs in ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

Adobe Bridge Opening on Login

For some reason Adobe Bridge is opening on login, even though my Login Items shows that it is unchecked. Without uninstalling Adobe Bridge, how can I stop it opening on login?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Toggle “Use all F1, F2 as standard keys” via script

I toggle the "Use all F1, F2 as standard keys" setting very often and would like to automate it via a script (or a keyboard shortcut). Is it possible? I've tried to Google the right arguments for ...
4
votes
1answer
734 views

How can I set the double-click speed in Lion with a multi-touch trackpad?

In Snow Leopard and earlier (or perhaps the difference was with the hardware; I don't know which as I updated my computer and OS simultaneously), there was a preference under Trackpad to change the ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Attempting to setup Exchange account in System Preferences causes crash

I have two computers both installed with OSX 10.9.2 and on one computer I did this with no problem what so ever but on the other computer, when I attempt to setup my Exchange account in the System ...
4
votes
1answer
317 views

How can I disable password for system preferences lock? How can I permanently unlock all system preferences?

Is there any way to disable the "Click the lock to make changes" needing a password, or is there a way to permanently unlock all settings in Mountain Lion? More specifically I'm turning the Network ...
4
votes
1answer
535 views

Network preferences will not open

All network preferences are frozen on my macbook. This problem happens when I do the following: Fast User switching is on. At least two users are logged into the system. I've switched from one wifi ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Facebook notification sound in OSX: cannot switch off

In OSX Mountain Lion I'm getting beeps every time a facebook notification comes in. In System Preferences > Notifications > Facebook i have set my alert style to None. In the list on the left, the ...
4
votes
1answer
980 views

Remove app from Location Services?

I've used App Cleaner which clears preference and associated files, but I can't clear it from Location Services permissions list in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. Any idea how ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How to stop screen from dimming when watching video?

After a while being inactive with the mouse or keyboard, the macbook will dim my screen to save battery. I know I can expand the delay before it will dim in the system preferences, but are there any ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to separate “mouse” and “trackpad” settings?

In System Preferences > Mouse there's a setting "Scroll direction: natural", which I don't like, so I unset. The problem is that this also unsets the setting for Trackpad, which I do like. How can ...
3
votes
2answers
18k views

How do I copy (or clone or duplicate or make a template) user account?

In Mac OS X Lion (10.7.3), is it possible to create a new user account with settings identical to an existing user account? Or put another way, is it possible to set-up a user account template? I do ...
3
votes
1answer
285 views

Is it possible to access a Mac via SSH without administrator access?

I want to be able to SSH into my Mac, but it's disabled in System Preferences (Sharing --> Remote Connections, I believe). The administrator disabled this, and I'm looking for a way to re-enable it ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to write a script to change the Energy Saver settings in OS X (10.7.3)?

Basically, whenever I know I'm going to be gone, or if I'm going to sleep, I change the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences in OS X (10.7.3) for Power Adapter to: Computer sleep: 1 min ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
430 views

icon for iTunes 10.7/music missing from System Preferences in Snow Leopard

My music/iTunes icon: is present in the Dock has gone from some panes of System Preferences. This first screenshot is from the Spotlight pane, the icon is expected to the left of Music: The ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does this applescript not actually set the input volume to zero?

I have this command that builds a script to mute the input volume. The input volume is not fully muted, though. It seems to be closer to 10% than 0%. osacompile -x -e 'tell application "System ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Terminal flashes on empty backspace with Yosemite

Since using the Yosemite, I've had the annoying problem of my current Terminal window flashing when backspacing on an empty line. I know on previous versions of OS X this flashing was not default, and ...
3
votes
1answer
817 views

System-Preferences Applescript using osascript cannot select its window

This AppleScript (based on an answer in a MacWorld form) will tell me whether or not Screen Sharing is enabled: tell application "System Preferences" reveal pane "com.apple.preferences.sharing" ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

No sound and volume icon

I have a Mac mini and the sound has disappeared. I have also lost the sound icon off the toolbar. I went to preferences for the sound and see that mute is checked. I can't un-check it because it is ...
3
votes
1answer
321 views

Need location of image for preference pane “PREF” icon

I have a stack in my Dock with aliases to my most-used preference panes. In the past, the icons that appear in the grid when I click on the stack have been the large descriptive icons shown in Finder. ...
3
votes
2answers
390 views

keyboard preferences ignores modifier key settings

I'm using a Windows-type Logitech keyboard with my OS X 10.6.8 iMac. I've always just used the "Modifier Keys" setting in the Keyboard pane of System Preferences to reverse the Option and Command keys ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

System preferences crashes when press accounts

I'm trying to help someone else with their computer, every time I try to access the "Accounts" settings in system preferences, system preferences hangs and then crashes, any idea what's up? The ...
3
votes
1answer
279 views

AppleScript/Automator Workflow to restore OS X to “mint” condition

Under Mountain Lion, I wanted to create an AppleScript that would essentially restore my OS X install to "mint" condition, if possible even to the point of showing you the ML welcome screen asking you ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Choosing the default application does not stay as default after reboot

When I'm opening .avi files, I want to open them with VLC Media player, when right clicking the item, I see this: As you can see QuickTime is the default player, I want to change it to VLC, so I ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

Why do some applications in System Preferences say “To use the “xxx” preferences pane, System Preferences must quit and reopen.”

When I open my MIDI driver in System Preferences I get the following message: "To use the “YAMAHA USB-MIDI Control Panel” preferences pane, System Preferences must quit and reopen." Then when I ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Where are System Preferences settings stored? Trying to script equal brightness settings for two monitors

I was wondering if anyone know where the System Preferences settings are stored on Mac OS X Lion? I presume there's some .plist with them somewhere. I think that they might be stored in multiple ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Where is the text expansion file located with OS X?

I'd like to give a colleague all of my text expansions without her having to re-enter them on her Mac. I was hoping to locate the file, then simply send her a copy to replace her own. (She doesn't use ...