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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

27
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
44k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
45k 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?
10
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
584 views

My Mac's hostname keeps adding a “-2” to the end

If my Mac's computer name (in the Sharing prefs) is "Node" normally, once in a while when using the Terminal, I can see it's magically changed itself: Node-2:~ $ For some reason it thinks its own ...
8
votes
5answers
18k 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
2k 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
5k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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
1answer
3k views

Terminal flashes on empty backspace with Yosemite

Since using 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
3k 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
6answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Is it possible to use an animated image for the user picture?

So I dragged my .gif onto he default globe, and it shows the popup allowing me to edit the dimensions of my image. While I am zooming in/out, it is still animating. I was overjoyed at this, thinking ...
6
votes
3answers
329 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
510 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
249 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Keyboard shortcut not working in yosemite

Here is the screen shot and it's not working anymore after upgrading to Yosemite NOTE: Although if I add this shortcuts under all applications then it works. I don't know why it's not working, ...
5
votes
1answer
4k 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
2answers
3k 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
3answers
8k views

Remove an app from Notification Center preference pane

My girlfriend added Facebook to my Notification Center. I tried to set the alert style to none, and you can see the check mark to show items in Notification Center is deselected. I want 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
1answer
12k views

Where can I find system log information on OS X Lion 10.7.5 for System Preferences changes?

Suppose I navigate to System Preferences and make a simple change (say I turn off BlueTooth). Is it logged somewhere in the syslog? In other words, is there a log file somewhere on the file system ...
5
votes
1answer
5k 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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
1answer
566 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
826 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
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
251 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
3k 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
3k 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
3answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
151 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
1answer
847 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
6k 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
2answers
1k views

Automatic network location in Lion

I'm looking for a Lion compatible application similar to AirportLocation that will automatically change the Network Location based on my current location. It's becoming a bigger and bigger pain to ...
4
votes
1answer
568 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
720 views

Unable to delete IMAP mail account in Yosemite

I have an IMAP mail account in the Apple Mail client that I want to delete. I first goto the Accounts preferences pane in Mail. When I click the minus icon to delete the account, I get a message ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to get Mavericks 10.9.1 to remember external keyboard modifier keys

When I upgraded to Mavericks I discovered that my external keyboard modifier keys (for multiple wireless keyboards) were no longer mapped as they had been before. I was able to fix this by going in to ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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
4answers
23k 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
4answers
2k views

Permanently swapping option and command keys on a non-Apple keyboard

Whenever I plug my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard into my MacBook Pro, I have to swap the Command and Option modifier keys. How can I prevent these keys from reverting to their default settings ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

iCloud PreferencesPane crashes after upgrade to Yosemite

I just upgraded to Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10. During the final step of the install, my network connection dropped while trying to set up the iCloud settings. As it says that I can skip this step and ...
3
votes
1answer
353 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

Is there a fast way to switch System time zone from the command line?

I usually do it through the System Preference panel for Date & Time, but I'd like a quicker way to do this if there is one.