I know Mountain Lion has some cool new features that Lion did not have, but will it overwrite any of Lion's functionality?


Of course. In adding features, the behavior of previous features changes, not always for the better.

If you find features that were present in Lion but missing in Mountain Lion, please edit this answer to add your contributions to this list.

  • Mountain Lion drops support for some models of Macs supported by Lion.

  • Clicking the top right corner no longer triggers Spotlight (Spotlight's menubar icon is still present, adjacent to the new Notification Center icon).

  • The battery indicator in the menubar will no longer offer to show the remaining time.

  • X11.app is included, but that app alone no longer provides X11 functionality. When the user first runs X11.app – or an app that requires X11 – a dialogue guides the user to Apple's article HT5293 about XQuartz, which provides the functionality.

  • Mail.app and Safari.app drop support for RSS Feeds.

  • With respect: for some points – especially those likely to generate commentary – a separate answer may be desirable. Jul 29 '12 at 9:11
  • As for RSS: the old archives are still left in ~/Library/Mail/V2/RSS. No idea how to use those though. :-(
    – Arjan
    Jul 29 '12 at 11:36

One of the bigger-deal removals for some is the 'Web sharing' button in the System Preferences > Sharing tab that controls Apache. Apache is still there, and can be manually set up, but the old one-click solution is gone. That was one of the things I used to demonstrate to people new to the Mac that they found astonishing.

  • Safari doesn't have separate source windows
  • Calendar doesn't support scheduling scripts
  • The option to disable smooth scrolling was removed
  • The tab for installed updates was removed from the Software Update preferences
  • Mail doesn't support notes
  • Nested menu titles like >File>Duplicate no longer work in the keyboard shortcut preferences
  • Old files cannot be locked automatically
  • Safari doesn't have RSS buttons
  • They dropped support for notes in Mail already? Didn't they just add that feature in Lion? Aug 21 '12 at 21:27
  • I don't remember if they added support for iCloud notes in Lion, but Mail supported IMAP notes in 10.6 and earlier versions.
    – Lri
    Aug 21 '12 at 21:30
  • They removed notes from Mail, but made Notes its own app. The feature still exists, just not as part of the email program.
    – Ken
    Aug 24 '12 at 16:16

Safari Changes:

Activity Window Missing:

Prior to Mountain Lion, there was an Activity window that could be opened from "Safari > Window > Activity". Now however, that functionality is no longer available. I found the Activity window to be especially useful for downloading videos from sites like YouTube. I'm sure there were many other uses for it, but that was what I primarily used it for.

Delete Button No Longer Goes to Previous Page:

In Lion, one could navigate to the previous page in Safari by pressing the delete key, but in Mountain Lion this feature is no longer active by default (in Mountain Lion it's Cmd[). However, you can activate it with this terminal command:

defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2BackspaceKeyNavigationEnabled -bool YES

Disk Utility may lose the ability to present S.M.A.R.T. status

The underlying cause, as I see it: in Disk Utility, a physical disk may be invisible.

Without Disk Utility

S.M.A.R.T. status will be visible in System Information, or with a command such as this:

diskutil info disk0 | grep SMART

In addition to operating system features that are removed, many third party applications will not work, at least until they are upgraded by their developers. There's a pretty extensive community built list at http://roaringapps.com/apps:table/.


Safari 6 removes the ability to change the default fonts in webpages (see Safari 6: How to change default fonts?). Note that this will also happen even if you upgrade to Safari 6 in Lion.


MAIL has lost its progress bar and also the belly-button indicators by each mailbox... so you don't know when servers are being checked, or when mails are being sent or downloaded nor how they are progressing... or not.

Also, MAIL has lost its DELETE button, so you have to use the Delete button on the keyboard. Minor hassle, but why add hassle?

  • All of these are still available. But you have to search for these options a little. To see the progress bar, click on Hide (top left) and the little triangle on the bottom left. The delete button is the trash can which is shown in the default layout of the toolbar. You can customize the toolbar by right-clicking it.
    – gentmatt
    Oct 5 '12 at 17:42

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