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Questions tagged [system-prefs]

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

219
votes
9answers
110k 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 ...
67
votes
1answer
119k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to hide or remove system preference panes?

I have a number of System Preference panes I'd like to get rid of. My preference is to make them inactive so nothing loads, but not to delete them in case I ever want them back. What are my options? ...
24
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
27k 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.
19
votes
4answers
26k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
80k 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?
16
votes
9answers
50k 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 completely ...
14
votes
8answers
18k views

Allow button not working in system preferences

I am trying to install some software, (at this particular moment I want to install VirtualBox, although this issue has happened with other software), and I have to click "Allow" in System Preferences, ...
14
votes
2answers
34k views

May I have a list of “System” group names, and their respective gid(s)?

I know there are group names such as "Staff" and "Admin", but are those the only ones? I suspect that the root user should also be assigned in a group. Using the command dscacheutil -q user tells me ...
13
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
29k views

Is it possible to change the name of a bluetooth mouse?

I bring my MacBook Pro back and forth between home and work. I have a Magic Mouse in both places. I guess because they are both the same model, I have to re-pair the mouse with the computer every time ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
4k 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, ...
10
votes
4answers
10k 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, wasted ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
29k views

I am an admin but several preferences are grey and say “your system administrator has not given you access to this preference pane”

I have admin rights on my mac laptop at work. In the last several days I have lost access to several system preference pane items. Most notably "security and privacy" and notifications. The icons ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Text substitution does not work with Slack on Yosemite

I have a text substitution setup within the System Preferences. This works most places within OS X as far as I can tell, but it does not work in Slack. (Their native app for OS X version 1.1.4 - 2814) ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Disable F14/F15 for Brightness Control

My new iMac (2017, running 10.12.5) has by default F14/F15 bound to control the display brightness. I can't find any way to disable them, which means that binding them to other functions doesn't work. ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Uninstalling macOS App Extensions from System Preferences

I'm a developer, but it is more of a user-centric question. How can one "unregister" a Finder Sync (or any other, presumably) OS X / macOS App Extension so that it disappears from System Preferences >...
9
votes
1answer
28k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
11k views

OSX Automatic Time zone detects location but doesn't update

Recently my automatic timezone update stopped working. (ie it used to work but now it doesn't) Troubling thing is my mac detects the correct location (e.g. Golden, CO), but doesn't use this to update ...
8
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
22k views

Can't disable “Press the Option key five times to turn Mouse Keys on and off”

Apple lets users who occasionally want the use of Mouse Keys to enable/disable it by pressing Option (⌥) five times. I use Maya, so I'm constantly using the Option key to manipulate the camera, and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I rearrange the order of Spotlight categories?

I believe I used to have the ability to rearrange the search categories shown in Spotlight, but I can't drag to rearrange within System Preferences > Spotlight anymore (El Capitan). Is there some ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How to remap F4 to Dashboard or Notifications on a MacBook Pro in Yosemite?

I had this working fine in Tiger thru Mavericks, but it broke in Yosemite. Pressing F4 now launches Launchpad, and only fnF4 triggers Dashboard. Launchpad is useless compared to Spotlight or even ...
7
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I remove Gmail from my Mail app without removing Gmail account from system preferences?

I got myself a MacBook today, and one of the steps I took to set it up was adding my work email account (Microsoft Exchange) to the Mail app. I also had to give other apps access to my personal ...
7
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I globally disable 'Text Replacement'?

I've been looking for an answer to this question for a while, so I'm guessing this can only be solved with a console command. What I want to do is disable 'Text Replacement' everywhere on my Mac. The ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
545 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

“Recent Items” count is not saved in System Preferences-OS X 10.11 “El Capitan”

In System Preferences, when I try to change "Recent Items" count from "none" to any other value it is not saved. I can change it, but when I close System Preferences and open it again I still see "...
7
votes
2answers
573 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How to enable fast user switching when Login Options are disabled?

I'm not sure how this machine was setup, but I do have control over it now as a local admin. I need to enable fast user switching, but the option is greyed out along with some others. This is after ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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
5answers
10k 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
6k 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
3answers
14k views

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

Does anyone know where the System Preferences settings are stored on Mac OS X? I presume there's some .plist with them somewhere. I think that they might be stored in multiple .plist files. I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I disable the red Software Update notification bubble on the System Preferences app in MacOS Mojave (not App Store)?

I keep the "System Preferences" app icon in my dock in Mojave. I recently checked for updates, and found one, but I'm not ready to install it just yet and the red notification dot over the settings ...
6
votes
2answers
31k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
386 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
1k 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
2k 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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
2answers
5k 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 ...