7 Powerful macOS Features You’re Probably Not Using

7 Powerful macOS Features You’re Probably Not Using

A 2021 MacBook Pro (14-inch) laptop.
Justin Duino / How-To Geek


It pays to know how to use some of your Mac’s a lot more potent characteristics, even if they appear overwhelming and complex at first glance. This can enable you detect and repair troubles, automate repetitive duties, and pace up long-winded workflows.


Text-based enter working with a command prompt will never really feel as person-welcoming as your Mac’s graphical person interface (GUI), but that does not signify you must prevent it altogether. You can use the Terminal app (found less than Purposes > Utilities) to do just about almost everything on your Mac, from primary file operations to blacklisting web-sites or switching system preferences for which there is no toggle.

We’ve place collectively a list of 16 Terminal commands that every single Mac user must know, which contains all the fundamentals like navigating the file procedure, utilizing flags (which modify how instructions behave), and jogging instructions as root (or tremendous person). There are also tricks that you can perform applying the Terminal, like adding blank areas to the dock or hiding documents.

Use Terminal to remove file from quarantine

Yet another best idea that can make the time you spend with the Terminal simpler is the potential to drag and fall folders and documents directly into the window. This fills in the path to the folder, which gets rid of the risk of a oversight related to a typo when executing a command. This is specifically valuable when whitelisting apps that have been quarantined.


Automator is a highly effective, visible tool for automating repetitive duties and generating shortcuts you can use in excess of and about once again. A person of the most handy Automator options is the capability to incorporate automations to your Mac’s “Quick Actions” suitable-simply click context menu.

These are context-informed, so if you build an automation that only applies to impression data files it will only display up when you have picked an graphic file. We use this extensively to batch resize photos to preset dimensions, completely ready for publishing on How-To Geek. You could also build Automations to add information to a vacation spot of your preference, set up an App file to the Purposes folder, or install font information to your font library.

Creating a Quick Action in Automator for Mac

Look at out our information to acquiring began with Automator, which you are going to come across in your Mac’s Programs > Utilities folder.


The Shortcuts app is a bit like Automator in that it can be utilized to run potent workflows and automations that are designed applying a drag-and-drop interface. Shortcuts isn’t as potent as Automator in phrases of uncooked utility, but the application is a bit a lot easier to do the job with and the results can be very easily shared with other consumers.

We have got a list of 8 useful Shortcuts for Mac that you can install in a several clicks, moreover five additional intended for business office efficiency. You can produce your possess working with the Shortcuts app in your Programs folder using indigenous macOS and appropriate third-celebration applications. These can be triggered from your Mac’s menu bar or utilizing Siri.

Shortcuts on macOS Monterey.

Shortcuts sync by way of iCloud and can also be utilized on Apple iphone and iPad (which is exactly where the application in the beginning launched).

Activity Keep an eye on

Exercise Monitor is the Mac equal of the Home windows Activity Supervisor, demonstrating you particularly what is running on your Mac at any given time. Comprehension this tool can assist you detect and get rid of unresponsive apps and location applications that are consuming the most electricity and other methods.

macOS Activity Monitor

Numerous of the processes you location below are program providers like kernel_process, cloudd, and mdworker, which shouldn’t necessarily be tampered with. There are a handful of tips to identifying non-system processes that can be securely stop. You can also use Action Observe to verify irrespective of whether you are jogging a indigenous Apple Silicon app or legacy Intel application via Rosetta 2.

1 of our most loved Exercise Observe strategies is to maintain the software in your dock and use it to display CPU, memory, or network utilization.

Similar: How to Keep track of CPU Usage on Your Mac’s Dock

Script Editor (AppleScript)

AppleScript has been all around considering that 1993, and it’s having a bit extended in the tooth now. You’d be forgiven for not bothering with this one since the advent of newer applications like Automator and Shortcuts, but there are continue to some circumstances wherever it is helpful. Of program, you’ll need to find out how to use AppleScript initially (it’s a language, just after all).

You can do this using either Apple’s developer documentation or a additional user-helpful useful resource like this guidebook on Mac OS X Automation or Macworld’s AppleScript tutorial. You can use AppleScript to automate duties in a identical manner to Automator, then launch scripts possibly as apps or applying the menu bar.

Run DOSBox with custom .conf file using AppleScript

We lately utilised a script to begin DOSBox and question for a personalized configuration file, which then appends the flag for that configuration to the executable to speedily configure and start a Home windows 98 natural environment.

Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a helpful device if you use external drives or are suffering from challenges linked to storage. You can use this device to format drives and partitions utilizing the “Erase” function, produce new volumes on appropriate file devices, as well as see all of the disk photographs and added volumes that are at present connected to your Mac.

There also exist far more effective functions, like the ability to produce an encrypted disk image from a folder or current quantity (under File > New Picture), configure a RAID array (underneath File > RAID Assistant), or restore volumes from backup images you have presently made. You can also use the “First Aid” procedure on any linked travel to examine for (and fix) mistakes.

Run First Aid in Disk Utility on macOS

Commonly talking, you do not have to have to be concerned about Disk Utility until you come upon disk complications or have to have to perform functions like partitioning. You really should be thorough when erasing or producing new partitions to be certain that you are not shedding valuable knowledge that is not backed up.


Spotlight is your Mac’s constructed-in lookup engine that can be immediately brought on making use of Command+Spacebar. Spotlight can do so much that you’d be forgiven for missing out on some of the extra strong features. You’re in all probability using Spotlight to come across data files and folders, but did you know you can get improved final results if you use normal language to narrow the subject?

Start any Mac application or Method Tastes (Program Options) pane simply just by typing its identify into Spotlight. You can conduct swift sums proper there in the look for subject, or transform models which include distance, temperature, and currency. You can even get the climate forecast by typing “weather in ” into the lookup field.

Weeather in Spotlight for Mac

As soon as you’ve found anything you can use keyboard shortcuts like Command+Enter to open the location in finder, Command+i to launch the “Get Info” window for an entry, and Command+C to copy the end result straight to your clipboard.

Most of these tricks also get the job done with Spotlight for Apple iphone and iPad. Mastering Spotlight can significantly speed up the time it can take to do each day points like start apps and open up folders.

Reward: 3rd Bash App Homebrew

Homebrew is not bundled with macOS, so it’s technically not a “macOS feature” but by the time you have used it a number of moments, it will really feel like an vital instrument. Homebrew allows you install application on your Mac using the sort of offer manager generally found on Linux.

Put in it by running the subsequent command in Terminal:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://uncooked.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/set up/HEAD/install.sh)"

You can then lookup for offers utilizing the brew cask look for  command, and set up any you come across using brew cask install . Homebrew can even keep this computer software up to date for you with the brew cask enhance command.

Browse far more about Homebrew for Mac and how to use it, then test out the complete checklist of commands.