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How to Customize Mac – Guide
If you’ve been using a Mac for a while, macOS feels like a comfortable, well-worn sweater. Every day, you inhabit your surroundings and move through them instinctively. However, familiarity does not imply mastery. macOS has a plethora of tools, some of which are cleverly hidden, that allow you to modify it to increase comfort, productivity, efficiency, and security.
Many of these treasures have been around for a long time. Some are just now appearing in the latest Catalina edition of the operating system. With the addition of some free utilities, your old Mac can be transformed into a powerful new experience. Apple prides itself on the polish and craftsmanship of its software, and macOS appears to be an operating system that is intuitive and simple to use on the surface. However, dig deeper and you’ll discover a plethora of useful settings and options to customize your computing experience.
Start with a new wallpaper
Simply swapping the default wallpaper for a background you like can make your desktop look like new again. To make this small change, open the System Preferences app and select Desktop & Screen Saver. On the Desktop tab, choose a new image from the default Mac desktop themes or choose a nice solid background color. Also, don’t forget about the Dynamic Desktop section – it contains wallpapers that change according to the time of day.
You can also access your photo library from the sidebar to set your wallpaper to a photograph you love and don’t mind seeing every day. want to spice things up up further? Set the wallpaper to change every hour or add useful information to your desktop with an interactive wallpaper.
To define Up a custom color scheme
Your Mac lets you mix and match multiple color presets for upcoming system highlights and highlights up with a cool color scheme. To do this, visit System Preferences > General and choose new colors under Accent Color and Accent Color. You will see the updated color scheme reflected in buttonsboxes, menus, selections and other system elements.
In the same preferences panel as above, switching to Dark Mode is another tweak you might want to consider. It’s available on all Macs running macOS Mojave and later and gives a sleek, dark look to elements like the Dock, menu bar, application windows, and sidebars.
Since you can’t add system-wide themes to your Mac, your best bet is to enable application-specific themes. For example, if you use Alfred to control your Mac and you’ve enabled Powerpack, you can use a custom theme to change Alfred’s appearance, as explained on Alfred’s support site.
Add icons and backgrounds with personality
You can not just scale icons up or down in the Finder (select View > Show View Options > Icon Size from the menu bar), but also change their appearance using custom icons. When browsing online repositories for icons, be sure to check the ICNS extension (which guarantees compatibility with macOS). To change the icon of a folder (or file), first copy the icon file (select and press Cmd + C). Now select the folder whose icon you want to replace and click File > Get Info.
In the folder inspector that appears up, select the icon at the top and click Edit > Paste. Your custom icon should now be in place. If you are not satisfied with it, select it in the inspector and press the Delete key to return to the default icon. PNGs and JPGs can also work as an icon source, but it’s best to use macOS-compatible ICNS images if possible.
You can even use an existing icon as an image source by copying it from the relevant inspector. For example, here is a screenshot of the music library folder icon with the Apple Music app icon. Do you want to replace the default application icons in the Applications folder with custom icons? You can do this for everything except the apps that came with your Mac. But you’ll have no problem using system app icons as fonts for third-party apps.
For example, you can replace your third-party browser app’s icon with Safari’s system icon. Also, did you know that you can add a new background to Finder in icon view? Just select View > Show View Options and choose between Color and Image options in the Background section.
Renew login screen
To customize the login screen on your Mac, start by switching to a new user image for your account. You can do this in System Preferences > Users & Groups > Password. Once you get there, click on the existing user image next to your username to exchange it for one from Apple’s standard set or your photo library. You can even replace it with a Memoji or an Animoji! Click Save to put the selected image in place.
Then you might want to come up with a fun lock screen message. To do this, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and check the box next to Show a message when the screen is locked.
If the option is grayed out, you will need to click on the lock icon at the bottom of the panel and enter the system password when prompted. You should then start editing it. Then click on Set Block Message button, type what you want the lock screen to say and click OK. When restarting your Mac, you will see the message at the bottom of the screen, just above the power options.
Get a prettier dock
To customize your Mac’s Dock, you should at least organize it. Remove app icons that you don’t use often by dragging and dropping them when you see the Remove prompt. Then drag your favorite apps onto it from the Applications folder.
You can also reposition the Dock, resize its icons, and set them to zoom in by various degrees as you hover. To access the settings for these tweaks, go to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar. Of course, instead of messing with the Dock, you could also try replacing it with a third-party customization solution like uBar.
Give individual apps a makeover
Play around with the built-in settings of installed apps to add more personal touches to your Mac. For example, if you have the Slack desktop app installed, you can lighten up the Slack sidebar with a new theme.
In the Mac Mail application, change the appearance of your emails by adjusting fonts and colors in Preferences > Fonts & Colors. In addition, you can highlight individual messages by selecting them and choosing a new color in Format > Show Colors.
You can also get a new skin for Terminal from Preferences > Profiles when it’s open. Select one of the available themes in the sidebar and click Default to set your choice as the default. You will need to restart Terminal for the new color profile to appear up. If you’re a dark mode enthusiast, why not enable dark mode in your favorite Mac apps? Ulysses, Bear, Things, Tweetbot, Spark and several other apps support Dark Mode.
Add custom sounds to Mac
You don’t have to limit your customization efforts to visual changes. How about adding some audio tweaks too? To get started, you can choose a different system voice as the default in System Preferences > Accessibility > Spoken Content > System Voice. Then choose a new alert sound in System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects. You can even set your Mac to announce the time at set intervals in System Preferences > Date & Time > Clock.
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