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How to Customize Your Mac 7 Commonly-Used Features You Can Adjust

Well over 100 million people around the world use a Mac computer. But how many of them are aware of the different possibilities to adjust and customize its features? Not many, we’d bet.

So how can you get the most out of your Mac? And which features can you customize?

There is an innumerable amount of ways to personalize your Mac settings, and some are more helpful than others. Here, we’ll explore some of the best ways to adjust the most used Mac features.

Keep reading to find out exactly how to customize your mac.

(Note: make sure you’re using the latest version of macOS before testing out these features).

  1. Change Scrolling Direction

If you’re new to using a Mac, or perhaps you use a Windows computer for work and you’re constantly mixing up scrolling up and down – fear not. It’s easy to reverse this setting for your trackpad or even mouse.

The default Mac setting is, when your fingers move from the top to the bottom of the trackpad, you move down the page you are viewing. To instead move up the page, simply open ‘System Preferences’, then navigate to ‘Trackpad’ and then ‘Scroll & Zoom’. From here, just uncheck the box which says ‘Scroll direction: natural’. And you’re done!

If you’re using a mouse, when you get to ‘System Preferences’, head to ‘Mouse’ then ‘Point & Click’. Then, you just uncheck ‘Scrolling direction: natural’.

  1. Access Emojis

If you’re an emoji addict then this is the trick for you. Forget having to copy and paste from your phone, or search for “face with tears of joy emoji”. There is a much simpler way to have easy access to emojis.

Whenever you’re typing, just hit Control+Command+Spacebar and an emoji keyboard will pop up on the screen, just like on your phone. If this combination of keys seems difficult to remember, it will quickly become second nature after you’ve used it a few times.

The emoji keyboard will even keep track of your frequently used emojis – just like your phone does. You’ll have speedy access to those go-to emojis at the touch of a (well, 3…) buttons!

  1. Superior Screenshots

There’s more to screenshotting than first meets the eye. Where do you want to store your screengrabs? And which buttons should press to capture exactly what you want?

A screenshot can be saved to several locations, including a folder, to your desktop, or even to iCloud. Depending on how you want to use the screenshot, this can be a really handy adjustment to make.

Next, different key combinations will change what is captured by your screenshot. For example, Command+Shift+3 is a shortcut to the standard whole-screen-screenshot, while Command+Shift+5 lets you choose just a section of your screen, and even allows screen recording.

For more information about getting the most out of screenshots on a Mac, check out and

  1. Take Control of Your Notifications

There are many ways to personalize how you receive notifications on your Mac. Whether you want them loud and flashing, or completely non-existent, here are a few ideas for adjusting your notification system.

Notifications can be changed within each individual app or on your Mac notification settings. Superfluous notifications can be silenced completely, while you can choose between banners, sounds, and badges for those you want to keep.

If you want to silence all notifications in order to focus on an important project, head to the ‘Do Not Disturb’ header at the top of the list of apps in your Notification Center. Here, you can silence all notifications apart from incoming calls, or create a schedule for when you don’t want to be disturbed. For example, 09:00-11.30 am every day.

  1. Change up Your Wallpaper

Whoever said you had to stick to just one desktop background? Did you know, there’s a simple way to periodically change your wallpaper, without having to go to the effort of changing it yourself?

Introducing, Dynamic Desktop. This will take a stunning image, such as the earth from space or the Mojave desert. The image will gradually change throughout the day, reflecting your progress of the day itself. During your sunrise, the image will be shown at sunrise, and then will correspondingly change following your timezone.

Some dynamic images are available to download for free online, but there are also apps available that will provide you with a multitude of images at a small cost.

  1. Use Your Apple Watch to Unlock Your Mac

If you get fed up of typing in your password every time you unlock your Mac, and you own an Apple Watch, then this is the perfect tip for you. Say goodbye to incorrect password attempts, and unlock your Mac easily with your smartwatch.

With your watch on hand and unlocked, navigate to ‘System Preferences’ and then click ‘Security & Privacy’. In the header ‘General’, tick the box ‘Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac’. Your watch will vibrate to confirm the change.

The first time you log-in after this, you will have to manually input your password. But after that, your Mac will sense that you’re nearby, and the watch will log in for you!

  1. Perfect the Brightness

Everyone knows the brightness of your Mac screen can be adjusted on the keyboard by hitting the increase and decrease brightness keys in the top row. But, if these adjustments are occurring in too big increments, there is a more nuanced way to change the brightness of your screen.

Simply hit Shift+Option at the same time as these brightness keys, and you’ll find the brightness changes more incrementally.

Finally, you can also set your Mac to adjust the brightness automatically in the ‘Display’ section of ‘System Preferences’.

Now You Know How to Customize Your Mac

We’ve now looked at seven of the top ways you can adjust the main features of your Mac. There are so many Mac customizations you can implement to personalize the way your computer functions.

After learning how to customize your mac, which technique will you try first?

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out our other tech-related posts!