System Preferences

First Time Setup

The first thing you should do is update your system. To do that go: Apple menu () > About This Mac > Software Update.

Also upgrade your OS to the latest version to have a more secure OS. macOS upgrades are usually free so you might as well keep your machine up to date.

If this is a new computer there are a couple tweaks you could make to the System Preferences. These settings are all optional, consider them suggestions. Always choose the setting that makes the most sense to you.

Users & Groups

  • Login Options -> Change fast user switching menu as Icon
  • Set up Password, Apple ID, Picture, etc.


  • Point & Click
    • Enable Tap to click with one finger
    • Change Secondary click to Right corner
    • Uncheck Three Finger Drag
  • Scroll & Zoom
    • Uncheck all apart from Zoom in and out


  • Visual Settings
    • Change position to Left and make the size of icons Small
  • Other settings
    • Remove workspace auto-switching by running the following command:
defaults write workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO
killall Dock # Restart the Dock process


  • General
    • Change New finder window show to open in your Home Directory
  • Sidebar
    • Add Home and your Code Directory
    • Uncheck all Shared boxes
  • Remove the Display and Bluetooth icons
  • Change battery to Show percentage symbols


  • Uncheck fonts, images, files etc.
  • Uncheck the keyboard shortcuts as we'll be replacing them with Alfred


  • Add an iCloud account and sync Calendar, Find my Mac, Contacts etc.

User Defaults

  • Enable repeating keys by pressing and holding down keys: defaults write NSGlobalDomain ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false (and restart any app that you need to repeat keys in)
  • Change the default folder for screenshots
    • Open the terminal and create the folder where you would like to store your screenshots: mkdir -p /path/to/screenshots/
    • Then run the following command: defaults write location /path/to/screenshots/ && killall SystemUIServer

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