How To Use Mac’s General Preferences Pane

If you own a Mac, you surely want to customize its user interface according to your preferences. Be it choosing a default browser or changing the colors of buttons, menus, and windows. You can do that, all at one place, General Preference or Appearance Panel (in the earlier version of OSX).

mac general preferences pane

In this article, we will discuss what all can you customize with General Preferences Pane.

See Also: How To Use The Energy Saver Preferences Pane

Locate General Preferences Pane:

Go to Apple icon and click it. A drop-down menu will appear, select System Preferences.

In System Preferences pane, click the General icon.

The General preferences pane has multiple options. Each option deals with items related to specific aspects of your Mac’s user interface.

  1. Appearance: It gives you the option to choose from two themes – Blue and Graphite. It changes windows, menus, and buttons.
  2. Highlight color: It has a drop-down menu to select the color used for highlighting selected text. The default is Blue, and there are seven additional colors to choose from, as well as Other, which lets you use the Apple Color Picker to make a selection from a large palette of available colors.
  3. Sidebar icon size: It allows you to adjust the size of the Finder sidebar and the Apple Mail sidebar.
  4. Show Scroll Bars: The option enables you to select when scroll bars should be visible. You can select from three options available:
  5. a) Automatically based on mouse or trackpad – Choosing this option will display the scroll bars according to the size of the window.
  6. b) When Scrolling: Choosing this option will show the scroll bars when you are using them.
  7. c) Always: With this option, scroll bars are always present.
  8. Click in the scroll bar to: This option allows you to choose from two different options that control what happens when you click within the scroll bars of a window.

Jump to the next page: When this is enabled, the option allows any click within the scroll bar to move the view by a single page.

Jump to the spot that’s clicked: This option will move the view in the window in proportion to wherever you clicked within the scroll bar. For instance, click at the bottom of the scroll bar, the view would shift to the last of the document.

  1. Default Web Browser: This option allows you to choose the default web browser. Anytime or every time you click on a link. By default, Safari is selected as it is a native app.
  2. Ask to keep changes when closing documents: On Mac, all the Unsaved changes are saved automatically, when you close the documents. If you want your Mac to prompt and ask you to save the changes, then check mark the box beside it.
  3. Close windows when quitting an app: Check marking this option will allow you to select to close app windows when you quit an application.
  4. Recent items: Recent Item is a list of apps that you’ve used shown in Apple menu. You can choose the number of the recent items to be shown. Moreover, this setting also determines how many recent items appear in app menus, such as the File > Open Recent menu in TextEdit.
  5. Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices: If your Mac supports Handoff, select the checkbox to turn on Handoff between your Mac, iOS devices, and Apple Watch setup with iCloud.

Now, you know, what option does what! So, go on and make changes as you please.

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