System Preferences

With Mac OS X, it is easy to customize your computer. Just click the System Preferences icon in the dock and a new window will appear.

When System Preferences has loaded, simply click the preference pane that you think contain the setting that you wish to change.

Search for preferences

If none of the icons listed below match the settings you’re looking for, you can search for it. Apple has programmed the search function to understand some Windows-terms as well.

System Preferences has a search field!

When you perform a search, the most appropriate result will be focused.

Common questions

Instead of rambling on about the contents of every single icon, we have chosen to write this article based on the things you want to change. We simply figured this was the best way for you to find your answers.

How do I change my background image (wallpaper, desktop image)?

Click the “Desktop and screen saver” icon and the settings will appear. This preference pane has two tabs, one for the desktop image and one for the screensaver.

In order to select a new background image, just choose one from the many available. You can add your own by dragging an image onto the preview area or by clicking the “choose picture” button in the desktop image list.

Portable Macs: I want to be able to click simply by tapping my trackpad (touchpad)

Piece of cake! Simply click the preference pane that says “Keyboard and Mouse”. There are four sub-categories. Choose “Trackpad”. Check the box that says “Clicking” and you are done.

How can this article be improved? Send us your feedback!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Mac OS X Guide

Force Quitting Applications

Sometimes, even the best of apps get stuck and won't quit, no matter how hard you try. Don't worry, you can always force quit applications.

Mac OS X Guide

The Dock

The Dock gives you quick access to your applications from anywhere on your Mac. It's the fastest and most convenient way of opening any application.

Mac OS X Guide

Creating a Guest Login

Guest logins is a convenient and secure way of letting friends (or strangers) use your Mac without letting them access your personal files.

Mac OS X Guide

Exposé

If you have many applications and windows open at the same time, it may be hard to find the right window. Using exposé your problems are solved.