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Get the best out of your Mac! Tricks and tips you should know about

Matt Avatar By: Matt | Last updated March 27, 2020

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All Mac users know how to use the main apps that come with their computer: Safari, Contacts, Calendar, Mail and so on. They are used on a daily basis for performing all the basic functions.

But Macs come equipped with another set of built in apps, the system utilities. Some of them are very easy to find and access, while others are hidden. While you’ve most likely used the Disk Utility until now, to perform tasks like delete, format or partition your device, there are a lot more utilities in that folder and they are just as useful.

Here are the most important of them and what they’re useful for:

  • the Activity Monitor: it shows you in real-time how your Mac’s resources are being used. It provides access to your memory, processor and so on. It is a useful app especially when you want to find out why your computer is running slow; you can also run some diagnostics with it. You can find this app in Applications/Utilities.
  • the Bluetooth file exchange. This one allows you to share files offline, with other compatible devices. You can find it in the App menu/System preferences/bluetooth
  • the Audio MIDI setup. If you are picky about the way your music sounds, this utility lets you do your preferred corrections and adjustments. With the Audio MIDI setup you have advanced multi-channel capabilities, fine tuning, you can connect instruments and audio devices to your Mac and much more.
  • the Network Utility is another useful app that lets you identify issues like the not being able to connect to the Internet, slow Internet speed and others. It’s a bit tricky to locate the app right away though, you have to go to System/Library/CoreServices/Applications.

Aside from this basic, useful utility apps, Macs also have a lot useful tricks and shortcuts you could benefit from: the Quick Look function (it lets you take a peek into a file in the Finder without opening it. In order to activate it, click on the file you want to check out and press the Space key and you’ll get a preview), record the display of your iPad or iPhone on your Mac and record the content (connect the iPhone/iPad to your Mac through USB, open Quick Time Player and select new movie recording) or make calls or answer to calls from your Mac.