When you first got your Mac, you probably noticed some features pretty quickly: Finder, the Trash, and FaceTime, for example. But your computer can do so much more than you might think.

In this article, you will discover six often unused Mac features that you may not even know existed. We'll even give you tips on how to use it.

1. Universal clipboard

Ever wanted to send something from your Mac to your iPhone but didn't know how to do it outside of iCloud, Email, or Google Drive? Well, thanks to Universal Clipboard, moving content on your Apple devices just got easier.

The universal clipboard allows you to copy videos, photos, and text to your Mac. And then you can paste them on your iPhone or iPad.

Related: Use the Universal Clipboard to Copy and Paste from iPhone to Mac

To be able to use this function, handoff must be switched on. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. click on the Apple logo in the top left of your toolbar and select System settings.

  2. Choose Generally. At the bottom of your screen you will see a field called Allow handover between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

  3. Check the box so it's blue and close the app.

Screenshot with the transfer settings in the system settings of a Mac

To use the universal clipboard, you need to make sure that you are signed in with the same Apple ID on all of the devices that you want to copy and paste. In addition, they must all have supportive systems in place for continuity. A list of compatible systems can be found on the Apple website.

2. Hot corners

Macs are easy to use, even for beginners. However, Apple has many unique features to increase your productivity – and one of the best is Hot Corners.

The Hot Corners feature allows you to access specific tools without searching for them or clicking through different apps and tabs. Instead, all you have to do is move the cursor to a corner of your screen.

You can choose from four Hot Corner features – one for each corner of your screen. To access this feature you first need to System Preferences> Desktop & Screensaver.

At the bottom of your screen, you'll see a button labeled Hot corners. Once you click on it, you will see four expandable fields.

Screenshot showing the expandable Hot Corners options on Mac

Add the function you want for each corner. When you're done, click the blue one OK Button and your changes take effect.

3. Activity monitor

While you shouldn't encounter too many performance-related issues while using your Mac, you may encounter a few occasionally. And sometimes you may not know which apps are causing these problems.

For a better look at where your Mac is wasting its power, take a look at the Activity Monitor. In this app, you can view your computer's performance in five different areas:

  • Computer processor (CPU)

  • Storage

  • energy

  • disc

  • network

To access the Activity Monitor on your Mac, go to Search bar icon on the right side of your computer's toolbar. Find "Activity Monitor" and select Activity monitor app.

In Activity Monitor, you can close any apps that are using a lot of energy or that you think are affecting your computer's performance. To do this, all you have to do is select it and click on the little one x Button next to the I Symbol.

Screenshot showing the Activity Monitor section on Mac

4. Pointer control

The first time you buy your Mac, you'll find all of your settings on a standard median. And while this isn't a problem for most users, it can cause problems for others.

Fortunately, Apple offers plenty of customization options for both the mouse and trackpad. You can find many of these in the pointer controls.

In the Pointer Control Settings on your Mac, you can:

  • Speed ​​up or slow down the scrolling speeds of your mouse and trackpad

  • Enable and disable dragging with your trackpad

  • Establish alternative control methods, such as B. Enabling various pointer options

Above are three of the many features in this section of your computer. To access them:

  1. Go to System Preferences> Accessibility.

  2. Scroll down to the engine Subsection and choose Pointer control.

  3. Adjust everything to suit your needs. After that you can close your system settings; all changes should be made immediately.

Screenshot using the Pointer Control on Mac

5. Captions

Apple offers a number of tools that people with hearing problems can use to improve their experience of using their Mac. One of them is Subtitles, which allow users to customize how subtitles are displayed on their screens.

In the Subtitles section, you can also enable subtitles, which are easier to understand than subtitles. All you have to do is check the box next to it Prefer subtitles and SDH.

To access the closed captioning feature on your Mac:

  1. Go to System Preferences> Accessibility and scroll down to Hear.

  2. Customize your subtitles as you see fit before closing the app.

Screenshot with the subtitle settings on the Mac

6. Screen time

Granted, Screen Time isn't the best-kept secret on Apple devices. But on their Mac, many users don't use Screen Time as much as they do on an iPhone or iPad.

Even so, many of us spend a lot of time looking at our computer screens. And even if it's for work, Screen Time can help you find out where you spend most of your time with distractions, which will help you use your time more productively.

Aside from checking how long and where you are on your Mac, Screen Time also lets you:

  • Set downtime when you cannot access parts of your computer at certain times

  • Add daily app limits

  • Choose which apps are always allowed and who can and cannot communicate with you during your downtime

The best way to use Screen Time on your Mac is to set it as a widget.

To add a new widget, click the time and date at the top right of your screen. Once you've done this, you'll need to select those Edit widget Button.

On the next screen you will see a list of possible additions and a search bar. If Screen Time isn't listed as a recommended widget, look for it.

Screenshot showing a user adding the Screen Time widget on Mac

Once you've selected Screen Time, you should see the new widget on your screen right away.

Related: How To Turn Off Screen Time On iPhone And Mac

Enhance your Mac experience with these unused features

While you probably won't need most of the features on your Mac, knowing how to improve your productivity while using them isn't the worst thing in the world. Apple offers many ways to customize your experience just the way you want it, and the features we've listed in this article are just a small selection of what is available to you.

Now that you know how to use these unused features, give them a try and see if they affect the way you use your Mac.

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About the author

Danny Maiorca
(119 published articles)

Danny is a freelance technology writer based in Copenhagen, Denmark who moved there from his native UK in 2020. He writes on a variety of topics including social media and safety. Outside of writing, he's an avid photographer.

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By Danny Maiorca

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