There are many hidden features in both macOS and iOS that often go under the radar, either because they haven't received a lot of attention from Apple in marketing materials or they've been forgotten after a period of time.

In our latest video over on YouTube, we've done a second video in our macOS tips series, offering up some useful tricks and shortcuts you might not know about.

  1. Custom Keyboard Commands - You can create custom keyboard commands for specific applications or for all of your apps by going to System Preferences --> Keyboard --> Shortcuts and choosing App Shortcuts. From here, click on the "+" button to add a new keyboard shortcut and a title for it. In our example in the video, we've replaced standard paste with paste and match style, which strips out formatting for copy pasted content. With this replacement, when we use the Command + V keys to paste, it uses paste and match style instead of regular paste.
  2. Spotlight Calculator - Rather than opening up the calculator app, you can use Spotlight to do quick and easy calculations. Just type Command + Space to open up spotlight and type in the simple math problem you need to solve.
  3. Using Keychain Access to Find WiFi Passwords - If you've forgotten the password to a WiFi network, you can use Keychain Access to figure out what it is. Open up the Keychain Access app and then choose "System" to see all of the saved passwords for WiFi networks you've connected to. Select one, click on "Show Password," enter your account credentials, and the info will be shown in plain text. You can access all of your saved logins and passwords in Keychain Access if needed.
  4. Hide the Menu Bar - A lot of people have their docks hidden for more available screen space when the dock isn't in use, and you can do the same thing with the menu bar at the top of your Mac. Go to System Preferences --> General and then check the "Automatically hide and show the menu bar."
  5. Touch Bar Escape Keyboard Command - If you hate the non-physical escape key on Apple's Touch Bar MacBook Pros, there's a keyboard command alternative that's supported by most apps. Use Command + Period in lieu of the escape key to do things like exit out of full screen windows.
  6. Make Minute Volume and Brightness Adjustments - If you hold down Option + Shift while you use your volume or brightness keys, you can adjust the brightness or volume in smaller increments.
  7. Use Command + Tilde to Switch Between Windows - If you have multiple windows of the same application open, you can shift between them quickly using Command + Tilde. So, for example, if you have a ton of Safari windows open, this keyboard command will let you sort through them quickly.

For more of our how tos and guides, make sure to check out our How To and Guide roundup sections on the site. For more Mac specific tips, keep an eye on our macOS High Sierra roundup and our macOS Mojave roundup, where we highlight macOS tips and tricks in addition to everything you need to know about the two operating systems.

Have some awesome lesser-known tips and tricks for macOS that more people should be aware of? Let us know in the comments and we may include them in a future video.

Top Rated Comments

donglewhine Avatar
41 months ago
Here goes one I find extremely useful: when you highlight a file in Spotlight (and many other apps too), use cmd+R to locate it, i.e. open the containing folder.
Also, keeping cmd pressed (this one in Spotlight only) reveals a status bar down below displaying the path to the file.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lopezzi Avatar
41 months ago
I believe it's Option-Shift for the incremental volume and brightness, not just shift by itself. Shift by itself does seem to mute the feedback with the volume buttons though.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lec0rsaire Avatar
41 months ago
I just really love macOS. I get that most people believe an OS should just be something that stays out of the way while you use programs. However, for me macOS is the main attraction. It is just so beautiful and always a pleasure to use. I used to think Leopard and Snow Leopard were the pinnacle but the truth is it has never been as good as it is today. All of the new features introduced since Yosemite would be hard to live without today. I haven’t installed the Mojave beta but I’m sure I’m going to like it more than Sierra/High Sierra.

While it is really intuitive and looks simple, it is also incredibly complex as well in a good way. Lots of customization is available for those that want it. It is loaded with tons of features and little things that even long time users probably aren’t aware of although I’m not talking about these examples in particular.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
41 months ago
Great tips as usual! I’ve been using Macs every day for over 30 years but I always get something out of these I didn’t know.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
41 months ago
#4 – whoa, since when is the Mac's menu bar called the status bar? (And the option refers to hiding and showing the "menu bar," not the "menu bar app.")
You're right, I should have called it the menu bar. I've updated. Thank you :)

I've also fixed the bit that said option shift didn't work with Touch Bars, it does! I'm not sure what I was doing wrong earlier, but so long as the Touch Bar is expanded, it works when you tap the volume keys. Thank you guys for the feedback, I really appreciate it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
41 months ago
If you hold down Option + Shift while you use your volume or brightness keys, you can adjust the brightness or volume in smaller increments.
If you hold just Option when hitting any of the volume keys (up/down/mute), it will open the Sound preferences.

Same goes for

- brightness (opens Displays)
- Mission Control (opens Mission Control preferences)
- keyboard brightness (opens Keyboard preferences)

Option-pressing media playback keys and the Launchpad keys seems to do nothing.
[doublepost=1533399514][/doublepost]
I knew about this for macOS, but is there a similar volume incrementer for iOS? I always have to make minute volume adjustments by using the Digital Crown on my Apple Watch.
Long-standing iOS irritation: there are only 16 levels of volume when using the volume buttons! It's pretty easy to get "caught" between two when adjusting the volume to your preferred level. This carries through with connected Bluetooth speakers and headphones with volume controls.

Why not at least 32 levels or even 64? If there's a concern about volume changes being too slow, play with the acceleration so it changes faster as you hold it. Not exactly UI rocket science.

Feels like a very basic shortcoming in a device that gets used frequently used for audio playback.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
ulysses Blog Publishing

Ulysses 22 Brings New Blogging Options and Visual Customizations

Monday March 22, 2021 5:24 am PDT by
Popular writing app Ulysses today received its 22nd major release, introducing new publishing features and additional options for users to customize the visual appearance of their writing environment. As well as providing a focused writing environment, Ulysses offers ways to publish texts from within the app to various blogging platforms. Version 22 adds the ability to publish to Micro.blog, ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...