How to Streamline System Preferences on Your Mac

| How-To

Many of us have to go to System Preferences on our Mac from time to time. Be it cleaning up old wifi networks, sorting out misbehaving Bluetooth devices, or choosing a new desktop image, there are some tasks that you might do more frequently than others. Fortunately, there are ways to streamline System Preferences that can make your periodic trip faster and easier.  Here's how:

First, you can edit which icons show in the window at all by going to the View menu and selecting Customize:

Options under the View menu

You can uncheck the ones you don’t necessarily need:

Look at all those checkboxes!

When you’re finished, just click the ‘Done’ button. Don’t worry, you haven’t removed anything from your Mac, you’ve just hidden it from view. For example, on my laptop I have a trackpad, and when I’m connected at my desk I have a Magic Trackpad. I rarely (if ever) need to see the Mouse preference pane, so now I don’t have to! But if I were to need it, I can always go back to the View menu which lists everything (whether it’s showing or not).

If you want even faster access, just click and hold on the System Preferences icon in the Dock:

My Dock is on the side, lower Docks will have a downward facing arrow.

And you get the full list that way as well, skipping the step of waiting for System Preferences to load before choosing the one you need.

I found both of these by digging around in ALL the menu options and by long-clicking on the System Preferences icon by mistake in my Dock. If you have other ways to supercharge System Preferences, let me know!



FWIW, I use the Snard app ( to keep my System Preference items permanently in my Menu/Tool Bar. It’s cost $10, but it’s definitely worth it. It does other things as well.

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