Tip: 4 handy shortcuts to Mac system preferences

If you want to view or change the settings of the Mac, you can go to the System Preferences. There are some handy shortcuts, which will take you directly to the right part.

Shortcuts to settings

If you change headphones or monitors a lot, you may have messed with the sound of your Mac. Then you have to go to the Apple logo at the top left of the menu, choose ‘System Preferences’ and then via ‘Sound’ to the correct tab to let the sound come through the correct device.

That sounds just as cumbersome as it is and it can also be done much faster. The Mac’s System Preferences menu is made up of so many parts, it’s nice if you can at least quickly navigate to the main screens using certain key combinations.

Open Mac System Preferences

And you can, some of the System Preferences can be opened directly from the keyboard. You do that via the F buttons. Some buttons already have a function, such as pause / play on F8 or make volume louder (F12) or quieter (F11). But with an extra key you navigate via the same buttons to an item within System Preferences. Below we list four of them.

1. Monitor

To open the settings of your display, press and hold the ⌥ button and select F1 or F2. With those buttons you normally determine the brightness of the screen.

2. Mission Control

On the newer keyboards, open the Mission Control settings by combining the ⌥ button with F3. On older keyboards, this key combination takes you to Exposé and Spaces.

3. Keyboard (MacBook)

With F5 and F6 you can control the lighting of your keyboard on the MacBook. But holding down ⌥ and then pressing F5 / F6 will open the keyboard settings. This does not seem to work with a connected Apple keyboard.

4. Sound

To adjust the sound, use the ⌥ knob in conjunction with F12. This opens the settings with which you can, for example, adjust the sound balance or volume.

Learn more about the Mac

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