If you need to make a change to your macOS system, then you’ll probably use the System Preferences app. In this video, you’ll learn about configuration options for Displays, Network, Printers & Scanners, Privacy, Accessibility, and Time Machine.
If you need to make changes to the configuration of Mac OS, you’ll probably find those changes in the Mac OS System Preferences app. The system preferences is very similar to the Windows Control Panel. For example, you can see options in here for users and groups, network configurations, display settings, and more. If you need to make a change to your iCloud configuration, or you need to modify the resolution of a monitor, you’ll find all of those settings inside of system preferences. You can launch system preferences from the Apple menu, or you can use spotlight to quickly search for system preferences.
Under displays, you can make changes to the configuration of your display layout. So if you have monitors that are next to each other, you can position them so one is on the left, one is on the right. You can change the display that’s going to have your Apple menu on it. This doesn’t have to be your primary display. It can be any of the displays listed under the displays option. You can modify where you want to put your Apple menu. It can either be on your primary display or any of the other displays listed inside of the displays option. You can also modify individual display settings, such as your resolution, the brightness of the screen, or the color profiles used on that particular display.
Under the network configuration, you can make changes to any of your wired or wireless network links. For example, you can choose an ethernet connection, and modify any of the IP address configurations. Or you could click on a Wi-Fi network and make changes to the Wi-Fi configuration. Clicking the advanced option allows you to modify details, including IP, DNS, 802.1X, and specific hardware configurations. Everything that you would need to change with the network can be found under this network link, and you can make the changes very quickly.
To manage printers, you’ll want to choose the printers and scanners option inside of system preferences. And you can see that any of the printers that are configured on the system will be listed on the left, and you can make modifications to the configuration on the right. You can also configure sharing for this printer. So if you have a printer that’s directly connected to your system, you can set up sharing so that anybody on your network would have access to print on this printer. And if your printer supports it, you can click on the option and supplies button, and it will give you information about the hardware that’s inside of that printer. For example, on this color laser printer, I can see exactly how much toner is available for each individual color.
Mac OS includes granular controls for access to your data, and you can manage what applications have access to what type of data. This includes your location information, calendar information, and any other details that might contain private information. You can also enable or disable an application’s access to the camera and the microphone. If you’re using a video conferencing system, you may want to enable camera and microphone for that specific application, but limit access for everything else on your system.
The default in Mac OS is to limit an application’s access to any of your data. You have to specifically go under the security and privacy link inside of system preferences to enable that functionality for a specific application. And until you enable that capability, that application would have no access to your private data.
Mac OS also includes extensive accessibility features. You can enable or disable access to your keyboard, your mouse, the audio, and the video that’s on your system. This is especially useful if you have an accessibility app. For instance, you might have an application that makes the screen larger or brighter, and you can enable that functionality within the privacy tab of security and privacy.
You can also think of this as a security feature because an unauthorized application would have no access to any of these accessibility features. For example, I have to specifically enable apps on my system that do any type of scripting or need access to the keyboard or the mouse. I have to make sure that those are listed and enabled under the accessibility option.
Having a good backup can save you a lot of trouble in the future. And one easy way to set up a backup in Mac OS is to enable time machine. Time machine does automated backups every hour, so you know you have the latest information saved to your backup repository. Time machine also creates daily backups for the past month, and then creates monthly backups going back as far as it can depending on how much space you have on your backup repository. If you do run out of space on your backup system, time machine will automatically delete the oldest data, and then continue to write the newest data to the database.