All the best macOS Sonoma tips and tricks you need to know

Apple’s macOS Sonoma is packed with great features, including many that Apple praised when it unveiled the operating system at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2023. If you want to get the most out of macOS Sonoma, it helps to know some useful tips and tricks to improve your experience.

From quickly hiding windows and showing the desktop to saving websites to your Dock for quick access, macOS Sonoma is packed with clever extra features that make a big difference in day-to-day use. Here, we’ve collected eight of the best tips and tricks that will make using macOS Sonoma better than ever.

pictures look perfect

Continuity camera in macOS Sonoma, showing the Portrait mode slider in the menu bar app.
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Continuity Camera lets you use your iPhone as a webcam on your Mac. In macOS Sonoma, Apple has changed this system to give you more control over how it works and how it looks on the screen.

For example, you can manually position yourself in the frame during a video call. To do this, make sure Continuity Camera is running, then select facetime icon in your menu bar. disable Center stage, then mouse over the video preview – you will see a zoom scale. Drag it to zoom in and zoom out, or click and drag anywhere else in the preview to move the center of the frame. choose more recently To reframe yourself in the center of the image.

You can also change the depth of field by selecting facetime icon In the menu bar, then select dropdown arrow Next to the portrait. Here, you can drag the slider to change the strength of Portrait mode’s depth of field effect.

extended visual look up

Extended visual look up in macOS Sonoma.  A user is searching for a recipe related to pizza, which is in a photo.
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Visual Look Up allows you to get more information about the content of your images and videos. In macOS Sonoma, Apple has extended this in several useful ways. For example, you can now find food recipes in your photos—just open the Photos app, right-click an image containing a food, then choose look at the food In the context menu.

Similarly, you can find directions to a store, learn the meaning of signs, and decipher symbols on laundry tags by using visual look up in the Photos app. This also works for still frame content in your video.

Video Wallpapers & Screen Savers

macOS Sonoma Screen Save
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This year, Apple introduced video wallpapers and screen savers that seamlessly merge into each other: When your screen saver starts, the camera starts with your background image and flies through the air or underwater. . When you end the screen saver, the video slows down and settles into a new still image. This is a small contribution to the operating system.

However, enabling or disabling this feature may seem a bit confusing, since the wallpapers it works with have both stationary and moving versions. To enable video wallpaper, open system arrangement App and select Wallpaper In the sidebar. choose one dynamic background (indicated by the play icon), then enable Show as screen saver toggle, You can also do this by going to System Settings > Wallpaperwhere you need to enable Show as wallpaper toggleI.

desktop widget

A widget being moved into place in macOS Sonoma.  The placement is shown below the grid widget.
A widget being moved into place in macOS Sonoma. The placement is shown below the grid widget. digital trends

While widgets have been in Notification Center for years, macOS Sonoma sees them make the jump to your desktop. The best desktop widgets are interactive, letting you tick off a reminder or play a podcast without opening the app associated with the widget.

Once you’ve got some widgets on the go, you can open them and modify how they look and work system arrangement and choose Desktop & Dock > Widgets, From here, you can change the widget style so that they either retain their full color or become monochrome when you have another app open.

under show widgetuncheck checkbox on desktop Tick ​​it to hide widgets when you have other apps open (they reappear when you show your desktop), or to show them permanently. and if you enable Use iPhone widget checkboxYou can add widgets from apps installed on your iPhone, but not on your Mac, and have more options at your fingertips.

quickly show your desktop

A user clicking on their wallpaper showing the desktop in macOS Sonoma.  The two open windows move out of the way, revealing the desktop.
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Showing your desktop in macOS used to be a bit tricky – you had to either minimize all your apps one by one, or suppress command+mission consL (or Command+F3), which isn’t the easiest shortcut to reach.

Now, things have become much easier. open system settings and go Desktop and Dock > Desktop and Stage Manager, Near Click on wallpaper to show desktopchoose Always From the dropdown menu. This means you can simply click on your wallpaper and all your open windows will move out of the way. To disable it, simply select Only in Stage Manager From the dropdown menu.

Save websites as apps on your Dock

macOS Sonoma.

Sometimes, you might want a website to function like an app that you can access instantly on your Mac. Luckily, macOS Sonoma has introduced a way to do this. First, go to the site you want to save in Safari (this doesn’t work in other browsers) and click File > Add to Dock, Give the web app a name and select Add, This adds it to the dock.

Although you can remove the website from your Dock, it will still be accessible in Launchpad if you want to read it in the Dock. If you want to change an app’s settings, open the web app, then select its name in the menu bar Adjustment, Here, you can change its name and web address, adjust its privacy settings, and more.

The best candidates for websites to save to your Dock are ones you’ll use like apps like Pinterest or games. For websites that you may read for a while before moving on – like news websites – the appeal may not be as strong, but you still have the option to save them as apps if you want.

Share passwords and passkeys with contacts

The shared password introductory dialog box in macOS Sonoma.
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Sometimes, you’ll share a website or app account with other people. Instead of sending passwords to each other insecurely over email or messaging apps, there’s a new feature in macOS Sonoma that makes things much easier and safer.

open system arrangement choose more passwords In the sidebar, then enter your Mac account password. Click the + button, then select new shared group, Enter a group name and add members. Group members must be running macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, or iPadOS 17.

Now, select the passwords you want to share by ticking the checkboxes to their left. When you’ve selected each password you want to share, select step, If you want to add more passwords later, click System Settings > PasswordSelect your group, then select + > Move password to group,

This makes the passwords accessible to anyone in the group, saving everyone time. To stop sharing passwords, enter your group, select I button, then select dropdown menu next to group, Instead of your group name, select Go to My Passwords > My Passwords.

game mode

Game Mode for macOS Sonoma

Mac gaming’s star is on the rise at the moment, with our reviewer dubbing the latest 14-inch MacBook Pro “a proper gaming laptop” and more and more AAA games are making the jump to macOS. To help with this new status quo, Apple has introduced a new feature in macOS Sonoma that gives things a boost.

It’s called Game Mode, and the idea is that it improves performance by stabilizing frame rates and prioritizing your game over other tasks. It’s enabled every time you launch a full-screen game – whether in exclusive full-screen mode, in a maximized window, or anything else – so you don’t have to do much in that regard. .

However, sometimes you may want to disable or enable it manually. To do this, make sure Game Mode is running game controller icon When a full-screen game is running, select it in your menu bar. then choose turn off game mode, Your preference is remembered, so Game Mode will still be disabled the next time you run the game.

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