The first is the Mac user who just uses the Mac and the stock applications Apple provides. These Mac users seldom venture to the Mac App Store, may use Microsoft Office, but don’t try out apps to see if their user experience can be improved. They’re happy and pleased with the Mac experience as it is out of the box. Then, there’s the rest of us.
One of my all time favorite Mac tools is dirt cheap to the point of free. It’s called TinkerTool and comes from the famous Mac app developer Marcel Bresink. What makes TinkerTool useful and unique is the ability to open mostly hidden preference settings Apple built into macOS and various Mac apps.
Behold, Finder options you won’t find in Finder preferences.
Take a look.
Options include the ability to show or hide system files, disable sound effects and Desktop features, even show selected path in the Finder window, among many others, including an all important Relaunch Finder.
Next on the self-explanatory menu options comes the Dock.
Yeah, the Dock has options. Who knew?
Animation can be disabled, Dock icons can be dimmed for hidden apps (makes it easier to find apps that are frontmost), and many other interesting effects; good for some of us, maybe not for all, but available anyway.
You see where this is going, right? Check out the General settings in TinkerTool Preferences.
General settings give yo options for the keyboard, the power button, and where screenshot images are stored, and what file format they use. There are options, too, for animations of drop down window sheets and windows themselves.
Mac users with a bit of curiosity will appreciate Desktop functionality options, and what can be done within a few of the Mac’s built-in applications, including Safari and iTunes.
There are hidden features in the Dock, Desktop, Applications, Fonts, and various apps– all of which can be turned on with a click, turned off with a click, so a little experimentation is a good thing.
Another good thing is what you can do when you’ve decided you’ve had enough tinkering.
All the hidden personal preferences you unleashed by tinkering around with TinkerTool can be reset with a couple of clicks, 1) to reset everything to a pre-TinkerTool state, but with your own preferences intact, and, 2) Reset to defaults which go back to whatever the state was when you bought you Mac.
Fun? You bet. Interesting? Decidedly so. Forgivable? Definitely. And free. But not from the Mac App Store. There’s just too much power in TinkerTool for Apple to give it to you without some effort.
What if you want more? TinkerTool System gives you more options to tinker, but with a price tag.
Here’s an example of a few:
- Built-in maintenance features of macOS, usually not visible on the graphical user interface,
- Extended file operations, not available in the macOS Finder,
- Access advanced system settings which are not visible in System Preferences,
- Genuine and unique features of TinkerTool System, designed to resolve typical real-world problems of administrators and to fix the effects of certain defects (“bugs”) in the operating system,
- An emergency tool to troubleshoot and repair macOS in cases where the graphical user interface is no longer starting correctly or the user account of the system administrator has been damaged,
- Features to protect your privacy,
- Functions to collect advanced information about the hardware, operating system, and applications.
This is not your father’s tinkering tool for the Mac.
Tinkering with your Mac has never been as much fun.