The Mac is a fantastic platform that is intuitive, user friendly, easy to use, powerful, and comparatively free of problems and nuisances. But that’s not to say that Mac OS doesn’t have some frustrating aspects or features too. This post aims to address some of the bigger annoyances that may be encountered on a Mac, with easy solutions on how to adjust them and fix the perceived hassle.
We’re covering some common complaints with mysterious gestures, nagging alerts, sound effects, eye candy which can be visually challenging, unexpected click behavior, constant password entry, and more.
And yes, most of these tricks apply to all modern versions of Mac OS and Mac OS X, though which pertain to you, your Mac, and what you find annoying or not is going to entirely be subjective to each user.
Where are my scroll bars? Constantly Show the Scroll Bars
Many computer users like to have scroll bars always visible, rather than only when they are scrolling or based on the input method. This is easy to change in Mac OS.
This is easy to change by going to the Apple menu > System Preferences > General > Show Scroll Bars > “Always”
What’s with all these Notification alerts? Disable the Constant Notifications Nagging & Alerts
Do you hate the endless stream of alerts and notification badges popping up in the corner of your Mac screen constantly? You know… new message, software updates available, iCloud photo posted, new text message, new email, your browser needs updating, disk not ejected properly, password required, new Calendar invite… etc etc, Notification Center can be an endless stream of distraction for some Mac users. If you’re annoyed with all that, you can use a workaround to disable the notifications completely by having perpetual Do Not Disturb mode enabled. Sure, you can manually toggle various Notification Center alerts off and on too, but that’s a lot more work, so here’s how to just turn on constant Do Not Disturb and get some peace
Go Apple menu > System Preferences > Notifications > toggle “Turn on Do Not Disturb” from “12:01 am” to “12:00 am” to never see a pestering alert badge again (unless you turn off Do Not Disturb anyway).
Why does a click not work as expected sometimes? Turn Off Force Click on Trackpad
The Force Click trackpad on newer MacBook models is an interesting idea, as it detects pressure on the trackpad and then triggers different actions depending on the pressure level. It’s current implementation has frustrated some Mac users who may find themselves accidentally enabling the feature or triggering an unexpected event without intentionally doing so, when all they want to do is click. Turning off Force Click prevents this confusion.
Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Trackpad > Point & Click > uncheck “Force Click and haptic feedback”
Why does my Mac quack or pop? Turn Off Popping Sound / Quack When Changing Volume
If you’d like to change your Mac computer volume in silence, you can turn off the auditory feedback on volume changes – a pop on modern Mac releases, a quack on older system software. This is one of those feature that’s either loved or hated, I personally like the volume feedback but I know some other Mac users who hate it. If you want to adjust this yourself, here is where to turn:
Go Apple menu > System Preferences > Sound and turn off “Play feedback when volume is changed”
How can I stop accidentally going back or forward? Disable the Sideways Page Swipe Gesture
Gestures can be fantastic, but not when you enable them accidentally or don’t know they work. I recently watched someone using a Mac and as they were swiping around on the screen they kept accidentally triggering the sideways swipe between pages gesture, which will go forward or backward in a web browser, move back and forth in pages and books, etc. They said it happened all the time and had no idea why…. this happens because a user has two fingers on the trackpad and a slight swipe left or right with two fingers on a trackpad defaults to going “back” or “forward”. This can be turned off if you find this to be cumbersome to your workflow:
Go Apple menu > System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures > turn off “Swipe between pages”
How can I make things easier to see? Turn Off Visual Translucency Eye Candy Effects
The transparent effects through modern versions of Mac OS can look very fancy, but they can also make things a bit more visually challenging for reading and interacting with, and in some cases can slow down a Mac too. Transparency is easy to turn off on the Mac if you don’t like this sort of eye candy.
Go Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > check “Reduce transparency”
How can I stop typing my download password? Stop Entering a Password for Free Downloads
If you download free apps from the Mac App Store often, you may be tired of entering the Apple ID password constantly to complete a free purchase and download the app. This is an easy settings adjustment that lets you save the Mac App Store password for free downloads while still requiring it for purchases.
Go Apple menu > System Preferences > App Store > Look for “Free Downloads” > Save Password
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any of your own to share? Do you have any other feature-related nuisances or annoyances with Mac OS that you’d like to figure out? Let us know in the comments!