System Preferences

Note: only modified settings are documented. Otherwise the default is used.

Row 1


Appearance Auto
Show scroll bars When scrolling
Click in the scroll bar to Jump to the spot that’s clicked
Ask to keep changes when closing documents

Desktop & screensaver

Desktop Dynamic desktop (cliffside)
Screensaver Never


Size About 70% of screen width (depends on app count)
Magnification Off
Position on screen Bottom
Minimize windows using Genie
Double-click a window’s title bar to zoom
Minimize windows into application icon
Animate opening applications
Automatically hide and show the Dock
Show indicator lights for open applications
Show recent applications in Dock

Mission Control

Automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use
When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application
Group windows by application
Displays have separate Spaces
Dashboard Off
Hot Corners
Top Left Mission Control
Top Right Mission Control
Bottom Left Desktop
Bottom Right Desktop

Row 2

Users & Groups

Tab: Login Items

  • aText
  • Harvest


Pointer control

Mouse & trackpad

Click “Trackpad Options…”

Enable dragging (three finger drag)

Security & Privacy

Enable FileVault for disk encryption.

Row 3

Software Updates

Check for updates
Download new updates when available
Install macOS updates
Install app updates from the App Store
Install system data files and security updates


  1. Go to Advanced > DNS.
  2. Remove existing DNS entries.
  3. Add server.



Enabled for mouse and keyboard.


Sound Effects
Play feedback when volume is changed


Tab: Keyboard

Key Repeat |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-X
Delay Until Repeat |-|-|-|-|-|-|-X-|

Tab: Shortcuts: Services

Services appear in the right-click context menu. Greedy applications think they’re important and clutter the menu.

Uncheck the following:

Files and Folders
New iTerm 2 Tab Here
New iTerm 2 Window Here
Add to Evernote
Show Info in Finder

Tab: Shortcuts: App Shortcuts

Bury the MacOS “Minimize All” shortcut (OPTION + COMMAND + M) from interfering with Harvest menu-bar app.

Add a new custom shortcut:

Application All Applications
Menu Title Minimize All
Keyboard Shortcut SHIFT + CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + M

Tab: Input Sources

Show input menu in menu bar


Point & Click
Look up & data detectors (force click with one finger)
Secondary click (click or tap with two fingers)
Tap to click (tap with one finger)
Click Medium
Tracking speed |-|-|-|-|-X-|-|-|-|
Scroll & Zoom
Scroll direction (natural)
Zoom in or out
Smart zoom
More Gestures
Swipe between pages
Swipe between full-screen apps
Notification Center
Mission Control
App Expose
Show Desktop


Also see Workspace: Hardware: Mouse

Scroll direction natural
Tracking Speed |-|-|-|-X-|-|-|-|-|-|
Scrolling Speed |-|-|-|-|-|-|-X-|
Double-Click Speed |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-X-|-|

Row 4


Tab: Display

Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available

Tab: Display (MBP Built-In Retina)

Resolution Scaled (center option, 1536 × 960)

I’m on the fence with this. The 16” MBP display has 3072 × 1920 physical pixels. Scaled @2x the resolution should be 1536 × 960 — so 1px lines are drawn with exactly 2px.

Apple made the default scaled resolution 1792 × 1120 — which means 1px lines are 1.7142855px. It’s fuzzy if you look closely, but most people won’t notice and downscaling provides 14% more screen space. That can be useful at times, but designers have to scratch this itch.

Most of the time, my MBP is docked as a secondary screen to my Pro Display XDR and sits in the far corner of my scale. Sharper lines don’t really matter, but lesser scaling is a benefit because it’s easier to read far from my lap.

Without a large external display, I would probably use the default scaling (1792 × 1120) for more screen space. But you couldn’t pay me to use a laptop display full-time. It’s horrible.

Tab: Display (Pro Display XDR)

Resolution Default for display

Tab: Night Shift

Schedule Sunset to sunrise


Tab: Battery

Turn off display after 5 minutes

Tab: Power Adapter

Turn off display after 1 hour
Prevent your Mac from automatically sleeping when the display is off
Wake for network access
Enable Power Nap while plugged into a power adapter

Date & Time

Tab: Clock

Show AM/PM
Show the day of the week
Show date


Computer Name: Aragorn (always named from LOTR)

Disable all sharing.

Time Machine

Exlude these items from backups: