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New Mac Setup

How I setup a brand new mac, either for work or personal use. My “uses” page has “the stuff that I use” like apps.


System Settings

In System Preferences

  • Turn on Dark mode: General -> Set the appearance to “Dark”
  • Trackpad -> Scroll & Zoom -> Disable “Natural”
  • Siri -> Disable “Ask Siri”
  • Spotlight -> Uncheck everything apart from “Applications” and “System Preferences”
  • Turn off Airdrop
  • Keyboard


Show hidden files:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true; killall Finder

Show file paths:

defaults write com.apple.Finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool true; killall Finder

Install Homebrew:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

Unless you’re using M1/M2, install the Fish shell with the package file.

M1 computers

⚠️ Installing the Fish shell on M1/M2 macs is more complicated. Don’t install fish with the package file. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Add Homebrew to ZSH manually: touch .zshrc && export PATH="/opt/homebrew/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.zshrc
  2. Install fish: brew install fish
  3. Add fish to the list of shells: echo "/opt/homebrew/bin/fish" | sudo tee -a /etc/shells
  4. Make Fish the default shell: chsh -s $(which fish)

Restart your terminal

Then add brew to fish fish_add_path /opt/homebrew/bin


Install with homebrew: brew install ffmpeg wget tldr rename

I go over some of these in my “Nifty Command Lines” series


  • Preferences ->
    • Advanced ->
      • ✅ Enable “Show develop in menu bar”
      • ✅ Enable “Show full website address”
    • General -> Set Safari opens with to “All non-private windows from last session”
  • View -> “Show Status Bar”


  • Preferences ->
    • ✅ Enable “Show all filename extensions”
    • ❌ Disable “Show warning before changing an extension”
  • View ->
    • “Show Path Bar"
    • "Show Preview”


Create a shortcut to copy selected area to clipboard.

System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Screenshots -> Set your shortcut

Take screenshots as JPG and not PNG

Save bandwidth and the planet, one screenshot at a time.
A fullscreen capture on a 13-inch screen is 680kb as a JPG and 2.4mb as PNG. That’s a ~70% reduction.

Enable saving as JPEG:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type JPG

What’s next?

What was just the computer settings! Go to my “uses” page for more.