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How to Use Terminal On Mac: 7 Tips to Unleash Its Power

How to Use Terminal On Mac: 7 Tips to Unleash Its Power

There are lots of functions your Mac computer has that you may have never considered before. This is true if you just got the most recent Mac computer, or if you’ve owned one for years.

After all, Mac computers have been around since 1984, so tons of different tricks have been added over time.

Have you explored using Terminal to take your Mac to the next level? Keep reading this article to find out how to use Terminal on Mac.

1. Control Your Screenshots

Using Terminal will allow you more control over how your screenshots work. You can use Terminal to disable drop shadow when you take screenshots. You just need to open Terminal from your Applications window and type in the command “$ defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE.”

Then, just restart your computer!

That’s not the only way you can use Terminal to change how your screenshots work. To change the default location for your screenshots, you can use the commands “$ defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /drag/location/here” and “$ killall SystemUIServer”.

You can even change what format screenshots are saved in. Your options include PNG, TIFF, JGP, and PDF. This will make it easier if you plan to import your screenshots into other programs.

2. Find Hidden Files Using Terminal

There are lots of different and interesting ways you can use Terminal to find hidden files and directories.  The commands “$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE” and “$ killall Finder” will restart your Finder and turn up the files you wouldn’t normally see.

You can also hide different icons on your Mac if you want to declutter. Check out https://setapp.com/ to learn more. These tips will help make you a Mac superuser.

To see even more, you can use the command “ls -R” along with the path of a particular directory to see the entire contents of a folder, so you can make sure that you don’t miss anything important when you’re going through all your files.

3. Play Hidden Games 

Did you know you can use Terminal to play games on your computer?

Start by typing “emacs” into Terminal. Next, you’ll have to press Fn, F10, T, and G. This will display a list of games that your computer offers.

Some of the games commonly included on Mac computers include the classic Tetris, Snake, Pong, and even more.

4. Check Your Mac’s Functioning

You can also use Terminal to see how well your computer is working. Type in the command “$ uptime” to see how long your computer has been running. If you want to update your computer’s software, enter “$ sudo softwareupdate -l” to see what’s currently available.

If you find your Mac computer crashing on the regular, you can use the command “$ killall Finder” to issue a stress test. This will diagnose some of the issues that might arise with your Mac computer.

Sometimes, you may find yourself having problems with the Spotlight function on your Mac. If that’s the case, you can use the command “$ sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/DriveName” in Terminal to force Spotlight to rebuild its directory, to make it easier for you to find your files in the future.

If you’re not sure what’s causing your Mac to overheat, you can use the command “$ top” to see all the different processes currently running on your computer.

5. Check Your Network

If you’re having trouble with your Internet, Terminal can help you out. Try the command “$ ipconfig getifaddr en0” to get your network IP address.

For your external IP address, use “$ curl ipecho.net/plain; echo”. This can be helpful if you’re having regular trouble with your connection and can help you ensure your information is properly protected.

Actually, you can even use your Terminal function to check your computer’s network connectivity.

6. Customize Your Mac

Want to make your Mac work especially for you? You can use Command to customize your Mac for your particular needs.

For example, you may want to add a custom welcome message when you log into your computer each day. If so, you can use the command “$ sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText “——–“” And add your custom message where the dashes are.

Or, if you’re tired of the default animations on the Mail application, you can use “$ defaults delete com.apple.mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool TRUE” to turn them off. This is one of the best advanced Mac tips out there.

If you use paths regularly, Terminal can make your life easier. You can use commands to create autocomplete for your paths, so you won’t have to type in the whole long name out every single time.

Those who hate their dashboard are in luck because you can disable this function completely using the Mac Terminal functionality.

7. Monitor Your Files Using Terminal

If you’re a person who navigates a large number of files, you’ll want to use Terminal to help you out. You can use the command “$ tail -f /var/log/system.log” to keep an eye on the output a file emits.

This can also be helpful if you have trouble with file permissions. You can use command to alter the permissions for different files, to manage what users will be able to open or alter them.

You can even use Terminal to transfer files between different computers. Actually, it may surprise you to find out that you can use Terminal to activate Airdrop on outdated Mac models that don’t have it automatically enabled.

How to Use Terminal on Mac: Now You Know

Hopefully, you now have the answers you need to the question, “How to use Terminal on Mac?” So, give a few of these commands a shot the next time you’re poking around on your computer.

Are you searching for more Mac and technology tips and tricks? Take a look at a few of our other articles for more helpful advice.


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