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Last active Nov 16, 2020
What would you like to do?
make osx bearable (this is opinionated)

Hidden system settings (click to expand the bulletpoints)

save screenshots to a folder on the desktop, instead of directly on the desktop
mkdir ~/Desktop/screenshots
defaults write location ~/Desktop/screenshots
de-localize the name of the Desktop-folder in finder (so it's not called "Schreibtisch")
rm ~/Desktop/.localized
remove the delay for the dock to appear, and speed up the autohide animation
defaults write autohide-delay -float 0
defaults write autohide-time-modifier -float 0.1;killall Dock

now that the dock is fast, you should consider enabling dock-auto-hide and disabling dock magnification in the system settings
dock animation

disable finder animations
defaults write DisableAllAnimations -bool true
killall Finder
stop finder from creating .DS_Store files on shared network drives
defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores -bool true
killall Finder
speed up the type-delay

this will make the key-repeat twice as fast as is usually configurable

defaults write -g KeyRepeat -int 1
disable desktop icons
defaults write CreateDesktop false; killall Finder
disable "Last login"-message on terminal start
touch ~/.hushlogin

Things you might want to do to improve your UX (click to expand the bulletpoints)

Some essential programs
  • brew (package manager)
  • iTerm2 (Terminal replacement, can be installed with brew cask install iterm2-nightly)
  • oh-my-zsh (awesome shell plugins) (requires zsh, which can be installed with brew install zsh zsh-completions)
  • caffeine (makes your mac not fall asleep, can be installed with brew cask install caffeine)
Enable silent clicking

If you have a macbook from 2015, enable silent clicking in the system settings.
This does not affect how the clicks feel, it only changes the volume of the simulated click-sound.
This setting was removed for macbooks from >= 2016 (see here)

Adjust the click pressure

Adjust the click pressure to the lightest setting in the system settings. At least for me,
it's actually easier on the fingers and less straining.


Disable screenshot-delay

press cmd+shift+5 to open the screen-recording menu. select options and disable "show floating thumbnail". This has the downside of disabling the small preview you get when taking a screenshot, but it also removes the delay between taking a screenshot and the picture being saved to disk.

Keep the dock clean

Remove EVERYTHING from the dock you don't need. I got like 8 items in the dock
(including finder and trash bin). keep only the things you really need every day, like

  • email,
  • browser
  • IDE
  • terminal
  • slack
  • your password manager
    Everything else can be opened with spotlight dock
Keep the menubar clean

Remove EVERYTHING from your menubar you don't need using bartender. I only got 5 to 6
items in there, including the ones you can't remove. Keep only the things you actually
use every day in your main menu bar, and only the things you sometimes use in your
secondary menu bar. Remove everything else. I only have

  • The battery-percentage (only when not fully charged)
  • A system-stats-icon (from iStatMenus)
  • The wifi icon
  • The clock
  • The bartender-menu-bar-switcher
  • the notification center (this one only because it can't be removed (you could remove it with bartender on older osx versions))


Improve the window-management

For a windows-like window-positioning using the mouse have a look at solutions like magnet or better-snap-tool

Useful keyboard shortcuts
  • fullscreen-screenshot: ⌘+shift+3
  • free-selection-screenshot: ⌘+shift+4
  • screenshot of a window: ⌘+shift+4, then pressing space
  • touchbar-screenshot: ⌘+shift+6
  • You can switch between applications with ⌘+tab, but you can also switch
    between the windows of the cureently active application with ⌘+>/<
  • rotate images and videos 90 deg. clockwise (in finder): ⌘+R
Fully customize the touchbar

For a fully customizable touchbar, have a look at BetterTouchTool.
For some inspiration on what to do with the touchbar, have a look at these presets

Program specific configurations for elegant minimalism


Here is how to configure iterm2 to have a minimalistic look like this:



  • macOS Mojave (macOS 10.14) or higher
  • iTerm2 3.3 or higher (only available in nightly builds at the time of writing this)

Configuring iTerm2

All the following settings are found in Profiles > Open Profiles > Edit Profiles.

  • General:
    • Check quit when all windows are closed
  • Appearance:
    • Set Theme to minimal (this makes the title bar have the terminals background color in compact mode)
    • Uncheck Show tab numbers
    • Uncheck Show tab close buttons (keep this checked if you'd like the close buttons to always show as kind of a tab-divider)
    • Uncheck Show new-ouput indicator
    • Uncheck Show window number in title bar
    • Check Hide scrollbars
    • Uncheck Show line under title bar when tab bar is not visible
  • Profiles
    • General
      • Set title to Session Name (this makes the tabs titles show what is running instead of the name of the iTerm2-profile)
    • Color
      • Configure the colors to your liking. The importable color-preset used in the screenshot is here
    • Window
      • Set style to compact (this makes the tabs be inside the title bar)
  • Advanced
    • set Tab bar height (points) for... to 24 (this is about regular title bar height)
    • set In minmal tab style, how different... to 0 (this makes the inactive tabs have the same background color as the active one, so the terminal window looks more uniform)
    • set In minmal tab style, how prominent... to 0 (this makes the tab-divider-line invisible)

Add this to the end of your ~/.zshrc to replace the default prompt: zsh_default with a simpler one, that conveys the same information: zsh_minimal

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