Chapter 17. System Preferences

The hub of Mac customization is System Preferences, the equivalent of the Control Panel (Windows) or the Settings app (iPhone, iPad, Android). Some of its panes are extremely important, because their settings determine whether or not you can connect to a network or go online to exchange email. Others handle the more cosmetic aspects of customizing OS X.

This chapter guides you through the entire System Preferences program, pane by pane.


Only an administrator (Administrator accounts) can change settings that affect everyone who shares a certain machine: most of its Network settings, Energy Saver settings, and so on. If you see a bunch of controls that are dimmed and unavailable, now you know why. If you, a nonadministrator, would like to edit a settings, then call an administrator over to your Mac and ask him to click the , input his password, and supervise your tweaks.

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