Joe Duncko

Joe Duncko

Frontend engineer and community organizer based in Youngstown, Ohio

# Joe's macOS Configuration

This is an update to a medium post I made in 2018 documenting the settings I usually change when I set up a fresh macOS installation.

This is mostly for myself, and to share with people who get their first Mac.

This guide was most recently updated 2024-01-15 with macOS 14.2.1.


Turn on Dark Mode

Joe's Appearance Settings

In Settings, under Appearance, Select Dark mode.

Turn on Night Shift

Joe's Night Shift settings

In Settings, under Displays, choose Night Shift. Set Schedule to Sunset to Sunrise and turn Color Temperature up all the way.

Display Seconds in Menu Bar

Joe's Display Time with Seconds settings

In Settings, search the word seconds. Select Display the time with seconds in the menu bar. Turn Display the time with seconds to On.

Set up Dock

In Settings, under Desktop and Dock...

Under Dock

Joe's Dock settings
  • Slide Size to ~20%
  • Slide Magnification to ~30%
  • Set Position on Screen to Left
  • Switch Minimize windows into application icon to On
  • Switch Automatically hide and show the dock to Off
  • Switch Show indicators for open applications to On
  • Switch Show suggested and recent apps in Dock to Off

Under Desktop and Stage Manager

Joe's Desktop and Stage Manager settings
  • Switch Stage Manager to Off

Under Mission control

Joe's Mission Control settings

This is the stuff that makes using the Mac's multiple desktop features feel really good.

  • Switch Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use to Off
  • Switch When switching to an application, switch to a space with open windows for the application to Off
  • Switch Group windows by application to Off
  • Switch Displays have separate spaces to On


Joe's General Finder settings

In File > Settings, under General, uncheck showing any items on desktop.

Joe's Sidebar Finder settings

In File > Settings, under Sidebar, check all items under Favorites and Locations. I personally also disable the Recent tags function, as I don't use them.

Joe's Advanced Finder settings

In File > Settings, under Advanced, checkmark Show all filename extensions and both options for Keep folders on top.

Joe's Finder View settings

In View, select to Show Toolbar, Show Path Bar, and Show Status Bar.

Joe's Finder View Options settings

While in any folder besides Recents, in View > Show View Options, set Sort By to name, then at the bottom click Use as Defaults.


Keyboard Layout - Colemak

In Settings, under Keyboard, under Text Input, click Edit....

Then click the + button at the bottom left.

Under English, select Colemak. Click Save.

Touch bar

In Settings, under Keyboard, click Touch Bar Settings....

Set Touch Bar shows to Expanded Control Strip.

Then, click Customize Control Strip. See my configuration below. Note the leftmost button is the Input Sources touch key.

Joe's Touch Bar layout


Joe's Mail Spelling and Grammar Options settings

While in Mail, go to Edit, then under Spelling and Grammar uncheck Correct Spelling Automatically


Change the default folder screenshots are saved to by running the following in your terminal:

defaults write location [folder location here]

Fuller instructions available here


shift-cmd-v to paste without formatting

  • Open System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Then click on the Keyboard Shortcuts button.
  • From the next screen, choose App Shortcuts from the list at left.
  • From the Application drop-down menu, choose All Applications.
  • Click on the + symbol to assign a new shortcut.
  • In the Menu Title field, enter Paste and Match Style. Enter it exactly as is.
  • In the Keyboard Shortcut field, press shift-cmd-v
  • Click the Done button.

Fuller instructions with screenshots available here