Mac OS X Setup Guide

I recently moved from a MacBook Pro to a MacBook Air, and I chose not to restore my user account from the Time Machine backup, so I've spent a not-insignificant amount of time replicating the things I liked about that old setup. Feels like high time to collect that into a blog post, for future reference.

Last updated for Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) on 16 August 2012.


Some obvious easy-to-find things like OmniFocus and Google Chrome are omitted.



Disable new window animation:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO

Expanded save dialogs:

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool YES

Quicklook text selection:

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE; killall Finder

Speed up sheets (Save…, Print…, etc.):

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime .001

Hide Spotlight menu bar icon:

sudo chmod 600 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search && killall SystemUIServer


defaults write FXEnableExtensionChangeWarning -bool false
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false
defaults write _FXShowPosixPathInTitle 1
defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2
defaults write type png && killall SystemUIServer

Sources: 1, 2, others.