Change General preferences on Mac
On your Mac, use General System Preferences to change the overall appearance of macOS, specify how you use scroll bars, windows and tabs and enable some Continuity features, if available.
To change these preferences, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click General.
Choose the appearance for buttons, menus and windows on your Mac. See Use a light or dark appearance.
Light provides a light appearance that doesn’t change.
Dark provides a darkened appearance so the content you’re working on stands out while windows and controls seem to recede into the background. It’s effective for viewing documents, presentations, photos, films, web pages and more.
Auto automatically adjusts the appearance from light to dark during the day.
Choose the colour to use for buttons, pop-up menus and other UI controls.
Choose the colour to use for highlighting selected text.
Sidebar icon size
Choose small, medium or large icons for the Finder sidebar and for the sidebar in apps such as Mail and News.
Allow wallpaper tinting in windows
Allow colours from the desktop picture to subtly tint certain window areas, such as toolbars or status bars.
Show scroll bars
Scroll bars appear in a window when there’s content that doesn’t fit into the window’s current size.
Click in the scroll bar to
To momentarily switch between scrolling methods while working, press and hold the Option key while clicking the scroll bar.
Default web browser
Safari is the web browser in macOS and is used by default when you click a link in an email or text message. To learn about the Safari app, see the Safari User Guide.
If you installed other web browsers on your Mac, they are shown in the pop-up menu; you can choose one to use by default.
Prefer tabs when opening documents
Choose when you want documents to open in a tab (instead of in a new window): never, only when you’re working in full screen, or always.
Ask to keep changes when closing documents
Unsaved changes are saved automatically when you close documents. If you also want to be asked to save changes, select this tickbox.
Close windows when quitting an app
Select to close app windows when you quit an app. The windows don’t reopen automatically the next time you open the app.
Recent Items you’ve used are listed in the Apple menu, so that you can easily open the items from there. Choose how many items are listed.
This setting also determines how many recent items appear in app menus, such as the File > Open Recent menu in TextEdit.
Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices
(not available on all computers)
If your Mac supports Handoff, select the tickbox to turn on Handoff between your Mac, iOS and iPadOS devices, and Apple Watch set up with iCloud. See Pick up where you left off with Handoff on Mac.
When this option is selected, you can use Universal Clipboard to copy and paste between your devices.
To make items on the screen larger, see Make it easier to see what’s on the screen of your Mac.