40+ macOS Big Sur tips and tricks for new iMac and Mac users

macOS Big Sur is the latest operating system released by Apple for its Desktop and laptop devices.

The release of M1-powered Mac mini and Macbooks with the latest version of macOS Big Sur was perfectly timed as for the first Apple can control both the hardware and software side of its desktop and laptop devices.

macOS Big Sur is optimized from the ground up to be compatible with the 2021 iMac, M1 Mac mini, and M1 Macbooks and is designed to utilize the full potential of the M1 chip and the apps designed for it.

Apart from being compatible with the 2021 iMac, M1 Mac mini, t, and Macbooks, the macOS Big Sur also brings many new features and changes that even some of the long-time might not know of, let alone new macOS users.

So, this post has been created with these users in mind, and it is not for pro macOS users. So, if you are new to macOS or even if you are a long-time macOS user but want to know about the new features and changes in macOS Big Sur, here are 40+ macOS Big Sur features, tips, and tricks for you.

Related: Best wireless keyboard for 2021 iMac for every budget 

Note: Some of the tips and tricks in this list are not specific to macOS Big Sur but have been there for many years but have been included to help the users who are new to macOS.

40+ macOS Big Sur tips and tricks for M1 Mac mini and Macbook users

Changing screen resolution and refresh rate

This tip would be handy for you if you have connected your Macbook or Mac mini to an external monitor with a higher resolution and a higher refresh rate. By default, Macbooks and Mac minis are set to work at 1080p resolution and 60hz refresh rate. If you have got an external monitor with a better configuration, here is how you can change the display settings on your macOS Big Sur-based machine.

First, go to the Display settings on your Mac, and the easiest way to do this is to use the shortcut combination cmd+space bar to launch the spotlight search and then search for ‘Displays’ and tap on it the system preferences page for Display settings.

From here, select the option ‘Scaled,’ and now you can modify the display resolution and the refresh rate according to your preferences.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Setting up Bluetooth keyboard and mouse

This tip is one of the most important and valuable tips for a macOS Big Sur device, mainly if you use an M1 Mac mini or older.

It doesn’t come with a mouse or a keyboard, and you can only set up a Bluetooth mouse or a keyboard after you have already completed all the initial steps, which require you to have a keyboard and a mouse.

Connecting a Bluetooth device to your Mac is pretty simple and straightforward and is very similar to how you would do it on your Windows machine or your Android or iPhone.

First, go to the Bluetooth settings by searching for Bluetooth in the Spotlight search. Now make sure the Bluetooth on your keyboard and mouse is turned on.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Your macOS Big Sur device will automatically detect any available Bluetooth devices nearby and display them on the Bluetooth preferences pages. All you have to do is select the mouse and the keyboard, and you will be good to go.

Change mouse scrolling direction

You might find the mouse scrolling direction in macOS a bit weird, especially if you are coming from Windows. The developers intended it to be a natural flow when scrolling using your mouse, but many users might be unfamiliar.

So, if you want to change the mouse scrolling direction to how you have always used it, open mouse settings either from the System preferences page or searching for in the spotlight search.

From here, turn off the Scroll direction: Natural option, and your mouse scrolling direction will be back to normal.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Enabling smooth scroll

This trick would be handy to you if you are using a high refresh rate external monitor with your macOS Big Sur-based M1 Mac mini or Macbook.

Smooth scrolling is a feature that enhances your browsing experience by making the process of scrolling endlessly through websites smoother and natural. Unfortunately, this feature is not natively supported on macOS Big Sur.

Related: Should you get Apple One is it worth it? – Everything you need to know

However, you can install a browser extension called SmoothScroll or a free app from the App Store called Smooze to enable the smooth scrolling feature on your Mac.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Window management tips

Managing the Windows of different apps on your Mac might be pretty tedious and is one area where Windows OS shines better.

However, if you know the right tips and tricks, you can master Window management in macOS Big Sur, and here are some tips to get you started.

You will notice the primary difference in macOS windows if you are coming from Windows is the close, minimize, and maximize buttons are all on the top left corner instead of the top right corner.

Just like Windows, you can drag and drop any of the windows on your Mac anywhere you want, place them next to each other, or overlap multiple windows on top of each other.

macOS Big Sur tricks

If you want more options on resizing an active window, hold down the options key and then press the maximize button, and you will have the options to zoom the window or move it to the left or the right edge of your screen.

You can also access all the available window management options from the Window menu in any open app menu bar. If you don’t manually adjust or reposition the windows on your Mac every time, you can also use free Window management apps like Amethyst from the App store.

Customizing and managing the dock

The dock in macOS at the bottom of your screen is one of the distinct features that instantly lets you differentiate between a Windows PC and a Mac. It is similar to the taskbar in Windows and supports unique features like dragging and dropping files directly into the bin to delete them, automatically displaying recently opened apps, etc.

You can also use the dock to instantly access and manage recently opened and downloaded files using the stack view without going to the Finder. It is also effortless to handle the dock to drag any app icon to add it to the dock or drag it out to remove it.

There are also a few ways using which you can customize the dock on your mac. To do that, go to the Apple Menu->System Preferences->Dock and Menu bar preferences. From here, you can customize various aspects of the dock, like changing the size, enlarging the app icons, or even changing the position of the dock or completely hiding it.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Adding and managing safari extensions

Like how you add extensions in Chrome from the Chrome web store, you have to visit the Mac App Store to add extensions in the Safari web browser on your Mac. The process is quite simple, open the Safari browser, click on the Safari menu at the top left and then click on the Safari Extensions option.

Related: How to install iPhone and iPad apps on Apple M1 Mac

Safari will then take you to the Safari extensions page in the Mac App Store, and from here, you can search to install any available extension you want. Once you have installed the extensions, if you’re going to change any settings or configure them, you need to go to Safari->Preferences->Extensions. Then from here, you can either install or uninstall extensions, modify their settings, and provide any permissions if necessary.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Most extensions start working as soon as you enable them and refresh the web page, but you might need to restart your Safari browser to make sure it starts functioning for some extensions. You might also need to restart the browser when an extension has automatically been updated to the latest version.

Adding and managing widgets

The ability to add widgets is probably one of the most valuable features in macOS Big Sur, as you might recollect that Apple introduced the option to add widgets to the home screen in the iOS14 and iPadOS 14 updates.

To add, view, and manage widgets on your Mac, click on the date or time area in the menu bar at the top right corner of your Mac. From here, you can view all your recent notifications, followed by the default widgets.

You can add or remove your favorite widgets to the notification center by clicking on the Edit widget button at the bottom and then clicking on the + icon next to the available widgets or the – icon to remove them. If a widget is available in multiple sizes, namely S, M, and L, you can also select the preferred size before adding the widget.

macOS Big Sur tricks

You can also reorder widgets according to your liking, and all you need to do this just long-press on them and then drag and drop them wherever you want in the list. If a widget has options like selecting a view or a location in the weather widget, you can modify it by tapping on the widget in edit mode.

macOS Big Sur tricks for using the control center

The control center in macOS Big Sur is redesigned to look similar to the iPhone and iPad, and it serves the same functionality as the quick actions menu in a Windows PC. You can access the control center by clicking on the ‘‘ icon in the top left corner. From here, you can quickly access some of the commonly used functions like WiFi, Bluetooth, DND mode, Airdrop, Volume controls, and more.

You can either tap on the controls to enable or disable them and tap on the name of some controls to access additional options, like screen sharing and sound preferences.

A few ways are to customize the control center, like dragging any of the frequently used control icons and placing them on the menu bar for quicker access, or you can even add more options to the control center.

To do this, go to Apple Menu->System Preferences->Dock & Menu bar. From here, you can add and remove options to your control center or the menu bar for quick access.

macOS Big Sur tricks for organizing the desktop

If you are a new Mac user and are shifting from Windows, the first thing you will notice on the desktop of your Mac is that all the files, folders, and icons are on the right side of your screen, instead of the left side like on the Windows PC.

The quickest and the most convenient way to organize your desktop is to use a feature called Stacks. Stacks automatically categorize your files by file type, date created, or folder names, and you can enable it by selecting ‘view’ from the menu bar on the desktop and then selecting the Use stacks option.

You can also customize other aspects of the Stacks in the desktop from this menu, like Grouping of stacks, size of the icons, position on the desktop, etc. Another simple way to instantly organize your desktop is to use the Spaces option, where you can create multiple instances of your desktop with different apps in each of them.

Related: Top Native Compatible apps for Apple Silicon M1 Macs

To do this, use the shortcut ctrl + up arrow, and then your Mac will take you to the Mission Control view. From here, you can create up to 16 different spaces with different apps and folders open in each one of them for ultimate productivity and organization. You can use the shortcut ctrl + left or right arrow key to move between spaces and even move the app windows between spaces.

macOS Big Sur tricks for using Finder

The Finder is similar to the Files app on iPhone and the File Explorer on a Windows PC. You can use it to find and organize all the files stored in your Mac, iCloud Drive, and any network or external drives attached to your Mac. It also displays the list of all Apps installed on your Mac and allows you to manage your Apps and files by renaming, deleting, moving, and copying them.

To use the Finder, click on the icon in the dock, and you will be able to view and organize all the files stored on your Mac, network, and external drives. You could use the sidebar in the Finder app to move between different folders and locations quickly, and you can also search for any files, drag and drop files, and apps to the Bin icon to delete them and more.

macOS Big Sur tricks for Spotlight search

Spotlight is probably one of my favorite features in macOS, and it has been significantly improved in macOS Big Sur. Spotlight features are some of my most favorite macOS Big Sur tricks.

You can launch Spotlight search by using the shortcut key combination cmd + space bar from anywhere on your Mac. Once it is opened, you can then immediately start typing to search for files, folders, apps, meanings or definitions of words, weather, sports score, website links, and more.

You can also choose between looking for your search query on the web or in the Finder to find what you are looking for quickly. You can use the Tab key to show the preview of a search result, directly open a file or a folder, copy files to the desktop, view the file’s location by holding the cmd key, and so on.

One of the most valuable features of Spotlight is that you can use it for making quick math calculations, conversions between different units, check the weather, play a specific song, and more. If you know how to utilize it, Spotlight is a beneficial feature on your Mac.

macOS Big Sur tricks for managing notifications

Managing notifications in macOS Big Sur could quickly become a tedious task if you haven’t set up proper controls and systems in place. However, the process of managing all the notification permissions and behaviors of different systems and third-party apps installed on your Mac is quite simple.

You can access the system-wide notification controls and settings by going to System preferences and then opening the Notifications settings from there.

Related: Best 4K UHD External Monitor for M1 Mac mini in 2021

You can individually customize the notification controls and behavior of the apps on your Mac and the Do Not Disturb settings. You have several options to choose from to decide how the notifications from different apps appear on your Mac.

You can altogether disable an app’s notifications, set it to show notifications only on the lock screen or the notification center, and even customize the sound and preview for the notifications.

The most intuitive and helpful setting in the Notifications options is to group the notifications by their apps. You can customize this setting under the Notification grouping section to enable or disable the option or leave it to the automatic setting. Enabling this will, for example, group all the notifications from the News app into one group, making it easy to view and dismiss.

Creating app folders

You will be installing and using several apps on your Mac, especially during the first few weeks, and having all the app icons cluttered in the Launchpad is bound to make it harder to keep track of all the apps you have installed you are using.

Thankfully, you can group apps into folders, making it easy to stay organized and keep track of all your apps. To do this, head to the launchpad by clicking on the icon on the dock at the bottom.

From here, you can just long-press on an app to select it and then place it on another app to create a folder. Repeat this process to add all the apps you want into a folder. You can create as many folders as you wish.

There are not many customization options for the folders besides being able to change their name. You also cannot merge two folders. To change the name of a folder, click on the folder to open it and then tap on the folder name to edit and change it to anything you want.

Configuring DND

As previously mentioned, you can access the DND settings from the Notifications settings page in the System preferences app. You can also use Spotlight to search for DND to access the settings quickly.

If you get notifications throughout the day that distract you from your actual work, then the proper configuration in the DND settings page will help you focus solely on your work.

You can configure it from the DND settings page to turn it on automatically during specified times during the day or when your Mac is in sleep mode or the display is locked. You can also configure the settings to allow repeated calls and not display notifications when sharing your display.

Force quitting apps

While macOS is a powerful OS and all the apps are meticulously designed to utilize the hardware and software’s capacity fully, they might sometimes end up acting up and misbehaving, causing problems to your computer.

During such situations, you can quickly fix the issue by simply forcing quitting the problematic app.

Related: Best External SSD for M1 Mac mini in 2021 (Updated)

All you need to do for force quitting an app on your Mac is right-click on the app icon in the dock and then click on quit.

If the app is still acting up, you can also force quit the app by Clicking on the force quit option from the Apple menu or by opening it using the shortcut keys cmd + option + ESC. From here, click on the app and select the Force quit option.

macOS Big Sur tricks for checking RAM and CPU usage

If you want to monitor the RAM and CPU usage on your Mac to determine what app is slowing your computer down and make sure everything is working as expected, you can use the Activity monitor for this purpose. You can access it by searching for it in the Spotlight search or from the Launchpad.

The Activity Monitor displays in detail all the currently running processes on your Mac, including the Memory occupied by them on the RAM. You can also check the amount of CPU and GPU being used by them and estimate their impact on the battery life. Activity monitor can also force quit apps by just selecting the app and then clicking on the close icon in the top menu bar.

macOS Big Sur tricks for improving privacy and security

As you might already know, Apple Takes Privacy and Security very seriously and has implemented an extensive list of features and options to ensure that the user’s privacy is preserved as much as possible across their hardware and software products. They recently announced that users would check the permissions and data required by an app before installing it from the App Store.

macOS Big Sur is also heavily focused on privacy and security features, and here is how you can customize them according to your preference. You can access the privacy and security apps of all the apps installed on your Mac by going to the Security and privacy settings page in the System preferences app. From here, you can set or change your password, enable and customize your firewall settings and individually determine the permissions for each app.

Under the Privacy section, you can customize what the apps installed on your Mac can access. You can allow or deny apps access to your reminders, calendar, contacts, location, camera, photo, microphone, and more.

You can also choose to share your system analytics with Apple, deliver non-personalized ads to you and choose to deny sending your Siri recordings. The settings page also has the option to enable File Vault, which will automatically encrypt all the contents on your hard drive and improve the security of your data significantly.

macOS Big Sur tricks for the Reminders app

The Reminders app in your Mac is one of the most useful built-in apps that helps you to be productive and keep track of your tasks at hand. The app’s functionality and usability have been increased significantly over the years. With the macOS Big Sur update, you get many helpful features capable enough to make it your only to-do list or task tracking app.

Besides the apparent features like creating reminders, lists, and setting a time and date for getting reminded, the Reminders app also packs a ton of extra features like sorting the reminders based on the due date and creation date, assigning reminders to your friends or co-workers, and also smart suggestions for dates and locations based on your past activity.

One of my favorite features is the Reminder suggestions option, where Siri will automatically recognize any correspondence in your emails and suggest you create reminders for them. With the latest update to the Reminders app, you can also choose to print the reminders if you would prefer to keep track of them in physical form.

Picture in Picture for YouTube video

If you are a pro at multitasking and would always prefer doing more than one task at a time, then you would probably love this macOS Big Sur trick. Instead of running a YouTube video in the background while working on something, you can play the YouTube video in Picture in Picture mode on any browser on your Mac.

To do this, just play any YouTube video of your choice and then right-click twice on the video and then select the option, ‘Enter picture in picture mode.’ Safari will now transform your YouTube video into a floating window that could be moved, resized, and placed anywhere on your screen and will continue to play in the side while you are working on something else.

macOS Big Sur tricks and tips for Safari

Apple introduced many new features to the Safari browser in the macOS Big Sur update, making the already powerful and fast Safari browser even quicker and more efficient thanks to the latest update and the M1 chip. Since you must already be familiar with most basic stuff like browser shortcuts, checking history, or creating bookmarks, I will primarily cover Apple’s features in the latest update.

First off, you will now be able to customize the Safari browser in that you can set a background image by choosing from the limited options available, display or hide different sections on the homepage, including your favorite websites, Siri suggestions, your Safari tabs from other Apple devices, and even a Privacy report which will show you an overview of the number of trackers blocked by Safari in the past few days.

There have also been a couple of additions aimed at improving your privacy and security when browsing the web using Safari. The new Password monitoring feature will securely monitor all your passwords and help you upgrade or change them if Safari discovers that your password has been found in a data breach. There is also a new extensions category in the App Store, filled with many great Safari extensions.

Besides these, you also get a new translate feature, privacy report for each website with automatic tracker blocking option, ability to import your passwords, history, bookmarks, and browser settings from Chrome, favicons displayed on the tabs, and website previews when you hover over a tab and so much more. Safari is also specifically updated to take advantage of the M1 processor, making it more power and RAM efficient than Chrome and, in most cases, much faster.

Uninstalling and deleting apps

Since there is no specific ‘Control panel’ like page in macOS, users coming from Windows might be unfamiliar with how to uninstall or delete apps on a Mac. While most apps can be easily removed/ uninstalled from your Mac by simply dragging them from the Launchpad and then dropping them into the bin or holding the app icon and then selecting the delete button, some of them aren’t all that easy to uninstall.

The usual dragging and dropping the app icon into the bin won’t work for uninstalling an app if it is not installed from the App Store. To uninstall such apps, you need to open the Finder from the dock and then click on the Applications option in the sidebar. From here, you can either open an app folder, if it is available and then run the uninstaller to remove the app from your Mac, or if there is just an app icon, then you can simply remove it by dragging it into the bin icon on the dock.

Quickly show the desktop

If you quickly want to move to your desktop from any app screen or check your desktop for a second, then there are two different ways you can do this in macOS Big Sur:

By using a keyboard or a mouse shortcut

First, you need to assign a shortcut that would show you the desktop when used. To do this, open the System preferences app from the Apple menu on the top left corner of your Mac. From here, open the Mission Control page, and then you can assign any shortcut key combination or mouse action you want under the shortcuts section.

Using Hot Corners

On the same Mission Control page, you also have the option to assign a hot corner on your Mac. Just click on the Hot corners button at the bottom left corner and select a preferred corner of your screen and choose the Desktop option. From now on, whenever you move your mouse cursor to the assigned corner, the shortcut will take you to the desktop of your Mac.

You can also assign other corners of your screen to perform different actions like opening the notification center, starting the screen saver, or locking your Mac.

Mission control

Mission control is another helpful feature in Mac similar to the multiple instances of Desktops running in the Windows OS. Open the System preferences app and then select the Mission control option to access the Mission control feature.

From here, you can assign a keyboard or a mouse shortcut to open the Mission control view whenever you want and then configure the spaces and app behaviors according to your preferences. Once you enter the Mission control screen using the shortcut, you can create additional spaces by clicking on the plus icon at the top and moving your apps between different spaces.

Dynamic wallpapers

This trick is one of my favorite and most incredible features in macOS and one of the best macOS Big Sur tricks in this list, and it is the ability to automatically change your Wallpaper’s appearance throughout the day. This would have a light background in the morning and automatically switch it to a dark version in the night or be configured to change according to your background theme.

To configure the dynamic wallpaper feature on your Mac, head over to the System preferences app and then choose a wallpaper from the Dynamic desktop section. You can also choose to automatically change the wallpaper image after every specified interval of time.

Quick preview images by holding the space bar

Another intuitive but straightforward trick is to quickly preview images saved anywhere on your Mac by simply selecting the image using your mouse cursor while holding the spacebar key on your keyboard.

Connecting and managing Bluetooth devices and Airpods

If you are trying to use a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse with your Mac or even a Bluetooth headphone like AirPods pro, you must familiarize yourself with the Bluetooth setup and configurations page. You can access this by either clicking on the Bluetooth icon at the menu bar or from the Bluetooth settings page in the System preferences app.

You can turn Bluetooth on or off from this page, add or remove devices, and select and connect from the available Bluetooth devices. Your Mac will automatically detect and display your Bluetooth device as long as it is in the pairing mode and is within a particular range.

Customize sidebar in Finder

The sidebar in the Finder app is configured by default to show the frequently accessed pages like the Downloads, Documents, Applications, and the Recents page. However, you can configure it to add or remove items and even rearrange them according to your preference by simply dragging them and placing them in the order you like.

To add new items to the sidebar in the Finder app, just click on the Finder menu at the top and select preferences. From here, just switch to the Sidebar, and then you can select to add or remove items to the sidebar in Finder.

Other Finder settings

Apart from the Sidebar, you can also configure and customize other aspects of Finder from the Preferences page, including choosing between showing or hiding file extensions, showing different colored tags on your files and folders, displaying your external hard drives and Network drives, and other options.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Share Safari Tabs, text, and links to Reminders and Notes

I have already mentioned in this post how great the Reminders app in macOS Big Sur is, but if you know about this feature, you would appreciate it even more. Whenever you come across an interesting webpage, an online article, or just a piece of helpful information, which you liked but don’t have enough to read, you can simply send it to the Reminders or the Notes app on your Mac to save it and check it out later.

To do this, just click on the Share icon at the top right corner on any website, and then select either Reminders or Notes from the options available. You can also share links, a piece of text, or even single words using this method. Before adding the link to the Reminders or the Notes app, you can also add points or notes that you might want to remember late. Such a simple yet helpful feature if you use it in the right way.

Lookup in Safari

The Lookup feature in Safari is like a built-in dictionary and encyclopedia that can be accessed from anywhere when browsing the internet. This is one of the most useful macOS Big Sur tricks in this list. Whenever you want to check the definition of a word or get detailed information about something, just highlight it and then right-click and select the lookup option.

After this, you will get a popup from where you can check for the meaning, definition, and even the pronunciation of the highlighted text, and detailed information in Wikipedia, related websites, and even information about Movies based on the selected text.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Emoji shortcut

You can use the shortcut Ctrl + cmd + space bar to open the Emoji menu from anywhere and use any emojis you want.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Setting screensaver

To set a screensaver on your Mac, search for Screensaver using Spotlight search to open the Desktop and Screensaver settings page. From here, switch to the screensaver tab, and you can select your favorite screensaver image or video from the list of options available.

You also have options to use photos from your Library as your screensaver, and you can customize aspects like when does the screensaver start and what details does it display like the time, your reminders, weather, etc., from this page.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Checking for storage

Unlike in the Windows OS, macOS Big Sur does not display storage information directly on the drive. Instead, you need to use the Disk utility program to get that information. You can open the Disk utility app either by using Spotlight search or from the Launchpad.

The Disk utility not only shows an overview of your stored information, but you can also use it to view details about any external storage devices connected to your Mac. Apart from this, you can also perform troubleshooting on your drives, format, or restore them using the disk utility app.

macOS Big Sur tricks

macOS Big Sur tricks for Managing and freeing up storage

If you are running low on storage or just want to remove some unused files and applications from your Mac, you can use the Storage manager to achieve the desired results. To access the storage manager, click on the Apple menu at the top left corner and select About this Mac.

From the next window, select the Storage section at the top and then click on Manage. From here, you can perform multiple operations like emptying the bin, optimizing your storage by automatically removing unnecessary or unused files, and moving all your files to iCloud storage.

macOS Big Sur tricks

Apart from this, you can also manually browse your application and files and remove anything you might not need or think is occupying a lot of storage space on your Mac.

macOS Big Sur tricks for managing saved passwords

macOS Big Sur has a handy utility called Keychain. The Keychain applications store and manage all your passwords used on your Mac, including app and website-specific passwords. It can also generate and store secure passwords automatically and even sync your passwords from your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.

To manage and access your saved passwords, open the Keychain Access on your Mac. From here, you can see all your saved passwords and the service or website it is linked to. You can also copy any password, use it, delete any insecure passwords, change them, or even create a new password and associate it with an app or website.

Using the Screenshot tool

If you are new to macOS or have only used Windows devices all your life, then you might not be familiar with taking screenshots on macOS.

Multiple ways are using which you can take a screenshot on your macOS Big Sur device. Here are some of them:

  1. First, you need to launch the screenshot tool, which can be done either by using the shortcut combination Shift+cmd+5 or from the launchpad by searching for screenshots.
    You can also search for screenshots by using the shortcut cmd+space bar to launch the Spotlight search.
  2. Once you have launched the screenshot tool, you have multiple options to select from, including capturing the entire screen, only the current window, or capture a selected portion.
  3. After selecting the desired option, you can click on the stop recording button to save the screenshot.
  4. You can also choose other options like where the screenshot gets saved on your Mac, remembering the last selection, and showing or hiding a floating thumbnail after taking a screenshot.

Quickly capture the screen using Shortcuts

The following are some of the shortcut key combinations you can use on your macOS Big Sur device to capture a screenshot quickly.

  • Shift+cmd+3 to capture the entire screen.
  • Shift+cmd+4 to capture a portion of the screen.
  • Shift+cmd+5 to open the screenshot.
  • Shift+cmd+6 to capture the touch bar.

You can access the screenshots by either going to the location you have selected to store them using Finder or by just clicking on the thumbnail of the screenshot that appears on the bottom right of the screen every time you capture a screenshot.

Suppose you want to modify these shortcuts to a different combination of your choice. In that case, you can do so by going to the Apple menu->System preferences->Keyboard->Shortcuts and then assigning your preferred shortcut combination to the screenshot action.

There are several options to edit the screenshot after it has been captured, including cropping, marking, and changing the orientation of the image.

macOS Big Sur tricks for recording the screen

Like capturing your Macbook or Mac mini’s screen as an image, you can also record your device’s screen using the same methods to take a screenshot.

Just use the shortcut combination or launchpad app to launch the screenshot tools, and then from there, you can click on the start recording button to start recording the entire screen, a selected portion of the screen, or just the current selected window.

Once you have finished recording, click on stop recording, and your Mac would automatically save the screen recording file at the selected location. You also can set a timer, and the screenshot tool would automatically start recording after the specified amount of time.

Shortcuts for everyday tasks

The following is an extensive list of useful shortcuts used in macOS Big Sur to perform routine tasks efficiently.

Action Shortcut
Taking a screenshot Shift + cmd + 3
Screen recording Shift + cmd + 5
Closing a Window Cmd + W
Accessing history in Safari Cmd + Y
Close all open windows Cmd + opt + W
Empty Bin Cmd + Shift + Delete
Get information about the selected item Cmd + I
Open Recents Cmd + Shift + F
Open Applications Cmd + Shift + A
Go to Desktop Cmd + Shift + D
Open Documents Cmd + Shift + O
Go to Home Folder Cmd + Shift + H
Help Cmd + Shift + ?
Hide current application Cmd + H
Hide other applications Cmd + opt + H
Logout Cmd +Shift + Q
Minimize Window Cmd + M
Mission control Ctrl + up arrow
New Finder window Cmd + N
New folder Cmd + Shift + N
Technology and Cybersecurity Enthusiast with a passion for writing and sharing knowledge. Podcasts occasionally and loves to keep watching the same TV series over and over again during my free time.