TinkerTool for older systems

TinkerTool is also available for old versions of Mac OS X and OS X. Please see the version overview page for more information.

What is the difference between TinkerTool and TinkerTool System?

Both applications share the same user interface and internal technology. However, the features and target group of the two applications are very different: TinkerTool is a utility that allows you to set personal preference settings Apple has built into macOS. TinkerTool is not capable of changing any system settings or other settings that may affect more than your private user account. For this reason, you don't need administrative permission to use TinkerTool. The tool can be used in professional networks where you have limited access, for example students working with the campus network.

TinkerTool System on the other hand is directed to system administrators, consultants or experienced users that need to change and optimize operating system settings. This will affect all users that share a computer. Only user accounts with administrative permission can use TinkerTool System, macOS does not allow access by standard users.

The tools do not share any duplicate settings or features, they complement one another. To have the full feature set you'll need both applications. It is not planned to offer the system tool in other languages than English and German.



TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into macOS. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the applications delivered with the system.

To further guarantee that the tool cannot change any part of your installation, but only gets access to your personal preference settings, the program puts itself under the restrictions of Apple's Application Sandbox. TinkerTool is the first application of its kind to use this innovative technology.

When you have defined your preferred set of “pro” preference settings, you can additionally export and import the settings, copying them to another user account or to a different computer. All settings which don't depend on the availability of third-party applications can be transferred.

Because TinkerTool only gives you access to features already built into macOS, its feature set varies greatly between different operating system versions. Please refer to the following table:

For older operating systems, please see the version overview page.

Preference Setting macOS 10.14 Mojave
Enable the Finder to show hidden and system files x
Disable sound effects of the Finder x
Prevent the Finder from using the Desktop background x
Enable the “Quit” menu item of the Finder x
Let the Finder display the UNIX path of the current selection as window title x
Disable the animation effect when opening information panels or Desktop icons x
Disable the animation effect when selecting information categories x
Disable the creation of hidden Finder .DS_Store files on network volumes x
Force the Finder to collect all data from a network folder before displaying its contents x
Block the feature “connect to server” in the Finder x
Block the eject feature in the Finder x
Block the features for disk burning in the Finder x
Block the feature “go to folder” in the Finder x
Use dimmed Dock icons to show hidden applications x
Disable the animation when hiding or showing the Dock x
Disable the delay until the Dock is shown when autohide is active x
Restrict the Dock not to allow manual changes of its size x
Restrict the Dock not to allow changes of its contents x
When using grid view for stacks, let the Dock display a marker for the current selection x
Add a stack for Recent Items x
Allow to open stacks by scroll-wheel or scroll gesture x
Let the Dock hide all others when switching to or launching an application x
Add spacer elements to the Dock x
Set the Dock minimization effect to a “suck in” animation x
Set the Dock minimization effect to a “linear” animation x
Disable fade-in animation of Launchpad x
Disable fade-out animation of Launchpad x
Disable page switch animation of Launchpad x
Change the layout arrangement (number of rows and columns) of Launchpad x
Re-enable the key repeat feature x
Disable inertia for scroll devices generally x
Disable the rubber-band effect when scrolling beyond the end of a view (only in applications that allow this) x
Disable the revised function of the power button to switch to sleep mode instead of displaying a power-down dialog x
Set the file format for the creation of Desktop screenshots x
Disable the shadow when taking window screenshots x
Prevent that recording times are inserted into the names of screenshots x
Set the destination folder for Desktop screenshots x
Accelerate the animation of opening and closing sheets x
Disable the animation when opening windows x
Allow less precise edge grabbing when resizing windows x
Set expanded Save dialogs as default when using new applications x
Limit the number of items shown in the “File > Open Recent” submenu of native macOS applications x
Disable drag-and-drop of text in Cocoa applications or set the delay time when switching from selection mode to drag mode x
Set the delay before applications will display help tags (“tooltips”) x
Control the blink rate of the text insertion marker x
Disable the feature to keep help windows always in the foreground x
Control how macOS handles application crashes x
Use the Notification Center for crash information x
Control the display of warnings when uncaught exceptions occur in applications x
Disable Dashboard x
Automatically activate Terminal windows by pointing at them with the mouse cursor x
Let Mail use your own AIFF sound file to indicate a new message x
Control the delay when moving windows between Spaces in Mission Control x
Disable the dialog which asks for Time Machine backup disks when new drives are connected x
Show all system user groups in the Accounts pane of System Preferences x
Prevent macOS from quitting unused applications automatically x
Prevent macOS from suggesting iCloud (if available) when saving documents x
Set preferred font sizes for the selection of default fonts for eight specific use categories, typefaces for two categories x
Re-enable use of the backspace key to navigate backwards in Safari x
Set the initial page zoom value of Safari continuously x
Set default font typeface and size for Safari when web pages don't specify a font (only for Safari 12.0) x
Set fixed-pitch default font typeface and size for Safari when web pages don't specify such a font (only for Safari 12.0) x
Control the style and degree of font smoothing x
Restrict dark mode to menu bar and Dock, keeping applications light x
Keep Finder light even if dark mode is enabled x
Keep Mail light even if dark mode is enabled x
Keep System Preferences light even if dark mode is enabled x
Keep Terminal light even if dark mode is enabled x
Keep iTunes light even if dark mode is enabled x
Keep Safari light even if dark mode is enabled x
Allow ratings with half stars in iTunes x

(x) denotes feature support.

The software is offered without implied warranty of merchantibility or fitness for a particular purpose. We cannot guarantee that TinkerTool will be compatible with future versions of macOS or iTunes.