TinkerTool System 4

Try before Buy

TinkerTool System 4 is electronically distributed software. You can download the application and look at it in your own time. Only if you like to keep it, you will be charged for its usage.

What is the difference between TinkerTool and TinkerTool System?

Both applications share the same user interface and internal technologies. 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 OS X. 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, OS X 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 System 4

TinkerTool System R2 to v4Staying ahead

Many competitors have tried to copy TinkerTool and TinkerTool System in the last 15 years. The applications became role models for a whole generation of numerous Mac system utilities. With their superior technologies, for example multi-version OS support with adaptive user interfaces, or full security integration, the TinkerTool programs have always been ahead, however. The fourth major release of TinkerTool System makes sure this technological advantage is continued, introducing new features for Mac administration:

Of course, the renowned and innovative features which have been introduced by previous generations of TinkerTool System, such as using temporary file cache deactivation instead of the bad “cache cleaning”, or showing removal previews of files which are going to be deleted in a cleaning operation, do still work as before, just as you are used to.


Security IconTinkerTool System 4 is a “real” OS X application and does not make use of unsafe scripting mechanisms. The application follows Apple's latest security guidelines. The graphical user interface is strictly separated from the operational core which is capable of performing privileged system operations. This core is monitored by OS X's security subsystem which is responsible for allowing or denying each single operation and to ask the user for authentication if necessary. TinkerTool System itself never asks for user passwords, making sure that your credentials cannot be intercepted by malicious user programs. Administrators of large system installations can fine-tune the security policy of TinkerTool System, for example by giving different classes of administrator groups different permissions to perform certain operations. In order to do this, TinkerTool System integrates seamlessly into the authorization database of OS X.

Safety and Know-How

TinkerTool System Context HelpWhen resolving typical system problems, TinkerTool System attempts to follow Apple's official support guidelines. This does not mean that TinkerTool System will execute a certain troubleshooting procedure word by word. For example, the program will not simulate the entry of terminal commands if Apple lists them in step-by-step troubleshooting instructions. However, TinkerTool System will execute direct internal commands which will have the exact same effects. Users can press a special help button in TinkerTool System to check whether Apple offers official documents about certain system problems in their database. If such documentation is available, the user can click one or more Internet links to open up-to-the-minute information about the problem in question.

Printed Manual

ManualTinkerTool System 4 comes with a detailed reference manual in Apple Help Viewer format. If you prefer a printed version of the manual, the documentation is also available as a PDF document (more than 200 pages). It can be downloaded separately.


Get a first impression of TinkerTool System 4 by looking at screenshots of a few selected features.

Features in Detail

TinkerTool System 4 contains all you need for Macintosh administration — and even more. The features marked with an asterisk (*) below are available without any restrictions even if the application runs in demo mode.

tts Standalone UtilityFeatures of the Included Standalone Utility

TinkerTool System 4 comes with an additional emergency tool which can help you to troubleshoot OS X problems even if the graphical user interface is no longer starting, or the user account of the system administrator has been damaged. This standalone version of TinkerTool System 4 includes the following features: