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How To Use Mac Hot Corners

Wednesday May 15, 2019. 03:00 PM , from MacMost
Hot Corners are shortcuts that you can set so an action is performed when you move the cursor to one of the four corners of your screen. You can set these up in System Preferences if you know where to look. You can use them to instantly put your Mac to sleep, trigger Mission Control and other actions. You can also set them to work only with modifier keys. There is a trick to knowing which corners work in a multi-screen setup.



Check out How To Use Mac Hot Corners at YouTube for closed captioning and more options.
Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's take a look at Hot Corners.
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So Hot Corners is similar to keyboard shortcuts or trackpad gestures in that they allow you to perform an action very quickly and easily. But instead of hitting a keyboard combination or doing something specific with your trackpad what you're doing is moving the cursor on your screen to one of the four corners. When you do that it initiates an action.
To setup Hot Corners you go to System Preferences and then either to Screen Saver or to Mission Control. Both of these have a button at the bottom called Hot Corners. So it's kind of hidden inside of other system preferences. It doesn't have its own panel. Once you bring it up you'll see these four pull down menus corresponding to the four corners of the screen. Click on one to select the action for that hot corner. You have a limited list of actions here. You have the ability to bring up Mission Control, see the application window, see the desktop, show the dashboard if you have that enabled, or Notification Center. You can also bring up Launchpad. You can start or disable the Screen Saver. Disabling the screen saver works by leaving the cursor in that corner. You can put the display to sleep or lock the screen.
As an example let's use Launchpad. I'll set it up here for the bottom left corner. Now when I move my cursor down to the bottom left corner of the screen Launchpad instantly comes up. Now to use this you don't have to be very intentional. You don't have to carefully move the cursor to the bottom of the screen because since it's the corner you can basically just swipe very quickly on a trackpad or move your mouse very quickly and it will always end up in that corner. That's the beauty of it being in a corner. So I can quickly swipe with one finger down to the corner of the screen to bring up Launchpad. It kind of feels like you're doing a magic spell like a wizard swiping your finger through the air in a gesture to actually get something done.
The hot corner I always use is set the bottom right corner to either put the display to sleep or lock the screen. This means I can quickly drag my cursor to the bottom right corner just with a swipe and it instantly goes to sleep. It saves me a lot of battery time when using my MacBook or if I just need to get up and walk away from my desktop Mac I just do this really quick. It has become automatic for me. Every time I walk away I swipe down to the bottom righthand corner. It kind of reminds me of the Vulcan nerve pinch on Star Trek. Right. I just swipe down to the bottom right corner and my Mac goes to sleep.
Alright, so maybe you already knew about hot corners and how to use them. But here are some options you may not have known about. So sometimes people have trouble where they accidentally trigger hot corners. They set things up so that each corner has got something in it and then they accidentally trigger it just by moving their cursor around. Well, you can prevent that by associating the modifier key with it. So, for instance, instead of having the top left corner trigger Mission Control itself you can have it only when the Command key is held down. The way to do that is you go to select your function and you hold the Command key down. Notice the Command symbol appears after each one. So now if I select it, it requires that I hold the Command key down and go to the top left corner to trigger it. You can do this with Option. You can do it with Shift. You can do it with the Control key as well. You can do it with combinations. For instance I can do it with Option Command and I have to hold both of those keys down and go to the top left corner for it to do something.
Now if you have multiple screens on your Mac, like I do, they it can be tricky to trigger these. So what you want to do is you go to Displays. Go to Arrangement and you see how your screens are arranged on your desktop. Now the corners first obey vertical position and then horizontal position. So, for instance, in this case the bottom left and the bottom right corners of my main screen will trigger hot corners. It will be the top left corner of the left screen and top right corner of the right screen that trigger them. If I put the center screen there in the middle there like that then it's only going to be the side screens that trigger the corners since vertically none of the corners of my center screen are actual corners. So you want to pay attention to your screen arrangement to figure out exactly which corner triggers something.
Now if you want these shortcuts but you don't want to use hot corners note that almost all of them have keyboard shortcuts or trackpad or mouse gestures that you could use instead.
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