How to access any Mac system preference in one click

Apple guru Dave Marra recently tweeted a great Mac tip that I'm going to share with you. Make sure to check out his site for more great Mac tips.

I have to admit that I'm totally ashamed I didn't know this until just the other day, because Marra tells me it's been around since OS X 10.7 Lion.

How to access OS X System Preferences using the Dock

  1. Open your Dock.
  2. Click on the System Preferences icon and hold it.
  3. A pop-up menu appears showing you all available system preferences. Select whatever preference you need and the Mac will open it.

How to access OS X System Preferences using Spotlight

Don't want to use your mouse or trackpad? Do it with the keyboard instead.

  1. Hold down command
  2. Press the space bar to bring up Spotlight.
  3. Type in the name of the system preference you want to open

Spotlight should take care of the rest.

Any questions? Let me know.

  • Cool... nice to know.
  • Nice
  • You can also "right click" on the icon to get the list too. I know "right click" is a bad word in the MACiverse.
  • Amazing avi by the way! Sent from the iMore App
  • Would you like a jelly baby?
  • It's good but I use an even easier one. CornerClick is a very old freeware app which still works in 10.10. It allows you to trigger many actions from the 4 corners of your screen so I launch System Prefs from the top left corner and it's open in half a second. I cannot launch anything from the dock that fast. The developer Greg Schueler has put it on Github and you can download it here:
  • I knew about the dock tip, but I too am ashamed about not realizing Spotlight did it - even as I now notice it's been there all along.
  • That's so awesome...thanks Peter!!!
  • How does one "open the dock"?
  • Well, if one has one's dock configured as 'hidden,' one hovers one's cursor over the edge of one's screen to which one's dock Said action will result in the temporary display of the previously hidden user interface component; one might conceivably consider such a maneuver to be synonymous with the vernacular use of the word 'open' in the accompanying dispatch. Alternatively, one might (temporarily, one suspects) unhide one's dock, perhaps using the pre-defined and in-built '⌥⌘D' keyboard shortcut. (One apologizes if one's perhaps overly aggressive use of the third-person voice has been grating or offensive. One just couldn't resist. ;-)