macOS Monterey superguide: Tips, how-tos, features
The next version of the Mac operating system is called macOS Monterey. Version 12 was introduced at WWDC21 and is now available to the general public on October 25. It went through 11 betas beginning on June 7, 2021.
This page collects all our major articles about macOS Monterey: FAQs and feature guides, how-tos, tips, updates, and news. It’s your one-stop shop for all the macOS Monterey-related content on Macworld. We’ll continue to update this page as we post more news, how-tos, and updates so make sure to bookmark it.
macOS Monterey 12.0.1: The latest version
Apple released macOS Monterey on Monday, October 25, which is actually macOS 12.0.1.
macOS Monterey 12.1: The latest beta
Apple is currently on the fourth beta of macOS 12.1, which includes SharePlay and several bug fixes (including a fix for the Tap to Click bug) and security updates. To join the public beta, visit Apple’s site on your Mac and download the profile to your Mac. Keep in mind that this is beta software and could cause problems on your Mac. You may encounter frequent freezes and crashes, or your apps may not work.
macOS Monterey: Everything new
The macOS Monterey operating system update comes with lots of new features, design changes, and improvements. We’ve compiled a list of all the major new features.
macOS Monterey: How to install the update
The update is free and you need to be connected to the internet. The installation will take several minutes (plan on about 30 minutes) and your Mac needs to restart. Here are the steps to do the installation:
- Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu
- Click on Software Update.
- Your Mac will check to see if the update is available. when it is, an Install button will appear. Click it and your Mac will start downloading the update. After that, it will start the installation.
macOS Monterey: Should you wait to update?
It’s easy to jump in on all the excitement of a new operating system. But waiting could be a wise decision. We have an article that goes over the reasons why you should upgrade now and why you should wait.
macOS Monterey: Universal Control
Apple announced a groundbreaking new macOS Monterey feature called Universal Control, which lets can now use a single mouse and keyboard between your Mac and iPad. If you’re using a MacBook, its keyboard and trackpad can be used with the iPad. You can even drag and drop files between devices and perform gestures on the MacBook trackpad to navigate the iPad. However, this feature isn’t ready for macOS Monterey’s initial release and we don’t know when it will be. Apple says it will be available later this fall but hasn’t included it in any of the Monterey betas.
macOS Monterey: Get to know the latest features
Shortcuts on iOS and iPadOS have become a popular tool to create automation. In macOS Monterey, Shortcuts for Mac will be available, bringing over the same powerful functionality. Any shortcuts that you make are available system-wide, so you can run them from just about anywhere on the Mac. It’s easy to share shortcuts, and any shortcuts you make sync across all your devices. If they are compatible, iPhone and iPad shortcuts can run on M1 Macs or on Intel-based Mac systems with Catalyst apps.
Tabs are a major user interface element in Safari but they become unwieldy and hard to manage. Apple hopes to address those problems in Safari 15 with a new tab implementation and features. Here’s how tabs work in Safari 15 and how to make tab groups.
The new SharePlay support allows people to share an experience while watching the video, listening to music, or even an app window while on a FaceTime call. The people on the call can control the media that’s playing, and the callers can even make a playlist. SharePlay works with Apple TV and Apple Music; support for other services will depend on those services adopting the SharePlay API and updating their services with support. SharePlay will arrive on Macs this fall with Monterey 12.1.
Quick Note is a fast way to create a note file. When you trigger it, the Notes app quickly opens to a new file that you can start using immediately. It’s a fantastic feature but might not be so obvious if you don’t know it’s there.
Focus is basically an expansion of options that were originally available in the Do Not Disturb feature that’s already in macOS. To make Focus suitable for your situation, you can adjust its preferences, which we’ll go over in this article.
Live Text and Look Up
You can now select the text in a photo, copy it, and then paste it into a document. You can also lookup that text on the web or in Maps. Here’s how you’ll use it on your Mac.
AirPlay to Mac
With AirPlay to a Mac, you can now take the media from your iPhone and iPad and use AirPlay to stream on your Mac. You can also stream from an app; for example, you can draw using your iPad, and use AirPlay to stream your activity onto a Mac so others can watch. AirPlay to Mac works wirelessly or over a USB connection.
Low Power Mode
Low Power Mode reduces energy consumption by automatically turning down the screen brightness and system clock speed to save battery life and make your Mac run more quietly. Here’s how to turn it on.
Finder and windows changes
The Finder in macOS Monterey has a few changes. When you’re copying a file, the progress window is now in the form of a pie chart, and you can now pause long file copies and resume them later. Go to Folder has a new design, and Apple improved the auto-completion engine to make it easier to find the file or folder you need.
Monterey also has a few new ways to manage windows. You can swap out apps in Split View and change a Split View window to full screen. Windows automatically resize when moving a window to a secondary display, another Mac, or an iPad. And if you’re in full-screen mode, you can have an always-on menu bar.
Change the cursor colour
Change the color of the Mac cursor to make it easier to find or to reflect your personality.
Enable Full Keyboard Access
With Full Keyboard Access, you can rely less on the mouse or trackpad to navigate the user interface and instead use Tab and other keyboard keys to select items. Get the details on this powerful new feature.
Reset without reinstalling
A new option in System Preferences will let you erase all user data and user-installed apps just like on an iOS device. That means you can essentially “reset” a Mac running Monterey without having to do a complete reinstall.
There are a lot more options to customize your Memoji. Monterey offers more outfits and colours, multicoloured headwear, new glasses, accessibility features, and the ability to have two different eye colours. You can choose your Memoji for your Mac login, and it has animations that react to you, such as a log-in greeting or a head shake if you enter the wrong password.
Roman has covered technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser, and he’s worked for MacAddict, Mac|Life, and TechTV.