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Icon dock, menu bar and cleaner: Smart tips to make your MacOS more functional

Here are some alternatives and additions to improve your experience.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 04, 2018, 02.32 PM IST
Icon dock, menu bar and cleaner: Smart tips to make your MacOS more functional
MacOS comes preloaded with every Macbook, iMac or Mac Mini. While the operating system in itself works fluently, the default interface apps (Menu bar, Finder, icon dock etc.) feel a bit lacking. ET suggests some alternatives and additions to improve your experience.

By default, the macOS icon dock does the function as per its name — it’s a dock for shortcut app icons. But if you want a dock that does more than just showing icons, then there are alternatives available. Check out uBar — you can keep it as dock or as a task bar just like Windows OS. UBar can be placed on the bottom, left, right or top of your screen and can show up to 5 rows of icons. Other useful features include window previews, open window grouping, multimonitor support, and drag & drop. We like that uBar shows visual information about each running app such as number of unread emails, app status and even a progress bar for multimedia apps. It is available for 14-day free trial and after that you can get it for $30 as a onetime purchase.

The Menu bar is the top bar which holds various app status icons and the navigation menu. Now there is no alternative replacement for the Menu bar, but you can enhance it with third party add-on apps. Check out Bartender (free trial, Rs 1,100 after that) which lets you hide extra icons from your menu bar for a cleaner look. The other app you should try is iStat Menus ($17.69) — it shows data about your Mac (processor, hard drive, network usage etc.) as graphical icons on your Menu bar.

MacOS does not come with a dedicated app for maintenance and cleanup of your system. You can do some basic clean up and maintenance using the disk utility and diagnostics using activity monitor, but that is not enough. Thankfully there are some handy third party cleanup apps available. Our favorite is Clean My Mac ($39.95) from www.macpaw.com. The app is a one stop solution for macOS — you get option to clean entire system in one go or individual option to clean system junk, photo, mail and iTunes. You even get a built-in app uninstaller, maintenance module, privacy check and cleanup and a shredder to permanently delete sensitive data. If you want something free, then you can check out CCleaner, AVG Cleaner or Trend Micro’s Dr. Cleaner from the Mac App Store.

Finder is the file manager interface of the OS and while it has evolved over the years to add many useful features, there are a lot of better options available. Our favorite is Path Finder from Cocoatech. It is available for a 30-day free trial and costs $39.95 after that. So how is it better? It offers a dual pane view (folders open side by side in same window), full keyboard navigation, batch rename function and lets you customize each and every element of the interface. Moreover, the built-in search lets you filter results by various criteria easily. If you don’t want to spend money and prefer a free option, then check out Commander One which gives you all functions of the default finder and dual pane view.

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