What’s So Hot About Hot Corners?

David Acland

Have you ever properly lifted the lid of your Mac and taken a look inside?

Don’t worry – we’re not suggesting you reach for the nearest screwdriver. You can actually customise your Mac without getting your hands dirty or invalidating your warranty.

You just need to know what to look for, because as is customary with macOS, some of the best tweaks you can make to your computer are rather hidden.

Today, we’re going to talk about Hot Corners, because they’re a blessing if you work on a smaller screen or across multiple monitors.

hot corners screenshot

What are Hot Corners in macOS?

Hot Corners are mouse-enabled shortcuts that can be assigned to any of the four corners of your screen.

Apple provides a bunch of commonly accessed features and areas of the operating system which can be invoked or accessed by moving your mouse pointer to the corner of the screen. You simply rest it there for a second and the action takes place.

You’re stuck with what Apple provides in terms of the shortcuts on offer, but they’ve been devised pretty considerately:

  • Mission Control
  • Application Windows
  • Desktop
  • Notification Center
  • Launchpad
  • Start Screen Saver
  • Disable Screen Saver
  • Put Display to Sleep
  • Lock Screen

They all do what they say on the tin, and it’s worth having a play to find out which (if any) will help you during your daily work.

How to enable and use Hot Corners in macOS

To enable Hot Corners in macOS, head into System Preferences > Desktop & Screensaver > Screen Saver > Hot Corners… and from there, you can configure all four corners of the screen.

You can set a shortcut for all four, or just one or two – it’s entirely up to you. The same shortcut can be shared by one or more corners, too.

Why use Hot Corners in macOS?

macOS is a powerful operating system, but that means there are lots of ways to achieve the same result.

Hot Corners are a brilliant way to provide immediate access to the most used areas of the system. For instance, if you regularly need to head back to the Desktop but have countless windows open, minimising them all to reveal the Desktop can be a real pain. By instead motioning your mouse to the corner of the screen to achieve the same result, you’ll save a tonne of time.

Equally, if you want a super-fast way to lock your computer when you move away from your desk, a Hot Corner is arguably the easiest way to do so.

There are primarily two use cases in which Hot Corners are particularly beneficial.

  • Small screens. With less screen real estate to play with, hot corners enable you to quickly access areas of macOS without minimising or moving windows to find what you want.
  • Multiple screens. When you have more than one monitor connected to your Mac, it’s easy to lose your mouse pointer and struggle to access a needed feature. With Hot Corners enabled, your most-used macOS features are just a nudge away.

Despite this, we believe Hot Corners are worth a try on any screen, and they’re definitely worth experimenting with.

Are there any downsides to Hot Corners?

Not really. Apple has designed Hot Corners very considerately and it’s such a simple premise for improved productivity.

One slight downside is that you can’t add your own shortcuts (for instance, if you wanted a hot corner to open a particular app or instigate something else like Spotlight). But the choices Apple gives you are all pretty useful, regardless.

It’s also pretty hard to invoke a hot corner by mistake if you’re worried about that. And if you do find yourself doing so, you can actually prevent it from happening by adding a modifier key to each hot corner. To do that, simply hold down Shift, Control, Command, or Option when choosing the shortcut and macOS will require you to press that key at the same time as moving the mouse to the corner of the screen to invoke it.

We hope Hot Corners prove useful for you – we certainly use them all the time! Let us know if you have any questions, and remember, if you need any more help with macOS in your business, just get in touch with the Moof team.

Contact Moof IT to discuss your Mac management needs

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