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System Preferences in macOS 10.15 (Catalina) in Dark Mode

System Preferences in OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)

System Preferences in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

System Preferences is the application utility used by Mac OS X and macOS to set user preferences, replacing the Control Panels folder found in previous versions of classic Mac OS.

In Mac OS X and macOS, it can be found in the Applications folder or near the right side of the Dock by default. In Mac OS X 10.1.x, this application's name was shortened to System Prefs, but resumed its full name in Mac OS X 10.2, as it appeared in Mac OS X 10.0.x.

Apple announced at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference that macOS Ventura (version 13) would replace System Preferences with a new System Settings utility featuring a sidebar style like iPadOS.[1]

Evolution

Under Mac OS X Public Beta and Mac OS X 10.0.x, the user could only drag 6 favorite preferences to the toolbar above, and categories did not exist. System Preferences then had 21 preferences.

Categories started to exist under Mac OS X 10.1.x. At the same time, the number of preferences that can be dragged to the toolbar was rid of its limitations.

Until Mac OS X 10.2.x (and even in "Jaguar"), the System Preferences window would show, even for a short while, a "Loading" screen while a panel was loaded. This disappeared completely as of Mac OS X 10.3, although the title bar now did all the "talking".

Spotlight search capabilities were added in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. At the same time, the toolbar, part of the utility since Mac OS X Public Beta, was fully revamped.

Individual Panels

Mac OS X Public Beta

Mac OS X 10.0.x

Mac OS X 10.1.x

Personal category

Hardware category

Internet & Network category

System category

Mac OS X 10.2.x

Personal category

Hardware category

Internet & Network category

System category

Mac OS X 10.3.x

Personal category

Hardware category

Internet & Network category

System category



System Preferences in Mac OS X 10.3.7 (Panther), with minor customizations

Mac OS X 10.4

Personal category

Hardware category

Internet & Network category

System category



System Preferences in Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger)

References

  1. WWDC 2022 - June 6 by Apple, YouTube. 2022-06-06.

External links

Articles

SystemPreferences.png   System Preferences

.Mac · Accounts · Accessibility · Appearance · Apple ID · Battery · Bluetooth · Classic · CDs & DVDs · ColorSync · Dashboard & Exposé · Date & Time · Desktop · Desktop & Screen Saver · Dictation & Speech · Displays · Dock · Dock & Menu Bar · Energy Saver · Exposé · Exposé & Spaces · Extensions · Family Sharing · General · iCloud · Ink · International · Internet Accounts · Internet · Keyboard · Keyboard & Mouse · Language & Region · Login · Mail, Contacts & Calendars · Mission Control · MobileMe · Monitors · Mouse · My Account · Network · Notifications · Parental Controls · Password · Print & Fax · Printers & Scanners · QuickTime · Screen Saver · Screen Time · Security · Security & Privacy · Sidecar · Siri · Sharing · Software Update · Sound · Speech · Spotlight · Startup Disk · Time Machine · Touch ID · Trackpad · Universal Access · Users · Users & Groups · Wallet & Apple Pay

Notes: Items in gray indicate panes of System Preferences that were merged or renamed. Items in strikethrough have been replaced or discontinued. Items in italics are only available if the corresponding hardware or software is installed. This list does not include 3rd-party preference panes.
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