OS X Leopard Hacks

OS X Leopard Hacks

Here are a few settings you can change using the OS X defaults command to access some system parameters. As always, proceed with caution, and don’t mess with things of which you have no clue. I have only verified these in OS X 10.5 – no promises if they work in any other version. Some of these require a full restart to take effect.

  • Remove translucency in menubar, turns it white.<br >

    sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer ‘EnvironmentVariables’ -dict ‘CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE’ 1

  • Remove translucency in menubar, turns it grey.<br >

    sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer ‘EnvironmentVariables’ -dict ‘CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE’ 0

  • Reverts back to default translucent menubar.<br >

    sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer ‘EnvironmentVariables’


  • Removes the stripes in list view. Use TRUE to reverse.

    defaults write com.apple.finder FXListViewStripes -bool FALSE

  • Resets the “Open With” menu, clearing duplicates

    /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

  • Changed window title to full path. Use NO to reverse.

    defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES


  • Changes the delay when dragging windows off the edge of the screen to other spaces. Default value is 0.75.

    defaults write com.apple.dock workspaces-edge-delay -float 0.5

  • Disables the wrap-around when using Control-Arrow keys to changes Spaces. To enable again, repeat with YES at the end.

    defaults write com.apple.dock workspaces-wrap-arrows -boolean NO


  • Change to 2D Dock. Use NO to disable.

    defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES

  • Increase the Dock magnification past the maximum allowed by the slider in System Preferences. Don’t go larger than 512. Decrease via System Preferences.

    defaults write com.apple.dock largesize -int 512

  • Makes all items in the Dock spring loaded. Use NO to disable.

    defaults write com.apple.dock enable-spring-load-actions-on-all-items -boolean YES


  • Creates a Recent Applications stack in your Dock, that you can change to display other recent items such as Documents, Servers, and Items. To remove, use defaults delete com.apple.dock persistent-others but this will remove all your stacks.

    defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” = 1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’

  • Disable Spotlight Icon (enable using chmod 755)

    sudo chmod 0 /System/Library/CoreServices/Spotlight.app

  • Force Applications to use expanded print dialogue. (use FALSE to revert)

    defaults write -g PMPrintingExpandedStateForPrint -bool TRUE

  • Change Time Machine backup interval, default is 3600 seconds.

    sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto StartInterval -int 7200

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