Hot Corners is the classic Mac feature you need to use
Multitasking on the Mac has long been a pain point. In fact, between Snap Layouts and Snap Groups, this is one of the main advantages that Windows 11 continues to have over macOS.
Or so I thought.
Little did I know macOS also had a productivity trick up its sleeve known as Hot Corners. It’s been around forever, but once I started using this feature, I couldn’t keep my hands off my Mac Mini, helping me find out how it can be used to overcome some of macOS’ shortcomings – and catch up with what Windows can do.
One of the things I use a lot in Windows is the ability to show the desktop with just one click. Indeed, I often pile my most used files on the desktop, as well as some essential applications for my daily workflow. You can view your desktop in Windows by clicking on the thin line next to the date and time. It’s a core feature that’s been around in Windows for a while, and it’s very simple.
Well, with Hot Corners on MacOS, I can do the same thing. Hot Corners, found in System Preferences in the menu for desktop and screen saver, can be configured to use the corners of your screen to automatically launch an app or menu. Setting it up to show my desktop was one of the first things I wanted to try.
When selected, Hot Corners now shows my desktop by simply hovering the mouse over the lower right side of my screen. This is what I often do on Windows, and now it works just as easily on MacOS. It’s a really handy way to peek into the desktop without having to minimize all my open windows.
Another thing I use a lot in Windows is Alt+Tab. It’s a great way to switch between open apps. It is true that macOS also has this feature. You’ll get a slim preview window, showing you icons for your open apps. However, the preview doesn’t show you what’s happening in your open windows and consolidates all open apps into one.
Well, coming from using Windows for most of my life and being a Windows fan, I found that the Windows Application feature in Hot Corners looks a lot like that. Once configured, I can hover over the top right of my screen and see all instances – open and minimized – of an application.
macOS will even show you the minimized instance of an app window at the bottom of the screen, with a quick way to redisplay it. It really helps me get back to my windows faster, just like Alt+Tab on Windows.
Snap Layouts in Windows lets you arrange open windows in different ways for better multitasking. Mission Control in MacOS is kind of like that. When I set it up through Hot Corners, I see all my apps open, just like clicking any of the options in a Snap Layout window would. I can then click on one to bring it to the front as needed, then drag it to where I want it on the screen.
Mission Control might not “click” the window for me like Windows 11’s Snap Layouts do, but it’s similar in that you get a view of all open apps and a full-screen preview of what’s going on. happens between them. To slam windows, I use Spectaclewhich uses keyboard shortcuts similar to Snap Assist in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
The corner of the LaunchPad screen is like the Start menu
Alright, I’ll end with the last thing I noticed about Hot Corners. There’s an opening to set it to show LaunchPad, which lists all of your installed apps in macOS.
As a Windows fan, this really reminds me of the Start menu. Whenever I move my mouse to click on the start menu, it’s always to open an app.
With the LaunchPad Hot Corner, I can easily open an application on my Mac, just like on Windows. Who would have thought it could be so simple? This may make me finally start using LaunchPad as intended.
Another way to convert me into a Mac fan
Hot corners are just another way to slowly convert me into a Mac fan. I’ve talked before about how I’ve been wowed in the past by the M1 chip and the already optimized Mac Mini that’s faster than my main PC (a Surface Laptop Studio.)
With some cool new features like Stage Manager, Continuity Camera, and an updated Mail app coming to the next version of macOS, I might be stepping away for good, soon enough.