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New Mac Setup

Automatic setup

  • Follow ooloth/dotfiles README steps
    • update software via system preferences, not command line (update repo instructions)

Manual setup

Automate as many of the following as possible. (Find a link to a reference for all settings commands…?)


  • Set up gh
    • run gh auth login
    • choose
    • choose SSH
    • choose existing public SSH key
  • Install yarn
  • Clone active repos in recursionpharma and/or ooloth folders
    • e.g. gh repo clone ooloth/

System preferences

  • Touch ID: add right + left index fingers
  • General
    • Set “Appearance” to “Dark”
    • Set “Prefer tabs” to “always”
    • Disable “Close windows when quitting an app”
  • Accessibility > Display
    • Enable “Reduce transparency”
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
    • Hot Corners: set bottom right to “Desktop”
  • Dock & Menu Bar
    • Enable “Automatically hide and show the dock”
    • Disable “Show recent apps”
  • Keyboard
    • Modifier keys…
      • NOT IF USEING SUPERKEY: Set Caps Lock” to “Escape”
  • Dictation…
    • Set “Dictation” to “On”
      • Change “Shortcut”?
  • Software update > Advanced…
    • Enable “Check for updates”
    • Enable “Download new updates when available”
    • Enable “Install app updates from the App Store”
  • Spotlight > Keyboard shortcuts…
    • Disable “Show Spotlight search”
    • Disable “Show Finder search window”
  • iCloud…
    • Sign in
    • Add “Desktop & Documents Folders” to apps that store data in iCloud
    • (It may take an hour or so for the remote iCloud folder to show up)



  • Manually remove all apps (only Finder + the open ones should appear)


  • Start with my work email on a work computer, or my Gmail on a personal computer (to add all my personal accounts)
  • General
    • Appearance:
      • set preview lines to one
      • minimize old emails in thread view
      • show avatars everywhere
    • Swipe actions:
      • Left Short: Archive
      • Left Long: Pin
      • Right Short: Snooze
      • Right Long: Move
    • Quick replies:
      • Disable
  • Calendar: disable all accounts
  • Notifications:
    • Email: set to Smart on all accounts
    • Badges: enable dock icon badge
  • Signatures: disable
  • Shortcuts: set to Gmail, then customize pin to “P”, snooze to “T” and move to “M”


  • Enter Alfred 5 PowerPack license code (search email for “Your Alfred 5 Powerpack Upgrade order” from Aug 18, 2022)
  • Advanced settings > Syncing: set preferences folder to iCloud Drive > Alfred
  • Features: Web Bookmarks: enable Safari Bookmarks


  • scan setup code by holding phone up to Mac camera
  • set to open in the background when I log in
  • Preferences:
    • General > Menu bar: Disable “Show 1Password in the menu bar”
    • Security > Auto-lock:
      • Disable “Lock after computer is idle for X minutes”
    • Watchtower:
      • Enable “Check for vulnerable passwords”


  • Preferences:
    • General:
      • Default calendar:
        • On work Mac: work calendar
        • On personal Mac: “iCloud Work”
      • Default task list: “Reminders Inbox”
      • Start week view on: “Today or Selected Day”
      • Start quarter view on: “Current or Selected Week”
      • Days per week: “5”
      • Weeks per month: “5”
      • Day starts at: “8:00 AM”
      • Day ends at: “6:00 PM”
      • Show: “11” hours at a time
      • Clear the “Mini window keyboard shortcut” field (to avoid conflicting with Things Helper)
    • Advanced:
      • Open maps in: “Google Maps”


  • Preferences:
    • General:
      • Disable “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading”
    • AutoFill: disable…
      • “Using information from my contacts”
      • “User names and passwords”
      • “Credit cards”
    • Extensions:
      • enable Notion Web Clipper
      • enable 1Password
      • enable Subscribe with Reeder
      • enable Vimari
    • Advanced:
      • enable “Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage”
      • enable “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
  • Toolbar: move icons to preferred spots (most on right side)
  • View menu:
    • Show Favorites Bar


  • Install extensions…
    • Vimium
    • React Developer Tools


  • System Preferences > Privacy: enable accessibility permissions
  • Select “Recommended” shortcuts (rather than Spectacle)
  • Enable “Check for updates automatically”
  • Set “Repeated commands” to “cycle 1/2, 2/3 and 1/3 on half actions”


  • Add these to setup script?
  • Preferences:
    • General:
      • New finder windows show “Recents”
    • Tags:
      • disable all
    • Sidebar:
      • Enable home folder
      • Disable “Recent Tags”
    • Advanced:
      • enable “show all filename extensions”
      • disable “show warning before changing an extension”
      • enable both “keep folders on top” settings
  • View menu:
    • Show path bar
    • Show status bar
    • Click on each sidebar item, set to column view, then “Show view options” (Cmd-j):
      • enable “always open in column view”
      • group by “Kind” (except sort Recents by “Date modified” + Apps by “Name”)
      • sort by “Name”


  • Settings & Members > My notifications & settings > Appearance: Dark
  • Safari > Preferences > Extensions: enable Notion Web Clipper

VS Code:

  • ⚠️ Add missing .env or .env.local files to each repo now! ⚠️
    • (before deleting them on old computer)
  • Test that each repo’s important scripts work (e.g. build and dev)


  • Sign in with GitHub
  • Enter same profile details as GitHub
  • Preferences:
    • SSH: enable “Use local SSH agent”
    • Notifications: disable all


  • Don’t show intro wizard again
  • Appearance:
    • Set “Menu Bar Image” to “Caffeine”
    • Enable “Use low opacity when inactive”


  • Add iCloud Feeds
  • Add iCloud Read Later
  • Preferences:
    • General > Sort unread items: “Oldest first”
    • Appearance
      • Font size: “L”
      • Image previews: “Large”


  • choose dark theme (other settings should be synced)


  • Preferences:
    • General:
      • Enable “Group to-dos in the Today list by project or area”
      • Enable “Preserve window width when resizing sidebar”
    • Things Cloud:
      • Enable (log in with 1Password credentials)
    • Quick Entry
      • Enable “Enable shortcut for Quick Entry: Control-Space”
      • Enable “Enable shortcut for Quick Entry with Autofill: Control-Option-Space”
        • Click link to download page
        • Download zip file
        • Double-click .zip file
        • Move “Things Helper” to Applications
        • Double-click “Things Helper”
    • Reminders:
      • Enable “Show to-dos from “Inbox” in Inbox
    • Calendar:
      • Enable: “Show Calendar Events in Today and Upcoming lists”
      • Enable all iCloud calendars


  • Preferences:
    • iMessage:
      • enable “Enable Messages in iCloud”
      • disable “Send read receipts”


  • Download from Hyperkey
  • Preferences:
    • Enable “Remap caps lock to left control”
    • Enable “Quick press caps lock to execute “esc”
      • Then change from “esc” to anything else
      • Then change back to “esc”
      • Press “esc” to confim the caps lock light is not enabled (if so, continue toggling and adjusting dropdown until fixed)
    • Enable “Launch on login”
    • Enable “Check for updates automatically”


  • Download v6 from Frequently Asked Questions • Homebrew cask automatically installs v7+ which I don’t have a license for • Prepros 🛠️
  • License is in email history