MacPilot: Harness the Power of the Terminal App

Many people in the Mac community either don’t know about the potential of the Terminal application or are totally afraid to use it. The Terminal app really is powerful and useful, but also dangerous. You can mess up your version of OS X with it if you are not careful.

 

Overview

I have used the Terminal app many times over the years to tweak or fix certain things in various versions of OS X. OS X is built on the Unix operating system. The Terminal app just lets you perform Unix commands that do stuff in OS X. I am not a Unix person, but when I read of a fix to a problem using a Unix command in the Terminal app sometimes I will try it.

However, if you are reluctant to do stuff with the Terminal app third party developers have provided you with a solution. There are tons of Mac Utility apps out there that place a GUI (Graphical User Interface) over the top of certain Unix commands. They make using Unix type Terminal commands easy and they are relatively safe.

MacPilot

One of the most thorough and versatile programs of this type is MacPilot from Koingo Software. I have used several different apps for implementing Terminal commands, but MacPilot is far and away the most sophisticated and detailed. Here is the main window of the app:

As you can see there are tons of areas and apps on your Mac that you can adjust and modify to your hearts content in this program. Obviously I cannot cover all these areas, but I can touch on a few of the more used ones. One of these, of course, is the Finder:

You can turn on and off all kinds of stuff in the OS X Finder using MacPilot. Some people disable all kinds of sounds and animations and enable lots of other things. Just tweak stuff to your hearts content. However, and this is a general caveat when using an app like MacPilot, if you don’t know what a setting does you might want to refer to the MacPilot Help section or do some research online before making any changes.

One of the other most used areas in MacPilot is the System, makes sense right. The System pane has the most tweakable stuff for sure. I have used this area quite extensively over the years. Again, be careful what you do in here.

 

Advanced

Don’t let MacPilot scare you. It can be pretty daunting your first few times in there. The way I have always used it is I read online about some OS X tweak that I would like to implement so I go looking for it in MacPilot. Nine times out of ten MacPilot offers a GUI command to implement that particular setting. You just have to open the app and look around to see what it can do.

But, for those of you who are not faint of heart, certain sections of MacPilot have the “Advanced” mode! Yes, even more settings to be tried out. Here is how you get to the “Advanced” window of the Finder area:

Just click on the “Advanced” button in the bottom right corner of the window and you will be taken to a window like this:

There are tons of settings here!! And, once in “Advanced” mode you are exposed to all the advanced features in the left sidebar, including several other apps not seen in the main window of the app.

MacPilot does many other things, but hopeully this overview will peak your interest. You can download a trial version for a test run if you wish.

Conclusion

MacPilot is the quintessential Mac utility for tweking OS X and other apps. At $29.95 it is a little pricey, but if you get MacPilot most people will not need any other utilties. The upgrade prices are usually $10-15. I use it all the time and higly recommend it. It is a bit overwhelming, but just use what you need. You don’t need to learn the whole app, just use the settings that interest you as you go along on your Mac journey.