Mac OS X Lion was designed to bring the best of iOS to the desktop, but perhaps you don’t believe there is such a thing. If you want to get rid of all the iOS-inspired stuff found in Lion, here’s how to do it.Image remixed from an original by Eric Kilby.
Restore “Unnatural” Scrolling
“Natural” scrolling may be one of the worst changes in Lion. It makes sense on your iDevice, because you’re actually touching the content and you can see yourself moving it. When you’re on a trackpad it feels strange that you move your fingers up to scroll down. Thankfully, Apple had the foresight to allow you to turn this off. Just go into System Preferences, choose Trackpad, click on the Scroll & Zoom tab, and uncheck “Scroll direction: natural”. That’ll bring things back to normal.
Turn On the (Indicator) Lights
You know how iOS doesn’t display any indicator that the app is open? Well, neither does Lion by default. Again, this makes sense on iOS because your apps just launch when you tap on them and you can only see one at a time. That is to say, it doesn’t matter if they’re open or not. On OS X, however, it’s helpful to know what you’ve launched and what you haven’t. It’s information that’s actually useful rather than confusing. To turn it back on, just go to System Preferences, choose Dock, and then check the box next to “Show indicator lights for open applications”.
Don’t Autocorrect Your Spelling
Autocorrect can be useful, but it can also the source of horrible (but hilarious) mistakes. If you don’t want to use it, just open System Preferences, head to the Language & Text section, click Text, and uncheck the box next to “Correct spelling automatically”.
Disable Application Restore
iOS applications can restore themselves to the state they were in when you last used them, and now Mac OS X can do this, too. In most cases this is pretty useful, but sometimes it doesn’t work properly and, with some apps, it’s actually a nuisance. If for whatever reason you want to disable it, you can do this very easily. Just go to System Preferences, click General, and uncheck the box beside “Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps”.
If you want to disable the feature on a per-app basis only, you’re going to need the help of the Terminal (found in Hard Drive — > Applications — > Utilities). Mac developer Wil Shipley discovered that you can just make the edit with one little command:
defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false
That’s an example for Quicktime Player X, but you just need to swap out the app’s preference file name. You can find it by going into Your Home Folder — > Library — > Preferences and looking for com.apple.whatever. For example, Preview would look like this:
defaults write com.apple.Preview NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -int 0
Now you can avoid restore when you don’t want it but keep it for when you do.
Let’s See Some Scroll Bars
Lion’s scrollbars like to disappear, much like they do in iOS. This is nice if you don’t like scrollbars cluttering up your windows, but if it helps to see them you can adjust this preference easily. Just go to System Preferences, choose General, and you’ll see a section called “Show scroll bars”. You’ll have three options. “Automatically based on input device” will give you the default hiding behaviour, “when scrolling” will only show them when scrolling, and “always” is pretty self-explanatory.
Disable Launchpad (Sort Of)
You can’t disable Launchpad entirely, as dragging it out of the dock won’t get rid of it forever. When you restart (your computer or just the dock itself) it’ll pop right back in there. What you can do, however, is remove the gesture that brings up Launchpad. To do that, just head into System Preferences, choose Trackpad, click More Gestures, and uncheck the box next to Launchpad. Now accidental finger flicks won’t cause it to show up.
Get the Old Apple Mail Back
While I think the new Apple Mail interface is a huge improvement, not everyone wants these changes. Maybe you miss the non-widescreen view, or you just want to remove message previews from the list so you can fit more items on the screen. Either way, you can change those settings in the same place. Just go to the Mail menu and choose Preferences. From there, click Viewing and you’ll find the options you want right at the top.