With the release of any new operating system, you'll always find some quirks. El Capitan is a small enough update that it doesn't have many annoyances, but they're still around. Here's how to fix some of its more annoying problems.
Image remixed from Biro Emoke
Disable SIP to Get Your System-Level Utilities Working Again
System Integrity Protection (SIP), is a new feature in El Capitan that protects system processes and folders so even a root user cannot get access to them. This is meant to protect your system against malware and other software that could mess with your computer. As you'd expect, this takes away some of your power as a user. Subsequently, you may run into problems with some utilities working with El Capitan. One example is the original version of Bartender, which has since been updated. Similar apps that change core features in OS X have the same problem, including TotalFinder and TotalSpaces. Most apps will likely update, but if you're a power user and you're comfortable turning the feature off, it's possible. We do not recommend this unless you really know what you're doing.
- Reboot your Mac into Recovery Mode by restarting your computer and holding down Command+R until the Apple logo appears on your screen.
- Click Utilities > Terminal.
In the Terminal window, type in
csrutil disableand press Enter.
- Restart your Mac.
SIP is now disabled. You can reenable it at any by following the above instructions and substituting
csrutil enable in for the Terminal command.
Reset Spotlight's Location by Clicking and Holding the Magnifying Glass in the Top Right
This one was driving me nuts. In El Capitan, you can now move Spotlight to wherever you want, which is great, but also means it pops up wherever you left it last. If you prefer to have a little more normalcy in your life, you can send Spotlight back to its default location by clicking and holding the Spotlight icon (the magnifying glass) in the menu bar.
Get the Old Mission Control Behaviour Back
Mission Control no longer groups windows together by app, which in most cases is really nice, because you get a better view of exactly what you have open. However, if you want the old behaviour back, where your thumbnails are stacked, it only requires changing one setting. Open up System Preferences > Mission Control and check the box next to "Group windows by application."
Turn Off the Mouse Wiggle
When you wiggle your mouse in El Capitan, it gets bigger so you can easily find it on the screen. This is handy if you have a big monitor, but it's pretty silly if you have a laptop. It's also a pain if you use photo editing tools or play games. Thankfully, it's easy to turn off. Head to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and uncheck the box that says "Shake mouse pointer to locate."
Update Your Apps
With every new operating system comes the headache of updating your apps. El Capitan isn't terribly different than Yosemite, but that doesn't mean updating won't cause problems. This time around, some users are reporting that Office 2016 is crashing a lot, so if you're an Office user, you might want to hold off until a fix is in place. Otherwise, you can always check out Roaring Apps for a list of compatible software.