In macOS Ventura, Apple replaced the familiar System Preferences app with a new app called System Settings. This app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, however the interface is quite different and many settings have been relocated, which may at first be disorienting to longtime Mac users. However, the new layout may feel familiar if you’ve used iOS or iPadOS, and you may eventually find that the increased parody between the two platforms makes the experience of locating and changing settings easier and more predictable on both of them.
Like System Preferences, the System Settings app can be accessed most conveniently from the Apple Menu, and can also be accessed via the Applications folder and various individual panels in the Control Center and Status menus. Once opened, you’ll be focused on a table of setting categories, many of which mirror the top level of the Settings app on iOS and iPadOS. The settings for each category are contained in a scroll area to the right of the table, and for added convenience, you can jump into the scroll area for a given category by focusing on it in the table and pressing VO-J. In addition, some setting categories are organized by heading, allowing you to select a category in the table and jump to a heading within the scroll area by pressing VO-Command-H.
The table below lists common settings, their locations in macOS Monterey, and their new locations in System Settings in macOS Ventura. Keep in mind that this table does not list every possible setting, but rather is intended as a quick reference for those looking for a common setting in a new environment.
|Setting||Description||Location in macOS Monterey||Location in macOS Ventura|
|Announce the time||Uses System Speech to announce the time at regular intervals||System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar > Clock||System Settings > Control Center > Clock options|
|AppleCare status||Displays the AppleCare coverage status and support options available for your Mac||Apple > About this Mac > Support||System Settings > General > About|
|Default web browser||Specifies the web browser that opens when clicking a link in another app to a webpage||System Preferences > General||System Settings > Desktop & Dock|
|Hot corners||Specifies what of a series of quick actions will be performed when touching a corner of the trackpad. Particularly if you use VoiceOver’s Trackpad Commander, you may want to turn all of them off to prevent inadvertent activation when touching the trackpad.||System Preferences > Mission Control > Hot Corners||System Settings > Desktop & Dock > Hot Corners|
|Login items||Specifies the items that open automatically when login in||System Preferences > Users & Groups||System Settings > General > Login items|
|Require password after sleep or screensaver||Specifies the amount of time after sleep or screensaver begins before a password, Touch ID, or Apple Watch is required to unlock the Mac||System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General||System Settings > Lock Screen|
|Sleep time||specifies the amount of time your Mac is inactive before it goes to sleep||System Preferences > Battery||System Settings > Lock Screen|
|Software update||Checks for and installs updates to macOS and other software and firmware components for your Mac||System Preferences > Software update||System Settings > General > Software update|
|Startup disk||Specifies the disk your Mac starts from by default when turning it on or restarting it, which you may want to change if you use BootCamp or have a second instance of macOS installed.||System Preferences > Startup disk||System Settings > General > Startup disk|
|Storage management||Displays insights into the types of files taking the most storage space on your Mac and provides recommendations to save space||Apple > About this Mac > Storage||System Settings > General > Storage|
|Time Machine||Automatically makes backups of your data at regular intervals to a location of your choosing||System Preferences > Time Machine||System Settings > General > Time Machine|
|Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys||Overrides the default hardware-defined features of function keys in favor of software control. If you use VoiceOver, you may want to enable this setting so you won't need to hold down the Globe key when performing a command that involves a function key.||System Preferences > Keyboard||System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard shortcuts > Function keys|
|Use VoiceOver at login prompt||Configures your Mac to automatically start VoiceOver at the login prompt||System Preferences > Users & groups > Login options > Accessibility options||System Settings > Lock screen > Accessibility options|
If you have any questions or think of another setting that should be referenced here, sound off in the comments.
Nice introduction to the new System Settings.
Thanks Tyler, this was really helpful with making the transition to Ventura.
Thank you Tyler. This new settings app is easy to use. I haven't yet found everything in there, but I'm sure that'll happen sooner or later.
System Settings, General, Time Machine.
Re: Time Machine
Thanks for the suggestion; it has now been added.
Bootcamp in SYstem Preferences
Thanks for this excellent post.
I've been reluctant to upgrade to Ventura for one main reason. Someone told me that the startup option that existed in earlier OS versions had been completely removed. I used System Preferences, startup to switch to the Bootcam startup. I need to frequently restart in Windows because of some specific applications I use. As I'm totally blind, I don't want to have to use the option key feature at startup to choose whether I start in Mac or Windows. Seeing your table above, was my information incorrect that the choice was removed? It appears that it's just in a different place and it is still there. Any advice that can be provided is most appreciated.
Re: Bootcamp in System Preferences
As far as I can tell, all the startup options previously located in System Preferences > Startup Disk are now present in System Settings > General > Startup disk.
I hate it
I hate the app, it is very confusing and buggy, also, who the hell decided to put Wi-Fi and Netwerk into different categories, there are a few positives, such as moving the color related options to the appearance tab, overall, though, I regret upgrading to Ventura, because of the stupid system settings app