Fix Hot Corners and access useful functions on your Mac

Hot Corners is a great feature of OS X, but some people have been having problems with it since upgrading to El Capitan. Let’s take a look at it and see how it is configured. It might solve some of those problems.

If you have not used Hot Corners, it is a simply way to access some key functions on the Apple Mac without having to go through menus, buttons and options.

When the mouse pointer is positioned in one of the four corners of the screen, it can trigger an action and that can be defined by selecting it from a list. It can turn the screen off, activate the screen saver and more.

Update OS X

Before configuring Hot Corners, it is a good idea to make sure OS X is up to date. Some people have experienced problems with this feature and updates have fixed it. It seems that for some people updates fixed it, then broke it, and then fixed it again.

Open the Mac App Store and click the Updates icon in the toolbar. Install any updates that are available.

Configure Hot Corners

Open the Apple menu and click System Preferences. Click the Screen Saver tab and then click the Hot Corners button at the bottom of the window.

A panel opens at the top and there are four boxes representing the four corners of the screen.

Hot Corners in OS X

Click one of these, such as the one in the top left corner and the menu shows all the different actions that can be taken, such as Start the screen saver, open Launchpad, put the display to sleep and so on.

Hot Corners on the Apple Mac

Select an action like Start Screen Saver. Now you can start the screen saver simply by pushing the mouse into the top left corner of the screen. Select actions for the other three corners - they can all do something different.

It can be quite easy to accidentally trigger an action when moving the mouse around the screen. When you go to the Apple menu in the top left corner or the Notifications icon in the top right corner, you might find that the selected action is accidentally triggered.

To prevent this, you can specify that a key must be held down at the same time. With the menu showing, hold down the Command key and the menus change. If you now select a function, it will be triggered only if the mouse is in the corner of the screen and the key is being pressed at the same time.

The Shift, Ctrl, Option and Command keys can be used. You can even hold down two at the same time, such as Shift+Ctrl.

Hot Corners in OS X

Fix problems with Hot Corners

If you are having problems with Hot Corners, it is worth experimenting with these keys and see if specifying one of them helps to trigger the Hot Corners action.

Some people have found that one corner of the screen works, but the other three don’t. One Hot Corner is better than none, so try all four corners.

Another fix for some people is changing the function of the corners. If you have Start Screen Saver on the right and Launchpad on the left, swap them.

Rebooting the Mac works for some. Some people do not restart their Mac for days or even weeks, but rebooting can solve problems, so try it. Even just closing the lid of a MacBook, waiting a few seconds, then opening it again can get Hot Corners working again.

Terminal in OS X on the Apple Mac

Another solution is to restart the Dock. Go to the Applications/Utilities folder and open Terminal. Type into Terminal killall Dock and the Dock is shut down and restarted. Hot Corners then seems to start working again for a few people.

 

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