Customizing Your Old Mac OS X: Enhancing Aesthetics and Functionality

Though Mac’s operating system is highly appreciated for its simplicity and intuitive user interface, but there’s a downside: it barely allows you to personalize it, save for the background. With the new release of El Capitan, there should a be a sea change in the apps that are compatible with that operating system. However, if you’re stuck with an old version of OS X, we have the tools to show you if you want to lighten your Mac OS X up and make it look cooler.

Apply Flavours (Not Compatible With El Capitan!)

Not literally – we’re referring to the app which allows you to select 128 themes for your Mac. This app can completely change the way your UI looks.


Downloading the app costs $20, giving you a vast array of user-made themes to choose from, along with the ability to build your own.

Very Important Note:

However, the app can no longer be supported once users download OS X 10.11, also known as El Capitan, citing Apple’s new security protocols which prevents modifying system files. Regardless, you can still fiddle around with Flavours as long as you have Yosemite and operating systems not older than OS X 10.7.

Lion Tweaks (Lion Users Only!)

Developed by Norwegian Fredrik Wiker when he was still 17 years old, Lion Tweaks is a free app which helps you disable some features. Though it barely plays a part in customizing OS X, it’s useful if there are certain features you do not want activated, such as:


The app is free and it runs on donations.

Very Important Note:

The latest version of this app is made for OS X 10.7 Lion. It may no longer work for latter versions such as Mountain Lion and Yosemite. If you have an old Mac though, we recommend trying this out.

Keyboard Maestro

If you love keyboard shortcuts, then this app is definitely for you.


Keyboard maestro helps in customizing OS X keyboard shortcuts. From opening a set of programs to Safari tabs for work-related endeavors, this app can do plenty. It can save you a lot of precious minutes, especially if your everyday tasks are pretty much repetitive.

Very Important Note:

No version available yet for El Capitan, but this app is regularly updated.

Customizing Icons

The folders on your desktop look kind of dull, don’t you think? – devoid of your personal flair for design, with each of them looking identical, except for their names located under them. But what if we tell you that you can change these lame looking folders into colorful and vibrant icons, like these:

These icons are made by developer Appstorm, which look like they are somehow inspired by Star Trek. There are also other apps which provided various kinds of icons, from wooden folders to cool-looking ones to spruce up your desktop. Get started by taking a look at this guide.

Alfred – A Productivity App

Every Batman needs an Alfred.

This app is like Spotlight on steroids – it can create keyboard shortcuts, customize your search preferences when looking for files and apps on your computer, as well as the ability to create workflows.

Its other functions include the ability to open assigned websites via a keyboard shortcut, look for hard to search files in hidden folders, and configure system settings with a button combination. This app is widely-acclaimed by numerous users as the #1 productivity app in the Mac.

It can be downloaded for free, though you will need to pay to unlock certain features. The app is compatible for OS X 10.6 and up – it’s also primed and ready for the arrival of El Capitan.

Add interactive wallpapers

Also available on iPhones, Kuvva is a beautiful app which streams beautiful, royalty-free illustrations and images to your computer. It provides breathtaking wallpapers made by its users – you can also create and submit one yourself. It currently contains a wide catalog of images made by its artists.

You can download it for $4.99 on the App Store.


Though this app is one of the best tools you can use in customizing OS X, it requires a bit of coding knowledge to be usable.

Nerdtool allows you to add animated wallpapers on your desktop, add calendars, a weather display, and time to your desktop. It’s not intuitive, but it’s definitely for you if you have a knack for writing commands.

Overall, customizing OS X is something most Mac owners wants to do. Download the above mentioned apps if you belong to this category. Explore your options and most of all, enjoy customizing!

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