How to Set Up Hot Corners aka Corner Gestures on Your Mac

Last Updated: September 29, 2016

Apple has incorporated some really neat gestures and shortcuts into its devices to make the consumers’ lives easier. Be it an iPad, an iPhone, or even the Mac; gestures are pretty much an integral part of the Apple platforms. And it’s great, because gestures make life so much easier. It’s definitely easier to swipe right on a screen to go back, rather than tapping a button, and it also feels much more natural. While everyone’s aware of the various iOS gestures, not everyone knows about all the gestures in Mac. There are some aspects of the Mac that don’t have an easy to access shortcut built in and that’s where gestures or as Apple likes to call it, Hot Corners, come into play.

In this article, I will discuss Hot Corners on a Mac as a way to make your Mac respond to your mouse being dragged to any corner of the screen as a trigger to perform a pre-defined function. This “disabled-by-default” feature can shave seconds off the time it would take to otherwise perform the same function. So, get excited, and read on.

What are Hot Corners?

Simply speaking, Hot Corners are the simple gestures that work on the corners of the display, that can be enabled on a per-corner basis to perform specific functions. Plus, users have the ability to select these specific functions and these functions will be carried out when they drag their cursor to the corner of the screen.

This feature can be extremely useful, especially for scenarios such as quickly locking the Mac when the user is about to leave it unattended for a while. There are some more functions that can be assigned to Hot Corners, and they can be very useful depending on the way the user interacts with their Mac.

How to Enable and Set Up Hot Corners

Setting up Hot Corners on the Mac is simple, and the only reason that some people might not have used the feature is because it’s not placed in a very “eye-catching” position in System Preferences. Well, better late than never, you can follow the steps below to set up Hot Corners on your Mac:

1. Go to System Preferences -> Desktop and Screen Saver, and switch to the Screen Saver tab. Then, on the bottom of the preference pane, click on the Hot Corners button.


2. This will open up a small window where you can set up the functions you want the Mac to trigger for every corner of the screen. Simply click on the dropdown boxes adjacent to the corners you want to set up, and select the function.


3. Click on OK. You can now use the corners that you set up, to trigger the functions that you assigned to them.

Along with the function to trigger screensaver or disable it, here are some of the other functions that are available in this menu:

  • Mission Control basically exposes all of the apps open in the Desktop you’re working on.
  • Application Windows shows all of the windows of the application in focus.
  • Desktop moves all the applications out of view and shows the desktop.
  • Dashboard takes you directly to the, well… Dashboard; which is the home for all your widgets.
  • Notification Center opens the notification center, so you can take a quick glance at your notifications.
  • Launchpad is basically where all your apps reside, and you can launch the apps you need.

SEE ALSO: How to Force Quit Non Responding Apps on Your Mac

Get Quick Access to Common Functions on Your Mac

Now that you have set up hot corners, you can play around with the various options available, to find out the functions that work best for you. Some people recommend setting the top-right corner to launch the Notification Center, but I don’t find that very useful, personally. The only hot corner I use is the bottom left corner of the screen to start my screensaver, and locking my Mac. As with most customisable settings, the best settings for hot corners varies from one user to another, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” setting, you simply have to play around with the options to figure out the settings that suit you best.

As always, we would love to hear about your experience with setting up, as well as, using hot corners on your Mac. You can also share with us any problems that you might be facing with the same, in the comments section below.