The Top 15 Hidden Features in macOS Ventura

Did you finally make the upgrade to macOS Ventura? You’re in for a real treat with features like Stage Manager, Continuity Camera, and Passkeys.

But, like with any other system software update, loads of stuff fly under the radar. Here, we’ll discuss the top 15 hidden macOS Ventura features you must check out.

1. Copy Text From Paused Videos

macOS Monterey introduced the ability to copy text from images. Ventura takes that further and lets you copy text from paused videos. The functionality works across all native apps and tools like the QuickTime Player, Apple TV, and Quick Look. It even works on any video you play in Safari.

So, the next time you want to copy text from a video, just pause it, highlight a word or phrase, and Control-click and select Copy.

2. Generate Real-Time Audio Captions

If you’re deaf, hard of hearing, or want to play a video with the volume down, you can generate real-time captions for system or microphone sounds on your Mac.

Open the Apple menu and go to System Settings > Accessibility > Live Captions (Beta) to activate Live Captions to start using this accessibility feature.

Enabling Live Captions in macOS Ventura.

3. Install Security Updates Without a Restart

Updates are essential, especially when safeguarding your Mac from security threats. However, they take ages to install and interrupt your workflow with lengthy restarts.

Apple knows that, which is why macOS Ventura installs security updates separately from regular updates. Everything happens in the background and involves zero reboots.

The feature is active by default, but if you want to be sure, go to System Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic updates and ensure that the switch next to Install Security Responses and System Files is on.

Automatic update preferences in macOS Ventura.

4. Set Alarms With the New Clock App

Want to set up an alarm? You don’t have to reach for your iPhone. Just use the new Clock app in macOS Ventura instead. Go to Launchpad > Clock, and you can set up one or more alarms from the Alarm tab.

Setting up an alarm in macOS Ventura.

Clock for macOS also includes features similar to its iOS and iPadOS counterparts, such as the World Clock, Stopwatch, and Timer.

5. Play Relaxing Background Sounds

If you want to mask annoying environmental noises or suffer from tinnitus, forget digging around YouTube for something to play. Instead, you can turn on calming background sounds right from within macOS Ventura’s Accessibility settings.

Go to System Settings > Accessibility > Audio and select the Choose button to pick a sound. Then, turn on the switch next to Background sounds to start playing it. Use the slider next to Background sounds volume to adjust the audio level without affecting the system volume.

Activating background sounds in macOS Ventura.

6. Undo Send Emails and Messages

The next time you send an email and realize you need to add or change something, you can unsend it. Select the Undo Send button on the lower left corner of the Mail app’s window within 15 seconds to re-open it in draft form.

Unsending an email in Mail for macOS Ventura.

The same goes for the Messages app, although you have up to 15 minutes to unsend a text. Just Control-click the message bubble and select Undo Send. Besides Undo Send, Messages also allows you to edit texts now.

7. Lock the Hidden Photos Folder

Anyone who knows their way around the Mac’s Photos app can quickly check everything inside its Hidden photo album. At least, that’s what used to be the case.

In macOS Ventura, the Hidden folder is secured by Touch ID or your user account password. Even the Recently Deleted folder is protected, so you don’t have to trash sensitive photos permanently after deleting them.

Viewing the Hidden album in Photos for macOS Ventura.

If you don’t see a lock symbol next to Hidden and Recently Deleted in the Photos app’s sidebar, go to Photos > Settings > General and activate the Use Touch ID or password option.

Quick Look is an incredibly convenient feature, even more so in macOS Ventura since it works directly in Spotlight Search. Just use the Arrow keys to highlight the item you want to preview in the search results and press Space.

Using Quick Look in Spotlight Search for macOS Ventura.

9. Add Filters to Your Focus Profiles

Do Not Disturb evolved into Focus with macOS Monterey, and it’s now even better because you can set boundaries within apps using Focus Filters.

Go to System Settings > Focus, and use the Focus Filter button to set up a custom filter under any Focus profile. For example, you can choose what inbox in Mail you want to receive notifications while having the Work Focus active.

Setting up Focus Filters in macOS Ventura.

10. Remove Backgrounds From Images

macOS Ventura comes integrated with machine learning algorithms capable of detecting and copying subjects within images. It’s always active and works in Quick Look, Photos, and Safari.

Just control-click a photo, select Copy Subject, and paste it wherever you want, and the subject should appear without the background. You can also save the photo subject as a PNG file.

Removing the background from an image in macOS Ventura.

11. Receive Severe Weather Alerts

macOS Ventura’s Weather app is incredible. It’s fun to use and gives loads of information without overwhelming you. If you live in an area susceptible to severe weather, it can also send you alerts when there’s danger around the corner.

Open the Weather app, select Weather > Settings from the menu bar, and check the box next to Severe Weather Alerts. Also, don’t forget to set up severe weather alerts on your iPhone.

Enabling severe weather alerts in macOS Ventura.

12. Schedule Emails for Later

When composing a new email in Apple’s Mail app, you don’t have to send it immediately. Instead, you can schedule it for later. To do that, select the Down arrow next to the Send icon and choose Send Later. Then, specify a time and date, and your Mac will do the rest.

Scheduling an email in Mail for macOS Ventura.

13. Better Password Suggestions in Safari

While creating passwords in Safari, you don’t have to put up with that impossible-to-type string of gibberish that the browser cooks up by default.

Instead, select the Other Options drop-down, and you get several options to change things. You can edit the default password, pick a version that’s easier to type, or select one without special characters.

Additional password creation options in Safari for macOS Ventura.

14. Merge Duplicate Images in Photos

The Photos app in macOS Ventura comes with the ability to duplicate images and videos. Select Duplicates on the app’s sidebar, and then select Merge “X” items over clusters of similar-looking items. Expect to save a lot of local and iCloud storage in the long run.

Merging images in Photos for macOS Ventura.

15. Share Tab Groups in Safari

Safari’s Tab Groups feature makes organizing multiple tabs easier, but in macOS Ventura, you can also share them with others.

Control-click a tab group on the browser sidebar, select Share Tab Group, and send it to any iPhone, iPad, or macOS user running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS.

Sharing a tab group in Safari for macOS Ventura.

Any changes made to a shared tab group show up immediately for all the users. Planning that next trip or project just got a lot easier!

Keep Digging for More macOS Ventura Features

The list above isn’t exhaustive by any means. Keep interacting with macOS Ventura, and you’ll undoubtedly stumble across many other cool features.

However, not every feature addition or change in the Mac’s latest operating system is a masterstroke. For example, the revamped System Settings app is far from perfect.

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