Mastering Alfred 2.0 On Your Mac: Directly Command Your System From The Keyboard [OS X Tips]

Alfred System Commands

Alfred brings a number of joyful ways to work on your Mac, including launching apps and searching through files. It’s a true power-user’s friend, as it lets you interact with your Mac in all sorts of ways without removing your hands from the keyboard, saving you valuable time in the long run.

Did you know, though, that you can also control many system functions on your Mac with Alfred? Here’s how.

Launch Alfred preferences from the Alfred menubar icon, or simply activate Alfred and type “Alfred.” One of the options will be to show Alfred preferences. Go ahead and do that.

Once in the preferences, click on the Features icon at the top of the window, and then click on the System icon in the left hand pane. On the right, you’ll see all the ways you can directly control OS X with Alfred. You can check and uncheck all the system commands Alfred understands, like ‘screensaver’ to launch the Screen Saver, ‘trash’ to open the Trash window in the Finder, and ‘emptytrash’ to, well, Empty the Trash. You can ‘logout,’ ‘sleep,’ ‘lock,’ ‘restart,’ and even ‘shutdown’ your Mac all from Alfred, which is pretty cool, right? My favorite? ‘quitall’ to Quit all the running programs on my Mac, just before I head out from work. Simple pleasures.

If those plain terms bother you, feel free to type in whatever shorthand you’ll remember. Put in ‘monitormovie’ for Screen Saver, or ‘recycle’ for the Empty Trash command. Whatever you type in that little field next to the appropriate system action, Alfred will interpret your new command and do what you’re asking of it.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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