How to Enable the Dashboard in OS X El Capitan

Apple disabled the Dashboard by default yet again in OS X El Capitan. Here’s how to enable it and get it back just like before.

The Dashboard in OS X hasn’t been the most popular feature of Apple’s operating system, and the company has been focusing less and less on it with every new OS X release, but nonetheless, many users still take advantage of it. Apple first started disabling the Dashboard by default in OS X Yosemite and hasn’t even updated the feature in several years.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the OS X Dashboard, it’s essentially a second desktop of sorts on your Mac that can houses all sorts of different widgets, like a calendar, weather, a calculator, stocks, and more. However, ever since the introduction of the Notification Center in OS X, there’s been less and less use for the Dashboard.

Read: How to Perform a Clean Install of OS X El Capitan

Then again, it can still serve its purposes, which is why you might want it enabled. In OS X El Capitan, Apple has kept it disabled and users have to enable it manually to get it working again.

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The good news is that it’s not that difficult to enable and it’s only just a single setting that you flip on in the System Preferences.

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Here’s how to enable the Dashboard in OS X El Capitan.

Enabling the OS X El Capitan Dashboard

Again, the new Notification Center in OS X was meant as a replacement for the Dashboard, but if you’re like me and don’t really use the Notification Center in OS X, then the Dashboard is a great alternative. Luckily, Apple still kept the Dashboard in OS X, but simply left it disabled.

All it takes is a quick flip of a setting to re-enable the Dashboard.

Simply navigate to System Preferences > Mission Control and where it says Dashboard, click on the drop-down menu and select As Space.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.59.53 AM

This will give you back the Dashboard and you can access it by hitting the Dashboard key on your MacBook keyboard or Apple keyboard (F3). From there, you can select Dashboard at the top to bring it up.

Dashboard is quite the classic features that was first introduced in OS X Tiger in 2005, and it’s easy to see that Apple hasn’t bothered to update it in quite a while, as the widgets still have the older bubbly design of older OS X versions.

In any case, when you open up Dashboard, you can customize it by clicking on the + and – icons in the lower-left corner, which will add and remove widgets, respectively. There are a handful of different widgets you can choose from, including weather, flight information, sports scores, and even ski reports if that’s your thing.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 10.00.29 AM

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OS X El Capitan was recently released and while it has the same overall design and look as OS X Yosemite (for the most part), it comes with a handful of cool new features.

For instance, there are improvements to Spotlight Search, transit directions in Apple Maps, a revamped Notes app, new swipe gestures that you can use in a number of stock Apple apps, and even a new Split View multitasking mode that lets you easily use two apps at once.

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Of course, you could do this before, but OS X now makes it easier to snap windows to the sides of the screen to create a true split-screen mode, whereas you’d have to do it manually, and even then it was a pain in the rear end.

If you haven’t yet updated to OS X El Capitan, it’s a worthy upgrade that most users should upgrade to at some point, with the only reason to hold back being your favorite apps not supporting the new version yet.