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Apple

How to Enable the Dashboard in OS X El Capitan

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. César Cardoso

    10/03/2015 at 9:52 am

    Thank you very much!!!

  2. Daksh

    10/05/2015 at 9:48 pm

    thank you this was helpful

  3. Peter

    10/06/2015 at 4:14 am

    I love the dashboard and hope it stays.

  4. JMG

    10/07/2015 at 8:03 am

    Thank you. This was very helpful.

  5. Rachata Kaewyoo

    10/13/2015 at 4:13 am

    Thank you very much

  6. Rich1

    10/13/2015 at 11:36 pm

    Most helpful – I use it all the time and thought for a moment Apple had dropped it completely..

  7. Kim Engelen

    10/14/2015 at 3:55 am

    I also like the dashboard and hope it stays. Cheers kimengelen.com

  8. Jason Lake

    10/15/2015 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you so much for the write up!

  9. martin

    10/17/2015 at 11:58 am

    Sweet. Thanks for this.

  10. proy70

    10/19/2015 at 7:08 am

    Thanks… Very helpful!

  11. Anna

    10/21/2015 at 1:14 am

    Whoa thanks I swiped left and my Dashboard wasn’t there which was a bit of a shock so I had to come looking for a fix :)

  12. Dani

    10/25/2015 at 3:53 am

    How can we make it float over a window like it used do before!?

  13. Dani

    10/25/2015 at 3:55 am

    Got it!, just do the following:
    Turn on Dashboard
    Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Mission Control.

    Click the Dashboard pop-up menu, then choose how Dashboard appears.

    As Overlay: Dashboard appears over your desktop.

  14. Jacq Holbrook

    10/26/2015 at 9:21 am

    Thank you
    Even I managed this!!

  15. rebecca

    10/30/2015 at 6:14 am

    I have done this fix, and while I can pull up the widgets screen, none of my widgets work. They just look like they did the last time I used them before I upgraded. Any fix for that?

  16. Chuck Andersen

    10/31/2015 at 2:05 am

    cool

  17. Tony

    11/03/2015 at 3:43 pm

    Awesome! Thanks, bud. This was right on time. I was missing my Dashboard and calendar widget. I’m back!

  18. Dave

    11/22/2015 at 9:23 am

    Thanks for that!

  19. Steve

    12/06/2015 at 8:13 pm

    Dashboard is the best

  20. PC

    12/23/2015 at 5:03 am

    Thanks! ;)

  21. Ulises

    01/07/2016 at 1:25 am

    Great information, thanks a lot!

  22. EBA

    02/13/2016 at 4:06 am

    YAY! thank you!! I think this is a very useful feature and use it all the time. Thanks for the help!

  23. nancyferg

    02/25/2016 at 10:16 pm

    I love the dashboard and use it every day to keep track of the market and the weather in various cities in the US. I have the dashboard ‘as space’ but when I type in a new city into one of the weather widgets, it says that no city with that name can be found. Is it possible to enable the weather widget so it will display several 6-day temperatures?

  24. gotenhafen

    02/27/2016 at 8:45 am

    I have all the US Weather, but a German City is blank, how to fix that?

  25. Jamie

    03/25/2016 at 9:26 am

    Thanks mate, two thumbs up! :)

  26. K

    04/09/2016 at 10:12 am

    THANK YOU! Love it when someone knows, and it’s a simple thing. VERY grateful.

  27. Mathew Krohnert

    04/11/2016 at 7:27 am

    Thank you! I use it for stock, world times, calculators, weather and the calendar.

  28. Roger Brown

    04/20/2016 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you! I had stuff on them stickies. The three-finger tap for dictionary seems to have gone by the wayside too, the first fix I found didn’t seem to fix it.

  29. Chris Marks

    06/01/2016 at 7:49 am

    Thank you so much. I couldn’t believe how easy you made this. Just drives me crazy when an “upgrade” changes something that works just fine.

  30. Noelle

    06/22/2016 at 9:30 am

    Thank you! I use the calculator all the time and was missing it!

  31. Charreyron, Meredith

    10/06/2016 at 7:04 am

    I followed your instructions and the clock went back on, but neither the stickies nor the calculator are functioning. Annoying. Any ideas for putting the whole dashboard back in service ?

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