Mac Utilities Folder Demystified

When asked, you’ll know where Safari is. You may even know how to configure iCloud settings in System Preferences. But do you know where Network Utility is? How about Console or even Migration Assistant? Chances are the answer would be a no as you begin searching around your hard drive for them.

However, that isn’t a problem. Up until now, you most likely didn’t need any of those programs. All of those I just named are located in the Utilities folder, the folder that can be a bit of a mystery to all beginner Mac users and even some intermediate users. Today, we will demystify the Mac Utilities folder and give a basic synopsis of each application in the Utilities folder..

What Are Utilities Anyway?


The Mac Utilities folder is the section of the Mac where you can learn about and change the nitty gritty of your Mac. While there are some well-known applications that we may make use of regularly, including QuickTime Player, AirPort Utility, or even Terminal, a couple of the applications in Utilities may be a bit foreign to you, like RAID Utility or Console.

Activity Monitor


The central station to find out which applications or programs on your Mac are running.

AirPort Utility


AirPort is Apple’s term for the workings of your WIFI, Internet connection, or Bluetooth.

AppleScript Editor


AppleScript is the Apple program that deals mostly with automating your Mac to do what you want it to do. It’s a bit more difficult than Terminal but gives you more customization options.

Audio MIDI Setup


The place where you can go a bit deeper into auto settings, from decibel levels to even controlling external speakers.

Bluetooth File Exchange


Bluetooth File Exchange is an application that has some mainstream usefulness for all Mac users. Chances are when you are wanting to transfer files through Bluetooth from your phone to your Mac, Bluetooth File Exchange pops up.

Boot Camp Assistant


If you want Windows on your Mac, Boot Camp Assistant is just about the only way to accomplish this.

ColorSync Utility


Did anyone call for iPhoto on overload? ColorSync Utility is that program you’ve been asking for. While it doesn’t store your photos like iPhoto, ColorSync does allow you to go a bit deeper and more specific with the edits that you make with certain images.



Console is mainly a log of all your Mac activities. Many times it is too complicated and crowded to be understood by the average observer. However, those knowledgable will find this place a bit useful when a problem arises on the Mac and they want to narrow down solutions.

DigitalColor Meter


Calling our photography editors out there. This is a simple eyedropper tool allowing you to make a color identification for the color you see but are having a hard time identifying specifically.

Disk Utility


If you are having a bit of an issue with your external hard drive, Disk Utility can assist you in repairing it. This can include reformatting and even clearing data in a more organized and formal way.



If you’ve ever taken a screenshot on Mac, you’ve used Grab. There isn’t any real benefit of visiting the Grab application instead of using a keyboard shortcut.



This is the place where mathematical enthusiasts can create as many equation-based graphs to their hearts content.

Keychain Access


Use Keychain Access to remember and retrieve the passwords that you make use of online. Safari Preferences + Passwords also allows you to access the same passwords.

Migration Assistant


Transfers your old files, software, user accounts, and more from your old Mac to your new Mac.

Network Utility


Everything about your Internet connection, that you can make use of once connected through AirPort Utility, can be found in Network Utility. This is where you can learn about your current performance and IP address, among other things.

QuickTime Player


The Mac equivalent of Windows Media Player. Windows can also make use of QuickTime player.

System Information


Every single thing you need to know about your Mac, from battery health to even hardware information.



Similar to AppleScript, Terminal allows your Mac to do just about anything made possible through the use of commands.

VoiceOver Utility


Despite being called VoiceOver Utility, this application covers all accessibility features of Mac for those with a disability.



X11 is a bit confusing, but if you are familiar with Unix, it is simply the GUI for Unix – most notably Linux – users.

As you’ve just learned, the Mac Utilities folder comes with a ton of helpful applications. Let us know which applications you were surprised to have found in the folder and which ones you’ll be making use of more often!

Ari Simon
Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn't working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.

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