Get to know macOS 12 Monterey!

Take Control of

Joe Kissell

macOS 12 Monterey builds on the changes in Big Sur, making your Intel or M-series Mac even more powerful and easier to use. This book teaches you how to prepare for a smooth transition to the new version of macOS—and what to do once you’ve upgraded. Learn your way around, find out about new capabilities (and a few pitfalls), and improve your privacy and security.

All Take Control books are delivered in two ebook formats—PDF and EPUB—and can be read on nearly any device.


Following 2020’s Big Sur release, which massively overhauled the macOS interface and introduced support for M-series (Apple silicon) Macs, we have macOS 12 Monterey. Although the look and feel are quite similar to Big Sur, Monterey adds refinements, improvements, and interesting new features to books your productivity and your privacy.

As was the case for Big Sur, we’re not publishing a separate Take Control of Upgrading to Monterey book. Instead, complete upgrading instructions are included here, along with details about what to expect before, during, and after your Monterey installation.

Note: The latest version of this book now covers Monterey through version 12.5.

Among the many subjects covered in this book are:

  • How to tell whether your Mac is compatible with Monterey
  • Steps you should take before upgrading
  • How to perform an in-place upgrade—or do a clean install and migrate your old data from a backup
  • Improvements to FaceTime, such as updated audio and video options, scheduled meetings, and SharePlay
  • New Messages feature, including Shared with You better handling of photos, and new Memoji options
  • Changes in Safari 15—including the new interface for tabs
  • How to use Universal Control to share a keyboard and pointing device among multiple Macs and iPads
  • The Focus feature that takes Do Not Disturb to a new level
  • Shortcuts, which has made its way from iOS/iPadOS to macOS and added new features
  • What’s new in the Maps app, including more city detail, Driving mode, and better transit support
  • Small but interesting changes throughout macOS, such as AirPlay to Mac, iCloud+, improved password support, and Quick Note
  • Improvements to bundled apps, including Books, Finder, Mail, Notes, Photos, and more
Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He formerly wrote for publications such as Macworld, Wirecutter, and TidBITS. He lives in Saskatoon with his wife and their two sons.

What’s New in Version 1.2

Version 1.2 of this book covers most of the major changes in Monterey since the version 12.0.1 release:

  • At some point—I’m unsure exactly when—Live Text support was extended to all Macs that can run Monterey (see “Live Text”).
  • macOS 12.1 added quite a few new features:
    • SharePlay (see “Share Media Experiences with SharePlay”)
    • Child safety features in Messages (see “Child Safety Features”)
    • A Digital Legacy feature (see “Digital Legacy”)
    • Support for Hide My Email in the Mail app (see “iCloud+” and “Mail”)
    • The capability to delete or rename tags in Notes and Reminders (see “Notes” and “Reminders”)
    • Updated Memories features in Photos (see “Photos”)
    • Minor improvements to the Stocks app (see “Stocks”)
    • A Store tab in the TV app (see “TV”)
  • macOS 12.3 added support for Universal Control (see “Universal Control”) but dropped Python (see “Disappearing Scripting Languages”).
  • macOS 12.4 removed the “beta” designation from Universal Control and improved its compatibility (see Universal Control), and enabled you limit the number of downloaded episodes in Podcasts (see “Podcasts”).

I also corrected instructions in “Kernel Extension Blocking” that should have applied only to M-series Macs and were previously described as being needed for Intel-based Macs too.

  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.2
    • What Was New in Version 1.1
  • Introduction
  • Monterey Quick Start
  • Take In the Scenic View
    • Find Out What’s New in Monterey
    • Catch Up with macOS Changes
  • Check Your Mac for Compatibility
    • Model Support
    • RAM
    • Free Disk Space
    • Solid-State Storage
  • Upgrade to Monterey
    • Update Your Third-Party Software
    • Back Up Your Disk
    • Decide on an Installation Method
    • Make Final Preparations
    • Upgrade Using Plan A: In‑Place Upgrade
    • Upgrade Using Plan B: Clean Install
    • Perform Post-Installation Tasks
    • Troubleshoot Upgrade Problems
    • How to Downgrade macOS
  • A Quick Tour of Monterey
    • Get Your Visual Bearings
    • Explore System Preferences Changes
    • Update Your Backup Strategy
  • Get a Little Closer with FaceTime
    • Explore Audio Changes
    • Use New Video Options
    • Cast a Wider Net
    • Share Media Experiences with SharePlay
  • Get More from Messages
    • Shared with You
    • New Photo Conveniences
    • Memoji Changes
    • Child Safety Features
  • Meet Safari 15
    • Work with Tabs
    • Notice the Sidebar
    • Enjoy Slightly Improved Privacy
  • Find Your Focus
    • Do Not Disturb vs. Focus
    • Create or Edit a Focus
    • Activate a Focus Manually
  • Automate Your Mac with Shortcuts
    • Explore Shortcuts
    • Run a Shortcut
    • Import Automator Workflows
    • Customize or Create a Shortcut
    • Share a Shortcut
  • Find Your Way Around Maps
    • Use the Interactive Globe
    • See More City Detail
    • Use Driving Mode
    • Navigate Public Transit
    • Discover Other New Maps Features
  • Discover Other System Improvements
    • AirPlay to Mac
    • Apple ID
    • Desktop and Screen Saver
    • Gaming
    • iCloud+
    • Keyboard Dictation
    • Live Text
    • Low Power Mode
    • Notifications
    • Passwords
    • Quick Note
    • Recording Indicator
    • Translate
    • Universal Control
    • Window Management
  • Explore Other App Improvements
    • Books
    • Find My
    • Finder
    • Home
    • Mail
    • Music
    • News
    • Notes
    • Photos
    • Podcasts
    • Reminders
    • Stocks
    • Tips
    • TV
    • Voice Memos
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author and Publisher
  • Also by Joe Kissell
  • Copyright and Fine Print

Joe Kissell talks Monterey on MacVoices

Posted by Joe Kissell on September 4, 2021

Broadcasting once again from his temporary digs in the Black Lodge, Joe Kissell joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices to discuss macOS 12 Monterey and his new book Take Control of Monterey.

In part one, Joe talks about Monterey generally and discusses features such as SharePlay that aren’t quite ready yet.

In part two, Joe covers changes to Monterey apps such as Safari and Apple Mail, and the new macOS Shortcuts app.


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