How to Use Hot Corners on a Mac

Customize Hot Corners actions in Mission Control

What to Know

  • In System Preferences, go to Mission Control and select Hot Corners.
  • Use the drop-down lists to select the action for each corner you want to use and click OK.
  • Move your cursor to one of the four corners you activated to invoke the action you selected.

This article explains how to set up and use hot corners on Mac. This feature lets you perform actions quickly by moving your cursor to the corner of your screen.

Set Up Hot Corners on Mac

You can use one or all four hot corners per your preference and decide which action to take from a list of options.

  1. Open your System Preferences by going to the Apple icon in the menu bar or using the icon in the Dock.

  2. Choose Mission Control.

    System Preferences on macOS with Mission Control highlighted
  3. Select Hot Corners at the bottom.

    Mission Control settings with the Hot Corners button
  4. You’ll likely see dashes for each hot corner except for the bottom-right corner. By default, that corner opens Quick Note since the release of macOS Monterey. But you can change it if you like.

    Hot Corners default settings highlighted
  5. Use the drop-down menu for each corner you want to activate and select the action. You have ten different options: opening Mission Control or the Notification Center, starting or disabling the screen saver, or locking your screen.

    Available actions for hot corners highlighted
  6. If you want to include a modifier key, hold that key as you make your selection. You can use CommandOptionControlShift, or a combination of these keys. You’ll then see the key(s) displayed next to the action for that hot corner.

    Hot corner with a modifier key next to the action
  7. For any corner you don’t want to activate, keep or select the dash.

    When you finish, select OK. You can then close the System Preferences and try your hot corners.

    Mac Hot corners setup with OK selected

Using Hot Corners on Mac

Once you set up hot corners, it’s good to give them a test to make sure the actions you picked work for you.

Move your cursor using your mouse or trackpad to one of the corners of the screen you set up. It should invoke the action you picked.

If you included a modifier key in the setup, hold that key or the key combination as you move your cursor to the corner.

Remove Actions From Hot Corners

If you decide later that the actions for the hot corners aren’t working for you, you can remove them.

  1. Return to System Preferences and Mission Control.

    System Preferences on macOS with Mission Control highlighted
  2. Choose Hot Corners.

    Mission Control settings with the Hot Corners button
  3. Then, use the drop-down list for each hot corner to select the dash.

    Hot corners deactivated using dashes
  4. Click OK when you finish. You’ll then return to ordinary screen corners without any actions.

What Are Hot Corners?

Hot corners on macOS let you invoke actions by moving your cursor to a corner of the screen. For instance, if you move your cursor to the top-right corner, you can start your Mac's screensaver, or if you move to the bottom-left corner, you can put your display to sleep.

Plus, you can add a modifier key such as Command, Option, Control, or Shift. So, you can set up a hot corner to require a key press when you move your cursor to that corner. It stops you from accidentally invoking an action if you move your cursor to a corner for another reason or by mistake.

  • Why are my Hot Corners not working on my Mac?

    If nothing happens when you hover your cursor over a corner to trigger your Hot Corner action, there may have been a glitch with a recent macOS update. To fix the problem, try turning off Hot Corners, restarting your Mac, and turning on Hot Corners again. You can also try restarting the Dock and using the Mac's Safe Boot option.

  • How do I use Hot Corners in iOS?

    On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Assistive Touch. Scroll down and tap the Dwell Control slider to turn it on. Then, tap Hot Corners and tap each corner option to set your preferred Hot Corner action.

  • Can you use Hot Corners in Windows?

    No. Windows doesn't have a Hot Corners feature, although Windows keyboard shortcuts allow you to quickly trigger actions. However, there are third-party tools like WinXCorners that mimic Hot Corner functionality.

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