10 great features of macOS Monterey that are worth upgrading

Apple today released macOS Monterey to the public after several months of beta testing, and brings a whole host of useful new features and changes to apps like Safari, Maps, FaceTime, Notes, Photos, Messages and more, along with some great quality life enhancements.

We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite ‌macOS Monterey‌ features, but let us know what you like about the update in the comments below.

Clear all content and settings

With “MacOS Monterey,” resetting the Mac to factory settings works much more than on the iPhone and iPad with iOS. Use the Delete All Content and Settings button to now delete your Mac without the hassle of reinstalling the operating system.

This feature deletes the Mac, but leaves the operating system in place so the machine can be sold or exchanged, and is so much more convenient than previous methods that it has become number one on our list.

AirPlay on Mac

With enhanced support for AirPlay on the Mac, content from the “iPhone” or “iPad” can be AirPlayed to the Mac screen, something that was not possible before. AirPlay on Mac also works with transfers from Mac to Mac so you can display the screen of one Mac on another.

AirPlay on the Mac allows users to expand or map the screen of Apple devices on the Mac, and since two Macs are supported, the Mac can use another Mac as an external display in a kind of clone of Target Display Mode.

AirPlay on Mac also works wirelessly or wired using a USB-C cable, with a wired connection useful for reducing possible latency. You can also use “AirPlay” to turn your Mac into a speaker that is paired with other “AirPlay” 2 speakers for multi-room sound, and you can also “AirPlay” Apple Fitness + workout on a Mac.

IrAirPlay‌ on Mac works with 2018 or newer MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, 2019 or newer iMac or Mac Pro, ‌iMac‌ Pro and 2020 or newer Mac mini.

FaceTime updates

Many of the “FaceTime” functions available in iOS 15 are also included in the “MacOS Monterey” version of “FaceTime”. There is a Create Connection for FaceTime feature that makes it much easier to get people to join your call because it’s similar to the way Zoom and other video apps work, and it’s great for scheduling calls.

facetime link

PC and Android users can now join “FaceTime” calls from the web using those “FaceTime” connections created by Apple users.

Apple has also added a portrait mode effect to “FaceTime” calls on the Mac so you can blur the background behind you while chatting. The new network view can show everything in the call at the same time, and there are new audio modes. Voice isolation minimizes background noise and focuses on your voice, while Wide Spectrum can be used to highlight all sounds if there are more people at your end of the conversation.

‌FaceTime‌ on ‌macOS Monterey‌ will get all the SharePlay features available on iOS devices in iOS 15.1, but SharePlay was not ready for release when ‌macOS Monterey‌ was launched and will come later.

Quick note

The Notes app in MacOS Monterey has been enhanced with a new Quick Note feature designed to take notes no matter what you’re doing. If you place the cursor in the lower right corner of the screen, a small note icon will appear.

monterey quick note

Clicking on it opens a Quick Note where you can write down a thought, add a link, save a photo and more. Quick notes are stored in a separate section in Notes and can be accessed on all devices.

Safari card groups

Apple originally planned to customize the design of the Safari in “MacOS Monterey,” adding a redesigned tab strip that fits better into the background of the website, but after complaints, that plan was rejected and Safari generally looks like it did in Big Sur.

monterey tab group

If you want, you can enable the new “Compact” design in the Preferences section of Safari, but there is an even more significant change in Safari – Tab Groups.

With Card groups, you can save card groups together and visit them again later. If you’re planning a vacation, for example, you may have a few cards you want to leave open and return later, without the cards taking up the entire Tafari card bar, with groups of cards that allow you to save and reopen everything later.

Animated Memoji Avatar

Memoji can now be set as your macOS avatar, which appears on the lock screen instead of the standard photo. In System Preferences, click on your profile and you can create or select Memoji to serve as your avatar.

macos monterey memoji

You can select your favorite pose and style, which adds a background color, and then click Save to set it. Memoji will animate on the Mac lock screen when you log in to your Mac. If you do something like entering the wrong password, you will see that the Memoji responds.

Emoji and initial monograms are also options for Mac avatars in Monterey, plus there’s a new “Suggestions” tab that contains various profile image options.


Focus is a more customized Do Not Disturb version that allows you to focus on what you are doing at the moment while blocking unnecessary distractions.

macos monterey focus

As an example, you can create a “Business” focus mode that minimizes notifications from non-business applications to help you concentrate better without interruption. Apple has built-in focus modes for things like sleep and driving, and you can create custom focusing modes. With Focus, you can choose apps and people who are allowed to contact you at different times.

If you are in Focus mode and someone tries to send you a message, they will be notified that your notifications are muted (although it is still possible to pass in an emergency), and if you turn on Focus on one device, it automatically syncs with all your devices.


The Shortcuts app, first introduced on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, is now available on the Mac, so you can access all your favorite shortcuts. Apple has designed Mac-specific shortcuts that are available in the Gallery, and you can make your own.

monterey shortcuts app

Shortcuts have been updated with the following action suggestions to make it easier to create new shortcuts, and Automator workflows can be converted to shortcuts. For Pro users, there is AppleScript integration and compatibility with the shell script.

Shortcuts are deeply integrated into MacOS Monterey and can be launched from the Dock, menu bar, Finder, Spotlight or using Siri, and are universal, so shortcuts made on your iPhone can be used on your Mac and vice versa.

Universal control (coming soon)

One of the main features of “MacOS Monterey”, Universal Control will allow the operation of a single mouse and keyboard on multiple Mac or iPad devices. So, if you have a desktop setup with ‌iMac‌, MacBook and ‌iPad‌, you can use one mouse and one keyboard to control all three.

universal wwdc control

Universal control is not yet available as it was not ready in time for the launch of ‌macOS Monterey‌, but will come in a future update of ‌macOS Monterey‌.

Read more about macOS Monterey

There are many more features in “macOS Monterey” that are worth checking out, and we have a complete overview of everything new in the update in our macOS Monterey overview.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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