After keeping it alive for a long time, Apple finally removed the Dashboard feature in macOS Catalina. Over the years, Dashboard had become a skeleton of its original self, but some Mac users still used this feature on a daily basis. And while we can’t enable Dashboard in macOS Catalina, there are several third-party apps you can use to achieve the same functionality. In this article, we are going to show the best alternatives to the macOS Dashboard that you can use to fill the void that Apple created by killing it.
Enable Dashboard Features in macOS Catalina
I spent days trying to find a way to enable Dashboard features in macOS Catalina. But unfortunately this cannot be done. There is no hidden function, setting or hack that will allow you to do this. Luckily, there are third-party apps you can use to enable most Dashboard features in Catalina. You can click on the table of contents below to view the list of apps mentioned in this list. That said, let’s get to our list, shall we?
The closest replacement to the macOS Dashboard I could find is the Widgets app. There are several things that I like about this app. First and foremost, it has the largest collection of widgets of any app I tested. With this app you get widgets for audio player, calendar, calculator, clock, contacts, counter, dictionary, and weather among many others.
Thus, it replaces almost all the widgets that you lose with the removal from the Mac Dashboard. One of my favorite dashboard widgets was the Unit Converter widget and luckily the Widgets app also offers this widget.
Another thing that impressed me was the inclusion of multiple themes. So not only can you see the widgets in the traditional black and white themes, but also in other colors.
The Widgets app gives you a modernized dashboard and that’s probably the highest praise I can give this app. The only downside I could find was that the app crashed on me several times. Moreover, it is only available in the US Mac App Store. If you’re missing the dashboard on macOS Catalina, give it a try.
Download from App Store: $4.99
2. Use Today View
While Apple killed Dashboard with macOS Catalina, it also introduced a kind of replacement by launching the Today View area (access by swiping left to right from the right edge of the Mac trackpad). The Today View is the same as its iOS counterpart, which means you can place widgets there. The advantages of the Today View area are that in addition to showing you the stock widgets, it also gives you the option to showcase third-party widgets.
And this feature will be much more important with the next Mac OS Big Sure and ARM, because they will be able to run iPhone and iPad apps natively. And since the introduction of third-party custom widgets in iOS 14, you will get all these widgets on your Mac. But, that’s in the future, and we’re not there yet.
Well, speaking of the current scenario, you get the stock widgets for Calendar, Reminders, World Clock, Calculator, Now Playing, Weather, and Stocks. Apart from stock widgets, there are third-party apps like Things 3 and OmniFocus that bring their widgets.
You can also search for widgets on the Mac App Store if you are looking for specific ones. For example, here is a unit converter widget and world clock widget that I download. So if you don’t want to experiment with third-party apps, you might want to check it out. It will only become more powerful in the future.
3. Infinite Dashboard
Infinity Dashboard in a great macOS Dashboard replacement for people who want to access searchable information. It lets you track anything you want in a clear and concise informative dashboard. It has over 35 built-in modules to track and monitor things ranging from current weather, travel times, website stats, stock quotes and birthdays to exchange rates, social tickers (Twitter followers, followers YouTube, etc.), product prices on Amazon, and more.
To download: Free try, $9.99
4. iWall-Dynamic Desktop Engine
iWall is less like the Mac dashboard and more like Rainmeter skins for Windows. For the unfamiliar, Rainmeter lets you create dynamic wallpaper using different themes, wallpapers and widgets. You can create some cool stuff using Rainmeter on Windows (you can click on the article linked above to check them out). Although iWall is not so powerful, it is good enough to replace the dashboard.
Beware, this won’t bring back all the widgets we lost, but something is better than nothing. With iWall you can set dynamic backgrounds that change colors based on time, display a visual representation of audio playback, set a video as background, display time and calendar, and more. The main difference between iWall and macOS Desktop is that the former is more focused on aesthetics while the latter was more functional. Check it out and see for yourself whether you like it or not.
Download from the Mac App Store: $2.99
Dashful is a wonderful dashboard replacement if you can live with a web-based dashboard. The app doesn’t offer any native Mac apps, so you’ll have to access it using a browser. That flaw aside, it’s a very powerful dash replacement. There is a caveat though. The widgets here are not meant to be interactive like the macOS Dashboard. They are more like informational widgets.
So you can use it to get information at a glance. You can add widgets for weather, social media (see a live count of Twitter followers or Twitch and YouTube followers), year progress, countdown, picture, and more. You can also add custom widgets using
Use These Mac Dashboard Replacements to Get All the Widgets
The Mac Dashboard was not a popular feature, with only a small percentage of Mac users using it. But that doesn’t negate the fact that it was a great feature, and people who used it loved it.
So if you’re saddened by the death of Dashboard in macOS Catalina, check out these alternatives. If you found a good alternative that we couldn’t, share it with us in the comments below so the whole community can benefit from it.