Automatically Set Your Mac for Home, Work, or Anywhere

Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk into work, start up your Mac and have it set itself with a set of work related rules – mount shares, disconnect Bluetooth, set a default printer, and specific firewall rules.

Then, you go home and it automatically resets itself for your home network. On top of that, if you travel often and use Public WiFi, you could create a travel profile, and have it set itself automatically whenever you use a wireless hotspot.

Think it can’t be done? It’s absolutely possible to create location-aware profiles with OS X. Here’s how:

Why Multiple Profiles?

Sometimes there are specific ways you want your computer set up and they depend on where you are. For a public hotspot, you’ll want to be locked down. At work, you may need specific services, printers, firewall rules, or muted audio. At home, you can be more lenient. It’s really up to you and the amount of customization you require.

Since having multiple profiles and settings can get confusing, lets set them to automatically switch depending on where you are.

To Setup Automatically Switching Multiple Profiles:

1. Download Marco Polo by David Symonds.

2. Open the .DMG and drop it in your Applications folder.
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3. When prompted, edit Marco Polo’s Preferences.

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

Note: The first time Marco Polo is run it offers you to edit the preferences. In case you miss this prompt or just hit OK, go to the Preferences Menu from the Marco Polo icon in the Menu Bar. (It will be to the right, next to the Airport icon)

4. Click the “Contexts” tab to create a location.

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

5. Create a location for each place you want one.

6. Click on the Actions tab to tell Marco Polo what to do for your location.

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

7. Create all the actions you need.

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

8. After creating all your Actions for Home, click the Rules tab.

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

9. This is how Marco Polo decides which location you are in.

Marco Polo with Multiple Profiles for OS X

Once you’ve set your Rues, Marco Polo will appropriately change your settings for whatever context (location) you are in. I usually will use WiFi SSID’s to discriminate between Home / Work and Public places but you’ll need to add them in. You can also use IP ranges if you know them.

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