How to Install Hidden Fonts in macOS Big Sur & Catalina

May 4, 2021 - 5 Comments

How to Install New Hidden Fonts in MacOS Catalina & Big Sur

Did you know that your Mac has hidden fonts that are disabled by default? If your Mac is running macOS Big Sur, Catalina, or later, you can access all these hidden fonts and install them for free.

It turns out that Apple obtained licenses for a slew of new fonts in macOS that can be used system-wide, but these fonts aren’t installed on the Mac by default. Instead, these are an optional download and you might not necessarily be aware of this. Since these fonts can be used system-wide, you’ll get to use them in the documents or projects that you’re working on, for a unique look.

Now, you might be wondering how you can start using these new fonts on your Mac, and that’s exactly what we’ll show you how to do here; installing hidden fonts in macOS Catalina, macOS Big Sur, or later.

How to Install New Hidden Fonts in macOS Big Sur / Catalina

Before you get started with the following procedure, make sure that your Mac is running macOS Catalina or later, since these fonts aren’t accessible on Mojave and older versions.

  1. Click on the “magnifying glass” icon located at the top-right corner of your desktop to access Spotlight search. Alternatively, you can open Spotlight by pressing Command + Space bar.

    How to Install New Hidden Fonts in MacOS Catalina & Big Sur
  2. Next, type “Font Book” in the search field and open the app from the search results.

    How to Install New Hidden Fonts in MacOS Catalina & Big Sur
  3. Now, head over to the “All Fonts” section in Font Book, as shown below and scroll down to view all the available fonts.

    How to Install New Hidden Fonts in MacOS Catalina & Big Sur
  4. The fonts that are grayed out in this list are the hidden fonts that Apple recently added to macOS. Clicking on the fonts will give you a preview of what it looks like. To install these fonts, right-click on the font and choose the download option as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Install New Hidden Fonts in MacOS Catalina & Big Sur
  5. When you’re prompted to confirm, click “Download”. Once the download completes, the font won’t be grayed out anymore and you’ll be able to use it in your favorite apps.

    How to Install New Hidden Fonts in MacOS Catalina & Big Sur

That’s about it, you can repeat the steps to install all the hidden fonts you want on your macOS machine.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to install all the hidden fonts on your Mac at once. You’ll have to do it one by one which could be a tedious process for many, but on the plus side you’ll get to preview each font before installing it, and you have the option to install just the fonts you actually want to use.

And yes, you can always remove fonts after you’ve installed them on the Mac too, so don’t worry about overburdening yourself with options.

From now on, you can make your Pages documents, Keynote presentations, and Motion projects stand out with these new additional fonts that most people aren’t aware of. Of course, you can download third-party fonts from the web manually as well, but you might have to pay for some of them.

We know that many of you work on your files from other Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad too. When you open an existing project or document that you created on your Mac with the new fonts for the first time, you might get a “fonts are missing” error, but don’t worry, as the fonts are usually being downloaded in the background. When you open it the second time on your iOS or iPadOS device, you’ll be able to view and edit it with the new fonts.

What do you think of these new fonts? How many new fonts have you installed in total? Do you have a favorite font? Share your thoughts and experiences, and don’t miss other fonts related topics and tips here too.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ki says:

    When I install these, they randomly uninstall weeks later (maybe after auto updates?). I keep having to go in and redownload Canela and Founders Grotesque every so often.

    Is there any way to prevent this?

  2. Ariella Brosan says:

    Love the many tips and tricks. Re the fonts what I found is that most (but not all) are in languages other than English.

  3. Rudy says:

    You can actually select more than one font at a time – select they fonts that are grayed out, then right click and click on download. You will see it’s downloading multiple fonts.

  4. JayTee says:

    A lot of the fonts grayed out on my Mac were Asian fonts, but there were a few that I did want to get. After previewing the fonts to see which ones I wanted (and noting the names), I then went back and selected them and then hit Download Fonts once. Selection method is the usual—click/shift-click for several in a row, or Cmd-click for singles.

  5. paul basile says:

    great tip, but you can download multiple fonts by selecting them with shift key and then right click as instructed.

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