In 2019, there were over 100 million Mac users worldwide.

Now, it’s 2020 and that number has only gone up.

Whether you just got a new Macbook, or are preparing for the future, this guide can help you learn how to use a Mac.

Read on for all the tips and tricks you’ll need to make learning to use a Mac as easy as possible.

Setting It Up

Plug any essential external devices in (mouse or trackpad, your external keyboard, headphones, etc.) before you even turn the device on.

Next, turn the computer on and connect to the internet.

The setup assistant will ask you questions and prompt you to sign in to iCloud if you have an account. Apple suggests allowing the device to activate FileVault, iCloud Keychain, and Find My Mac.

FileVault simply makes sure any user has to enter a password when they log in. iCloud Keychain is Apple’s password management system and can be used across all your Apple devices. Find My Mac does exactly that. Keeps track of your Mac.

You’ll be asked to set up your user account, and then everything is set! Apple, however, also suggests checking for software updates as part of the setup process.

Migrating from Windows

If you’re transitioning from a Windows device, there are a few things you need to know.

The keyboard is different. The “control” key no longer exists here. It’s “command.”

Instead of clicking on the red “X” to shut an app down, you’ll need to press Command + Q. The red “X” is equivalent to the home button on an iPhone. It closes the app but does not shut it down.

Another thing, there’s no cut option on Mac. Instead, you must copy any info you’d like to paste somewhere else. Pressing Command + Option + V on the keyboard will then paste that info into its new place, but delete it from the previous.

Spotlight is equivalent to the search bar feature your Windows computer had.

Mission Control is a handy feature. Similar to Windows, swiping left and right with three fingers on the trackpad lets you switch between different windows.

Once you have the keyboard down on your Mac, it’s time to convert the files from your Windows PC using the Windows Migration Assistant.

The Migration Assistant works with Windows 7 or later. You must uninstall OneDrive on your PC if it’s in use, but don’t worry. It can be reinstalled after you’re done migrating any files.

You can use the Migration Assistant to transfer emails, contacts, calendars, Outlook, pictures, Windows Mail, bookmarks, iTunes, system settings, and more.

To begin, make sure you have the assistant that is compatible with your version of macOS. Make sure all Windows apps are closed and then start up the Migration Assistant on your PC. Start it up on your Mac as well.

Follow the prompts and make sure you select “From a Windows PC” when asked where you want to transfer files from.

A passcode appears on both devices. Once this happens, click “Continue.” Once that’s done, your Mac creates a list of files from your PC. Select the ones you’d like to transfer, and the Mac does the rest for you.

Media Player

If you’re already a Mac user, you may have run into QuickTime Player’s media limitations already. If you’re new to Mac, it will happen soon.

A file type you need to play may not be supported, so you need an app to turn too.

VLC Media Player is a good option, but here are the best alternatives to VLC Media Player.

Elmedia Player builds upon VLC’s media-playing capabilities with a built-in streaming service. You can use it to download YouTube onto your Mac or add its web extension that bypasses ads when you’re watching videos.

You can even download audio files onto it.

Movist Pro, however, allows you to configure video files to best suit your device. You can stream in 4K or even change the color mapping in a file to allow it to reach its full potential—and best quality—right from your browser (Yes, there is even a browser extension).

Keyboard Shortcuts for Learning to Use a Mac

Basic keyboard shortcuts like Command + B to make typeface bold, or Command + I to add italics stay the same between Mac and Windows. Command + C copies text and Command + V will paste it.

Command + F will find certain text in an open window. Command + Spacebar will open Spotlight on your Mac and allow you to search the entire device.

To open the AirDrop window, press Command + Shift + R. Press Option + Command + D to open or hide the Dock.

If you want access to emojis and other symbols, you’ll have to access the Character Viewer. To do this press Control + Command + Space Bar.

To take a screenshot or make a screen recording, press Shift + Command + 5 on macOS Mojave or later. Otherwise, Shift + Command + 3 or Shift + Command + 4 achieves the same thing.

For Windows converts, Control + Alt + Delete is no longer an option. Instead, Control + Command + Q will immediately lock your screen.

Shift + Command + Q logs you out of your user account after asking for confirmation. If you don’t want to be asked for confirmation, press Option + Shift + Command + Q.

To force a Mac to restart, you can press Control + Command + Power button. Be careful with this. You won’t be asked to save any unsaved data or documents.

The Difference

Bottom line, macOS differs from Windows, or really any other software on the market. Learning to use a Mac can take some getting used to, but the end result is gratifying.

Apple products are clean-cut and highly sought after. People either love them or they don’t. Where do you fall?

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