How to Conquer Your New Operating System When Switching From Windows to Mac

After so much anticipation, you have finally got your hands on a brand-new Mac and are ready to put away your Windows laptop. Though this shift is exciting, it can also be a bit daunting since you are now entering unfamiliar territories. The Windows operating system you have used for so many years responded quickly to all your commands, but you are unsure how to proceed with the macOS. Worry not, with these helpful tips you will be operating your new device like a pro in no time at all.

Switch it on with discretion

Most Mac devices will play a little chime when you switch them on. Though the sound is pretty satisfying to listen to, it might not be appropriate for all locations. You do not want the chime to be heard in a library filled with pin-drop silence. To turn off this sound, go to the Apple Menu. Click Sound in the System Preferences. If you go to the Sound Effects panel, you can easily uncheck the box next to “Play sound on Startup”.

Screenshot shortcuts

You usually either pressed PrtSc or the Windows key with PrtSc to take a screenshot on Windows laptops. But things are a bit different on macOS, and you must use specific number keys in combination with others to take screenshots.

To take a regular screenshot, press Shift+Command+3, and if you want to select an area on your screen before you take the screenshot, press Shift+Command+4. Additionally, if you want to screen record, click Shift+Command+5. This gives you the options to either record your whole screen or just a specific area.

Backup your files

Sometimes, you might accidentally get rid of some essential files and then panic about how to recover deleted files. The best way you can prevent such an event from happening is by using a backup such as Time Machine. To activate Time Machine backups, go to System Preferences and click on Time Machine. Here you will get to choose the disc in which you back up your files. Once you have chosen, enable automatic backup by clicking the right check box.

Setup Hot corners

Hot corners can prove indispensable in making the way you work more efficient. Hot corners enable an action to occur when you move your cursor to a specific corner.

You can set up hot corners by going to the System Preferences. Click on Desktop & Screen Saver, then the Screen Saver option. Next, click on Mission Control and choose Hot corners. Choose options for each hot corner in the pop-up menu and click Ok.

Use Spotlight

Spotlight is MacOS’s search tool that can be accessed by pressing Command+Spacebar. You can use natural language queries for various needs while using Spotlight and if you would like results from the Web, turn on Siri Suggestions. Besides working as an efficient search tool Spotlight also lets you quickly carry out calculations and conversions.

Split-view to use two apps

While using your previous laptop, you might have had to drag and resize your applications to view two at the same time. But with Split-view on Mac, the process is automatic and effortless.

To enable this, hover your cursor over the full-screen button on the top left corner of the open window. Among the three options displayed, choose either “Tile Window to Left of Screen” or “Tile Window to Right of Screen” to have your opened window fill up that particular side. Now, open another application on the other side to view both simultaneously.

Maximizing certain applications

The exit, maximize and minimize buttons will take some getting used to if you have just made the shift from a Windows laptop. They are located on the top left corner and are denoted by colors rather than symbols. Although most applications will expand and fill the screen when you click on the maximize button, some might not. You can deal with this minor issue by pressing shift when you click on the maximize button.

Clean up the menu bar

The options given in the Menu bar are extremely helpful, but this area can also get filled up by things you do not really need. You can easily clean up your menu bar by pressing on the command key while clicking and dragging off an icon.

Determine which apps launch when you switch on your device

Having your primary software open up as soon as you switch on your MacBook can be extremely helpful. But if your laptop has multiple applications that open when you turn it on, it might start running a bit slower. You can fix this and remove any unnecessary apps that start up at launch by carrying out the following steps.

Go to System Preferences and choose Users and Groups. Once you get to the section titled Login Items, you will be shown a list of all the apps that launch when the computer is turned on. To remove certain apps, select them from the list and click on the “-” button.

Sharing files

Mac makes it incredibly easy to share various files between your laptop and phone or with another Mac user. The files you open on your device will have a symbol that depicts a box with an upwards arrow. Clicking on this share button will open many ways for you to share files and links with another device. If you regularly share stuff with someone nearby via these options, their name will soon be displayed at the bottom of the share menu. You will no longer have to follow any additional steps when sharing stuff with this specific person.

Change desktop icons

Your PDFs and other documents need not just have the application icon on them. You can make your desktop and folders look more appealing and the files easier to recognize by changing the icon into an image of your choice. You can do this quickly by choosing the Get Info button when you right-click the file. Copy the image you want to replace the thumbnail with from an editor and paste it on the existing icon shown in the Get Info menu.

Summing up

There is a learning curve associated with becoming proficient in this new but extremely efficient operating system. With patience and a desire to learn and explore, you will master your new macOS in as little time as possible.

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