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How to Switch from a Windows PC to a Mac



  An iMac with an Apple keyboard and mouse on a wood desk.
Krisda / Shutterstock.com

It's easy to switch from a Windows-based PC to a Mac. The platforms are probably not as different as you heard it. With our practical guide you will be up to date in no time!

Select a Mac

If you have not bought your Mac yet (or are thinking about it yet), you should decide which one is right for you. Apple's product range is divided into three classes: laptops, home computers for home users, and high-end, high-end computers.

Laptops

For mobile use, Apple currently offers two laptops: the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. The 1

3-inch MacBook Air (from $ 1,099) is a great all-rounder with a new Retina display (High-DPi), energy-efficient performance and the classic "wedge shape". It's perfect for surfing the web, writing essays, watching Netflix, and even handling light sub-4K video editing.

  Apple MacBook Air 13-inch screen.
Apple

When you need more power on the go MacBook Pro is the next logical choice, especially in graphics. It's a mobile powerhouse available for both 13 and 15-inch models (in this article, starting at $ 1,299 and $ 2,399, respectively). It is thicker, heavier and has much more power than its light sibling. It is also considerably more expensive. You can customize both models at checkout but will get more options if you choose the pro. It is available with a built-in 21.5-inch screen up to 4K or 27-inch 5K screen (currently available from $ 1,099 and $ 1,799, respectively). It's great value for money even if you compare it to building your own computer. You'll get much more value for your money if you choose the larger desktop type. You also get expansion ports to add more RAM, a suitable set of ports on the back, Apple's decent keyboard, and the passable mouse.

  A 21-inch Apple iMac alongside a 27-inch Apple iMac.
Apple

If you already have a monitor and peripherals, the Mac mini may be of interest to you (starting at $ 799 on this letter). This is the cheapest computer that Apple manufactures, which is partly due to the somewhat limited hardware. You will not achieve iMac-like performance, nor are these computers equipped with powerful GPUs, but you can increase RAM and processor selection at the register, if you prefer.

Professional High-End Systems

Professional users are left with the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro. If you have to ask, you generally do not need any of these machines. You're crammed with high-end components like Intel Xeon server processors, Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, and more memory than you can imagine. Currently, the iMac Pro will cost $ 4,999, and the Mac Pro will not ship until the end of 2019 (price to be announced).

  The Mac Pro hardware.
Apple

For most users an iMac or MacBook Air are the obvious choice. If you want to trade some performance for portability, the MacBook Pro should be on your radar. If you buy your primary computer and choose a laptop, you should avoid the smallest SSD.

In this article, you can upgrade the MacBook Air's small 128 GB SSD to 256 GB for 200 USD or 512 GB for 400 USD. If you want to store your main photo library on the computer with software like Office or Photoshop, you'll need that extra space some years later. While it's sometimes possible to increase the memory of your MacBook at a later time, solutions can be expensive and impractical.

The Basics

When you start your new Mac for the first time, configure the username of your account and set up (or log in to) an Apple I WOULD. This gives you a desktop that is familiar and alien at the same time.

Using the Trackpad or Mouse

Before we begin, you should familiarize yourself with some common functions Actions you perform when navigating macOS:

  • Scroll: On a trackpad, scroll with two Fingers like on a mobile device.
  • Click: The trackpad is a large button for you to click anywhere.
  • Right-click or two-finger click: To open the right-click context menu, place two fingers on the trackpad and click with your finger. You can also right-click or hold down the Ctrl key and click.

The Dock

At the bottom of the screen is the macOS Dock. This is the Mac equivalent of the Windows system tray. This is one of the easiest ways to launch and access your applications. The dock consists of two sections, separated by a partition. On the left you will find your applications and folders on the right, the Recycle Bin and all the minimized windows that you have opened.

 The macOS dock.

To attach an object to the dock Right-click it (or use two fingers on a trackpad), and then choose Options> Keep In Dock. To remove something, click and drag it until "Remove" appears, and then release it. You can configure the dock to be displayed at the bottom or left or right of the screen. You can also configure it to hide automatically. Start System Preferences> Dock to set it up as desired.

The menu bar

At the top of the screen you can see the Mac menu bar (see screenshot below). Unlike Windows, where drop-down menus such as File and Edit are docked to the window you're using, macOS always shows them at the top of the screen. You can determine which application is being used because the name appears in the upper-left corner next to the Apple logo.

 The macOS menu bar shows

Right in the menu The bar corresponds to Apple's Windows taskbar (see below). For example, you can connect to Wi-Fi networks or check the percentage battery level. Many applications, such as Evernote and Google Drive, place icons here for easy access. macOS also has a healthy number of apps in the menu bar.

 The macOS menu bar.

Over time, the menu bar may become cluttered and confusing, as shown above. If this is the case, you can clean it up with Bartender.

Spotlight

Although the dock is one of the easiest ways to access applications, it's not the most efficient. Pressing Command + Space will start the Spotlight search. This is the comprehensive search engine for Mac. It is the perfect way to launch applications. Simply enter the name of the application and press Enter.

 A macOS spotlight search for currency conversion. [19659021] You can achieve a lot with Spotlight. You can access the option buttons in System Preferences, search for files, and even run simple totals or convert currencies. You can also use natural language for your search, eg. For example, "PDFs I opened last week" to further refine your results. It's a good idea to get used to using Spotlight, especially to launch applications.

System Preferences

The Mac equivalent to the Windows Control Panel is the system preferences. Here you can add new users to your computer, change security settings or customize your desktop (just to name a few of the useful features). Third-party applications can also install their own radio buttons here. It pays to browse through the system settings to familiarize yourself with the various options.

 The

The Notification Center and Today

Top Right The corner of the menu bar contains an icon that opens the Notification Center or the Today screen. You can also swipe in from the right edge of the trackpad. macOS has a robust notification system, and they are all displayed here. Scroll up this screen to enable Do Not Disturb or Night Shift.

<img class = "alignnone wp-image-437190 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/xtoday_screen.png .pagespeed.gp + jp + jw + pj + ws + js + rj + rp + rw + ri + cp + md.ic.sbafQ8vn-C.png "alt =" The macOS menu "Today." This works the same way The Today Screen on the iPhone and iPad It consists entirely of widgets Scroll to the bottom of the Today screen and click Edit to reorganize and enable or disable widgets Many third-party apps also install Widgets that you can access in this area You can add weather forecasts, a reminder widget or even a calculator.

Siri

Siri is a personal assistant that allows you to find files or information on the Internet To access Siri, hold Command + Spacebar or click on the Siri icon in the menu bar change (and others, such as the voice or language of Siri) under System Preferences> Siri.

 A stoppable Siri query in macOS.

You can also pin some answers from Siri to your Today screen. For example, if you ask Siri to show you the Premiership table, you can click the small plus sign (+) to fix this query (see above). It is updated automatically when new information is available. Siri can perform all sorts of tasks on a Mac, including writing tweets or e-mails and, of course, browsing the internet.

Installing and Removing Software

Installing software on a Mac differs slightly from installing on a Mac a Windows computer, but it is still simple. There are three main ways to install software on a Mac:

  • Manual installation: After downloading an image file with the DMG extension, double-click it to attach it. A window with an app icon (and possibly a README file) will open. Click the app icon and drag it to the Applications folder in the Finder. Many DMG installers provide you with a shortcut to the Applications folder and the instructions.
  • Package Installer: These work just like installation wizards on Windows. Double-click the PKG file to run it. Follow the instructions on the screen (usually click "Next" several times) until your software is installed.
  • Mac App Store is being installed: Launch the Mac App Store and locate the app you want to download. Click "Get" (or "Buy" if it's a paid app) and enter your Apple ID password. Your app will be automatically installed in the Applications folder.

  The Mac App Store shows the OmniPlan 3 app.

You can also use another method that includes the free app Homebrew. It's a package manager that works like many Linux distributions from the command line. For more information about finding and installing software through Homebrew, click here.

The two main ways to remove software are:

  • Manual deletion: Locate the application in the application folder, and then click and drag it to the Trash. You may need to enter your administrator password to completely uninstall an application. Empty the Recycle Bin to restore free space.
  • Automatic Uninstallers: Some apps include uninstallers that work just like Windows does. Therefore, first check the "Applications" folder. If you find an uninstaller for an app, double-click it and follow the instructions on the screen.

If you have trouble removing an app, there is a free app called AppCleaner that can help you. AppCleaner erases all the signs of an app from your system, and sometimes a stubborn software package needs to be removed.

For more information about uninstalling software from a Mac, click here.

Managing macOS [19659005] In general, daily maintenance is easier on a Mac than under Windows. You do not have to manually update the drivers. Apple provides all driver and firmware updates for you. There is also no registry on a Mac, and most operating system administration tasks are done behind the scenes.

Activity Monitor

You can start the Activity Monitor (do a Spotlight search for easy access or pin it to the dock)) to see exactly what's happening on your Mac. This is the MacOS equivalent of the Windows Task Manager. There are tabs for monitoring CPU, memory, power, disk, and network usage. To cancel processes, highlight them and then click on the "X" in the upper left corner.

 The macOS activity monitor.

Apps that stop responding (that is, they respond) crashed in red. Use the box in the upper right corner to search for individual processes. If you have performance problems, you can start Activity Monitor as a first step in troubleshooting.

Learn how to use Activity Monitor like a pro.

How to update software and macOS.

You can Upgrade any software you install from the Mac App Store with a single click on the Updates tab in the Mac App Store. To automate this process, go to System Preferences> Software Update and then enable the automatic updates. Apps that you install manually should perform their own checks, notify you when new versions are available, and then invite you to install the update and restart the app.

Sometimes you need to download the new version of an app directly from the developer site to update. This is typically the case with older apps and small free tools that lack the auto-update infrastructure.

 The

window You can also manually update macOS through the "Software Update Settings" window (shown above). You can either enable automatic downloads or automate the update process. Every year, usually in October, new major versions of macOS are released. You will be asked to update your Mac if it is compatible with the new update. This process is done through the Mac App Store.

If you are using software that is not compatible with a new major version of macOS, you might want to wait for it to update your system.

This is possible More information on keeping your Mac and its software up to date can be found here.

Backing up with Time Machine

macOS has a built-in backup system called Time Machine. The easiest way to use Time Machine is to purchase an external drive that is at least the size of your Mac's internal memory. Insert the drive and start Time Machine (look for it in Spotlight or click on the Time Machine icon in the menu bar).

Here you set the volume as a backup volume. Anytime you connect this drive in the future, macOS automatically backs up your system. If something goes wrong, you can easily restore your system through Time Machine. If you lose files that you backed up with Time Machine, simply plug in the drive and select each file or folder.

You can also restore your entire Mac from a Time Machine backup. This is ideal if you are switching from one Mac to another or if a fatal hardware failure occurs.

Find out what else you can do with Time Machine.

File Management in macOS [19659005] Finder is the macOS equivalent to Windows Explorer. This way, you can bypass the operating system, and the basic functions should be familiar to anyone using Windows. You can click and drag to select files and right-click (or double-click) to access context menus and create folders.

 Finder under macOS.

Copy and Paste works the same as This works on Windows, although you use Command + C (Copy) and Command + V (Paste) as opposed to Ctrl on Windows. Cutting on a Mac means "moving" and works a little differently. To cut a file, first copy it and then move it with Command + Option + V. When you right-click and press Option, "Paste" in the menu changes to "Cut".

macOS uses a UNIX-like HFS + or APFS file system. The root folder on your Macintosh HD MacOS installation drive contains the following important folders:

  • / Programs: This is where your programs reside.
  • / System: files that relate to the normal operation of macOS.
  • / Libraries: Shared libraries used by the software and core operating system.
  • / User: Location for user files and folders.
  • / Volumes: Unless available volumes (such as .DMG files) and external drives are mounted.
  • / Network: Where to mount network volumes.

Due to the structure of UNIX file systems, there are no separately mounted C: drives. This can be confusing for Mac novices. Remember, when you search for a file or folder, you can use Spotlight to search for it quickly. If you know the folder you want, start Finder, choose Go> To Folder, and enter the location. To switch to the "Documents" folder, for example, type the following: /Users/username/Documents.[19659021<EinProblemdasbeimÜbertragenvonWindowsauftretenkannistdieKompatibilitätmitdenNTFS-formatiertenVolumeszBexternenLaufwerkenundUSB-GerätenDiesistdasMicrosoft-FormatundSiewerdeneswahrscheinlichentwederaufIhremaltenWindows-PCoderaufeinemexternenSpeicherverwendenmacOSkannvonNTFS-VolumeslesenabernichtnativdaraufschreibenSiekönnenIhrenMacjedochmitzusätzlicherSoftwaremitNTFS-Schreibfunktionenausstatten

macOS-Sicherheit

Apple is often accused of having gone too far to protect Mac users from potential threats. In fact, protection in macOS is no big departure from what Microsoft has added to Windows 10. The main difference on a Mac is that you do not need a virus scanner that runs constantly.

GateKeeper

GateKeeper has been added to macOS to protect the system from unsigned software. When you launch an app for the first time, GateKeeper displays a warning (see below) that is no different than Windows 10. When you try to run an app that you either have not downloaded from the Mac App Store or the the developer did not sign with Apple you can not open it. Of course, there is an easy way to get around this.

 A MacOS GateKeeper alert window.

After you learn that the app can not be opened, navigate to System Preferences> Security and Privacy. On the General tab, at the bottom of the screen, you'll see a message that indicates that the app has been started. Click "Start anyway" and your app will open (it will not need to be repeated in the future).

System Integrity Protection

To protect certain parts of the operating system, Apple has introduced system integrity protection (or SIP). SIP performs all the following functions for macOS:

  • It protects the most important system files and directories.
  • It prevents code that poses a threat to security from being inserted into pre-installed applications such as Finder and Safari.
  • Installation of unsigned kernel extensions (such as drivers and option buttons in the system settings) stops.

You can disable SIP on your Mac if you want, but you should not.

Sandboxing app

Any software you install through the Mac App Store complies with Apple's Sandbox Policy for apps. This greatly limits the damage that a rogue app can inflict on your system. Sandboxing provides the app with only the resources it needs to perform the specified function.

Not all apps are sandboxed – those you install outside the Mac App Store. You may find that some developers are managing two versions of their apps: a slightly limited Mac App Store version and a fully functional stand-alone version.

Malware Protection

Mac Malware works exist – it's naive to think otherwise. To protect your system from malware, it's best to avoid unsigned apps, prefer the Mac App Store, and avoid pirated or cracked software.

You do not need an antivirus because your Mac already runs a low-level program XProtect (read more here). However, you may want to periodically scan your Mac with an anti-malware tool such as Malwarebytes and a permanent installer such as KnockKnock. The best way to use Antivirus on your Mac is to prevent an infection from spreading between your Windows computers.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Mouse

Most differences between Windows and macOS take only a few hours to adapt. One thing that can take a little longer is the physical difference in keyboard layout – especially three keys: Control, Option, and Command (see below).

 The MacBook Air keyboard displays control, option, and command buttons.

The command key is equivalent to the Windows Ctrl key. You use it for general shortcuts, eg. For example, to copy (Command + C), to save your work (Command + S) and to switch between apps (Command + Tab). The main adjustment problem with this key is the physical position closest to the space bar. They will get used to it over time.

The Option key is a modifier. This changes what common shortcuts do (for example, Command + Option + V for Move instead of Paste). In addition, the display of the option menus and the button type change.

Use the Option key to do the following:

  • Right-click an active application in the Dock and press the Option key. "Close" changes to "Force Exit".
  • Hold down the option while clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar to see more information about your network adapter.
  • Hold down the option while accessing special functions for characters and accents such as Option + P for π.

The Ctrl key is context sensitive. It is commonly used in apps for app-specific shortcuts. For example, Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in Safari or Chrome. You can also use Control in global MacOS shortcuts. For example, you can press Ctrl + arrow keys to switch between desktops.

The other difference that can trigger newbies is to delete them instead of a backspace key. The delete key works just like the backspace key on Windows (you can press and hold the function key + the backspace key to replicate the Windows behavior.)

Common Windows Keyboard Shortcuts on a Mac

Many macOS keyboard shortcuts are similar to theirs Windows counterparts. Here's a cheat sheet to get you started:

  • Copy: Command + C
  • Insert: Command + V
  • Move (Cut): Undo Command + Option + V
  • : Command + Z
  • Select All: Command + A
  • Switch App / Window: Command + Tab
  • Minimize App / Window: Command + M

Exit App: Command + Q
  • Close Window / Tab: Command + W
  • Take screenshot (full screen): Shift + Command + 3
  • macOS works best with one trackpad. If you've had bad Windows laptops in the past, you may be surprised at how fast the trackpad on your MacBook responds. With the trackpad, you can use gestures that accelerate navigation, and you can configure all the gestures to your liking. Go to System Preferences> Trackpad to see which gestures are available. You can also watch videos that show you how to use them.

    If you do not have a MacBook, you can purchase a Magic Trackpad 2 (shown below) that you can use with your iMac or other desktop system.

      Apple Magic Trackpad 2 in Silver
    Apple

    Your Mac works with just about any USB mouse or keyboard, even if it's designed for Windows. However, you may need to install the manufacturer's software to properly configure the device. You can also recapture any key (including the Windows key) on a keyboard with a free app called Carabiner Item. This is a great way to increase the performance of old Windows peripherals.

    It only takes a while

    Apple makes it difficult to "break" MacOS on its own. You can explore the operating system as you wish. Many people are drawn into the Apple ecosystem because they want a better user experience. The fact that Apple designs both hardware and software together gives it control of its computers that Windows OEMs can not match.

    Despite the old myth, a Mac is also perfect for playing. If you are familiar with the basics, be sure to read how to play games on your Mac.

    RELATED: How to Play 2019 on a Mac


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