Every year people decide to make the move from PC to MacOS devices, and with that change comes new ways of doing things you may have considered second nature.
Although MacOS occupies a small share of the total computer market, it’s the leading choice in consumer satisfaction. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who understands Apple’s construction method: They control both the hardware and the software, which leads to benefits like less troubleshooting.
In short, MacOS just works — assuming you know how to use an Apple computer. Also, Macbooks are known to be the best most expensive laptops you should have. While PCs and Macs both offer the same functionality, they use different logic to get the job done. If you’re making the switch from Windows to MacOS, you’ll need to rewire your brain for a clean transition.
Let’s cover some of the most basic adjustments. If you’re new to MacOS, here’s what you need to know to operate your Mac computer.
- Understanding the Dock
The Dock is the MacOS equivalent of the Windows taskbar. While you may not have used the taskbar very often, you’ll be using the Dock on a regular basis to manage your applications. The Dock holds a collection of your pinned applications and basic MacOS functions.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to think of it as a condensed version of the Windows desktop. Since the Dock organizes itself on the fly, you’ll always know where to find what you’re looking for.
The left-most side of the Dock holds your MacOS and third-party applications. On the right side, denoted by a vertical break, you’ll find folders, minimized windows, and the Trash — the MacOS counterpart of the Recycle Bin.
You’ll know an application is active if you see a small dot under the icon on the Dock.
But… if the Dock comprises the entirety of the bottom screen, where is the Start Menu? That’s now located at the top of your screen. In the top-left, click on the Apple icon.
In this drop-down menu, you’ll find many of the same functions found in the Windows Start Menu, such as Shut Down and computer preferences.
- Where’s My Right-Click?
The Mac computer mouse always throws off new users. It appears to be one singular button. However, Apple mice have both left-click and right-click functionality, and they work identically to Windows peripherals.
Click on the right side of your Mac mouse. Although the mouse isn’t segmented, it will work just as it did before. You can always consider a third-party mouse if the Apple version isn’t your jam.
MacBook users who take advantage of the trackpad will have a harder time adjusting. To right-click, you’ll make the clicking gesture with two fingers rather than one. It’ll take some getting used to.
Speaking of gestures, Apple trackpads offer plenty, which you can use to speed up your daily use. This guide on how to right click on a mac will show you everything worth knowing.
- Running Applications
You’ll find most applications on your Dock. If there’s an application you don’t see, find the app in your file system and drag it onto the Dock to create the equivalent of a shortcut. When you click the application on the Dock, it will automatically launch.
Managing applications on MacOS is a large departure from Windows. First, you’ll notice the green, yellow, and red buttons on certain application panels. Green will put the window in full-screen, yellow will minimize, and red will close the window.
Note that closing a window on MacOS doesn’t disable the associated program. It will continue to run and consume computer resources. MacOS offers this feature to help you quickly access different apps without waiting through the startup delay.
To quit a program, hover over the icon on your Dock, right-click, and select the quit option in the drop-down menu.
When an application is selected, the Apple menu will convert to one for the corresponding program. You can find specialized settings and customization options here, as well as the ability to force-quit the program. If you need to access the Apple menu instead, click away or terminate the current app.
- Search Through Spotlight
Microsoft has spoiled its users with the Cortana search bar in Windows 10. Thing is, Apple has had a similar — and better — feature for years. It’s known as Spotlight.
You can find Spotlight in the top-right corner of your screen.
Whatever you’re looking for, type it in the Spotlight search bar and you’ll find a panel of related items. Spotlight doubles as a calculator and currency converter in a pinch.
If you need to know where these items reside in your folder directory, Cmd + click the item for more information. (The Cmd key is your new Windows key! It’s usually denoted with a square surrounded by a circle at each corner.)
- Say Goodbye to Task Manager
The Windows Task Manager always saved the day when your PC behaved strangely. Instead of the Task Manager, you have the Activity Monitor on MacOS. These two tools are nearly identical.
To access your Activity Monitor, you can find it by searching through Spotlight or accessing your Utilities folder. It’s not a bad idea to put the Activity Monitor on your Dock if you find yourself accessing it often.
Become a Master of MacOS
Searching through files, running applications, and turning off your Mac computer requires a different line of thinking. But at the end of the day, the core of PCs and Macs is the same. In less than a week, you’ll be using MacOS in relative comfort.
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