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Mac User Guide: The Basics and Only the Basics

According to a survey, almost 25% of Windows users will switch to a Mac within half a year.

Are you one of them who’s done so recently? Then you might be a bit confused about how to use your new Mac laptop.

But not to worry. We’re here with a basic Mac user guide if you’ve just bought yourself a new computer. Read on to find out more.

Familiarize Yourself With the Mouse

One of the biggest differences between a PC and Mac is how the mouse works. On a PC, right-clicking on the mouse allows you to bring up menus. But you may have noticed that a Mac mouse only has 1 button.

So how do you right-click on a Mac?

One of the simplest ways to do so is to hold down the Control button while you click; this will work in the same way as a PC’s right-click function.

You can also configure your Mac device’s mouse or trackpad to recognize a secondary click, which can then function as a right-click as well. But it’s probably best that you stick with simple actions in the beginning while you’re getting to know your new Macbook. So just using Control+click will suffice.

Set up User Accounts

If you’re the only person using your new computer, then you can pretty much skip to the rest of this Mac tutorial. This is because once you turn on the device, all you need to do is set up your own user account and you’re set.

However, if you’re planning on sharing the device with others (such as your family or coworkers), you’ll want to set up different accounts. Yours will be the main account, or the administrator account.

To set up more accounts, go to System Preferences and then Users & Groups. Here, you’ll see the list of users, including your own. You can then add new accounts and set the permissions they have.

If you’re adding accounts for children, you can also add parental controls. You have the choices of 4+, 9+, 12+, or 17+. Each one will turn on specific built-in parental controls in apps, such as iTunes; this restricts things like the number of purchases children can use.

Familiarize Yourself With the Pre-Installed Apps

Just like with Windows devices, Apple’s will come will pre-installed programs (called apps) to make your life just a bit easier.

In general, it should come with 46 apps. You can either bring up Spotlight, Launchpad, or look in the Applications folder to get a good look at everything that’s on your Mac.

Feel free to open these apps and play around with them to see what works or not for you. If you find any that you really like, you can pin it to your dock for easy access. All you have to do is drag the app over to the dock and leave it there.

You can also go to the Mac App Store to see if any of your favorite Windows or Android apps are available on Apple devices. You’d be surprised how many are actually accessible on Macs too, so don’t forget to do a thorough search. The more programs you can bring over from Windows, the less you’ll have to learn on your new computer.

Learn Some Keyboard Shortcuts

You probably know tons of keyboard shortcuts for Windows computers, such as ctrl+C and ctrl+V for copying and pasting. So now that you have a Mac computer, you might be wondering what the shortcuts are for this device.

Some basic keyboard shortcuts are:

  • Get Info in Finder: Command+I
  • Start Spotlight: Command+Space
  • Show/hide dock: Command+Option+D
  • Create a new folder: Shift+Command+N
  • Empty trash: Shift+Command+Delete
  • Close a window: Command+W
  • Switch apps: Command+Tab
  • Browse forward/backward: Command+[ or ]

You can even create your own custom shortcuts if you wish. However, you probably should learn the other Mac basics before taking this task on.

Listening to Music

As you may have already known, the music player on Apple devices is iTunes. Here, not only can you put your own music on, but you can also purchase more music, TV shows, movies, and audiobooks. In fact, you can even rent certain media.

If you’ve had an Apple device in the past (such as an iPod), then you may have made some app purchases before. The good news is, you can get your previously purchased content back.

While you have iTunes up, click on your name, and then Purchased. Here, you can choose what you want to re-download.

Do note that you can re-download most content except for audiobooks and tones. So if you’re purchasing some now, make sure to back them up right away, as you won’t be able to re-download them in the future on another device through this method.

How to Torrent

If you used to use uTorrent for your PC, you might be wondering about uTorrent for Mac.

The sad news is, it doesn’t currently work on macOS 10.15 Catalina. You’ll need to use uTorrent Web, which is a bit slower than uTorrent Classic.

The best way to get fast torrenting back is to replace it with another client, such as Folx. If you’re on a budget, then you can get the limited version for free.

Use This Mac User Guide and Get to Know Your New Computer

Now that you’ve read this Mac user guide, you should hopefully have all the basic skills down to use your Mac computer. Even if you’ve always been a PC user and have never touched a Mac before, this guide should have everything you need to know to get familiar with it.

Did you enjoy this new Mac user guide? Then please take a look at our other blog posts now.

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