If you’ve been a PC user your whole life, switching from Windows to Mac can be difficult. Here are 7 great tips to make it easier.

Moving from a Windows computer to a Mac doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. Even if you have used a Windows machine for many years, with a little time, you can make the switch to a Mac and take advantage of everything a Mac has to offer.

Switching from Windows to Mac involves learning some new functionality and processes. But those new things are intuitive.

When you make the switch you’ll quickly realize how powerful a Mac is. You’ll still be able to do everything you’re used to, but things like shortcuts and Spotlight will make navigating around the system a dream.

To help you as make the move, we’ve put together this list of 7 tips. Read on to get the lowdown on your transition.

  1. Right Click

The right-click on a mouse is one of the most commonly used features of Windows. People switching to a Mac have to learn that the mouse or trackpad doesn’t work the same way.

There’s no left and right button on a Mac mouse or on the trackpad. Instead, you perform the action with a combination of click and pressing a key. 

Hold down Command on the keyboard and click the mouse or trackpad. Alternatively, you can click the trackpad with two fingers. A third option is to set up the Mac mouse so that the right corner of it acts as the right-click option. 

  1. Finding Files

The Finder app on a Mac is one of the most powerful built-in features of your new Mac. Access Finder from the menu bar or by clicking Command F.

The second part of finding files is the Spotlight function. Clicking on the magnifying glass at the top right of your screen brings up a search function. Type what you’re looking for and your Mac will find it for you. 

The combination of Finder and Spotlight is like a search engine for your Mac. These are powerful tools that you’ll need to get familiar with. You can even do Boolean searches through Spotlight, for instance. 

Within Finder, you can see all your files. You can change the layout and display options. Choose from icons, a list, columns, or a gallery. Mac OS Mojave even previews videos and documents so that you can watch or scroll through from within Finder.

Finder also helps you locate your PDF files so you can convert them to JPG. Learn more here https://setapp.com/how-to/convert-pdf-to-jpg

  1. The Keyboard

The Mac keyboard is another difference from Windows that takes a little getting used to. The biggest differences are the keyboard layout, the Mac-specific keys, and the shortcut commands.

The most obvious differences when switching from Windows to Mac are the Control, Option, and Command keys.

The Command key is like the Ctrl key on a Windows PC. The Option key modifies things like shortcuts. The Control key performs different functions depending on what app you’re using.

Learning the standard Command shortcuts is one of the best things a new Mac user can do. There are lots of built-in shortcuts so it’s worth taking the time to get familiar with them.

The Option key changes the standard Command functions. So, for example, Command + Option + V moves things rather than pastes them. It also allows you to access special characters or enter accents on letters when typing. 

One of the coolest functions of the Control key on a Mac is hitting Control + Tab to switch between open tabs on a web browser. And Control + left or right arrow key moves you between your desktops.

  1. Backing Up Files

The Time Machine is a built-in failsafe. It’s your Mac backup system. Buy an external drive, assign it to the Time Machine, and let MacOS automatically backup your system whenever the external drive is connected.

If you lose something you were working on or something happens to your Mac, you can use the Time Machine function to restore your Mac to the date/time you want.

If you suffer a complete loss or shutdown of your Mac, or you want to transfer everything to a new Mac, Time Machine has you covered. 

  1. Mac OS

Mac OS looks after you. It’s much more intuitive and user-friendly than Windows. No driver updating, for example, and not much in the way of manual housekeeping on your system either.

Learning about Activity Monitor is important when switching from Windows to Mac. It’s similar to Windows Task Manager.

Activity Monitor lets you shut down processes you don’t want to run. It shows you which apps aren’t responding or working properly. It lets you diagnose why your Mac might not be performing as well as you expect. 

Updating your apps is also easy on a Mac. Automate updates in Preferences. Apps will alert you if they need updating and software will be updated by Apple for you.

  1. Your Windows

App windows on a Mac look and feel a bit different than on a Windows machine. The close, minimize, and maximize buttons are at the top left rather than the top right. They’re color-coded: red to close, yellow to minimize, and green to maximize to full screen.

You can drag them around by the top bar. You can resize them by clicking, holding, and dragging an edge or corner. 

To align two or more windows to each other, drag one to the other. As it gets closers it lines up but doesn’t overlap.

You can also make them the same size. Drag the edge to resize. When it gets close to the edge of the other window it automatically lines up with it at the same size.

  1. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office software is available on a Mac. So, you don’t have to switch to Mac-specific software. However, the licenses can be expensive, and Apple does have equivalents of the standard Microsoft Office apps built-in. 

The Apple versions aren’t as powerful as the Microsoft software. In particular, Numbers, which is Apple’s version of Excel, isn’t quite as good. However, if you just need a spreadsheet program for basic stuff, it works well and you won’t have to spend a lot of money on Excel for Mac.

Switching from Windows to Mac Is Easy

As you can see from this list, switching from Windows to Mac is easy to do. Learning the basic differences and ways to use a Mac takes a moment but is intuitive.

Whether you need to replicate what you did on your Windows computer or want to take advantage of included functionality in the Mac OS, a little bit of playing around with your new Mac will get you up to speed.

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By Robson