As computer users, we often get used to either PC or Mac machines and stay in these “lanes” for years, never venturing further afield. However, there come times when it’s necessary to try another style, whether due to work needs, new interests, or something else.
If you’ve always been a PC person, you may be nervous about making the switch to Mac, but you don’t need to be. Here are some tips for a pain-free changeover.
Understand There’s a Learning Curve
Firstly, be kind to yourself when making the change. Learning any new system takes time and brainpower, so don’t expect to pick everything up in a day. Take your time to orient yourself with the Mac operational style and give yourself one or two tasks to learn per day. Breaking things down into more manageable chunks helps.
Even though you’ll be as careful as possible when transferring data over from your old PC to your new Mac, things can and do go wrong sometimes. As such, back up your data to the cloud or an external drive, so you have everything sitting there safe and sound if you need to access it.
Then, utilize Apple’s handy Windows Migration Assistant tool to move information to your new machine. This program transfers email accounts, contacts, calendars, photographs, videos, documents, etc. over from a PC. It’s user-friendly and puts files in the appropriate places on a Mac.
Start using Apple’s built-in backup system right away, too. The Time Machine automatically backs up files once you’ve set it up correctly, and from this, you can always restore files if original files ever get erased or replaced. You’ll need an external storage device with a capacity at least the size of your new computer’s internal storage. Insert this drive and launch Time Machine. Once the device is connected and selected as your backup disk, the Mac will backup automatically when this drive is connected.
Get to Know Command Keys
If you’re a long-time PC user, you probably have some keyboard shortcuts memorized. When switching to Mac, it can be annoying not being able to use these same command keys. However, Macs actually have many of the same shortcuts; they’re just accessed differently.
Even if you don’t currently use shortcuts much in Windows, it’s a good idea to get familiar with Mac command keys, as they tend to be more intrinsic and convenient. Check out this link to Apple’s list of the key shortcuts you need to know, including how to print, save, and find documents, open and close items, cut, copy, and paste.
Navigate System Preferences
PC users are used to the Control Panel on Windows machines. On your new Mac, learn how to navigate the equivalent option, called System Preferences. This is where you go anytime you want to personalize settings. Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock (the space like the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen where you keep frequently-used apps and documents) or choose the Apple menu and then System Preferences from there.
Head to this spot to customize your desktop with a screen saver or desktop picture or add new users to your machine. Use it to select Energy Saver preferences and preferred Sleep settings. It’s also the place to update the operating system. Plus, navigate your way there when setting up your machine. You’ll want to install quality security software to protect yourself from cybercriminals. It pays to use a product designed specifically for Apple machines, such as the one found at https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/forHome/products/antivirus-for-mac.html.
Get Comfortable with the Touchpad
New Mac users need to get comfortable with the feel and workings of the Mac touchpad, too. Many people find they soon love this tool’s versatility since so much can be done with it. Use the trackpad for scrolling, noting that the scroll up and scroll down functions are opposite on the Mac of what they are on a PC. Use two fingers for the scrolling function, as you would on a mobile device.
For clicking, utilize the trackpad’s one big button. To bring up what you’d equate with the right-mouse-button-click context menu on a Windows machine, click with two fingers on the trackpad. If you want to switch between open applications, swipe with three fingers.
The above tips should help you to settle in on your Mac computer. Remember that you can always install Windows products if you really need them, and that there are countless user guides and forums online to turn to when you need to know how to do something. Before you know it, you’ll be zooming along on your new Mac and not looking back.