How to Use a Mac Computer: A Guide

Using a Mac means having an easy, user-centric experience. It’s the reason millions of people still prefer Macs over Windows or Linux PCs.

But if you haven’t used a Mac computer before, you might first feel confused about it. The interface is a lot different compared to Windows. Without proper guidance, it takes a while before you become Mac-savvy.

Don’t feel discouraged yet.

With this guide, you’ll learn how to use a Mac computer like a pro. That way, you’ll focus on the wonderful experience provided by Apple. Read on and find out more:

What Is macOS?

This is the operating system used by all Mac computers, the equivalent of Windows on PCs. Unlike its competitor, the macOS is exclusive to Apple computers. Most people who buy Apple hardware say that their reason is this operating system.

The best part is that the macOS gets regular security updates and a major upgrade every year. Its first version (10.0) made its debut in 2001, known as the Mac OS X. Its most recent version is 10.15, the macOS Catalina.

The macOS bases itself on the Unix operating system. This means it has similar traits with both Linux and other derivatives of Unix. Some of these include the Unix permissions layer and the Bash command-line interface.

The most notable trait of the macOS is its straightforwardness. It has a rich compendium of built-in apps, simplifying your daily activities like browsing the internet. It performs seamlessly with Apple’s mobile devices, such as the iPad and iPhone.

Setting Up Your New Mac

The simplicity of this operating system allows you to set it up within 20 minutes. If you aren’t tech-savvy, worry not—you have a guide through the process. Hit the Power button after connecting all the necessary cables and peripherals like keyboards.

If you did it right, the Apple logo will appear on the screen. Once this happens, you now have the means of setting your computer. This means connecting to your WiFi network, so ensure you have the right credentials on hand.

You’ll get prompts for information, like time zone, keyboard layout, and more. Regardless, your Mac needs your Apple ID for various purposes like the App Store and the iCloud. If you already have one because you use an iPad or iPhone, use that account.

After finishing the initial setup, your Mac will reboot. It will take you to a clean desktop littler with a row of icons located at the bottom of your screen. You’re ready to start using your Mac.

How to Use a Mac Computer: The Basics

With your computer set up, it’s time to learn the basic tasks you can do with it. These are MacBook tips you must consider:

  1. Desktop and Menu Bar

After your Mac first boots, you’ll see various basic user interface elements. The top of your screen has the menu bar while the bottom has the dock. Behind all your windows is your desktop.

The macOS uses your desktop as its temporary workspace where you can store files. All storage devices connected to your desktop will appear here. Right-click if you want to make folders and drag icons to manage your desktop.

The menu bar will change depending on the app you’re focusing on. The Apple menu allows you to power down your machine and access Mac-related information. You’ll find the latter under the section labeled About This Mac.

The menu bar shows applications, with the right-side displaying status indicators. This includes the meters for your WiFi and battery. Arrange these items by clicking and dragging them while holding Command.

  1. The Dock

This section of your desktop is the equivalent of the Start menu in Windows. It has two parts: app shortcuts and pinned folders. You can arrange your dock’s orientation along with the screen by going to your System Preferences and selecting Dock.

To launch pinned apps, click on them. The apps you didn’t pin show up on the dock while active. To decide whether they’re worth keeping in the dock, rick-click on an icon.

If you drag a file over an application icon opens the file using that app. This is assuming that both are compatible with each other. If you drag an application into the dock, the system makes a shortcut for easier access.

  1. Finder

This is the default file management application for the macOS. Like Windows Explorer, Finder allows you to look around your hard drives and other connected devices with storage. In this application, the sidebar is useful because you can customize it in a way that displays your favored locations.

If you want to delete an entry, rick-click on a location and pick Remove from Sidebar. Adding a folder into the sidebar permanently is easy since all you need is to click and drag it.

Go to the Devices section to see all the mounted volumes and disks. Under that, you’ll find all shared network locations and tags. Whether you’re removing or adding sections, go to the menu bar at the top of the screen, click Finder, and select Preferences.

The main toolbar will have controls like forward and back along with a list of view options. You can also see files and folders using different views: icons, lists, and columns. Also, you’ll see the Share and Tags buttons by default.

  1. Spotlight

This serves as your Mac’s search engine, appearing as a floating window whenever you press Command + Space buttons. Once this appears, type your question to receive context-sensitive results. Scroll through the things Spotlight found until you get what you want.

Do you have copied text you want to see before pasting? You can check out this guide on how to access clipboard content on your Mac computer.

Switch to Mac Today!

These are the basics to know how to use a Mac computer. Use these tips to get the most out of your computer. Soon enough, you’ll be able to boost productivity with your new Mac.

Of course, these are only the basics things you can accomplish with a Mac. If you want to learn even more complex techniques, we encourage you to dig into our other Mac guides and lists right here, today!

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