Thought of switching to a Mac from Windows?
If you’re considering switching, you may be concerned about how big of a change you’ll have to make. Whether your PC is for work or pleasure, you’ve certainly gotten used to its particular features, functions, and overall appearance over the years, making adopting Apple as a team all the more difficult.
But, to be honest with you, we’re here to tell you that while each device and its operating system may appear and operate differently, there’s a lot more crossover than you might realize. You can quickly learn how to go from Windows to Mac without losing any of the features you like!
First and foremost, think about what you use your computer for: are you primarily browsing the internet, checking email, watching movies, or working on documents? Chances are, many of the activities you engage in daily can be easily replicated on a Mac. There are some great programs that come pre-loaded onto Apple devices that Windows users may not be as familiar with (such as GarageBand and iMovie).
That said, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of before making the switch: for example, the ‘Command’ key on a Mac is similar to the ‘Control’ key on Windows, and the ‘F1’ key is used to open the Help menu just like on a PC.
Here are a few tips to help you make a smooth transition from Windows to Mac:
- Choose the Right Mac for You – Not all Macs are created equal. Depending on your budget and needs, there’s a Mac out there that’s perfect for you. If you’re looking for a powerful machine for video editing or gaming, the 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display might be the one. For a more portable option, check out the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. And if you’re looking for something in between, take a look at the 21.5-inch iMac or 13-inch MacBook Pro.
- Get to know the keyboard shortcuts. As we mentioned, some of the key functions on a Mac are different than on a PC. To get a full list of keyboard shortcuts for your new device, simply open the Help menu and click on ‘Keyboard Shortcuts.’
- Familiarize yourself with the Finder. The Finder is equivalent to Windows Explorer and is used to navigate through files and folders on your computer. One notable difference is that there is no ‘My Documents folder on a Mac – instead, all of your documents are stored in the ‘My Documents’ folder which can be found in your home directory.
- Get to know the Dock. The Dock is a bar that appears at the bottom of your screen and contains shortcuts to your most commonly used applications. To launch an application, simply click on its icon in the Dock. You can also customize the Dock by adding or removing icons as desired.
- Adjust your settings. There are a few settings on Mac that you may want to adjust to make yourself more comfortable using the device. For example, you can change the way windows open and close, how menus are displayed, and how files are previewed. To do this, open System Preferences and navigate to the appropriate tabs.
- Explore other built-in applications. In addition to the standard applications that come with Windows, Mac also includes a number of its built-in applications. Some of these, like Garageband and iMovie, is designed for creative users. Others, like Calendar and Contacts, are more utilitarian. Take some time to explore the different applications and see which ones you might find useful.
With just a few simple steps, you can easily switch from Windows to Mac. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the operating system and adjusting your settings as needed, you can make the transition with ease. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying all that Mac has to offer.
Major differences between the two
One of the biggest differences between Windows and Mac is that Mac comes with several pre-installed applications. While some of these, like Garageband and iMovie, is designed for creative users, others, like Calendar and Contacts, are more utilitarian. Take some time to explore the different applications and see which ones you might find useful.
Another difference is that Mac uses a different file system than Windows. The default file system on a Mac is called HFS+, while the default file system on Windows is NTFS. If you have files stored on a Windows computer that you want to access on your Mac, you’ll need to use an application like Paragon NTFS for Mac or Tuxera NTFS for Mac to read and write to NTFS-formatted drives.
When you’re ready to make the switch, there are a few things you’ll need to do to get your Mac up and running the way you want it. First, you’ll need to transfer your files over from your Windows computer. This can be done using an external hard drive or by using a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud.
Once your files are safely stored on your new Mac, you can begin the process of setting it up to your liking. Start by configuring the System Preferences to suit your needs. Here, you can change things like the wallpaper, screensaver, system sounds, and more.
Next, you’ll want to install any essential applications that you use daily. If you’re unsure of where to find Mac versions of your favorite programs, head over to the Mac App Store which has a wide selection of apps to choose from.
Finally, once everything is up and running the way you want it, be sure to explore all the other great features that macOS has to offer! From Siri and Apple Pay to Continuity and Handoff, there’s a lot to discover.
Making the switch from Windows to macOS doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little preparation, you can have your new Mac running just the way you want it in no time.
Computer Technicians is a leading provider of computer services to Mac users in need of device maintenance, data backup and recovery, security protection, and other IT solutions. For expert IT answers that are tailored to your specific needs, give us a call anytime.