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Switching From PC to Mac: The Newbies’ Guide on How to Do PC Things on a Mac



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Did you know that there are 100 million active Mac users in the world?

If you’re switching from PC to Mac, know that they have lots of differences in the user interface. It’s more streamlined and user-friendly, making it a great computer for beginners. But without prior experience with Apple products, you might find it difficult to adapt.

Don’t give up!

With this guide, you’ll learn how to use a Mac and some other things you must know once you use it. Read on and find out how a Mac can change your experience.

1. How to Right-Click on a Mac

This is one of the most asked questions by PC users when they switch to a Mac. Apple’s mouse and trackpad have no buttons, so this function isn’t as apparent compared to Windows-based mice. The pleasant news is that you have a few ways of doing this.

When clicking, hold the CTRL-key to simulate a right-click. It’s clumsy, so a good alternative is to go to your System Preferences and look at the Trackpad option. Here, you can enable the Secondary Click that lets you tap two fingers to open the menu usually opened by the right-click.

The best method is to get a Magic Mouse. With this, you can go to your System Preferences and look for the Mouse option to allow Secondary click. That way, the right side of your mouse button can now do right-clicks.


2. How to Open PC Files Using a Mac

If you’re worried that your files are unusable after the switch to the Mac, know that the majority of it is usable with the system. Common standards for media like JPG, MP4, MOV, and AVI have compatible apps with the macOS. With this, opening it is as easy as double-clicking them.

Did you receive a file through your email? If so, use the Quick Look feature to look at it before downloading it. You can find it on the right side of the main panel for your email.

Take note, some file extensions aren’t openable using a Mac. For example, your Mac’s video player software can’t open WMV. It’s easy to skirt around this restriction since you can get VLC Media Player, the most popular third-party video player, with over 309 million downloads.

3. How to Shut Down, Sleep, and Log Out of Mac

PC shutdown was a straightforward process for Windows computers since all they needed was to access the Start button. This changed after Windows 8’s Charms bar. The good news is that Windows 10 made it easier once more.

But for Mac users, the process is much easier. Click on the Apple icon located on the top left corner of your screen. It opens a dropdown menu that lets you choose whether to put your Mac to sleep, restart, or shut down.

Do you want to log out of your current user account but not shut down your Mac? If so, you can find that option at the bottom of the dropdown menu.

4. Look for a Program You Wish to Open

Windows has the Search function while the Mac has Spotlight. It allows you to look for applications and files rapidly. You can access this by either clicking on the magnifying glass icon located on the top right corner of your screen or by holding Cmd-Space.

Either way, the blue search bar will appear, allowing you to type the program or file’s name. Another alternative is to go to your dock and click on Launchpad. It’s an icon that looks like a silver circle with a spaceship within.

This brings up icons of various installed applications within your Mac computer. If you’re more comfortable with a Windows Explorer-style approach, click the blue icon that looks like two faces. This is the Finder, which searches files as well as the Search function.

5. How to Uninstall a Program

Was the PC’s add/remove programs feature easy for you? If so, you’ll find uninstalling apps on macOS strange. Most of the time, you’ll only need to find the application and move it to the trash.

Take note, the apps’ icons on the dock are only shortcuts, so it won’t affect the actual app if you drag it to the trash.

Sometimes, you’ll need to look a lot deeper to remove all files associated with an app you want to get rid of. It’s prevalent in apps that need administrator privileges to install. Be mindful of these applications and see whether their removal is easy enough.

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6. How to Minimize, Maximize, and Close

For long-time PC users, the way macOS windows function can be an enigma. The top-left traffic light buttons look similar to Windows. But clicking the red cross only closes the current window without dismissing the app.

You can achieve the function by pressing Cmd-Q. As for the yellow minus button, it’s the same as the minimize function of Windows computers. For the green plus button, it won’t maximize the pane—it only enlarges to fit information within it.

The macOS Mountain Lion comes with a maximum feature for the majority of its apps. You can do this by clicking on the two gray arrows located on the upper right corner of the current window.

7. How to CTRL+ALT+Delete

The macOS has a great level of stability but could still suffer from unresponsive applications. The Mac has no delete key, meaning you must press Cmd-Alt-Esc instead. This brings up the Force Quit window where you can select the unresponsive program and manually close it.

You can also go to this menu by clicking the Apple icon and clicking on the Force Quit option from the resulting dropdown menu.

Start Switching from PC to Mac Today!

These are things you must remember when switching from PC to Mac. Use them to make your transition easier.

But don’t end your tech journey here. We provide tons of guides for the digital landscape, gadgets, video games, and more. Feel free to explore more of what we offer to find the tech-guide you need, right here!

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