12/8/229:00 am 10 Ways macOS Is Different Than Windows If you are switching from Windows to Mac here are some of the ways in which these two operating systems are different and some tips on making the transition easier. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's look at some of the primary differences between using Mac and Windows. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Now while Apple's macOS and Microsoft's Windows operating systems have a lot of similarities as to how they look and operate there's some fundamental differences. If you're switching from Windows to Mac it is definitely very useful to know about these. First let's start with the Keyboard. Now, of course, Macs are all manufactured by Apple, whereas Windows machines are manufactured by a variety of different companies. But the Windows operating system calls for the use of certain modifier keys on the keyboard. For instance, you'll see Control, Alt, and the Windows key on all Windows keyboards. However on the Mac you'll see a different set of modifier keys. You're going to see Control, but instead of Alt you'll see Option. Instead of the Windows key you'll see Command. But the Command key and the Windows key are not interchangeable. Not at all! In fact, most keyboard shortcuts on Windows use the Control key and a letter. Like, for instance Control C for Copy. Control V for Paste. On Mac, however, these shortcuts don't use Control BUT instead Command. Command is the primary modifier key on the Mac. So instead of Control C and Control V, you would use Command C and Command V. On the Mac Control is kind of a secondary modifier key. You would sometimes use it for things but more often than not you'll use it with Command. So Command plus Control plus a letter will do something. The Option and Control keys are very similar between the two machines. In fact older Macs sometimes had the word Alt next to Option on that key. But in general keyboard shortcuts don't always match up between systems. Sometimes they are the same or very similar. Sometimes they are different. But on the Mac you can always go to the Menu Bar at the top of the screen and you can select any Menu. Then see the keyboard shortcuts for each command on the right. The symbols match up with the symbols you see on your keyboard. So this little symbol right here is the Command key symbol and you see that on the key. This symbol here is the Control key. This is Shift and this one is Option. Apple is also in the middle of transitioning the fn key to what is called the Globe Key with a globe symbol. You'll find that on newer Mac keyboards. That's being used as a modifier key for a lot of things as well. Another way that Mac and Window's keyboards differ is that Macs typically have a large Delete key whereas on Windows that is usually the the Backspace key. These work the same way to delete the character before the text cursor. On Windows almost all keyboards include an actual Delete key above that. On the Mac that would be known as forward delete. It deletes the character after the text cursor. Smaller Mac keyboards like the ones you get on MacBooks don't have any forward delete key at all. But you could use fn and the regular delete key to forward delete.The larger Mac keyboards actually include this key in pretty much the same place as the Windows' keyboards do. Now the Mac and Windows desktops look very similar. They can have icons on them. You can have windows and move them around. But there are some fundamental differences. One is in the Control Interface. On Windows you've got a Taskbar at the bottom and a Start Menu to the left and you can access a lot of different things by using that Start Menu. On the Mac it is kind of similar. You've got a Dock at the bottom. The Dock has a customizable list of App icons so you can easily launch an app. You can also have Files and Folders on the right as well as the Trash or Bin here all the way to the right. You can launch almost any app using Launchpad here. You don't actually have to use Launchpad. You can Click and Hold and it will bring up a list of all the apps and you can easily launch one from there. In addition you've always got the Menu Bar here at the top. The Menu Bar is not attached to a particular app but always there. So you can use the Apple Menu here to access a lot of different things. Like getting to System Settings or Sleep or Restart your Mac all here on the left. On the top right part of the Menu Bar you'll see lots of other information that on Windows is on the Task Bar. You'll see the Date and Time, for instance. You can get access to Control Center here. You can start a Search here. You can access some common system functions and customize what icons appear here at the top. Now the Menus have a big fundamental difference between Windows and Mac. On Windows you're going to see a Menu on the top of every window. So, for instance, here I have two Explorer windows open and I have a menu on top of each one of those. In macOS you always have one Menu Bar and it is always here at the top of the screen. It reflects whatever window is the active one. So here I've got a Finder window that's the active one. It shows Finder here and all of the menus reflect commands that you can do in this window using the Finder. But if I were to click over here to go to Notes, now Notes is the active window. You could see this changes to Notes and all the menu items change to show you the things you could do with Notes. But note that Windows also have what are called Toolbars at the top. These are the buttons that you see here at the top of the window and you could do various things by clicking these buttons. Here you can see there are some in the Finder as well. Like, for instance, switching views. You can do right here in the Toolbar as well as here in the Menu Bar. Now what's in the windows in both systems largely depends on the app itself. That determines what goes into each window of controls and content. But one constant is the Window Control Buttons. On Windows they are at the top right and they represent Minimize, Maximize, and Close. On Mac you have three buttons as well. They are at the top left of every window though. The red one with a X in it, is Close just like on Windows. The Yellow one is Minimize and it will minimize into the Dock like that. But the Green button isn't maximize. It does a few different things depending upon how you use it. If you just click it by itself it actually goes to Full Screen mode which takes that app off of the Desktop and puts it on its own Full Screen space. If you want to use this Green button as a maximize or Zoom button you can hold the Option key down and then click. Then what happens is the window expands but not to the full size of the screen. It expands only to the maximum amount of size needed for that window. So in this case to display all of these columns and all the information in them. This is the size it needed. It didn't need to go any larger. Clicking again will bring it back to its previous size. So you may find that Option clicking the green button in some apps and some windows will actually maximize the window taking it from edge to edge. But in others it will only bring it to the size needed to display all the content. You could also do the same thing by double clicking in the space to the right here usually in an empty space here in the Toolbar like this. Another difference that really confuses a lot of Windows' users switching to the Mac is that Windows aren't necessarily the app on a Mac. So for instance here I'm in the app Pages. Mac's primary word processor. If I were to close this window with the red button here on Window's that would quit the app. But it doesn't happen on the Mac. You click the red button here and notice Pages is still running. The idea here is that you can close that document and now go to File, New and create a new document. If you want to quit the app you can just go to the menu with the name of the app in it and use the Quit function there which is almost always Command Q. Now there is an exception to this. If the app has just one primary window then closing that one primary window will quit the app. So in other words in Reminders here I don't have multiple Reminders documents open. I just have all of my Reminders here in this window. So clicking the red button, you can see, quits Reminders. A more subtle difference between Mac and Windows is how you Uninstall apps. On Windows there is a way in the system to see a list of your apps and then uninstall an app that is there. That would go in and not just delete the app but all sorts of different library files and things that it created as well. On the Mac this works a little differently. For the most part we get apps from the Mac App Store. If you go to Launchpad and then click and hold on any app in Launchpad they all start to wiggle like this and apps that can be uninstalled can be uninstalled by clicking the X button. However, you may find other app, apps that you installed outside the Mac App Store, don't have the option of uninstalling this way. To uninstall these you would do one of two things. Either you go in the Finder to the Applications Folder and simply drag the Application you want to get rid of to the Trash. Or you would use the app developer's official uninstaller. You see most Mac apps today should be completely encapsulated inside of the app itself. Instead of installing extra things in the library it is all inside the app. So deleting the app file gets rid of the app completely. While Apple recommends this it doesn't restrict app developers to following that. So the app developer could choose to put things in the library or elsewhere thus making it a little more complex to uninstall. A good app developer would provide instructions on exactly how to uninstall or even a little app that does the uninstall for you. A small thing that Windows does that is not really available on the Mac is the ability to create new blank documents of certain file types. So you could do this in Windows Explorer in the Context Menu. For instance, you can create a new text document and it is just a blank document. You can't do that on the Mac. You have to first launch the app. Once you launch an app you can go to File, New and create a new document that way. In other apps, like for instance in Pages, I can run Pages and it will prompt me to find a document to open. But there is a New Document button here I can use. I can click that Choose a template and that's how I start a new document in Pages. Now in Windows you can use Alt Tab to switch between windows. This includes windows in the app you're currently using and other apps as well. So, for instance, if you have two file Explorer windows open and Edge browser window open, Alt Tab will show you all three and you could pick which one you want to go to. On the Mac it works a little differently. You've got two different functions. The App Switcher and the Windows Switcher. So I can use Command Tab and it will bring up the App Switcher and I could switch to whichever app I want. But let's say I've got two windows open in Pages. Well, I would use the Windows Switcher, which is Command Backtick and that will switch between these two windows. Windows does have something called the Task View which will also show you all the windows open. The Mac has that as well in Mission Control. So a keyboard shortcut for that usually is Control and then Up Arrow. Then you could see all of the different windows including both of the Pages windows here and from other apps as well. So you can see it is kind of similar. You do need to use the Pointer usually to actually select the window though. One last difference I want to talk about is the trackpad. Now both Windows and Mac computers can use either a mouse or a trackpad. You may actually have tried both on Windows in the past and found the mouse to be the superior pointing device and the trackpad not to be very good. But on Macs the trackpad is excellent. With Apple making all the hardware, all of the trackpads are large, highly sensitive and precise, and there are lots of really good gestures that tie into the operating system. So even if you prefer a mouse on Windows you should give the trackpad on the Mac a try. On the Mac if you go into System Settings and then you go to the trackpad settings you'll find a lot of ways to customize it and to setup gestures to do various tasks right on the trackpad. One way that both the mouse and the trackpad differ is in scrolling. By default Macs use natural scrolling. You could see a demonstration of it here. But on Windows things are typically setup to move in the opposite direction. So you can switch it here but Macs are kind of meant to work with natural scrolling and it's been that way on the Mac for a long time at this point. That brings me to my last point. Which is to discourage you from customizing or altering your Mac to work more like Windows. If you're switching from Windows to Mac try to use the default settings on the Mac. Like for instance for natural scrolling or the way keyboard shortcuts are set, sure you can customize some of these things and make macOS a little more Window-like. But I think the default ways are a little more optimized for Mac use. So if you're planning on switching from Windows to Mac and staying there then I encourage you to be patient and give yourself the time to get used to the Mac way of doing things. I hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Video Tutorials: 10 Ways To Switch Between Windows In the Same App On a Mac ― 15 Ways To Customize the Look of macOS Ventura ― 20 Ways To Free Up Disk Space On Your Mac ― 2 Ways To Find Duplicate Files On a Mac Comments: One Response to “10 Ways macOS Is Different Than Windows” Pippy 12 months ago The title is a bit misleading, or at least I was expecting something else other than "Ctrl on Windows is Command on Mac". I guess anybody watching this and not familiar with MacOS would conclude that "it's the same, only in MacOS they use weird rearrangements just for the sake of being different,… arty types.". Comments Closed.