5 Mistakes New Mac Users Make

New Mac users are often given bad advice that leads to mistakes when they first switch to the Mac. Don't listen to others when they advise you to immediately installer add-ons, or give you tips to customize your Mac. Learn to use macOS in its default configuration first, which is best for most users. Also avoid the habit of shutting your Mac down and instead let it sleep. And absolutely avoid installing maintenance or anti-virus apps. Most are useless and many are actually harmful.

Comments: 18 Responses to “5 Mistakes New Mac Users Make”

    Lauren Eisen
    4 weeks ago

    gary, i never used to shut down my mac unless an occasional reboot was necessary. i recently needed a new battery as mine was deemed swollen by an apple “genius”. upon getting it back he said to unplug it and let the battery run down as often as possible and not to leave it plugged in all the time. on a subsequent visit to the apple store i was told this was not necessary. what is your advice on how often to work on battery power vs having it constantly plugged in to a power source?

    4 weeks ago

    Lauren: That’s really bad advice. It is just wrong. This bad advice comes from old battery tech (20 years ago) and keep getting repeated.
    Keep your MacBook plugged in when convenient (on the desk, etc). Use the battery when you can’t plug in or it is inconvenient. Don’t run the battery down for no reason, it will just age the battery faster.

    GazzaDownUnder
    4 weeks ago

    Sage advice, indeed Gary. One thing I do change for new Mac set ups is turn on in Finder, Mail and Preview the icon & text view option (using Customize Toolbar); plus in Finder turn on Path Bar, and info bar (which show in the bottom of Finder windows); and drag a Trash Can icon into the Finder Toolbar from the customize toolbar section. In Mail, I also add Flag & Unflag as well as the Move icons into the Toolbar. As well in Finder preferences activate the Show All Extensions feature.

    Lauren Eisen
    4 weeks ago

    thank you gary for your reply and for confirming what my work habits and preferences were all these years prior to my battery issue. i am happy to take your advice and will be confident in doing so.

    UMESH KUMAR
    4 weeks ago

    I use iMac and McPro in India. From time to time, power goes down for maintenance or some other reason. I have been advised that in these circumstances, it is not wise to keep iMac plugged on always. When I go to bed, I shut it down and boot it again in the morning. What is your advice, Gary?

    4 weeks ago

    Umesh: Are you concerned about power surges? Get a good surge protector. For the iMac, I would get a good UPS.

    George Hammond
    4 weeks ago

    Virus protection: I have an iMac that can no longer be updated to Mojave (it is running High Sierra 10.13.6). Is it still ok not to have 3rd party Virus Software?

    4 weeks ago

    George: You don’t need anti-virus software or cleaner apps. Just don’t download or install anything you don’t trust.

    Got Malware
    4 weeks ago

    A few months ago my MacBook Pro got infected with malware. It was the insidious kind that hijacks all your browsers and brings the CPU to a crawl. I had a difficult time cleaning it out. I now use the free version of Avast which works very well to keep malware out of my system. It has caught many infection attempts and I’m very thankful for that. I would recommend it to all Mac users, especially new Mac users.

    Marc Levin
    4 weeks ago

    Regarding not installing maintenance programs, I agree for the most part with one exception. I’ve been using “CleanMyMac” for several years now and find that it’s been effective, affordable and easy to use, with excellent support.

    (I’ve been a Mac User since 1990).

    David Ransom
    4 weeks ago

    I’m also a fan of “CleanMyMac”. It makes it very easy to uninstall software, and also seems to remove a lot of unnecessary (I think!) files.

    Dave H
    4 weeks ago

    I’m not a fan of CMMac. If you do away with it I doubt that you will notice any drop in performance. In fact you might see an improvement with less clutter. You shouldn’t always believe the improvements that any similar software tells you it has achieved.

    Deborah Briggs
    3 weeks ago

    What about ad blockers by Apple? Do we need them?

    3 weeks ago

    Deborah: Not sure what you mean. Apple doesn’t make any “ad blockers.” You can get third-party ones, but I’m not sure if you are making if it is a mistake to have them, or not to have them.

    Steve Kornfeld
    3 weeks ago

    I see you recommend not shutting down the MacBook Pro, but when I let it sleep over night it gets hot and the fan keeps running.

    3 weeks ago

    Steve: That’s not normal. Some piece of software is not behaving correctly. If you can’t figure it out, you should take it to the Genius Bar.

    Hazel Morgan
    2 weeks ago

    Why not shut down your computer every night?

    2 weeks ago

    Hazel: I explain in the video. Let it sleep. Your Mac does maintenance in the background while it sleeps, like clean-up, updates, backups, indexing, etc. It does this at night so it won’t do it during the day while you are using it. It only does as much as it needs and otherwise is using very little or no power.

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