MacMost Now 731: Getting Apple User Manuals

You can download free Apple user manuals right from Apple. Almost all Apple products have PDF files that serve as user manuals. You just need to know where to look. Once downloaded they can be easily read and searched.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 731: Getting Apple User Manuals.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at where you can get user manuals for your Apple products.

So when you get a new Apple product the box has normal packing and usually just a small quick start guide. Something very simple just to get you into it. Then you're left kind of on your own to figure things out. A lot of people don't like that. Some people go and get third party books, other people will look online for tutorials. But did you know there are user manuals for almost every Apple product, both hardware and software. They just don't actually print them on paper and include them in the box but they do put electronic versions online and you can find them and download them easily.

So all you need to do is to go to Now you get a list here by categories. You can do searches. Let's say we just bought a new Mac mini. We can go into desktop computers and go to Mac mini and find out there are several documents here. So I got the latest one. We can even look at different languages and see what's available. Go to the user guide. It is a pdf here. You can scroll through it and see all the different things in the manual. It gets pretty comprehensive covering a lot of things you would expect a user manual to. Now since this is a pdf you can save it. It might be useful to save a copy and save the pdf to wherever you want it.

Now if we go back we find out this system isn't quite perfect. For instance let's go back to the main Manuals level and say we just bought a MacBook Air. We find there are no manuals for the MacBook Air. So it hasn't included them for all the products. If we go to let's say MacBook Pro you can see that there are quick start guides and the user guide for the different MacBook Pros and of course these get updated. They have older manuals too. You can go all the way back to the old PowerBook G4 which can come in handy if you have an older one or maybe you just bought a used one you can go in here and grab the user manual for it. A lot of the current stuff, like my tutorials, will be on the most current things so having an older computer it would be very useful to have the user manual so you can see exactly what you can do with it and how it works.

There is also user manuals for software. So go into IOS software here and say for instance we really want to dig into Numbers. Go into Productivity Software and there is the Numbers guide and this is the pdf as well. After this downloads you will see that it's pretty comprehensive going into all sort of things. It is similar to the Help that is part of it except you've got it as a pdf here which may be a little easier to read.

Now let's say we save this out to the desktop here as a pdf. So I'm going to be using Numbers a lot and I want the manual to refer to. There it is there. I'm going to double click on it. It opens up in Preview. A very lightweight application that I can go and read through here and read about Numbers. You can also do cool things like in the Table of Contents if you see something you want to jump to you can just click on it and even cooler than that you can search for things. So, I want to search for averages because I want to figure out the average using a formula I can get search results here and jump back and forth. This is really useful for a manual say like Numbers here to search through it and have that pdf sitting there on my Mac ready to access.

So search through it and see what other products you have that there are different types of manuals for. For instance here there is one for iPod Shuffles. There is even documents for iPod accessories that Apple sells. You can go and look for documents say Apple TV set up guides. Different software, like professional software here that you can get Final Cut Pro user guide which can come in very handy.

So I hope you found this useful. This is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 731: Getting Apple User Manuals”

    poppy fogarty
    7 years ago

    Wonderful tutorial – I have finally found information on my Mac I never thought
    possible to find.
    Many thanks

    7 years ago

    I love Apple, and MacMostNow, however I must be honest and say that I don’t think Apple should get any positive recognition in the category of Help & User Manuals, as they are sooo behind and borderline negligent in this area. For example, I have a 2011 MacBook Air running Lion. There is not a manual available for EITHER product on the above referenced resource! No user manual for a $1k piece of hardware? No user manual for an entire operating system? Boo, Apple.

    I think the only acknowledgment Apple should get in the User Manuals category is negative.

      7 years ago

      Fair enough. But I want to point out that the main purpose of this, and all of my tutorials, is to provide a “how to” video — not providing “recognition,” positive or negative.

Comments Closed.