Every Mac user should be backing up the files on their Mac. The easiest way to do this is to use Time Machine, which is part of macOS. You can get a cheap external hard drive and start doing this today. Time Machine is simple and automatic and can save you from disasters, as long as you start using it.
New Mac users may not have yet explored their display preferences. You can stick with the native resolution for your display or choose one that shows text and graphics larger or smaller. Which setting you use is a personal preference, and it is easy to switch between them when you need something different.
You can use folders to organize your files inside the Documents folder on your Mac. It is easy to create new folders. You can put folders inside of folders and use as many as you need to group your files however you want them. You can also easily move, rename and delete folders.
The scroll bars on the Mac can be hard to understand for new users since they only appear when you need them. You typically use your Mouse or Trackpad to scroll, and most users can avoid the scroll bars altogether. However, if you need them, you will see them when scrolling and can click and drag them when they appear. You can also customize how they work and when they appear in System Preferences.
You can resize a window in the Finder and almost any app by clicking and dragging on the edges or corners of a window. You can use the Option key to drag opposite sides or all sides at once. The sides of a window will stop at the edges of the screen. You can also double-click a corner or edge to move that side to the edge of the screen or fill the entire screen without going into full screen mode.
New Mac users sometimes struggle learning how to renamed files and folders. You can rename items in the Finder simply by selecting the file and pressing Return to select the name, then typing to replace it. You can also rename files while you are working on them by clicking on the title bar of the window, or using File, Rename.
The Maps app is a handy way to find a location, get directions, or view satellite imagery on your Mac. You can see traffic conditions and look at a 3D view of buildings and terrain. This can be a tool for finding places or getting directions, or an educational or exploratory tool for learning more about the world.
New Mac users who have trackpads may not realize how many gestures there are and how you can customize them. In System Preferences you can not only control which gestures are available, but customize some and see demonstrations of all of them. As a new Mac user you may want to take the time to familiarize yourself with the trackpad gestures to increase your productivity.
If you are new to Mac you may not yet be taking full advantage of keyboard shortcuts. You can find almost all shortcuts by simply looking at the command in the menu bar. There are symbols that you will find in the menu bar that map to the Shift, Control, Option and Command keys on the Mac keyboard. You can also find shortcuts in System Preferences, and even assign your own to menu commands that have no shortcut. One difficulty that Windows users often have is that the Control key is used as the primary modifier key in Windows, while the Command key is the equivalent on the Mac.
If you are new to Mac, you may not have yet explored or customized the status menus. These are also known as menu bar icons and are links to functionality in System Preferences or third-party extensions. You can rearrange or remove status menus. New status menus can be added by other applications in System Preferences.
The Desktop folder is just a regular folder with the special property of existing over your desktop background as well as in Finder windows. Items on your Desktop are the same items as the ones you see in the Desktop folder in your Home user folder. The Desktop can be useful for quick or frequent access to files and folders, although many prefer to keep the Desktop clean and empty or use it for temporary storage of new files only.
You can easily preview the contents of a file before opening it. Take a look at four methods of previewing files such as images, PDFs or text documents. You can enlarge Finder icons to use as previews, look at the preview pane in column view, use cover flow view, or use the handy Quick Look function on your Mac.
Context menus are menus that appear when you Control+click on an object in the Finder or an app. You can also usually use a two-finger click to bring it up, depending on your settings. Context menus allow you to find many functions of software that aren't obvious or are impossible to know about any other way. Control+clicking to bring up context menus is something export Mac users use all the time, but beginners may not know about.
You can use the App Switcher to quickly and easily switch between running apps. It is a keyboard shortcut, but not as simple to use as just pressing the keys. You can use it to see which apps are running and pick which one to bring to the front, all without lifting your fingers off of the keyboard. You can also use it to quit apps.
The cursor is the visual representation of the point on your Mac's screen where you are about to perform an action. It is typically an arrow, but can change to a special line when over text. The text cursor is a second cursor that is a blinking line indicating the position where you are typing in a text area. You can increate the cursor size in System Preferences.
There are several ways to attach an image to an email message. You can place the image anywhere you want in the message, or at the end. You can choose a size for the image, sending a smaller version or the full resolution image. You can also markup an image before sending it.
New Mac users may not yet be using multiple user accounts, one for each individual using the Mac. Using accounts is a good way to keep from stepping on each other's toes when more than one person share a Mac. They are a must if you want to use iCloud or customize your Mac experience in any way. You can also set up a guest user account for one time uses.
A typical problem new Mac users have is a Downloads folder that quickly fills with lots of files taking up a large amount of hard drive space. The Downloads folder is the default location for web downloads and it can be easy to forget to maintain it. It is accessible like any other Finder folder and you can easily sort it and delete or move items from it to keep it clean.
If you are new to Mac, you may not yet be using the Notes app. This is a handy built-in app where you can store small pieces of text and create lists. When you use iCloud, your Notes sync across all of your devices, so you can create them and edit them anywhere. You can also share notes with other iCloud users.
If you are new to Mac, then you may not be familiar with the modifier keys like Command, Option and Control. These each have special symbols that you will see in articles and the menu bar. Learn how to use these important modifier keys and how they differ from Windows modifier keys.
New Mac users may not know about TextEdit, a simple but deep text editing and word processing tool that comes with your Mac. You can use TextEdit to create documents in cases when a full word processor like Pages or Microsoft Word isn't necessary. TextEdit has two modes: plain text and rich text. You can use the first for writing, notes and coding. You can use the second for word processing. TextEdit also allows you to open Microsoft Word documents which is useful if you are sent one but haven't bought Word.
If you are new to Mac you may not have had the chance to use the Mac App Store very much. The App Store is a great way to get all of your software since it is more secure, a trusted payment system, and easy to find apps you need. You can look at top charts, read reviews and search for apps. Any apps you purchase can be installed on all of your Macs.
Even if you have been searching online for years, you may not know some basics about how to search quickly and efficiently. Often people try formulating a series of keywords for a search, when all that is needed is to type a question. On the Mac in Safari, you can choose your search engine, and sometimes skip the search results page with the suggestions provided. You can also search a specific site if you already know which site contains the information you seek.
If you are new to using Macs, then you may not know how useful tabs can be as an alternative to using multiple windows. You can use tabs in Safari, the Finder, and even inside of apps for document windows. It is easy to combine all windows into a single window with tabs, and also move tabs around and switch between them.
A basic technique on the Mac is to drag and drop an object. You can use this to move files, but you can also use it to open files, import objects into documents, move objects around inside documents, move objects from one app to another, and perform otherwise difficult-to-implement actions. Watch some examples of how to use drag and drop on the Mac.
Siri can be a useful tool for performing tasks on your Mac without needing to type or navigate through apps. You can ask Siri to launch apps, change preferences, do math, check email, play music, search for files and photos and many other computing tasks. You can also ask Siri to look up information online.
If you are new to Mac, then the uses for the red, yellow and green window buttons at the top left corner of every Mac window may not be obvious. The red button closes the window. The yellow button minimizes the window, placing it in the Dock. The green button can either take the window into full screen mode, or maximize the window to its logical size.
Copy and Paste has been around for a long time, but if you are new to Mac you may not know all of its uses. You can not only copy and paste text, but also graphics, files and other objects. You can use Cut to easily move objects. Copy and Paste can also be used to move things from one app to another and to create new documents from parts of other ones.
When you view files in the Finder, you have a choice between four views: icon, list, column and cover flow. Each one can be useful in different situations, so it is best to know how to use all four. Find out the differences between them and the basics of each.
The Reminders app is handy for keeping track of to-do lists, creating alerts, and building idea lists. As a cloud service it syncs with your iPhone and iPad. You can easily add items to Reminders by just typing, or you can use Siri to add items.