Computers are a fabulous tool that pretty much everyone can find a use for in the home. Whether it’s just for personal use or you work from home, they can help you to be more productive, efficient, provide entertainment, help you stay in touch with friends and family through social networks, and provide you with that much-needed link to the internet. So, what happens if you’ve been a dedicated desktop PC user from the start and you’re now ready to make the switch to a Mac? Just how different will the experience be?
Both PCs and Macs have plenty of benefits but, with that said, they are also very different. There are some essential tips and advice worth familiarizing yourself with so that you can make the best use of your new Mac and fully utilize all its features. Let’s take a look at the important things to know when you switch from a PC to a Mac at home.
You Don’t Necessarily Have to Spend More Money
One reason that people may not make the switch from a PC to a Mac is price. It’s often said that Macs cost much more than PCs. This is a blanket statement and isn’t always true. Sure, there will be times where a Mac has a higher sticker price, but there are many PCs that are quite expensive. It really comes down to the specifications that you need, as those will determine the price.
It’s a good idea to do a little comparison shopping before making your purchase so you know what to expect, and how much to budget.
Start Researching Compatibility
While there are tools and software that are compatible with both your PC and Mac, not all of them are. You will want to take a little time to research all the software you use and see if you’ll be able to continue using it on your Mac. The most flexible software are the ones that are accessed through online mechanisms. This means it will be available regardless of the computer you are using. A lot of software is already like this, or heading in this direction in order to have mass-appeal and flexibility.
One misconception that people have is that Microsoft Office will no longer be available to them on their Mac. While this used to be the case, it’s no longer true. Today, all you need is an Office 365 business account and then you can use Office Online to access your content. Although it’s a bit more cumbersome and will take some getting used to, you still have that option to use Microsoft Office.
If there are some apps or programs you can’t access on your Mac, be sure to check out its own app offerings as you’ll likely find something comparable.
Transferring Data Can be Tricky
Where it gets a bit tricky is transferring your data from your PC to your Mac. Although it would be great if you could put everything on a USB thumb drive and then just plug it in and import the files on the Mac, unfortunately, that’s not the case. You’re going to need to use the Windows Migration Assistant to help you through the process. This is a software tool that you can use on your PC in order to take all that data and transfer it to your Mac.
What About Those Hidden Folders?
Here’s something you may not realize about your new Mac. Did you know that there is a rather large amount of hidden files on your computer, usually comprising of system files? Because they are hidden, they aren’t in plain view, and they’re often totally unknown. But here’s the thing, depending on what you need to do on the computer, you may actually need to use those files, which means finding them is a necessity.
This brings us to the question of how to locate and show those hidden folders on your Mac. In the linked guide below from Setapp, you can see the various steps needed to find these hidden files. This includes using the file manager, using terminal commands, or using the finder tool. This requires you to be a bit more computer-savvy, which beginners may not have the time or patience for.
Another option to show hidden folders on Mac computers is to make use of one of the apps offered through Setapp. Thanks to the free trial from Setapp, you can explore the more than 150 macOS apps including CleanMyMac X, Forklift, and DCommander. All of these will make finding hidden files and clean-up a breeze.
Many People Find That Macs are More User-Friendly
Perhaps you’ve heard the common statement that Macs are more user-friendly and you’re wondering if there is any truth to this. For many people, this actually does end up being the case. There is a real emphasis on creating experiences that are streamlined, simple, and user-friendly in the Mac world. The idea is that you will be able to plug your new computer in, get it set up quickly and without issue, and then feel confident navigating it and using it right away.
Familiarize Yourself with the Shortcuts
In order to save yourself a lot of time and hassle, you will also want to familiarize yourself with some basic functions you can do with the combination of the command key and others. Some examples include:
- Hide a window by pressing Command + H
- Hide all windows by pressing Option + Command + H
- Swap apps by pressing Command + Tab
- Turn on the spotlight tool for searching by pressing Command + Space
Then there are other shortcuts and tricks that you can look up such as the dictionary tool, quick looks, the Safari picture-in-picture, video screenshots, a quick open of folders, and much more. These will all take time to learn, and it’s a good idea to look for basic shortcuts and tips online and print off a cheat sheet if you will. Over time, they will become second-nature and you won’t need that cheat sheet.
By using these tips, you’ll be able to go about a seamless switch at home from your PC to a Mac.