Are you planning to buy a new Mac this Boxing Day, or have you already got one? If you have purchased a new Mac or are planning to get it soon, you must be looking for the right tips to get started.
Macs are incredibly powerful, but you need to optimize them frequently to keep them up and running. In this article, you will learn some helpful tips to use your new Mac in the best possible manner. So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
12 Important Things To Do on a New MacBook Laptop
Back Up Your Mac Often
Apple’s native Time Machine is a foolproof backup utility that allows you to copy your entire storage media to an external drive. It keeps a snapshot of your Mac, so you can recover from even the most severe data loss issues quite easily.
If you upgrade your Mac or get another one, Time Machine allows you to migrate data from the older Mac to the new one without using any third-party data migration tool.
While creating a backup, it is important to note that you will need to get an external hard drive if you plan to use Time Machine. Otherwise, the application will not work.
The first time you back up data, expect to wait for quite a bit, especially if you choose to back up the entire thing rather than particular files. In the future, you will not have to wait as much because Time Machine will no longer need to go through all the files. Instead, it will only have to spend a bit of time syncing already backed-up files and work on identifying new data.
Of course, if you do not wish to bother with physical storage accessories and would prefer a more digital approach, you can look to cloud storage instead.
Create an Account on iCloud
If you have used an iPhone or an iPad earlier, you might be familiar with iCloud. For the uninitiated, iCloud stores your important information such as files, documents, photos, videos, emails, backups, and more. And while there are other cloud services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, iCloud is tailor-made for Apple devices, including MacBooks.
You need to sign in to your Apple ID to create and set up an iCloud account on your Mac or other Apple devices. Once set up, you can move your data back and forth between the iCloud account and your Mac.
The service provides 5GB of storage for free, which is often enough for many people. However, if you feel like these 5GB will not be enough, you can also go for iCloud+ and select one of the three available monthly plans:
- 50GB for $0.99
- 200GB for $2.99
- 2TB for $9.99
In addition to extra storage, these plans also include features like a new custom domain name and HomeKit Secure Video support.
Learn to Use the Help Menu
If you are wondering why you haven’t got that thick user manual with your Mac that explains how the Mac and apps work, stop thinking. Your digital user manual is built right into your Mac. Most users do not bother to use the Help Menu, but we recommend that you should.
You may get to the Help Menu from the Menu bar. The menu bar is contextual, which means the content changes based on the app you have opened.
Configure Tracking Speed for Trackpad
The trackpad is one of the most captivating things that make your work just simple on Mac. Using trackpad gestures, you can do almost everything like scrolling, zooming, signing, focusing, and more.
Setup the tracking speed for the trackpad to navigate around the interface more efficiently. By default, the tracking speed is set up to level 4, which tends to be slow for even new users; the higher the level is, the better. So keep the tracking speed between 7 and 9 for optimal performance.
Set Up Apple Mail App
If you are still accessing your email message via a web browser, navigating to Yahoo, Gmail, or Comcast, read this. Use Apple’s Mail app as it enables you to connect to almost every email service out there.
Using multiple email apps for personal or professional purposes is common, so you can use Mail to stay organized.
Setting up the account is pretty easy. Click on the menu bar in the Mail tab and add a new account. From there, pick your preferred email provider. In case you want to create a new email account, you can do so on an online browser.
Some services, such as Gmail, will require you to confirm the registration by opening an internet browser, but that should not be a problem.
Once you start the account creation process, follow the on-screen instructions step by step and you will have the Mail account set up in no time.
Download App Cleaners
Well, you might be downloading a lot of apps on your new Mac out of excitement. Later, you need to remove some of these apps on realizing that they are consuming a lot of storage. Removing these apps manually sometimes leaves behind the app residue that contains junk, temporary, or cache files.
You can either delete all the clutter manually or download Apple-certified cleaning apps from the App Store. There are more cleaners for a MacBook that offer different features than you possibly need, so choose one that fits your needs.
Install an Antivirus Software
Although mac is considered to be one of the safest operating systems there’s no harm in having another layer of security over it to secure it further. In the past, there are various kinds of malware and viruses were found that attack your system and cause various kinds of issues in your system.
For eg, there are various redirection viruses that redirect from one website to another, recently malware was found in which Google search redirects to Bing results. We also find many malware attached to our day-to-day emails which looks like a genuine piece of information but when we open it, it spread and causes bugs and issues in our system.
So to avoid such viruses, trojan horses, worms, and other types of malware that affect macOS it is recommended to use antivirus software and to schedule it to scan all the online threats and any new piece of files which is downloaded or copied in our system.
Unlock Mac With Apple Watch
Yes, this is among the most dynamic features that Apple offers to its users. If you wear an Apple watch, you can tweak settings to unlock your new Mac right from your watch. Navigate to System Preferences and go to Security and Privacy.
Enable the option that says, “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac.” This is useful on Mac desktops as they lack touch-optimized unlocking.
Enable Hot Corners on Mac
macOS offers an incredible feature that allows you to set up different apps and features on the four corners of the screen, yet it is the most underrated feature. To enable Hot Corners on your Mac, go to System Preferences, tap Mission Control, and then click Hot Corners.
Next, configure the Hot Corners by clicking appropriate options from the dropdown boxes. Hot Corners allows you to execute a specific action by hovering on one of the four corners of your Mac screen.
Remove Spotlight From Menu Bar
Spotlight is easy to access, and you can simply view it using Command + Spacebar keys. When Spotlight is saved on the menu bar, it consumes space and functions slower than usual. Hold the Command key and drag the Spotlight icon out from the menu bar to the middle of the Desktop.
Wait till the X sign appears; press it to remove the Spotlight from the menu bar. This way, you can also optimize storage on your Mac computer.
Learn to Deal With Potential Errors
One of the biggest advantages of MacBook computers is their reliability. You are unlikely to encounter too many performance issues, particularly if you take care of the device.
Nevertheless, even if you are careful about using your Mac, you are still likely to encounter various errors that can be quite annoying.
One other thing to note about this aspect is that MacBook errors range in their severity, so to speak. Some stem from not being careful on the internet and giving permission to random websites or services. Others occur because of problems with the system settings or outdated hardware/software.
In certain cases, you should be able to solve errors yourself. There are a plethora of sources online that provide step-by-step instructions and lead you throughout the whole process.
However, what if you cannot find a guide, or what if following the available instructions ends up showing you a different result?
Running into such issues requires a smart approach, and you are better off leaving such error fixing to someone with experience.
Maintain the Device in Good Condition
Even though you have a new MacBook, you should not think that neglecting to take proper care of it is fine. If anything, not doing the necessary maintenance work will lead to performance issues sooner than you expect.
Random crashes, sluggish speed, freezes, frame drops if you are playing video games, and other problems can snowball out of control.
Some of the key things to do as far as computer maintenance goes include, but are not limited to:
- Freeing up enough storage on the drive
- Running reliable antivirus software to deal with cybersecurity threats
- Limiting background processes to waste fewer system resources
- Keeping the desktop and startup item list clean
- Removing the dust inside
- Restarting the computer regularly
All in all, there are quite a few different things to know for new MacBook owners. This article covered the basics, and incorporating and using these ideas in your routine should be enough to create a solid foundation that you can work on improving later once you are ready to move to more complicated matters related to your Mac.