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5 Mistakes New Mac Users Make

Monday April 22, 2019. 03:00 PM , from MacMost
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.


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Video Transcript / CaptionsCLICK TO EXPAND

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today I want to talk to you about five mistakes I see people make when they get their first Mac.

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So a common thing I see posted around the internet in various forums and websites is, I just got a new Mac. Can you give me some advice about what I should do. People like to chime in with all sorts of advice and some of it's really bad. So I want to go through five mistakes that I see new Mac users make and how to avoid them.

Mistake number 1 is people will install all sorts of third party add-ons. You see this suggested all the time. People ask for advice and the advice that they get is oh! install this, that, and the other thing. All sorts of extensions and add-ons and things that make your Mac work a little differently, adding some functionality. Sometimes it's good stuff but you really should hold off on this kind of thing. So these fall into three main categories. One is a way to have windows snap around all sorts of locations of the screen. Another is a way to customize how the trackpad and the mouse work. A third category is customizing Spotlight or Finder searches. But the truth is that Mac OS Mojave does all of these just fine. For most people you don't need to add any of this. So just because a friend of yours or somebody online suggests that they can't get by without some extra functionality doesn't mean it will be the same for you.

Number 2. Hold off on customizing how your Mac works. So you can customize your Mac in all sorts of ways. You can go into System Preferences and you can go to Keyboard and Shortcuts and you can change around all the keyboard shortcuts. You can go to the Dock, for instance, and instead of having it be on the bottom you can have it be on the left side of the screen or the right side of the screen, or change the size. My advice is don't customize anything when you first get your Mac. Use the defaults. There's a reason why the defaults are the defaults. A lot of times they're the most efficient way to do things.

Another reason to stick with the defaults is consistency. Imagine you use customized controls and customized things for awhile and then you sit down at somebody else's Mac or a public Mac and you try to use it. You're not going to know where anything is and where any of the shortcuts are. Plus you're going to get a lot of software that tells you how to do things, you know, what shortcuts to use, a lot of tutorials, a lot of written materials and it's not working because you customized it. Maybe you didn't even remember that you customized it. I think the best thing to do is to start with all the defaults, use those whenever possible, and only customize if it's really going to be a big advantage for you.

Number 3. Don't turn it off. This is a big one. Even experienced users make this mistake. You see the things you do with your Mac is when you're not using it let it go to sleep. Or you can choose to put it to sleep. But don't shut it down. Why? Because modern computers perform a lot of maintenance tasks in the background. They do things like indexing the files. Backing up the files. Software updates. Clearing out of caches and maintenance tasks and things like that. Your computer is smart enough to want to do that when you're not using it. If you shut it down as soon as you're finished and only start it up when you're about to use your Mac then you're going to force it to do all of these things while you're working too. That's going to slow things down. Just let it go to sleep. In sleep mode it performs these maintenance tasks. Does it for you in an energy efficient way and while you're not using your Mac so it will be fast and efficient when you are using your Mac.

Number 4. When people get a new Mac sometimes they don't give Apple software a chance. So I see people get a Mac and they immediately want to jump to apps that they're used to. For instance if you're used to Microsoft Office and Windows you want to get those apps and you don't ever give Pages, Numbers, and Keynote a chance. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are actually pretty capable apps. For 95% of users they do everything you need. The same thing in Numbers. Pretty much all the formulas and controls and things that you have in Word are also in Numbers. One of the big ones is Photos. People immediately jump to saying they want some other type of photos app. They want to use Lightroom or something like that. But there's actually a ton of functionality inside of Photos. It's all just not readily apparent. Safari is another big one. in Safari it's optimized for use on Macs. It's fast. It's especially good if you're using a MacBook because it's great on battery life. So if you're used to using Chrome, Chrome will work fine but I recommend trying to use Safari on your Mac when you can.

Number 5. People sometimes jump to installing antivirus or maintenance apps. Now there's actually a problem here in the Mac ecosystem. You're going to be inundated with ads online that recognize that you're looking around in the web on a Mac and try to convince you to install antivirus software or install maintenance apps, cleaning apps, things like that. You don't need them! As a matter of fact a lot of them are actually harmful to your Mac. If you look around on Apple discussion groups and other forums you'll see people complaining and begging for help to try to uninstall these. So don't fall for all those ads that tell you you need this kind of software. If you're used to installing antivirus software on your computer and you go to Mac and you don't feel comfortable not having it, rest assured there is antivirus software hidden inside the operating system.It's called Expertech. Apple doesn't really talk about it much but it's there. It actually does protect your Mac.

So notice there's a similarity between all five of these things. They're all things that you shouldn't do. Don't install a third party add-ons. Don't customize your Mac. Don't shut it down when you're done using it. Don't install big 3rd party apps that you may not even need. Don't install antivirus or cleaning software that may actually make things worse for you. My advice is to just start using your Mac the way it is.

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