Macbook – the bible of apple lovers. It is the most coveted laptop of this century, and every apple lover dreams of owning one. And if you are fortunate enough to own one, then you should know that it is not just a laptop but an extension of your personality and lifestyle. You will be surprised to see how many things there are that you didn’t know about your new MacBook.
From its powerful battery life to its hidden features, this article on things new MacBook owners should know will help you become a better and more efficient user of your Macbook. Read on to learn more about your beloved device.
Table of Contents
- Top 31 Things New MacBook Owners Should Know
- Use Split View
- Use Handoff to Transfer Data Between Devices
- Take Screenshots
- Save Battery Life
- Make Your MacBook Play Music While You Sleep
- Use Siri
- Connect Your iPhone to Your MacBook
- Use Your MacBook as a Second Screen
- Take Screenshots
- Make Your MacBook More Secure
- Create Your Apple ID
- Learn Terminal
- Set Up Backup Plan
- Manage Your Files Often
- Enable Service and Support Coverage
- Turn Desktop Folders into Emoji
- Install Updates Regularly
- Sign in to iCloud
- Reset Forgotten Password
- Customize Desktop and Menu Bar
- Optimize Dock
- Sign in to TV, Podcast, and Music Apps
- Utilize the Built-in Help Menu
- Change Default Scrolling
- Supercharge the Hot Corners
- Customize Finder
- Sign Documents in the Preview App
- Visit the Mac App Store
- Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
- Consider Protective Accessories
- Use the Touch Bar
- The Conclusion
Top 31 Things New MacBook Owners Should Know
You might be feeling very proud and excited after becoming a MacBook owner. To get the most out of your device and make Mac use easier, it is vital to discover Mac’s essential features. In the following sections, you’ll learn some basic but highly important things that every MacBook owner should know in depth.
Use Split View
Do you often find yourself multitasking on your MacBook, trying to manage multiple windows at the same time? You can use the split view feature on your Mac to make your life easier. Simply drag a window to the left or right side of the screen, and then drag another window to the other side. You can adjust the size of each window to your preference.
Use Handoff to Transfer Data Between Devices
If you own multiple Apple devices, then you can use the Handoff feature to transfer data between them. For example, if you are working on a document on your Mac, you can easily transfer it to your iPhone or iPad and continue working on it there. To enable Handoff, go to System Preferences and click on General. Enable the “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices” option.
Taking a screenshot on a MacBook is easy and convenient. Simply press the Command + Shift + 3 keys together, and your Mac will automatically take a screenshot of your entire screen. If you want to take a screenshot of a specific area, press the Command + Shift + 4 keys together. This will allow you to select the area you want to capture.
Save Battery Life
One of the best things about a MacBook is its long-lasting battery life. However, if you are a heavy user, you may find that your battery drains faster. To save battery life, you can use the “Low Power Mode,” which reduces the power consumption of your Mac. To enable this mode, go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.” Click on “Energy Saver” and then click on “Battery.” You will see the option to enable “Low Power Mode.”
Make Your MacBook Play Music While You Sleep
Playing music while you sleep is a great way to relax and fall asleep easily. With your new MacBook, you can easily set up a sleep timer for your music. Simply open iTunes and select the playlist or songs you want to play. Then, click on the Clock icon in the upper right corner and select “Start Timer.”
Choose how long you want the music to play for, and then select “When Timer Ends” and choose “Stop Playing.” Your MacBook will then play the selected music for the designated amount of time and automatically stop playing when the timer ends.
Did you know that your MacBook has a personal assistant built-in? Introducing Siri – your virtual assistant that can help you with all sorts of tasks. To activate Siri, simply click on the Siri icon in the top right corner of your screen. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command + Space to activate Siri.
Once activated, you can ask Siri to open apps, make calculations, set reminders, and more. Siri can even help you find files on your MacBook and answer questions about the weather, sports, and other topics.
Connect Your iPhone to Your MacBook
Did you know that you can easily connect your iPhone to your MacBook and access all your phone’s data, such as photos and messages, on your Mac? This feature is called “Continuity,” and it allows you to seamlessly transition between your iPhone and MacBook.
To enable Continuity, make sure that both your iPhone and MacBook are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Then, on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Handoff and enable the Handoff feature. On your MacBook, go to System Preferences > General and enable the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices option.
Once you have enabled Continuity, you can easily access your iPhone’s data on your MacBook. For example, if you receive a message on your iPhone, you will see it appear on your Mac’s screen. You can then reply to the message from your MacBook without having to pick up your phone.
Use Your MacBook as a Second Screen
If you need a larger screen for your work, you can easily use your MacBook as a second screen for your desktop or laptop. This feature is called “Sidecar,” and it allows you to extend your desktop by using your MacBook as an additional display.
To use Sidecar, make sure that both your MacBook and your desktop or laptop are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Then, on your MacBook, go to System Preferences > Sidecar and enable the Allow connections to this Mac option.
Once you have enabled Sidecar, you can easily use your MacBook as a second screen. Simply move your cursor to the edge of your main display, and your MacBook’s screen will appear as an extension of your main display. You can then drag windows and apps to your MacBook’s screen, giving you more space to work.
Taking screenshots on a MacBook is incredibly easy and useful. There are several different ways you can take a screenshot on a MacBook, depending on what you want to capture.
To take a screenshot of your entire screen, simply press Command + Shift + 3. To take a screenshot of a specific area of your screen, press Command + Shift + 4 and then select the area you want to capture with your mouse.
You can also use the Grab app, which is pre-installed on your MacBook, to take screenshots. Open Grab, go to the Capture menu and select the type of screenshot you want to take.
Make Your MacBook More Secure
As a MacBook owner, it’s important to keep your device and your personal information secure. One way to do this is to enable FileVault, which encrypts the data on your MacBook. To enable FileVault, go to System Preferences, click on Security & Privacy, and then click on the FileVault tab.
Create Your Apple ID
Before you get started using your new Mac, you must create your Apple ID. This is because you would require signing in to your Apple account to enjoy the several features. To continue, simply go to the Apple Menu. In the System Preferences, click Sign in. This is mandatory because you can’t use iCloud or App Store or download any updates if you have not logged in with an Apple ID.
While using a Mac, sometimes you have to access the command line. For that, you will require using the Mac OS terminal app. If you don’t know how to open Terminal in macOS, then launch Spotlight and hit a small magnifying glass in the menu bar. Enter “terminal.app” in the Spotlight Search bar and click Return. Alternatively, hit the Terminal.app icon. It will immediately launch the Terminal app.
Set Up Backup Plan
Whether you have enough storage in iCloud or not, it is necessary to set up a backup plan. There are plenty of methods to do a local backup. Time Machine is the built-in feature on macOS Monterey that doesn’t require any additional software. To get started, you simply require an external drive. Cloning and Carbon Copy Cloner are other recommended ways you can use.
Manage Your Files Often
To easily locate any file, you must know how to manage files effectively. If you have macOS Mojave or later versions, right-click and select Stacks to automatically organize everything based on file type. Hold Command and press the down arrow key to quickly access a folder on a desktop or in Finder. For instant file deletion, choose a required file and press Option + Command + Delete simultaneously.
Enable Service and Support Coverage
Activate Service and Support Coverage as this feature allows applying for Apple’s support and service. You can’t claim help if you don’t do this. So, activate your device’s warranty by going to checkcoverage.apple.com and typing your Mac’s serial number. Hit the Continue button to check the warranty and when it will expire. You can also activate it the same way for a new device.
Turn Desktop Folders into Emoji
Manage your files easily by grouping them into a desktop folder. Differentiate each desktop folder icon by converting them into emojis. Locate the emoji through Google Image Search. Drag that image to the desktop. Double-click on the image for a preview. Click Edit and Cut. Click markup and hit and drag a box around the selected image. Hit edit and select all. Enter Command + C. Right-click on the original folder and hit Get Info.
Install Updates Regularly
Regularly updating any app, software, or OS is essential for enhanced security and performance improvement features. Hence, don’t forget to check the latest macOS update. Go to the Apple menu and click ‘About This Mac. On the pop-up window, click ‘Software Update.’ If you see any pending or available updates, hit ‘Upgrade Now’. It will start the upgrading process.
Sign in to iCloud
The Apple ecosystem is one of the primary reasons why people are purchasing Mac devices. It is fueled by iCloud syncing, which allows easier access to documents, music, photos, videos, and more with an iCloud account. You don’t need to physically sync or tether your devices. Ensure that you use the same Apple ID to sign in to iCloud you use to sync watchOS, iOS, and tvOS data.
Reset Forgotten Password
Using recovery mode, you can easily log back into your Mac. Simply turn off your system and then press and hold Command + R. Hit the power button. Hold Command + R until the screen shows a progress bar. Go to the menu bar and click Utilities and Terminal. Enter “reset password” as a single word with no quotes. Now, hit Return. Get out of the Terminal window and select Reset Password Tool to set a new password.
Customize Desktop and Menu Bar
Make your Mac device tidy by customizing the menu bar and desktop. Use Stacks to gather all the similar files. Go to the View in the menu bar and click Use Stacks. For Menu bar customization, you have to customize the Mac’s Control Center. It will be available in the screen’s top-right corner. Access the Apple Menu and head to System Preferences. Now, hit Dock & Menu Bar.
Just like desktop and menu bar customization, optimizing the Dock is also crucial. So, remove unnecessary apps at least once a week. If its size is increasing a lot, hold and drag up or down when the cursor converts into a double-sided arrow. It helps in increasing and reducing the size. Or right-click and check ‘Turn Hiding On’ to toggle on the auto-hide option. It helps in seeing the Dock whenever required.
Sign in to TV, Podcast, and Music Apps
The latest Mac versions eliminate a singular iTunes program. Even they have three separate apps for podcasts, music, and TV shows. Hence, you need to sign in to these three dedicated applications. The Mac’s own Podcasts, TV, and music app are launched with macOS Catalina. All these apps are much similar to iOS apps. Hence, you will be pretty familiar with the interface.
Utilize the Built-in Help Menu
Mac does not come with the physical manual because it is built straight into the system. You can find the Help menu in the menu bar. But the content in this menu can vary based on which application is open. You can use it to get any help when you are stuck in an app. It will show up the table of contents, step-by-step instructions, a list of shortcuts, a search field, and lots more.
Change Default Scrolling
There are three default Trackpad settings in the System Preferences. The very first thing you can do is adjust the trackpad tracking speed. You can adjust it by moving the Tracking speed needle. The second option is to activate ‘tap to click’. It will allow you to click by simply tapping on the trackpad instead of physically pressing down. Another setting you can change is to enable three-finger drag.
Supercharge the Hot Corners
macOS’ Hot Corners is a lesser-known usability function that makes users’ life simpler. It activates a command when you move the cursor to any corner of your screen. To set up hot corners, go to Desktop & Screensaver in Settings. Next, head to the Screen Saver Tab and click Hot Corners. By default, the Mac uses just one of the four Hot Corners. But you can activate any other corner as per your requirement to set different functions.
Open Finder Preferences by pressing Command + Comma (,). Under General, hit the option next to Hard disks to see the hard drive on the desktop. You can also change the New Finder window option. Click the Sidebar and checkmark the required option. You can also enable “Keep folders on top” under Advanced. The file folder will be separated under many sorting options in the desktop and Finder windows.
Sign Documents in the Preview App
Avoid the hassles of signing the PDF manually by signing it directly in the Preview app on your Mac. Hit “Show Markup Toolbar” and click the box that appears like a signature. Hit ‘Trackpad’ to sign the name using your fingers on the trackpad. Alternatively, you can hit ‘Camera’ to sign your name on the white paper and capture a picture using the webcam. To reuse your signature, you can save them.
Visit the Mac App Store
To download an app or software, you can use the Mac App Store. You have to use the same Apple ID and password you use for iPhones and Music applications. The Mac App Store is of great importance as it hosts more than thousands of apps. You can also download updates from here to keep your system secure and with better performance. Moreover, if you have M1 Mac, you can install iPad and iPhone apps.
Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Save your time by creating and using keyboard shortcuts. You can perform commonly used tasks using these shortcuts. For example, to print something, you can hold Command + P. To create your own keyboard shortcut, click Keyboard in the System Preferences. Select Shortcuts and then App Shortcuts. Hit the + icon. Select the required app, menu command name, and shortcut, and click Add.
Consider Protective Accessories
The phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ can also be followed by Mac users. No one knows when their Macs can fall and get broken or damaged. So, purchase protective gear such as plastic, leather, or rubber casings to safeguard your Mac from physical damage. Using the best gadgets for Mac, you can enhance the product’s longevity and also save repair or replacement costs.
Use the Touch Bar
The Touch Bar is a unique feature of the newer MacBook models. It is a multi-touch enabled strip of glass built into the keyboard. It allows you to access common functions and shortcuts without having to go through multiple menus.
To access the Touch Bar, simply tap the Touch Bar on your keyboard. You can customize the Touch Bar to display the functions and shortcuts you use the most. To do this, go to System Preferences and click on Keyboard. Select the Customize Control Strip option.
If you have bought a MacBook for the first time, understanding the basics will be your best decision. After properly setting up the device, you can completely experience the Apple brand and discover Mac’s true power. So, consider the above tips and tricks to make your MacBook better than good.
Written by Johnathan Abram