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Things to do on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro if you’re a new user!

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Congratulations on switching to a brand new MacBook. You’re surely going to love it. However, it may be challenging to get familiar with everything and properly set up your device.

You may find it even harder if you were previously using any version of the Windows operating system.

Regardless, you will find it extremely simple after a short while.

Since you want to get the most out of your investment, it would be a good thing to find everything out. To help you start your Mac journey, here are things to do on a Macbook Pro or Macbook Air.

Things to do on a Macbook

Get The Basics Right!

To start with, you need to setup basic things on your Mac like Spotlight, Time Machine, Dock and a lot more. Let’s see everything in detail.

#1. Migration Assistant

The Migration Assistant is a great tool that can transfer your files from any computer (Windows or Mac) to your new Mac. It can be media, documents, email accounts, calendars, and much more.

It doesn’t just throw all of your data onto your Mac. The Migration Assistant sends all of it to the appropriate places in your New MacBook.

Before starting, you should:

  • Ensure your PC is running on Windows 7 or higher
  • Know the name and password of the admin account
  • Uninstall OneDrive
  • Connect your PC and Mac to the same Wi-Fi network
  • Check your hard drives for issues if any.

To start with, go through the following steps:

  • Download and install the most appropriate version of Windows Migration Assistant on your PC.
  • Quit all of the open apps on your PC
  • Open the Windows Migration Assistant on your PC, then click on Continue to start.
  • The Migration Assistant should open automatically the first time you turn on your Mac. If you already went past it before, you can find it in the Utilities folder of your Applications Folder.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions and select on the “From a Windows PC” option.
  • When prompted, select your PC from the list of computers. Wait until your PC shows the same passcode as the one on your Mac. Then, click continue on both devices
  • Your Mac will scan your PC and show you everything it can transfer. Go through the list and select whatever you want to have on your new Mac.

#2. Spotlight – Find Things on the Device

Before getting on with the rest, it would be useful to understand the Spotlight.

The Spotlight is a search tool that can help you find anything on your Mac device. Therefore, if you can’t find any of the apps in this guide, even the Migration Assistant, simply type their name in the Spotlight.

You shouldn’t be worried about finding the Spotlight because it’s impossible to miss. Generally, it’s the magnifying tool on the top right corner of your screen.

The Spotlight can also connect to the internet to find things for you and even act as a calculator, among other things.

#3. Time Machine – Backing Up Your File

Backing up your files is incredibly crucial, no matter the device. For the Apple MacBook, the official backup application is the Time Machine. It’s a fantastic foolproof software that can help you recover if you ever lose your files.

The Time Machine doesn’t only have this name because it can recover your backed-up files. It also shows you a timeline that you can easily review. The timeline will contain all the restores or changes made every time the Time machine saved its backups.

However, you will need to have an external hard drive. That isn’t bad when you consider that all your files be in your possession instead of some server.

#4. iCloud – To Share and Do Much More Across Apple Devices

If this is the first time you’re buying a Mac, you may already have an iPhone or an iPad. But if this is your first Apple purchase, the iCloud is like having the OneDrive or a Google Drive application for your Mac.

To connect to the iCloud, you will need to create an Apple account. If you already have an Apple account that you use on your other Apple devices, simply use the ID and password of the same account.

When you connect, you can access all the files on the Apple devices connected to the Apple account you’re using on this iCloud. You don’t have to tether or sync up anything.

#5. Help Menu – Your Manual for Using the MacBook

The MacBook is not the simplest of devices for new users. Therefore, it should come with a manual, right?

If you couldn’t find a manual in the packaging, it’s because it’s actually in your Mac.

Help Menu on MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

The Help Menu can help you out with all of your Mac issues. But before you open it, make sure the app you’re having trouble with is already open. That’s because the Help Menu changes according to the open app to make things easier for you.

#6. Setting Up Printers and Scanners

To set up your printer or scanner to your Mac, you’re probably looking for a place to slide its CD or DVD in your MacBook. However, you will need to buy an external SuperDrive because there is no place to put a CD or DVD in new Macs.

Fortunately, you don’t need to use the CD or DVD that came with your printer. Just do the following:

  • Connect your printer to your Mac through a cable. If you have a wireless printer, connect it to the same Wi-Fi network your Mac is currently on.
  • Open System Preferences on your Mac
  • Click on Printers & Scanners
  • Click on the + button
  • Find your printer and connect to it.

#7. Dock – Handy List of Shortcuts

The Dock is the interesting list of icons on the bottom of your Mac’s screen. These icons are for many of the built-in applications Mac users commonly use a lot.

If you don’t use any of the apps on the Dock or you want to clear out space, you can easily customize it. Simply select the icon and drag them out until you see the Remove pop up on your screen.

Also, you can quickly drag and drop apps to add them to the Dock.

Remember, moving anything in or out of the Dock doesn’t mean you remove them from your device. These are just the shortcuts to those apps or files.

You can also change the Dock’s settings in System Preferences. There, you can resize icons, reposition the Dock to other edges of your screen, and do plenty more.

For Advanced Users!

If you’re someone who love to explore new things and want to make your Mac secure from the outer world, you need to follow the things to do with a MacBook as list below!

#8. Recovering Wi-Fi Password

Many people forget their Wi-Fi passwords after setting up all of their devices. It’s common since your Wi-Fi network is saved on your devices.

You can easily find your wi-fi password on your Mac if you come across a similar situation. If you never changed the password, then it will be on the back or bottom of your router. Sometimes, it’s under SSID.

If you can’t find your password on your router or have changed it since it was installed, use your Mac. There is a handy tool called Keychain. You can quickly use the Spotlight search bar to find Keychain. There, you can click on login and find the name of your Wi-Fi network to find its password.

#9. Bypassing Your Mac Password

Getting locked out of your device is a tale as old as time. At least the time after smartphones and computers could be locked with a password.

For this, you can go into the recovery mode by turning off your Mac and doing the following:

  • Press and hold command + R on your keyboard, and press on the power button while holding those keys.
  • Keep holding those keys until you see a progress bar on the Apple logo’s bottom and then release.
  • In the menu bar, select on the Utilities and then Terminal.
  • In the window that pops up, type resetpassword, without any spaces, and press Return.
  • Close the Terminal, and you will find the Reset Password Tool.
  • Select your account and reset the password.

#10. Split View – See Two Apps Side by Side

If you ever want to work on two apps side-by-side without resizing them, use Split View.

For this, do the following

  • Go to the upper left corner of the screen
  • Hover your mouse or click and hold on the green full-screen button.
  • Choose “Tile Window to Right of Screen” or “Tile Window to Left of Screen” in the menu according to your preference.

Split View on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

If your Mac is older than Catalina, you have to click and hold the green full-screen button. After that, drag the window to either the left or right of the screen.

#11. Creating Keyboard Shortcuts

In the MacBook, you don’t simply have to stick with the official keyboard shortcuts. You can quickly create keyboard shortcuts for anything you like, but only if they don’t contradict the official ones.

To create your own, do the following:

  • Go to System Preferences
  • Select Keyboard
  • Select Shortcuts
  • Select App Shortcuts and click on the + on the screen
  • On the pop-up, choose the application you want to create a shortcut of, the name on the menu command, and the keyboard shortcut you want to set for the app.
  • When you’re done, click on Add.

That’s how simple it is to create a keyboard shortcut on your Mac.


We hope you will now find it easier to operate your MacBook if it’s your first time or even if you’ve switched from Windows or Linux OS. If you’re a Mac user for a long time now, let us know what things can be done on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro in the comment section below other than the above-mentioned tips.

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Harshil Patel
Harshil Patel

Harshil is a tech enthusiast with the zeal of changing the way people look at technology. He is often found testing out new gadgets when he's free!

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