New to the MacOS ecosystem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hassel, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. hassel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
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    Narnia
    #1
    I ordered a 27inch imac and it arrives tommorow very excited.

    What if any would be the first thing you do after the initial setup, any tips tricks or things adjust, alter?

    Dont know what version of the operating system it comes with would I be wise to upgrade to the latest one?
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #2
  3. hassel thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 18, 2016
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    #3
    Thankyou for the reply that webpage looks invaluble for me
     
  4. techwarrior macrumors 65816

    techwarrior

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    If you are familiar with iOS devices, macOS should seem pretty familiar. Sure, there are a lot of differences, but many concepts carry over between the two OS.

    Use the forums, like this one. Ask questions, but be humble and offer that you are new to the OS and folks will be exceedingly helpful.

    Make use of Google searches such as "X alternative for Mac" where X is a Windoze program you are looking for a Mac version of, many developers have both Mac and Win versions of their apps, but for those who don't, there are plenty of alternatives. Use the App Store primarily (for safety reasons) until you know who the trusted developers are.

    Don't sweat Anti-virus\Malware too much, it is still relatively uncommon to see security issues with Mac. But, don't entirely neglect security. Many users swear by Malwarebytes, I have not used that in years but do use the free Sophos app.

    If you install apps you find you don't want to keep, search for an uninstaller that comes with the app, sometimes it is contained within the .app bundle. Officially, you will be told to simply drag the .app bundle to Trash, but this is not a clean uninstall as described below.

    Apps are stored in a .app bundle (think of it like an executable .zip file in a way) in the /Applications directory. Don't try and get fancy and install apps in other locations, it will eventually lead to heartache. To see contents of an .app bundle, right click on the app icon in Finder and select show package contents. If there is no uninstaller for the app, consider some free or low cost utilities like AppCleaner. While some apps only use the .app bundle, many put resources in a few other locations. To completely clean up apps you no longer use, AppCleaner will search for these other files and offer to remove them for you.

    If you have an Apple Store near you, find the free workshops they offer and use them. Repeat workshops, the instructors tend to have a rough outline but will tailor classes to questions users have. So, others in your class might bring up topics that you have not thought about and are not on the specific agenda. That is ok, because you will keep learning every time you go to these classes. And it will give you the chance to bring up your own questions and get expert advice, the instructors are often quite knowledgeable, generally well more versed than the "Genius Bar" techs.

    Be patient, and enjoy the learning curve. Sure, at first you might feel a wee overwhelmed with new stuff. But in the end, computers are computers. Many of the things you can do on Windoze are possible on Mac, but with differences in most cases. Within a week or two, it will feel pretty natural, within a year, the curve will flatten and you will be very comfortable.

    If you are technical, familiar with Unix\Linux, you will find the Terminal app is your gateway to all kinds of fun. MacOS is fundamentally a Unix based OS (BSD), but departs from it's Unix underbelly in many ways. Many *nix command line utilities are unaltered, or only modestly modified on the macOS platform. But, the file structure of Macs is a tad different than the *nix filesystem. Learn the file system if you are going to go down to this level.

    Have fun learning in your new reality!
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    My advice:

    DON'T be tempted to "upgrade to the latest OS" (Mojave) yet.

    Just "use things as they are" and get yourself acquainted to how things work.

    The iMac should come with OS 10.13 on it (High Sierra).
    You -do- want to upgrade to the latest version of HS.
    Check right under the "Apple" menu -- "about this Mac".
    It will tell you which version of the OS is installed.

    If it's not 10.13.6...
    You can download something called the "combo updater" here:
    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1970?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    Run that and you'll be up-to-date with the final release of High Sierra.
     
  6. hobowankenobi, Oct 10, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    on the land line mr. smith.
    #6
    I find alot of switchers get frustrated with some of the default Finder (Explorer equivalent) settings. There are tons of viewing options, so don't be afraid to look at changes to Finder defaults. Or to ask.

    Apple has a strong tendency to minimize every dialog box. Looks pretty...but essential options seem to be missing to new users. Open up all dialog boxes (printing, save as, etc.). They stick, so do it once and be done (per user, and some per application)

    Good tips here and here and here.
     
  7. Starfia macrumors 6502a

    Starfia

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #7
    Congratulations, hassel!

    If you ordered your Mac from Apple recently, it will probably come with the initial version of macOS Mojave – the current major version of the operating system.

    You'll be prompted to set up a few big important things the first time you start it up. The only one that's truly required and unchangeable is the name of your main user folder, which contains subfolders for most of your personal data ("Documents", "Movies", "Pictures", "Music", etc.). People sometimes use their names for that, but it has to be one word.

    The other big important things are setting up an Apple ID (this will be associated with any purchases of apps from the Mac App Store, as well as purchased of music, movies or TV shows from Apple, as well as your iCloud storage and your registered devices such as that Mac), whether you want to use iCloud at all, whether you want to use Siri, whether you want to allow your Mac to send anonymized diagnostic data to Apple, and whether you want location services enabled (to enable features like Find My Mac if it's stolen, to allow the Maps app or web sites to know your Mac's location, and so on). I think all of that can be declined or skipped during initial setup, but each of those things is potentially useful enough to merit setting up right away.

    Notifications on the Mac appear at the upper-right corner of the screen. Shortly after you've set up, you should get a notification offering a tour of the Mac – similar to that web site above.

    At any time, select "Help > macOS Help" from the menu. Apple's documentation is generally really good and task-oriented.

    It's hard to predict what else a newcomer would want to know without knowing your background, but feel free to ask specific questions here if you have them. There are plenty of simple basics to learn as you get started, and many more nerdy details and tricks to learn once you're in the swing.
     
  8. Applefan2015 macrumors member

    Applefan2015

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    Feb 22, 2015
  9. hassel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Location:
    Narnia
    #9
    hey guys many thankyou some good reading there.

    4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
    8GB 2400MHz DDR4
    512GB SSD
    Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory
    Magic Mouse 2
    Magic Keyboard - British
    Accessory Kit
     
  10. Applefan2015 macrumors member

    Applefan2015

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #10
    Good spec! Enjoy your iMac bro
     
  11. Lunder89 macrumors 6502

    Lunder89

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    Oct 16, 2014
    Location:
    Denmark
    #11
    As someone who once came from Windows. Here is a great tip to enjoy the Finder a lot more. On Windows the Explorer will snap everything to a grid, the Mac will not. Not by default. And I think having files and folders automatically organized by name is much more preferable.

    If you want to enable it, here is a good way to do.
    1. Click the Desktop, so you know the Finder is active
    2. Pull down the Go menu in the Menubar at the top
    3. Click Home. The reason I always use the home folder for this is, that it won't have any other customizations that can cause something unwanted later
    4. Hold down command on the keyboard and hit J. That will bring up a customization panel
    5. In the menu "Sort by" select either "Snap to grid" (I think that is what it is called in English) or any other preference you might have. I prefer Name.
    6. At the bottom click Use as Default to make it the default on your Mac.
    Doing this made it a lot easier for me to transition to the Mac. And it is the first thing I do on any new Mac today.
     
  12. goslowjoe, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018

    goslowjoe macrumors regular

    goslowjoe

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2017
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    On the lonely planet, somewhere in the desert
    #12
    Makes me think of my switch from Windows to Mac in 2015, after 25 years of IT in a Windows environment. My first reaction was, wow, this is just simply fantastic. I have never looked back. If I can offer one tip, because it happened to me, it is this: Total Cost of Ownership. Your new Mac may cost a lot more than just the initial purchasing price. Whatever works on a Windows platform is not going to work here, assuming you will use only macOS.

    You therefore need to purchase apps to use on your Mac and unless you have already purchased subscription-based apps that allow you to switch to the new platform, it could be expensive. MS Office 2016 (I cannot use Apple's office suite for compatibility reasons at the office), Pixelmator (I needed this for graphic design), Malwarebytes (whatever you do, NEVER install MacKeeper), Paragon NTFS (essential for Windows compatibility), Etrecheck (awesome app for Mac maintenance) and a few others ended costing me a bit of money. If you can get away with "free versions" then do so, but I always feel any "free" app must have a catch somewhere.

    In the end, the switch I made decided the road for the future. Enjoy your new Mac!
     
  13. Helpfixit macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #13
  14. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2015
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    on the land line mr. smith.
    #14
    To the point of MS Office....

    The Apple Apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) are pretty good for home use. If you don't like them or they don't have all the functionality you want, before you pop for Office for Mac, check out LibreOffice. It's quite good.

    Also: Most home Mac users don't need any specific security software, at least much less so than a traditional Win box. Apple does a good job limiting risk from most traditional threats (viruses, worms, etc.) But there is some adware/malware out there, so do consider some of the good free software for security, but watch out for the pushy stuff:

    Nearly everything with Keeper of Cleaner in its name is to be avoided at all cost.

    Good free tools to consider here. Tools I use on different machines:

    MalwareBytes (limited free version)
    Sophos Home
    AVG
     
  15. MacGizmo macrumors 65816

    MacGizmo

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Arizona
    #15
    As someone who has used Apple computers for over 30 years and never had a single major problem, the best piece of advice I can give you is:

    IGNORE EVERYTHING PEOPLE HERE AND EVERYWHERE ELSE TELL YOU. People have numerous problems and found lots of great apps and tricks to solve them. Take the advice of people who haven't had to find hacks, tricks, and apps to fix problems because they don't have them, to begin with.

    Do NOT install anti-virus, anti-malware or anti-anything software. Do not install any sort of disk cleaning, optimizing or "fixing" software of any kind. They cause more problems than they fix. This isn't Windows OS... things don't just "break" on their own on the Mac (for the most part), they break because the user breaks them.

    Just leave the Mac alone and get to know it for a while. See what's "normal" for a while so that when you do install things, you'll know immediately when something isn't right.

    Play with different settings to see what YOU like, not what other people convince you that you should do because it's "better, safer, smarter, faster, etc."

    Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
     
  16. wlisik macrumors member

    wlisik

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2018
    Location:
    Poland
    #16
    Ive been through this 2 months ago.... I came from Windows ecosystem and - to be completely hopnest - it was very wise move....

    For me it was very smooth transition as I had watched hundreds of YT movies of people using Apple ecosystem, as well as borrowing MBP from my friend to 'feel' the OS, so when package arrived, I wasnt total stranger..... :)

    My first thing after unboxing and initial setup? Update. Many preinstalled apps (like Numbers etc) were out-of-date.
    Than came time to browse AppStore and purchase/install my desired apps, customizing look&feel of macOS, and just working.....

    For me transition Win > macOS was extremely smooth and one way. I will not use Windows ever. Without any regrets.
     
  17. mrex, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

    mrex macrumors 68040

    mrex

    Joined:
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    europe
    #17
    if you have ntfs drives, macos can only read ntfs, not write on it. prepare to format all external drives and usb sticks or install Tuxera or so to be able to handle ntfs drives correctly.

    major problem i have with macos is horrible slow smb and finder.
     
  18. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #18
  19. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2015
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    on the land line mr. smith.
    #19
    SMB issues vary widely depending on server and client OSes and configuration. We have all SMB at work (on both Win and Linux servers), and no issues (performance or otherwise). Note that Apple is retiring AFP, and SMB is the default since 10.12 as I recall.
     
  20. mrex macrumors 68040

    mrex

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    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #20
    yes, afp is deprecated but it wasnt any better for me and i have no issues with windows either.

    of course everything is related to the whole network. i just have given up trying to speed up browsing the content from the nas with macos/finder. everything i have tried, hasnt helped abit. and you can find alot about ”slow smb and macos” related topics, so there are plenty of fixes which may or may not work. transfering speed is much slower from mbp than from win laptop (3-4x faster).. but that is not the main proble,, the problem is browsing the content from the nas - it is so slow and takes time to even see thumbnails of files. the bigger the folder is the more time it takes to see the content.

    apparently apple is now providing another solution to speed up browsing (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208209) but i havent tried it yet... i quess i could try it later today.
     
  21. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #21

    Good info. Obviously you are aware of the historical challenges. Good to know Apple has actually addressed it officially....not the case years ago.

    I need to time some downloads to a Win box and compare to Macs. Been subjectively happy with our file servers, but that does mean very much without some timed comparisons.

    I do see an issue with thumbnails now that I test. Not speed, some images don't load at all. Not a bid issue here, but not working correctly.

    ....BUT:

    To stay on topic, for most home users, this likely a secondary issue at best.
     
  22. The Hammer macrumors 6502

    The Hammer

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  23. gracjankn, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

    gracjankn macrumors newbie

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    Poland
    #23
    Wrong. You should always upgrade to newest system as soon as possible (except for beta).
    --- Post Merged, Oct 28, 2018 ---
    Right. You are smart guy. That's just crazy what's going on with different "cleaners", "security stuff", "optimizers" anti-this, anti-that, battery sth, disk sth... People, just stop installing all of those! Those are malware that can break things in your OS. Again... This isn't windows! Just use your computer smart and avoid strange website, suspicous apps and pirated software, and you willl be safe. I use only trusted apps from well known developers and if that is an paid app - simply pay, without downloading pirated version or free alternative that is 10 times worse and maybe not safe.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 28, 2018 ---
    Check your Security and Privacy settings. Make sure that Firewall is turned on. Same thing with other important security feature - System Integrity protection. Type in Terminal "csrutil status" and press return (enter). If it says "System Integrity Protection status: enabled" - that's fine. If not - follow this guide: http://bit.ly/2yDywbz. Remember to always use the best, trusted apps (not free or cheapest). Before you buy an app check it 4 or more times. Please understand that making software is a hard work and don't be one of those people who write comments like "Great app but it should be 1 dollar - 1 star".
     
  24. The Hammer, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

    The Hammer macrumors 6502

    The Hammer

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #24
    Agree with Fishrrman. Don't upgrade to Mojave just yet. It's on a shakedown cruise right now so more bugs can be worked out. Wait a while. I May do it next September at it's final release point when it's a mature release.
     
  25. gracjankn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Location:
    Poland
    #25
    Why? It's a month after final release and it already works fine. I don't see any bug at this point. That's a good practice to always upgrade your system to the newest version because of security. If you don't use any niche software you shouldn't have any problems. Waiting to next system version with upgrading to the actual it's just crazy (and not recommended). You are doing harm to the user you recommend it. He is the user with clean installation so there isn't any reason to not upgrade.
     

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