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Mac Basics: Guides, Tips, and FAQs for New Mac Users

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Mac Basics is a good place to start when you’re new to the Mac or just need a refresher. You will find guides, tips, and a few revelations that will have you both enjoying your Mac and being more productive.

  1. Installing OS X on Your Mac
  2. Setting Up Your Mac: System Preferences
  3. Setting Up Your Mac: Creating Accounts
  4. Setting Up Your Mac: Using the Finder
  1. Setting Up Your Mac: Backups and Archiving
  2. Reader Submitted Stories and Pictures
  3. FAQs and Glossary

Installing OS X on Your Mac

New Macs come with a version of OS X pre-installed, just waiting for you to dive in and get to work or play. But there may be times when you will need to install OS X yourself, such as to recover from a hardware problem or upgrade to a newer version of OS X. Whatever the reason, these guides will help you through the installation process.

Setting Up Your Mac: System Preferences

Mac Basics: Guides, Tips, and FAQs for New Mac Users

System preferences are the key to cajoling your Mac into working the way you want it to. System preferences are similar in concept to the control panels used in Windows systems. With system preferences, and the individual preference panes that control specific Mac functions, you can customize your Mac and make it uniquely yours.

Setting Up Your Mac: Creating Accounts

Mac Basics: Guides, Tips, and FAQs for New Mac Users

When you first turn on a new Mac, it will walk you through a few setup processes, one of which is to create an administrator account. If you’re like most Mac users, this is the only type of account you may ever need, but there are a few other types of accounts that can be helpful, especially if you share your Mac with other family members.

Setting Up Your Mac: Using the Finder

Mac Basics: Guides, Tips, and FAQs for New Mac Users

The Finder is the heart of your Mac. It provides access to your files and folders, as well as to any hard drives, CD/DVD drives, or other devices you may have connected to your Mac.

If you’re switching to a Mac from Windows, you’ll discover that the Finder is similar to Windows Explorer. But unlike Windows Explorer, the Finder is the heart and soul of your Mac, because you’ll use it in almost every aspect of interfacing with the Mac.

Setting Up Your Mac: Backups and Archiving

Mac Basics: Guides, Tips, and FAQs for New Mac Users

Backing up your Mac’s data isn’t an option; it’s a requirement. But don’t let the idea of backups make you queasy; they are easy to do. Your Mac even comes with a highly regarded backup system: Time Machine.

Reader Submitted Stories and Pictures

One of the first things most new Mac users do is customize their Mac and their Mac workspace. Seasoned Mac users get a continual kick out of customizing their Macs as well. Inspire others by sharing your customization images and stories, or get a hit of inspiration from the images and stories shared by other About: Macs readers.

FAQs and Glossary

The Mac is well known for its ease of use, but some aspects of it are cloaked in jargon or otherwise difficult to get a handle on. The FAQs and Glossary here at About: Macs can help, by providing answers to common questions and demystifying the jargon.

After perusing the glossary, you’ll be tossing technical terms around with ease.

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