Maintenance - Switching from Windows to Mac: The Unofficial Guide to Making a Seamless Switch to Mac OS Yosemite (2015)

Switching from Windows to Mac: The Unofficial Guide to Making a Seamless Switch to Mac OS Yosemite (2015)

Part 3: Maintenance

Preserving Battery Life

If you are using an iMac, then this section will obviously not apply since iMacs don’t run on battery, but if you have a MacBook, then this section for you.

Most MacBooks can easily get over 6 hours of battery life, but there are things you can do to get even more.

· Go to System Preferences > Energy Saver and under the Battery tab, choose to put hard disks to sleep whenever possible, and dim the display slightly while on battery power. You don’t want to set it too low, or you’ll find it going to sleep when you are reading or doing a task that doesn’t require movement.

· Keep the screen only as bright as you need to clearly see the screen. The F1 key will minimalize the brightness and F2 will make it bright again. If you are at the beach then you will want the brightest, of course; but if you are in a dark room do you really need full brightness? Probably not.

· The keyboard also has brightness that can be adjusted with F5 and F6 on your keyboard. Backlight on the keyboard really helps in a lowlight setting, but when it’s broad daylight, you really don’t need it—even at the brightest, you probably would not even be able to tell that it’s on.

· When you run websites with Flash, you are killing your battery. Be cautious of what you are using—especially if you are low on battery.


iCloud lets you store things like photos and videos online. It’s kind of like Google Drive or Dropbox. Best of all you get 5GB for free. Lots of cloud-based storage sites give you more storage than Apple—so why use it?

· You’ll be able to back up your contacts so they are synced perfectly across your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Make a change in a contact card or add a new contact, and the change or addition will be reflected across all of your synced iCloud devices.

· Media files purchased through the iTunes Store won’t count against your storage.

· It makes files available across all of your Mac devices.

If you haven’t set up an iCloud account, you can create one by going to System Preferences > iCloud and following the on screen instructions. Once you’re finished, you’ll be able to select what kind of data you’d like synced through iCloud: Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Safari, Notes, Keychain, and more. At the bottom you will notice a bar that indicates how much storage has been used up, and how much available storage you have left.

If you want more storage, you can pay extra. The following are the rates as of this writing:

· 20 GB for $0.99 a month

· 200 GB for $3.99 a month

· 500 GB for $9.99 a month

· 1 TB for $19.99 a month

If you decide to change your mind and don’t need the extra storage plans, Apple gives you 15 days to contact them and ask for a refund.

Time Machine

Everyone worries about losing their data; Apple helps you out with one of their most powerful behind-the-scenes apps: Time Machine.

Time Machine will back up all of your files, applications, and settings with minimal configuration or headache. In the case of a catastrophic event such as hard drive failure, having a Time Machine backup can allow you to quickly recover all of your data and applications, and even all of your settings (such as your desktop background and even the specific location of icons on your desktop).

You will need to buy an external USB or Thunderbolt hard drive. It is recommended to buy a drive that is larger than the current used space on your computer. For example, if you have used 100 gigabytes of space on your computer’s hard drive, you should buy at least a 120 gigabyte hard drive.

You can also purchase an additional Time Machine Airport Capsule that does all of this wirelessly.

To get started, plug the hard drive into your computer and Time Machine will start automatically. It will ask you if you would like to use the drive as a Time Machine Backup Disk. Choose “Use as Backup Disk”.

If Time Machine does not start automatically, go to Finder > Applications > Machine, and click “Choose Backup Disk”. Select your new hard drive.

After you specify the drive to use as a backup, Time Machine will automatically begin backing up your data.

Software Updates

If you want your computer running smoothly then make sure you update regularly; updates are free and come once every couple of months. They fix minor bugs and sometimes add things to correct vulnerabilities that might make your computer open to viruses.

Mac OS X, by default, will prompt you when updates are available, and you need only to click “Update” and enter your password in order to run the updates. Sometimes, in the case of major updates, you will need to restart your computer to complete the update. You can click “Not now” if you would like to delay the updates until a more convenient time.

Appendix A: Keyboard Shortcuts

General Shortcuts

Command-X - Cuts or removes selected text or item and copies it to the clipboard.

Command-C - Copies the selected text or item to the clipboard.

Command-V - Pastes the contents of the clipboard into the document, app, or finder.

Command-Z - Undoes the previous command.

Command- Shift-Z - Redoes the previous undo.

Command-A - Selects all text or items in the running program.

Command-F - Opens the Find window to find documents or other items.

Command-G - Finds the next occurrence of a previously found item (i.e. Find Again).

Command-H - Hides the current running program or front window (Note: this will not work if you have a program running in full screen).

Command-Option-H - Hides all the open apps and windows.

Command-M - Minimizes the currently open window or app (Note: this will not work if you have a program running in full screen).

Command-Option-M - Minimizes all open apps and windows.

Command-N - Opens a new document or window.

Command-O - Opens an item (for instance if you are in Word or Pages and you want to open a previously saved document).

Command-P - Print the current website or document.

Command-S - Save the current document.

Command-W - Close the front window or app

Command-Option-W - Close all open apps and windows.

Command-Q - Quit an app.

Command-Option-Esc - Force quit a program that is not responding.

Command-Space Bar - Brings up Spotlight to quickly find documents, emails, and apps.

Command-Tab - Switch to the next open app (Note: if you don’t let go of Command and continue hitting the Tab button, you can continue going to the next app.

Command-Shift-3 - Take a screenshot of your entire screen.

Command-, - Opens the Preference menu (if applicable) for the current app.

Document Shortcuts

The following shortcuts are applicable to supported document software like Word, PowerPoint, Pages, Excel, OpenOffice, etc.

Command-B - Bold or un-bold the selected text.

Command-I - Italicize or un-italics selected text.

Command-U - Underline or remove underline to selected text.