The macOS operating system is an incredibly powerful and sophisticated platform that can be used to do a variety of tasks. Whether you’re a veteran user or just getting started, learning the basics of macOS is essential for using it effectively. This guide is here to help you get up and running with macOS by introducing important concepts, functionality, and features.
What Is macOS?
macOS is an innovative operating system that provides users with an effortless and secure computing experience. Developed by Apple Inc., macOS, formerly known as Mac OS X, is the proprietary and official computer operating system for all Mac computers. Since its initial release in 2001 as Mac OS 10.0, the advanced operating system has received regular security updates to keep it’s platforms secure. The current version, macOS 10.13 High Sierra was released in October 2017 and contains many helpful features making users’ everyday computing much easier.
With the stability of macOS, the use of Apple computers has risen significantly over the years due to its user friendly interface, virus protection capabilities and various built-in applications. As one of many reasons people choose Apple hardware to operate on their devices, they also benefit from an ever-expanding array of software, leading to a complete and superior computing adventure every day. With its easy navigational tools and strong security measures helping you protect your documents against access by untrusted applications or malicious users, there’s no wonder why so many prefer Macs over other PCs!
The Basics of Using macOS
Desktop and Menu Bar
The Mac interface features core components when booting up, such as the menu bar located at the top of the screen and the dock at the bottom. Looking at all your windows from behind we can see your desktop on which to store files from hard drives, external drives or mounted disk images which you’ve connected to your machine. Folders can be created easily by right-clicking and arranged as necessary on the desktop through the drag and drop function.
The menu bar changes for each app in focus but remains an essential part of the user experience. It has multiple menus containing various commands used to control specific functions like opening a file or printing a document to name a few examples. Other items visible in this area include shortcuts that launch applications, buttons to adjust the sound volume or access other system settings and more. The menu bar is easy to use and provides quick access to an array of commonly used tasks.
The dock is one of the main user interfaces in macOS and serves as a way to quickly access applications and open files. The interface is split into two sections, with the first section displaying pinned shortcuts to apps and minimized applications and windows. The other part of the dock will populate with all running applications.
To launch an app you just have to click on its icon. Right-clicking on any icon gives you options to keep or remove it from the dock, customizing your setup according to your needs. It’s also possible to drag around icons on the dock for further customization. Unlike Windows’ Start menu, macOS’s dock offers a much simpler and more organized interface for accessing programs and documents with just one click away at any time.
Finder is the default file management app that comes pre-installed on Mac computers. It acts as a window into your hard drive and other connected devices, allowing you to browse their contents. With Finder you can organize, search for, delete, move and copy files and folders to manage your Mac’s file system.
The Finder interface consists of several components; a tab bar which appears when opening a new tab in the Finder window using keyboard shortcuts control + T command (⌃+T), a path bar at the bottom which displays the location of the current folder, and a status bar which shows how many items are contained within that folder as well as available disk space. You can toggle these components using the View menu bar item. Finder opens up possibilities for managing all files on your Mac more efficiently, such as organizing them into custom created folders instead of having all items scattered across multiple devices.
Spotlight is the Mac’s powerful search engine, and is easily accessed with a quick press of Cmd + Space (⌘+ space). This floating window allows you to quickly find files, folders, documents, notes, email, messages, and more – all within seconds. No matter what your workflow is like or how much content you have saved up in your Mac, Spotlight makes it effortless to locate what you are looking for.
Aside from helping you quickly access existing content, Spotlight can also be used as an application launcher – and makes it very easy to open different apps on your computer. All that’s required is typing in the name of an app as a query – hit Enter and the top result will be actioned right away. Not only is Spotlight extremely handy for locating files and applications fast – but it’s also incredibly helpful for anyone due to its intuitive design and convenient use on macOS.