From Microsoft Windows to Mac OS X, the beginner's guide to help disillusioned Windows users mo

From Windows to Mac: the guide for Windows expats fed up with Microsoft desktop operating

systems, its GUI interface, and the never ending enforcement of updates that end up braking something as they fix something else. For you and the millions that are ready to ditch Windows.

Since the inception of Windows 8 Microsoft desktop users have been growing uncomfortable with the changes and the new cloud feeling of the operating system. Most users found themselves having to learn a new way of doing functions they've been doing the same way for years. Then came Windows 10 and Microsoft had the brilliant idea of pushing the Operating Systems even if users didn’t know what they were getting into. Although we cannot argue with the fact the Windows 10 is more secure than the previous version of Widows we can't deny either that it has brought a plethora issues to user as well.

Besides the fact that users now need to learn how to maneuver around the Operating System we still experience the never ending forced updates and hardware compatibility issues known by Microsoft users for years. Discomforts like this made users look into other options, either downgrading their desktops to Windows 7 or explore other desktop operating systems such as Google Chrome, some flavor of Linux, or Mac OS X. It is known that Apple has lagged behind Microsoft in the desktop environment but that gap has been narrowing more and more. Users are taking the plunged into the Mac world and finding the reliability and consistency they thought it was impossible to have in a Microsoft environment. Though they may feel intimidated by the initial learning curve they soon discover there's nothing to be worried about, as a matter of fact, they regret not having switched over sooner.

Switching OS has its initial toll of learning how do functions that are ingrained in your muscle memory, something so simple as copying text in a Windows environment with Control+C keyboard shortcut can become very frustrating when trying to do it on a Mac, or the simple intuitive right click function in Windows can become a conundrum for new Mac users. For that and many more frustrations I experienced during my transition to a better OS I decided to create a list common functions and how they are done in Windows and Macs, once you learn the basic interaction with your Mac you’ll realize how easy, intuitive, and stable it is.

The list contains useful, basic functions in Windows and how to do the same function in a Mac. As you may already know there are multiple ways of doing the same function in the in either Operating System, I just point out how to do in one way in Windows and how to do it in Mac. The list is great for beginner to the Mac world or people switching from Windows to Mac.

All roads lead to Rome: there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task, I simply chose one or two ways to demonstrate how to carry out the same function in Mac and Windows.

Examples in this article are based on Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan.

I hope you enjoy it.

Function: Right Click.

Windows: Right mouse click or Shift F10

Mac: Hold Control Key and click on folder

Function: Rename a Folder.

Windows: Right mouse click\ Rename

Mac: Click on Folder and press enter key or click with two fingers.

Function: Copy text selection.

Windows: Press Ctrl Key + C

Mac: Press Command Key + C

Function: Paste Selection.

Windows: Press Crtl Key + V

Mac: Press Command Key + V

Function: Cut text selection.

Windows: Press Crtl Key + X

Mac: Press Command Key + X

Function: Screen Capture, Print Screen.

Windows: Snippy Tool, Press Print Screen key.

Mac: Grab Utility, Shift+Command+3 for Screen shot or Shift+Command+4 to select.

Function: Viewing Running programs, system processes, CPU utilization, Memory allocation.

Windows: Task Manager- You can access by pressing Crtl+Alt+Delete keys.

Mac: Activity Monitor - Can be accessed by typing Activity Monitor in Spotlight.

Function: Creating User Account.

Windows: Control Panel\User Accounts.

Mac: System Preferences\Users & Groups.

Function: Changing your password.

Windows: Press Crtl+Alt+Delete, Select Change password.

Mac: Open System Preferences, Users & Groups, Select user and click on Change Password.

Function: Renaming a User Account.

Windows: Control Panel, User Accounts, Manage Another Account, Select Account, Select Change the Account name.

Mac: System Preferences, Users & Groups,hold Control Key and Click on Account. Select Advanced Options, Change Account name. locate option to name computer and click on Change.

Function: Rename Computer.

Windows: Control Panel, System, click the Change settings button to the right of the computer name, click Change to rename the computer.

Mac: System Preferences, Sharing, click the Edit button on the top of the window to change computer name.

Function: Open up command window.

Mac: Type cmd from the run box.

Mac: type Terminal from Stoplight.

Function: Check interface IP address.

Windows: type ipconfig from command line.

Mac: type ifconfig from terminal window.

Function: Change Computer Name.

Windows: Control Panel, System, Click Change settings in the computer name section of the screen.

Mac: System Preferences, Sharing, click the Edit button on top right side.

Function: Change Network Settings: TCP/IP, DNS, Duplex speed.

Windows: Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, Change adapter settings, right lick on interface, select Properties.

Mac: System Preferences, Network, select Interface on the left hand side and Click on the Advanced button.

Function: Change Desktop Background.

Windows: Right click on the Desktop, Select Personalize.

Mac: Right click on the Desktop, Select Change Desktop Background.

Function: Install an application from the Web.

Windows: Download executable and double click on it to run it.

Mac: Download .dmg file, double click on it, Drag Program to the Application folder.

Function: Remove Application.

Windows: Control Panel, Programs and Features.

Mac: Drag application from the Application folder in Finder to Trash.

Function: Making system changes and configurations.

Windows: Control Panel.

Mac: System Preferences.

Function: Log off.

Windows: Wi7—Click start Menu, Click on Arrow next to Shutdown, Select Log off.

Windows: Win10 – Click the Start menu, Click your user icon, select Sign out.

Mac: Click on the Apple icon on the Menu bar, select Log Out.

Function: Changing an Icon size.

Windows: Right Click on the Desktop, choose Display Settings, drag bar to desired size.

Mac: Right click on the Desktop, Select Show View Options, drag bar to desired size.

Function: Checking a folder\file size.

Windows: Right click on it, select Properties.

Mac: Right Click on it, select Get info.

Function: Adding Application Icons to Dock\Taskbar.

Widows (Taskbar): Right Click on application shortcut, select Pin to task bar.

Mac (Dock): Drag application shortcut to the Dock bar, it will create a space for it by spreading other shortcuts.

Function: Hiding – Repositioning Dock\Task Bar.

Windows (Taskbar): Right click the Taskbar, select Settings or Properties (depending on the OS version).

Mac: System Preferences, Dock.

Function: Proper remove of USB drive.

Windows: Click on the up-pointing arrow on right side of the Taskbar, Click the USB icon, Select Eject Mass device.

Mac: Right Click on USB mounted device on the Desktop, select Eject …

Function: Force close an application.

Windows: Open up Task Manager (Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete), select Task Manager, Select Application tab (Win7) or Processes tab (Win10), Right Click desired application, select End Task.

Mac: Open Activity Monitor (type it in Spotlight), Select either the CPU or Memory tab, click on the desired application, click on the Quit (The X in the octagon in the upper left side on the windows), select to Quit or Force Quit.

Function: To Delete a folder\file.

Windows: right click on item, select Delete.

Mac: Right click on item, select Move to Trash.

Function: Recover deleted item.

Windows: Double click on the Recycle bin icon, drag item to out of it.

Mac: Click on Trash, drag item out of it.

Function: Find installed Applications.

Windows: Click on the Start Button, Windows 10 displays all installed applications.

Mac: Open up Finder, Select Applications


Is this all there's to know for the basic understanding of Mac? Absolutely not, however it will help you in a get started with the basic functions. Trust me, I understand how frustrating it is to stop your work for 30 minutes because you can't do a simple right click.

Do I recommend all Windows users in an office environment to switch over to Mac? Not really, we understand there are many valid the reasons for Windows Desktop in a business environment, a properly configured and implemented Active Directory Domain makes centralized administration much simpler for the organization.

Is Mac OS X better than Windows 10? It all depends who you are talking to, I believe each OS has its place in a business environment. For stand alone user or users in a workgroup i recommend Mac over Windows.

Do I need an Antivirus for Mac? Yes, however viruses are a less common for Macs but they are still vulnerable.


About PreciseTek: We are a small but vibrant technical service company out of midtown NY serving small and medium sized businesses in Manhattan, Queens, and Northern NJ. We specialize in desktop, network, and information security services. Check our site at for information about our company and services.

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