Your apple mac computer is usually good to go after you have completed the initial setup and entered your details. Tweaking and adjusting things is not really the Apple way.
Still, there are some things I like to do when I set-up a new Mac and I am going to share this with you here. You have a big family? Setting up iCloud family sharing is one of the first things we do so you can use the calendar on your Mac and/or iPhone. Maybe not the must fun thing to do but useful for people in families like me.
Step 1 – Apple Software Update
All Macs Apple make get their updates from the App Store. You should make sure to check for updates because they can contain not only updates for the OS but also firmware / EFI updates that can solve potential problems. It doesnt hurt to check and its good to just do it now and be done with it. Do it now.
Your Mac now contacts Apple over the Internet to check if there are any updates to your Mac Computer. Do not be surprised if you indeed have some updates to install, even if you just got your Mac. Updates are released fairly regularly and it is always smart to install the latest ones. You may get a window that asks for your password, you need to enter your password to continue. This is safe to do. Your Mac could restart during this update process, this is also normal behavior.
Step 2 – Word Processing
If you come from a Windows world you are probably familiar with Microsoft Office. You can also get it for Mac, or perhaps use the alternative supplied by Apple. Here Are Some Office For Mac Alternatives, Free Ones Too.
Step 3 – Use Spotlight
Spotlight is an extremely powerful searching tool for your Mac. If you ever need to find anything, and by that I really mean anything. Just type in what you are looking for and it will search through all of your documents, files, e-mail, contacts and even applications. Everything you can think of. It is really fast because it makes an index of your hard drive in the background. And when you make changes to files Spotlight will update the search index too. You never have to think about that yourself. It all happens automatically. You can also use it as an calculator, try typing 10+10 and see what happens.
Step 4 – Backup Your Stuff, Now!
In Mac OS X Leopard Apple introduced something called Time Machine. What this application does is to backup your entire hard drive. Imagine all of your images, documents, music lost. Forever. Cant put a price tag on memories can you? If so … go out and buy one of those cheap external hard drives. Plug the hard drive into your mac, and let time machine use that drive to backup your disk. Do not worry on how to set this up, it will ask you when you plug the drive in. Remember hard drives can fail, even the hard drive in your Mac can fail. It would be wise to be prepared for hard drive failure.
I also would like to add that if you have a Mac with flash based storage this is even more important. If an mechanical older hard drive fails theres a chance to be able to recover the data. Although costly, it can be done in some cases. If your flash drive fails however, this is more difficult or almost impossible.
Step 5 – OS X Scroll Direction
For some strange reason Apple decided to change the scroll direction when you use the mouse-wheel to scroll in documents or web-pages. Or when you use the two-finger scroll on the trackpad.
Change it back by going into System Preferences -> Mouse and untick the box you see in the image above.
You are just touching the surface on what you can do with your new Mac Computer. My switch guide will also show you some basics surrounding the use of OS X. Enjoy your new Mac Computer and I hope you get many entertaining and productive years from it. I certainly do.