8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Switching to Mac From Windows

Alvaro Bernedo

Mac Switcher Main

OS X, the operating system that all Macs run, can be confusing and overwhelming at first to Windows users who’ve just made the switch. In fact, perhaps the hardest part of switching to a Mac is not the system itself, but the habits that most of us carry from using Windows for years.

So, if you recently got your first Mac and are wondering what awaits you, read on to find out about the most common mistakes that Windows users make when using their Macs for the first time.

1. Not Learning About Basic Keyboard Shortcuts

This one is almost self-explanatory. In fact, every Mac owner that wants to be truly productive with their Mac needs to learn useful keyboard shortcuts, like the ones we showcased here. Many OS X features and several Mac applications are built with shortcut-users in mind.

Mac Switcher Keyboard

2. Closing Applications Is Not the Same as Quitting Them

When you click on the ‘X’ button at the top right of any Windows app, it quits that app entirely. But when you do the same with a Mac app (buttons are at the top left of apps in this case), the app will only close but not quit, allowing you to ‘reopen’ it much faster in case you need to access it again.

Mac Switcher Quit App

To completely quit an app on Mac press Command + Q or click on its main toolbar menu and select the right option.

3. Running a Downloaded App From Its Disk Image

Disk images are containers for Mac applications and several new Mac switchers mistake them for installers, so they click the app icon inside the disk image thinking it will install the app, when in fact it will open the actual application in most cases, which has to be dragged into the Applications folder before using. So just eject the disk image after you drag the app to the Applications folder.

Mac Switcher Disk Image

4. Maximize and Minimize A Window

Double-clicking on the top bar of a program window on Windows always takes the window to fullscreen. If you do that with a Mac app though, you will achieve the exact opposite result, sending the app straight to the Dock in minimized form.

Mac Switcher Minimize Maximize

To maximize an app’s window on a Mac, click on the ‘+’ button at the top left of the window.

5. Looking For Menus At the Top Of Every Window

It takes a while, but all Mac users get used to look for the menus of applications on the menu bar that sits at the top of the screen, instead of each app wasting space with its own set of options.

Mac Switcher Menus

6. Using the CTRL Key Instead Of the CMD Key For Shortcuts

Pretty self-explanatory. Macs use the Command key instead of the Control key for most of their shortcuts.

7. Using Uninstallers

Windows users are used to dedicated uninstall programs to remove other programs from their computers, which is why we tend to look for those kinds of apps when we first start using Macs. On Macs though, all you have to do in most cases is to simply send the application you want to delete to the trash and empty it.

Mac Switcher Delete App

8. Delete vs. Backspace

If you come from Windows, seeing that “delete” key on your Mac’s keyboard can be confusing. On Windows, you use the “Backspace” key to backward-delete and you use “delete” to do the opposite. On a Mac though, the “delete” key deletes characters backwards, and to forward-delete you have to press the “Fn” key while pressing the “delete” key. Crystal clear, right?

Mac Switcher Delete Key

And that’s about it. So now you know which mistakes to avoid if you are switching to a Mac from a Windows PC. Put them to good use! And don’t worry it only takes a while to get used to OS X.

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Alvaro Bernedo

Written By

Alvaro Bernedo

Contributor at Guiding Tech