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Best macOS Tips and Tricks for New Users: 10 Essential Techniques

Ready to unlock the full potential of your Mac? Whether you’re a new user or looking to level up your skills, we’ve got you covered. Discover the best MacOS tips and tricks for beginners that will revolutionize how you use your device. From productivity hacks to seamless navigation, this guide is packed with practical insights to supercharge your Mac experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Mastering split view can enhance productivity by allowing you to work on two apps simultaneously, boosting efficiency.
  • Organize your desktop and apps efficiently to minimize clutter and find what you need quickly, leading to a more streamlined workflow.
  • Utilize keyboard tricks to boost your macOS efficiency, such as using shortcuts for common actions, saving time and effort.
  • Integrate your Apple Watch for a unified Apple ecosystem, enabling seamless connectivity and access to notifications on your wrist.
  • Managing notifications for a streamlined workflow can help you stay focused and avoid distractions, improving overall productivity.
  • Quick access to system settings and preferences allows for customization and optimization of your macOS experience, tailoring it to your specific needs.

Using Finder

Finder is an essential tool for macOS users, allowing you to effortlessly navigate and manage your files. It’s like a digital filing cabinet where you can store all your documents, photos, videos, and more. With Finder, you can easily locate specific files or folders on your Mac.

When you open Finder, it displays all the files and directories on your Mac. You can use the dock to create new folders and move files around for better organization. For instance, if you have a collection of photos from a recent trip that are scattered across different locations on your computer, simply drag them into a new folder within Finder to consolidate them in one place.

Organizing Files with Tags and Labels

Tags and labels are powerful tools in macOS that allow you to quickly find and sort your files based on categories or themes. Let’s say you have various work-related documents spread throughout different directories – by applying specific tags such as “Work” or “Urgent,” you can instantly filter through hundreds of files to find what you need without having to remember exactly where each file is located.

Mastering Split View for Enhanced Productivity

Multitasking Efficiency

Multitasking is essential for new users looking to maximize their productivity on macOS. With Split View, you can easily split your screen between two apps, allowing you to work seamlessly without constantly switching between windows. For instance, if you’re working on a document in Pages and need to reference information from Safari, using Split View enables you to view both apps side by side.

Splitting the screen between two apps also allows beginners to compare documents or data from different sources quickly. This feature is especially useful when writing reports or conducting research as it streamlines the workflow by eliminating the need to manually resize and position individual windows.

Customizing Window Sizes

One of the best macOS tips and tricks for new users is customizing the size of each app window in Split View according to your specific needs. By clicking and dragging the divider between the two app windows, you can adjust their sizes effortlessly. This flexibility ensures that you have optimal visibility of both apps simultaneously based on their importance at any given moment.

Customization options like this are particularly beneficial for those who frequently work with multiple applications simultaneously but require more space dedicated to one app over another at various times during their tasks.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Seamless Navigation

To further enhance efficiency when using Split View, take advantage of keyboard shortcuts designed specifically for this purpose. Utilize commands such as shift + command + arrow key (left or right) to switch between apps seamlessly within Split View mode.

These keyboard shortcuts eliminate the need for manual mouse clicks or trackpad gestures when navigating between split-screen applications, saving time and effort while ensuring a smooth transition from one app to another within Split View.

Organizing Your Desktop and Apps Efficiently

Decluttering Your Desktop

Is your desktop cluttered with files? Organize them into folders to keep everything tidy. This will make it easier to find what you need. For example, create separate folders for documents, images, and downloads. Utilize the Stacks feature to automatically group similar files on your desktop based on file type or tags. This helps maintain a neat and organized desktop without manual effort.

Another way to keep your desktop clean is by utilizing the Dock for quick access to frequently used apps. By arranging apps in the Dock, you can easily launch them without having to search through various folders or windows.

Streamlining App Access

The Dock is an essential part of macOS that allows users to open apps quickly and efficiently. It’s located at the bottom of the screen by default and provides a convenient way to access certain functions within applications as well as switch between open apps.

By customizing the Dock with your most-used applications, you can streamline how you interact with your Mac. Consider placing commonly used apps such as Safari, Mail, Calendar, and Finder in the Dock for easy access at all times.

Maximizing Screen Space

When working on a project or simply navigating through different tasks on your Mac, maximizing screen space is crucial for efficiency. Keeping only essential items visible can help reduce distractions and improve focus.

Utilize features like full-screen mode when working within certain applications to eliminate unnecessary visual clutter from other open windows or programs. Using Spaces—a feature that allows multiple virtual desktops—can further help in organizing different sets of tasks or projects while keeping each one separate from others.

Capturing the Moment with Screenshots and Screen Recordings

Keyboard Shortcuts for Screenshots

Taking screenshots on your Mac is a breeze, thanks to convenient keyboard shortcuts. To capture the entire screen, simply press Command + Shift + 3. If you want to select a specific area, use Command + Shift + 4 and then drag to choose the desired section. This quick and easy process allows you to capture important information or share amusing content effortlessly.

If you need to take a screenshot of a scrolling window such as a webpage or document, hold down Command + Shift + 5 to open the Screenshot toolbar. Then click on “Capture Entire Page” after choosing “Options.” This feature ensures that no vital details are left out when sharing lengthy articles or web pages.

Another useful tip is using Preview to make simple edits like cropping or adding text before sharing screenshots with others. With these handy tricks at your fingertips, you can efficiently communicate information without any hassle.

Enhance Your Communication with Screen Recordings

Sometimes words aren’t enough to explain something effectively; this is where screen recordings come in handy. Whether it’s creating tutorials for friends or capturing memorable gameplay moments, recording your screen can be incredibly beneficial.

To start recording your screen, press Command + Shift + 5 and then select “Record Entire Screen” or “Record Selected Portion.” Once recorded, easily trim unnecessary sections from the clip by using QuickTime Player — another built-in app on macOS that simplifies video editing tasks.

Moreover, utilizing Markup tools enables you to annotate and edit both screenshots and recordings before sharing them with others. These tools allow users not only to add text but also draw shapes and lines directly onto images — perfect for highlighting essential points in tutorials or emphasizing key elements in screenshots before sending them off.

Safari Shortcuts and Tips for a Better Browsing Experience

Tab Management

Are you tired of sifting through a multitude of tabs in your web browser? Well, here’s where tab management comes into play. By utilizing tab management techniques like pinning tabs and creating tab groups, you can keep your browsing organized and clutter-free. For instance, by pinning important tabs, such as email or calendar pages, they will always be readily accessible on the left side of your tab bar. Creating tab groups allows you to categorize related tabs together for easy access.

Moreover, these tips are especially beneficial for new users who may find themselves overwhelmed with multiple open tabs while navigating the web. By implementing these techniques early on in their macOS experience, they can streamline their browsing activities efficiently.

Reader Mode

Enabling Reader Mode is an absolute game-changer. This feature transforms cluttered websites into clean and easily readable pages by removing ads, pop-ups, and other unnecessary elements from view. It provides a seamless reading experience that focuses solely on the content at hand.

For new users who are just getting acquainted with macOS features, this tip can significantly enhance their browsing experience by allowing them to indulge in distraction-free reading without being bombarded by irrelevant information or advertisements.

Safari Extensions

Safari extensions are like little add-ons that bring extra functionality to your browsing experience. These small but mighty tools can greatly enrich one’s time spent surfing the internet by providing additional features such as ad blockers, password managers, language translators, and much more.

Getting the Most Out of Your Force Touch Trackpad

Uncovering Hidden Features

The Force Touch trackpad on your Mac offers more than just regular clicking. By utilizing the Force Click feature, you can unlock additional options and functionalities within various applications. For instance, in Safari, a Force Click on a link will open a preview of the webpage without fully loading it. This allows you to quickly glance at the content before deciding whether to navigate to the full page.

When using Quick Look to preview files or documents, applying a Force Click on specific file types like PDFs or images enables you to annotate them directly without opening any other application. These hidden features not only save time but also enhance productivity by streamlining tasks that would typically require multiple steps.

Customizing Trackpad Settings

To optimize your user experience with the Force Touch trackpad, customizing its settings is essential. Within your Mac’s System Preferences, under Trackpad settings, you have access to an array of customization options. You can adjust parameters such as tracking speed and click pressure sensitivity according to your preferences and workflow requirements.

For example:

  • Increasing tracking speed allows for swifter cursor movement across the screen.
  • Adjusting click pressure sensitivity lets you determine how much force is needed for a click or a Force Click.
  • Enabling tap to click eliminates the need for physically pressing down on the trackpad surface.

By tailoring these settings based on your usage patterns and comfort level, you can significantly improve your interaction with the trackpad while working on various tasks.

Harnessing gestures on your Mac’s trackpad offers seamless navigation and efficient multitasking capabilities. Simple gestures like swiping between full-screen apps or activating Mission Control allow for quick transitions between different windows and applications without having to reach for keyboard shortcuts or use multiple mouse clicks.


  • Using three-finger swipe gestures enables rapid switching between desktop spaces.
  • Pinching with thumb and three fingers activates Launchpad for swift app access.
  • Employing four-finger swipes facilitates effortless navigation through webpages in browsers like Safari.

These intuitive gestures not only expedite task completion but also reduce reliance on traditional input methods such as keyboard commands or menu selections.

Managing Notifications for a Streamlined Workflow

Customizing Notification Settings

. By tailoring your notifications, you can reduce distractions and improve your focus during work hours. Head to System Preferences > Notifications to tweak these settings. From here, you can choose which apps are allowed to display notifications and even specify how those notifications appear.

Customization allows you to prioritize important alerts while minimizing less urgent ones. For instance, if you’re working on a project that requires deep concentration, consider turning off non-essential app notifications like social media or news updates. This way, only critical alerts will pop up on your screen.

Grouping Notifications for Easier Management

Another helpful tip is grouping notifications by app or topic. Doing so helps in managing them more efficiently and prevents the clutter of multiple individual alerts from overwhelming you. For example, instead of receiving separate messages from various messaging apps such as iMessage and WhatsApp, group all messages together under one notification banner.

By grouping similar types of notifications together, such as emails or calendar reminders, you can quickly glance at them without being bombarded with multiple separate pop-ups throughout the day.

Utilize Do Not Disturb Mode In addition to customizing and grouping notifications, take advantage of the Do Not Disturb mode feature available on macOS. This function temporarily silences all incoming calls and alerts when activated.

If there’s a specific time during the day when uninterrupted focus is essential – say during an important meeting or while tackling a complex task – simply activate Do Not Disturb mode for peace of mind without missing any critical information.

Keyboard Tricks to Boost Your macOS Efficiency

Essential Shortcuts

Mastering keyboard shortcuts is crucial for enhancing your efficiency on macOS. For common tasks like copying, pasting, and undoing actions, knowing the right key combinations can save you time and effort. To copy text, simply press “Command” + “C”, then paste it using “Command” + “V”. If you make a mistake, use “Command” + “Z” to undo the action. These simple shortcuts can significantly speed up your workflow.

Another essential shortcut is using the Spotlight search feature by pressing “Command + Spacebar“. This allows you to quickly launch apps, find files, or even perform calculations without navigating through multiple folders or menus. By harnessing these shortcuts, new users can navigate their Mac more efficiently.

Custom Shortcuts

Customizing keyboard shortcuts for frequently used apps or commands can further streamline your experience with macOS. You can create custom keyboard combinations for specific functions in various applications such as email clients, word processors, or design software. For instance, if you frequently use a particular formatting style in a word processor, creating a custom shortcut for that function can save you from repeatedly navigating through menus.

Moreover, utilizing third-party applications like BetterTouchTool enables users to assign complex key sequences or gestures to specific tasks based on their preferences and daily routines. By taking advantage of these customization options, new users can tailor their Mac experience according to their unique needs and habits.

Integrating Apple Watch for a Unified Apple Ecosystem

Seamless Connection

To enhance your experience as a new user of macOS, consider integrating your Apple Watch with your Mac. This integration allows for seamless connection and interaction between the two devices. By doing so, you can enjoy a unified ecosystem that offers convenience and efficiency in managing your daily tasks.

When you connect your Apple Watch to your Mac, you open up a world of possibilities that streamline various processes. For instance, you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac without entering the password every time. This not only saves time but also adds an extra layer of security to your device. It’s like having a digital key that automatically grants access to your Mac when it detects the presence of the paired Apple Watch.

Enhanced Convenience

Unlocking your Mac using the proximity of your Apple Watch eliminates the need for manual input, making it incredibly convenient especially when you’re in a hurry or have multiple tasks at hand. The simplicity and speed at which this process occurs contribute significantly to an improved user experience on macOS.

Moreover, by connecting these two devices, you gain the ability to receive notifications directly on your wrist via the Apple Watch, even when away from your desk or laptop. Whether it’s an important email or a calendar alert, having these notifications accessible on-the-go ensures that you stay updated and informed throughout the day.

Media Playback Control

Another notable advantage is being able to control media playback on your Mac through the convenience of using just one hand – simply by tapping and swiping on your wristwatch screen! Imagine effortlessly adjusting volume levels or skipping tracks while listening to music or watching videos without needing direct physical contact with your Mac itself.

Quick Access to System Settings and Preferences

Using the System Preferences App

The System Preferences app is a powerful tool for customizing various settings on your Mac. You can easily access it by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.” Once inside, you’ll find a wide range of options to personalize your Mac experience, including display settings, sound preferences, network configurations, and much more. For example, if you want to change your desktop background or screensaver, simply navigate to the “Desktop & Screen Saver” section within System Preferences.

Another handy feature is that you can customize the items displayed in your menu bar through System Preferences. This allows you to add or remove icons for quick access to certain functions like volume control, Wi-Fi connectivity, battery status (for laptops), and more.

Accessing Control Center in macOS Big Sur

For users with macOS Big Sur installed on their Macs, accessing frequently used settings has become even easier with the introduction of Control Center. Similar to its counterpart on iOS devices, Control Center provides quick access to essential controls such as Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth settings, Do Not Disturb mode toggle switcher from notifications center – all conveniently located at the right corner of your menu bar.

With just a few clicks or taps from this centralized location within Control Center’s interface accessed via clicking its icon at the top right-hand side near where Spotlight search resides next door; users can instantly adjust brightness levels without having ever opened up another window before finding what they need!

When it comes time for locating specific system preferences quickly without navigating through layers upon layers within menus or windows – look no further than Spotlight search! By pressing Command + Spacebar simultaneously opens up an instantaneous search bar overlay that lets you type keywords related directly towards whatever setting adjustment might be needed at any given moment; then hitting Enter will bring forth relevant results matching those terms entered earlier so one could select desired option straight away instead scrolling endlessly looking everywhere else first only come back empty-handed later when nothing seems found despite trying so hard previously due frustration mounting over fruitless efforts made thus far.

Closing Thoughts

Congratulations on reaching the end of this macOS tips and tricks guide! By now, you’ve uncovered a treasure trove of strategies to enhance your Mac experience. From mastering Split View for multitasking to utilizing keyboard tricks for swift navigation, you’re equipped with an arsenal of efficiency-boosting techniques. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to dive in and start applying these tips to your daily workflow.

Now it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action. Take a moment to explore the sections that resonated with you the most and experiment with the tips provided. The more you integrate these techniques into your routine, the more seamless and enjoyable your Mac experience will become. Keep discovering, keep learning, and keep embracing the endless possibilities that macOS has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some basic macOS file management tips for new users?

When you’re just starting with macOS, it’s essential to understand how to navigate and manage your files effectively. Start by familiarizing yourself with Finder, organizing files into folders, and utilizing tags for easy retrieval.

How can I enhance my productivity using Split View on macOS?

Split View is a great feature for multitasking. To use it efficiently, simply drag windows to either side of the screen and adjust their sizes as needed. This allows you to work seamlessly with multiple apps simultaneously.

What are some tips for organizing my desktop and apps efficiently on macOS?

Keeping your desktop clutter-free is key to staying organized. Create folders for different types of files, use Stacks to automatically organize items, and utilize Launchpad or the Dock for quick access to your favorite apps.

How can I capture screenshots and record my screen on macOS?

To take a screenshot or record your screen, press Command + Shift + 3 (screenshot) or Command + Shift + 5 (screen recording). You can also customize the settings in the Screenshot app or use keyboard shortcuts for specific areas.

Are there any useful Safari shortcuts and tips that can improve my browsing experience on macOS?

Absolutely! Use Command + T to open a new tab, Command + L to focus on the address bar, and swipe left/right with two fingers on the trackpad to navigate between pages. Also consider using extensions like AdBlock for smoother browsing.

What are some keyboard tricks that can boost efficiency when using macOS?

Keyboard shortcuts are game-changers! Learn common ones like Command + C (copy), Command + V (paste), and Command + Z (undo). Explore system-wide shortcuts such as Command + Spacebar for Spotlight search – it’s like having superpowers at your fingertips!

How do I quickly access system settings and preferences in macOS?

You can easily access system settings by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.” Alternatively, use Spotlight search by pressing Command + Spacebar then typing “System Preferences” – it’s swift as lightning!

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