How to Start a Relationship with a New Mac

What can trump the beatitude of unpacking a new Mac? The novelty of a freshly-bought device has an ecstatic quality to it. The allure of the shining computer is almost universally understood by all bipedal, air-breathing species of Homo Sapiens (I have a lingering suspicion that even some primates would be happy to own a Mac).

So, it has finally happened – you’ve become a Mac owner. Maybe your Apple-loving friend has decided to pull you out of the Windows nightmare and showed up with a brand-new Mac to your birthday party. Or, maybe, your significant other wanted to hear your almost feline guttural purring in response to receiving a Cupertino-designed computer. It might also be a case that you’ve decided not to wait for the gift and instead bought a Mac for yourself. How lovely! You know that you deserve it.

After unpacking the Mac and chugging a glass of wine that goes best with such occasion, the first instinct is to kick back and enjoy the sublime computing experience. But wait, there are several things you should do before taking the Mac for a spin. Use the tips below, which are listed in no particular order of importance, to color the subtlest contours of your consciousness (and Mac’s macOSness) with joy.

1. Check for Updates

Save up a month’s salary and buy an engagement ring for your Mac. I’m just joking. The Beyoncé’s “put a ring on it” urging doesn’t apply to Macs. Unfortunately. Instead, what you should do is to check for updates. Nothing pleases a new Apple computer more than a software update. Check whether there is a new update for your device by clicking the Apple button and opening the About This Mac window.

2. Set Battery Status

If you have a portable Mac, enable the battery status. This will let you know exactly how much juice the Mac has. The status can be changed in the System Preferences section of Apple menu. Simply select the Show battery status in menu bar option. By monitoring energy consumption, you will ensure that Mac doesn’t run out of power in the middle of something uber important (an almost-finished video game quest).

3. Connect to iCloud

The next step is to connect to iCloud, which is conveniently located… well, it’s a network of physical infrastructure, but trust me it is palpably close. If you already own an Apple device, you will be able to sync it with Mac. Furthermore, iCloud provides a convenient way to store the most sensitive data offsite, thereby making it less vulnerable to physical damage. Even though iCloud doesn’t let one forego an SSD or a hard drive altogether (something has to be stored internally), you will be certain that nothing happens to the cherished photos, videos, and documents.

4. Go to the Help Menu

Get to know your Mac better by wandering through its Help menu. Overlook the menu, and you won’t discover a deluge of shortcuts and useful tips for achieving the best user experience. The Help menu has plenty of visual cues, which will guide you through the mysterious innards of your system whenever you get stuck. Even the greatest of minds need intellectual assistance when venturing into uncharted territory. Therefore, don’t hold back from asking for help and click Help in the Menu bar.

5. Set up Siri

The Help menu is not the only avenue of receiving help from your mighty Mac. There’s also an omnipresent virtual assistant called Siri. Set up the assistant and get a lot by doing very little. With Siri, you will be able to find files, read emails, run a quick web search, set reminders, launch an app, play music, and so on and on and on.

6. Go for Shopping

Even though you won’t be able to purchase a trendy scarf or some other fashionable item for your Mac (actually you might, but it is probably not into clothing), you can always treat it with a cool app. The Apple App Store has plenty of swanky apps for you and your Mac. Many of them won’t even cost you a dime. Buckle up and start installing!

7. Set Default Browser

Nobody needs to write a Facebook post more than a person who has just become a Mac owner. However, to have access the Web, you need to choose a browser first. Select a browser that pairs perfectly with your surfing mojo and navigates your favorite pages with ease. To facilitate the transmission of your thoughts into a web page and vice versa, it is recommended to opt for Safari. However, if you want to use something else than the Apple’s native browser, you can change the default settings in the General tab of the System Preferences menu section.

8. Change Scrolling Direction

Don’t like Mac’s scrolling direction? Not a problem! Sometimes, it’s OK to go against conventions. Change the scrolling direction in the Trackpad tab of the System Preferences menu section. (And if the section looks familiar, it is because you’ve just been here to set the default browser. It’s cozy here, isn’t?)

9. Manage the Dock

The Mac is a state of art machine, which makes the one operating it an artist. Any artist worth their salt rolls brushes in canvas sleeves and stores them in a drawer where they can be quickly accessed. In the same vein, put the artistic accessories (the apps) you use the most frequently in the Dock. A simple drag-and-drop will do the trick.

10. Use the Box

Don’t throw away Mac’s box. For one thing, you might use it later when you decide to move into a new apartment. For another, your cat will be happy to play in the cardboard castle.

Parting Thoughts

It’s hard to make an inventory of things you should do for your out-of-the-box Mac. The list above is by no means exhaustive, and in no way it is mandatory. It’s more of an ‘it wouldn’t be bad if you were so kind as to do it’ list. Please let me know what you have done for your Mac.