30 Mac / macOS Getting Started Tips

in this video i’m going to walk through

over 30 of my favorite

mac getting started tips so this can be

handy if you purchased a brand new mac

or if you’ve just reinstalled mac os


are my favorite tips and even if you’re

a seasoned mac user chances are there

will probably be a few of these tips in


that are going to be helpful for you as

well let me know what you guys think

down below in the comment section okay

so without further ado let’s go ahead

and get started

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any upcoming videos the very first thing

i do when setting up a new mac

is to change the tracking speed as you

can see here

it is super slow by default set to level


and it takes several swipes to swipe

across the screen right

so you want to go to system preferences

go to trackpad

and then adjust the tracking speed you

can see it’s on level four by default

so what i do is i just drag that slider

almost all the way to the right second

to the last position

that gives you much faster tracking


so you can quickly get to where you need

to go on mac os so

that is a must do the first thing that i

always do when setting up a new mac

the next thing i do is enable tap to

click for the trackpad

so by default tap to click is disabled


when i tap on the trackpad nothing

happens if i want to initiate a click

i actually have to physically press on

the trackpad like that

but with tap to click enabled i don’t

have to physically press i just simply

tap just like that so this sort of

mimics how

we we’re used to tapping on things with

our smartphones with our ipads

you don’t have to physically press on

the screen you just simply tap

and we can mimic that action here on the


now when you want to drag a window or

any other item around

on your mac what you would normally have

to do is click and drag

just like this but is there a way to

drag a window or other item without

physically clicking on the trackpad well

yes there is

you just want to go to system

preferences and go to accessibility

and under accessibility you want to

scroll down until you see

pointer control click on pointer control

and there you’ll see where it says

trackpad options click that

and then click enable dragging and then

click the drop down box and select

three finger drag and then click ok

so now when you use three fingers on

your track pad

look what happens you can drag without

actually physically clicking

on the trackpad which is super nice and

it goes along well

with tap to click functionality so

you’re not clicking

nearly as much on your trackpad as you

would without these options enabled

now even if you’re using something like

a macbook pro with the built-in trackpad

you may prefer to use a mouse depending

on your personal preferences

but you’ll notice tracking is slow with

the mouse when setting up your mac as

well so you want to go to system


click on mouse and then adjust the

tracking speed just like we did

for the trackpad and that makes moving

your mouse around

much more efficient on your mac and if

you use a mouse you definitely want to

enable the secondary click functionality


right click on your mouse because

otherwise if you

wanted to input a right click you

actually have to hold the control key on

your keyboard

and then click on your mouse but if you

enable the secondary click within system

preferences mouse

right here just click that then you can

simply click on the

right side of your mouse to use the

secondary click that is a

must change when setting up your mac if

you use a magic mouse

open up system preferences mouse and

then click more gestures there you’ll

see swipe between

pages now i’m going to show you why this

is useful normally when browsing

something like safari

if you wanted to go back or for it you

would have to use the back or four


or use a keyboard shortcut but your

magic mouse is actually capable

of using swipe gestures to navigate

safari to go back and forth

so let’s go back to our system

preferences let’s enable swipe between


and now you can see i’m just simply

swiping with a finger

on my magic mouse to go back and to go


just like that in my opinion this is a

must if you’re a magic mouse user

if you’re an apple watch user then apple

watch unlock is a must configure when

setting up your mac so open up system


click on security and privacy and then

click where it says

use your apple watch to unlock apps and

your mac

so i’m going to put in my system

password there click modify

settings so there we go so it’s turning


and once configured i can click this

little lock to unlock

and approve that unlock using my apple

watch just two clicks of the side button

it unlocks this section of system

preferences and of course you can also

use the apple watch to unlock your mac

at the lock screen which is super handy

and for that reason it’s a must

configure feature

when setting up your new mac another

must-have for new mac users

is enabling hot corners hot corners

allows you to launch

certain actions just by placing your

cursor in one of the four corners of the

display so let me show you how to set it

up go to

system preferences click on mission

control and then click

hot corners in the bottom left hand

corner now you’re going to see

four different active screen corners

that you can configure and we’re going

to configure all four of them

so the first one i like to set up is in

the bottom left-hand corner and i like

to set that to show

desktop so you can just select desktop


the next one i like to set up is launch

pad and i like to put that

in the upper left hand corner and the

third one

i like to set up is mission control so i

like to put that in the upper

right hand corner and then lastly i like

to put in the bottom right hand corner

put display to sleep so that it just

makes the screen go black

so that’s how i like to set up my hot

corners of course you can set yours up

however you want to but these are the


i like to do mine so click ok and now

i’m going to showcase

these hot corners for you so bottom

left-hand corner

that’s going to show the desktop just

like that so anytime i want to just get

right back to the desktop maybe i have a

whole lot of app icons on the screen

i want to see something on the desktop

that’s super handy allows me to drag

stuff from the desktop

to another app with ease now the next

hot corner that i configured is

launch pad in the upper left hand corner

and i like this because it just

quickly shows me all the applications on

my mac yes it’s probably not as

efficient as just launching an app with

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spotlight but i like that now in the

upper right hand corner i

set mission control so that allows me to

view all my app windows i don’t have a

lot of apps running right now

but that also allows me to create

additional desktops to move desktops


to move apps between desktops etc

and i just use a handy two-finger swipe

on my trusty magic mouse to move between

those two desktops

so just a really nice way to enable

mission control directly from

the hot corner so the last corner that i

use here is in the bottom right hand


and that allows me to put my mac display

to sleep

and that’s super handy whenever i just

want to turn the screen off

make it black but still keep my mac

running in the background

so it’s not actually putting the mac to

sleep it’s just putting the display to


that’s super handy so that’s the way i

like to configure my four hot corners

but again you can set them up

just like you wish now out of the box

mac os’s keyboard navigation is a bit

limited but we can fix this by going to

system preferences keyboard

clicking on shortcuts and then clicking

the little box that says use keyboard

navigation to move focus between


so before we do that let me just show

you what it’s like when i try to tap


all the various controls right here in

system preferences

keyboard so i’m going to use my tab key

on my keyboard

and just cycle through the various

controls so press tab

press tab again press tab again

and you’re really not seeing the ability

to cycle through that many controls it’s

fairly limited as you can see there

so you’re missing like the restore

defaults button the setup bluetooth

keyboard button at the bottom the little


box lots of things you’re missing let’s

go ahead and enable the use keyboard


to move focus between controls and now

let’s press our tab key on our keyboard

and you’re gonna see that you get way

more control options

when you’re tabbing through so notice

i’m getting on restore defaults getting

on the button below

get see everything i’m able to tab


to navigate on mac os using my keyboard

so this is

super handy and honestly it’s more

efficient to navigate

through certain screens with just your


instead of using your mouse and when

setting up my mac i like to update my

computer name

to something more recognizable so right

now i mean yeah it says jeff’s mac mini

that’s pretty recognizable right but

i like to be a little bit more

descriptive because sometimes i have

multiple macs on the same network and it

just makes it easier to like

to you know quickly identify mentally so

if i press return

after renaming the computer now whenever

that shows up on the network it will be


m1 mac mini so if i’m air dropping


i’m no longer air dropping to jeff’s mac

mini i’m air dropping

to the newly renamed m1 mac mini the new

control center in mac os big sur

is cool and all but i still like to be

able to quickly

access my volume controls right from the

menu bar

with minimal clicks so right now you

have to open up control center

and then you have to click on sound and

then you can access your sound details


of course you can adjust the sound right

from control center but if you want to


outputs either input or output you have

to click again

like this so here’s how we can fix that

issue you want to click and open up

control center and simply drag the sound


up to the menu bar like that and now we

have a quickly accessible sound button

right in the menu bar

and if i hold option while clicking i

can access input settings

along with my output settings now

spotlight has been a staple in the menu

bar for years on the mac but it’s just

not really necessary

because we have keyboard shortcuts you

hold command press space

and then you access spotlight that way

plus i don’t even use spotlight i use

alfred i’ll talk about that a little bit

later hold the command key on your

keyboard while clicking and dragging

out the spotlight icon from the menu bar

and release

just like that alright so let’s talk

about finder specifically what happens

when you open up a new finder window and

what is displayed by default

so if we go to finder preferences under


general tab here you’ll see at near the

bottom of the general tab

new finder windows show by default it

shows recents when opening up a new

finder window i don’t particularly like


i just want a desktop window so i change

that to

new finder windows show desktop so i’m

going to open up a new window command

in and it shows a new desktop

window just like that that’s what i like

to do you can configure that however you

want to

now let’s talk about configuring the

finder sidebar so in finder preferences

click sidebar and you’ll see several

items unchecked like your home

pictures music and movies folders

so since i access those directories all

the time i make sure i enable all those

on my finder sidebar so you can see them

all appear there right under favorites

now i also like unchecking recent tags

because i

generally don’t use tags on my mac so i

just uncheck that it’s one less thing to

have to look at on the sidebar

and of course you can go in here and

configure the sidebar however

else you like to configure you don’t

have to have it just like i have it here

but you do definitely want to go in and

customize it to your liking

now one thing i do like doing is adding

hard disk to the desktop

so under finder preferences under

general i just click

hard disk and that will display all my


internally on my mac and of course by


external disks are displayed as well so

just keep that in mind now keeping


on top when sorting by name is an option

that you can enable

from finder preferences under the

advanced tab

so under advance you’re going to see

where it says keep folders

on top so you can check in windows when

sorting by name

and on desktop so when i have this

option enabled you can see here within

applications the folders are displayed

first so utilities is going to be

displayed first

when sorting by name motion vfx is

actually a folder just has a different

look to it

but utilities of course is a folder as

well and that’s display first so

i like this because it prevents folders

from being mixed up within

other items causing those folders which

may contain

very important things to get lost in the


now making searches use your current

folder is another option that i like

enabling when setting up my mac so under

finder preferences

under advanced i like setting the when

performing a search

option using the drop down menu to

search the current

folder and what that does is it

basically will look for the search terms

within the folder you’re searching for

sorry the way i’m saying folder i know

people are going to have a

conniption fit over it but basically

what this does is it will search the


folder first when performing that search

so if i just type in

apollo here it’s going to search the


folder because that’s the the folder

that i was in but i can also quickly

search this mac search the entire

computer by just clicking

this mac but by default it searches the


folder instead of vice versa it’s yet

another setting that i like enabling

upon setting up a new mac

now another thing i like doing is adding

the user library to the sidebar

in the finder so to do that you just

want to go up to

the go menu so that’s going to show you

your various destinations that you can

quickly get to

but if you hold the option key on your

keyboard notice what happens see it

reveals the library destination

which is hidden by default and only

revealed when holding the option

key so if you hold option you click on

library that’s going to take you to your

user library folder

that contains all sorts of handy useful

things like

application support where you can go in

and find

some of the configuration files that are

related to the applications you use

on your mac and there’s also the

preferences folder that contains

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all the various preferences for the apps

you use as well

so you can tell why this would be handy

to have quick access to

so to gain access to this or to add that

to your sidebar

in the finder it’s really easy all you

need to do

is go up to the file menu and select add

to sidebar

while in that folder and you can see bam

the library folder moved directly to the


for quick and easy access super simple

super easy now i also like to enable the

status bar in the finder and to do that

all you need to do is go up to the view

menu and select

show status bar when you do that you see

a status bar at the bottom of the finder

that will tell you how many items is in

a particular folder

how many items you’ve selected the

amount of storage available

and if you’re an icon view you can

adjust the size of those icons

using the slider in the bottom right

hand corner of the status bar

now taking screenshots something i do

all the time as a mac os user

so i’m going to use the shortcut command


3 to quickly take a screenshot now

notice in the bottom right hand corner

you get this floating thumbnail if you

click on it you can quickly mark up a


easily share that screenshot you can

also drag that window preview directly

into a desired

destination for sharing but for me

personally when i take a screenshot i

don’t want a window preview

i don’t want that waiting for you know

three seconds before it appears on my

desktop which is what normally happens

i just want the screenshot to appear on

the desktop as soon as i execute the


for that screenshot so to do that i’m

going to go to the options for the


and uncheck show floating thumbnail

that’s going to eliminate that floating

thumbnail on the bottom right hand


and when i take a screenshot notice what

happens so i’m going to take my


and bam it appears immediately on the


ready for me to do whatever i need to do

to it

now another thing that i do when setting

up a new mac is to disable the

screenshot shadow now this appears

whenever taking a screenshot of a

selected window using command shift 4

hovering over the window and then

pressing the space bar

and clicking with your mouse so i can

hover over the dock i can hover over

system preferences

click my mouse it takes a screenshot of

that particular window but notice

when i preview or open that particular


you’ll see that shadow that appears

around the edge of that window and

that’s nice because you actually have

that shadow i mean if you look

at that system preferences window there

is a shadow going around it

but for my purposes i don’t need that


when i’m uploading a screenshot of a

window to nine to five mac for a

tutorial or something like that so i

would like to remove that shadow

and that’s what i always do with new

installs of mac os

whenever i get a new mac so i’m going to

show you how to do that using a simple

terminal command

so we’re going to close out of the

screenshot here open up our text edit


and now you’ll see the command necessary

to not only remove the shadow

but also to convert that screenshot to


by default the screenshots are saved as

png files which is okay

but for my purposes uploading to the web

jpegs are going to be smaller

in size so we’re going to open up a

terminal window

in our other folder in launchpad

and i’m going to simply paste that

command in so the first thing it’s going

to do is disable the shadow

the second thing it does is change the

screen capture type to jpeg

and then just press return on the

keyboard so now i’m going to take this

screenshot again

of this window and we’re going to

compare the two so

here’s the new screenshot without the

shadow around it

here’s the one with the shadow without

with with the help with you get it

alright so

another thing comparing the ping file to

the jpeg size wise

you’re going to see a difference here so

we’re going to look at this in list view

on our desktop

and you see it stands out immediately

771 kilobytes

for the screenshot with the shadow in

png format

and then just 216 kilobytes for the

screenshot without shadow

in the jpeg format now i always have

problems with keeping a tidy desktop but

if you right click on your desktop and


use stacks that can go a long way to

keeping your desktop nice and tidy what

this does

is basically groups like files together

in a stack and you can compress or

expand the stack

simply by clicking on it like that so

all my screenshots grouped together in a


makes for a much cleaner desktop you can

also quick look the entire stack by

selecting the stack pressing the space

bar on your keyboard and cycling through

all the various items you can also scrub

on a stack

like this with your mouse and get nice

little previews of

every item within the stack bottom line

if you’ve always struggled to keep your

desktop looking tidy

then stacks can go a long way towards

keeping it nice and clean

when setting up your mac for the first

time you definitely want to customize

your safari start page which is a new


in mac os bixer so when opening a new

safari window with the start page

displaying you can click the settings


in the bottom right hand corner and

customize the start page

to your liking so every time you open up

a new window this is the view that

you’re going to see so you can eliminate


if you just want to display your

favorites you can do that

and that’s what i’m going to do i’m also

going to use a background image

so i’ll just select one of these images

here how about that one you can also add

your own

custom image if you want to do that you

can even use the wallpaper from mac os

use that as a background so this

customize start page is what you’ll see

every time you open up a new window in

safari on your mac

now i also recommend enabling the safari

status bar i’m going to open up one of

my favorite websites of course electrek

and what i’m going to do here is i’m

going to go up to the view menu

and select show status bar you see that

status bar is on

so now whenever i hover over a link

you’re going to see a preview of that

link you’re going to see the url

in the status bar which helps you to

know where you’re going to go

upon clicking that link so obviously

goes without saying a very useful

feature something i think apple should

have enabled by default

and i also recommend enabling the

develop menu bar in safari and the

reason why i recommend that

is because that allows you to view page

source so you can view the code

behind a website which can be useful in


instances especially if you’re a power

user so go up to safari go to


go to advanced and then enable show


menu in menu bar so like it says it will

place a new develop menu in the menu bar

which contains all sorts of goodies but

what i particularly like is just the

ability to right click

and select inspect element with that

option enabled

which allows you to get directly to the

page source option

now yoink is a 7.99 app on the mac app


and it is definitely one of the first

things that i

add to my mac upon a new install or

upon setting up a brand new mac it

improves drag and drop on your mac by

basically working like a

temporary shelf to hold files and then

that allows you to easily move those

files around on your mac

i’ll just briefly demonstrate one


of how this can be useful so right now

i’m going to configure it i like to have

it on the right edge center

and then i like to go into preferences

launch you ain’t get login

uncheck the menu bar icon so what yoink

will do is whenever you drag

anything on your mac any sort of file

you’re going to see you ink up here

wherever you configure it to appear in

this case on the right center

and that works as sort of like a

temporary shelf

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to hold files so

i can use that just drag an additional

file over here

so you can see those two files those two

screenshots and then i can move anywhere

else on my mac i can open up a folder

move to a different desktop even and you


those files are waiting there waiting to


moved to another destination so i can

move that screenshot i can remove that


it just makes using your mac so much

more seamless

and simple now earlier in our video i

talked about spotlight and the fact that

i don’t

really use spotlight at all on the mac


i use a ridiculously handy utility


alfred and because i’m using it as a

spotlight replacement what i’m going to

do first is go into system preferences

keyboard shortcuts in spotlight and

disable the spotlight shortcut command

space because i’m going to assign that

to alfred

and what alfred basically is it’s a

launcher it is

a workflow utility you can see my hotkey

i assigned it to command space

now the downside is that to really get

the most out of alfred you have to have

the power pack which is a 40

upgrade i actually bought a lifetime

license because i just use it that much

but as you can see

what alfred allows you to do among many


is to create a custom web search so i’ve

created a couple of custom searches for

nine to five mac

i’ll show you an example of one of those

in a second you can also save your

clipboard history and quickly access


there are other apps that can do that as

well but this is like an all-in-one like

mega utility and then you have snippets

so auto expanding snippets you can have

that as well

alfred just does so many different

things so here is alfred

i’m using the number nine for my custom

search and i can just quickly search

nine to five mac

right from this launcher spotlight

replacement and there you go

there is my custom search for nine to

five max super simple

super easy that’s just one of the many

things that alfred does

so i i know it sounds like they’re

sponsoring this but no

it’s just something i’ve been using for

so many years and it’s one of the first

apps or utilities that i install on my

mac now i also

love being able to access my clipboard

history so i can go back and find

something that i copied earlier in the


and easily access that and paste it it

makes life so much easier

i also love the auto expanding snippets

so i can quickly auto expand for

instance a right arrow

just like that uh basically this app is

just like

tons of different utilities in one now

let’s talk about the dock

customizing the dock one of the first

things that i do is disable the

recent applications section in the dock

which is something that i find

personally annoying

so what you can do is go to system

preferences go to dock in menu bar

and then simply uncheck where it says

show recent applications in doc

so here are the recent applications they

are to the right

of all of your normal applications and

when i close these out

they remain in the dock as you can see


but if i disable show recent


those items will disappear so let’s go

ahead and uncheck

and you can see they’re gone so i

personally like that because i like to


what’s in my dock just get rid of those

recent applications

makes it super simple and when setting

up your mac for the first time you

should also

definitely customize what’s in the dock

that for me involves getting rid of a

lot of the applications that are there

by default

so to get rid of these apps you simply

drag up hold

and then let go when you see remove just

like that

so i’m gonna go in here and really start

trimming the fat

and even get rid of launch pad because

we have that assigned to a hot corner

remember that

so now i have my dock cut down

and curated just to show the

applications that i actually use

and then from there you can go ahead and

put applications that you regularly use

in the docs so in this case of course

final cut pro

i’m going to go ahead and open that up

and we’re going to make sure it stays in

the dock so to do that you right click

on the app icon go to options and

make sure you select keep in dock just

like that

so that will keep it in the dock now

here’s another way you can keep an app

in the dock you simply

drag it to move it and customize its

place in the dock or its position in the


and that will automatically enable keep

and dock

so you want to do that for all the

applications that you use on a regular

basis now

i also recommend resizing the dock based

on how many apps you have in the dock

based on just your setup of course your

display size

so simply drag on the vertical line that

appears in the dock

to make it larger or make it smaller you

can also do so from system preferences

menu bar and dock another thing that you

may wish to do when setting up your mac

is to move the dock position on screen

so to do so go to system preferences

go to dock in menu bar and then you’ll


position on screen so you can choose to

put the dock on the left side

or place the dock on the right side i

personally would prefer it on the left

i like using the dock on the left hand

side because

you have more horizontal real estate

than vertical real estate

where the dock is by default but of

course that’s going to be up to you i i

kind of switch back and forth between

placing the dock on the left-hand side

or just keeping it at the bottom of the

screen like it is by default

now another thing i definitely recommend

you consider is to enable the

automatically hide and show dock

option so when i check that notice the

dock disappears and it only reappears

when you place your mouse cursor down

near where the dock resides

just like that it’s a great feature for

keeping your desktop nice and clean now

another thing you may want to consider

is to automatically hide and show the

menu bar so if you hide and show your


you can do the same thing for the menu

bar at the top of the screen under dock

and menu bar

settings in system preferences just

enable automatically hide and show menu


and now you get a super clean setup

because you’ve hidden both your menu bar

and your dock and you reveal those

whenever you place your mouse cursor

wherever your dock resides and at the

top of the screen where your menu bar


so ladies and gents that has been my

look at over 30 of my favorite

mac getting started tips let me know

where there any tips that you didn’t

know about

that you plan to use in the future when

setting up your new mac

let me know down below in the comment

section and thumbs up if you appreciated

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a must-have utility for airpods users as

we discuss

air buddy 2 is the perfect companion for

airpods it also extends mac os with the

batteries widget and menu bar icon that

shows all your devices intelligently

grouped and smart stats give you battery

usage over time total listening time

call time and shows you which airpod is

draining this battery more quickly

but airbuddy goes beyond headphones it

can show battery information for your

ios devices accessories like the magic


magic mouse and even other mac’s running

air buddy including their accessories

and with the magic hand-off you can

transfer a magic mouse trackpad or

keyboard between two mac’s running

airbuddy with just a few clicks

go to air buddy dot app slash nine to

five map to learn more

the first 195 map viewers to use that

url will get everybody with a 20

discount special thanks to air buddy 2

for sponsoring 9 to 5




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