macOS: 13 Tricks You Should Know as a Mac Beginner

Apple is establishing the iPad more and more as a working machine, but a Mac is still necessary for many tasks. 

macOS: 13 Tricks You Should Know as a Mac Beginner

We've put together some tips to make it even easier for you to get started in the world of the Mac.


In macOS Big Sur, Control Center has arrived, allowing you to adjust important settings such as screen brightness, volume, and other system features. 

You will find the button for this in the upper right corner of the menu bar next to the time.

Shortcuts in Safari

Safari has always been pre-installed on every Mac to be able to surf the net right after setup. We would like to tell you a few keyboard shortcuts that significantly improve the Internet experience:

  • Command + t: Open new tab
  • Command + r: Reload page
  • Command + 0: Original size
  • Command + +: Enlarge page
  • Command + -: Shrink Page
  • Command + d: Add bookmarks
  • Shift + Command + t: Reopen last closed tab

Mission Control

If you have many windows and apps open, Mission Control can help you. On the one hand, you can find this on F3 on your keyboard or you swipe up with three fingers on the trackpad. 

You will then see all the windows you have opened on the current desktop. Alternatively, you can press Control + Up Arrow key.

Create desks

When you're in Mission Control, you'll see your desks at the top. To the right of it is a plus symbol. If you click on it, you can add more desks, which you can even consider with individual screen backgrounds.

Switch between desks

Either use Mission Control to switch between your desks, or swipe from left or right on the trackpad with three fingers, or vice versa. You can also use Control + left or right arrow key.

iCloud integration with macOS

Apple backs up your data – almost always. Deeply integrated into macOS, you'll find iCloud. In addition to the traditional iCloud folder in the Finder, your desktop and documents folder is also automatically loaded into the iCloud and is always and everywhere available to you. 

On your iPhone or iPad, you can access your documents and desktop content using the Files app. The latter are also synced between all your Macs.

Apple's Spotlight Search

Your new Mac also has a handy search feature that not only finds files or launches Internet searches but can use a flight number to show you flight details or do simple calculations. 

Currency conversion or weather data can also be output quickly here. Just briefly press Command + Spacebar.

Quick actions in the Finder

The Finder is the explorer for your Mac and has all the files ready for you. A handy preview not only shows you the contents of a file but also creates a PDF, rotates an image or converts a PNG into a JPG via underlying functions. Give it a try.

Mark files (colors & tags)

In the sidebar of the Finder, you will surely have noticed the "Tags" area. You can tag individual files with keywords – called tags – or color codes to assign them to a specific topic. 

Right-click to quickly select a color or select "Tags" to get more options.

Apple Watch to unlock

Apple still doesn't have Face ID built into the Mac, but they make it easy for you to unlock your Mac. All you need is an Apple Watch. 

Click the Apple logo in the menu bar, then choose System Preferences. Then click on "Protection & Security". Select the "General" tab. Tick "Unlock apps and Mac with your Apple Watch" and follow the instructions.

Use Siri on Your Mac

Like iPhone, iPad, and HomePod, you can also use Siri on your Mac to change settings, find files, or open certain applications. 

By default, you can find Siri in the menu bar or in the Applications folder. Newer Macs also respond to "Hey Siri." Alternatively, you can start the voice assistant by holding down Command + Spacebar.

Automatic updates

Keep your system up-to-date. This is important to receive security updates automatically. To do this, open System Preferences. 

The gear icon can be found in the dock. Click on it and then select "Software Update". After that, put a checkmark in front of "Update my Mac automatically".

Copy and paste

To copy files, texts, or other content, press Command + c on your keyboard. If you want to paste them elsewhere – such as a new folder or a document – just press Command + v.

With macOS Ventura, the next major update for the Mac is coming up in the fall. You can expect practical innovations in FaceTime, Safari, and other Apple apps. 

The improved Focus Mode, on the other hand, is designed to help you focus better while you're working on your Mac by turning off non-relevant contacts and also disabling certain app notifications when you turn on a status. 

The quick notes, on the other hand, are intended to support you in your work, so that you can make records quickly and easily. As a beginner, this is of course a minor matter at first, as the basics play a much larger role.

Typical startup difficulties for Windows changers

If you have used a Windows PC so far, then you will have to get used to it. Instead of a Start menu, macOS only offers a Dock at the bottom of the screen, while apps hide in the Applications folder. At the top, however, there is a permanent menu bar. 

There you will find all setting options for the currently active app and can only completely exit it there under the app name or in the Dock by right-clicking. 

If you only click on the red button in the upper left corner of a window, only the corresponding window does not close the app. It may take some time for this to pass into flesh and blood. 

Scrolling is also a topic that you should not underestimate. While you scroll down by default on Windows, it's the other way around on Mac. 

This is explained by Apple's design language. Accordingly, pushing upwards is more natural – you can also push a long receipt upwards to read it. In addition, there are other pitfalls, such as copying, iCloud, and much more, which we would like to explain to you on the following pages.

What advice would you give to Mac beginners? Let us know in the comments.

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