Our migration guide for those moving from PC to Mac continues. The next section is:
Beginner's guide to the Mac
What's the Mac equivalent of Windows 10's Task View/virtual desktops?
The Task View feature in Windows 10 is a clear rip-off of Mission Control, which has been in macOS/OS X for several years and works nearly identically.
To access Mission Control, either hit the shortcut key at the top of the keyboard (or the TouchBar icon), or run the Mission Control app in the Applications list of Finder. To add new desktops click the plus button at the top right. To switch between desktops, either bring-up Mission Control and click the desktop at the top of the screen, or tap Ctrl+left or Ctrl+right. Note that's the Ctrl key, and not Cmd!
I just can't get used to the Dock. Is there any way to get a Start menu and taskbar on a Mac?
Try uBar. For what it's worth, many people choose to hide the Dock, so it's out of the way unless the mouse cursor is at the bottom of the screen. Alt+Cmd+D switches on and off Dock hiding.
How do I play my DVD or Blu-ray discs on my Mac?
Apple prefers you to purchase or rent movies within iTunes and to this end no Macs come with an optical drive nowadays. Therefore, first of all you'll need to purchase a USB DVD or Blu-ray drive.
How do I zip files/unzip files?
Right-click a file or folder and select the Compress option to instantly create a zip archive alongside the original file(s). Note that it's not possible to add a password to a zip using macOS, or set the strength of compression. To decompress a zipped file, simply double-click it and again the decompressed contents will instantly appear in the same folder.
macOS supports zip compression and some Linux/Unix archive file formats out of the box, but support for decompressing other major formats - including RAR - can be added by installing the free-of-charge The Unarchiver. Also note that there are macOS versions of both WinZip and WinRAR.
How do I assign a drive letter to my USB stick or other removable storage?
Macs don't use drive letters. Any USB stick you insert should appear in the left-hand sidebar of Finder under the Devices heading.
Technically speaking, USB sticks are "mounted" within folders in the /Volumes folder - and you can browse directly to this by opening Finder, hitting Shift+Cmd+G, then typing /Volumes before clicking Go.
How do I access my digital camera once I've connected it via USB?
It should appear as an entry in the lefthand sidebar of Finder under the Devices heading, and you should also find that Photos opens to let you automatically import any content.
However, you can also manually import photos and videos using the Preview app, which is in the Applications list of Finder. Once the camera is attached via USB, click the File menu, and then select the relevant Import From entry at the bottom of the menu.
Importing content via this method is very similar to the way it's been done for years on Windows in that you'll see thumbnail previews of the camera contents and can pick and choose which to import - and where you'd like them to be stored on your Mac.
Where can I view Device Manager for my Mac?
The macOS System Information app shows similar information about hardware devices, the operating system and apps installed on the system. It doesn't let you adjust any settings but this is much less necessary because of the tight integration between operating system and hardware in a Mac.
You can find the System Information app by clicking the Apple menu, then About This Mac. Then click the System Report button. In future you might choose to just hold down the Alt key (Option on some keyboards), and click the Apple menu, and then the System Information menu option.
How do I install new audio/video codecs on my Mac?
Outside of specialist codecs for audio-visual work, there's currently no way to add additional codecs to macOS.
macOS supports a select handful of today's commonly used codecs and container files out of the box, such as MP3 audio and H.264 video files that typically have an .mp4 file extension. The older MPEG2 format used on DVDs is also supported.
If you attempt to play a video file in an unsupported codec, macOS might attempt to temporarily transcode it into MP4 before each and every playback, which typically takes a long time. However, some video formats, including the once-popular DivX/Xvid format (MP4 Layer 2), are simply not supported on macOS.
Often the simplest solution is to use a third-party playback app like the free-of-charge VLC, which is able to read virtually every video/audio type (including the popular Matroska Video File (.mkv) container format), or to manually transcode the video to MP4 using a free-of-charge app like Adapter.
How do I migrate my Windows files to my Mac?
We have a more detailed tutorial about this here: Learn how to migrate Windows files to a Mac
Also read: How to set up a new Mac
How do I find hardware drivers?
You very likely won't need them. Just plug in the hardware and use it - USB sticks and memory cards will be found under the Devices heading of Finder.
However, there are perhaps two exceptions. Graphics drivers are installed with each macOS update but for cutting-edge gaming performance only if your Mac feature Nvidia graphics you can install new drivers manually. If your Mac uses Intel or AMD graphics then you cannot manually update the drivers because Intel and AMD don't make them available to end users.
The other exception is printer drivers, which you might need to download from the manufacturer's website. However, many drivers are built into macOS for popular models. To check if a printer is installed, open System Preferences and click the Printers & Scanners heading. If the printer doesn't appear in the list, click the Plus icon at the bottom left and follow the instructions.
Drivers usually aren't required for Mac OS X although the exception can be for printers for which a driver isn't included within OS X itself
How do I scan documents or photographs on my Mac?
The equivalent of Windows Photo Gallery or Windows Fax and Scan is found in System Preferences - click the Printers & Scanners heading, then select the scanner or multifunction device in the list at the left and click the Scan tab, and then the Open Scanner button.
How do I get files off my Windows-formatted USB stick or memory card?
Just insert it into your Mac. Macs can understand the FAT format used on most USB sticks, memory cards and external hard drives. If the stick, card or disk is NTFS-formatted you'll only be able to read files and not write new ones. If you frequently need read/write access to NTFS-formatted disk, third-party apps like Tuxera NTFS for Mac or Paragon NTFS for Mac can help.
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