How To Switch Windows To Mac

By | 22/10/2022

It’s not besides difficult to say goodbye to Windows, only it does require some effort.

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If you’re a long-fourth dimension Windows user, jumping over to macOS may seem to need a lot of effort, but it’s a lot easier than information technology appears at first glance. Hither’s what you need to know about switching over from PC to Mac.

Nearly PC users who make the transition over to Mac accept to come to terms with what appears to be a major change in the way they think well-nigh computing, as Mac and PC seem to be very different environments. This may take been a large hurdle years ago, but after years of people using iPhones and iPads, too equally a greater push button for ease-of-use by developers in full general, switching isn’t actually equally hard equally it appears.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that at that place’s nothing to think nearly for actually making the motility over. At that place are many elements to consider, and the number of things could seem to be overwhelming, but it is an entirely manageable transition.

Whether this is a cocky-driven transition after buying a Mac, or receiving a gift or a mitt-me-downwardly from a well-pregnant family unit fellow member, it’s something that you tin exercise over the grade of a few hours, and without as well many headaches.

Pre-switch considerations

The list of things that yous need to remember nearly before moving to Mac can be divided up into three full general areas: hardware, software, and data.

PC to Mac – Hardware considerations

Obviously, you don’t have to worry near most of the hardware in a switch, every bit practically nothing within a desktop PC enclosure or a notebook will be physically moving over to the Mac. The only real exception here would be if you were to accept a difficult drive out from the PC and install it into an external drive enclosure to connect to your Mac’south USB or Thunderbolt ports, but that’s information technology.

You lot’re probably ameliorate off thinking about the hardware that you will be connecting up to your new Mac. This is especially truthful for a Mac mini, as while a MacBook Pro has a congenital-in display, keyboard, and trackpad, you practise non have any of those with the Mac mini out of the box.

The M1 Mac mini has many familiar connections to use with your existing peripherals and hardware.

The M1 Mac mini has many familiar connections to use with your existing peripherals and hardware.

In the case of the Mac mini, you will have to consider how to connect a monitor to it, every bit well as a keyboard and mouse, and a network cablevision if applicable. Luckily, the back of the Mac mini has a plethora of standard ports, which makes information technology easy to hook things upward, such equally HDMI, Thunderbolt, and USB.

By contrast, you’re not going to be able to hook up every bit many devices directly away to one of the MacBook lineup, due to the use of relatively few Thunderbolt ports. You may need to consider acquiring dongles or a Thunderbolt dock if you absolutely have to connect external hardware to a MacBook.

In some instances, it may exist worth looking into acquiring wireless versions, such as a Bluetooth wireless mouse, to save from needing a dongle.

You may also utilize this equally an opportunity to check if the hardware you lot are going to connect upwards to your Mac is actually compatible. In the vast majority of cases, peripherals and other hardware you tin connect to a PC will piece of work every bit intended with a Mac, even if it’s not specifically labeled as doing so.

For extremely old peripherals, and rarely for newer devices, there is a run a risk that yous can’t only plug and play with a Mac. In these situations, your best solution is to learn drivers or supportive software from the manufacturer’s website, if they are available.

PC to Mac – software considerations

The practiced news here is that, only as near hardware works across both Windows and Mac with little trouble, yous’re also going to come across the same situation for a lot of software. In many cases, y’all will discover that there is a macOS version of an application that exists, complementing the Windows version.

This is peculiarly truthful for mainstream software suites and other large-name apps. For example, Microsoft Office exists on macOS, equally does Adobe’s Creative Cloud range, and even many games bachelor on Steam. There’southward also web-centric apps and advice tools that naturally take Mac versions available, including Skype, Zoom, Slack, and others.

Of course, for apps created by smaller teams, older tools, and software made just for a Windows audience, at that place probably isn’t a Mac version available, just that is becoming a rarer matter as time moves on.

In cases where there isn’t a macOS app of a Windows plan, there are countless alternates you can learn that practise the same job. This isn’t just limited to apps that don’t have a Mac counterpart, but too many that are perfectly suitable alternates to ones that do. For example, Adobe’south Photoshop could exist easily replaced by Pixelmator Pro, while Microsoft Access data could be imported into FileMaker Pro

Pixelmator Pro, an example of a great app that exists on macOS, but not Windows.

Pixelmator Pro, an example of a great app that exists on macOS, but not Windows.

Apple besides has a wide collection of apps included every bit part of macOS for free, including GarageBand for music creation, the iWork suite for productivity, and Safari and Postal service for web-browsing and e-mail. It is highly recommended that you try out Apple’s born apps and tools, as they may practise the chore you need doing without buying more apps.

As for where to observe apps to install, you could always utilize a web browser to download installers from the developers direct, but iPhone and iPad owners may be more than at abode using the Mac App Shop, the macOS variant of Apple tree’s App Shop. Searching, buying, and downloading apps through the Mac App Store is practically as effortless as doing information technology on iOS or iPadOS, and anyone used to the mobile version will exist able to quickly effigy out and use the Mac version.

In extremely rare situations where a Mac-compatible version or a suitable alternate to a Windows app isn’t available to you, there are still ways yous could get that app running on your new Mac.

If y’all have an Intel-based Mac, you have the option to install Windows on it using Apple’due south Bootcamp. The option isn’t available on Apple Silicon Macs yet, simply that will likely change downwards the line.

The benefit is that yous will have a fashion to run a Windows app on your Mac, considering yous’re running actual Windows. The problem with Bootcamp is that y’all have to completely get out macOS to run Windows on Bootcamp, which can be a fuss for many.

Alternately, virtualization software such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion is coming out with support for Apple Silicon alongside existing Intel versions. The virtualization software can exist used to install a form of Windows that can run apps while within macOS, which allows yous to share information between the Windows app and macOS apps.

Given that y’all volition withal have a working PC on hand, remember that you tin can ever run your Windows-only applications on that for the moment, at least until you become a Mac equivalent running.

PC to Mac – Data considerations

The immediate good news for your data is that most of your files created in Windows volition be entirely readable in macOS, so long equally the file has been copied across to the Mac, and yous accept an awarding capable of opening information technology. Given the number of applications that have both Mac and PC variants that handle the same file types, you shouldn’t accept any trouble opening the vast bulk of files you transfer over.

Just equally mentioned above, in cases where an application isn’t available in macOS merely an alternative can be used, that should as well be an adequate compromise. Developers tend to include compatibility for file types beyond the native ones used by their app, which is a useful thing to know.

Be aware of some application foibles with files you move from Windows to Mac, such as a date bug in Microsoft Excel.

Be aware of some application foibles with files you move from Windows to Mac, such as a date issues in Microsoft Excel.

Practise behave in mind that this extended compatibility doesn’t commonly apply to all historical versions of an app. Opening a file created in a very old version of a Windows-based programme in an alternative app for macOS may not work in some cases, but it is worth trying anyway.

File foibles also exist across the same app on different ecosystems, which may need investigating for some users with mission-critical software and files they desire to apply. For example, equally Excel for Mac uses a different base date for calculations, this could crusade problems when trying to open up a Windows-created Excel spreadsheet on a Mac, equally the wrong results for dates may exist shown. Excel should figure out the disparity on opening the file, but it’s non foolproof.

PC to Mac – Transferring your data

A key problem is working out the all-time way to transfer your data across from the PC over to the Mac, and it’southward not necessarily every bit straightforward as simply copying files onto a USB pollex bulldoze and transferring them over one past one.

For a start, Apple tree offers what it calls the Windows Migration Banana, a software tool for your PC that can exist used to transfer data beyond a network to a new Mac. Usable on Windows vii or later, the tool will be able to transfer a plethora of data types from default data stores on the PC to their equivalents on the Mac.

What data does Windows Migration Banana transfer to a Mac?

  • Emails, contacts, and calendar data.
  • Outlook contacts, appointments, and mailbox settings (32-bit version only).
  • Windows Alive Mail email settings and emails.
  • Windows Postal service contacts, email settings, and emails.
  • Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Safari for Windows, and Firefox.
  • A variety of system settings including language and location, and custom desktop pictures.
  • Photos and other images.
  • Media from iTunes.
  • Files from the top-level folder of the currently logged-in user’s home directory.
  • Non-system files stored in the Windows or Program Files folders.
  • Tiptop-level folders located on the Windows system deejay and other fastened disks.

This data can be transferred over at the fourth dimension of initially setting up the Mac via Setup Assistant, or by using the Mac’s Migration Assistant. Before doing so, ensure you accept sufficient backups for your Windows PC, and that the two are on the same network. Ethernet would be best for faster file transfers.

The installer for the Windows Migration Assistant is only a few megabytes in size to download. Make sure you get the right one for your target version of macOS.

The installer for the Windows Migration Assistant is only a few megabytes in size to download. Make sure you lot get the right one for your target version of macOS.

How to employ Windows Migration Assistant to motility data to a Mac

  1. Install Windows Migration Assistant
    on the Windows PC. Download the version that
    the version of macOS that is installed on the Mac.
  2. Open Windows Migration Assistant
    on the PC.
  3. Either
    turn on
    the new Mac and expect for the Setup Assistant, or on an already set up Mac,
    open up Migration Assistant
    from the Applications folder.
  4. Follow the prompts on the Mac version until information technology asks what system you want to migrate from. Select
    From a Windows PC
    and click
    go on.
  5. Enter the
    ambassador name and password
    into the Mac Migration Assistant. Click
    go on.
  6. Select the
    Windows PC
    from the listing displayed on the Mac.
  7. Bank check the displays of both the PC and Mac to brand sure they’re showing the
    same passcode. Click
    Go on
    on both systems.
  8. Later on scanning the PC, the Mac will prove data types it can migrate across.
    side by side to items you want to transfer, and so click
  9. After migrating,
    the Windows Migration Assistant on the PC, and log into the Mac.
  10. Set a
    new countersign
    for your Mac’s user account.

The migration will do a lot of the heavy lifting for transferring important data, but it won’t necessarily catch everything. You should check through the Mac data to ensure the files you want to be transferred are now on the Mac.

If there are files missing, yous could use a USB thumb drive or prepare a network share to transfer your files beyond.

Information technology is also feasible to remove the drive from the PC and place information technology into a USB enclosure to connect directly to the Mac, equally it will be capable of reading files from drives formatted for Windows systems. While macOS can read NTFS-formatted drives, a format typically favored by Windows, information technology cannot write to the drive, and then keep that in mind.

You could always use an external drive to copy across files you want to keep, if you want to have more control over what moves and what is left behind.

You could e’er use an external drive to copy across files y’all want to keep, if you desire to accept more control over what moves and what is left backside.

Another migration option is to take reward of cloud storage. Applications like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and Microsoft Role offer deject storage elements as office of their subscriptions, which can be used to store user files that each respective organization uses.

In many cases, files are automatically saved to cloud storage to enable access on other devices. This means the files stored online would exist immediately accessible once the Mac version of the app has been installed and user accounts authenticated.

Using cloud storage in this way is meant to be for convenience of admission, only for migrations, it tin can also prove itself to be quite valuable, especially for piece of work documents.

Post-migration suggestions

Adjusting to how macOS works may take a while, and there’due south only then much we tin can cover in this commodity, just it is set upwardly to exist fairly straightforward and quite similar to Windows in a number of means. Y’all will need to take time to larn of the differences, only that’s part of the switching experience.

For case, iTunes doesn’t exist in macOS anymore, with it instead divide off into split apps for Podcasts, Music, and Tv set. You’ll find your transferred content available to view in each of the apps, if you used the Migration Assistant.

The Start button of Windows has its Mac equivalent, in the form of Launchpad, which is attainable from the Dock. You could also use Finder, Apple’due south alternative to File Explorer, to access the Applications binder, which contains apps not located in the Dock.

Keyboard shortcuts are mostly the same as Windows equivalents, simply instead of the Windows key and Alt, you’ll be using Command and Option. A master instance is Control-X, Control-C, Control-5, and Command-Z, which are macOS’ mutual Cut, Re-create, Paste, and Undo shortcuts.

Apple tree has published a list of common shortcuts you can employ within macOS and its apps.

If you want to change a major setting, you will have to access Organization Preferences, which you tin access from the Apple icon in the tiptop-right of the screen.

Since you’ve copied your files over to the Mac, now would be a keen time to invest in an external drive and to apply it for Time Machine, Apple tree’due south fill-in organisation. The last thing you desire is for your hard work from migrating your precious data to go to waste, so get a backup done as presently equally you can.

Lastly, if you’re having problem, expect for assistance. There’southward support documents accessible from the Help choice in the menu for almost apps, while Apple tree has its own extensive online support pages you tin search through for specific issues.