Guidelines for Windows Users Migrating to Mac

Making a switch from Windows to Mac operating system can be a very tedious process. If you are a devoted Windows user, then initially you might be daunted by the sight of a Mac OS. But migrating to an Apple OS is not as difficult as it might sound to be. There are a wide range of Mac programs available and it has better compatibility over Windows peripherals like keyboard and mouse. Here’s a guide on switching from Windows to Mac operating system with ease.


Make sure you backup your entire Windows hard disk drive data on to an external hard drive before taking up this huge task. The next step is migration, but before starting the process, see to it that you perform a full backup of your Windows PC. Though moving all your documents, files and settings to Mac might seem to be a difficult task; it can be easily done with the help of software that is available on the internet.

Fundamental differences:

Microsoft Windows operating system and user interaction with the platform is quite different from Mac OS. Windows users are familiar with the navigation method where they have to navigate to applications and preferences by clicking on the Start button, followed by a course of menus. But, in Mac, there is no Start menu, applications are present on the left side, minimized windows and folders are found on the right. Mac system has a search feature on the top right corner called Spotlight where you can search for a document name, application, etc. Click the magnifying glass icon in the corner or hit Command + Space bar to reveal Spotlight and type whatever you want to search. Under the Apple logo on the top left corner, you will find options for restarting, logging out or shutting down Mac.

Learn the terms right:

Mac and Windows operating systems have their own terms. Learn them right away.



Recycle Bin


Start menu, Taskbar, System Tray






My Computer

Finder App

Working on Mac keyboard takes some time to get used to. Though Windows and Mac keyboards are designed in a similar pattern, there are few differences. The operations performed using Control (CTRL) key in Windows is same as the Command (CMD) key in Mac. Also, there is no Backspace key in Mac, just a Delete key.

Windows – Mac

  • Control key – Command key
  • Alt key – Option key

Application Installations:

Just like in Windows, there is no installation process on Mac OS for most applications. You run an installer to install an application on Windows, whereas in Mac OS, you can download a .dmg file from internet and drag it to your Applications folder or download applications from the App Store. There is no installation required. Mac operating system offers a wide range of productivity with raising features without the need to install any third party software.

App store:

Like the Windows Store for Windows 8, the Mac App Store is for Mac. Some apps are only available from the App Store while some can be downloaded from web. But, for safety reasons, have a preference for apps available from the App Store itself. An advantage about the App Store is that it is easy to analyze top Mac apps in an array of different categories; hence it is a good way to discover new software.

Text document navigation:

Text manipulation is useful for developers, so it is suggested to get familiar with it. Unlike Windows, there are no Home and End keys in most Mac keyboards. There is a substitute to it – Command + Right / Left.

  • To select a line to the right or left, use Command + Shift + ß / à
  • To select a whole document in the preferred direction from the cursor position, use Command + Shift + ↑/ ↓

Manage window:

In Windows computer, you can resize the windows by dragging them to the edges of the screen by using its Snap feature. In Mac, you can do the same with the Spectacle feature. It is an easy Mac OS application that allows you to alter open windows using keyboard shortcuts, with the help of a mouse. To snap a window to the right or left edge of the screen, use Command + alt + à / ß key combination.

Changing settings:

Mac administrators can use policies to control changes that users make to system configurations and settings, just like in Windows OS. However, System Preferences in Mac is less confusing than its Windows counterpart - Control Panel, when it comes to helping users make their own changes. Mac’s Preference menus are clearly labeled and it has Radio button option. It uses simple methods for performing basic spontaneous tasks like Track pad configuration, adjusting display settings, etc.

All these tips will help you to easily switch from Windows to Mac operating system and also get accustomed to the Mac OS. And while you are going about the migrating process, if there is an issue and you happen to lose some files from Windows OS, you can use   Remo Recover Windows Basic to restore lost files software to easily in a short span of time.

Guidelines for Windows Users Migrating to Mac was last modified: March 30th, 2021 by Molly Owen

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