How to switch from Windows to Mac without the frustration

Try this quick experiment. Grab a pen and paper and sign your name with your non-dominant hand. How did it feel? Awkward? Slow? Messy? It probably required conscious effort that isn’t needed when using your preferred hand. That’s how I felt for the first six weeks when I switched to a Mac after using Windows for more than twenty years. On more than one occasion I’d wondered if I’d made a big mistake. The frustration of adapting to a new operating system can be reduced by configuring your Mac to work more like Windows.

Frustrated with a Mac


Photo credit: LoKan Sardari via photopin cc

The biggest challenge for me was muscle memory. I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts and unlearning twenty years worth of practice takes a while. Many shortcuts are similar — often it’s just a matter of substituting the Command key for the Control key. But there are enough differences that you have to stop and think each time.

If you’re considering making the switch, I strongly recommend that you do it when you can afford to be less productive than usual. Like anything worth learning, you have to be prepared to suck for a while until you can do it well. I made the switch during a period of downtime. The inevitable frustration of having to think about things I would normally do unconsciously had a smaller impact. Thankfully, Google has the answers when you get stuck.

Here’s my list of changes that will make your transition from Windows to Mac less painful:

  1. Sort deleted files by date.
  2. Install a window manager.
  3. Dealing with missing keys.
  4. Locking your Mac.
  5. Fix Finder frustrations with XtraFinder.

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