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Get your new MacBook up and running

Get your new MacBook up and running

Just bought a new MacBook? Can’t wait to start using it? Get it up and running — and make the most out of your shiny new toy — by making these important changes to your MacBook’s settings.

Check for updates

From time to time, Apple releases updates to macOS. If the tech giant has released a new one since your MacBook was built, you don’t have to miss out on the latest features and patches. You can manually check for updates by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen and choosing System Preferences. If any updates are available, click on Update Now to install them or More Info to see the details about the updates.

Choose a default browser

Safari is the default browser on Apple devices, and many prefer it over other browsers for several reasons. But if you don’t like Safari, you can easily change your default browser to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. Simply go to System Preferences > General and select the browser of your choice.

Enable the Dashboard

Mojave, the latest major release of macOS, became available to the public in September 2018. In Mojave, the Dashboard, which has been used for hosting widgets since it was launched in 2005, is disabled by default. Luckily, you can turn this productivity favorite back on and enjoy easy access to various apps and widgets such as Calculator and Calendar.

To enable the Dashboard, go to System Preferences > Mission Control. Change the Dashboard setting to “As Space” or “As Overlay” to set the Dashboard as the leftmost desktop or to overlay it on the current desktop, respectively.

Configure the Dock

By default, the Dock is located at the bottom of the screen, but you can move it to the left or right by going to System Preferences > Dock. Under “Position on screen,” choose Left or Right.

You can also make room on the Dock for the apps that you frequently use. To remove apps that you don’t need from the Dock, click on its icon and drag it to the desktop until “Remove” appears above the icon, and then release. To add an app to the Dock, open it and right-click on its icon in the Dock. From the menu that appears, go to Option > Keep in Dock.

Set up Siri

Apple’s virtual assistant is enabled by default on your MacBook, but if you prefer not to use Siri, go to System Preferences > Siri and uncheck the box for Enable Ask Siri. Conversely, if want to use Siri, you can choose to customize Siri’s voice, language, and keyboard shortcut in the same menu. Finally, switch Voice Feedback to Off if you want to mute Siri and get responses to your queries as text displayed on your screen.

Flip the scrolling direction

By default, moving two fingers down a MacBook’s trackpad makes the view move down an open document or website on your screen. You can change your trackpad’s scrolling direction so that the same gesture makes the view move up. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad, and under the Scroll & Zoom tab, uncheck Scroll direction: Natural.

Set your screen to lock automatically

Keep unauthorized users out of your MacBook by setting the screen to lock automatically after the system has been idle for a while. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. In the “Require password…after sleep or screen saver begins” option, select “immediately” from the drop-down menu.

Your new MacBook offers many other exciting features that will boost your productivity both at work and at home. For help setting these up and for any other Mac-related questions, contact our team of experts today.

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Chris Butler

Chris Butler is the owner of The Computer Butler in Nashville, TN, where it's not just our goal to forever put an end to the technology headaches you're experiencing, it’s our goal to proactively manage your technology, so that you forget we’re even there. To learn more visit The Computer Butler.

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