Top Tips for Mac Users in 2018
As screen times across the world increase and computers become an even more intimate part of our lives, it helps to be able to use them more efficiently and securely. If you’re a Mac user, these best practices can help you leverage your amazing machine in smarter, better ways.
Use keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts save you a ton of time. Once you use them mindfully a couple of times, they become a habit and have the potential to boost your daily productivity while avoiding repetitive strain injury. Here are a few of the Mac keyboard shortcuts to start using soon:
- Fastest way to collect files to a new folder: Select the files and tap Command + Control + N
- Cycling between windows within an application: Command+
- Close current window or tab: Command + W
- Hide the current window: Command + H
- Take a full screenshot: Command + Shift + 3 and Select the area you want to capture: Command + Shift + 4
- Open an app Preferences window: When within the app, press Command + Comma
- Find spelling errors: Command + Semicolon
Looking for more? Here is the full list of shortcuts courtesy of Apple.
Delete applications you don’t use
Unnecessary applications waste space on your hard drive and slow down performance. Use uninstallers proactively open Applications and drag the programs you don’t need to your Trash. If you want to delete an application forever, click and hold the Trash icon in the dock and select Empty Trash (if prompted, confirm that you want to empty the trash).
Quit applications you’re not using
By exiting an application on Mac, you don’t close out of it completely; you will need to Quit the program. It is highly recommended because programs running the background eat into your device’s battery life and make your computer work harder. You can identify which programs are running in the background by checking if they have a black dot under their icon in the dock. To quit an application, right click on the icon in the dock or click on the application name in the top left corner, and select to Quit the particular program(s).
Improve security practices
There are a number of steps you can take to improve your device’s security. Here are three that should definitely be on your radar:
A non-admin account for daily activities: The first account on your Mac at the time to set-up is the admin account. This account can be used to delete or change files, and install any software. Create a non-admin account for daily activities to lower the risk of deleting files you didn’t intend to or installing malicious software.
Uninstall standalone Flash Player: Adobe Flash is one of the commonly exploited software, requiring constant software updates to patch new flaws. If you don’t use the software, it is best to uninstall it manually or by using Adobe Flash Uninstaller.
Use a two-way firewall: Though Apple has a built-in firewall offering protection against certain types of attacks, the need for multiple layers of protection has increased in the light of new malware and the rising incidence of cyberattacks. By running a two-way firewall, you can not only tackle inbound threats but also prevent malicious programs on your Mac from connecting to the internet and leaking your personal data.
Back up your files
The importance of backing up your files cannot be emphasised enough. Back up important documents and photos to iCloud or at least an external hard drive. If you’re dealing with too many files, you can always delete the backed-up files from your computer to lean up your Mac. More importantly, backing up to the cloud/external device will give you peace of mind in the event that your laptop is stolen or damaged.
Finally, try to get in small 5-10 minute breaks after an hour at the computer to avoid repetitive strain injury, backpain and dry eyes. Doctors suggest taking shorter, more frequent breaks rather than longer breaks after extended periods at the computer.