It’s not a secret, that using a Mac as my main device in the Microsoft world is a little bit exotic. I have to admit:I love this device! It’s the best combination of hardware and software I have ever used. But this came a looong way.

How can you work professionally with that thing?


Apple’s macOS is not the customizable system. If you don’t like the decisions, that Apple made for you, there are only a few built-in ways to change that. But there are some hidden settings and a bunch of amazing tools to make the Mac great again.

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When coming from the windows world, the Finder can feel like a bad joke compared to the powerful Windows Explorer. At a closer look, it turns out, that the Finder can behave pretty similar after adjusting some settings.

Make the Mac great and again! With increased usability, especially for Windows u ...
My preferred Finder Preferences

With the finder open, you can click Finder in the menu bar and select Preferences to open the Finder settings. Here you can adjust the finder for your needs. I usually choose the following preferences:

General: Show nothing on the Desktop General: New Finder window show: Desktop Tags: Disable all tags. Nobody needs them Sidebar: Hide Recents, iCloud Drive (if you don’t use iCloud), CDs and Tags. Nobody needs the Tags Sidebar: Show Computers, all hard disks, and the User folder Advanced: Show all filename extensions Advanced: Keep folders on top when sorting by name (Windows style)

Hint:Another thing, Windows users might be missing, is the option to go to the parent folder by hitting the Backspace key on your keyboard. This key combination is CMD + Up on a Mac. If you are looking for more keyboard shortcuts, take a look at the Keyboard and Mouse section below!

You should get also used to the concept of Quick Look for files and folders. When a folder or file is selected, you can simply hit the Space key , to get an immediate preview of it. That is super fast and super handy!

Spotlight Search replaces the Start Menu

You will have noticed, that macOS does not have a start menu. At least not of the kind you might be used to from Windows. Macs do have the Launchpad app, that brings up a list of all the Applications, you have installed, but you won’t find files or settings here.

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Spotlight Search

That’s, where Spotlight Search comes into play. Just click the Magnifier Icon in the upper-right menu bar or hit CMD + Space (that’s what I do) and start typing. Spotlight Search will look for matches in your Applications, Files, Settings, Contact, E-Mails, the Web and more.

Copy, Cut and Paste

If you are used to the Copy, Cut and Paste shortcuts from Windows, you will quickly notice, that CMD + C and CMD + V work as expected, but the cutting and pasting files or folders with

CMD + X does not work. Don’t ask me why, but for cutting and pasting files, you need to copy them with CMD + C and then paste them with the move shortcut CMD + Option + V .

Cutting and pasting text, however, should work as expected.

Window Management

One thing I really love about Windows is its window management. With simple shortcuts like Win + Left or Right , users can snap windows to one side of the screen.MacOS does not really have these capabilities. It has a fullscreen view, that you can enable when clicking the green icon at the top-left corner of each window. Once you enteredit, you can switch between the full-screen windows with CTRL + Left or Right or the Four-Finger-Swipe-Gesture on your touchpad.

Make the Mac great and again! With increased usability, especially for Windows u ...
Built-in window management in macOS

You can also bring multiplefull-screen windows next to each other, by clicking and holding the green icon at the top-left corners to bring them to side-by-side view.

If you still need more control over your windows, and as a power-user with multiple or widescreen monitors you probably will, you should take a look a the Magnet tool, which brings back full window organization that even exceeds what you might already know from Windows.

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Window management with Magnet

With Magnet installed, you can assign screen real estate to windows by just dragging them to one of the hot corners or using hotkeys. That also includes splitting windows by thirds, quarters and much more.

Download Magnet

Default Apps

Another thing that is hard to believe until you see it is, how hard it is to change the default apps in macOS. You can always right-click a file and select Open with… > Other… to select a default app for it, but for advanced Scenarios like E-Mail, Calendar or URLs it gets very tricky.

You can change the default E-Mail application to a different one at the Settings of Apple Mail, but only after you have already set at least one account up in it. What the hell ?

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Rubicode Default App tool

If you want to get full control over your default apps back, the Rubicode Default App tool is your friend. It lets you fine-granularly choose a default application for every type of file, URL or media.

Download Rubicode Default App

Clean up the Menu Bar

What it the Tray in Windows, is the Menu Bar in macOS. Currently opened Background Applications go here. While Windows has the option to hide those icons that you don’t want to see all the time, the Mac doesn’t. Some Applications offer to disable their Menu Bar Icon, but sometimes you just want to hide it for now and access it later.

Make the Mac great and again! With increased usability, especially for Windows u ...
Bartender for macOS The

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