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macOS Tutorial for Beginners

Learn how to use macOS from the perspective of a Windows user. These tutorials are helpful if you’re new to Mac, new to computers in general or are just looking to learn more about macOS and enhance your experience.

macOS comes installed on any MacBook, iMac or Mac mini and offers a very user friendly and enjoyable computing experience.

Mac computers are great tools. They’re often more user friendly than Windows computers. If you’ve never used a Mac before, it’s important to learn how to navigate around the computer and perform basic tasks and operations.

I’ve used both Mac and Windows for my entire life so I know my way around both systems very well. In fact, I still use both of these operating systems daily.

This allows me to point out a feature in Mac and explain what the Windows equivalent is. Being able to explain macOS features from a Windows perspective allows learners with experience using Windows computers to understand macOS more easily and at a quicker pace.

Primary Features of macOS:


Finder is the macOS equivalent to Windows Explorer. It’s the application on Mac that is always running in the background and that allows users to interact with files and folders. By clicking on the Finder icon in the dock at the bottom of the screen, a window will appear that allows users to access the computer’s entire filesystem. Opening a Finder window on macOS is similar to opening My Computer on Windows.

Finder Icon in macOS


Spotlight is a very powerful system search tool built-in to macOS. Windows Search has improved drastically based on how Apple implemented Spotlight.

Spotlight can be accessed by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the right side of the top toolbar or by pressing the command key + spacebar.

Spotlight searches files, folders, emails, applications – essentially anything on your computer. Users can easily get away with foregoing the use of folders by relying heavily on Spotlight.

Spotlight Icon in macOS

App Store

The App Store provides a safe place for users to download software and games for macOS. Apple has very strict approval policies for applications published to the App Store.

With that in mind, most of the software available in the App Store is safe to use and free of viruses. Some of the applications are free and others can be purchased.

A benefit to purchasing software from the App Store is that you gain lifetime ownership. Your purchases will be attached to your Apple account and available for free reinstallation on a new computer.

App Store Icon in macOS


Safari is a powerful web browser developed by Apple and preinstalled on all macOS computers. It competes with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in terms of speed, functionality and design.

Like most modern web browsers, Safari features a fully fledged bookmarking system. Users can sync bookmarks across both macOS and iOS devices.

Safari Icon in macOS

About this macOS Beginner’s Tutorial

The video above starts with a walkthrough of the macOS user interface.  Information is presented regarding the Apple Menu, System Preferences, Spotlight and the Dock.  Viewers will learn how to use Finder to create folders and organize files. 

Topics covered in the macOS tutorial include:

  1. Navigating the Mac desktop
  2. Using the Apple Menu
  3. Accessing System Preferences
  4. Searching with Spotlight
  5. Navigating to the macOS applications folder
  6. How to use the bottom toolbar
  7. Browsing the Apple App Store
  8. How to use and customize Finder in macOS
  9. Creating and renaming folders
  10. Deleting files on macOS
  11. An introduction to using Safari

Mac Tutorials for Older Computers

If you haven’t upgraded to macOS yet and are still using an older version of Mac OS X, one of the tutorials below should look more similar to your setup.

This tutorial was published in 2019 and is a full Mac tutorial being shown on macOS 10.5 Catalina.

This tutorial was recorded in 2014 using Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and should be helpful for those on any Mac computer with software from 2017 or before:

After watching these tutorials users should feel comfortable navigating throughout the macOS system. Users should be able to create and delete folders, access the App Store and browse the web with Safari.

I plan on continuing to update and improve upon this introductory video to using the macOS operating system and am always open to suggestions for future tutorials.

If you’d like to learn more , I’ve created a macOS playlist on YouTube containing dozens of useful tutorials.

Anson Alexander

I am an author, digital educator and content marketer. I record, edit, and publish content for AnsonAlex.com, provide technical and business services to clients and am an avid self-learner. I have also authored several digital marketing and business courses for LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com).

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