MacBook Pro Tips

Set up

The first time your MacBook Pro starts up, Setup Assistant walks you through the simple steps needed to begin using your new Mac. If you want to transfer your data from another computer, see Migrate your data for details.

A screen with Setup Assistant open to the Welcome screen.

Be sure to connect to Wi-Fi, turn on Bluetooth® wireless technology, get an Apple ID, then sign in to iCloud. Activate Siri during setup, if you want. If your MacBook Pro has the Touch Bar, you can also set up Touch ID and Apple Pay.

You can do these steps quickly and easily with Setup Assistant—but if you want to do them later, here’s how:

Connect to Wi-Fi. Click the Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar, then choose a Wi-Fi network and enter the password, if necessary.

Turn Wi-Fi on or off. Click the Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar, then choose Turn Wi-Fi On or Turn Wi-Fi Off.

Turn Bluetooth on or off. Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, then choose Turn Bluetooth On or Turn Bluetooth Off.

Tip: If you don’t see the Wi-Fi status icon or Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, you can add them. For Wi-Fi, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network. Click Wi-Fi in the list on the left, then select “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.” For Bluetooth, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Bluetooth, then select “Show Bluetooth in menu bar.”

Get an Apple ID. Your Apple ID is the account you use for everything you do with Apple—including using the App Store, the iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, and more. Your Apple ID consists of an email address and a password. You need only one Apple ID to use any Apple service, on any device—whether it’s your computer, iOS device, or Apple Watch. It’s best to have your own Apple ID and not share it—create separate Apple IDs for each family member.

If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you can create one (it’s free). Go to the Apple ID account website.

Important: If you forget your Apple ID password, you don’t need to create a new Apple ID. Just click the Forgot link in the login window to retrieve your password.

Set up iCloud on your MacBook Pro. With iCloud, you can store all of your content—documents, movies, music, photos, and more—in the cloud, and access it anywhere you go.

To set up iCloud, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud. In the window that appears, enter your Apple ID and password. Then select the features you want to use. For more about iCloud, see Access your content anywhere with iCloud.

Important: Be sure to use the same Apple ID for iCloud on all your devices.

Set up Siri. You can enable Siri on your MacBook Pro when prompted during setup. To learn how to turn on Siri later and for information about using Siri on your Mac, see Siri.

Set up Touch ID. If your MacBook Pro has the Touch Bar and Touch ID, you can add a fingerprint to Touch ID during setup. To set up Touch ID later or to add additional fingerprints, click the System Preferences icon  in the Dock, or choose Apple menu > System Preferences. Then click Touch ID. To add a fingerprint, click the add icon and follow the onscreen instructions. You can add up to three fingerprints per user account (you can add up to five fingerprints total to your MacBook Pro).

The Touch ID preferences window with options for adding a fingerprint and using Touch ID to unlock your Mac, use Apple Pay, and buy from the iTunes, App Store, and iBooks Store.

You can also set options for how you want to use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro: to unlock your Mac instead of entering your password, to use Apple Pay (see Apple Pay), or to purchase items on the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store.

Tip: If two or more users use the same MacBook Pro, each one can add a fingerprint to Touch ID to quickly unlock, authenticate, and log in to the MacBook Pro. Your MacBook Pro can store a total of five fingerprints.

For more information about Touch ID, see the Apple Support article Use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro.

Set up Apple Pay. If you have a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar, you can set up Apple Pay for one user account on your MacBook Pro during setup. Other users can still pay with Apple Pay, but they must complete the purchase using their iPhone or Apple Watch that’s been set up for Apple Pay (see Apple Pay for more details). Follow the onscreen prompts to add and verify your card. If you already use a card for iTunes purchases, you might be prompted to verify this card first.

To set up Apple Pay or add additional cards later, click the System Preferences icon  in the Dock, or choose Apple menu > System Preferences. Then click Wallet & Apple Pay and follow the onscreen prompts to set up Apple Pay.

Note: The card issuer determines whether your card is eligible to use with Apple Pay, and may ask you to provide additional information to complete the verification process. Many credit and debit cards can be used with Apple Pay. For information about Apple Pay availability and current credit card issuers, see the Apple Support article Apple Pay Participating Banks.

The desktop

The first thing you see on your MacBook Pro is the desktop, where you can quickly open apps, search for anything on your MacBook Pro and the web, organize your files, and more.

A MacBook Pro screen calling out the Apple menu, desktop, Help menu, Finder window, menu bar, Wi-Fi status icon, Ask Siri icon, Finder icon, System Preferences icon, and the Dock.

Tip: Can’t find the pointer? To magnify it temporarily, move your finger rapidly back and forth on the trackpad. Or if you’re using a mouse, slide it back and forth quickly.

Touch Bar Tips

The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) replaces the function keys at the top of your keyboard and gives you quick access to commands on your Mac. It changes automatically based on what you’re doing and apps that you’re using.

If you need access to function keys (F1–F12), hold down the Function (fn) key at the bottom-left of your keyboard. Touch Bar changes to show the function keys for you to select, and then it returns to its previous state when you release the Function key.

For some apps, you can make the function keys display permanently in Touch Bar:

  1. In System Preferences, choose Keyboard.
  2. Click Shortcuts.
  3. From the left sidebar, select Function Keys.
  4. Click the “+” symbol, then navigate to the app and select it.

Now when you open or switch to this app, Touch Bar always displays the function keys.


You can also use an on-screen keyboard to access function keys:

  1. From System Preferences, select Keyboard.
  2. Check “Show Keyboard, Emoji and symbol viewers in menu bar”.
  3. Choose the viewer icon  in the menu bar, then choose Show Keyboard Viewer.

An on-screen keyboard appears with function keys that you can click.

Find system controls and settings in the Control Strip

When you start up your MacBook Pro, the Control Strip on the right side of the Touch Bar shows a few familiar buttons like volume, mute, and display brightness, as well as Siri. The Escape (Esc) button appears on the left side of the Touch Bar.

System controls: Tap  in the Control Strip and it expands, showing system controls like brightness, Exposé, Launchpad, and media playback:

Make your adjustments, then tap . The Control Strip returns to its smaller version on the right side of the Touch Bar, with Esc showing on the left side. You can always tap  to expand the Control Strip and see all the system controls.

Function buttons: To use the F1–F12 function buttons in the Touch Bar, hold the Function (fn) key at the bottom left of your keyboard. The function keys appear:

Learn more about using function keys on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

As you use your Mac, the Touch Bar changes automatically based on what you’re doing to show relevant tools that you already know how to use. Read on for examples of what the Touch Bar can do in your favorite apps, and learn how to customize the Touch Bar to make it your own.

Use Touch Bar controls in apps

Many of the built-in apps on your Mac have Touch Bar controls that make common actions even easier. And your favorite third-party apps can take advantage of Touch Bar as well.

Here’s a look at what Touch Bar can do in some popular Mac apps. Explore your other favorite apps to see what Touch Bar offers.


Navigate and view: In Finder, tap the arrows in the Touch Bar to move back and forth among items, and tap  to view items in Quick Look.

View and sort: Tap  to see options for viewing and sorting your files and folders.

Share: Tap  to see options for sharing your files.

Tag: Tap  to see tags you can apply to items.


Visit your favorites: In Safari, tap a favorite website in Touch Bar to open it.

Navigate and search: Click the right or left arrow button to go backward or forward. Tap the search field to begin a search, or tap  to open a new tab.


Perform common tasks: You can use the Touch Bar in Mail for composing, replying, archiving, marking as junk, and flagging messages.

Use predictive input: In Mail and other apps where you compose text, the Touch Bar predicts as you type. Tap a word or emoji to insert it.

Format your text: As you type a message, select some text and the Touch Bar shows you formatting options like bold, italic, and lists.

Say it with emoji: In apps like Mail and Messages, you can choose emoji instead of words for a fun way to make your point. Tap  to see the emoji you use most, and then tap an emoji to insert it.


Speed through your library: In Photos, the Touch Bar speeds your search for just the right photo as you slide your finger across the thumbnails. You can tap  to mark a selected photo as a favorite or tap  rotate it.

Edit your photos: After you select a photo, tap  to see editing options (crop, filters, adjust, retouch, and red-eye). You can edit your photo using controls that appear on the Touch Bar.


Find yourself: In Maps, tap  in the Touch Bar to find your location. Tap the search field to type where you want to go.

See what’s nearby: The Touch Bar shows buttons with categories of nearby locations, like restaurants, hotels, and gas stations.

Get there: When you select a location to visit, you see options for getting directions, calling the business, or viewing its website.


Take a note: In Notes, tap  in the Touch Bar to create a new note. Tap  to add a checklist item.

Format your text: Tap  to show buttons for aligning text and applying bold, italic, or underscore styles.

Apply styles: Tap  to apply paragraph styles like numbered lists, bulleted lists, or headings.


See your day: In Calendar, tap the Today button to see today’s events, or slide across the Touch Bar to select the month—past or future.

Edit your events: Select an event in your calendar, then tap to get the event details, edit the time or place, and add or delete invitees.


Control your calls: In FaceTime, you can make and answer calls, get caller info, and send a message or email when you can’t talk—all from the Touch Bar.

Customize your Touch Bar

In many apps, like Finder, Mail, and Safari, you can customize the Touch Bar.

Choose View > Customize Touch Bar. The customization window appears on your display, allowing you to choose your favorite items:

When you’re customizing the Touch Bar, its buttons jiggle, and you see the Done button on the left side.

Use your cursor to drag items that you want down into the Touch Bar. You can also drag items left and right within the Touch Bar to rearrange them, or drag them up and out of the Touch Bar to remove them.

Tap Done in the Touch Bar or click Done on the screen when you finish.

To customize the Control Strip, select View > Customize Touch Bar in any app that supports customization, then touch the Control Strip region of the Touch Bar to switch to Control Strip customization. You can also customize the Control Strip in the Keyboard section of System Preferences.

Explore and experiment

Most apps include shortcuts, tools, and controls in the Touch Bar for the tasks that you want to do. Tap around to see what you can accomplish quickly and easily.

It’s often easier to tap the Touch Bar than to click or select items onscreen. For example, open Calculator and do quick calculations with the number keys and the functions on the Touch Bar—without moving your cursor, clicking, and typing.

Keep using the Touch Bar to find the best ways to do what you want, and explore your favorite third-party apps as they add a new dimension with Touch Bar features.

Use accessibility options with Touch Bar

The accessibility features that help you use your Mac can also help you use the Touch Bar. Hold the Command key while you press Touch ID (power button) three times to toggle VoiceOver, which reads aloud Touch Bar commands.

Use VoiceOver with Touch Bar

VoiceOver tells you what’s on your screen, and walks you through actions like selecting a menu option or activating a button using your keyboard or trackpad. It can also tell you what’s on your Touch Bar.

To turn VoiceOver on or off, hold the Command key and triple-press the Touch ID button, which is on the right side of Touch Bar at the top of your keyboard:


After you turn on VoiceOver, you can use these gestures with Touch Bar:

  • Move one finger over the Touch Bar to change the Touch Bar focus and have VoiceOver announce the element under your finger.
  • Swipe left or right with one finger to move the Touch Bar focus to the previous or next Touch Bar element.
  • Double-tap anywhere on the Touch Bar to activate the element under the Touch Bar focus.
  • Split-tap (touch an item with one finger, then tap the Touch Bar with another) to activate the element under the first finger you use.
  • Double-tap and hold to enter direct touch mode for the element under the Touch Bar focus. This allows you to adjust sliders.

Use Touch Bar Zoom

If you use the Zoom feature on your Mac, you can also turn on Touch Bar Zoom.

Select Apple menu () > System Preferences. Then click on Accessibility, select Zoom, and turn on Enable Touch Bar Zoom.

Here’s what you can do after you turn on Touch Bar Zoom:

  • Touch and drag with one finger on the Touch Bar to see a zoomed view of the Touch Bar on your display.
  • Change the magnification level by holding down the Command key and use a two-finger pinch gesture.
  • While panning with one finger, quickly tap with a second finger to synthesize a tap where your first finger is. Hold the second finger down and move both fingers together to synthesize a tap down and drag where your first finger is.
  • Hold your finger still in one location to enter direct-touch mode, which allows you to interact directly with the control under your finger.

Use Switch Control with Touch Bar

You can use Switch Control to display Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro screen. This lets you access Touch Bar elements with standard pointer controls.

First, turn on Switch Control:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Switch Control.
  2. Click General, then select Enable Switch Control. The Switch Control Home Panel appears on your desktop.

Next, toggle Touch Bar:

  1. In the Switch Control Home Panel, click System.
  2. Click Toggle Touch Bar to show or hide Touch Bar.

Learn more about using pointer controls.

Use Accessibility Options to turn on other features

macOS features an Accessibility Options window that lets you quickly turn on or off common accessibility features like Zoom, VoiceOver, Sticky Keys, and more. To bring up this window on your MacBook Pro, triple-press the Touch ID button.

Dock Tips

The Dock is the bar of icons that sits at the bottom or side of your screen. It provides easy access to many of the apps that come with your Mac (like MailSafari, and Messages). You can add your own apps, documents and folders to the Dock, too.

image of the Dock

To use an item in the Dock, click its icon. If you want to listen to some music, click the iTunes icon (the icon with music notes) to open iTunes. To check your email, click the Mail icon (it looks like a stamp).

When an application is open, the Dock displays an illuminated dash beneath the application’s icon. To make any currently running application the active one, click its icon in the Dock.

Organizing the Dock

The Dock keeps apps on its left side. Folders, documents, and minimized windows are kept on the right side of the Dock. If you look closely, you can see a vertical separator line that separates these two sides.

the trash icon in the dock

If you want to rearrange where an icon appears on the Dock, just drag it to another location in the Dock. The Trash and the Finder are special items, so they are always present at each end of the Dock.

Adding and removing Dock items

If you want to add an application to the Dock, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock. Then, drag an app icon from the Launchpad to the Dock. The icons in the Dock move aside to make room for the new item. If you want to add a file or folder to the Dock, just drag its icon from any Finder window (or the desktop) and drop it on the Dock.

To remove an item from the Dock, drag its icon an inch or more off the Dock and wait a couple seconds. Then release the icon and it disappears in a poof of smoke.

dragging an icon off the Dock

Removing an item from the Dock doesn’t permanently remove it from your computer. If you want that item back in the Dock, locate the app, file, or folder in the Finder or Launchpad, and simply drag it back into the Dock.

Learn more

To learn more about the Dock, click a topic below. You can also search for the word “Dock” from the Help menu at the top of your screen.

Minimizing Windows

If you minimize a window (click the round, yellow button in the upper-left corner of any window), the window is pulled down into the Dock. It’s held there until you click its icon to bring up the window again.



You can also choose how to display folders in the Dock. You can either view them as a folder icon, or as a stack.

dock stack

Stacks display a folder’s contents as a fan or grid when you click them in the Dock. Learn more about Stacks here.


The Trash

The Dock includes the Trash (its icon looks like a waste basket). Drag any documents you no longer want to the Trash to get rid of them.

When you move items to the Trash, you haven’t completely deleted them. You can click the Trash icon in the Dock to see what it contains. When you’re ready to permanently delete files or folders that you’ve dragged to the Trash, click and hold the Trash icon in the Dock and choose Empty Trash.

the trash icon in the dock

If you drag a disk or other mounted volume to the Trash, it changes to an eject icon to let you know that this action ejects or removes the item rather than erasing or deleting it.

eject icon in dock


If you don’t see the Dock

You can also set the Dock so that it isn’t visible until you need it. If you don’t see the dock, try moving your pointer to the bottom or side of your screen to see if it appears. To turn Dock hiding on or off, choose Dock > Turn Hiding On or Turn Hiding Off from the Apple () menu.


Folder Basics

Everything on your Mac – Documents, Pictures, Music, Apps, and more, is organized in folders. As you create documents, install apps, and do other work, you can create new folders to keep yourself organized.

See your files in the Finder

The Finder is the home base for your Mac. The Finder icon looks like a blue smiling face; click the icon in the Dock to open a Finder window.
Finder icon in Dock

You use Finder windows to organize and access almost everything on your Mac.

Example of a Finder window

See your stuff

Click items in the Finder sidebar to see your files, apps, downloads, and more. To make the sidebar even more useful, customize it.

Use folders … or don’t

If you like organizing your files in folders, you can do that. It’s easy to create new folders in your Documents folder, on the desktop, or in iCloud Drive. For more information about iCloud Drive, see Store documents with iCloud Drive.

If you’d rather avoid folders, use All My Files. All of the files on your Mac and in iCloud are there. You can also use tags to organize your files.

Choose your view

You can choose how you view the items in Finder windows. For example, you don’t have to view your items in a list—Cover Flow lets you flip through your files and folders visually.

Send it with AirDrop

You can send a file to a nearby iOS device or Mac right from the Finder. Click AirDrop in the sidebar to get started. For more information, see Use AirDrop to send files to devices near you.

You can also select a file in the Finder, then click the Share button  to share it using Mail, Messages, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

Create a folder

  1. Click the desktop if you want to create the folder on the desktop; otherwise, open a Finder window and navigate to where you want to create the folder.

  2. Choose File > New Folder, or press Shift-Command-N.

    If the New Folder command is dimmed, you can’t create a folder in the current location. For example, you can’t create a folder in the All My Files section of the Finder sidebar.

  3. Enter a name for the folder, then press Return.

Move items into folders

Do any of the following:

Put an item in a folder: Drag it to the folder.

Put several items in a folder: Select the items, then drag one of the items to the folder.

All selected items move to the folder.

Keep an item in its original location and put a copy in a folder: Hold down the Option key, then drag the item to the folder.

Keep an item in its original location and put an alias for it in a new folder: Hold down the Option and Command keys, then drag the item to the folder.

Make a copy of an item within the same folder: Select the item, then choose File > Duplicate or press Command-D.

Copy files to a different disk: Drag the files to the disk. To move files to a different disk without copying them, hold down the Command key, then drag the files to the disk.

Quickly group multiple items into a folder

You can quickly create a folder of items on the desktop or in a Finder window.

  1. Select all the items you want to group together.

  2. Control-click one of the selected items, then choose New Folder with Selection.

  3. Enter a name for the folder, then press Return.

Merge two folders with the same name

If you have two folders with identical names at two different locations, you can merge them into a single folder.

Hold down the Option key, then drag one folder to the location that contains a folder with the same name. In the dialog that appears, click Merge.

The Merge option appears only if one of the folders contains items that are not in the other folder. If the folders contain different versions of identically named files, the only options are Stop or Replace.

To organize your files automatically, use Smart Folders. Smart Folders automatically gather files by type and subject matter, and are instantly updated as you change, add, and remove files on your Mac.

Rename files, folders, and disks

You can change the name of most files, folders, and disks, including the internal hard disk (named Macintosh HD by default). If you change the name of your hard disk, it still appears with its original name on a network.

Rename one item

  1. Select the item in a Finder window or on the desktop, then press Return. Or force click the item’s name.

  2. Enter a new name.

    You can use numbers and most symbols. You can’t include a colon (:) or start the name with a period (.). Some apps may not allow you to use a slash (/) in a filename.

  3. Press Return.

Rename multiple items

  1. Select the items in a Finder window or on the desktop, then Control-click one of them.

  2. In the shortcut menu, select Rename Items.

  3. In the pop-up menu below Rename Finder Items, choose to replace text in the names, add text to the names, or change the name format.

    • Replace text: Enter the text you want to remove in the Find field, then enter the text you want to add in the “Replace with” field.

    • Add text: Enter the text you want to add in the field, then choose to add the text before or after the current name.

    • Format: Choose a name format for the files, then choose to put the index, counter, or date before or after the name. Enter a name in the Custom Format field, then enter the number you want to start with.

  4. Click Rename.

These are some items you should not rename:

  • App folders and any items that came with your system, such as the Library folder. (If you change the name of an item and experience problems, change the name back. If this doesn’t help, you may need to reinstall the software.)

  • Filename extensions—the period followed by a few letters or words that you see at the end of some filenames (for example, .jpg). If you change an extension, you may no longer be able to open the file with the app that was used to create it.

  • Your home folder—the one with your name on it.

Open folders in new Finder tabs or windows

When you open a folder in the Finder, the folder’s contents usually replace the current contents of the window. If you prefer, you can open a folder in a new tab or window.

Set folders to open in tabs or windows

  1. In the Finder, choose Finder > Preferences, then click General.

  2. Select or deselect “Open folders in tabs instead of new windows.”

Open folders in tabs or windows

Press the Command key while you double-click the folder.

The folder opens in a new tab or window, depending on your Finder preferences.

Tip:   If the Finder toolbar and sidebar are hidden, double-clicking a folder without pressing the Command key opens the folder in a new window.

To open a new Finder window without opening a specific folder, choose File > New Finder Window or press Command-N.

Work with tabs

If all of your tabs aren’t visible, scroll through them.

When two or more tabs are open, click the Add button  to open a new tab.

To close a tab, place the pointer over the tab, then click the Delete button .

Customize the Finder toolbar and sidebar

There are several ways to customize the Finder toolbar and Finder sidebar.

Before you start, open a Finder window by clicking the Finder icon at the left end of the Dock.

Finder icon in Dock

Customize the toolbar

Hide or show the toolbar: Choose View > Hide Toolbar, or View > Show Toolbar.

Hiding the toolbar also hides the sidebar, and moves the status bar from the bottom to the top of the window.

Resize the toolbar: If you see angle brackets  at the right end of the toolbar, it means the window is too small to show all of the toolbar items. Enlarge the window or click the brackets to see the rest of the items.

Change what’s in the toolbar: Choose View > Customize Toolbar. You can drag items into and out of the toolbar, add a space between items, and choose whether to show text with the icons.

Rearrange the items in the toolbar: Hold down the Command key, then drag an item to a new location.

Add a file or app: Hold down the Command key, then drag the item to the Finder toolbar until a green plus sign (+) appears.

Remove an item: Hold down the Command key, then drag the item out of the toolbar.

Customize the sidebar

Hide or show the sidebar: Choose View > Hide Sidebar or View > Show Sidebar. (If Show Sidebar is dimmed, choose View > Show Toolbar.)

Resize the sidebar: Drag the right side of the divider bar to the right or left.

Change what’s in the sidebar: Choose Finder > Preferences, click Sidebar, then select or deselect items.

Rearrange items in the sidebar: Drag an item to a new location. You can’t rearrange items in the Shared section.

Show or hide all the items in a section: Position the pointer over the section head until you see Hide or Show appear, then click the Hide or Show button. For example, to hide temporarily your Favorites, position the pointer over the Favorites heading in the sidebar and click the Hide button.

Add a file, folder, or disk: Hold down the Command key, then drag the item to the Favorites section.

If you don’t see the Favorites section, go to Finder > Preferences > Sidebar, then select at least one item in the section.

Add an app: Hold down the Command key, then drag its icon to the Favorites section.

Remove an item: Drag the item icon out of the sidebar until you see a gray remove sign (x).

The sidebar link disappears, but the original item is still on your Mac. You can’t remove items from the Shared section.

To change other Finder preferences, choose Finder > Preferences. For more information, see Finder preferences.

To set the scrolling behavior for Finder (and other) windows, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click General.


Spotlight Tips

Spotlight can find apps, documents, photos, and other files on your Mac, and use Spotlight Suggestions to get news, sports, movies, stocks, weather, and more from the web using sources like Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, and iTunes. Spotlight can even get conversions, calculations, and definitions for you.

Spotlight menu showing search example and a video result you can play

Tip:   You can drag the Spotlight window anywhere on the desktop and make it bigger.

Open Spotlight and search

Open Spotlight: Click the Spotlight icon  in the upper-right corner of the menu bar, or press Command-Space bar.

If it’s your first time using Spotlight, a description is shown in the Spotlight window. Just start typing in the search field where it says Spotlight Search.

Enter a search phrase: Start typing what you want to find—results appear as you type; you don’t need to press Return.

  • You can find files on your Mac by typing what you’re looking for the same way you’d say it. Here are some examples of natural language search phrases:
    • new york photos
    • emails from emily
    • salesreportQ1
    • presentation I worked on yesterday that contains budget
  • You can find things on the web and in the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store. For example, you can get results for weather, sports, stocks, or transit information. Or search for music, movies, books, apps, nearby stores and landmarks, and more.

Open an app: Type the name of the app, such as Preview, then press Return.

Spotlight learns from your searches, so if you enter “s” and open Safari, the next time you enter “s,” Safari is the top result.

View and use search results

Open an item: Select the item in the results list on the left, then press the Return key. Or double-click the item.

Use a preview: Click items or links in the preview on the right. For example, to hear a song in your iTunes playlist, click the Play button next to the song. Or to purchase tickets for a movie playing near you, click the movie times.

Show the location of a file on your Mac: Select the file in the results list, then hold down the Command key to show the file’s location at the bottom of the preview.

Copy an item: Drag a file from the results list to the desktop or a Finder window.

See files recently used in an app: Enter the app’s name (don’t press the Return key unless you want to open the app). To open a file, double-click it in the preview.

Make a desktop shortcut to an item: Drag the item from the results list to the desktop; just click it on the desktop to open the item in the appropriate app, such as Safari.

See all results from your Mac in the Finder: Scroll to the bottom of the results list, then double-click Show all in Finder. You can narrow the results in Finder.

Get conversions, calculations, and definitions

Convert currencies: Enter an amount to see the equivalent in other common currencies. For example, enter $100, £100, or ¥100. Or enter something like “300 sek in dollars.”

Convert temperatures: Enter a temperature like 98.8F or 32C. Or enter something like “340K in F.”

Convert measurements: Enter a measurement like 25 lb, 54 yards, or 23 stone. Or enter something like “32ft to meters.”

Get a calculation: Enter a mathematical expression, such as 956*23.94.

Get a definition: Enter a word or phrase, then click the result below Definition.

You can set options to exclude specific folders, disks, or types of information (such as email or messages) from Spotlight searches. If you want Spotlight to search content only on your Mac and not include results from the web, you can turn off Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web Searches. For more information, see Spotlight preferences.

Not all features of Spotlight Suggestions may be available in all languages or regions and some features of Spotlight Suggestions may vary by region.

Spotlight preferences

In Spotlight preferences, choose the categories that appear in Spotlight search results. If you want, you can also keep Spotlight from searching specific folders or disks.

To open Spotlight preferences, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Spotlight.

Search Results pane

Choose which categories appear in Spotlight search results: Select the categories you want to include, deselect those you don’t.

By default, Spotlight results include Spotlight Suggestions, Bing Web Searches, conversions, documents, folders, music, and more.

Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look Up: Show Spotlight Suggestions in results when you search in Spotlight and look up a word.

If you don’t want your Spotlight and Look Up search queries and Spotlight Suggestions usage data sent to Apple, you can turn off Spotlight Suggestions. Deselect the “Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look Up” checkbox (which automatically removes Spotlight Suggestions from the list), then deselect the Bing Web Searches checkbox in the list. With the checkboxes turned off, Spotlight searches only the contents of your Mac, and Look Up searches only the dictionary on your Mac.

You can turn off Location Services for Spotlight Suggestions in Security & Privacy preferences. If you turn off Location Services on your Mac, your precise location will not be sent to Apple. For detailed instructions and information, see About Spotlight Suggestions.

Privacy pane

Keep Spotlight from searching locations: Click the Add button , then locate the folder or disk you want to exclude. You can also drag folders or disks into the list.

Remove a folder or disk from the exclusion list: Select the folder or disk, then click the Remove button .

If you add a Time Machine backup disk to the privacy list, you will continue to see messages that Spotlight is indexing your backup disk. This indexing is necessary for Time Machine to function properly and can’t be disabled. Spotlight does exclude from searches any items you store on your backup disk that are not part of a Time Machine backup.

Important:   If you add certain files and folders to the privacy list you may not be notified when updates become available for some apps. If you add your entire internal disk to the privacy list, you won’t be notified about any updates.

Set Spotlight shortcuts

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Shortcuts.
  2. Select Spotlight on the left, then change the shortcuts.

    For more information about changing keyboard shortcuts, see Use global keyboard shortcuts.

Spotlight Suggestions

In addition to searching your Mac, Spotlight Suggestions shows suggestions from the Internet, iTunes, App Store, movie showtimes, locations nearby, and more in Spotlight and Look Up. To search, click the Spotlight icon  in the menu bar, then start typing in the field at the top of the Spotlight window, to the right of the Spotlight icon.

When you use Spotlight or Look Up, your search queries, the Spotlight Suggestions you select, and related usage data will be sent to Apple. Search results found on your Mac will not be sent. If you have Location Services on your Mac turned on, when you make a search query to Spotlight or use Look Up the location of your Mac at that time will be sent to Apple. Searches for common words and phrases will be forwarded from Apple to Microsoft’s Bing search engine. These searches are not stored by Microsoft. To provide you with more relevant music and video suggestions, if your Mac can access music or video subscription services, then information such as the names of the subscription services and types of subscriptions may be sent to Apple. Your account name, number and password will not be sent to Apple. Location, search queries, and usage information sent to Apple will only be used by Apple to make Spotlight Suggestions more relevant and to improve other Apple products and services.

If you do not want your Spotlight and Look Up search queries and Spotlight Suggestions usage data sent to Apple, you can turn off Spotlight Suggestions. Simply deselect the checkbox for “Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look Up” and the checkbox for Bing Web Searches in the Search Results tab in the Spotlight preference pane found within System Preferences on your Mac. If you turn off Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web Searches, Spotlight will only search the contents of your Mac and Look Up will only search the dictionary on your Mac.

You can turn off Location Services for Spotlight Suggestions in the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences on your Mac by clicking on the Privacy tab, selecting Location Services, selecting Details next to System Services, then deselecting Safari & Spotlight Suggestions. If you turn off Location Services on your Mac, your precise location will not be sent to Apple. To deliver relevant search suggestions, Apple may use the IP address of your Internet connection to approximate your location by matching it to a geographic region.

By using these features, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information as described above.

Information collected by Apple will be treated in accordance with Apple’s Privacy Policy, which can be found at

Note:   Not all features of Spotlight Suggestions may be available in all languages or regions and some features of Spotlight Suggestions may vary by region.


Window Basics

Most of the information on your Mac is displayed in windows, including Finder windows and app windows.

When you have multiple windows open, only one is active. When an app window is active, the menu bar contains the app’s name. Some windows that you open within apps, such as the Fonts window, always appear in front of other windows.

Example of a desktop with multiple windows open

Move, resize, and minimize windows

Move a window: Click the window’s title bar, then drag it where you want it.

Manually resize a window: Drag the window’s edges (top, bottom, and sides).

Maximize a window: Hold down the Option key while you click the green maximize button  in the top-left corner of an app window. To return to the previous window size, Option-click the button again.

You can also double-click an app’s title bar to maximize the window (as long as the option to do so is set to “zoom” in Dock preferences).

Minimize a window: Click the yellow minimize button  in the top-left corner of the window, or press Command-M.

You can set an option in Dock preferences to have a window minimize when you double-click its title bar.

Some windows can’t be moved or resized, and may require that you perform an action or answer a question before you can continue with a task.

Quickly switch between apps

If multiple apps are open, it may be difficult to find the one you want. Here are shortcuts you can use to move among apps.

Quickly switch to the previous app: Press Command-Tab.

Scroll through all open apps: Press Command-Tab, continue to hold the Command key, then press the Tab key repeatedly. When you get to the app you want, stop and release the keys.

You can also press Command-Tab, continue to hold down the Command key and use the mouse pointer or arrow keys to scroll.

Resume work without switching apps: Press Esc (Escape) or the period key.

Here are other tasks you can do after pressing Command-Tab and holding down the Command key:

  • Hide a selected app: Press H.

  • Quit a selected app: Press Q.

Close windows

Click the red close button  in the top-left corner of the window, or press Command-W.

When you click the close button in many apps, such as Photos or Notes, you quit the app. Other apps, such as Safari or Mail, remain open when you click the close button (only the window closes). To quit these apps, click the app’s name in the menu bar, then choose Quit [App]. For more information, see Quit apps.

With many apps, such as Calendar and Mail, you can work with the app in full screen—the app expands to fill the entire screen—or you can open a second app and use both apps side by side in Split View. For more information, see Focus on apps in full screen or Split View.


Tips for Windows switchers

Right click

Click the right corner of your Apple mouse, or click with two fingers on your Apple trackpad. You can change this in Mouse and Trackpad preferences.

Scroll, swipe, click

Settings for scroll direction, swipe gestures, and button assignments are also in Mouse and Trackpad preferences.

Close & resize windows

Buttons for closing, minimizing, and maximizing a window are in the upper-left corner of the window.

Change volume

Use the volume control   in the menu bar, or use the volume keys on your Apple keyboard.

Find files

Use Spotlight to quickly find and open apps, documents, and other files.

Open apps

You can also use Launchpad and the Dock to open your apps (programs).

Browse for files

Looking for Windows File Explorer? Learn about the Finder.

Throw files away

Looking for the Recycle Bin? Use the Trash, which is in the Dock.

Rename files

Click the file once to select it, then press the Return key and type a new name. Press Return when done.

Preview files

Preview most files on your Mac using Quick Look. Click the file once to select it, then press Space bar.

Back up files

Time Machine keeps a copy of all your files, and it remembers how your system looked on any given day.

Change Mac settings

Looking for the Control Panel? Use System Preferences instead.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Many Mac keyboard combinations use the Command (⌘) key. Learn more keys and keyboard shortcuts.











Close window


Switch apps


Quit app


Forward delete

Fn-Delete or   Forward Delete icon

Find files

Command–Space bar

Force quit app


Take screenshot


App Store Tips

App Store overview

Shopping for apps is easy and fun in the App Store. You can choose from thousands of apps developed just for your Mac—browse, read about apps, buy the ones you want, write reviews, and even keep macOS and your apps up to date. All you need is an Apple ID. If you don’t have an Apple ID, it’s easy to create one.


Browse for apps in the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories area of the App Store. Or use the search field in the top-right corner to find specific apps. To learn about an app before downloading or buying it, click it to see a description, customer reviews, and ratings. Learn More.

The App Store window showing toolbar buttons for browsing apps

Get apps

When you find the perfect app, sign in with your Apple ID. If you don’t have an account, choose Store > Create Account to create one for yourself—including your Apple ID, nickname for posting reviews, address, and so on. This information lets you purchase apps, install and update your apps on all your computers, and reinstall apps you’ve deleted. Learn more.

The App Store sign-in dialog

Tell your friends

Let others know what you think about an app—you can rate it, write a review, and share your review using email, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Learn more.

The App Store window for entering an app rating and a review

Always have the latest

When macOS or app updates are available, you receive a notification. A badge showing the number of available updates appears in the App Store toolbar and on the App Store icon in the Dock. To see what’s new, open App Store, then click the Updates button in the toolbar. Learn more.

App Store toolbar showing the Updates button

Sign in to the App Store

Before you can purchase or update an app from the App Store, you must sign in using an Apple ID, or create an Apple ID if you don’t have one.

An Apple ID gives you access to the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, Apple Online Store, iCloud, FaceTime, and other Apple services. It consists of an email address (for example, and a password. For more information about Apple ID, or to create a new one, go to the Apple ID account website.

Note: All of your purchases are tied to your Apple ID account, and can’t be transferred to another Apple ID account. If you bought apps on your iPad, iPhone, or other Mac, sign in using the same Apple ID to see all of your apps on this Mac. If an update to an app you purchased in the App Store is available, sign in using your Apple ID to download the update.

Sign in with your Apple ID: Choose Store > Sign In, then enter your Apple ID information.

Create an Apple ID: Choose Store > Create Account. You can also choose Store > Sign In, then click Create Apple ID.

View account settings: Sign in, then choose Store > View My Account. Account settings include your Apple ID, billing information, and the nickname you use when you review apps. You can also view purchases that you’vehidden.

Sign out: Choose Store > Sign Out.

Find, buy, and download apps

To find the perfect app, search for it or browse the App Store. Once you find the app you want, you can purchase it using your Apple ID, or you can redeem a download code or a gift card.

Search for an app: Enter one or more words in the search field at the top-right corner of the App Store window, then press Enter.

Ask Siri. Say something like: “Find apps by Apple.”  Learn more about Siri.

Browse the App Store: Browse any of the following areas:

  • Featured: Click Featured to view recommended and featured apps.
  • Top Charts: Click Top Charts to view the bestselling or most downloaded apps in a variety of categories.
  • Categories: Do either of the following:
    • Click Categories, then click a category.
    • Click Featured or Top Charts, then choose a category from the pop-up menu or the list in the Quick Links area on the right.

Learn about an app: In the App Store, click an app’s name or icon to view its description page, where you can read a description of the app, and customer reviews.

Get an app: Click the button that shows the price of the app, then click the button again to install or buy the app (or use Touch ID).

App information bubble showing the app price

During installation, you can pause or cancel.

Redeem download codes or gift cards: Click Redeem in the Quick Links area on the right (if you don’t see it, click Featured, Top Charts, or Categories in the toolbar). Enter the download code or the code from your gift card.

If you have a gift card with a box around the code, you can use the built-in camera on your Mac to redeem the card. After you click Redeem, click Use Camera, then hold the gift card 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 centimeters) from the camera. Make sure the code area is near the center of the preview area, then hold the card steady until it’s redeemed.

Purchase in-app content and subscriptions: Some apps sell extra content, including app upgrades, game content, and subscriptions. To make an in-app purchase, enter your Apple ID (or use Touch ID). For more information about subscriptions, see Manage app subscriptions.

View and manage purchased apps

You can view the apps you purchased using your Apple ID in the Purchased list on any of your Mac computers. If you don’t want certain apps to appear in that list, you can hide them. You can also uninstall apps that you no longer need.

View purchased apps

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store, then click Purchased.

Hide and show apps

  • Hide a purchased app: Press and hold the Control key, click the app, then choose Hide Purchase.
  • View hidden apps: Click Store > View My Account, then click Manage (to the right of Hidden Items). In the window that appears, click Unhide for apps that you want to appear in the Purchased list. When you’re finished, click Done.

Uninstall apps

Note: You can’t uninstall apps that are part of macOS, such as Safari and Mail.

  • Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock), then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

To learn how to uninstall using an app’s uninstaller, see Install, update, and uninstall apps.

Update macOS and apps

App Store keeps track of updates for macOS and apps you purchased with your Apple ID.

When an update is available, you receive a notification. You also see a badge in the App Store toolbar and on the App Store icon in the Dock that shows the number of updates available.

Badges in the App Store window and on the App Store icon in the Dock show that updates are available

Update an app from the App Store

  • Update from the Updates pane: Click Updates in the toolbar, then do one of the following:
    • Update all apps now: Click Update All.
    • Update all apps later: Click the disclosure triangle next to Update All, then choose an option.If you choose to install updates tonight, they are installed between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. If you install updates that require you to restart your Mac, a notification appears prior to the update, so you can delay it if necessary.
  • Update from the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories areas: Click Update.
    App information bubble with Update button

Update macOS from the App Store

  • Click the More link under a macOS update to view update information and see whether updates are available for individual components of macOS (for example, Safari, iTunes, and so on).

    Note: Required security updates are installed automatically.

Update from the Apple menu

  1. To see if you have available updates, open the Apple menu.The number of updates appears to the right of App Store.
  2. To get your updates, choose App Store.
  3. After App Store opens, click Updates in the toolbar.For more instructions, see “Update macOS from the App Store” and “Update an app from the App Store,” above.

Update from an Updates Available notification

If you receive a notification that an app update is available, you can download the update without opening App Store.

  • In the notification, do one of the following:
    • Update all apps now and restart: Click Restart.
    • Update all apps later: Click Later, then choose an option.

Have App Store automatically check for updates

  1. Choose App Store > Preferences.
  2. Select “Automatically check for updates,” then select any of the related options.

For more information, see About required security updates.

Automatically keep macOS and apps up to date

You can automatically download and install macOS and app updates.

  1. Choose App Store > Preferences.
  2. Select “Automatically check for updates,” then select “Install app updates” to have your Mac install app updates automatically, or “Install macOS updates” to have your Mac install macOS updates automatically.

Install and reinstall purchased apps

There are several ways to install and reinstall apps you purchased with your Apple ID or that came with your new Mac.

Note: In the App Store, all purchased apps are listed under Purchased.

Install apps that you purchased on a different computer

You can install apps that you purchased with your Apple ID on other Mac computers.

Note: All of your purchases are tied to your Apple ID account, and can’t be transferred to another Apple ID account. If you bought apps on your iPad, iPhone, or other Mac, sign in using the same Apple ID to see all of your apps on this Mac.

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store, click Purchased, then click Install.

Automatically download apps that you purchased on a different computer

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store with your Apple ID. Choose App Store > Preferences, then select “Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs.”

Reinstall apps

If you uninstalled or deleted an app that you purchased in the App Store, you can install it again.

Note: All of your purchases are tied to your Apple ID account, and can’t be transferred to another Apple ID account. If you bought apps on your iPad, iPhone, or other Mac, sign in using the same Apple ID to see all of your apps on this Mac.

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store, then click Purchased. Locate the app you want, then click Install.

Add preinstalled apps to your account

If your Mac came with preinstalled apps, such as GarageBand, iMovie, and Photos, you can add them to your account.

Do one of the following:

  • Update from the Purchased area: Click Purchased, click Accept, then sign in using the Apple ID for the account you want to add the apps to.
  • Update from the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories area: Locate the app in the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories area, then click Accept.

After preinstalled apps are added to your account, they’re listed with the rest of your purchased apps. If you delete the apps later, you can reinstall them using the instructions above.

Manage app subscriptions

You can change renewal settings for app subscriptions you purchased in the App Store.

  1. Choose Store > View My Account, sign in, then click Manage (next to Subscriptions).
  2. If an app is set to renew automatically, do any of the following:
    • Change your renewal duration: Select a setting in the Renewal Options list.
    • Turn off automatic renewal: Click Cancel Subscription.

You can also download an app from the Internet or install an app from a disc. See Install, update, and uninstall apps for instructions.

Tell people about apps

In App Store, you can rate, review, and tell your friends about apps.

Rate an app you purchased or downloaded: On the app’s description page, click a star next to “Rate this application.”

Write a review of an app you purchased or downloaded: On the app’s description page, click the link below Customer Reviews to write a review. Enter review information, then click Submit.

Tell your friends about an app: Click the info bubble pop-up menu, then choose an option.

App information button showing the pop-up menu for choosing an option for sharing info about an app
  • Copy Link: Create a copy of the link to the app description page. You can paste the link into an email message or a document.
  • Tell a Friend: Send an email about the app.
  • Share on Twitter: Tweet about the app.
  • Share to Facebook: Create a Facebook post about the app.

About required security updates

Your Mac checks daily for required security updates and notifies you when one is available in App Store. If the update does not require you to restart your Mac, it’s installed automatically after a specified amount of time. Otherwise, the update is installed the next time you restart your Mac.

If you prefer, you can always manually install required security updates.

  • Choose App Store > Preferences, then deselect “Install system data files and security updates.”

App Store keyboard shortcuts

App Store includes keyboard shortcuts for common macOS commands and for navigation.

Navigation shortcuts are shown below; look in the menus to find shortcuts for common commands.



Display Featured apps Command-1
Display Top Charts Command-2
Display Categories Command-3
Display Purchased Apps Command-4
Display Updates Command-5
Search for an app Command-F
Refresh the current page Command-R
Go to the previous page Command—Left bracket ( [ )

On a trackpad, swipe two fingers to the left.

If you have a Magic Mouse, swipe one finger to the left.

Go to the next page Command—Right bracket ( ] )

On a trackpad, swipe two fingers to the right.

If you have a Magic Mouse, swipe one finger to the right.

Siri Tips

Like Siri on your iOS devices, Siri on your Mac is your intelligent personal assistant that helps you multitask and get things done just by asking. For example, while you work on a document, you can ask Siri to send a message to your coworker saying that the document is on the way—without having to stop what you’re doing.

Here are just a few examples of the many things that you can ask Siri to do:

  • “Show the PDFs in my Downloads folder”
  • “How much free space do I have on my Mac?”
  • “Play the top 40 jazz songs”
  • “What’s the weather in Lake Tahoe?”
  • “Show me all of the files I shared with Cecilia last week”
  • “Search the web for images of the Eiffel Tower”
  • “Find tweets from José Bautista”
  • “FaceTime Victoria”
  • “Add Laura to my 10 AM meeting”
  • “How do you spell broccoli?”
  • “Show my photos from yesterday”
  • “What time is it in Monterrey, Mexico?”

Ask Siri a question

Click the Siri icon  in the menu bar or Dock. Siri asks “What can I help you with?” Then say what you need. 
To learn about Siri’s capabilities on the Mac, just ask Siri “What can you do?”

Click the Siri icon  again or clickmicrophone iconin the search result to ask another question. Siri remains open on your desktop in front of any other apps, or you can close the window with a swipe.

To ask Siri a question, you can instead hold down both the Command (⌘) key and Space bar until Siri asks, “What can I help you with?”

 If you’re using a Mac mini or a Mac Pro, connect a microphone for Siri to hear your requests. Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences and click Sound.
Then select your microphone in the Input tab.


Ask Siri to find files on your Mac

Siri makes it easy to find files on your Mac, using various criteria. For example, you can ask Siri to search for all the documents that you opened this week. Then you can ask Siri to refine your results to just the ones with the word “annual” in the title.


Keep Siri results where you can find them

You can keep important information from Siri—like sports schedules, Twitter feeds, files that are related to your big project, and much more—right in Notification Center so you can access it easily. Just click plus sign at the top of your Siri results. They’ll even stay up to date, so you always know where to find game times, trending topics, or important documents.

Search and drag Siri results

You can ask Siri to search for information, and then drag the results into a window or application on your desktop. For example, you can ask Siri to find an image on the web, and then you can drag it into your Pages document. Or you can ask Siri to find a restaurant, then drag the location from Maps into an invitation.

Edit your Siri request

To edit your request instead of making a new request, double-click your words in the Siri window, then enter your changes from the keyboard.

Double-click your words to edit them.

Then press Return to search again.

Change Siri settings

Go to System Preferences and click Siri. Or you can just ask Siri to open Siri Preferences.

In Siri Preferences, you can:

  • Turn Siri on or off
  • Change the language or dialect that Siri expects you to use
  • Change the gender and dialect of the voice that Siri uses when speaking to you
  • Turn off voice feedback so that Siri shows results silently

Get help


Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP)

MacOS Sierra has a stricter Gatekeeper with not allowing Apps from unidentified developers and as a result will annoy us with saying that application is damaged and cannot be opened.

How to Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP) for MacOS Sierra?

With the following 2 options:

Option 1

For a certain application run in Terminal:

sudo xattr -rd /Applications/

Option 2

To disable checks globally (example: allow apps from anywhere) run in Terminal:

sudo spctl --master-disable