How to Setup Your New Mac

Posted in How To, Mac on 28/03/2017 by Chris Hauk


If you’ve just bought your first Mac you may be expecting the same hours-long experience you had when buying a new Windows computer, with a huge number of updates to run, and the tedious removal of bloatware from the machine.

How to Setup Your New Mac

Well, guess what? It’s not going to be anywhere near that painful, or take that long. Here’s what you can expect after taking your new Mac out of its box and switching it on…

Setting up Your New Mac

Connect to Wi-Fi

Be sure to have an available Wi-Fi connection. Your new Mac will need a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet to complete some of the setup steps. If the network requires a password, have the password ready.

Don’t Plug All of Your Peripherals in Yet

When first turning on your new machine, it’s OK to have an external keyboard and trackpad or mouse plugged in. And, if you’re using an external display, go ahead and plug it in and turn it on as well, but don’t connect any other peripherals just yet.

Turn on your Mac

Some newer model of Mac notebooks will automatically start up when you connect the computer to power or open its lid. Other Macs will require you to press the power button to start them up.

Use the Setup Assistant

Once your new machine starts up, you’ll be asked for some information, such as your Apple ID. This is probably the same as your iTunes login info. Or, if you already have an iPhone or iPad, use the same Apple ID on your Mac.

Apple recommends letting the setup assistant turn on FileVaultiCloud Keychain, and Find My Mac. While you’re here, you can also transfer information from another computer or a Time Machine backup. (Or, you can do that later, using Migration Assistant.)

Setup Your Login Account

Now, your Mac will ask you to create the name and password of your computer account. This information will allow you to log in to your computer, change settings, and install software.

Check for Software Updates

UGH! Here’s the part I always dreaded when setting up a new Windows machine, but on a Mac it’s relatively painless. When the setup assistant finishes setting up your new machine, you’ll be taken to your new Mac’s desktop. Here, you’ll see the Finder menu bar, and the Dock. Click the App Store icon in the Dock, and allow it to search for any needed updates. Don’t worry, it won’t take hours. Definitely less than an hour. 😉

Connect Your Printer or Other Peripherals

After the updates have all been installed, you can go ahead and connect any printers, drawing tablets, external drives, or other peripherals you plan on using with your new computer.

For more tips and tricks on how to make better use of your Mac, iOS device, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, be sure to visit the “How To” section of our website.

(Original information via the Apple Support Website.)

  • Baseballguy2001

    What new Mac? The Macintosh line hasn’t been updated in who knows how long.

    • rossmunch

      First thing I thought.
      Unfortunately Mac now means laptop.

    • Chris Hauk

      Well, it’s new to the people who buy them each day. I Mean, technically… 😉

  • Zillo Mab

    I remember one high executive from Apple shouting: “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass!”

    Yes, it seams Apple is suffering from constipation.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.