Guide: The Best macOS Settings for Windows Users

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

If you use Windows and macOS, you might want some things to operate similarly or look visually similar or familiar across both operating systems. These are the settings I always change on my macOS devices.

If you’re after macOS apps I recommend and other tips, check this link.

Mouse (Right Click)

This is important if you’re using a magic mouse, if you’re using a two-button mouse you won’t need to do this.

  • System Preferences > Mouse > Check “Secondary Click” and ensure “Click on right-side” is selected.

Trackpad (Right Click)

  • System Preferences > Trackpad > Check “Secondary Click with Two Fingers”.

Finder (Windows Explorer Equivalent)

These settings make Finder navigation easier. You need to start/open finder first.

  • select View > as List
  • select View > show Status Bar
  • select View > show Path Bar
  • select View > show Tab Bar
  • select View > show View Options and
    check “Always open in List view” and
    check “Browse in List View” then click Use as Defaults

If you find the sea of blue folders on macOS a bit overwhelming, you can customize macOS Finder folder icon colors with this app. Even if everything being blue doesn’t bother you, this is still one of the best things to do. It’s similar to using a .ico file to customize Wndows folder icons.

TextEdit (Notepad Equivalent)

TextEdit on macOS will prompt you for a file name when you start it. If you want it to be more like windows and open with an already blank / new text file see this blog post to make TextEdit open with an empty file

Right Click to Create a New File

You will need to install an app, NewFileMenu does the trick (free and paid versions available). The free version will only let you do one right-click “new”. Upgrade to the paid version to set multiple right-click new file options.

Launchpad (Start Menu)

I have muscle memory on Windows to launch the start menu to find apps, so translated that to start Launchpad.

  • System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Launchpad & Dock > Show Launchpad
    set the shortcut to “Command and Esc” (or whatever works best for you)

Closing Thoughts

I’m not an Apple or macOS zealot, I actually still like and use Windows. I have a Windows Gaming Laptop and a Lenovo Windows ARM laptop which is awesome. There’s a place for every operating system, they all have advantages and disadvantages. Use what works for you but hopefully the above makes switching between macOS and Windows easier.

If you’re after more posts I have written about the Mac and macOS, you can check out this link. I document various macOS bug fixes, hacks and. tweaks to make macOS better. I also list my favorite free macOS apps.

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

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