A To-Do List Before Switching Back to Mac

It might seem strange, but if you were using a tower-format PC, you probably integrated one or more additional SSDs to store your data. When switching to a Mac, this often won’t be possible because Apple machines are closed systems and are difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to upgrade. Only the Mac Pro is an exception—aside from the 2013 Mac Pro, which is very limited in what you can add. All other Mac Pros are easy to upgrade.

  1. External SSD Enclosures:
    • First, get as many USB 3 enclosures as needed based on the number of SSDs you want to connect to your Mac. You can also opt for Thunderbolt SSD enclosures, but given their price, it’s usually better to stick with USB 3.0 and later versions, which are sufficient for most operations.
  2. Choosing the Right Mac:
    • If you’re opting for a Mac mini, be aware that these machines are underpowered and not very reliable in the long term. The same goes for iMacs with their problematic screens. These machines are minimally configured, so it’s preferable to get a powered USB 3.0 hub. This will offload power requirements from the machine and ensure a perfect connection with the Mac.
  3. Memory Requirements:
    • Note that the minimum required memory for both desktop and portable Apple machines, starting from macOS Monterey, is 16 GB. Below this, the system will use the SSD for memory, causing slowdowns under certain functions. For adding memory to your Mac mini, consult a professional to avoid issues since these machines are particularly delicate to open and close.
  4. Selecting a Monitor:
    • If you need to choose a monitor, only go for IPS screens with EyeCare validation. Brands like Viewsonic, Benq, or IIyama are excellent quality choices. Avoid Samsung, as their screens generally have poor quality with components prone to premature aging and are impossible to calibrate. Be cautious with LG; below $500, you won’t find anything decent.
  5. Software Transition:
    • If you purchased a full Microsoft 2021 license, simply uninstall it from your PC running Windows. Then, on your Mac, log into your Microsoft account and under “Your Purchases,” you’ll find an installer to install it on your Mac.
    • For essential applications, buying Carbon Copy Cloner will allow you to easily back up your session to an external SSD. In case of an internal SSD failure, you can boot from this external SSD, then replace your internal SSD and copy your session back. The session copy on Mac is complete, including applications and files.
  6. Security and Maintenance:
    • Download an antivirus. Avira is free in its standard version and perfect for protecting you from malware and other modern web dangers.
    • Although macOS doesn’t really require maintenance, I still recommend using the very reliable and free Onyx. If you use your Mac professionally, run Onyx once a month, and you won’t need other paid tools, which often perform worse than Onyx.
  7. Web Browsing and Email:
    • For web browsing, I recommend using Firefox, which is the safest browser and perfectly suited for Linux, with macOS being an improved version of Linux.
    • For emails, you’ll find the same applications available as on Windows, at least for the most well-known ones.
  8. Additional Applications:
    • Need an RSS reader? Use Vienna, which is free and particularly pleasant to use.
    • At night, completely disconnect your Mac from the power supply. This will save you a lot of money, as Macs, like all modern computers, are always in standby mode.
  9. Default Applications:
    • Apple provides a number of applications by default. Avoid getting locked into the Apple ecosystem. If you used Pro Tools or other applications, prefer these over Apple’s equivalents. The same goes for video editing applications; prefer Adobe Premiere over Final Cut Pro. The apparent simplicity of Apple’s applications can hide various compatibility issues with industry standards.