It’s been almost 10 years since I had my old 15″ MacBook Pro (MBP). It served me well through my web development career but has started to show its age, with a battery that lasts less than an hour and the unexpected reboots when running processor-heavy apps like Illustrator.
At the end of 2021, I splurged on a new MBP-16 inch with Apple M1 Pro and 16 GB memory.
After setting up the wifi, login to the apple id, go through the initial setup screens and configure the touch id.
If you have an iWatch, you have the option to unlock your Macbook with your iWatch.
You can choose to use the Migration Assistant to transfer data from the old Macbook to the new one. I opted to start fresh with a clean installation and copy only what I need from the old Mac.
Here is a checklist of all the settings I made.
Appearance > Auto.
I am not a huge fan of the dark mode. Plus my office gets too much sunlight and Auto works better for my eyes.
Show Scroll Bars > Always.
I have a hard time getting my mouse to hover on the scroll bar area and get the scroll bar popup. This option makes it much easier.
Dock &️️ Menu Bar
I make the icons smaller. Adjust according to your liking.
Position on screen: Left
I connect to external monitors and placing it on the left is less distracting.
☑️ Automatically hide and show the Dock
Keeping the docks hidden saves display real estate.
Under Control Center > BlueTooth
☑️Show in Menu Bar
Under Control Center > Battery
☑️Show in Menu Bar
☑️ Show Percentage
Desktop & Screen Saver
Update the desktop to my favorite image.
Setup a screensaver.
☑️Show screen saver after 5 minutes.
Set up Hot Corners
Hot corners let me fling my cursor to each of the corners and invoke some action that I get to decide.
In my case, I want to show the desktop when I fling the cursor to the left top corner. I also picked the Mission Control, Put Display to Sleep, and Lock Screen on the remaining three corners.
Notifications & Focus
Disable All Notifications.
Setup Focus time for Do Not Disturb and Work.
Change Computer Name
This is the name that pops up when you share the computer screen or files. It is easier to figure out my new machine from the list especially when you Airdrop files.
Set up Touch ID for my left finger as well so I can unlock the machine when I am using my right hand to eat!
Security and Privacy
☑️Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac Allow apps downloaded from > App Store and identified developers
This option is helpful when you are setting Time Machine to back up your Mac on an external hard drive like a Samsung T7 SSD.
Adjust the Tracking speed.
Finder > Preferences:
☑️Show these items on the desktop > Hard disks
☑️New finder windows show > Macintosh HD
Locations > YOUR MACBOOK NAME
Uncheck Tags > Recent Tags.
This will keep the Sidebar in the Finder clean by not listing the tags Tags listed in the Sidebar.
☑️Show all filename extensions
☑️Remove items from Trash after 30 days
☑️Keep folders on top > In windows when sorting by name
☑️Keep folders on top > On Desktop
This makes sure on the desktop, the folders are all on the top and the files are all below that. And the folders and files are sorted alphabetically.
Finder > View
View > Show Path Bar View > Show Status Bar
View > Show Tab BarView > Show Preview View > Use Stacks
This will keep the desktop organized and clean when similar files are stacked.
View > Customize ToolbarShow > Icon and Text
Because it is much easier to have the text and icons on the toolbar instead of only icons.
In the Finder window, select View > as Columns. This will keep the Column View as the default.
View > Show View Options
☑️Always open in column view
Text size > 14
Set up devices
Set up the printer, if you have one.
Sometimes when you select the Printer you have in your network, you will get a message that says “Software for this printer isn’t available from Apple”.
Google “The Printer Name software for mac” to find the driver for Mac. Download and install it.
System Preference > Printers > Select the printer
Use > Select the Software.
Set it as the default printer from the dropdown.
Keyboard and mouse setup
I use the Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse and connect them via Bluetooth to the new MBP.
If you get a message saying “Connection restricted”, make sure the keyboard and mouse are disconnected from the Bluetooth on the old Macbook and try again.
System Preference > Mouse
This will enable the right click with the mouse..
☑️ Smart Zoom
This will enable the double-tap with one finger for zooming.
Adjust the Tracking speed.
Adding Quick Actions to the Finder Menu
I had a few quick actions in my old mac that I added to the new one. Quick actions are an easy way to edit files without launching apps. For eg: adding a watermark to images, scaling images to a certain size, etc.
Change where screenshots are saved
Open the Screenshot app via Spotlight search or by pressing ⇧⌘ 5.
Find the Options menu at the bottom of the screen and select Save to > Desktop
☑️ Show Mouse Pointer
Set up the apps I use
Download and set up the following apps.
- Logged into my Creative Cloud and downloaded the following – Photoshop, Lightroom Classic (Desktop focused), LR(Cloud based), Bridge and Premier Rush.
- CCleaner for mac cleaning.
- Todoist for my personal to do lists.
- Spotify for my music.
- Zoom. If your mac runs on the Apple chip, you’ll be prompted to upgrade to the version of the app that supports the Apple chip.
Set up the default browser
Download Chrome and set it as the default browser.
Disable all the notifications.
Login to Google Chrome profile. Turn on sync. You will notice the tabs and bookmarks from your old MacBook are now synced and accessible from the new Mac.
Enable the Chrome extensions and login, if needed. I use the following extensions:
- BuiltWith Technology Profiler
- Grammarly for Chrome
- News Feed Eradicator
- Web Developer
- Google Docs Offline
- Zoom Scheduler
I set up the news feed eradicator specifically for Facebook.
Set up the Calender
Calender > Add Account
Pick the Calender account provider and configure.
Calender > Accounts
Clean up the calenders you have synced, delete the ones that are not relevant anymore (like that old client calendar) and give proper names to the Calenders so it is easier to keep track of. Also, do a quick review of what’s being synced.
Calender > Preferences > Advanced
☑️Turn on time zone support
This feature is extremely helpful when you are working with teams across multiple time zones.
☑️ Show week numbers
Because I like to have the week numbers displayed in the Calendar.
Set up iTunes library and transfer songs
It was quite a challenge moving my music library. What started a decade back as iTunes Media Library is now Apple Music Library.
The old iTunes library database (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl) is no longer actively used. Instead, the new Apple Music app uses ~/Music/Music/Music Library.musiclibrary.
I didn’t want my Music library on the new mac to use the old iTunes folders.
Hence I consolidated the old iTunes library, copied all the music files from the iTunes folder location (found from iTunes > Preferences> Files > Music Media folder location) onto the desktop, on the old mac. I then, cleaned up the music files I was no longer interested in and copied the remaining music mp3 files into my new mac.
On the new mac, I created a new library and imported all the music files into the new Music library.
I then created new playlists and organized my songs into playlists.
I also configured the columns that appear when you click Songs in the left sidebar on the left. Currently, I have: Date Added, Artist, Title, and Time. Date Added is especially helpful when you add a bunch of songs into the music library and then want to select them and add them to a playlist.
Music > Preferences > General
Uncheck > iTunes Store.
Because I don’t ever buy songs from iTunes. Besides, I have a Spotify account.
Music > Preferences > Files
Uncheck > Keep Music Media folder organized.
Because I find it absolutely annoying to have every single music file stored in a separate folder.
Music > View > Show Status Bar Music > View > Show Playing Next
Two resources that helped me:
Transfer files from the old Mac
I cleaned up the folders on my drive as I didn’t want to move everything I accumulated from the last decade. I transferred the files partly using USB and partly using google drive.
As a final step delete all the .DMG files that are in the Downloads folder.
NOTE: For Lightroom, after transferring the photo folders, I had to import the folders to the Lightroom Classic app.
Set up Time Machine for backups
I use a Samsung T7 external SSD to backup my files on the old mac. On the new MBP, this SSD was not recognized. I spend more than a day figuring out what’s going on.
Here are a few things I did that finally helped.
- Downloaded the SSD T7 software for mac
- Updated the System Preferences > Security and Privacy
☑️Allow apps downloaded from > App Store and identified developers
- Followed the instructions in this video. (If you have trouble following his language-Hindi, I can help!)
- Finally I updated the System Preferences > Dock and Menu Bar > TIme Machine
☑️Show in Menu Bar
Configure the Dock
- Added Photobooth to the Dock. I use Photobooth to check out my video background before I login for a video call.
- Added GarageBand for my music recordings.
- Added Activity Monitor.
- Add Terminal.
- Clean up the apps in the Dock, and remove the ones I don’t use frequently such as the Launchpad.
In the second part of this blog post, I’ll share how I set up the WordPress development environment on the new Macbook Pro.