When you get your new MacBook Pro there are a few things we recommend doing as soon as you get it all set up and turned on. The setup process will take a little time, and you will be ready to start using your MacBook Pro, but you will get more out of it by following these steps.
The setup process walks you through the basics and you can easily restore a Time Machine backup, even though personally we like to start from scratch. You may set a few of these options up when you are going through the Setup process, but in case you skip them or you need to make a change, here are the settings we suggest you change and things to do when you get a new MacBook Pro.
Here are the things I’m doing first when I get my new MacBook Pro 16. One other thing I’m doing is ordering a new MacBook Pro 16 skin to keep my new laptop looking great for the long run.
- Show Battery Percentage
- Log Into iCloud
- Change Siri Settings
- Customize Your Touch Bar
- Set Your Default Browser
- Change Trackpad Settings
- Turn on Safari Website Icons
- Set Up Night Shift
- Set Up Dark Mode Auto Switch
- Set Up Do Not Disturb
- Set Up Unlock with Apple Watch
You can skip some of these if you don’t want to make the change. If you restore from a Time Machine backup, most of your settings will transfer over from your old Mac.
Show Battery Percentage
I love to see how much battery percent is left when I look at the taskbar. This lets me easily estimate how much time I have left and I can change what I am working on or look for power.
Click the battery icon in the upper right corner. Click on Show Percentage. Now you will see the Battery Percentage at a glance.
Log Into iCloud
If you didn’t log into iCloud during the setup process, it’s a good idea to do this now. With iCloud, you can sync folders with iCloud Drive, sync reminders, contacts, photos, Safari information and much more.
Open System Preferences -> Click on iCloud – > Enter your Apple ID and password.
You may need to verify your account using another Apple device.
Change Siri Settings
New MacBookPro models all come with Siri installed, and you can customize the Siri settings to match how you use Siri. You can turn off the Siri shortcut or setup Hey Siri depending on your MacBook Pro.
Open System Preferences -> Click on Siri.
From here, you can change a Keyboard shortcut, turn on Hey Siri and choose the Siri Voice.
Customize Your Touch Bar
The Touch Bar is an integral part of the MacBook Pro, and it’s not going anywhere. With this in mind, you can customize it so that you get the buttons and options you want there.
Open System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Customize Control Strip.
You can then drag the items you want to the rightmost part of the Touch Bar, and tap the arrow to expand so that you can configure the rest of the Touch Bar.
Set Your Default Browser
I spend most of my time using Chrome, even though it uses the battery more than Safari. If you like to use Chrome, Brave or another browser, you can set it as your default browser on the Mac.
Open System Preferences -> General -> Default Web Browser.
Choose Chrome or whatever browser you want to use in the arrow section of this menu. This is also where you can change accent and highlight colors as well as adjust other general settings.
Change Trackpad Settings
The Trackpad is very powerful, and there are a ton of options and settings. You may already have your favorites based on using a Mac before. I personally like to turn off the single finger force click to look up something as well as the tap to click.
System Preferences -> Trackpad.
From there click on Point and Click to adjust tapping options, on Scroll and Zoom to adjust scrolling behavior and on More Gestures to change those options as well.
Many people want to adjust the Natural scrolling by turning it off on the Scroll and Zoom tab, which will change your scrolling direction.
Turn on Safari Website Icons
By default, Safari does not show the little icons for each of the websites you visit and tabs that you have open. You can change this so that you can easily see what each tab is for.
Open Safari -> Click on Safari in the upper left of your screen -> Click on Preferences -> Click on Tabs -> Click on Show website icons in tabs.
This will add these to each of the tabs in Safari. You only need to make this change once.
Set Up Night Shift
Your new MacBook Pro can automatically adjust display colors to be warmer at night. This makes the display show less blue light at night, and this means that you can more easily use your laptop at night and then go to sleep. This makes a big difference, but you need to turn it on.
Go to System Preferences -> Displays -> Night Shift -> Schedule.
From there you can choose sunset to sunrise or you can set a custom schedule and even adjust the temperature that it changes.
Set Up Dark Mode Auto Switch
Another great feature is Dark Mode, which switches on a darker theme across the MacBook Pro. You can configure this to automatically switch to the light mode in the morning and then to Dark Mode at night.
Go to System Preferences -> General -> Appearance to Auto.
Unfortunately, there is no easy toggle and there is no custom schedule for Dark Mode and Light Mode.
Set Up Do Not Disturb
When you need to get work done, you don’t want interruptions. You can set up Do Not Disturb on your Mac to stop notifications from interrupting you.
Go to System Preferences -> Notifications.
Once in there, you can set a Do Not Disturb option to automatically turn on at specific times or when the display is sleeping, the screen is locked or when you are mirroring to a TV or projector. The last one is especially helpful since you
Set Up Unlock with Apple Watch
One of the other things I love to use is the Unlock with Apple Watch feature. Once set up, you simply need to wake your Mac up and if your Apple Watch is unlocked an on your wrist, it will unlock your Mac. You can also use it to approve passwords and verify Apple Pay.
Go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy. On the General tab check the box to Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac.
This will connect to your Apple Watch to verify and you will need to enter your Mac password. Once set up this will quickly get you into your MacBook Pro.