macOS User Guide
The macOS User Guide has a lot more information about how to use your MacBook Air.
Get help. Click the Finder icon in the Dock, then click the Help menu in the menu bar and choose macOS Help to open the macOS User Guide. Or type a question or term in the search field, then choose a topic from the results list.
Familiarize yourself with the desktop. The desktop is where you do your work, and where you can quickly open apps, search, and organize files.
On the desktop you’ll find:
The menu bar: The menu bar for the desktop or the active open app is always at the top of the screen. Use menus to find options and perform tasks in apps. For information about items in the menu bar, such as the Apple menu and the Help menu, see Desktop and menu bar on your Mac.
The Dock: The Dock is similar to the taskbar and Start menu in Windows and appears at the bottom of the desktop (but you can change its location in System Settings). The Dock makes it easy to see all the apps you have open and quickly launch your favorite apps. To open an app, click its icon in the Dock. You can also open apps using Launchpad. See The Dock on your Mac.
The Finder: Click in the Dock to open the Finder, where you organize and locate your files (similar to File Explorer in Windows). Use the buttons at the top of the Finder window to change how you view your files—as icons , in a list , in columns , or in a gallery . In any view, you can select a file and press the Space bar to see a Quick Look preview without opening the file. See Finder on your Mac.
The Spotlight menu: Spotlight lets you search for anything on your Mac, including documents, contacts, email messages, and more. You can also launch apps and search on the web. To open Spotlight, click the Spotlight icon at the top right of the screen or press Command-Space bar. See Spotlight on your Mac.
System Settings: System Settings is similar to the Control Panel in Windows. Customize your Mac with settings for the desktop, Dock, display, Bluetooth, network, and much more. See System Settings on your Mac.
Get to know the keyboard and trackpad. The Command key on Mac is generally the same as the Control key on Windows. For example, use Command-C and Command-V to copy and paste content. The Return key on Mac is the same as the Enter key on Windows, while the Delete key is the same as Backspace. If you want to forward delete, Press Fn-Delete.
Use the trackpad to click, right-click, force click, scroll, swipe, and resize documents quickly. See MacBook Air trackpad for details on trackpad gestures.
For a list of Mac keyboard shortcuts and differences between Mac and Windows keyboards, see the Apple Support article Mac tips for Windows switchers. Also see Windows keys on a Mac keyboard in the macOS User Guide. For more shortcuts in this guide, see Keyboard shortcuts on your Mac.
Install apps. You can download apps from the App Store or the internet. When you download an app from the internet, you get a disk image file (ending in .dmg) or package file (.pkg). To install the app, locate the .dmg or .pkg file in your Downloads folder, double-click it, then follow the onscreen instructions. You’re prompted to delete the disk image or package file after you install the app.
To uninstall an app, find the app in the Applications folder in Finder, then drag the app to the Trash. Some apps have an Uninstaller, which you can use to delete the app and other files associated with it. See Install and uninstall apps in the macOS User Guide.
Maximize, minimize, and close windows. You can have multiple windows for an app open at a time. Use the buttons in the top-left corner of a window to resize and close windows.
Click the Close Window button or press Command-W to close the window, but not the app. Press Option-Command-W to close all open windows for the app. Press Command-Q to quit the app.
Click the Minimize Window button to minimize a window (or press Command-M). Minimizing a window leaves the app open but reduces the window to an icon on the right side of the Dock. Click the icon to restore the window to its previous size.
Click the Full-Screen Window button to open your app full-screen. To maximize the window, hold the Option key and click the button. Or hover on the button to see more options, such as tiling the window. Press Esc to return the window to its previous size.
Move windows. Drag the window by its title bar to put it where you want it. Some windows can’t be moved. See Manage windows on Mac in the macOS User Guide.
Switch between app windows. Press Command-Tab to quickly switch to the previous app. When you have several app windows open, press and hold Command, then press Tab to see icons for all the open apps. While holding Command, press Tab (or the arrow keys) to move between the apps and select the one you want to be active. Release the Command key to work in the active app.
Take a screenshot. Press Command-Shift-5 to access the Screenshot Utility. See Take a screenshot on your Mac.
Let Siri do tasks for you. To activate Siri, click the Siri icon at the top right of the screen. You can also press the Dictation/Siri key (F5), press and hold Command-Space bar, or say “Hey Siri” (if the option is turned on). Ask Siri to open a folder, launch an app, make the screen brighter, and other tasks. See Siri on your Mac.
Use your Mac with iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. If you sign in to your Apple devices with the same Apple ID, you can easily share files and photos, edit documents, answer email and calls, and send text among devices. See Use your MacBook Air with iCloud and Continuity.