How to Set up Your New Mac

Welcome to the Apple ecosystem

What to Know

  • Turn on Mac, follow Setup Assistant prompts, select country > keyboard layout > Wi-Fi network.
  • Enable Location Services > Create New Apple ID or sign in > Create Computer Account > setup iCloud.
  • Ensure Mac is plugged in, able to join your home network, and a mouse and keyboard are connected.

This article explains how to set up a new Mac desktop or MacBook laptop, as well as create your own user account.

How to Set up Your New Mac

Follow these steps to set up your new Mac and create your user account.

  1. Turn on the power for the Mac.

    You may need to press the power button to turn on the computer. Some Mac notebooks turn on automatically when connected to power.

  2. The Mac Setup Assistant launches, presenting you with a series of questions and prompts to follow.

  3. The first prompt displays a world map. Select a country to set your time zone and language. Select Continue when you're done.

  4. Choose a keyboard layout. Select Show All to see other options. When you've made your selection, select Continue.

    When you select the U.S. as your country, you'll see only the U.S. keyboard as an option.

  5. Connect to your Wi-Fi network. Choose your network name (SSID), enter the password, and select Continue. It may take a few minutes to connect.

    To connect to a wired connection, select Other Network Options in the lower-right corner of the screen and follow the prompts.

  6. Opt to transfer data from another Mac, a Time Machine backup, a startup disk, or a Windows PC. Choose an option and select Continue.

    Select Don't transfer any information now if you want to transfer data later or if you're starting fresh.

  7. Check the Enable Location Services on this Mac check box for use with Siri, Apple Maps, and more. Select Continue.

    Don't check this box if you prefer that Apple didn't have access to your location.

  8. Sign in with your Apple ID. If you don't have an Apple ID, select Create New Apple ID and follow the prompts. Once done, select Continue.

    This is the same Apple ID you use with your iPhone, Apple TV, and other Macs.

  9. Select Agree to agree to the various terms and conditions, then select Agree again to confirm.

    Select More to read the terms and conditions in detail.

  10. In the Create a Computer Account dialog box, enter your full name, an account name, create a password, and then choose a password hint.

    Your name fills in automatically when you sign in with an Apple ID.

  11. Optionally, select the Allow my Apple ID to reset this password check box. This is helpful if you forget your user account password.

  12. Select the Set time zone based on current location check box. This option is helpful when you're traveling.

    You'll need to enable Location Services to use this option.

  13. When you're done with the Create a Computer Account options, select Continue.

    This may take a few minutes while iCloud syncs.

  14. You'll see options related to FileVault disk encryption. These options relate to the encryption of files on your hard drive.

  15. Select the Allow my iCloud account to unlock my disk check box, and then select Continue.

  16. Select the Store files from Documents and Desktop in iCloud check box if you have enough iCloud storage space, and then select Continue.

  17. Select the Enable Siri on this Mac check box so you can use the Apple digital assistant. Select Continue.

  18. The Mac finalizes its settings, which may take a while. When it's finished, you'll likely see pop-ups about signing in to various accounts, which you can allow or opt to do later.

  19. Enjoy your new Mac. Visit the Mac App Store to find useful and popular free and paid services, including Microsoft Office for Mac, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more.

Take advantage of the Mac Accessibility options during and after setup to optimize your Mac for vision, hearing, mobility, and learning issues.

Make Sure You Have the Basics

Before you set up your Mac, take care of a few initial steps:

  • Plug in the Mac.
  • Make sure your internet connection is stable and reliable.
  • Have your network password ready.
  • Connect the mouse, keyboard, and monitor, if necessary. Leave all other peripheral devices unattached.

When you've taken care of these preparations, it's time to set up your Mac.

Was this page helpful?