Switching from Mac to Windows?

People are moving away from their beloved Apple Computers to Windows PCs for a multitude of reasons.

They are either disillusioned with Apple’s product line, tired of the Apple ecosystem which has been getting increasingly worse over the last few years, need compatibility with NVIDIA Graphics Cards or they are fed up with the cost of the Apple hardware.

What ever the reason for moving from Mac to Windows, it is happening more and more every day but it can be a daunting move given the extraordinary array of choice available in the Windows world. Do you go “off the shelf” or build your own?

Having done both since leaving the Apple world I had been in for more than 25 years, I can say that without a doubt, build your own is the only way to get exactly what you want but that path also has it’s difficulties, not least of which is trying to get your head around the even greater range of product available to the DIY PC builder, it is massive. And which motherboard goes with which power supply and case etc.

Of course, this is where we come in by providing custom built systems for Media Applications such as image and video editing to make your move from Mac to Windows easier. There are other things to consider in the process of moving from Mac to Windows though, such as replacing all the applications you have bought for the Mac platform, with their Windows counterparts, but from my experience, the cost was far less than expected.

The first thing you need to do is to create a checklist of exactly which applications you truly need to use when moving to Windows, and anything you have not used for years, discard it as you clearly do not need it.

After compiling your list, check with the vendor to see what your software license allows,because this is where the surprise comes in. Most software these days allows for use on either Mac or Windows, it is simply a matter of downloading the Windows version.

This was the case for about 90% of the software I used. Some of the small audio and video conversion apps I used on Mac were not available for Windows so I bought things like dBPoweramp for audio conversion duties, which was not that expensive at all.

The only big cost for me was finding an alternative to Final Cut Pro, which is Mac only software of course. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise to be honest as I ended up purchasing Blackmagic Design’s Davinci Resolve Studio which is a truly excellent video editing application that gets better with each update.

If you are an Adobe subscriber of course, your license is platform independent so simply remove it off your Mac and install on you rnew Windows PC, continue working. This is the case with most subscription software of course, including Microsoft’s Office 365.

The final thing to remember is that any external hard drives you have for your Mac that are formatted for Mac, will not mount on your new Windows PC. If like me you have several external drives, this comes as quite a shock at first and panic sets in, but there is a very elegant solution and that is MacDrive 10. This software allows you to mount Mac drives on Windows, as well as format Mac drives and even repair them, perfect!

What about security and viruses when going from Mac to Windows?

Without a doubt the greatest fear in moving away from Mac, is the fear of security and viruses. It certainly was for me! In the past Windows was a nightmare with security that “got in the way” of anything you tried to do and as a Mac user that annoyance alone was enough to stay away.

Windows 10 is a world away from those old days, and like the Mac, it never gets in the way of the work you are trying to do. Security is excellent (it has to be!) and in the three years I have been running multiple Windows 10 machines, not a single security issue or virus.

Many software vendors would have you believe you need to add third party security/virus protection to your Windows machine, and I took the bait initially. But soon after I decided to live with the inbuilt protection that Windows 10 provides and have stayed with it ever since. Still not one security issue or virus!

Of course, if you really want to get your computer infected or experience a security breach, heading into the dark web will certainly expose your machine, but for anyone simply doing “normal” web browsing and daily work duties, it is a non issue, truly.

What about the Mac to Windows learning curve?

Yes it is true, Windows 10 works differently to the Mac, for the most part one is not better or worse than the other, it is simply different! The greatest thing you will have to contend with is the keyboard shortcut for copy and paste as the keys used are different on Windows 10 and it does take a few weeks for muscle memory to change but it will change.

There are a number of other things you will run into when switching, the thing to remember is that Google is your friend here. If you don’t know how to do something, Google it and you will have your answer, it really is that simple. After a couple of months you will be feeling right at home and start wondering why it took so long to make the change.

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Mac to Windows Checklist
 1. Create a list of software

Create a list of all software you need to move to the Windows platform, disregarding anything you have not used for years.

2. Check your software licenses

Check your license for each software, most allow installation on either Mac or Windows and if the license is such, then no need to seek a replacement for Windows.

3. Find alternative software

For the software you have that does not exist for Windows, seek an alternative solution for Windows. This will mainly relate to smaller utilities such as video and audio converters etc.

4. Macintosh discs

If you need to be able to use your Mac formatted discs on your new Windows PC, then purchase a license for MacDrive 10, to allow mounting, formatting and repairing of Mac formatted discs on Windows 10.

5. Google is your friend

The learning curve of switching from Mac to Windows is not a small one, but neither is it that hard. Anything you want to know can be found with a quick Google search.