How to Set Up OS X El Capitan on Your MacBook - dummies

How to Set Up OS X El Capitan on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

After you start your MacBook for the first time — or if you just upgraded from OS X Yosemite — your laptop will launch El Capitan Setup automatically. The setup process takes care of a number of tasks:

  • Setup provides El Capitan with your personal information. Your Mac ships with a bathtub full of applications. Many of them use your personal data (such as your address and telephone number) to automatically fill out your documents.

    If that stored personal information starts you worrying about identity theft, congratulate yourself. If you’re using common sense, sharing your personal data at any time should make you uneasy. However, in this case, Apple doesn’t disseminate this information anywhere else, and the applications that use your personal data won’t send it anywhere, either. And Safari, the Apple web browser, fills out forms on a web page automatically only if you give your permission.

  • Setup creates your user account. You’re prompted for a username and password, which Setup uses to create your administrator-level account.

  • Setup configures your language and keyboard choices. OS X is a truly international operating system, so you are offered a chance to configure your laptop to use a specific language and keyboard layout.

  • Setup configures your email accounts in Apple Mail. If you already have an email account set up with your ISP, keep handy the email account information that the ISP provided to answer these questions. The info should include your email address and your login name and password. El Capitan can even automatically configure your email account for you (including many web-based email services such as Google Mail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook) if you supply your account ID and password. Sweet.

  • Setup allows you to open an iCloud account. Apple’s iCloud service just plain rocks — especially the free storage. Some advice: Join up, trooper, and create your iCloud account during setup. The standard iCloud service is free, and upgrading to additional space is a breeze if you decide you like the service benefits.

  • Setup sends your registration information to Apple. As a proud owner of a MacBook, take advantage of the year of hardware warranty support and the free 90 days of telephone support. All you have to do is register to use ‘em. Rest assured that all this info is confidential.

  • Setup offers to launch Migration Assistant. This assistant guides you through the process of migrating (an engineer’s term for moving) your existing user data from your old Mac or PC to your laptop. Naturally, if your MacBook is your first Macintosh computer, you can skip this step with a song in your heart!