How to Set Up OS X Mavericks on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

After you start your MacBook for the first time — or if you just upgraded from OS X Mountain Lion — your laptop will likely launch Mavericks Setup automatically. (Note that some custom install options, such as the Archive and Install option, might not launch the setup procedure.) The setup process takes care of a number of tasks:

  • Setup provides Mavericks 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 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 e-mail accounts in Apple Mail. If you already have an e-mail account set up with your ISP, keep handy the e-mail account information that the ISP provided to answer these questions. The info should include your e-mail address and your login name and password. Mavericks can even automatically configure your e-mail account for you 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. Join up, trooper, and create your Apple ID during setup. The standard iCloud service is free, and upgrading to additional space is a breeze if you decide you like the service benefits. Just sign up and take the opportunity to feel smug about owning an Apple computer.

  • 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 launches 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!