New MacBook for Older MIL

Here’s the question: what tips do you have for setting up a Mac for a new Mac user?

After several years of hemming and hawing, my wife and I tired of my mother-in-law’s indecision and chose which MacBook to buy for her. The open-box price on an M1 Pro helped a lot. For my father-in-law, a longtime Mac user, I am the main admin and have set up a lot of restrictive controls and limited features to keep him out of trouble as he tends to drag files out of emails and drops them wherever they land. His wife is more savvy but new to the Mac.

She has an iPhone/iCloud account already, and I have a Jamf account so I can do some remote assistance.

I haven’t had the chance to teach an older person how to use the Mac yet. What I would focus on is

  • Security - limit any damage from phishing and viruses.
  • passwords - we use 1Password because it’s cross platform/device and can share passwords on vaults. That was the weakest security point
  • Applications - what do they need to know how to do and teach them. I’m guessing it’s internet surfing, photos, email, and media playing
  • sharing between Mac and iPhone - airdrop, iCloud, Universal Clipboard

I’m tempted to say don’t give then an admin account, but that can be tricky with family. But do set up a spare admin account for yourself. It’s saved me a lot of headaches more than once.

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Yeah, I’ll be the main admin with her as a regular user. It’s worked well for her husband.

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Good tips. I’m mostly here but the level of explaining is going to be different.