Moving From Mac to PC – Dive Right IN!

What’s the point of this article?

With so many of our customers making the switch from MacOS to the Windows environment, we thought it might be helpful to examine a few of the most frequently covered topics here in the Support department. Making the switch is easier than it’s ever been and, as always, the Support department is here to help if you have any questions or run into issues, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Move between projects

The best advice we can give is to simply move between projects and cut the MacOS environment as cleanly as possible. Migrating between the two OS’s can be extremely problematic and using Apple formatted drives on a Windows PC is just painful. We have run numerous tests on 3rd party “HFS reader” software and just can’t get consistent reliability and performance. We will go into external HDD formatting later. 

It’s really important to break all ties with MacOS when switching to PC and while it might feel challenging if you run into an error or a challenging Windows function, we are here to help so please ask questions when you need help. 

The move may seem daunting, but here are some of the most common questions and the solutions. As always, our Puget Support department will gladly answer any questions you might have about your new Puget Workstation.

  • How do I get my data over
  • Which applications do I use now
  • How different are the keyboard shortcuts
  • Can I use some of my old hardware
  • Where do I go when I have a question

How do I get my data migrated

Because we highly recommend moving between project cycles, you really shouldn’t have too much data to migrate. However, we also understand there might be entire drives worth of data that need to be transferred. We have written two guides that we think will help during this transition, but our recommendation is to backup as much of your data as possible, then format the drives in ExFAT. This formatting allows read/write capabilities between devices if you absolutely must move between them. This solution is FAR better than using a 3rd party software to read an HFS formatted drive. And doesn't cost a dime!

The following article covers all 3rd party backup solutions, most of which are available on Mac too, and we recommend using them to help with the process.

Recommended 3rd Party Backup Solutions for Windows 10

This article explains the backup options included in Windows 10 that you can use to keep everything backed up once you are fully operational in your Windows environment.

Backup Options Within Windows 10

Which applications do I use now

For most of our users, the workflow and applications won’t change. Adobe offers its full suite of applications across both platforms, so if you use Premiere Pro in MacOS, you will be using Premiere Pro in Windows. This is not the case with all applications however, and while Windows offers many alternatives to the core Mac applications, (see chart below) sometimes you won’t find a duplicate application and will need to do some digging. Our recommendation is to use the following website as it offers great alternatives to whatever application you are used to using.

Website for alternative applications: Alternative to

Corresponding Windows Apps
Mac App Windows App
Siri Cortana
Safari Microsoft Edge (or any 3rd party app such as Firefox or Chrome)
Mail Windows Mail, Outlook Mail, Gmail
Contacts People App
iMovie Photos/Story Remix
Calendar Calendar, Outlook Calendar

Notepad, Microsoft To-Do, Sticky Notes, Cortana


Microsoft To-Do, Cortana


Maps, Google Maps







Pages, Numbers, Keynote Office 365, Microsoft Office Online
Text Edit

Notepad, WordPad

iTunes iTunes, Groove, Spotify, Google Play, Pandora
iBooks Microsoft Edge, Amazon Kindle app
App Store Windows Store
Terminal Command Prompt, PowerShell
Activity Monitor Task Manager
Disk Utility Disk Management
Grab Snipping Tool – Windows key + Shift + S


How different are the keyboard shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts are probably the hardest thing to get used to, but the difficulty is compounded dramatically if you are constantly switching between the two OS’s. This is one reason we recommend making a clean break from MacOS. The following article provides the most common and basic key changes and the table below that is a full breakdown of each key and it’s Windows counterpart.

Coming From MacOS Your Shortcuts Will Not Change Much

Keyboard Shortcuts





Alt Key


Command key (four leaf clover)


Save a file – Command + S

Control + S

Open a file – Command + O

Control + O

Create new folder – Shift + Command + N

Control + Shift + N

Get Info – Command + I

Properties – Alt + Enter

Print – Command + P

Control + P

Find – Command + F

Control + F 


Where do I go when I have a question

Puget Systems prides itself on being able to adequately support a myriad of different types of customers. When you have a question, regardless of the topic, our advice is to simply reach out and if we can help we will! We have Support Technicians expertly trained in numerous areas such as Engineering, Content Creation, Scientific Computing, and each of our technicians is intimately familiar with all hardware we provide to our customers. We also maintain good relations with a number of different software companies in an effort to bridge the gap between the support we can offer and the support they offer. If we can’t answer your questions, chances are we can put you in touch with the person that can and will provide all the necessary materials the 3rd party providers will ask you for. 

Need help with your Puget Systems PC?

If something is wrong with your Puget Systems PC. We are readily accessible, and our support team comes from a wide range of technological backgrounds to better assist you!

Contact Puget Systems Support

Looking for more support guides?

If you are looking for a solution to a problem you are having with your PC, we also have a number of other support guides that may be able to assist you with other issues.

Puget Systems Online Help Guides