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finding files need help, also Windows compatibility q

This is a discussion on finding files need help, also Windows compatibility q within the Mac Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. hi, Iím mainly a Windows user. Bought a Mac some years back, never really figured it out, now going to


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Old 11-30-2019, 05:09 AM   #1
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hi, Iím mainly a Windows user. Bought a Mac some years back, never really figured it out, now going to give it to my kid.

Question- really basic stupid questions, sorry -
The Mac has several accounts on it, I am admin and have all the passwords etc. (might be using Windows terminology here).
On the off chance that I have something useful on there, Iíd like to download everything to an external hard drive. And hopefully have said drive readable by Windows, writeable by Windows not important.

I cannot figure out how to get a complete file list. I donít remember where I put files, but at one point this Mac was connected to my dropbox and my Google Drive and was synced to them. I think the folders are still on there, looking at the used storage, but donít know where or how to download that content or for that matter delete that content. I donít know where else ie what other folders I might have put stuff in.

I guess Iím kind of asking how to get a complete list of all files, or at least all non-system files?

And for that external hard drive, is exFAT the best? any specific drive recommendations would be welcome.

thank you!
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:08 AM   #2
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In Finder (the desktop screen you see when you boot the Mac) you can search for any file you know the name or type of file. You can also double click the Macintosh Hard Drive icon to browse the computer. Or, in Finder on the upper toolbar, click Go and go to the Users file(Home), or Applications, Utilities etc.
Just about all personal files (ie) Documents, Music, Pictures Downloads ,etc are stored in the Users Files. Very rarely would you store something elsewhere.
Most External USB HDD's come Pre-Formatted NTFS Windows formatted. NTFS volumes are read on a Mac, but you cannot Execute from them. Ex-FAT is a format that can be read by Mac as well as Windows.
On a Mac, unless you use a Windows mouse, you only get a Left Click, unless you hold down the CTRL key and click, then you get the Right click Menu, where you can Copy, Paste, Cut or Delete. You can also use the same Key combos to do these commands as on a Windows machine (ie) CTRL+C=Copy; CTRL+V=Paste etc.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks! Will give it a try next day or so.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:11 AM   #4
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So, trying that.
As I mentioned, I really never figured out Macs.
I am sadly in Finder, on a user account where most of the files are, and found them, which is great.
but not finding the Mac hard drive icon? either on the user account or the admin account.

Iím sure Iím doing something really basic wrong but no idea what.

I am using a windows mouse if that matters. OS Catalina, recently upgraded from whatever it was around 4 yrs ago.

Probably what I need is a recommendation for a short very very basic guide to Macs, rather than continuing with lame questions.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee_4 View Post
So, trying that.
As I mentioned, I really never figured out Macs.
I am sadly in Finder, on a user account where most of the files are, and found them, which is great.
but not finding the Mac hard drive icon? either on the user account or the admin account.

Iím sure Iím doing something really basic wrong but no idea what.

I am using a windows mouse if that matters. OS Catalina, recently upgraded from whatever it was around 4 yrs ago.

Probably what I need is a recommendation for a short very very basic guide to Macs, rather than continuing with lame questions.
See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201732 for basics on using Finder. You can also Google "macos finder" for more information and resources, like videos, tutorials etc.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:54 AM   #6
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Never mind, got it ! (I think ) many many thanks!
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:56 AM   #7
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We were posting at the same time, thank you also Stancestans! Will do that :)
and will mark this solved :)
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