Talk me down.... Discouraged and frustrated with my Mac in general

macOS & Mac Apps

First, I want to thank the people who replied to my post yesterday about my MacBook air being so slow. However, I think I managed to make it slower. Maybe it's all in my mind. I am just so frustrated with my mac at the moment. Am I the only one who feels this way? I know that it's all new. But I hate it right now. For example, I can't get my arrow keys to work. When I press them, they make that sound, like nothing is there under them even though it says that File Vault has keyboard focus. Plus when I press VO key with space bar to click on stuff, nothing happens. I'm so discouraged with my Mac. I just can't seem to get used to it despite the fact that I read the Help section and come on this site a lot. I know that I've come along way since getting my mac couple months ago. However, I can't seem to get use to the screen layout. It seems so complicated. For example, when it says row expanded when I'm looking at a folder, does that mean the folders open? Why can't it just say folder is open? Or when i'm in email, and it says row expanded, what exactly is expanded? I suspect one reason it's so slow, because when I first got it, I was accidentally creating new folders and aliases all the time. Plus, when I updated from Yosemite, I had to install the update a couple times. So I'm sure there's files left over from that.



Submitted by Pyro2790 on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I definitely understand the feelings of frustration especially when you change to a completely different operating system. There are a lot of good resources out there to help you learn how to use a Mac including this site. It is definitely vastly different than windows and the way you interact with things on the screen. One thing that you may be getting caught up on is the quick nav keys. You arrow with the Mac using the left and right arrow keys instead of the up and down arrow. That takes a bit of getting use to if you are familiar with a windows machine.

You have to see what works best for you. I'm not sure how long you have had the Mac. I have tried on several occasions to use a mac and have always gone back to Windows. I have been using windows for a majority of my life and that is what I am most comfortable with. Fortunately, I was able to take the mac back to the store within the 30 day time period and go back to using a windows machine. It all depends on your comfort level and if you think you can continue to put up with the frustrating times of learning a completely new OS.

Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hi. Quick nav has to be enabled, pressing the left and right together, it says "quicknav, on." When that is, things like using H for next heading, v for visited link work. They don't if quick nav is not on, I don't know why. i find quicknav not my cup of tea, so i don't use it. I just hold down the keys and go from there. A lot of the problem I think, is if you're being taught with someone, just reading and expected to copy what you hear, it might sound harder then it is. That's why I offered my skype name, though if you don't have it, there's always face time. If you sit down and igve yourself a true opportunity, you might be surprised what you learn. To each their own, if you're comfortable with windows, great. I was also, except when I couldn't find a computer i liked in my price range, i jumped off the cliff, and am happy I did. Not bashing windows, but I am not a proponent of well i went back because I couldn't figure it out. that's just my view, not trying to offend anyone. good luck whatever happens to both of you.

Submitted by MESample on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hi all.... I'm still using my Mac. Despite being frustrated at times, I will not go back to Windows. I know my Air and I will get along great eventually. I am finding that I leave quick NAV off. In fact, I didn't even know it was an option until someone mentioned it last month. :)

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I agree with everything that's been said here thus far. I am on my first Mac computer, and it has honestly been a very pleasant experience. I got it as a Christmas gift from my parents in 2013. Prior to this I was a DOS and Windows user, and I had been reading and hearing mostly negative things about VoiceOver specifically and the Mac OS in general. But the guys at my local Apple store who assisted me and my parents were great. At first I had a lot of trouble getting used to things on here, but I have found AppleVis to be a truly wonderful resource. I think the only thing I'm currently struggling with on here is a memory issue, but I believe I finally narrowed that down with some sighted assistance. If after giving it some time and thought the Mac and/or iOS devices just aren't your thing, then you can definitely switch back to Windows. Or better yet, install Windows on your Mac computer. I've not done this myself, but there are resources on this very website to do that. Best of luck in whatever route you go.

Submitted by Chris Bruinenberg on Monday, January 25, 2016

Hi. One other suggestion i have is to turn on the trackpad commander.
Take two fingers and turn to the right while holding down the voiceOver Keys.

Most of the commands you are used to doing from an iphone are the same.
Good luck and take it one step at a time. :)

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Monday, January 25, 2016

I have always thought it beneficial to seek one-on-one training in the use of a new piece of technology. I am not sure where you live, but I am sure that there should be a blindness agency or Apple Store that could assist you in getting comfortable with your Mac. I hope that you discover the success that it can bring to you once you get comfortable with it. Please remember that the Mac is not for everybody. There will be people who will always go back to Windows.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Monday, January 25, 2016

A couple of thoughts that may be helpful.

When I find myself in a situation where I'm trying to navigate and am just getting a "command not supported" beep, it's usually because I'm either interacting with something unintentionally and need to VO + Shift + Up to get out of it, or I'm not interacting far enough and need to VO + Shift + Down to get into the actual content area. If you're trying to navigate with just the arrows (not VO + arrows), this won't work in a lot of contexts. From what I can tell, the general rule is that just using the arrows works fine when navigating diles and folders in Finder, navigating menus in the menu bar, and navigating a list like an email inbox. In other words, if it's a situation where, visually, there would be one highlighted option that could be moved around via arrow keys, using the arrow keys works fine. When you're wanting to navigate elements that can't be navigated using the arrows by a sighted user (such as reading actual page elements with VO), that's when you need to use VO + arrows, or turn on Quick Nav.

Regarding the question in the first post about "Row Expanded", here's an example:
If I'm in Finder in List view (my preferred view, enabled by hitting Cmd + 2), I will navigate the list of documents with the up and down arrows (assuming QuickNav is disabled). Suppose I navigate down to my Documents folder. By default, this folder is closed, so if I hit down again, I'll just go to the next folder (perhaps "Dropbox.")

However, suppose I hit the right arrow on "Documents." VO announces "Row 4 expanded, 9 rows added." Or whatever numbers apply to your situation. This means that the Documents row has expanded out to show the contents of that folder. Now if I press down, I find the first item in my Documents folder.

This behavior is very similar in Mail - when you have a multi-message conversation, it is collapsed by default, much like a folder. But if you hit the right arrow on the conversation, it "expands", meaning that the next item down isn't the next conversation, it's the first message of the expanded conversation.

When it comes to Finder, however, my personal preference is to not navigate in this way. I prefer to press Cmd + Down arrow to open the folder, giving me only that folder's contents in the Finder window. If I want to exit the Documents folder and go back to the root folder, I hit Cmd + Up arrow.

One of the things I love about Mac is also what makes it so challenging to learn - there are about a half dozen ways to accomplish any given task. I prefer to "drill down" into folders using Cmd + Up/Down in List View. Others may prefer to expand and collapse rows using the up and down arrows. Still others may prefer to leave List view entirely and use Column view or something (the crazies). This can lead to confusion if you don't know specifically how to accomplish something, as suddenly your Mac is responding to commands in ways you don't understand. But once you know exactly how to do what you want to do, it's a breeze.

Another example of this overabundance of choice is Quick Nav. To those who say they never use Quick what works for you, but I strongly recommend that you continue to play around with it, especially when navigating web pages. I can't even begin to imagine getting around a web page without Quick Nav. As a general rule, I usually enable quick nave when browsing, disabling it only to enter text; in other apps I tend to disable it, but now that I'm confortable with it, sometimes I activate it to navigate around a page and then deactivate it again, almost automatically. But it's a really great tool once you're comfortable with how it works.

I hope some of that information was useful. Let me know if there's any other general use frustration you're dealing with - I'd be happy to try to offer some pointers.

Submitted by Lisa on Monday, January 25, 2016

Just getting my new iMac for Christmas I am slowly learning how to use it. Sometimes it can be a bit frustrating, but I'm getting the hang of it. Any help for a new user like me is very much appreciated though. Thank you.

Submitted by Eric Davis on Monday, January 25, 2016

I got a USB Mac keyboard and a Magic TrackPad to go with my MacBook Pro. This helped me learn how to use it. I had a bit of extra incentive to learn, because it was a requirement for the job I had at the time. Now, I can switch back and forth between Windows and Mac. I like the Mac more. When you learn any skill you just have to stick it out. Hope this helps.