Welcome to the "Apple laptop: System Settings" course. Your Apple computer lets you change lots of different settings to get it working just the way you like. In this course, you'll learn how to select your preferred language, change the date and time, adjust volume and screen brightness, and connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
Many of your computer's settings are controlled from the options in System Settings. To open System Settings, click on the Apple icon at the top left of the screen, then click System Settings from the drop-down list.
To change the date and time settings on your computer, click on General on the left side of the System Settings panel. From the options that appear on the right side of the panel, click on Date & Time to see the date and time options. At the top the panel, "Set date and time automatically" should be turned on by default. When this switch is blue, that means this setting is on, and your computer is setting the date and time based on where you are in the world. It gets this information from the internet. While this is a useful feature, you can change this manually. To do this, you first need to click the switch next to Set time and date automatically to turn this feature off. A pop-up box will appear asking for your password. This is the computer account password you use to unlock your computer. The username should already be filled in, so you just need to enter your password in the box. When you're finished, click Unlock.
Now, to change the date and time on your computer, find Date and time, then click the Set button on the right. A pop-up box will appear showing your current Date and Time settings. You can click the date and time on this panel, and follow the prompts to change them manually. For this demonstration though, we'll click Cancel to return to the Date & Time panel. We'll also click the switch next to "Set time and date automatically" to turn this feature back on.
If you want the clock on your computer to display the time in 24-hour format, click the switch next to 24-hour time. When this switch is blue, this setting is on, and your computer clock will display the time in this 24-hour format. For this demonstration, we'll turn this feature off once more by clicking the switch off. Click the Back arrow next to Date & Time to return to the General settings panel.
You can adjust your computer settings so that menus and apps display in your preferred language. From the General panel in System Settings, look for Language & Region in the list of options on the right. Click this to see the language and region options. At the top of this panel is the current language set. In our demonstration, it's set to English, Australia. To select another language for your computer, click the plus symbol below English. A list of available languages will appear. Scroll through the list to find the language you want, then click on it. Next, click the Add button to select that language. A new pop-box will appear to confirm that you want to make this new language the primary language for your computer. If you want to change your computer's primary language, click the first button to confirm. But for this demonstration, we'll click the second button to stick with English, Australia. The pop-up box will close and a new shortcut to the second language will now appear in the list of Preferred Languages. You can simply click on this to change the computer's primary language.
Below these, you'll see some details for your region, calendar, and other common formats. To ensure that the region for your language is correct, click on the box alongside Region. Then, scroll down to Oceania. From the drop-down box that appears, click on Australia. Choosing the correct region helps ensure that your computer provides you with information and updates specifically for Australia, and that your computer uses Australian date, time, and calendar formats. To close System Settings, click the small red button in the top left.
Now let's look at some other useful settings, including volume and screen brightness. An Apple keyboard has special keys for adjusting volume and screen brightness. They are in the top row of the keyboard, just above the row of number keys. Each of the volume keys has a speaker icon with sound waves, and the two brightness keys will have either an icon of a sun or a light bulb. If you're not using an Apple keyboard with your Apple desktop computer, you will need to change volume and brightness with your mouse, and we'll show you how to do this later in this course.
To adjust your volume using your Apple keyboard, press the F12 key. As you press the key, a speaker will appear on the screen to show the volume increasing. To decrease the volume, press the F11 key. As you press the key, a speaker will appear on the screen to show the volume decreasing. To mute the sound, press the F10 key. It has a speaker with no sound waves. When you press this key, a speaker with a line through it will appear on the screen. Press the F10 key again to unmute the sound.
If your computer doesn't have volume keys on the keyboard, you can adjust the volume using your mouse. In the top right of the screen, you will see the Control Centre icon. It looks like two toggle switches. Click on the icon to open the Control Centre, which is where you can access several common settings. Find Sound, and use your mouse to move the button on the slider to the right to increase volume, or to the left to decrease it.
You can adjust screen brightness from your Control Centre too. Look for the Display slider. Use your mouse to move the button on the slider to the right to increase screen brightness, and to the left to decrease it. Click anywhere outside of the Control Centre to close it.
You can also adjust the brightness of your screen using your Apple keyboard with the F1 or F2 keys. Press the F2 key, which has an icon of a larger sun, or light bulb, to increase the screens brightness. As you press the key, a sun icon will appear on the screen to show the brightness increasing. Press the smaller sun or F1 key to decrease screen brightness, and an icon will appear on the screen to show the brightness decreasing.
When you set up your computer, you most likely connected it to your home Wi-Fi network. Your computer should automatically reconnect to that Wi-Fi each time you turn it on. If it's already connected, you might like to follow the next few steps as a demonstration for how to reconnect if you lose Wi-Fi for any reason. If you are connecting your computer to public Wi-Fi networks, they may not be secure.
[eSafety tip] You shouldn't use any public Wi-Fi for online banking or other tasks that involve your personal details.
To see if your computer is connected to Wi-Fi, look at the Wi-Fi icon at the top right of the screen. If all the lines are solid white, you're connected to the internet. If this icon is a pale grey, then either the Wi-Fi setting is turned off or you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network. Click this Wi-Fi icon to open the Wi-Fi drop-down menu.
At the top of this menu is a setting that lets you switch your computer's Wi-Fi receptor on and off. When the switch is blue, then your Wi-Fi is turned on and your computer will search for Wi-Fi networks and automatically connect to any networks it remembers. You can click this switch to turn Wi-Fi off. The switch will become grey, and your computer cannot connect to Wi-Fi until you turn this setting back on. Let's do that now.
When your Wi-Fi is on, you'll see a list of available Wi-Fi networks. These can be your neighbours' Wi-Fi, or a public network, such as one from a nearby library, café, or shopping centre. If you see a padlock icon alongside the name of a network, that means it's protected by a password. If a network has a blue Wi-Fi icon alongside it, then you're connected to that network, and able to use the internet. If all the Wi-Fi icons are grey, this means you're not currently connected to any of them. Let's look at how to connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
For the next steps, you'll need to have the name of your home Wi-Fi network and its password ready to type into your computer. If you haven't changed these to something you find easier to remember, they will most likely be on the bottom of your home router.
From the list of available networks, find your home Wi-Fi name and click on it. A pop-up box will appear asking you to enter your Wi-Fi password. Enter the password carefully, being sure to match all capital letters and symbols. You can tick the Show password box to check that you've got it right. Your computer will remember this Wi-Fi network and your password, and automatically connect you to this network when you're in range of it. When you've finished typing in your password, click Join. The box will disappear, and you'll see a white Wi-Fi icon at the top right of the screen. This means you're connected to Wi-Fi and the internet, so you're ready to surf the web, send emails and more.
You should now know how to change the date, time, and language on your computer, adjust volume and screen brightness, and connect to a Wi-Fi network. Your Apple computer has many other settings, and you can continue to explore these in System Settings.
If you're unsure about any steps, you can rewind the video or click the chapter headings to jump to the start of a chapter. If you're ready to move on, there are many other courses to explore on Be Connected.