Help my MIL move her bookmarks!
November 24, 2012 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Help! I went with my MIL to buy a new MacBook yesterday, and she's freaking out about everything being so DIFFERENT from her PC - especially the bookmarks. Help me help her...

I've been switching back and forth between macs and PCs my entire life, so I didn't think much of it when my MIL wanted to buy a Mac. We've just spent the morning setting it up, though, and she's freaking out that it's so different. In particular she's upset that her massive, carefully-organized collection of bookmarks doesn't translate to the new computer. She's got them organized into folders in IE9, and I can't find a setting in Safari (or Chrome or Firefox) that replicates the layout in IE9. (She's got a MacBook Pro with OS X Lion)

Bonus points for tips on how to fully integrate her iPad and iPhone, too - she made the move to Apple in large part because all her other favorite devices are Apple.
posted by hms71 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly I'd suggest going back to the apple store and paying for the One to One training - the geniuses who provide that training deal with people *exactly* like your MIL day in, day out. And at $100 it's mostly about setting her up with a support option for a full year that isn't you.
posted by pahalial at 8:44 AM on November 24, 2012 [7 favorites]

I know that Firefox has a "sync" function - so IE might have something the same. I don't use IE, so I'm not sure, but if nothing else, if you can get the bookmarks into FFox on PC, you can sync it over to the Mac.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:46 AM on November 24, 2012

Within Chrome, navigate to chrome://bookmarks/#1 to see the folder hierarchy view of the bookmarks.
posted by lizzicide at 9:08 AM on November 24, 2012

Apple has a site called Switch 101 which is helpful for this sort of thing. This is a little challenging because part of it is just explaining the differences and part of it is actually just telling people "This is how it is now, if you liked it the other way you will now have to learn this way, but I think you will do okay with that." There are some decent websites that have collections of tips but sort of rely on the user being enough of a self-starter to want to delve in. I would also suggest the Missing Manual series based on whatever OS she has. They are good at understanding what PC/Mac differences are important to users and they're a little less goofy than the Dummies guides which are also good books but don't resonate with everyone.
posted by jessamyn at 9:23 AM on November 24, 2012

Gently remind her how simple the iPhone and iPad are to use and suggest that what she's encountering may be different, but in a few months, will look less strange and be easier. Patience is always required by both mentors and protoges whenever making a change.

Little by little, the hiccups will subside.
posted by FauxScot at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2012

As for the iPhone and iPad - that's what iTunes is for. Some people don't like iTunes, but your MIL should learn to like it fairly quickly. Plug in the iPhone and iTunes starts up. It takes care of syncing. It's all really easy. iPhoto will handle any photos she has on it and she can use that to move photos off the computer to the devices if she so wishes. For someone who is not a power user, this is a great setup.
posted by azpenguin at 9:31 AM on November 24, 2012

I can't recommend One to One training enough. Mom used the heck out of this service and went twice a week for a year, renewed it, and did another year. After she mastered her macbook, she would just go in and workshop her photos with the talented photography staffers. But she also learned how to make holiday cards and futz around with her email. Totally worth it. Some teachers were better than others, but she found that she could request specialized classes and get the instructors she liked the best (because a small pool taught the specialized classes) and they'd work with her on pretty much anything she liked. It's like $100, maybe a little more now. She feels really empowered about using her macbook and knows tons of things I don't. It's great.

But you have to sign up RIGHT AFTER you buy. Up to a few days or a week.
posted by mochapickle at 10:16 AM on November 24, 2012

The site for One To One, along with the benefits it gives and what they do.

Yes, it might just be the thing to save your sanity.
posted by mephron at 2:59 PM on November 24, 2012

Nthing One to One. I know many people who were skeptical about it initally, but after signing up and going to workshops/training, they loved it and really benefitted from it.

It'll be perfect for both of you: for her because she will have unlimited workshops and training and be able to get all her questions answered. Bonus: they'll do an included free data migration service from her PC to her new Mac if you/she buys One to One. That may help her familiarize herself to her Mac more. (Windows XP and newer, IIRC) It'll also be perfect for you because you'll have peace of mind and won't have to be at her beck and call for every question she has.

One to One is $99, not $100.

BTW, I think you meant she has OS X Mountain Lion. Lion was released over a year ago, and stopped shipping with computers after July 2012.

I also recommend AppleCare if you haven't purchased it yet. Definitely worth the peace of mind!
posted by dubious_dude at 3:59 PM on November 24, 2012

She's more than 2 hours from the nearest Apple store, so one-to-one would be nice but isn't really an option for regular help. AppleCare is a given, but thanks for the reminder; I'll make sure she does that before we leave.

We ended up setting up Chrome to sync the bookmarks across her computers. So far that's working well, so thank you! She's really doing fine with everyone else now that she's watched a couple of intro videos. She's syncing her iPad right now, in fact. But I think we'll get her a couple of the manuals for Christmas -- it's nice to have reference books.
posted by hms71 at 7:29 PM on November 24, 2012

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