Make a smooth transition to Apple silicon

Take Control of
Your M-Series Mac

Glenn Fleishman

This book teaches you everything you need to know about hardware and related software changes in Apple’s new M1 Apple silicon Macs to make a transition from an Intel Mac, set up security with new options, create effective backups, and work with new options in recovery mode. Glenn Fleishman takes you through the details of how an M1-based Mac handles startup, battery management, and running iOS, iPadOS, and Windows apps. Covers the 2020 Apple M1 Macs: the Mac mini, MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


Apple’s new Macs based on the M1 Apple silicon system-on-a-chip offer remarkable advances in performance, battery life, and memory utilization. With those improvements comes a host of changes in hardware, from how a Mac starts up to making backups of your computer to understanding fundamental aspects of system security. Take Control of Your M-Series Mac teaches you everything you need to know about these topics and much more.

You’ll learn not just how to make a bootable clone of your Mac on an external drive, but whether it’s necessary with Big Sur and an M1 Mac. Find out how to make a clean transition from an Intel Mac, while taking advantage of installing and running iOS and iPadOS apps natively within macOS. You’ll also learn the early method of running Windows on an M1 Mac, with notions of what’s to come.

If you’ve already bought an M1 Mac and want to get more out of it, or you’re considering a purchase and trying to understand what you need to know, Take Control of Your M-Series Mac will fit your needs.

For anyone seriously considering getting an M1 Mac, and everyone who has one already (including me), this is the essential guide and reference. If you don’t buy it, you’ll regret it.
Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

Future plans: This book will be updated as Apple releases updated features for existing M1 Macs and new Macs based on its M-series processors.

Here’s what you will learn from this book:

  • Get to know the M1 processor, and what’s so different about it
  • Understand the limits of emulation
  • Control how apps for Intel Macs and universal Intel/M1 apps launch on an M-series Mac
  • Learn the complexities of backing up an M-series Mac
  • Decide whether you need a bootable duplicate of your startup volume
  • Maximize battery life and longevity
  • Work with recoveryOS, a substantially different process with an M-series Mac
  • Walk through a new process of reviving or restoring low-level firmware on a non-responsive Mac
  • Manage system security when you need to work with kernel extensions
  • Install and run iOS and iPadOS apps
  • Learn the current limits of using Windows in macOS on an M1 system
Glenn Fleishman

About Glenn Fleishman

Glenn Fleishman is a veteran technology writer who has contributed to dozens of publications across his career, including Macworld, Fast Company, and Increment. He has also written dozens of editions of books in the Take Control series. He spent 2019 and 2020 building 100 tiny type museums full of real printing artifacts—a few remain available for purchase. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

What’s New in Version 1.0.1

A reader asked whether applications are also on the sealed Big Sur system volume. The answer is: yes, but only some of them. This is now spelled out in “Which Apps Are Locked Down?” (Thanks to reader Linda for asking a question that led to adding this update, and to Howard Oakley for providing me direction on where to find the details.)

In the section on the special revive and restore operations to fix firmware issues that could arise with your Mac and make it non-responsive, a reader pointed out that Apple’s laptop USB-C charging cable is an appropriate option for the task, and that a Mac tech site found a Thunderbolt 3 cable worked for them. See “Revive or Restore a Broken Startup Volume.” (Thanks to reader Jeremy.)

A few minor typos were fixed as well.

  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.0.1
  • Introduction
  • M-Series Quick Start
  • Learn M-Series Details
    • How Apple Silicon Works
    • How Security Is Baked In
  • Migrate from an Intel Mac
    • Pick the Right New Hardware
    • Run Old and New Code on an M1
  • Back Up Your M-Series Mac
    • Learn About Big Sur’s Organization
    • Make a Backup
    • Restore Fully from a Backup
  • Work with Extended Battery Life
    • How Batteries Charge and Cycle
    • Examine Your Charging in macOS
    • Use a Third-Party Battery Utility
  • Understand recoveryOS
    • Restart in recoveryOS
    • Revive or Restore a Broken Startup Volume
  • Manage System Security
    • Protect a Drive with FileVault
    • Control Big Sur’s System Integrity
    • Modify Startup Security with a Utility
  • Launch iOS and iPadOS Apps on Your Mac
    • Find and Install Mobile Apps
    • Use Mobile Apps
  • Install and Use Windows
    • Get Windows 10 for ARM
    • Install Windows 10 with Parallels
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print


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