On the front of your Mac mini is a slot-loading optical drive. The built-in infrared (IR) receiver lies to the right of the slot, and the power indicator light is at the bottom right-hand corner.

At the back of the Mac mini, you have two rows of features. Along the top row, from left to right, are

  • the power button
  • a security slot for a cable and lock
  • an audio in/optical digital audio in port
  • a headphone out/optical digital audio out port

Along the bottom row, from left to right, are

  • a power port
  • an Ethernet port (10/100/1000Base-T)
  • a FireWire 400 port
  • a DVI video out port
  • four USB 2.0 ports

AirPort Extreme wireless technology and Bluetooth® wireless technology are inside your Mac mini.

Power adaptor
Strip away the plastic film from your Mac mini and the power adaptor. Place the Mac mini on a firm surface right side up or on its side, and close to an electric socket. Your monitor, keyboard and mouse should also be near at hand.

  • Connect the power cord to the power adaptor
  • Put the plug on the end of the power adaptor’s lead into the Mac mini’s power port
  • Plug the power cord into the electric socket

Please note: never place anything on your Mac mini. Objects on your Mac mini may disrupt the optical drive, the AirPort Extreme wireless signal, and the Bluetooth® wireless signal.

Peripheral set-up
Your Mac mini is BYODKM – bring your own display, keyboard and mouse. Use the ones you already have (almost any are suitable).

Keyboard and mouse
Connect your keyboard to a USB port on the back of the Mac mini. Connect your mouse to a USB port on the keyboard or on the Mac mini.

Windows-based keyboards may not have specific Mac OS X Command and Option keys. The Windows logo key, however, is equivalent to the Mac OS X Command key, and the Alt key is equivalent to the Mac OS X Option key.

To modify the keyboard

  • click Apple>System Preferences
  • click Keyboard & Mouse
  • choose Modifier keys
  • follow the screen instructions


Please note: when you use a USB keyboard and mouse made by a company other than Apple, you may need software drivers. If you don’t already have these, visit the manufacturer’s website and download them.

Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse
If you have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and wireless Mighty Mouse, follow the set-up procedures contained in the appropriate manuals.

Use your Mac mini’s DVI video out port to connect a monitor. If you have a VGA monitor, connect it to the Mac mini with the supplied DVI to VGA adaptor.

Please note; your Mac mini supports digital resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. This means you can attach a 20 inch Apple Cinema Display or a 23 inch Apple Cinema HD Display.

Internet or network
Connect your Mac mini to the Internet or a network wirelessly or by using a cable.

  • Wireless. Your Mac mini has built-in AirPort Extreme wireless technology. For more details, go to Menu Bar; select Help>Mac Help; and click Library>AirPort Help.
  • Cable. Simply plug one end of an Ethernet cable into your Mac mini, and the other into a cable modem, DSL modem, or network.


Switching on

Power button
To start your Mac mini, press the power button located on the back.

Setup Assistant
When you first use your Mac mini, Setup Assistant appears. This enables you to establish your

  • user account
  • Internet access
  • email details

If you already own a Mac, you can use Setup Assistant to transfer software and files to your Mac mini. If you prefer to wait before you transfer information, use Migration Assistant at a later date.

  • Select the Applications folder
  • Open Utilities
  • Double-click Migration Assistant



To change the layout of Desktop – the first screen that appears when you’ve finished with Setup Assistant – go to the Menu Bar and select Apple>System Preferences. For more details on what you can do to customise your Mac mini, select Mac Help and search for “System preferences”.

Sleep mode and shutting down

Sleep mode
If you intend to be away from your Mac mini for just a short while, you can put it in sleep mode rather than shut it down. Simply choose one of the following actions:

  • press and hold your Apple Remote’s Play/Pause button for three seconds
  • select Apple>System Preferences; choose Energy Saver; set the timer
  • press the power button
  • select Apple>Sleep on the Menu Bar

When you’re ready to wake your Mac mini, press any of your Apple Remote’s buttons or any key on your keyboard.

Shut down
Shut down your Mac mini by selecting Apple>Shut Down. To turn it on once more, press the power button.

Please note: do not move your Mac mini before you’ve shut it down. You can damage the hard disc if you move the computer while the disc is spinning.

Basic OS X guide

Operating system
Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard is your Mac mini’s operating system. It runs your files, software and peripheral devices, and is similar in principle to Windows.

Your controls are your mouse, keyboard and Apple Remote. If you’re more used to Windows, you’ll soon discover that Mac OS X is easier to navigate and faster.

Main features
Navigating your Mac mini’s screens is easy. There are self-explanatory windows, menus, and shortcuts, plus the following main features:

  • Desktop
  • Dock
  • Finder
  • Menu bar


Desktop is the screen where you normally start each time you switch on your Mac mini. The screen displays your HD (hard drive) icons. Select an HD icon to view the files and applications it contains. When you plug a peripheral device into your Mac mini, the appropriate icon appears on Desktop.

Points to note:

  • Use Desktop to store your folders, images, files and other documents
  • Mac OS X gives each user of your Mac mini a separate Desktop
  • Desktop lies behind any of the applications you run


The icons at the bottom of the screen are the Dock. Use the icons to access your most frequently used applications, folders, files and windows.

When a window appears, note that it has three coloured buttons in the upper left-hand corner.

  • Red closes the window
  • Yellow minimises the window to the Dock
  • Green maximises and minimises the window’s size


The Dock icon on the far left is the Finder. You can use Finder to manage your folders, drives and applications.

Menu Bar
Mac OS X has just one Menu Bar. It appears on your screen as a line at the top.

Use the Menu Bar to

  • work with a programme
  • view and change settings and software
  • close software
  • check your recent work
  • log in
  • log out
  • put your Mac mini into sleep mode
  • restart your Mac mini
  • switch off

The Menu Bar changes to give you the most suitable options for the software you’re running.

For a list of connection ports, see First steps – Basic features.

The FireWire 400 port is ideal for connecting high-speed devices. These include digital video cameras and hard drives. The four USB 2.0 ports are for devices such as your keyboard, mouse, iPod, printer, camera, and games controller. Your Mac mini will recognise many of these without the need to run software because Apple pre-installs hundreds of peripheral drivers at its factory to make connections as quick and easy as possible.

Use your audio in/optical digital audio in port for a microphone. Use the headphone out/optical digital audio out port for a pair of headphones or speakers. You can also use either port for your digital audio equipment as appropriate.