Free Tech Support For Your Mac

Mac DietOne of the hidden beauties of owning an Apple Mac is the wealth of effectively free ‘tech support’ offered up by fe

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llow users.

Not only is this support free, it is well organized – across a few key forums and discussion groups, which I shall review below – and is dished out freely by Mac experts who often reply to new queries (or cries for help!) within hours of the original post.

What do such Mac users in these forums get in return? Just some good karma, and a slight warm glow from helping out people with their knowledge.

Being in a minority of global computer users – up against the vast majority of Windows punters – actually proves to be an advantage in terms of getting clear, easy-to-search-for, and helpful free tech support for the Mac. Make a Google search for a Windows-related query or issue, and I’ll guarantee that most of the search results will be for some useless software that will claim to assist in your plight. While a similar search for a Macintosh-related issue will proffer forums and Mac-related tech blogs which have – very likely – already covered and solved your question.

So, if you haven’t already tried, here are five very useful and very active resources which you can browse freely for answers. If you wish to post to the forums you will need to register (again, for free).

Five Top Mac Forums/Resources:

Apple’s very own “Discussion” boards are very well organized by type of software and hardware. Posters are more likely seeking support or answers, than actually ‘discussing’ stuff, so it’s likely that, whatever your query, it’s already been done here.

The MacRumours Forums are a bit more discursive, with space for recent tech news and speculation on future models, as well as various tips and hacks for iPhone and iPod Touch users. More uniquely, these forums also spread into the realms of discussing digital photography, design and graphics, and various other special interests – all from a Mac perspective.

Your best bet if you have a query, however, is the MacOSXhints Forums where the principal sections are dedicated to “OS X Help Requests” which explain how, if seeking assistance from the community, to include as much detail as possible in order that a more expert Mac user might lend a hand.

Similarly, the forums of the MacOSX site are dedicated to community-based help, though it’s not so active – and a bit random – when compared to the afore-mentioned three forums.

One tech blog deserves a special mention – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (also known as TUAW) which has such a wealth of tips over recent years that, when searched via TUAW’s own search box, represent a useful way to learn new features of some complex software such as Aperture or iLife. It’s not a forum, granted, but I’ve found it useful in terms of teaching me new aspects of some software I thought I knew quite well already.

Now, with those five resources – along with TipTrickMod, of course – you’re better equipped to get to grips with your Mac. And, needless to say, support is a two-way thing, so if you feel you can assist a fellow Mac user then weigh in on their post, and feel the karma coming your way.

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