Mac Maintenance Tips

Mac Maintenance Tips

Necessary Mac maintenance tips to keep your computer live and kicking.

As a Mac user, you might have heard that the Apple of your eye doesn’t need regular maintenance. While Windows users might find themselves having to defragment, clean up the hard drive and do all kinds of other weird and wonderful things to keep their machines going, Macs are quite happy ticking along without any manual interference.

This is almost correct – Macs are very low maintenance and you can probably get away with doing little spring cleaning. With free tools available to help you optimize your machine’s performance, however, it might be worth diving in to clear out the clutter every now and again.

Scripts

Macs defragment on the go, and cleanup scripts run automatically when you leave your computer on overnight,. These don’t run, however, if your computer is sleeping, so if you don’t leave your machine active during the small hours of the morning, this automatic maintenance won’t happen.

To run the maintenance scripts manually, you can use Terminal application commands or download a third-party utility.

If you’re a Terminal kind of guy or girl and want to run the daily, weekly and monthly scripts all at once, open up the Terminal application and type:

sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

You won’t see any kind of confirmation that the scripts are running, but when the Terminal prompt comes back onscreen, that indicates they’ve finished. You can also use different Terminal commands to check the last time maintenance scripts ran by opening up a new Terminal screen and typing:

ls -al /var/log/*.out

If the sight of Terminal evokes fear that you’re almost certainly going to break your computer, several third-party utilities simplify the script-running process. They still run the same scripts in the background but have a more user-friendly interface. Some of the programs can perform complex tasks that could change the way your computer functions, so don’t change any settings unless you know what they are for. Popular maintenance utilities include:

Software and Files

Improve your Mac’s performance by cleaning up old files and checking the directory.

Start by permanently deleting everything in your Trash Can. You might have deleted those items once already but if they’re still in the Trash Can then they’re still taking up space on your hard drive.

Next, run a disk check using the the Disk Utility app in the Utilities folder. Open the app and select your hard drive from the list. Click on the tab marked “First Aid” then select “Verify Disk”. This will tell you if your Mac’s directory has any problems.

Go through your documents and software and get rid of anything you don’t use. Send any data that you don’t need but want to keep to a back-up disk to free up extra hard drive space.

Back-up your hard drive to an external disk as often as you need to avoid losing important work. Using Time Machine, you can schedule automatic back-ups so you don’t have to worry about remembering to do so.

Battery

To prolong battery life and capacity, Apple recommends running the battery down completely once every six months or so. If you have a laptop but usually work in the same place, don’t leave your laptop plugged in constantly, as the battery’s capacity will decrease and the amount of time it can hold a charge will decrease.

Cleaning

Cleaning is a basic Mac maintenance tip that can make a huge difference to your computer’s performance. Dust, pet hair and all other manner of unmentionable dirt can build up under keys and in important air vents, which could eventually cause your computer to overheat.

To prevent this happening, dust your keys, screen and outer casing regularly. You can also use screen cleaner to get rid of any marks or debris. A small can of compressed air will do the trick and remove dust and dirt from your Mac’s air vents and underneath the keys. Never use a vacuum to remove trapped dirt as the static electricity could damage your computer.

Maintaining a Mac doesn’t take much, but it can keep your machine running smoothly and help prolong its virtual life.

 

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