Fact or Fiction: Do You Need to Clean Your Mac?

November 14, 2014

Put away your screen wipes. Time to really clean your Mac.

Remember the day you took home your first Mac? How clean the screen was, wrapped in plastic and carefully cradled in that white, briefcase-style box. Maybe it was the day that you walked into the office and were gifted with a new Mac, fresh out of the box. Either way, it ran fast, the battery lasted and each keystroke was crisp.

Now, after awhile, your Mac isn’t running like it used to. It’s not broken, but your Mac is just running slow, not loading apps properly or the battery isn’t lasting as long. Instead of spending the time and money to take your Mac to the closest Apple store, check out these tips on how to clean your Mac.

  1.  Update Your Software: Make sure your software is up to date. You can do this by clicking the Apple icon in the top left of your screen and selecting “Software Update.” It will let you know if an update is available. Or, you might be an operating system (or two) behind. If so, upgrade to the latest operating system.Is your computer taking a vacation, without asking? Learn how to clean up your Mac.
  2. Update Your Apps: Sometimes we become immune to those red notifications attached to our email or App Store icons. However, they are important! If a lot of your apps are out of date, it could slow down your machine.
  3. Archive Your Files: We get it; you’re in a rush and might not have time to always save your files in the appropriate place. However, after awhile your file organization, or lack thereof, might be slowing down Spotlight search. To clean up your files, make sure to:
    • Give each file an accurate, descriptive name
    • Create a folder structure that makes sense
    • Archive any folders you don’t use on a regular basis (learn more here)
  4. Run Disk Utility: Your Mac has a built in Disk Utility. You can find it by clicking the magnifying glass in the top right of your screen and searching for “Disk Utility.” By running this program you’ll be able to clean your Mac’s disks without any extra software. Make sure you’ve selected your hard drive on the left hand side and click “Verify Disk Permissions.” Then click “Repair Disk Permissions.” This should prevent your Mac from locking you out of folders and other random mishaps that make your computing experience miserable.
  5. Calibrate Your Battery: If you have an Apple product that has a removable battery, you can calibrate it to make sure it’s optimized. Apple explains which products have built-in batteries and which don’t. Once a month, run your laptop battery down to zero. That keeps the battery at its best.
  6. There’s an App for that: Consider downloading a maintenance and optimization tool like OnyX. Some of these better utilities, many of which are free, aids in keeping your Mac running properly. They offer a platform to configure settings and continually update your Mac.

Often, it’s not your personal computer that is experiencing problems – it’s your work computer. After all, that’s the computer you use most of the day.

Check with your company to see if your managed service provider or internal IT department can repair it. If you don’t have an internal IT company, consider contracting a consulting company for Mac support.

Soon, you’ll be loving your Mac as much as the day you brought it home.

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