Computer Tune Up: Simple Yet Effective Ways to Keep Your Mac Running Like New
Nothing is worse than struggling with a slow computer that won’t load, hangs, and seems to skip around to everywhere but where you need it to. And, when it happens to your Mac, it’s especially frustrating. These things are supposed to “just work.” Here’s how to keep your Apple from becoming crabby.
Your Hard Drive Might Be The Problem
When you save files to your hard drive, it takes up space. Usually, this isn’t a problem. But, when you have too much stored on the drive, it can slow things down. Usually, this happens when you come within 10 or 15 percent of your maximum storage capacity.
To fix it, you will need to clean up your drive. This isn’t as easy as it might sound. Cleaning up a hard drive usually means removing old files, deleting files you don’t need, organizing your desktop, and searching your Mac for apps that you no longer use (and deleting them).
The really hard part comes when you must “pull the trigger” and actually remove files. What can be safely removed? Mostly, any files you’ve put on yourself can be removed safely without damaging the computer.
But, Apple files may not be removable.
If you’re not sure what to remove, you could use a cleanup tool like “CleanMyMac 3.” It will clean up your entire Mac. The app knows what to clean, where to clean, and it won’t remove system critical files.
it will remove caches, logs, language packs, and a lot more that you probably don’t need.
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Maybe You Do Have a Virus
While Mac’s aren’t prone to viruses and malware, they’re not immune from them. Many people have seen various Mac antivirus programs on the web and ignored them, thinking that Macs never get viruses.
Most of the time, a little-known utility called XProtect (which is natively installed on all Macs) will prevent malware from infecting your computer. But, it may not catch everything. Many people wonder “is Mackeeper safe?” because they’ve seen mixed reviews online.
The good news is that there are some legitimate reviews online and industry professionals supporting it for the Mac. So, if you’re in doubt, speak with Apple about installing third-party malware detection apps, and then try running a scan on your computer with a trusted app.
Your OS Is Old
If you’re not running the latest OS, you’re probably suffering a speed hit. An older OS X will typically run slower, which is why Apple is constantly releasing updates to improve security and functionality. Many times, Apple is upgrading its OS to fix bugs in previous versions or to enhance functionality added in a previous upgrade or version.
Check the app store for upgrades. If there’s an update available, even if it doesn’t seem related to the core functioning of your computer, update the app. If there is a system or OS X update, definitely update the operating system.
If your Mac runs slower after the update, it may be a disk permissions issue. You can open the system preferences and Disk Utility to run “Repair Disk Permissions.” This should fix the speed problem.
When Your Startup Is Slow
If you startup your Mac and it feels like forever before you get to the startup screen or the account logon screen, you may have many things loading in the background.
Give your Max a clean start with apps. Remove unnecessary applications. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups, and then click on your username. When you get here, click on Login Items, and then click the name of an application you don’t need to launch during the startup process.
This will remove that app from the applications list during startup. The fewer apps that are starting up, the better.
You’ve Got Too Much Running In The Background
You might have too many processes running in the background. Activity Monitor (native on the Mac) will help you sort it all out. You can quit an app that’s taking up a lot of processing power, which may make a huge difference in the speed of your computer.
Your Hardware Is Old
This happens on really old Macs. Unfortunately, Apple’s philosophy of a sealed system prevents access to the RAM and harddrive. There’s no way to upgrade most systems. So, if your system is 5 years old, and it’s running really slowly, the only real solution might be to upgrade. As the hardware ages, it will eventually fail. Even before it does, newer operating systems may tax the hardware to the point of being practically unusable.
Bill Gordon has been writing about computers and tech for 8 years, and now runs his own blog We Hate Malware. He currently lives in New York, and when he”s not investigating tech subjects he”s out surfing.