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Part 2 of this series looks at ways of keeping your Apple MAC computer running efficiently and help free up some of that valuable hard drive space.

 

Defragmentation

 

Whilst you may read that an Apple MAC’s hard drive does not require defragmenting (see Part 1 of this article for references to terminology), this is only part true. The same rules apply if you constantly move, add or delete large files and are tools available to defragment your hard drive such as iDfrag and Drive Genius.

 

Remove those unwanted files/applications

 

Clutter, whether it be it temporary files or applications you never use, can clog up your MAC and cause it to slow down, especially if you have less than 15% of your hard drive capacity left. All computer systems use the concept of “Virtual Memory” where by a portion of your hard drive is used in addition to your systems memory. As a rule of thumb, you should have a minimum of 15% of free space on your hard drive for your system to run efficiently, and it’s good practice therefore to remove all those unwanted or obsolete files and applications. Use a program like AppZapper to remove your applications effectively.

 

Repair file permissions

 

Another way of speeding up your MAC is to repair its hard drive file permissions as this is a common cause of sluggish behaviour. This is a simple task to do and is run from: Applications/Utilities->Disk Utilities->Repair Disk Permissions. Keep in mind that depending on the size of your hard drive this could take some time to complete.

 

Remove unwanted startup items

 

If your MAC is slow when starting up and you are having to make copious amounts of tea or coffee before its kicks into life, then you may need to look at what applications are starting up automatically during this boot up process. You can check for this by going to: System Preferences->Accounts-> (Your Account Name)->Login Items. Within that menu you can deselect all the applications you do not need or want to startup when your MAC boots. These login items do not necessary have to be applications, they can be folders, documents or disks, so it’s worth checking what you have listed before you deselect.

 

Delete unwanted photographs

 

If you are an iPhoto user, then you may think deleting a photo within the Library and then emptying the finder system trash will remove all those unwanted images from your hard drive. But did you know that iPhoto has its own trash? You can find this at the bottom of the of iPhoto’s library list, right click on the trash can and choose “Empty Trash” this will remove all those unwanted images for good.

 

Built in maintenance scripts

 

There are a set of maintenance scripts that are built into the Apple operating system (OSX) which are designed to keep your MAC in a good running order. These are run at a frequency of daily, weekly and monthly and are designed to run in the evening when system use (unless you’re a night Owl) is low. If you turn off your MAC in the evening however, then these will not run. Therefore, programs like OnyX are designed to enable you to run these scripts manually at your leisure. Due to the complexity of this program however it can be quite daunting for some users, so if in doubt, come and talk to Limephusion.

 

System Updates

 

Finally, Limephusion always recommends that you install the latest updates for your operating system and applications, keeping in mind to always backup your system prior to doing so.

PC Housekeeping Part 2 Apple MAC - Article 11

Written by Limephusion - July 2009

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