The Mac operating system is known to be better when it comes to maintaining itself compared with other operating systems around. But even if that’s the case, there are still some things that should be done on the system on a regular basis in order for you to avoid having to perform a periodic wipe off and reinstall.

Regardless of the OS, all systems tend to get exhausted after some time if you don’t give it its much needed maintenance. Meaning, even if your Mac doesn’t experience any issues or performance problems, you still have to give it some TLC (tender loving care) so that it will stay in great shape. Most modern versions of OS X have been improved and don’t suffer the same problems that occurred with the previous versions. Let’s check out some effective maintenance tips to help you keep your Mac in its optimum performance in the years to come.

Perform a Disk Utility Check

To help keep your Mac running smoothly is to regularly verify and repair permissions on all your disks using Disk Utility. It is recommended to do this once a week. To find Disk Utility, go to your Utilities folder, click on the drive you want to be checked, then click Verify Disk Permissions or Repair Disk Permissions.

Check for Updates

It is important that your software is always up-to-date. In Mac, this is a simple task to do because you only need to go to the App Store and check if there’s an update available, and then install the updates from there. Although it sounds pretty simple, few users do this on their Mac and other Apple devices on a regular basis. You can find if there are updates by going to the Apple menu, then selecting the App Store option. Apple is very aggressive and vigilant when it comes to security, that’s why they release regular updates across all their platforms, that is on both iOS and OS X. If you’re one of those users who don’t make a habit of installing updates on your Mac, then don’t be surprised that your machine will experience some speed and performance issues sooner or later.

 

Defrag Your Drives

If you want your machine to run well, make sure you have ample free disk space on your system drive. Large apps such as Adobe Photoshop require around 30% free unfragmented drive space on your machine.

Perform regular cleanups and use a disk management software like CleanMyMac if you can afford it. It also helps to keep your machine clean from any duplicate and large files, as well as those that you no longer use. You may also want to consider defragmenting your drives. Drives become fragmented as files are written and deleted to disk, and the system sometimes are having trouble freeing up continuous space after all that, which makes the data fragmented. If bits of the data are scattered in several different places, the read heads have to zip much further back and forth to do their work, which is why things slow down in the process.

You can use a defragging software to properly address the issue, although OS X does a great job of defragging itself. If you think that your system drive is becoming fragmented because of too much use and infrequent reboots, you can try:

    • copying all the bulky data files from your drive onto a backup disk
    • deleting the files and empty the trash fully
    • copying the files back

This option will somehow make things a little more organized, since the data will be rewritten to the drive in the right order and in a tighter space.

Always Back Up

Time Machine is an OS X feature that lets you back up your files and data regularly. Add an external drive that has enough space and have Time Machine do the back up for you on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. This also helps your machine prepare for the most extreme maintenance task of all.

Depending on the wear and tear on your machine, it’s good to back it up, erase it, and copy the files back every year or two. Replacing the drive hardware with a new one and populate it with a clone of your old hard drive can also be helpful in prolonging the life span of your machine. You can back up and restore via the Time Machine feature.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 9:45:54 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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