We here at Lure of Mac are passionate about keeping your machines running smoothly well into their teen years (provided you plan on keeping yours around for that long). This is why, although we’ve covered Mac cleanup hacks before, we’re bringing you a new installment of the best five Mac maintenance and cleanup tips ever. We’ve collected them off the Internet, from the most reputed Mac magazines out there, as well as from Apple-dedicated forums. So, without further ado, here are five simple things you, too, can do, in order to keep your Mac trim and speedy.
#1 Keep your desktop clean
You’d be amazed how many people ignore this very simple, very basic tip. After, all, it’s not brain surgery, right? How hard can it be to keep your desktop clutter-free and not loaded with icons of apps you never really use? Too hard for some – which is why a bunch of very neat, affordable and easy-to-use apps have been invented for this very job. That’s right: if you’re too lazy to keep your own desktop free of clutter, you can download Desktop Tidy, for instance, which will store all your files and folders into a hidden Shadow Desktop folder, accessible both from the menu, as well as the Finder.
#2 Empty your cache
As far as Mac maintenance and cleanup tips go, this one is probably the most often cited – and with good cause, too. It’s because Macs store a lot of information into the cache. It’s not just your browser details that end up in the cache, but other types of information that can really bog down your machine. That’s especially the case if the data becomes corrupted. Now, you can manually empty your caches (check out /Library/Caches for starters), or choose to use Clean My Mac 2, which will take care of the job for you, as well as delete cookies, preference files, and many other useless junk.
#3 Really get rid of apps
So you’ve downloaded an app, used it a couple of times and realized you no longer need it. You can easily trash it, but, unbeknownst to you, you’d still be stuck with additional files and folders created by that app. Luckily, there is, of course, an app for that: for tracking down all those items outside the app package and keeping or disposing of them, as you see fit.
… and there’s a whole bunch of things you can delete, in order to save space and make sure your Mac will keep on rocking for many years to come. For one thing, fire up your Downloads folder. How many of the items you’ve got stored in there do you really use? If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve been keeping plenty of them for years, with no intention of ever looking at them. You can improve your Mac’s performance by deleting disk images you no longer need. Search for ‘disk images’ in the Download folder’s Finder and get rid of the DMGs that are doing you no good whatsoever.
#5 Need Mail Downloads?
No, you don’t. Once again, if you’re like most Mac users, you probably receive a lot of email with attachments, be they PDFs, ebooks, documents, pictures, or what-not. The final item on our list of Mac maintenance and cleanup tips is to get rid of Mail Downloads which you’ve made the mistake of double-clicking while checking your mail. Each double-click will save a copy of said attachment into your Mail Downloads folder, which is tucked away in your Library. You can find that folder with the help of Spotlight, then delete all the files you’ve already saved in a more accessible location.