Macs Don’t Need Maintenance… Do They?

If you’re new to the Mac/Apple world, then the issue of maintenance might seem incredibly confusing at first. That’s because, in terms of maintenance, switching from Windows to the OS X is a big leap. How so? Well, for starters, in Windows user terms, Macs don’t need maintenance – or at least not the kind of maintenance they’re used to. Ever worked on a PC? Then you’ve probably also had to defragment its HDD or running a utility such as ScanDisk every now and then. That’s because older versions of the Windows operating system would divide files into clusters, which, when deleting said files, would leave behind fragmented files that ended up slowing the whole system. On the one hand, newer versions of the PC operating system no longer pose this problem to such a big extent; on the other, however, Macs claim they never did.

So, where’s the truth? Macs don’t need maintenance in the classical sense, but do they need any at all? And if they do, what kind of cleanup, speedup and maintenance utilities should you be running? How often? Read on for a few cursory answers to these questions below.

Apple claims Macs don’t need maintenance

If Apple’s marketing discourse is anything to go by, in terms of performance tips, then the answer to all your questions about maintenance requirements is “no, there are no such needs”. On the other hand, marketing is never a trustworthy source of tips and tricks – and this is especially true when it comes to all things tech, but to Mac/Apple in particular. The official discourse from the Apple marketing machine is that “Macs don’t need maintenance, because they simply work”. The truth behind this statement is that, indeed, at least when compared to older Windows-powered computers, Macs need a comparatively lower amount of care and maintenance. But the other truth is that, for the large part, you will be performing the same kind of routine maintenance on your Mac that you did on your PC.

What kind of maintenance do I need to regularly perform on my Mac?

Software updates

They are regularly required on a Mac just as much as they are on a PC. On a PC you’d simply refer to them as Windows Updates, while on a Mac you’d need to check out the Software Update tab in the Apple Menu. You can also configure these updates to be automatically performed.

System backups

The in-built Time Machine that Apple devices come with is good enough for all system and file back-up purposes. Of course, there are also plenty of other options that you can download or purchase separately – some will back up your information on-site, while others operate in the cloud. However, just for the sake of brevity and simplicity, we’ll direct you to the Applications folder, where you can find the Time Machine.

File organization

Now, this is a bit of a gray area, as far as Mac maintenance best practice recommendations are concerned. The official article on maintaining a Mac machine on the Apple blog says users are best advised to organize their files, archive the old ones and performing routine cleanups. However, there is no mention of any officially recommended application and many other official posts state that third-party apps are not necessary. Are they, are they not? You can read our in-depth reviews of tested products like CleanMyMac 2, which come with a lot of utilities for cleaning up duplicate files, streamlining the Photo Library, and much more.

Run the Disk Utility application

This app is also in-built and it’s recommended to use it every now and then to scan for errors and repair disk permission conflicts. Every other two or three months ought to cut it for any Apple computer, according to the experts.

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