5 Essential Tips to Maintain Mac Optimal Performance

Macs don’t need maintenance – we’ve all heard this before. A minimum amount of effort, though, is required in order to maintain Mac optimal performance. It’s nothing too complicated, and it doesn’t involve tasks that a newbie wouldn’t understand. If you know what a hard drive is, what the OS X’s virtual memory does, and how to run Disk Utility, you’re basically set. Read on to learn how you can keep your Mac working properly for the longest time possible (because, after all, if you wanted a device that expires after two years of use, you’d have gotten a PC, right?).

You don’t need to run Repair Disk Permissions, which is a function of the Disk Utility, every week – as long as you remember to do it every time you run a major upgrade. If you choose to upgrade the OS X, for instance, it’s a good idea to back up all your data, Repair Disk Permissions both before and after the switch, and also run the ‘Verify Disk’ function, while you’re at it. If this feature finds any issues, you’re also going to have to boot your system and then repair the problems with the assistance of Disk Utility.

Updated software will help maintain Mac optimal performance

What’s the big deal about software updates? After all, maybe you don’t need those new features, or haven’t come across any bugs in your software. True as that may be, there’s another aspect to consider, when deciding whether or not to run the OS X Software Update: security flaws. You don’t want to be leaking information without even realizing it and, if you’re reading this article, chances are you want to maintain Mac optimal performance by running the latest versions of your installed apps. MacUpdate (which is a paid subscription service) can email you about important updates for your apps.

Free hard drive real estate

We’ve mentioned this before, but will run through it again, as it’s one of the most often encountered issues that sabotage efforts to maintain Mac optimal performance. As a general rule of thumb, you want at least 10 per cent of your hard drive to be empty at all times. Some solutions to this include regularly deleting files you don’t need, using Clean My Mac 2 (an app that will take care of this chore for you seamlessly and automatically), buying a larger hard drive, or moving the data you use less often to an external HDD. By the way, when’s the last time you emptied your Mac’s trash bin?

Memory leaks are the enemy

Responsible users, who genuinely care about the best ways to maintain Mac optimal performance, will know not to leave their devices running constantly. Because, if you do, or if you simply send them into sleep mode without periodic restarts, you risk suffering some major memory leaks. Some software suffers from this type of bug, which essentially means the app in question will start taking up more and more memory. This is typical of Safari and other browsers, especially if you’re the kind of power user that regularly keeps 10+ tabs open at any given time. Think 1GB of memory used by Safari alone, then learn to reset your Mac every now and then, as to clean up the OS X’s virtual memory.

What’s on the Login menu?

Try this: open System Preferences, check out Accounts, and go to the Login Items tab. See anything there that you don’t necessarily want to use every time you start your Mac? Then remove them now. You’d be surprised to find out how many applications require you to opt out of running them at Login – most notoriously Skype and several other instant messaging apps.

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