Mac Maintenance: How to Properly Take Care of Your Mac
Having a Mac or any computer really comes with a long list of responsibilities that most people don’t think about. You’ve got to keep your data backed up somehow or you may end up losing it, your software has to stay updated, and even though it’s a Mac, virus protection is a must-have.
If you fail any of these important steps of Mac maintenance your computer will become a lot slower than you would like. Soon, you may not even be able to use it at all.
You’ll want to get started as soon as you take your computer out of the box. Check out this guide to learn what you need to do.
Back-Up Your Data
You never know when an accident is going to occur. Your computer could get an awful virus that causes it to all but stop working or you could drop it down the steps. These things happen.
When the worst does occur, you’ll be happy that you had backups of your data. You can do this in a few ways. One way is by making sure all your Apple devices are synced up to the Cloud.
Another way is by using Time Machine. To use Time Machine, you’ll have to hook an external hard drive up to your Mac. Once you do that, head over to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences”.
From that menu, click on “Time Machine” followed by “Select Backup Disk”. Pick the disk you want to use and the Time Machine feature will start doing its job.
Run a Virus Scan
Many are under the very wrong misconception that Macs can’t get viruses. They aren’t as vulnerable to them as Windows computers but with the amount of popularity Apple products have, hackers will go after them. So, you need to find a virus protection software such as Bitdefender or Norton.
If you don’t want to pay for your virus protection there’s also CleanMyMac. It can help you keep your computer organized by getting rid of old, unused files and you can use it to run virus scans. Whatever you decide to use, you need to perform routine malware checks at least once every other week or so.
Keep Things Clean
If you have a bunch of old files sitting on your computer, they will bog it down and make it run slow. You can run CleanMyMac to locate these files and get rid of them. It doesn’t work for duplicate files unfortunately so you’ll have to download a separate app for that.
If there are things on your Mac that you want to keep, move it to an external hard drive or the Cloud before you run CleanMyMac. That way you won’t accidentally delete it and it won’t be taking up space on your computer anymore either.
Many apps such as Safari will download little pieces of information known as caches without you noticing. You’ll need to flush DNS caches or they will start to slow down your computer.
If your desktop is covered in icons these will pose a problem as well. Make sure you keep your desktop nice and clear instead of saving all your files to it.
Update Your Software
We know, the software update notification never comes at an opportune time. Still, you shouldn’t put the update off. They contain little bits of code that can get rid of glitches, speed up your computer, and even protect it from any new viruses that hackers have come up with.
The same goes for your browsers. When they prompt you to do an update, go ahead and let it happen.
Provide First Aid
An important part of computer maintenance is knowing when it’s time to perform first aid. How do you that you might ask? The answer is running Disk Utility.
Restart your computer and hold command+R while it’s starting back up. The Apple logo will appear on your screen and you will be asked if you want to run Disk Utility. Select “Choose a Disk”.
Pick the one that you want to clean up and click “First Aid” followed by “Run”. The program will start and fix corrupted files or any other common issues.
Restart Your Computer Every Now and Again
The most basic rule of laptop maintenance is to turn it off and turn it back on again when it’s running slow. Doing so will dump some of your caches and will force quit certain programs that are running in the background.
That should free up some memory space and help your computer perform at least a little bit faster.
Reduce the Number of Programs Running in the Background
You’d be surprised at the number of programs that run in the background of your computer and take up valuable memory space.
The good news is that you can see what’s running by looking in the corner of your screen where your battery icon is. Once you close these programs you should notice a huge difference in your computer speed and performance.
Don’t Leave Apps Running
Many apps such as Word or Messenger don’t close when you click on the x in the corner. They continue running. If you have enough programs open, it can make your computer run hot which isn’t good.
To tell what programs are open, look down at the Apple dock. If there is a little black dot under an icon that means that it’s open somewhere. Right-click on it and select force quit.
Mac Maintenance Tips That Will Keep Your Computer Going Strong
Is your computer running slow? You may need to perform one of these crucial Mac maintenance steps to speed it up and keep it in good working order. If you don’t you’ll leave your computer vulnerable to nasty viruses and tons of hardware issues.
Are you looking for more ways to keep your electronics running like they’re brand-new? Check out our blog daily for all the latest news and tips.