Here is some shocking news about Apple computers. What most Mac users seldom experience are Mac computer issues, but Apples do have problems, just like any other computer. They are rare but they do occur. We’ve all stared in disbelief at the spinning beach ball of death, or have seen hours of work go down the drain because of an unknown error, causing the Apple to crash.
Unfortunately, the truth is, Macs do have issues and can slow down and eventually crash. We have seen these issues on Macs plenty of times after many years of computer service as a computer repair company. In addition believe it or not, they also get…viruses (gasp!). Don’t worry though we can help you take preventive measures to avoid all of these kinds of problems that may affect your Apple computer.
The first thing you can do to avoid the spinning wheel of death is increase your RAM and upgrade your Mac’s hardware such as the hard drive. This will make a big difference in the functionality of the Mac, because the ram will make your computer run more efficiently and also increasing the hard drive capacity will give you more room for your data; the hard drive upgrade may only be necessary if you are running out of space.
However knowing that everyone is looking to save a few bucks these days, here are five free tips that you can easily do yourself to optimize your Mac, and prevent the spinning beach ball from slowing down your Apple anytime in the near future. But before you get started uninstalling and deleting items from your Mac OS, do yourself a favor, make a Time Machine back up of your data so you do not end up kicking yourself for deleting things that you actually need.
Start Up Items: Application programmers often times add code to the Mac’s start up items, and if there are a lot of these applications with code in the Apple’s start up system, it will bog it down and cause it to run slow.
To remove these unnecessary pieces of code:
- Click System Preferences
- Click Accounts
- Click Login Items
- Highlight the app
- Click the minus button at the bottom of the list
- You will still be able to use the program, but now it will only run now when you need it instead of running all the time in the back ground.
Get Rid Of Extras Bloating Your Mac OS: Macs have a lot of extra stuff built into the OS, such as multilingual capabilities including a myriad of languages you do not speak to compatibility files for dead Mac architectures like Power PC. You can download a free app called Monolingual to remove any extra languages.
It is also a good idea to get rid of support for old hardware in your Mac OS. If you are running an Intel Mac, and are not using any older programs, you can remove any support for PowerPC and ARM. Make sure to be extra careful removing these items, because if you remove a language or architecture you need, you will need to do a reinstallation of your Mac OS X or resort to the Time Machine back up to get it back.
Delete Programs You Do Not Use: When deleting applications you do not need, make sure to remove ALL the support files for that particular app. Many people think uninstalling an app on a Mac is just a matter of dragging the app from your Applications folder to the trash. Although this removes the actual program, many support files for the application remain on your computer and will slow it down. You can use a free or inexpensive utility to clean up all of these bits of leftover software. Some goods ones include AppCleaner, AppTrap, AppDelete or Hazel .
Deep Cleaning Your Hard Drive: Running your disk utility can help your Mac system run smoother and you can do this without any extra software. Go to Disk Utility (in Applications > Utilities) to verify and repair disk permissions (which determine what apps can do specific functions with certain files on your Mac) and verify and repair the disk itself.
Turn Off Unnecessary Widgets: When Apple introduced the Dashboard, a lot of the common tasks became cool widgets. Weather forecasts and stock prices are a couple examples. These small little apps were meant to be convenient and easy for the Apple user. But the only problem is that widgets are constantly running in the background, using all your resources like ram and processing power. The more Widgets you have the more resources Mac OS X has to give them. Remove any unnecessary widgets to better utilize your resources.
Restart Your Computer: It is common for Mac users to keep their systems running without restarting them, and putting them asleep is not the same thing. If any running software has any memory leaks, leaving them open will start to drain more and more of the system’s memory. Some applications including Safari and other browsers use a lot of memory and may not fully release it when the tabs are simply closed. Quitting and restarting these memory hogs will reduce memory consumption, at least for a time. Restarting the entire computer will reset OS X’s virtual memory system and reset some things; after restarting, the system should typically feel snappier.
Please call iComputer if you need help with any of these steps to keep your Apple happy.