You, like many others, must have moved from Windows to the Mac to cleanse yourself of all the evil viruses that reside on the other side. While the Mac is comparatively cleaner and smoother than Windows there are certain things that affect all computers. Rouge processes running in the background, unwanted apps launching at startup, or wonky apps. So, I’ve compiled this little list of things that might help you get through all that.
Wait! Before you get all pumped up and turn this cleaning process into a “wipe out my hard drive” process, I would recommend making a backup of your Mac using Time Machine or any other backup app.
1. CleanUp your StartUp
It’s always a good idea to check out your startup list to see which programs currently launch automatically at startup. To check this out click on the on your bar, go to System Preferences >> Users & Groups >> Login Items. Now go through the list and uncheck each app that you do not need to be ready at startup.
2. Find CPU or Memory Hogs
This step is the most important step as it has the potential to make your computer dragging along incessantly. What you need to do is go to Application >> Utilities >> Activity Monitor (graph icon). Once you open it, you will be presented with a list running applications and processes. See if any processes relating to inactive programs are shown. If so you might want to check out if that is supposed to happen – most probably it shouldn’t. You could also see if there are any runaway processes. If you find one just restart it and hopefully things should get better.
3. UnInstall Apps that You Don’t Need
If you’ve been using you Mac for a some time you would have unknowingly installed a few apps that you never really needed, or there might be some apps that you don’t require anymore. What you got to do is, take a deep breath, open up your Application folder and drag any app that you don’t need into the Trash. A failsafe way to know if an app is required or not is this: Think about how many times you’ve used that particular app in the last 6 months. If the answer is 0 then try to predict how many times you might use it in the next 6 months. If this answer is 0 too, then drag that app to the Trash Bin.
4. Call in the Maintenance Team
Simply run Disk Utility by going to Applications >> Utilities >> Disk Utilities. There you can get the computer to verify and repair disk permissions (they determine what apps can do what with what files) and verify and repair the disk itself. These operations will probably take some time, and you cannot do them while other applications are running, so you should probably do this step when you do not need your Mac for some time – Lunch Break, Coffee Break, Nap..
5 & 6. SMC Reset & Battery Calibration
SMC reset is the first thing you ought to do if you are facing increased system temps, higher fan speeds, or lowered battery life. Battery Calibration is a process which is done after the SMC memory is reset so that it can update itself with the latest values of your battery life, voltage, etc. I recommend that you do this every 2 months at least. Both these processes have been detailed in this page for the Mac OS X.
7. Keep your Mac Updated
Apple occasionally issues software updates for the Mac and any of the other Apple applications that you run within Mac like iTunes, Mail, Safari et al. It is highly recommended that you try to keep your Mac updated with the latest updates made available because they also hold security updates for any worms or malware that may have surfaced for the Mac. You can Update your Mac software by clicking on the and selecting Software Update.
Hope these steps help you out to have a smoother and cleaner Mac experience. If you have got any doubts, feel free to let me know in the Comments and I’ll get back to you.