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5 tips to keep your Mac running smoothly

22nd January 2018 | posted by David Hare | Tags: ,

We have all been there where your Mac starts to run a bit slower than usual.  It often happens right when your workload is at maximum or you have a deadline looming.  Of course when it does happen, it makes you want to just throw the computer out the window.

There are a few simple things that you can do to keep your Mac running smoothly and reduce the chance of slow down.

 

Restarting

It is all too easy to leave your machine on allowing you to open the lid and use it straight away when needed; a restart is really good for your Mac.

power-buttonLots of the system files load when you boot your machine and overtime without a restart, these can become unresponsive & crash, a restarting will load these fresh resulting in better performance.

In and ideal world you would restart your machine daily. Shut down at night and power on in the morning to keep your Mac running smoothly.

More recent Macs boot up so fast (particularly with the introduction of solid state drives) that a restart causes little disruption, but can greatly improve performance.

 

Disk Space

Running low on disk space is an easy way to cause all sorts of issues.  SSD drives help reduce this, but running out of space is still going to have a performance impact over time.

You get performance issues because in the background whenever you load an app, open a file or load a new window, the macOS is constantly writing values to settings & cache files.

When the drive is low on space this process slows (or fails entirely) resulting in increased response times or apps hanging.

Disk space can be a little harder to manage as it difficult to know what is taking up all the space.  Luckily, there are some apps that can help you:

Both apps do the same thing and give you a visual representation of the data on the drive.  From here you can find what is taking up a lot of space and can be deleted.

Don’t forget to check the Trash, as moving data there does not free up the space on drive until it is emptied.

As a general recommendation, try and have at least 20% of free space on your hard drive for best performance.

 

Open Apps

appsHaving lots of apps open in the background that aren’t being used block up system resources (memory, processor etc).  These resources would otherwise be available for the rest of the system. Remember to check the Dock for the indicator light to spot apps that are open

To quit an app all you need to do is right click the app icon in the Dock and select bottom option “Quit”

 


Stay Up To Date

It is important that machines are patched and kept up to date to ensure they receive critical security & stability updates that help them run smoothly.

appstoreUpdates are always a topic of debate, often jumping on them straight away causes more issues than they solve, but conversely they often contain critical security updates; please speak to an expert before running updates.

Please note Moof IT customers who have build management in their contracts will have this updates managed and deployed automatically.

 

Cooling

fanKeeping your Mac cool will help it to run smoother and last a bit longer.  Macs are carefully designed to control the temperature of the internal components, but only when they are used in certain ways.

iMacs are designed to draw heat out through the metal casing and the vent at the back.  By putting clutter around an iMac, especially along the top back edge stops it cooling and can cause excess heat on the internal components.

The MacBooks are similar in this regard.  They can stay at their optimal temperature by using them on a desk or using a laptop stand that allows for air to circulate fully.

If you are experiencing heat issues you can make a few environmental changes to help.

  • Remove clutter from around the Mac
  • Remove dust regularly from the desk area
  • Use a fan or air-con unit to cool the air around the desk

 

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