General Question

johnny0313x's avatar

What should I do to keep my Imac running smooth?

Asked by johnny0313x (1855points) June 26th, 2009

I’m pretty handy with a mac but one area I never really learned much about was how to maintain and keep a mac running smooth. I don’t have any problems right now but I know on Windows running scan disk and defrag is a good thing to do. Should I do anything on my mac?

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13 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

You could dance naked on your front lawn while clapping your hands above your head and screaming like a chicken.

It won’t do anything for you Mac – as Macs have no association with Bill Gates and his ilk – but it would entertain your neighbours.

Macs don’t need the sort of housekeeping that is essential to PCs, no registry and no way of naughty software installing itself.

whitenoise's avatar

Not that I am aware off… You should however consider making backups. OSX has time machine built in and that should make the process of backin up quite easy. oh and yes… do dance naked on your front lawn, that should definitely add a lot as well

rooeytoo's avatar

In the July edition of Australian Macworld, there are about 25 Hotlinks with suggested apps that clean up the innards of Macs, such as MacCleanser which erases caches, logs. Several others that will pick out missed files from deleted apps. Some interesting ones I hadn’t thought of. I do use MacJanitor once a month or so, it is similar to MacCleanser.

And of course run disk utility – repair disk each time you do an update or anytime it starts to act funky. A lot of techs say run it before you update. And lastly a simple restart will often cure a lot of ills.

July is a good issue of MacWorld, has lots of helpful info.

verily's avatar

I use CleanMyMac :

I have tried others as well, but some of them (MrClean in particular) managed to delete some system files (I think) which killed some of my applications.

You should also use a good uninstaller (dragging to trash doesn’t quite cut it). I also try to minimize the number of new apps I install. And make sure to run Disk Utility once in a while, like someone suggested above.

DeanV's avatar

I don’t like CleanMyMac at all. It nearly broke my macbook.

I recommend AppCleaner to uninstall apps and MainMenu for little tasks. But DarkScribe is right. You don’t need the kind of maintenance for mac like you do for PC’s.

gailcalled's avatar

I run Disk Utility routinely once a week and before and after every update as well. My guru taught me that.

And I back up TimeMachine with an external HD and Superduper.

DeanV's avatar

Right, I should include that. I like TimeMachine for weekly backups, but I would also recommend SuperDuper for monthly, bootable backups. Like gailcalled said.

gailcalled's avatar

@dverhey: I am really thrilled to have arrived at a state of technological awareness where other agree with me. The old timers here will remember when I knew nothing about either computers or cats. I’ve come a long way, baby.

simpleD's avatar

Leopard Cache Cleaner is a great utility that gives easy access to a lot of the Mac’s own utilities. It can be used to run maintenance routines that might otherwise be schedule to run when your computer is off or asleep. It can also clean font caches – great if you activate lots of fonts over time.

StellarAirman's avatar

As others have said Macs pretty much take care of themselves. They run scripts at night that perform a lot of the maintenance that the third-party utilities do. All you need to do is leave your computer on at night for them to run. If you want to force them you can open Terminal and type

sudo periodic daily
sudo periodic weekly
sudo periodic monthly

But like I said they are automatic anyway. More on what these actually do

Repairing permissions is not really a maintenance step, it is really only a troubleshooting step for Apple software that goes awry. It may make you feel good to see all the permissions “errors” scroll by on your screen that it fixed, but generally it isn’t doing anything helpful unless something is already wrong with your computer. More on that subject

As others said, make sure you are backing up your Mac. It’s fool-proof with Time Machine, just plug in and external hard drive. All the maintenance in the world won’t keep your hard drive from eventually dying. Make sure you have a backup.

tadpole's avatar

has anyone specifically said to make sure you update your software once a week using the software update icon that can be found in your system preferences, which is in the finder menu or maybe in your dock….you can set it to check automatically or do it youself as and when manually… doing this you get all the software downloads from apple, things like new versions of apps, security updates….this helps keep you up to date in the fight against bugs, viruses etc….

gailcalled's avatar

@Tadpole; Not once a week but whenever an update is issued, the Mac tells me, in its cute little way. The affected icons on the dock bounce around and do a little jig. You can update then or postpone to a more convenient time.

tadpole's avatar

well yes, there’s giving an answer and there’s giving every little possible detail that might be relevant…..i assumed some knowledge was already there:)

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