You are probably reading this because you have a Mac. You take it with you everywhere and you use it on a daily basis as a reliable tool to get things done.
...You may even have a pet name for it.
Macs are becoming increasingly popular because they are designed specifically for ease of use with little housekeeping on the user’s part. Although you may get by with little maintenance to your Mac, there are some important functions you should be aware of to keep your data safe and your machine running as fast as possible.
This month we’re going to cover Part 2 of our coveted ‘Love Thy Computer’ series and spill all our quick and easy Mac maintenance secrets, so you can begin your very own journey as a Mac expert!
Tip #1: Backup All of That Data.
Some of us know what it feels like to have your data lost, and it does indeed hurt the heart—memories ripped away, never to be seen again! It’s tragic. Those of you who do not know the pain, may you never!
Preventative care is a MUST, and here we’ll do our best to inform you out of your denial.
The first step is to take the attitude of assuming your data will be erased at some point in time.
This is an unfortunate truth of the digital age-you just never know what may happen, so it’s always best to be prepared. Luckily, Macs come with Time Machine, a feature specific to Mac that’s set to automatically make a complete backup all of your personal data on a hard drive of your choice.
I, personally, am a fan of the WD My Book for Mac pictured below as it’s super compatible, fast, and durable.
Once you are in the habit of backing up your computer regularly, when (not if!... it is just a matter of time, after all) your Macintosh HD fails, you’ll have a physical and fully separate external backup.
Another option, which I recommend doing only as an addition to a physical backup, would be backing up to the Cloud. There are a ton of services out there, which we will cover on a blog in the near future. Stay tuned.
How often you backup your drive depends on your workflow. Ask yourself: “How much work can I afford to lose?” Perhaps this means you need to backup every hour, every day, or maybe just once a week or month. We recommend backing up as often as humanly possible, so you’ll never need to be sad… at least not about data loss, anyway!
Tip #2: Keep Your Software Current.
Always keep a close-eye on your Software Updates. Navigate to Apple Menu > App Store > Updates. We recommend turning on automatic updates so you can eliminate one more thing to remember.
Tip #3: Regularly restart your Mac.
This refresher is crucial for a happy hard drive, or HD.
Tip #4: Restart Programs, Especially Browsers and Music Programs.
Web browsers and music programs take up the most memory. Google Chrome, as wonderful a browser as it is, eats memory like there’s no tomorrow. Spotify and iTunes can take up a huge chunk of your memory, as well. All of this adds up to a slower Mac.
Tip #5: Clean Up Your Mac.
Now that you're officially prepared for any data emergency, are you ready for an easy way to clean up and speed up your Mac?
Many websites and blogs will recommend you do a host of different cache cleaning and scrubbing options, but we have a secret weapon for you: OnyX for Mac by Titanium Software. OnyX is an extremely user friendly way to clean up and to perform system maintenance - most importantly, it’s free!
Start your download by going here and scrolling down to the download section. Please note: it’s very important to download OnyX only from Titanium’s website. If you download from a third party you are in danger of ads from CleanMyMac and other OnyX impostors that, if downloaded, may cause you a host of other issues you don’t want. Also, be sure to choose the correct version of the program for your specific operating system. Check your version of OS X by clicking the Apple Menu > About This Mac.
Keep in mind as you update versions of your OS X, you’ll need to install the matching version of OnyX.
Installation is fairly quick and simple, just drag and drop the OnyX icon into your applications folder.
Running super easy maintenance features in OnyX.
When you open up the program, you will notice a pop up asking for your Administrator password. Because the software does run a lot of tools, you’ll need to make sure you give permission for this. You will also be prompted to verify the disk every time the program opens, which is normal. Just continue. Verifying can take a few minutes for your computer to make sure everything looks good.
Once the disk is verified, select the Automation tab and you’ll see the following default settings.
Running the default options will do the job for most computers. This process may take a long time, so be aware of the time needed to step away from your computer. Be sure to save any necessary files before you start the scan because OnyX will also force quit all of your applications.
When you’re all done, OnyX will alert you via this pop-up and a notification sound, then prompt you to reboot your computer. It is that easy!
How often you should use Onyx?
It’s always a good habit to run any type of maintenance software more often than not. We usually recommend running OnyX every week to few weeks. Running a program like this is just one of many things you can do to ensure that your Mac has a long and productive life.
These tips should help you take care of your beloved Mac and ensure it keeps running smoothly so you can focus on getting things done. Handling maintenance on systems for a whole company, however, can be a headache for your business. Luckily, Jones IT can handle it for you.
Find out how much time we can save you and press the button!