Step By Step: Optimize Your Mac
By kaylal on in Tutorial with No Comments
About a year ago, I called the Apple support line for some help with the Spinning Beach Ball – which is the sign you get when your computer is running painfully slow… it isn’t a happy beach ball at all.
Anyway, one of the tech support reps was really helpful and took me through a process that helped speed things up tremendously. It turned out that I still had a bad drive, but the measures helped me get things sped up enough to get things backed up and ready to change the drive.
Since that call, I have often referred to these instructions over and over with my Macs to help speed things up and clear things out.
I have had so many people email me and ask about this, I thought I would share the process along with the disclaimer that you call Apple and tell them the steps I have outlined here and make sure they are right for your particular make and model of machine before you proceed…
The first thing I do is Repair Permissions. You can do this by finding the lovely Disk Utility App on your Mac and double clicking on it. Once there, select your Macintosh HD and then choose Repair Disk Permissions. It might take you ten minutes, but it is well worth the wait. This is especially helpful to Mac when you are doing lots of file processing.
Once that is finished, I then RESET the SMC which is accomplished with the following steps (this may be different for your computer so I highly recommend you do research to make sure)
- Turn off computer.
- Unplug printer, internet cable
- Unplug power cord
- Count to ten
- Press Power button to start computer again
- When you hear the 1st chime Hold Option key (ALT) + P and CMD + R until you hear the second chime. Release.
- Shut Down.
Next, I do a SAFE BOOT:
- Press Power
- When you hear the 1st chime hold the shift key down. Wait until you see the gray apple AND spinning gear. Release.
While in Safe Boot, I also do the following:
- From a FINDER window, select your username. Navigate to and open the Library folder. Drag the CACHES folder to your trash.
- Navigate to Macintosh HD. Open the Library Folder and Drag the CACHES folder to your trash.
- Navigate to Macintosh HD. Open System, Open Library and Drag the CACHES folder to your trash.
- Empty the trash (not everything will delete now and that is ok – we’ll take care of it in a second.)
- Restart the computer and login regularly. Empty your trash.
- Hopefully you will enjoy seeing the spinning beach ball a lot less.
That’s my process. It helps a lot when I am pushing Mac really hard and he needs things cleaned up. Worst case scenario, I make sure things are backed up to Time Machine and then immediately do a Macintosh Hard Drive disk repair with my Snow Leopard install disk – but that is a process for another post – better yet a process that is probably best followed with the help of Apple Care or a Mac Genius.
For you PC folks, a defrag (defragmenting your hard drive) is about the same thing – set it up to run overnight and make sure you have someone to help you who is technical enough to know the ins and outs. I used to be very proficient in the how-to’s, but sadly Mac has spoiled me.
When’s the last time you optimized your Mac or defragemented your PC? Care to share?