Annual Mac Cleanup Checklist

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The holidays are over. You’ve ate too much food, opened (and returned) your gifts, and partied with people you don’t even “like” like that. Now it’s time to get back to work.

For the past year, your Mac has been keeping up with how you get things done. Just like how you regularly need to see the doc (and lie that you’ve been exercising) and get your teeth cleaned (and lie that you’ve been flossing), you need to tend to your Mac regularly…more than once a year if you ask me.

Having said that, now is a better time than any to show you Mac some love and perform a cleanup. Here some things you can do to make sure your Mac will perform like a champ throughout the year.

Uninstall Old Apps

If you haven’t used that app/program more than once this year, you might as well get rid of it to free up space.

Reduce Login Items

One of the reasons why your Mac takes FOREVER to start up is because too many apps are automatically slated to open when you turn on your Mac. Turn off those login items to get to work faster after startup.

Remove Files From Desktop

Your Mac has to render all those little files and folders on your “home screen” repeatedly, which slows down your Mac. Delete, and/or move those files to another location for a clean desktop and faster response time.

Organize “Downloads” Folder

If you clicked on and downloaded any and everything under the sun this past year, those files are taking up space. You can go ahead and delete those files now to free up space.

Choose ONE Cloud Service

Bet money you use a combination of iCloud, Dropbox, GDrive and OneDrive – PICK ONE. All those services save files on your Mac. The more services you use, the more files your computer has to manage. If you’re not careful, you will run out of space, as well as not know where anything is. 

Identify And Archive Old Files

Why do you still have files on your Mac from 2008? Quit hoarding and identify, then delete (or at the very least archive) files older than two years.

Delete old iTunes iPhone/iPad Backup Files

If you’re cheap, I mean…fiscally savvy, you’ve figured out how to backup your iPhone to your Mac to save on iCloud storage costs. If you’ve been doing this for multiple iPhones, you probably need to check iTunes and remove old device backups.

Clear Cache Files

There are files that mysteriously show up on your Mac that you don’t recognize and probably don’t need anymore. User, system, browser, and app ‘cache’ files are mostly temporary and no longer needed. Dig them up and get rid of them. 

Use macOS Storage Manger to free up space

If you have macOS Sierra or later, there is a free app that helps you quickly identify where your files are and how much space they’re taking up. The Storage Management Window offers recommendations and solutions for optimizing your storage

Use 3rd-Party Software

Applications like CleanMyMac (I personally recommend and use it) go above and beyond cleaning unused, unwanted files. It can also provide solutions to speed up your Mac, and keep it free of viruses and malware.

If you take the time to do any of these tasks, I guarantee your Mac will feel faster, in addition to adding longevity to your Mac’s life.

If you need any help with these tasks, you can hit me up to schedule a Mac Cleanup booking session…

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Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

Recover Storage Space On Your Mac

“But I hardly have anything on my computer” is usually the first thing people tell me after their Mac spits out that (paraphrasing) “Yo, I’m too full! You might wanna ditch some of this old junk you’re keeping a hold of before I won’t even startup”

Technically, you didn’t deliberately cram your Mac to the lid with files, but a quick peek at your storage space in “About This Mac” tells a different story. A full Hard Drive may not even be your fault. Even if you take steps to keep your computer “clean” by frequently clearing out the “trash” and “downloads” folders on you Mac, there could be some files you can’t see or didn’t know that are taking up space on your Mac.

So I’ve compiled a task list of things you can do to recover storage space on your Mac.

Disconnect cloud sync accounts

If you think you’re doing your computer a favor by storing all your files in Dropbox, Google Drive, or some other cloud storage service, think again. Technically speaking, they should be called Cloud Synchronization services because all they do is make sure the files in the cloud and the files ON YOUR COMPUTER are in sync. Yeah, you read that right, with cloud sync services, you have multiple copies of your files in multiple places.

So a quick fix to temporarily recover some storage space would be to:

1 Unlink those cloud sync services
2 Delete the copies from your computer.

…Don’t worry, as long as you DISCONNECT/UNLINK BEFORE YOU DELETE, a copy of all your files will be saved in the cloud. Now would be a good time to clean out all those unwanted files and consolidate cloud sync services before you link computer back to your cloud accounts.

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Delete unused Apps and delete app cache

You know good and well you don’t need all those applications you’ve only used twice. Truth of the matter is, everything (including applications) are moving to the cloud, so what you really need can in most cases be accessed via the web. So go ahead and delete those apps, because they too are clogging up your storage.

To completely delete any trails of the application(s) you just deleted, you probably need to delete the application cache (files that store application preferences)…Just pay close attention to what application cache folders you want to delete or will have to redo some application settings if you delete to wrong ones.

If I had a choice of applications you need to keep on your computer, one tool I frequently use and suggest would select Disk Doctor. To make a long story short, after launch, Disk Doctor searches your Mac and reveals multiple types of files, including files in the trash/downloads folder, application logs/caches, mail downloads, and other files you can safely remove without damaging your computer.

Disk Doctor Scan via brothatech

Delete iTunes device backups

If you backup your iPhone, iPad, or other iDevice to your Mac via iTunes, chances are, all those backup files are being stored on computer. They are kept there even if you no longer use, or have switched phones. If left unchecked, the list of devices, more importantly, the amount of data in the form of backups stored on your is counting against your available space.

Going into iTunes Preferences > Devices will show you all the device backups. From there, you can decide which backups are old enough to be deleted.

Side Note: If you want to change where iTunes saves iDevice backups, check out this tutorial, or skip iTunes altogether and use iCloud for device backup.

So I’ve given you the lowdown on how to recover storage space on your Mac. You have two choices, take some time to work through these steps, or call me in a panic when you see that “Your startup disk is almost full” message.

You know where to find me

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