Mac Maintenance

Monday Morsel - Mac Maintenance

Keeping your Mac in tip-top shape

In many things, a little maintenance goes a long way. While you probably think of maintenance as a matter for your car or home, there’s also basic maintenance that keeps your computer running well and that can often extend the life of your computer. In today’s Monday Morsel, let’s discuss five simple things you can do to keep your Mac in tip-top shape.

Run your updates

In addition to releasing new versions of the system software at regular intervals, Apple also releases a stream of free software updates to enrich and safeguard your computing experience. All of this happens through System Update, which is part of Mac OS X. As part of maintaining your Mac, I’d recommend routinely checking for updates and installing the applicable updates that appear. It’s simple and normally takes just a few minutes. Simply go to the Apple menu in the upper left corner and select “Software Update...”.

Add RAM to your computer

One of the most common complaints I hear is that a computer is slow. Adding RAM, or Random Access Memory, is often a solution. In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with "memory" which the memory available to programs, including your operating system – so increasing the memory available helps your computer run more efficiently and effectively. Installing RAM involves determining the maximum amount of RAM that can be installed in your Mac, purchasing the correct type of RAM, the installation of the RAM itself (often involves just removing a few screws!) and ensuring what you installed is correctly recognized by the Mac. It’s not terribly complicated, but if you’re skittish about opening your computer, call me rather than using your screwdriver to open your Mac. I can help you upgrade your RAM.

Consider a Solid State Disk (SSD)

Solid State Drives, or "SSDs" as they are commonly known by, are gaining popularity and many new computers actually offer them as an option from the factory. These drives replace traditional hard drives in a computer and, because they don’t have any moving parts, are recognized as generally being more stable and much, much faster. They’re pricey to the point that large drives are cost-prohibitive, so if you’re into a field or hobby that involves lots of large files, this isn’t the product for you. But for folks who deal in average size files, a SSD is worth the price. Swapping out a hard drive isn’t for the faint of heart, so if you’re interested in this upgrade, please give me a call.

Upgrade your operating system

As it relates to Mac OS X, most of the operating system upgrades are worthwhile. As the OS evolves, it runs faster and more efficiently, and includes new features that make your computing experience easier or at least more enjoyable. So if you’re not already running the latest, greatest “Apple cat” that you can on your Mac, what are you waiting for? Updating your operating system is worthwhile. To check what operating system your Mac has, click on the Apple and then on "About this Mac." A small window will appear and tell you the version. The current version is 10.8.2 or "Mountain Lion." Tech Me Back can help you with that, too!

Make sure you’re *not* running MacKeeper

I know, I know – the ads are great at convincing you to install MacKeeper. While I won’t come out and call it malware, many people do. My professional experience is that it quickly fills a drive with unnecessary log files and that can cause more harm than good. If you’re running it, uninstall it. If you’ve never installed it, you deserve a cookie for avoiding it.

Have a great week! If Tech Me Back to help with any questions or concerns you have, feel free to give me a call!