10 ways to look after your Mac
Macs are brilliant computers, carefully designed by Apple, and adored by the masses. And for good reason: they are fast, with an easy-to-use interface and intelligent features, not to mention how good they look. But one thing is for sure; they’re not cheap. If you’re eager to keep your Mac working like new for as long as you can – and save on a replacement – read on and learn how to look after your computer.
- Take care of the battery
Macs are known for having a good battery life, with Macbook Pros often lasting over 8 hours without needing to be charged. However, over time this will usually worsen due to high temperatures or excessive battery usage. So, to keep it going for longer, try and keep your laptop in a cool, dry environment and adjust your settings to lower the energy consumption. If your computer really is struggling to hold a charge, then a replacement is a quick solution and will give your laptop a new lease of life.
- Keep it well ventilated
You’ve learned that keeping your Mac at a stable, low temperature will help to preserve its battery life, but it will also ensure its CPU doesn’t overheat. Excessive heat (from either leaving your computer in the sun or using it in bed, blocking the ventilation ducts) may permanently damage the CPU, severely impacting your computer’s performance. Your computer is likely to shut down to stop this from happening sometimes, but it can still happen. To keep it well ventilated, try a stand or a case that allows air to flow around the machine.
- Restore to factory settings
Try and do this once a year to remove a build-up of data, remove any resource-guzzling processes, and empty some of the computer’s caches. Before you do this, it is incredibly important that you backup everything that you want to keep in at least one place. There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to backing up, such as Time Machine. Make sure to follow a guide for your specific Mac to make sure that everything is working correctly.
- Make sure to run updates
It may sound simple but please run your Macs updates. They can be time consuming and inconvenient, but updates are vital for maintaining the health of your computer. They can contain new features, performance and security improvements, and even bug-fixes. So, make sure to update your computer when you receive a notification.
- Clean your Mac disk
To get the best performance out of your computer and to ensure you don’t run out of storage, it is essential to manage the hard drive of your Mac. Keeping disk space free will keep your Mac running well. Cleaning the disk may help you reclaim storage space or clean any unnecessary junk from the system. You can do this yourself, but it is a complicated process. Instead, there are a number of apps such as Onyx that can help. Some can even check the disk for any viruses or malware.
- Back up your data regularly
Every computer occasionally crashes, so, to ensure you don’t lose everything you’ve been working on, make sure to back up your data frequently. It means you won’t lose files, and you won’t waste time re-downloading apps onto your Mac. There are apps you can use, or you can do it manually with a hard drive.
- Protect your laptop
While looking after the hardware and software on your Mac is vital, there’s no point in taking such good care of it if it gets stolen by thieves. Make sure to add security measures such a Find My Mac, which can help you find your machine and help protect your information. You will need to enable Find My Mac before your laptop is lost or stolen. It will let you track, lock or even wipe your Mac remotely, to ensure your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
- Insurance is key
The Apple warranty is short, so having insurance in place if you need to carry out a repair – or replace the laptop – and not be entirely out of pocket, is vital. AppleCare is an extended warranty that you can purchase within 30 days of buying a Mac. It’s not cheap, but it will keep you protected. Alternatively, different insurers will cover you for damages or loss of your laptop.
- Shut down apps when you’re not using them
Keeping apps running in the background uses up CPU, RAM, heats your laptop, and generally causes it to slow down. Unfortunately, clicking ‘x’ and closing a window isn’t enough to properly shut down an app. To do so, go to the Apple menu and click ‘Force Quit’ – here, you can shut down apps that you’re not using. This frees up resources and gives your computer the chance to run correctly.
- Take out the trash
Clearing the Trash folder, keeping your Desktop clear, and deleting unneeded Downloads can help keep it running quickly. If files build up, they can take up running energy and slow your computer down, so make sure to clear this – and the Downloads folder – weekly. This is particularly important when it comes to your Desktop – items stored there are a drain on the system’s resources.
- Try restarting your Mac
It may seem simple, but turning it off and on again can be the difference between a struggling computer and one which works perfectly. Restart your Mac once every two weeks, or if it appears to be malfunctioning. Restarting your Mac will clear some cache files, free up RAM space and clear certain parts of the Mac’s memory.
So, as you can see, there are numerous ways to look after your computer. As long as you keep an eye on it’s performance, optimize the battery life, ensure you have enough clear disk space for it to run correctly, and keep it adequately insured, you should have a long and happy relationship with your Mac.