Way back when – in the days of single-digit Mac OS – the Sad Mac and bomb icons got me in the habit of regular system optimizing and cleanup. Thankfully, those problems ended with OSX. Still, my a packed hard drive will slow things down.
- See if hard drive is full. (Right-click on hard drive > Get Info)
- Trash any easy stuff I don’t need. The installer programs and disc images on my desktop and in my downloads folder are easily trashed.
- Uninstall unneeded apps. I use AppZapper ($13). It’s really easy – just drag the icon for unwanted applications to the “Drag Apps Here” screen. It rounds up any associated files and eliminates them with a really satisfying Zap! sound effect. Who knew cleanup could be fun?
- Use Monolingual (Free) to delete extra languages. Really, I wish there was a preference setting to download just the language I actually use and automatically skip the rest. Until then, open Monolingual and check all the extra languages you want to eliminate. It’s not huge space savings, but an extra gig of space is still a savings.
- Videos – movies, tv shows – those are real space hogs. Generally, I delete after viewing anyway. But if I really want to keep a show, I’ll move it to an external drive.
- Clean up Safari caches and cookies. I cut no-longer-needed bookmarks, along with that growing reading list (that I never get to anyway). Go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy > Cookies. Hitting “Remove All Website Data” once in a while is good for security purposes anyway. Just think before you remove: you will have to login to many websites again, and some data – like things saved in shopping carts – might be eliminated. Not something to attempt when you’re in the midst of holiday shopping.
- Empty iPhoto Trash – I’m continually surprised how quickly that builds up.
- Empty desktop Trash.
- Quit all programs and restart.
Ahhh! A clean(er) Mac. Kind of like opening the windows and shaking out the dust.