A common misconception with owning a Mac is that there is no need to do regular maintenance. Some of that stems from the fact that many believe Macs are impenetrable to computer viruses, which unfortunately, is not true. What is true is that Apple Macintosh operating systems are less used around the world, when compared to Microsoft Windows computers, which means they are less likely to become the target of malware and other computer viruses. Bottom line, that means Macs can get a computer virus, so it’s important not to assume they’re always safe. One way to keep your Mac in tip-top shape, however, is to perform regular maintenance — not only can doing so improve the life of the computer and keep it safe, but it can increase running speeds. Let’s check out four ways you can maintain your Mac for better (and safer) performance:
- Complete Regular Software Updates
Regular software updates are quintessential to ensuring that your Mac is running safely and properly. Whether you’re on a Mac or PC, software updates are one of the most important ways to keep your computer up-to-date on a variety of important features. For instance, software updates not only fix the kinks that you might not have noticed, but they can also include security patches that keep your system protected against malware.
Updating your MacOS and computer is easy. Simply go to the Apple icon in the top left of your monitor and click on Software Updates (you might have to click on About This Mac first). Once there, you have the option of choosing automatic updates for any future updates, thereby ensuring that you don’t have to worry about the next time your computer needs an update.
- Run Regular Backups
Computer backups are important for ensuring the safety of vital documents, client information, and personal files, like photos. Regular computer backups also relieve the stress that comes with losing important information in a system failure or if you ever become the victim of malware or ransomware, like WannaCry or NotPetya. With regular system backups, all you have to do is make sure your system is virus-free before reinstalling the documents saved on your backup.
Backing up your files on a Mac is easy — all you need to do is look into something Apple calls Time Machine. Time Machine is an easy way to help you backup all of your files on an external hard drive, but it’s especially nice because it can restore your files later, as well as help you see how files looked at a certain time in the past. While Time Machine is a built-in backup feature, you will need to purchase an external hard drive to make this work. Once everything is setup, however, you can set Time Machine up to complete regular, automatic backups.
- Organize Files
Organizing and managing folders and files names is hard work, especially if you keep the original, nondescript file name — something like ‘D23ndujd2’ or ‘scan_00012.’ Rather than continuing to hunt for files in illogical places and with zero descriptions, now might be the time to get organized. Start by organizing files into appropriate folders (segment items by topic, service, client, or even years), then make sure file names describe the content. Not only can organizing files by folders and names help you find files easily, but the organization of files can save you from accidentally deleting important ones!
Bonus: While you’re going through files and naming them, free up some valuable internal hard drive space by deleting files that aren’t important or useful anymore (if you aren’t sure, make sure they’re saved on an external hard drive). To delete files, simply drag the unwanted files to the trash can, then empty the trash when you’re done.
- Clean Your Mac
Sometimes internal maintenance isn’t the only thing you need to do to keep you Mac at its best. External maintenance, i.e. cleaning your Mac, can also help your computer run properly. How does it work? It’s simple. Cleaning your Mac includes things like removing dust from your keyboard and vent fans, both of which can help your computer run smoother. For more details and tips, be sure to check out Apple’s guide on how to properly clean your mac; the information in the guide ranges from the special cloths you’ll need to what not to do when cleaning your Mac.
Basic Mac Maintenance Tips
Regular maintenance should be a common operation for your Mac computer. Not only does it help your Mac run faster and function properly, but it can protect it from malware as well. Our helpful Mac maintenance tips are just a few ways you can help give your computer a longer, faster life.