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6 Tips to Keeping Your Mac Running Fast

Why is my computer running slow?

It’s a question we’re often asked.

Making sure your machine stays running fast can sometimes be hard to keep on top of, but with a few simple fixes, you’re able to keep OSX running smoothly, even if your machine is a few years old.

 

 

  • Removing Malware

The first step is to make sure there is no malicious software slowing down your machine. There are some great pieces of software that can help you make sure your machine is virus free. Malwarebytes helps to remove anything that is slowing down your machine or potentially poses a threat to your machine. It also claims to “protect you from dangerous threats that antivirus doesn’t.” You can try Malwarebytes for free for 14 days, after that licenses start at $34.95 for 1 year.

  • Removing Mackeeper or similar software

You’ll find a lot of software out there that will claim to clean up your machine, when really, it’s doing quite the opposite. Mackeeper is the most notorious of these but certainly not the only one. Mackeeper, by definition, is malware. Malware being “a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software”. Mackeeper can be very difficult to uninstall at times, especially if you want to make sure it hasn’t left any lingering files. A great guide to uninstalling Mackeeper can be found here.

  • Repair Disk Permissions

When you install programs on your Mac, each comes with permission files. These files basically tell your Mac which users can do what with specific files. Over time these permissions get changed by other software and can cause lots of issues with the speed and running of your Mac. Luckily, it’s quite easy to fix this using Disk Utility. Spotlight search for Disk Utility, click on your hard drive (usually called Macintosh HD), and then click Verify Permissions or First Aid on newer versions of OSX. This will scan for any issues. If it does find any issues, you will either be prompted to Repair Permissions or it will begin automatically.

  • Remove Login Items

Too many programs trying to start up when you log in to your computer can result in a very, very slow log in time. If you open System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, then your user account, and then click on Login Items. From there, anything that you don’t require immediately on start up can be removed, hopefully resulting in a fast log in time.

  • Activity Monitor

Spotlight search for Activity Monitor and you will easily be able to see what is using the bulk of your processing power or memory at any given time. By checking what’s using the most of your CPU and Memory, you can decide whether those programs are worth keeping, worth shutting down or whether you might require an upgrade to your RAM.

  • Delete Old Programs and Large Unused Files

It’s also always important to go through your machine every so often and look for old programs or large files that you’re not using. A quick check through your Applications folder, or Control Clicking on folders to Get Info and find out how much space they’re taking up, can be incredibly beneficial in freeing up space on your hard drive and decluttering your machine.

A slow computer is one of the most frustrating things in the world these days, but by following these simple steps, you should be able to keep your machine running like it’s brand new. For more tips and news, check out our other blog posts, or sign up to our newsletter.


Patrick Kirkman
Technician

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Storm season is coming

Once the days heat up and the Jacarandas are blooming, those of us living in south-east Queensland know that storm season is on its way.

Storms over Brisbane
                   Storms over Brisbane

Storms can wreak all sorts of havoc, not the least of which is with your technology. Here are some tips from us to help you protect your technology and data during storm season.

The main types of damage we see as a result of storms are:

  • components damaged by power surges and
  • devices which have got wet from rain
  1. Back up your data and photos regularly. That way if the worst happens and your computer does get fried, you won’t have lost everything. You can back up to:
    • the cloud such as  iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive.  Most of these have some free storage and fees are applicable for larger amounts of storage.
    • home network storage – such as a Synology device which has the option to synchronise to the Cloud.
    • a portable hard disk drive or Apple Airport Time Capsule.  Store this in a different location to your computer so it is not likely to be damaged by any power surge or water.
  2. Think about purchasing a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) which protects against power surges and provides battery backup during blackouts.
  3. Don’t leave your equipment near a window. This may sound a bit over the top but after the big storm last November, we had a few devices come in which had been near a window and after the window was broken by hail, the devices ended up dented and wet.
  4. Check out whether your insurance policy covers storm damage of electronic devices. Then at least you may be able to get your computer replaced or repaired at your insurer’s expense if it does get damaged.

Our last tip for summer is:

Consider purchasing a solar powered phone charger. If the power goes off and stays off, at least you can charge your phone and keep in touch with the outside world.

 

Jacaranda season in Brisbane is also storm season
Jacaranda season in Brisbane is also storm season

Photo credits:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevoarnold/3161660942

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgerus/3953135154

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Have you upgraded your Mac to OS X Yosemite yet?

The team at Mac and PC Doctors were busy over the weekend upgrading the Macs in our showroom to OS X Yosemite. How many others spent some time over the weekend doing the same thing? At just over 5GB, it’s a big update.

If you haven’t upgraded, feel free to drop in to the store next week to take a look. It’s running on our range of MacBooks and iMac.

Whether you’ve upgraded or not check out this article that provides a good run down of the new features:

http://www.lifehacker.co.uk/2014/10/17/20-os-x-yosemite-tips-get-apples-new-os