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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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Apple Flyover – what is it and how do I use it?

Apple Flyover Big Ben

Apple Flyover, perhaps it’s a feature you’ve heard of but haven’t checked out yet? Today we’ll explain what it is exactly and how you can use it on your Mac.

 

What is Apple Flyover?

Apple Maps has a great feature called Flyover that gives you a realistic and accurate 3D birds eye view of an area. It’s an informative tool if you’re trying to get your bearings in a new city. For example you may be travelling to Europe soon and want to scope out the major landmarks in Paris and their proximity to one another. Otherwise it can be just a fun feature to play with!

The downside is that Apple Flyover is not available in every city. The good news though is that Apple has been increasingly adding Flyover destinations since it launched the Apple maps feature almost 3 years ago. These destinations include both cities and landmarks in Australia, the United States, Canada, France, Germany Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugual, South Africa and Spain to name but a few. In fact there are now 141 destinations for Apple Flyover that you check out. To view the entire list see this official page.

 

How do I use Apple Flyover?

Here’s how to use the feature on your Mac:

1. Click on the Apple Maps icon in your Launchpad (you need to be operating OS X Mavericks or higher).

2. Type the name of the location you want to ‘Flyover’, for example Sydney, Australia and press enter.

3. Once Maps finds the location zoom in closer.

4. Click on satellite in the top right hand corner of maps.

5. A ‘start’ button should appear at the bottom of the map allowing you to begin your flyover tour.

Once the feature starts you can pan left and right as well as zoom in and out using your Mac’s trackpad or a mouse.

In some flyover locations, for example London, you will see attractions like Big Ben and the London Eye are animated when you find them on the map. Big Ben will show the real time while the London Eye will spin.

Since its launch Apple has continued to improve the accuracy, features and quality of Apple Maps and added new locations to its Flyover feature. There were rumours earlier in the year that Apple had leased mini-vans with cameras installed on top that were seen in a number of U.S. cities. Could Apple be collecting street-level pictures to compete with Google Maps?