Simple Hacks on How to Clean up Your Mac

Every organization has its fair share of spring rituals. Here, we do most of the cleaning at this time of the year. It involves dusting the rugs and cleaning up our Mac computers to ensure that their functionalism is upbeat. MacOS Sierra has a unique and invaluable feature that you can use to clean up your Mac, Optimize Storage, to active the store in the iCloud as well as get rid of iTunes videos and music files that you have already watched. Managing the amount of space in your hard drive will also help to enhance the efficiency of your computer by deleting programs that you no longer use.

Apart from using Optimize Storage, there are other tested and proven ways of digitally cleaning up your Mac. Here is a quick overview of our best tips on how to clean up your Mac without spending a fortune or breaking a sweat.

Organize your Desktop

Tidying up the desktop can be an uphill task especially if you have hundreds of folders saved in this section of your computer. Luckily, you do not have to do all the cleanup tasks manually. Light Pillar has a smart application known as Desktop Tidy that you can take advantage of to clean up the desktop of your Mac computer quickly. It achieves this aim storing all the files and folders on your desktop in a hidden shadow desktop that you can access whenever you need to retrieve a particular file. You can access this hidden shadow desktop through the menu bar or by using the Finder.

This easy-to-reach location will greatly help to declutter your desktop and make you more efficient. You can set it to do the magic at different intervals such as every four hours or every seven days. It is also important to note that the items on the desktop are further organized based on their file type to make it easy to fetch them.

Getting Rid of Unwanted Disk Images

Unknown to most people is that the Downloads folder is a virtual dumping ground where all files that you download from the internet get heaped up over time. It is important to delete these files as well as all unwanted disk images to free up space in the hard drive as well as boost the performance of the PC. Using Finder, locate the Downloads folder then type “disk image” in the search tab. Then, under the Kinds Header, selectDisk Image.” Instantly, a list of all downloaded DMG files will be displayed. Delete them all to increase your Mac hard drive space.

It is also possible to delete disk images using macOS Sierra. Here are the specific steps on how to do this process:

  • Visit Apple menu and select “About This Mac
  • Select “storage” then click on “Manage” button
  • You will see “Reduced Clutter Section” click on “Review Files” button
  • Then click on “Downloads” in the main window then “Kind Header
  • Click on any of the disk images displayed then click on the X button displayed alongside it

Dealing with Space Hogging Mail Downloads

We all get plenty of emails with attachments such as PDFs, Word documents, images, ePub eBooks and the list is endless. More often than not, you save these files in the Downloads folder or desktop. Unknown to most people is that clicking on any of file automatically saves it in the Mail Download folder that is tucked away in the Library file. The more you double click on the attachment, the faster the size of this folder will increase. For this reason, it is important to check and empty it frequently.

Finding the Mail Download folder is not complicated affair. The most convenient way to find it is by using Spotlight –Press Command-Space. A search field will be displayed, type “mail downloads” in this field to get access to this folder.

Alternatively, you can use Finder. Select Go>Go to Folder then type the following in the text field that will appear.

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads

Once you find this folder, select all the files on the list and hit delete. You can also go through the list to see if there are any specific files that you would want to keep before deleting.

Cleaning up the Cache

One of the most common web browsers troubleshooting hack is emptying your cache. Numerous experiments and studies have shown that Mac is fond of storing a lot of information including what is not related to the browser. One of the main reasons why it does this is to get quick access to the files without having to go to the original source.

The own downside is that the information may have issues especially if it is corrupted and so you might be using old data to make analytical reports instead of the current version of data.

The famous Cocktail app can help you clean up your caches as well as perform a number of other maintenance processes that will improve the performance of your computer. Some of these assorted maintenance tasks that this utility can perform include deleting browser cookies, reconstructing databases, scanning for corrupted preference files and much more.

Deleting Unwanted Applications

Having too many applications is one of the leading causes of a slow Mac computer. You can drag and drop an unwanted app from the Applications folder to the Trash in seconds. But, some of the apps usually create additional files and folders that are not related to the app package. These additional files are stored in a different location in the hard drive thereby making it difficult for one to track them down and purge them.

AppTrap can help you get rid of such files and folders in seconds. It is free and once installed, it can run the checks in the background without affecting the performance of the computer or interrupting the tasks that you are doing. Over the years, I have found it very helpful in locating all files and folders associated with deleted programs and moving them to the Trash folder.

However, when Mac updates a particular application that is useful, make sure that you discard the old app but retain the associated files. AppTrap will prompt you and ask if you want to leave the files intact on your hard drive to support the performance of the application or move them to the Trash folder.

The Optimize Storage feature in macOS Sierra can also help you to get rid of these unwanted apps. Here are steps to guide you through the uninstallation process.

  • Go to the Apple Menu and select “About this Mac” option
  • Select “storage” and then click on “Manage Button”
  • Select “Applications” from the left section to see the list of applications that you have installed
  • Select the app that you want to delete then click on the X button to uninstall it

However, using Optimize Storage, you will only be able to remove all the associated files of applications that you downloaded from App Store. You can tell if a particular application was downloaded from App Store under the Kind header.

Disinfect your Keyboard

I have an ergonomic keyboard and it usually accumulates lots of dust and other forms of debris that I have to periodically turn it upside down and shake it off for some of the keys to work. I have realized that cleaning it once per year is enough to get rid of germs of grime that has been plaguing it for months.

Make sure that you unplug the keyboard before you start the cleaning and disinfecting process to avoid damaging any of the internal parts. If you are using a wireless keyboard, remove the batteries. On the other hand, if you decide to clean your laptop, make sure that you shut it down and unplug it from the power socket. A can of compressed air will help you get rid of dust that is trapped between the keyboard keys. Apple recommends using Clorox Kitchen disinfecting wipes or Lysol Wipes. Steer clear of wipes that contain bleach as the chemical components could damage parts of the keyboard.

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