Restore Your Mac to Its Former Glory with These 5 Cleanup Tips

So you’ve been using your Mac for a while now – and it shows. Your once-speedy machine has become frustratingly sluggish. Is it time for a new one?

Not a chance. Macs have notoriously small hard drives, and they’re prone to getting clogged up with unwanted files that can really take a bite out of their performance. But that’s good news because it means it’s easy for you, the user, to fix up your Mac by cleaning out the hard drive. Anyone, no matter how technologically impaired, can follow these five simple tips.

Cleanup macOS

1) Update the OS

If you’re not running the latest version of your Mac’s system software, it’s no wonder your machine is running slow. Go to the Apps Store and click on the Updates tab. Install any macOS updates listed there. These can include patches for security flaws as well as performance improvements.

Are you running an older version of the macOS? You may want to consider upgrading your entire OS to a more recent version i.e. Mojave (10.14), High Sierra (10.13), Sierra (10.12), El Capitan (10.11), Yosemite (10.10), or Mavericks (10.9) are all free, and upgrading to one of them may improve your Mac’s performance.

2) Install a Reputable Mac Cleaner App

The easiest way to clean junk files from your Mac is to install a reputable Mac cleaner app. There are plenty of easy-to-use and free apps available, but we recommend Dr. Cleaner. Dr. Cleaner makes it easy to remove junk files, including temporary files, mail caches, orphan files that remain after uninstalling apps, large files, and duplicate files. You can even lock important files onto a protected list so that they won’t be deleted by accident.

3) Clear Your Mail Downloads Folder

Did you know that every time you open a message with an attachment in Apple Mail, a copy of that attachment gets automatically downloaded into your Mail Downloads folder? We bet you didn’t even know you had a Mail Downloads folder. Automatically downloaded attachments can add up fast, and you might find that you have hundreds of files just sitting there on your hard drive, in a folder you didn’t even know existed, taking up space and slowing things down.

To get rid of these files, press Command+Space to open Spotlight, and then enter “Mail Downloads.” Tap Enter on the folder that appears and let your mind boggle at the sheer enormity of this waste of precious storage space. If you’re using a POP email server that doesn’t keep copies of your attachments after you download them, you may want to retain at least some of these files, just in case you need them in the future. But if you’re not using a POP email server, enjoy the satisfaction of deleting every last one.

4) Uninstall Apps You’re No Longer Using

If you’ve had your Mac for a while, you probably have more than a few apps and programs you’re no longer using. Some of them may be taking up quite a bit of space. In your Applications folder, sort the apps by size, and then cull the unused ones, starting with the largest. You can always re-download anything you purchased from the App Store, should you experience deletion regret in the near or distant future. For third-party apps, make sure you have a license key written down somewhere before you go scorched earth.

Using a Mac cleaner app to remove unwanted apps is usually the best way to go, because simply dragging the app into your trash will delete it, but will leave behind orphan files scattered around your hard drive. Often, these random junk files don’t take up that much space, but every little help and a cleaner app will help you track them all down.

5) Tweak Your Login Settings

Does it seem like your Mac takes about seventeen days to boot up? You probably need to tweak your login settings. Go into System Preferences, and click on Users & Groups. Select the Login Items tab, and remove anything that doesn’t need to be launched at startup. This will stop your Mac from trying to launch 37 apps at startup so that you can actually use your computer within a century of turning it on.

When your Mac’s performance starts to flag, don’t despair. You don’t need a new Mac – you just need to spruce up the old one. Clean out junk files, delete old apps, update your OS and tweak your login settings. Soon, your macOS will be running well as new.

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