There’s no other way to put it: Those to of the range iMac Pros and MacBook Airs you bought for your business cost a pretty penny, didn’t they?

But hey, when you consider the superior performance and unrivalled functionality of an Apple computer, there’s no doubting that every last penny was worth it.

At least, it was until things started to go wrong.

After all, even the best computers on the market are accountable to the same laws of time as everything else – and then more you use that iMac to run your business, the more susceptible it is to performance issues, bugs, and other issues that could get in the way of using your Apple Mac to its full potential.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here, we reveal five Apple Mac maintenance secrets that can keep your computer in optimum condition and ensure a greater return on your investment

Close Down Services, Utilities, and Applications That Are Running in the Background

As we speak, you may be using your Mac to stream music on Spotify and read this article before flicking back to that document you were working on.

That’s three application at most, but we bet if you take a look, you’ll find a whole bunch of other stuff is running at the same time.

All those applications and utilities are taking up RAM and slowing down your computer, so it’s time to shut them down when they’re not in use.

First, start with services and utilities.

Look in the navigation bar where your battery and WiFi icons are. Next to those you’ll likely find a host of other icons for things like printers, Bluetooth, and file sharing networks.

Cut down on any that aren’t essential to your day-to-day usage to help improve performance.

Don’t worry, you can always go back and access those utilities again when you need them.

Next, look at the apps you’re using. it’s worth pointing out that even clicking that familiar X button at the top of a program doesn’t always turn it off completely but merely hides it from view, so you’ve likely got a whole bunch of applications running without even realising it.

Use ‘Force Quit’ to find out which ones are open and close them down to avoid using so much RAM and CPU that your computer starts slowing down to problematic levels.

Delete Old Files

We’ll take it for granted that you’re smart enough to be making regular data backups as part of your disaster recovery strategy, but are you remembering to regularly clear out old files after you’ve finished using them?

No?

Don’t worry, lots of people let old files build up to such an extent that they eat away at valuable disk space.

The less clutter on your computer, the more likely that computer is to run smoothly, so be sure to clean out on a regular basis, even if that simply means backing everything up to an external hard drive.

Experts recommend a minimum of 10% free disk space to ensure smooth performance, though obviously, the more space you can free up, the better.

Clear Out Your Desktop

On the subject of deleting files, the absolute best place to start is your desktop.

Every file and every icon preview on that desktop eats up valuable RAM, more so than with files saved in folders elsewhere on your machine. So, whilst dumping everything you do on the desktop may seem like a quick and convenient solution at the time, it could well be the main cause of a sluggish computer.

If you only take one Apple Mac maintenance tip away from today then, make it this one:

Move everything from your desktop into appropriate folders and delete anything you’re not using.

Run Disk Utility

Go to /Applications/Utilities and there you’ll find the Disc Utility app, which we recommend running on average every six weeks or so.

This has two main features.

First, it repairs disk permissions, a process vital to maintaining a healthy computer and which will serve you well in preventing most common Apple Mac errors.

The second feature is the repair disk tool, which should be your first port of call in the case of a corrupt disk or other serious hard drive errors.

Running this on a regular basis is important for identifying any issues and running vital repairs before those repairs do some lasting damage to your machine.

Run Software Updates

You’ll likely already be aware of software update alerts, both from Apple itself and the developers of the apps you use, but isn’t it always tempting to ignore them when they appear?

On the one hand, you might be wise to. Some new updates have their own bugs that could end up doing more harm than good, so it pays to hold of a few days and read up about new updates online to see if there are any issues and wait until they’re fixed.

Don’t wait too long, however, as those updates can be vital in eliminating bugs and vulnerabilities, keeping your Mac in optimum condition, and ultimately ensuring that those expensive computers you bought or your new business continue to deliver a solid return on your investment year after year.

About the Author

Mohammad Ali Khan is a Technology Consultant and IT Infrastructure Architect specialising in IT strategy, integration, and Microsoft Server Platform technologies. For the past 18 years, he has served as director of Pacific Infotech, a full-service IT support company empowering businesses to improve the efficiency of their IT infrastructures & DR Strategies.