Spring clean your Mac device
LAST week, we showed you how to "spring clean" a Windows computer for Chinese New Year. But what if you're a Mac user?
There are some differences but fret not. Here are some handy tips to help you clean up, declutter and speed up your Mac for the festive period.
RUN VIRUS AND MALWARE SCANS
These days, you never know if your Mac computer has caught a bug from somewhere. Avira Free Antivirus For Mac is a free app that helps you scan your Mac and remove worms, Trojans, rootlets, spyware and all sorts of nasty stuff.
Avira does install an annoying menu bar icon and if you're particular about that kind of thing, a simpler malware scanner to try is Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.
THROW OUT LARGE, OLD FILES
Delete huge files you've had on your Mac for ages to free up disk space.
DaisyDisk is a beautiful app that analyses and visualises the biggest files taking up space on your hard drive. It can even do the same for your external drives.
DaisyDisk normally sells for US$10 (S$13.90).
UNINSTALL OLD APPS
Uninstalling old apps can also free up space on your Mac. Uninstalling apps on the Mac is as easy as deleting them from the Applications folder but, sometimes, associated files hidden elsewhere remain behind.
To make sure you do a complete clean, use an uninstaller like AppCleaner (free) or AppZapper (US$13).
RUN FIRST AID ON YOUR MAC
Use your Mac's built-in Disk Utility to verify and check your hard disk. If you're running OS X Yosemite and below, you'll need to open Disk Utility and click "Verify Disk". If any errors appear, click "Repair Disk".
If you're running OS X El Capitan, you might notice that Disk Utility has been completely redesigned. Instead of "Verify Disk" and "Repair Disk", there's a single option to run called "First Aid".
If you're not sure where to find Disk Utility, use Spotlight, the magnifying glass on the top right corner of your menu bar, to search for it.
OPTIMISE YOUR MAC
Mac users don't really have to deal with defragmentation, unlike PC users, but there are still things you can do to optimise your Mac.
OnyX from Titanium Software is a free app that you can use to perform system maintenance and clean up. Another (paid) option is MacPaw's CleanMyMac 3.
SET UP TIME MACHINE
You should always back up your computer and OS X's Time Machine backup feature makes it so easy that there's really no excuse.
Get an external hard disk and plug it into your Mac. When you're asked if you want to use it for Time Machine, just say yes. Alternatively, if you already have an external hard disk attached to your Mac, click on "Time Machine" in System Preferences and select the disk you want to use for backups.
Because Time Machine compresses its backups, you don't need to use an external hard disk that has the same amount of hard disk space that your Mac has to do a backup.