Maintaining OS X, generally

You have suggested performing a few maintenance operations that may improve speed. What would they be? Are they simple to perform?

Mac OS X actually does a lot of maintenance for you in the background. There are a few symptoms that require application of some basic clean-up, which can be done in the Terminal, or with a simple tool such as Maintenance (the same developer also makes the more robust OnyX, and there are several other similar packages, including CocktailMacaroniLeopard Cache Cleaner, et al. The only times we have to use things like DiskWarriorTechTool, or the like are when the Mac is barely functioning.

It’s important that one read up on the different functions each of these applications performs, and when you would want to use each. They can be sledgehammers, and your problem might be more mosquito-sized.

Author: jjmarcus

Apple Specialist, Mac Whisperer, Cloud Wrangler - Your Remote CTO

2 thoughts on “Maintaining OS X, generally”

  1. I run the full set of tasks in Cocktail every 6 months or so. And I perform a “Archive and Install” when installing a new OS. Do you think I’m well covered with these policies?

  2. Archive and Install, definitely. I won’t ever install OS X any other way.
    The Cocktail suite (tools also accessible in the others I mention) is fine and, in the wisdom of my people, “it couldn’t hoit!” But I find that you don’t really need ’em until you need ’em. If the Mac refuses to launch the right application when asked, you rebuild the LaunchServices database. If Spotlight is misbehaving, rebuild its database. If text looks stupid, clean the font caches. (Actually, I have found that a corrupt font cache can screw up other things, including preventing applications from launching.)
    I do not miss the bad ol’ days, when we would have to run periodic maintenance to keep our Macs in line. Remember rebuilding the desktop? Blech! I don’t even have to “repair disk permissions” anymore — Apple and 3rd-party developers are way more savvy with OS X’s file permissions; Leopard is better designed in that way… and in so many others.

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