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Optimising Apple Mac OS X Mountain Lion

It is important to optimise your Apple Mac Operating System every now and again to keep things running quickly and smoothly. This article will provide you with a few quick and easy ways to improve how your computer runs, like clearing out login items, removing old files and keeping you Mac software up-to-date.

Software Update

Keeping your Mac computer software up-to-date is essential. This helps to protect your machine and its data, as well as ensuring it stays compatible with the latest 3rd party software and hardware. OS X will occasionally advise you if there are important updates available, but you can also check for yourself at any time.

To manually check for Mac software updates:

  1. Agent tip

    It’s a good idea to do a manual check for Mac software updates once a week.

    Click the Apple symbol in the top left of the screen and choose 'Software Update'
  2. If updates are available, it will ask if you want to install them. You can click on 'Show Details' to see which updates are going to be installed
  3. You might be asked for your user account password when you try to install the updates. If you don’t have one, leave the box blank and press 'OK'
  4. The updates will be automatically installed for you. It is best to have the charger plugged in if you are using a Macbook, to make sure the computer doesn’t shut down half way through the process

Apple will occasionally release security updates via over-the-air software updates, so it is essential to install these whenever they become available to protect your Mac computer from viruses and malicious software.

Removing Login Items

When you turn on your Mac certain programs will load up automatically, even if you do not need them. These programs are known as 'Login Items' and they can be enabled or disabled to suit your needs. By disabling the 'Login Items' you don't need, you can improve the speed and performance of your computer.

To access Mac Login Items:

  1. Agent tip

    If you have any applications that you use every day, you can add these to the Login Items list using the + button and choosing the app from the list that comes up.

    Click the Apple symbol in the top left corner of the screen and choose 'System Preferences'
  2. Click 'Users & Groups'
  3. Login Items can be configured for each user account separately. Make sure the correct account is selected in the menu on the left side if more than one person logs on to your computer
  4. Click 'Login Items' and you will see a list of programs that are set to automatically start when you login with this user account. The more items that you have in this list, the longer it will take for the Mac to load up
  5. To remove an item from the list, click on it to select it and click the – button. The Mac will still work normally, even if there are no items at all in the Login Items list

Clearing out old files

Temporary files will build up on your system over time, and will eventually start to take up space and slow things down. They are largely unnecessary and clearing them out every now and again will keep everything running as slickly as possible.

You can delete temporary files from the system manually, but this is a long winded and complicated process. Luckily, there are a number of programs that will do this automatically for you.

On my Mac, I use a program called 'CCleaner' to clean out temporary files for me. This is free to download from the Apple App Store and is really easy to use. You just need to open the program and click on the 'Clean' button. It is best to just use the default settings as this will ensure you only clear out unnecessary files. CCleaner will then clean out any old files, and when it's finished you'll see a report of how much space has been recovered. Running an optimisation program like CCleaner should help to keep everything running smoothly.

I hope these few simple tips help you to enjoy your Apple Mac desktop or MacBook even more, and remember if you ever need any help Geek Squad are available 24/7 via our UK freephone number. We can help you with anything from potential virus infections to setting up new software.

If you need help configuring your computer, phone or tablet Geek Squad can help. We offer malware removal, device set-up, software installation and more. Learn more.

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