Mac Tip #133/21-Jan-2004
Spring Clean your Mac
As we enter a new year it’s a good time to do a bit of spring cleaning, tidying, backing up and organising.
Over the summer holiday I spent some time doing just this. I first went though my files and trashed a lot of things I knew I no longer needed on my Mac.
Then I made a gigantic archive of all my data and confirmed I could open the archive files.
Next I filed a lot of items I still wanted for reference on the computer into folders labelled 2003. I trashed other items I want to keep but can refer to from my archive. I also created folders for 2004 and transferred or copied items into them as relevant. For my regular daily, weekly or monthly backups I will need only to back up the 2004 folders as the 2003 folders won’t change.
I also went through my email and did some similar filing. I caught up on a lot of unread newsletters and unsubscribed from many which were no longer strictly relevant or interesting.
Once I’d finished moving all my files around and trashing whatever was no longer needed I emptied the Trash, quit all the programs which were running and turned to some routine maintenance.
On OS X it’s a good idea to occasionally repair permissions. I’ve written about this before so check Tips 109 and 110 in the archive if you need information.
There’s also regular maintenance your Mac should do on its own but might not for various reasons. This includes cleaning out cache files, rotating logs and similar. MacJanitor is good at ensuring these are done. It’s free software.
I also make sure to install updates to my software (especially free ones) as they become available. If you don’t then you should check around and make sure your Mac’s up to date. Under OS X be sure to check the Software Updates section of the System Preferences. If there are many updates you might prefer to buy an update CD (about $20) from an Apple reseller such as Magnum Mac or an Apple store.