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Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, 3rd Edition

Book Description

Keep your Mac running smoothly and prevent common problems with a simple, do-it-yourself maintenance program!

Updated January 23, 2019

Macs, like all machines, are prone to break down eventually--in either a physical sense (a component going bad) or a logical sense (files becoming corrupted, apps misbehaving). You can reduce the risk of such problems, and minimize the damage when they do occur, with a regular maintenance regimen. This book contains simple steps you can take to keep your Mac humming.

In much the same way that you brush and floss to prevent cavities, or change your car's oil periodically to prevent engine damage, you should eliminate the crud on your Mac (whether that's dust, outdated apps, or useless files) and perform other tasks to keep it healthy. By doing so, you'll improve your Mac's performance, prevent problems, and increase your productivity.

In this book, best-selling author Joe Kissell helps you start on the right foot by addressing common maintenance issues, and then covers simple tasks you can perform periodically to keep your Mac in top shape. He also helps you discover useful utilities for automating parts of the process and dispels common misconceptions about maintenance.

This book covers 10.9 Mavericks or later, including 10.14 Mojave.

What You'll Learn:

  • Keeping Software Up to Date: Figure out what software on your Mac is out of date, whether automatic updates are a good idea, and how to keep up with the latest bug fixes.

  • Removing Digital Clutter: Find and remove old software, useless files, unneeded login items, and other items that can take up valuable space and cause performance issues.

  • Preventing Data Loss and Theft: Make sure your backups are in order, your passwords are strong, and other security details are under control.

  • Testing Your Hardware: Discover the easy (and free!) way to make sure your Mac's logic board, RAM, hard drive or SSD, and other components are in good shape.

  • Using Maintenance Utilities: Find out which maintenance apps are most useful, which should be avoided, and what to watch out for when using third-party utilities.

  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, & Yearly Tasks: Performing quick and easy maintenance tasks on a regular schedule can prevent small problems from turning into major disasters.

  • Maintenance Myths: Conventional wisdom is often wrong. Don't waste time or effort on maintenance tasks that most people can safely avoid.

  • Preparing for a macOS Upgrade: Apple is now upgrading macOS on a yearly schedule. Find out what you need to know to be ready for the next major release.

  • Monitoring Your Mac's Health: Learn how to keep track of your Mac's RAM, disk, CPU usage, and network usage; internal temperatures; and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Basics
    3. What’s New in Version 3.1
    4. What Was New in the Third Edition
  2. Introduction
  3. Quick Start
  4. Start on the Right Foot
    1. Install the Latest Version of macOS
    2. Turn On Automatic App Store and macOS Updates
    3. Update Third-Party Software
    4. Clean Out Accumulated Cruft
    5. Turn Off Unneeded Login Items
    6. Set Up a Backup System
    7. Test Your Hardware
    8. Run Disk Utility
    9. Use a Surge Protector or UPS
    10. Update Weak Passwords
    11. Use Optimized Storage
    12. Consider Maintenance Utilities
  5. Perform Daily Tasks
    1. Update Your Versioned Backup
    2. Check for Software Updates
    3. Empty Your Inbox
  6. Perform Weekly Tasks
    1. Clean Up Your Desktop
    2. Empty Your Downloads Folder
    3. Update Your Bootable Duplicate
    4. Rotate Physical Backups Offsite
    5. Install App Store Software Updates
    6. Check for Other Software Updates
    7. Restart Your Mac
    8. Check Your Spam Mailbox
  7. Perform Monthly Tasks
    1. Empty Your Trash
    2. Use Disk Utility’s Repair Disk Feature
    3. Test Your Backups
    4. Consider Clearing Certain Caches
    5. Clean Your Screen
    6. Clean Your Pointing Device
    7. Exercise Your Notebook’s Battery
    8. Check for Ebook Updates
  8. Perform Yearly Tasks
    1. De-Dust Your Mac
    2. Clean Your Keyboard
    3. Make Archival Backups
    4. Remove Unneeded Files
    5. Check Your UPS Battery
  9. Maintenance Tasks to Skip
    1. Repair Permissions
    2. Defragment Your Hard Disk
    3. Make Sure Scheduled Maintenance Tasks Run
    4. Install Anti-Malware Software
    5. Change Your Passwords
    6. Delete Your Cookies
  10. New Releases of macOS
    1. Buy Take Control of Upgrading to…
    2. Make a Fresh Bootable Backup
    3. Upgrade
  11. Monitor Your Mac’s Health
    1. Use Monitoring Utilities
    2. Check Your Drive’s S.M.A.R.T. Status
  12. Learn More
    1. Websites
    2. When All Else Fails
  13. Periodic Task Checklist
  14. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author and Publisher
    3. Credits
  15. Also by Joe Kissell
  16. Copyright and Fine Print