Your Guide to Routine MacOS Maintenance

There are over million active users of Apple Macs and MacBooks globally.

So how are we all looking after our Macs?

With a regular maintenance routine, our Macs will last even longer and operate as smoothly as when we first bought them. So, what MacOS maintenance should you be doing?

Have a Clear Out

We often keep things we don’t need, so it’s good to have a sort through and clear out stuff we don’t need anymore.

By freeing up space on your hard drive, you are lifting a weight from your Macs shoulders, so it can move a little faster.

To check how much space you have left on your SSD, head to the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen. 

Click About This Mac. From here, you can see all your Macs specifications, but the tab we are looking for is Storage. Give it a click and you can easily see what space you have and how much you’re using.

If you’re SSD is looking kind of full, click on the Manage button for some options to free up some space.

Store in iCloud

This lets you put all your files, photos, and messages in the iCloud and removes them from your hard drive. It leaves anything recent so files you’re using currently are still available. It does only have a free 5MB capacity though.

Optimize Storage

If you use the TV app, this option will remove shows and movies after you’ve watched them.

Empty Trash Automatically

This option does what it says on the tin, so to speak. It clears anything in your Trash that has been there for more than 30 days, so you don’t have to!

Reduce Clutter

This lets you manually go through your files and folder, removing anything you know you don’t need anymore.

Buy an External Hard Drive

Of course, the hoarder in all of us may not be ready to let go just yet. If you don’t want to shell out every month for extra cloud storage, consider buying an external hard drive.

This way you can remove all your old files from your Mac but still have them on hand if you need them or want to take a trip down memory lane.

Remove Unused Apps

We all have programs we don’t use anymore. Maybe they seemed fun when we first had them but the novelty has worn off. Maybe they were for work and we just need them anymore.

Uninstalling apps you don’t need will free up space. To do this, first remove any shortcuts from your desktop. Now head to your Applications folder or the Launchpad. 

Application Folder

You may have a shortcut to this in the Dock or the sidebar of your Finder window. From here you can simply click and drag your unwanted apps over to the Trash. Poof!


Open Launchpad from your Dock shortcut or the Applications folder. Click and hold an app or press and hold the Option (⌥) key to reveal little crosses next to each app.

Click on a little cross to uninstall an app and confirm you want to delete it. If an app doesn’t have a cross, it’s needed to run your Mac or it didn’t come from the App store. In this case, use the Finder method instead.

Clean the Cache and Downloads Folder

Two places we forget about where the KBs and MBs start to add up fast are the cache and Downloads folder. Don’t forget about them when keeping your Mac clean.


There are ways to manually clean your cache, and lots of apps to help you too.

It can be as simple as opening your browser, heading to the tools or settings, and finding the Clear Cache option. Or it can be an in-depth and thorough clear out of files and folders on your Mac. 

Downloads Folder

You can find the Downloads folder from the dock shortcut or the Finder sidebar. Drag items into the Trash or move them to an external hard drive.

Speed up Start-Up

Does your Mac take a long time to turn on? It might be due to the number of apps that start automatically when you turn on your Mac.

This is often a forgotten part of macOS maintenance, but you should check it from time to time, especially if you download new apps regularly. 

Head to the Apple logo in the top left again. Click on System Preferences, Users & Accounts, then log in.

Remove any apps from the list that don’t need to start up every time you turn your computer on.

Remove Resource Hoggers

Some apps use more memory or processor power than others. To check on the worst offenders, go Application, Utilities, and Activity Monitor.

Use the CPU and Memory tabs to check how much memory or processing different apps are using up.

You can either remove the worst offenders completely if you don’t really need them. Alternatively, if your Mac becomes suddenly slow, head here to check the cause and close the apps until you’ve finished the task at hand.

macOS Maintenance for the Outside

With all the technical know-how of maintaining your system, you might forget about the Mac itself. Part of keeping your Mac clean should involve giving the outside a wipe with a damp cloth to keep it dust-free.

Don’t forget your keyboard and mouse too.

Mac Happily Ever After

So now you know how to perform regular MacOS maintenance and keep your Mac happy.

Do you need to know Mac keyboard shortcuts? Read this article to learn more.

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