How To optimise Your New Mac And Make It Run Like A Dream

macbook air

Photo: Dylan Love

The unfortunate reality is that lots of personal computers ship pre-loaded with crap you don’t want or need.Compared to companies like HP, Apple’s products arrive quite clean, but there are still some extra things you can do to clean them up even more.

What follows are some tips and tricks to help you make your new Mac a little newer.

Take note of your file count

This is purely for your own gratification so you can see how much garbage you get rid of during the process.

Open Disk Utility and highlight the name of your Mac's hard drive near the top of the left-hand column. Make sure that the 'First Aid' tab is selected in the upper centre of the window, then look at the bottom of the window and jot down the figures next to 'Number of Folders' and 'Number of Files'. We're going to make those numbers a lot smaller.

Use Monolingual

Monolingual is a free piece of software that will wipe out all the extra language data you don't need.

All software from Apple comes loaded with extra data to display menu text in dozens of different languages. For us, we only need English.

Check the boxes for each language you want to get rid of and click 'Remove.'

Use App Zapper to delete unnecessary programs

Lots of the software on your Mac has hidden preference and data files. It's not enough to simply throw an application in the Trash and delete it -- you need a way to locate these hidden files.

App Zapper is the way to do it. It will find the files in question and automatically put them in the Trash.

Delete printer drivers

Apple didn't include any printer drivers with Lion, but for those of you using an older OS, you can delete loads of unneeded data by wiping out your printer drivers folder.

The drivers live at 'Library/Printers.'

Install your favourite browser

If you want a browser built for speed, we recommend Chrome. If you want a robust and extensible browser for tackling a number of different tasks, go for Firefox.

customise the dock

Add the programs you want, remove the ones you'll never use. You can also turn on auto-hide, which will make the dock disappear until you mouse over it.

customise the Finder

The Finder is a useful tool for navigating files and applications stored on your PC. You can customise the left toolbar to provide shortcuts to the folders you access the most. Drag them into the 'Places' section of the Finder for easy access.

Check out how many files you've deleted

Repeat the same process on the first slide to see how many files you've wiped out and how much space you've freed up. You'll be pleasantly surprised!

Keep things running smoothly with Onyx

Onyx can be set up to run automated maintenance tasks for you Mac. Think of it as a housecleaner.

We like having it configured to automatically run its tasks in the middle of the night when it won't interfere with anything.

Now that your computer is as optimised as it can be...

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