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6 tips for cleaning your old Mac


If your Mac appears to be slowing down or becoming less stable in its performance, it’s likely it’s due to a little cleanup. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of regular maintenance every month or so to keep the device squeaky clean. Beyond physically cleaning your machine, which you should also do, you can use CleanMyMac for automatic cleaning which performs many of the functions below at the click of a button.

Clear cache

Cached files are temporary files that are supposed to help speed up processes. However, once they linger around and become obsolete, they become counterproductive and clog up our memory.

There are three main types of cache: System cache, user cache, and browser cache. System and user cache can be deleted manually by heading to the “~/Library/Caches” location (under Go -> Go to Folder). Try not to delete the folders themselves, but just the files inside each one. For browser cache, head to your preferred browser and look under history within the settings, this is usually where cookies and cache can be cleared.

Delete unnecessary apps and files

Over time, you will likely have accumulated your fair share of apps and software that you once needed but no longer do. If you cannot foresee yourself needing it within the next month or so, and cannot remember using it in the past month, you can likely get by with deleting it. In an age of fiber broadband, redownloading isn’t going to be much of an issue.

To delete the app, right-click it and press Move to Trash.

Sort out your downloads folder

If you thought your build-up of obsolete apps was bad, head to the downloads folder and take in just how unorganised and plentiful the useless files are. This is perhaps the place most in need of a tidy-up, and there’s no shortcut here, unfortunately. However, it is advised to make use of organised folders that can divide your files up to make them easier to find.

Empty the trash

Having deleted some of your old apps and files in downloads, these aren’t actually totally deleted. They’re in your trash in case you want to restore them. If you’re sure you want to permanently delete them, then you can clear some space on the Mac by emptying the trash.

Remove old backups

Backups are very important, but sometimes your Mac can make new backups without deleting the old ones. A build-up of redundant backups can cost you a lot in memory and are totally useless. To delete the old backups, head to the Apple menu, select About This Mac, press Storage, and click Manage. From here, select the iOS Files tab. Be sure to not delete an important (or your only) backup. To find mobile backups on the Mac, search here.

Tidy your desktop

Tidying up your Mac without sorting out the desktop would be like cleaning your home only to leave the hallway in a mess. A cluttered desktop can easily accrue, but it only takes seconds to actually tidy. Remember, most of what’s on the desktop are only shortcuts, so removing them won’t actually uninstall/delete the apps and files.