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How to clean a Mac - inside and out

Macs need cleaning both inside and out, so we touch on both of these points, plus 5 easy things you can do to clean your software and hardware for a better running computer.

Delete temporary internet files

If left unattended, files like these can build up and potentially slow down your machine. This is if they play a part, among other files, in stopping you from having the necessary 10 - 20 GB free hard drive space your Mac needs to work properly. As a quick win, the good news is that cleaning these files can rapidly free up some hard disk space anyway. So, let's quickly run through how to clean up a Mac that's using the popular browsers Safari and Google Chrome before jumping to the next topic. If you're a Google Chrome user, click the three-dot menu on the top-right corner of your browser screen, go to 'Tools' and then 'Clear browsing data'. For Apple's Safari, it's a similar process. Click the drop-down menu named 'Develop' and click on the part of the menu saying 'Empty caches'. Browser data is fairly easy to clear, but that doesn't account for other annoying files most computers, like your Mac, collect. CCleaner for Mac can help with these and also clean web browsers. 

Clean the outside

Getting macOS running well by cleaning out junk files and more is the main priority, but if you need to clean the outside of your Mac because you're selling it on or you own a shared household computer -  keep reading. If you're wondering how to clean a Mac in this way, Apple has some great recommendations of their own. Whether you're the proud owner of an Apple Notebook or Desktop device, it's recommended that you steer well clear of cleaning chemicals, abrasives, or aerosol sprays that could damage the surfaces of your Mac. Your best bet is a nice and simple lint-free cloth that's slightly damp, and be careful not to let moisture get to the inner components of your Mac. Now let's return to our main topic.

Disable startup programs

If you've had your Mac a while or you use it a lot, there's a possibility that you've installed a lot of apps on macOS. This becomes an issue if nearly half of these launch by themselves every time you start your computer. You need some of these programs but others could be sapping valuable processing power from your machine, particularly if you don't need to use them regularly or you've stopped using them altogether.

macOS gives you a way to fix this. Visit 'System Preferences', go to 'Users & Groups', and find and click on your username. For the next step, click 'Login Items'. From here, you can find and select any apps you don't want to launch during your Mac's startup process. Going through these simple steps should help to speed up your Mac. If you haven't checked out our website before, what you may not know is that CCleaner for Mac has a really easy way of solving this problem too, one of the many features that we've built into our app. 

Repair your disk permissions

Disk permissions help stop third-party apps from interfering with your Mac. If these get broken, they can meddle with how your Mac accesses files. An obvious sign of this could be if your macOS applications aren't starting properly, crashing, or just generally don't perform as normal. 

macOS does provide a way of fixing this, including older El Capitan versions of the operating system. One of these involves specific command prompts to access the right information. 

For versions of macOS that are El Capitan or older, place this command (below) into the 'Terminal' window (excluding the inverted commas):

'sudo /usr/libexec/repair_packages --verify --standard-pkgs /'

Doing this helps your Mac check whether it has valid permissions. If you see "permissions differ" appear at any point, you can fix this with this command:

'sudo /usr/libexec/repair_packages --repair --standard-pkgs -- volume /'

If you're not confident about how your Mac's software works, we understand using 'Terminal' might seem a bit intimidating. That's exactly why CCleaner includes 'Repair Permissions' as one of many features of CCleaner for Mac. If you want to know how to clean a Mac so that it runs more efficiently, this is definitely worth considering. It takes the stress out of you having to do some technical investigation yourself - easily identifying any offending mismatched 'permissions' after running a quick search across your system. It also makes it easy to delete them. 

Download CCleaner for Mac

macOS has various in-built features to help you with the upkeep of your Mac's software and hardware, but going through all of these can potentially be time-consuming and may require some specific technical knowledge you don't necessarily have time to learn. If you want to find out how to clean a Mac and want a simple solution, the good news is that CCleaner for Mac has most of the important areas covered. It can free up valuable hard disk space by cleaning unnecessary files, disabling unnecessary startup programs, and even makes uninstalling unused apps taking up space on your hard disk very easy too. 

To find out more about it, see here.

FAQs

  • Why is my Windows 10 running slow?

    Every version of Windows has quirks. Windows 10 is no different. There are many factors that slow down this operating system, including insufficient RAM, full hard drives, performance settings, irregular updates and more.

  • How do you fix a slow computer?

    Getting a slow PC or Mac fixed partly depends on its specs and operating system. More than this, you need to understand what kinds of problems impact all computers, such as full hard drives, viruses and malware and more.