Tune-up a MacOS Device

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SummaryRefresh your MacOS device and help it run better
AuthorMaintained by Rob Shin
HelpGet help with this article
StatusUp-to-date for the 2023-2024 school year.

General Maintenance Tips

  • Prevent data loss: Time Machine backups OR put everything into Google Drive
  • Upgrade the operating system to the latest version
  • Keep your software up-to-date in the App Store and elsewhere
  • Reboot the machine regularly (once per week is good)
  • Delete stale wireless preferred networks in Network Preferences.
    • NOTE: If you use iCloud Keychain, any wireless networks you have connected to, on any Apple device also connected to iCloud Keychain, will appear in the list of preferred networks.
  • Zap the PRAM (also called NVRAM)
    • For M version Macs: Shut down the computer. Leave it off for several seconds and the M chip is supposed to detect if there's anything wrong and reset it. Then power it back on. There is no actual keyboard command to reset it anymore.
    • Reboot, then hold command-option-P-R until you hear the chime twice
  • Boot into Safe Mode by holding Shift during the startup chime
    • This will clear the Mac's cache files; just log in (twice if you have FileVault turned on), and then restart once more
    • For M version Macs:
      • Shut down the laptop
      • Power on while HOLDING the power button
      • Options and disks will appear
      • Hold SHIFT key and click "Continue in Safe Mode"
  • Install anti-virus software (we use Sophos at RCS)
  • Review the Trash and empty it
  • Review contents of Downloads folder and delete files that you don't need
  • NOTE: You're also welcome to open a ticket and we can assist you with a performance tune-up!

Browser Fixes

  • Chrome Task Manager - like the Activity Monitor, but for Chrome (if you use Chrome)
  • Check browser extensions / add-ons: Running a lot of them can slow down your browsing
  • Clear your browser (especially Chrome): history, cache, passwords - these things can dramatically speed up Chrome
  • Restart your browser: Especially after clearing things above
  • Reset your browser: This is a last-case fix, so come discuss with the Tech Dept before doing this