How to clean up your iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hazerjohn, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. hazerjohn macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    Hi everyone!

    I have a mid-2010 iMac and after 3 years, it's a total mess. Files & applications all over the place, desktop saturated, very slow speed, etc.

    It's time for a summer cleanup. What do you recommend doing at this point?

    Should I set the iMac back to factory settings and reinstall everything? This seems like a nightmare though. Or is their a way to get it fresh again by cleaning it up manually, going through all folders, etc?
  2. Mugwumper macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Temecula, CA
    Clear off your desktop first

    I vaguely remember reading something somewhere that each file you have on the desktop adds a not-insignificant amount of processing resources to keep track of them. If your iMac is a 27-incher like mine, it's pretty easy to have a ton of files on there - plus, if you're also keeping folders with photos or whatever in them, this adds another layer of effort.

    After a fair amount of re-thinking and re-organizing, I was able to remove almost all files (only have 5 or 6 now) from the Desktop, and had a noticeable bump in responsiveness.

    Another thing to consider (if you haven't already done this) is to increase the RAM. Going from 4GB to 8GB really helped me.

    Without knowing more about your slowness, you might use "Activity Monitor" to see if there are any suspicious apps sucking resources. I know that Chrome can be pretty piggish depending on how many tabs you have open.

    After you clean off the desktop, I'd also do a restart and then immediately check the "Activity Monitor" before running any other apps.

    Lastly, check your "Login Items" in the "Users & Groups" preference pane. I used to have a bunch in there (automatic things set by various apps), but now down to only 3 - and one of those may need to go. ;^)

    Hope this helps . . .
  3. hazerjohn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
  4. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012

    I have a 2010 i3 imac.
    Once i installed fresh the os and application i did a time machine backup and saved it on an extra drive.
    Now, when the system feel slow i first run onyx then if it doesn't correct the situation, i reformat the internal hdd and restore from my time machine backup.
    I the bring back my work files from other time machine backup.

    Also, 8 gig is the new 4gig. You really need at least that.
  5. hazerjohn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010

    I'm really tempted to do that as well but finding and reinstalling OSX seems like a nightmare. How would I go about doing that? Is there a way to install 10.8.2 directly?
  6. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    You just hold Option or Cmd and R while powering on. This will start the over the internet OS X reinstallation. You will have to log in with your applestore credential for it to begin.
  7. hazerjohn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    So no CD needed?
  8. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Nope. There isn't a CD version of any os x since Snow Lion I believe...


    The only negative is depending on your internet connection it may take a good while to finish. Best to do it overnight.
  9. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If I understand you, you want to start fresh with just the OS on the drive?

    If you just command-r and install, all that will do it reinstall the newest version of Mountain Lion (10.8.4), but it will not erase the drive and allow you to start fresh.

    To do that, do a command-r boot to recovery then start Disk Utility and use it to erase Macintosh HD. Then quit Disk Util and click install OS. Once that is complete it will restart and you will have nothing but the OS on there. Your user account and all apps and data will be gone. (It sounds like that is what you are trying to accomplish)

    Make sure you have a backup of all your data before you do this.
  10. hazerjohn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    Thanks! I found a very good guide here:

    Another question now regarding backup. Can I backup my iMac with Time Machine before erasing it and then access data again once I re-installed OSX? Meaning will I be able to access to specific folders in Time Machine? Or isn't that possible in Time Machine?
  11. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Yes you will...

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