How to perform maintenance on Mavericks?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by MacNoobGuy, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    #1
    Hi all, I'm running Mavericks and I'm really happy with it so far.

    I've only been on a Mac for 18months now so I'm still learning after using Windows for so long. In Windows I always ran defrag, check disk etc once a week.

    I've got no problems in OSX Mavericks, but I just wanted to know what I could do to help keep OSX running fast and reliably. In other words, I'm wanting to prevent problems before they happen.

    I'm still trying to learn the Terminal. Is there anything in the Terminal I can do?

    Thank you for any help!
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Do nothing. Your Mac defrags as it goes. It does not need periodic maintenance outside of what is automatically scripted to run
     
  3. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    As robbieduncan said, don't do anything.

    There are various programs out there which say you need them to *optimise* or *maintain* OS X, but you don't need them, and they often cause more harm than good or just slow your computer down. OS X will manage itself fine without any help.

    The only time you should be looking to use either terminal command or pieces of software to fix things, is when things have actually gone wrong.
     
  4. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    #4
    Alright, thanks.

    I just thought there might be something I could as 'prevention' rather than stressing out when something actually does go wrong.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
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    London
    #5
    Your Mac already does this in the background. If there was a task that could be performed periodically/always Apple would include it in the regular automatic maintenance scripts.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    Disregard the previous comments in this thread.

    The Mac OS requires periodic maintenance as does ANY computer OS. Granted, the Mac OS requires less than some others, but even the Mac OS needs cleaning and maintenance from time to time.

    For routine tasks, such as cleaning of logs, "cron jobs", emptying of caches, etc., I'd suggest either of these:
    - OnyX
    - Maintenance
    You can find these here:
    http://www.titanium.free.fr

    Your Mac does some small "defragging" on its own, but NOT to all fragmented files, and ONLY to files of certain sizes. Over time, you will end up with a drive with hundreds or thousands of "fragmented bits of free space" and files scattered all over. Less a problem with SSDs, but still can impact the performance of HDDs.

    See if you can find a copy of "DriveGenius", and then examine the drive using the "defrag" option. You'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.
    These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.
    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance. OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
     
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    Macs don't need "maintenance". You also don't need antivirus software either. The HFS+ filesystem doesn't need defragmentation like NTFS does.

    If you're the more IT kind of guy, you can do the verify disk and verify/repair disk permissions functions in the Disk Utility app. But usually those functions are reserved for when you have actual disk-related trouble.

    As CE major, I recommend disregarding Fishrrman's post. He is correct in saying the the filesystem does defragment small files and largely leaves larger files fragmented but unless you're downloading large (>GBs) extremely frequently, there is nothing to worry about. Again, in the average consumer use case, just use your Mac and it will automatically take care of itself.

    ----------

    Yes, but over that same amount of time, you'd have probably have upgraded to a new computer. Or reinstalled the OS at some point.
     
  9. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    OS X runs its own maintenance scripts so the user doesn't have to do anything.

    EDIT: Also worth noting that most modern (desktop) OS's now don't really need any maintenance with the exception of installing updates for security and bug fixes.

    Onyx is great if you have something wrong with OS X that it can fix, otherwise it's either pointless and in some situations can cause issues.

    - You shouldn't need to clean the logs, unless something has gone wrong and they are filling your drive.
    - Cron has mostly been depreciated now, with launchd as its replacement. I guess you could try turning some of these scheduled timed jobs off but you would really want to know what you are doing before messing around with them.
    - Emptying caches tends to be pretty pointless unless something is wrong, as all it means is that the computer slows down for a bit while the caches are rebuilt.

    The effect of this on a modern system is pretty much zero, with the exception of large files on an almost completely full hard drive. So its pretty much a waste of time.
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #10
    The only time I've ever had problems with the OS was after I had installed several little (and recommended) programs to "maintain" and "optimize" the OS. Eventually I messed things up enough I had to do a clean install, and ever since then I have let it manage it's own affairs. And have had virtually no problems. So my advice is to just leave it alone, unless and until, you really know what you are doing. IMO, most of the advice on optimizing and maintaining OS X is based on older versions of the OS, and fix issues that existed 5 or more years ago, and have no basis for the current OS.

    There are exceptions for specific situations of course, but until and unless you really really know what you are doing.... just leave the OS alone. Really.
     
  11. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #11
    In Mavericks I sometimes in Safari do a 'Reset Safari' sometimes to clean out old cookies and internet cache. Plus in 10.9.0 I found in Safari's Preferences, Advanced mini-tab and put a checkmark in "Show Develop menu in menu bar" and use that menu's item 'Empty Caches' about every three days.

    Plus once in while I go into System Preferences->Flash Player and select "Delete All" to clear out hidden Flash cookies.
     
  12. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #12
    I totally disagree with those that say "Macs don't need maintenance". They occasionally do. And there are several routines and options, but a bit of trusted tidying occasionally is probably a good thing. Not really meant for the casual user though.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    I believe there is a difference though between running maintenance stuff just to run it, and doing maintenance to resolve specific issues. For the first situation, too many people are running scripts that do more harm than good to resolve issues that don't actually exist. For the second situation you need to understand what the problem is, and have good information that the proposed maintenance is actually going to resolve it. I don't think the OPs question is about this second situation at all. Just my 2¢ though.
     
  14. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    #14
    Okay, thanks. Is there any way that I can see that these maintenance scripts are running in the background?
     
  15. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #15
    Try Activity Monitor, although many are set to run at times you are unlikely to be using the machine. Some run at startup; start your Mac in verbose mode if you want to see them. You may see Spotlight reindexing; it shows as a bar under the magnifying glass.

    And no, Macs don't need to be messed with for "maintenance" unless you are into customizing settings that could have ugly results. I'm all for doing that if either you have problems (sometimes a cache or messed up prefs, e.g., or a need to reindex spotlight), or if you just like playing around. Both assume you don't do real work and have lotsa spare time. And if you go that route, learn about what your are messing with before you try them and don't rely on advice from somebody in a forum like this. If you can do better than Apple engineers, have at.
     
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #16
    Are you worried that your system is broken?

    If you are really interested in knowing how your system works because you have a deep and abiding interest in computer science, then my advice would be start taking courses and really digging deep. I'm sure there are lots of free resources. Perhaps sign up as an Apple developer - perhaps there are resources available to the developers that aren't easily accessed by the general public (others who actually know are invited to chime in here).

    However, if you just have an idle curiosity and want to tinker… then make sure you have some really really good back ups. In my experience, most of the people asking for help on these forums are doing so because they messed things up - on their own - using just a little bit of knowledge. The more I leave my system alone… the better it runs. I also don't ever update the OS (or anything important) for at least a week - if not a couple of months. While Apple engineers are way way way smarter than I am, they are not perfect. So I let other people's systems blow up first on those rare occasions that Apple really messes things up.

    my my 2¢ worth….
     
  17. w0lf macrumors 65816

    w0lf

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    In terminal
    Code:
    ls -al /var/log/*.out
     

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