New to Mac/Maintenance

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ram171, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Ram171 macrumors member


    Apr 5, 2012
    Hello everyone. I purchased a new mac and I love it. I've been a pc guy all this time and dont know why I didnt make the move sooner. I've got a few questions though. The first being maintenance. On windows i had system utilities and disk defragmentation and all that. How can i be assured the mac is running smoothly? is there a disk defrag? Do I need to do it? i just want to keep my mac running right like i used to do on my pc.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "is there a disk defrag? Do I need to do it?"

    You will be told (see reply #2) that "you don't need to defrag on the Mac".

    This is deceptive.

    The Mac OS will indeed defrag -some- files, but not all of them, and it doesn't do ANYTHING for the "gaps" left between files on your drive's platter. Over time the drive becomes more and more fragmented, and the Mac slows down (many, MANY posts about "slow Macs" here at

    If you'd like to see what I'm talking about, download the iDefrag demo from this page:
    ... and take a look at the drive. You'll see just what I'm referring to.

    This doesn't mean you have to defrag all the time. But periodically, it's a very useful procedure.

    Other "routine maintenance" tasks would be repairing permissions (at least weekly), running the "cron jobs", and cleaning caches. For these tasks, consider the freeware called "Oynx":
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Cleaning caches actually makes the Mac slower, as it has to recreate the deleted content upon needing that content.
    Repairing permissions weekly is a misconception, I haven't repaired permissions on any of may main Macs for over a year.
    The iDefrag demo is something I tried and my external HDDs using HFS+ with 100s of GBs of data and a lot of traffic where all fragmentised less than 1 %. On Windows it was always 20 % and up.

    Here and here are further details.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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. Some 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. Some of these apps delete caches, which 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.

    Mac 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.

  6. 2oahu macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2012
    This is not exactly a maintenance task but, before you do anything you should get an external HD (preferably with Firewire) and start using Time Machine to start backup.

    Once the 1st full backup is done, you should download and install Use the tool to adjust the frequency of backup by Time Machine. By default Time Machine wants to run a backup once every hour, which I find excessive.

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