When I first got my Macbook Pro for college last year, I Googled everything I could about tips, tricks and changes I could do to personalize my computer. One of my biggest worries was that after a few years of owning this baby, it would eventually become slower. Little did I know that there are a bunch of steps you can take to ensure that your computer will be good shape - and even cause your Mac run faster - in a few years.
Delete apps and files
The number one thing that clogs up your computer are files and applications. Do a quick audit of what you have on your computer and delete anything you don't use or need anymore. Put files in Dropbox, iCloud, or Evernote. Delete files from your "Downloads". Organize what you have and keep the desktop free from clutter. Having excess items on the desktop can result in slower loading times due to the fact that the desktop is the first page that loads! Also, don't forget to empty the trash bin after you've dumped a bunch of items in there!
Restart your computer at least twice a week
I'm one of those people who almost never shuts off my Mac. I almost always have it sleeping. One day I realized my computer was lagging more than usual. I did a little research and found out that your Mac has a few tools that it uses automatically to help maintain itself. Some of these tools only run during shutdown and startup. Get into the habit of powering down your computer at least twice a week. A simple restart before you go to bed each night works too!
Quit, don't just close, apps
Most apps don't completely quit when you click the red button. The application continues to run in the background in an effort to start up again quickly. If you're done using the app for a bit, quit it completely. Command Q is a quick shortcut. Or you can right click on the app icon and click Quit.
Manage your startup items
When you start up your Mac, a lot of things load up in the background. Get a faster Mac startup by removing unnecessary apps. Go to System Preferences > Users and Groups > then click on your username. Now click on Login Items, click on the name of the application you don't need at startup, and then click the "-" sign located at the bottom left to remove the app from the list. The less apps on the list, the better!
Keep your computer cool
A hot computer is a suffering computer. If you feel your computer getting warm or hear the fans turn on louder, place your computer in a place where it can get good ventilation. On a Mac, the vents are in the back by the hinge.
If you use your laptop on your lap, in bed, or on top of any sort of blanket, place the laptop on a lap tray, box, or something else that is flat and sturdy. Overheating your computer can be very damaging to the hardware, so make an effort to keep it cool.
Another way to keep your computer from doing more work and possibly overheating is to control Adobe Flash. A lot of embedded videos use Flash, and while it's not a bad thing, the content can sometimes be annoying. Installing a Flash block extension allows you to control what you want to play.
For example, if you went to a website and there's some ad content on the side that uses Flash, it won't load. But if there's a video somewhere that you do want to see, all you need to do is simply click on the blank space and the video will load! Blocking Flash essentially blocks unnecessary loading that slows down your browser.
Delete the cache and cookies from your internet browser
If your browser is slow, everything else seems slow too. Delete the cache and cookies every once and awhile to give the system a nice refresh.
It's been said that Macs are immune to viruses and other things that are common on Windows. Because of that, many Mac users never even think to install antivirus protection. But that's not the case anymore.
Turns out, it's not impossible to create a virus that affects a Mac; it's just more difficult than with Windows because of nature of OS X and its security model. Think of all the hackers who would spend their time creating a Mac virus, just to be able to prove that Macs are vulnerable.
Also, security issues might allow some form of attack, even if it's not in the form of a virus. Something might erase your data or gain access to your personal information. Either way, having some form of protection will ensure that you're taking the right measures to protect both you and your Mac.
I have Avast Free Antivirus installed on my Mac, and I love it! It's free, simple to install, and updates automatically to keep protection current. I encourage you to use it!
What do you do to keep your computer in good condition?