A Mom’s Guide to a Faster Mac

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5 easy tips to speed up your mac

If  you are like me, the age of digital photography and HD video have MORE than bogged down your computer which is why I am happy to share these 5 easy tips to speed up your Mac with you today.

I often feel paralyzed by the endless amounts of digital files and raw footage of HD video on my Mac.

I’m not ashamed to say I’ve officially filled up my ENTIRE 1TB iMac.  I have no more room to store anything and the machine runs like me on a Monday morning.  S L O W.

5 Easy Tips to Speed Up Your Mac 

I had a recent One-to-One sit-down at the Genius Bar and I thought I should share a few SIMPLE tips that can help your computer run (almost) like new again.  Think of this guide as “Mac Clean Up for the Busy Mom.”

1.  Empty your iPhoto Trash

Did you know that if you delete a photo in iPhoto, it’s not ACTUALLY deleted from your hard drive?  Macs are smart that way and realize that there could always a chance you would want to recover a photo you accidentally deleted.

Find the TRASH icon on the left-hand menu in iPhoto click to empty it.  Then…those items will be moved to the Trash Can on your desktop so make sure to go to the Trash Can bottom right of desktop to empty that trash can as well.

Also, in the iPhoto menu, click -> Preferences and check the box “Turn On Item Counts”.  This will remind you in the future if there are any photos in your iPhoto trash for you to get rid of.  ***Note…if you are running Yosemite follow these directions…iPhoto is now just called “Photos”.  In the program click View—>Show Sidebar.  There is no more “Trash” folder there.  You can see recently deleted photos by clicking File—>Show Recently Deleted Photos.  It looks like those photos will live in the folder for approximately 30 days, then prompt you when they will be automatically deleted forever.  Just make sure you empty the Trash Can on your Desktop too!***

2.  Delete Your Download Cache

In simple language, this is when you view any video online, it’s actually stored on your hard drive.  Thus, taking up more space.

To delete, go to your Macintosh HD (your hard drive), click -> Users, go to your “Name”, then “Downloads”, click all those files and drag to the Trash Can.  Then, Empty Trash.  Notice a pattern?

3.  Disk Utility

Click on the magnifying glass and type “Disk Utility” then click ->Macintosh HD.  Click -> Repair Disk Permissions.  This, again, just deletes copies of unnecessary permissions.  I can’t really explain what that means because I didn’t understand myself, but it worked.  That’s all I can say about that.

4.  Photo and Video Storage

This was really my BIG problem area.  I had been storing all my videos and photos on my computer and backing up everything to Time Machine (if you haven’t done that yet…DO IT.  It’s so easy and automatically backs up your files for you).

Well then, I started the project of making home videos with all that footage.  As you can guess, only ONE got made in 6 years.  So, I had imported all that footage to iMovie.  What I learned going forward is to only store photos and videos on an EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE  like this one (affiliate link).  Then, when I am going to actually work on a project I can import them into iMovie or iPhoto, complete the project, then delete the unnecessary raw footage (like 30 minutes of a baby eating in a high chair?!) and EMPTY THE TRASH.

5. Update your Operating System (or OS)

Go to the App Store and click -> Updates.  You will see there if your OS is completely up-to-date.  The most recent OS will contain performance enhancements and security improvements to keep your Mac running smoothly and safely.

The Genius Bar guy said it’s important to keep at least 10% of your hard drive free of content for optimal performance.  To find this out, click -> Apple icon, click -> “more info”  then -> Storage and you can see what’s on your Macintosh HD.

Hope these tips help you – do any other experts have any tips to add???

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