Low on cash going into winter? Me too. I’ve been creating a little cash flow by cleaning up some of my old standby Mac computers and selling them. On my end, getting an older computer ready for a new home entails scrubbing the hard drive, a fresh install of the operating system, an a wipe-down of the computer’s exterior. For the Mac’s new owner, buying a refreshed machine means a fair bit of setup work. After all the digits have been updated and new software installed I recommend using the Mac’s own wonder-app, Disk Utility, to clean up the disk’s permissions.
Mac running slow? Some Mac users opt for great cleanup utilities like the free Onyx, but I’ve found that Disk Utility is easy to use, and its “Repair Disk Permissions” function delivers noticeable results (You might also try the command line program AppleJack on really old Mac, or check out this in depth article on Mac Disk Utility permissions repair at The X Lab). The operation I’m describing in this Mac Cleanup how-to doesn’t just apply to fresh installs–this is my go-to method for fixing my Mac whenever it feels sluggish or starts having software issues. Basically, when the spinning wheel of death gets you down, let Disk Utility come to the rescue.
- As Steve The Mac Man pointed out on a separate forum, always back up your machine before running software like DiskUtility. Additionally, a slow machine or the spinning beach ball might indicate that your hard drive is reaching its capacity, or that your desktop is overloaded.
- To Start, navigate to Applications>>Utilities and click on Disk Utility
- When Disk Utility opens you’ll see a list of all connected drives on the left. Click on the hard drive image that contains your operating system (it’s usually the uppermost drive). You want to click on the drive icon that’s indented–it should have the same name as your main drive on the desktop.
- I usually skip “Verify Disk Permissions” and head straight to “Repair Disk Permissions.” Click the button, go get a cup of coffee or tea, and wait for the utility to clean up your Mac. If you’ve been using an older machine for a while now, repairing disk permissions could take a while.
I usually run permission repairs on older machines at the end of the evening, but if you use Disk Utility as part of a regular maintenance plan for your computer you’ll find that most repairs happen pretty quickly.