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Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac
Aug 23, 2012

Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, Second Edition

Keep your Mac running smoothly with our easy maintenance program!

Regular maintenance is necessary for peak performance and to prevent problems, but it’s hard to know what to do and when to do it. Never fear, because you can now turn to best-selling author Joe Kissell, who walks you through his commonsense approach. Read this ebook to learn how to start on the right foot; what you should do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly; and how to prepare for OS X updates. Joe even explains how to monitor your Mac’s health and debunks common panaceas.

More Info

Whether you’re using 10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion, or 10.8 Mountain Lion, you can find answers to questions such as:

  • How can I tell if my Mac is likely to have trouble?
  • How can I find out which unnecessary files are taking up space on my disk?
  • Should I defragment my hard disk and repair permissions regularly?
  • What are the safest ways to clean dust and crud from my Mac?
  • What is the best way to keep my software up to date?
What's New

What's New in Version 2.3

Version 2.3 is a minor update intended primarily to bring the book up to date with 10.8 Mountain Lion. Most of the changes are quite small, but a few are worth noting:

  • Updated the instructions for using Software Update in Mountain Lion, where the feature is incorporated into the Mac App Store app; see Turn On Software Update and Use Software Update to Install Apple Updates
  • Included details about how to Run Apple Hardware Test on recent Mac models
  • Modified the discussion of Safari Main, Favicon, and Preview Caches to cover Safari 6, which has different options than in earlier versions
  • Expanded my recommendations in Install Anti-malware Software to reflect Mountain Lion’s new security features

What Was New in Version 2.2

Version 2.2 contained numerous small changes throughout to bring this book up to date with information about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, other recent software and hardware releases, and my two other Mac Fitness books. I also did the following:

  • Completely overhauled the instructions to Run Apple Hardware Test to work with any Mac that can run Leopard or later
  • Added information about using Recovery Mode in Run Disk Utility
  • Mentioned the capability of creating encrypted—yet bootable—external disks using Disk Utility in the sidebar External Drives and Security
  • Updated the instructions for clearing Safari Main, Favicon, and Preview Caches to reflect the latest version of Safari
  • Provided instructions on changing the password associated with an Apple ID in Look for Passwords to Change
  • Slightly updated my advice on free space in Disk Usage, and added information about re-downloading iTunes content in the sidebar Deciding Which Files to Delete

What Was New in Version 2.1

In version 2.1, I scrubbed the book to purge outdated bits and brought the information in line with current versions of Mac OS X and third-party software and services. I also:

  • Added information about the Mac App Store in Update Third-Party Software
  • Increased the amount of RAM recommended in the sidebar Be Sure You Have Enough RAM
  • Expanded and updated the sidebar External Drives and Security
  • Revamped the section Consider Clearing Certain Caches to reflect my current recommendations
  • Added a sidebar about additional Trash to empty: Empty Application-Specific Trash, Too
  • Updated the instructions in Check for Take Control Updates
  • Removed the section about cleaning your iSight camera as a separate task, and merged that information with Clean Your Screen
  • Revised my advice about the amount of disk space to leave free in Disk Usage

What Was New in the Second Edition

The second edition was a major revision, extensively updated with the latest information on Mac maintenance. Among the most significant changes are these:

  • Updated information about utilities for uninstalling applications, finding large files, and removing duplicates (see Clean Out Accumulated Cruft)
  • Revised and expanded conversations with experts on several maintenance topics, plus new conversations about defragmenting disks (Defragment Your Hard Disk) and using antivirus software (Install Antivirus Software)
  • Corrected information on the way periodic maintenance scripts work in Leopard and later (see Make Sure Scheduled Maintenance Tasks Run)
  • Completely revised advice on using antivirus software, resulting in moving that discussion from the section on preliminary tasks to Things You Might Never Need to Do
  • A new recommended weekly task (Empty Your Downloads Folders), monthly task (Test Your Backups), and yearly task (Check Your UPS Battery)
  • A list of software that can assist you in clearing particular caches if the need arises (see Consider Clearing Certain Caches)
  • Descriptions of several programs that can monitor your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. status in Check Your Drive’s S.M.A.R.T. Status
Update Plans

May 4, 2017 – If you are looking for an update to this title, look for the Joe on Tech version, which replaces it and covers later versions of the Mac operating system.

Posted by Tonya Engst

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control ebooks. He also runs Joe On Tech and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.