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Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac

Save 50% with the 4-Book
Mac Fitness Collection

Save 50%! Buy with Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac and Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac for only $30.00!

Jan 23, 2019

Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, Third Edition

Keep your Mac running smoothly and prevent common problems with a simple, do-it-yourself maintenance program!

Macs, like all machines, are prone to break down eventually—in either a physical sense (a component going bad) or a logical sense (files becoming corrupted, apps misbehaving). You can reduce the risk of such problems, and minimize the damage when they do occur, with a regular maintenance regimen. This book contains simple steps you can take to keep your Mac humming.

In much the same way that you brush and floss to prevent cavities, or change your car’s oil periodically to prevent engine damage, you should eliminate the crud on your Mac (whether that’s dust, outdated apps, or useless files) and perform other tasks to keep it healthy. By doing so, you’ll improve your Mac’s performance, prevent problems, and increase your productivity.

In this book, best-selling author Joe Kissell helps you start on the right foot by addressing common maintenance issues, and then covers simple tasks you can perform periodically to keep your Mac in top shape. He also helps you discover useful utilities for automating parts of the process and dispels common misconceptions about maintenance.

This book covers 10.9 Mavericks or later, including 10.14 Mojave.

Save 50% when you buy the complete 4-book Mac Fitness Collection (which also includes Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac, and Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac—a $60 value—for just $30.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Keeping Software Up to Date: Figure out what software on your Mac is out of date, whether automatic updates are a good idea, and how to keep up with the latest bug fixes.

  • Removing Digital Clutter: Find and remove old software, useless files, unneeded login items, and other items that can take up valuable space and cause performance issues.

  • Preventing Data Loss and Theft: Make sure your backups are in order, your passwords are strong, and other security details are under control.

  • Testing Your Hardware: Discover the easy (and free!) way to make sure your Mac’s logic board, RAM, hard drive or SSD, and other components are in good shape.

  • Using Maintenance Utilities: Find out which maintenance apps are most useful, which should be avoided, and what to watch out for when using third-party utilities.

  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, & Yearly Tasks: Performing quick and easy maintenance tasks on a regular schedule can prevent small problems from turning into major disasters.

  • Maintenance Myths: Conventional wisdom is often wrong. Don’t waste time or effort on maintenance tasks that most people can safely avoid.

  • Preparing for a macOS Upgrade: Apple is now upgrading macOS on a yearly schedule. Find out what you need to know to be ready for the next major release.

  • Monitoring Your Mac’s Health: Learn how to keep track of your Mac’s RAM, disk, CPU usage, and network usage; internal temperatures; and more.

What happened to Maintaining Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide?
Long story short, this is an updated version of the same book, with a different title. The Joe On Tech book started out as Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, and now it’s back home in the Take Control catalog.

What's New

What's New in Version 3.1

Version 3.1 is a minor revision that brings this book up to date with macOS 10.14 Mojave and various changes in third-party software. Along with numerous small edits, this version contains the following significant changes:

  • Explained the new user interface for automatic updates in Mojave and later; see “Turn On Automatic App Store and macOS Updates”
  • Updated the description of CleanMyMac to cover changes in the current version, CleanMyMac X
  • Removed outdated advice about Mac notebooks with removable batteries; see “Exercise Your Notebook’s Battery”
  • Added more recommendations for anti-malware apps; see “Install Anti-Malware Software”
  • Updated the list of browser extensions for blocking ads and cookies; see “Delete Your Cookies”

Along with hundreds of minor adjustments, here are the major changes in the third edition (version 3.0) since Maintaining Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide, version 1.1:

  • Updated the book for compatibility with macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • Removed mentions of CrashPlan and replaced them with Backblaze (or other backup apps, as appropriate)
  • Revised my advice for automatic installation of system data files and security updates in “Turn On Automatic App Store Updates”
  • Added more detail about how much available disk space you may need in “Clean Out Accumulated Cruft,” and added a sidebar, “How Much Disk Space Is Really Available?”
  • Updated my recommendations about how much RAM you need in “Be Sure You Have Enough RAM”
  • Expanded and revised my advice about how to use Optimized Storage
  • Updated the advice in “Exercise Your Notebook’s Battery”
  • Offered additional advice (and deleted some that’s no longer applicable) in “Install Anti-Malware Software”
  • Updated “Delete Your Cookies” to reflect recent browser versions
  • Added iStat Menus to the list of monitoring utilities
Update Plans

January 23, 2019—This book is now up to date with coverage of Mojave. After the next major release of macOS, we’ll consider updating it again.

Posted by Joe Kissell

  1. Joe Discusses the New Editions of His “Mac Fitness” Books

    I joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices (audio and video) to discuss the new editions of Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac, and Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac—including their transition from Joe On Tech books back to the Take Control world:

    MacVoices #17227: Joe Kissell Releases Four Take Control Titles Updated for High Sierra

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

The Author

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