Apple Support

Wizard Electronics supports the full range of Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Mac Pro Desktops, Mac Air and Macbook Pro notebooks.

Apple have an excellent reputation for reliability and performance, however things can still go wrong and need attention occasionally. Call us anytime for free advice or to book your Apple device in for service.

Here’s some advice if your machine’s performance has dropped or if you are experiences crashes or software not responding. I’ve collected notes from a few sites to summarise the key issues and resolutions.

Optimising a Mac OS

Check OS System updates and Service Packs for Office – check latest versions installed and do not trust “check for updates”, as Service Packs may not be included but are essential for security and performance.

Be aware of Updates that are installing – this may take several days for an OS upgrade such as Sierra. Leave the Mac running overnight to complete indexing and other OS tasks.

Antivirus and Antimalware Software – whilst Apple keep a lock down of their operating system, some software when installed can really impact performance, despite promising to improve it. If you have children or sensitive data or business processes, then consider an Antivirus product. Beware though, things like MacKeeper, MacAdware Cleaner, Mac MegaBackup and Advanced MacCleaner are all known malware products themselves. Remove these, and consider a brand such as Kaspersky Total Internet Security, which includes tools like Parental Controls and supports all Apple products. Check current reviews for system impact – for example Norton’s has the worst impact on system performance as of 2016.

Check Login Items – Apple, System Preferences, Users and Groups, Login Items Tab. Disable any programs you don’t need to start on boot.

Hard drive – Verify and check it’s not nearly full. Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility -> select drive -> click Verify Disk. For performance consider installing a new SSD drive or HDD.

Permissions –  check using command prompt only if you’re having relevant issues such as “insufficient rights or permissions”. Usually not an issue, see online for more info.

Corrupted preferences files – a common problem when programs wont open or crash. These are stored in Your Home Folder/Library/Preferences for the associated program. Move/delete/rename the file, if it doesn’t fix it you can restore it to restore preferences. See the following site for more info.  .

Reset SMC and NVRAM – for trackpad issues, wifi, battery or status lights not working. See sites below for more details.

SMC – System management controller

NVRAM Non-Volatile Random Access Memory –  Settings that can be stored in NVRAM include sound volume, display resolution, startup-disk selection, time zone, and recent kernel panic information. The settings stored in NVRAM depend on your Mac and the devices you’re using with your Mac.

Reduce Transparency System Preferences > Accessibility> Display : this reduces graphics demands on the system.

Disable FileVault –  usually disabled by default, this encryption service can really effect performance if it’s been turned on.  

Change Spotlight Settings – System Preferences > Spotlight – you can reduce search size/items to minimise indexing overhead.

Do a clean install – a great resolution to a host of issues, however note that you will need to reinstall applications and backup your data first.

RAM  – check how much memory you have and if your machine supports an upgrade, this may cost $100 – $200 if you do it yourself.

Use Safari – Chrome uses more resources and more battery power – batteries last up to 2 Hours longer using Safari instead of Chrome.

Desktop – icons are stored in memory, so it pays to keep a tidy desktop.

Defrag – not required as HFS+ runs in the background on most macs.

Hopefully this helps with those slow Macs, please call anytime for further assistance or to book a technician to run through these checks either remotely or onsite.

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