If you have been having trouble with your Mac - perhaps finding it is slow, or getting the 'spinning beachball of death' far too often, it may be that you have problem with your Mac's hard drive. Or there may be a simpler fix for your problem.
I was asked this week if it is worth downloading a product like 'Clean My Mac' or MacKeeper' to do a cleanup of a mis-behaving Mac.
My answer is a big NO, that I would not download any such app. I would instead use some build-in utilities provided by Apple on your Mac, as well as performing some basic checks and tasks.
A checklist for improving your Mac's performance
Before you go looking for other potential causes of problems with your Mac, go through the list below. (iTandCoffee Club members can get the detailed instructions for how to do each of the below in the Handy Hint: A checklist for fixing a slow or misbehaving Mac.)
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What of the none of the above helps?
I should say here that if you haven't done a backup lately, then it is probably time to do one NOW, to avoid losing your precious files, especially your photos, should you be unable to 'recover' from the problems that are occurring on your Mac.
If none of the above suggestions seem to resolve your Mac issues, it's time to look at whether there are problems with your Mac's hard drive, RAM, and maybe hardware.
In fact, it is worth checking your hard drive's health on a regular basis. In writing this article and recording the Handy Hint to demonstrate how to check your hard drive, I actually found that my own Mac had an issue that needed to be fixed! Thank goodness I checked!
Checking for problems with your Mac's hard drive is quite easy, using a utility that is provided on every Mac.
iTandCoffee Club members can learn about how to find and use this utility in the below members-only tip.
What to do if a problem is found and you are told to use 'Recovery' mode to attempt a repair
When you perform this check of your Mac hard drive, you may find that a problem is detected that can't be resolved immediately (as happened to me today!), and that you are told to attempt a further repair from a mode called 'Recovery'.
Learn about how to access and use Recovery Mode in the below Handy Hint for iTandCoffee Club members.
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More tips for troubleshooting Mac problems
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