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What do you do each time you finish using your Mac?
Do you shut it down, or do you put it into Sleep mode? Should you perhaps Log Out of your user account before you walk away?
The below article from MacWorld seeks to answer these questions.
To Sleep or Not To Sleep
I generally just put my Macs to Sleep instead of shutting down - and I certainly don't log out.
For my MacBooks, this means just closing the lid. For my iMac, it means click on the at top left and choosing Sleep from the list of options.
In addition to this, I have my Macs set up to automatically go to sleep after a period of inactivity. So, if I forget, the Mac will go into Sleep mode relatively quickly anyway. I also have my Mac set up to require a Password to unlock it if it goes to Sleep - thereby keeping any unauthorised eyes from accessing my account.
If you are not sure how to set your Mac up to do this, or want to know how to change the applicable period before sleeping or requiring a passcode, here is the separate iTandCoffee article on this topic.
When to Shut Down
Once or twice a week, I will make sure to shut each Mac down completely to, as described in the above article, do a bit of a 'clean out' of temporary files and other things that do not get cleared unless you shut down or restart your Mac, and to allow any new software updates to be installed.
I will also perform a Restart (from the menu) if I start getting the 'spinning beachball of death',or if my Mac seems to be mis-behaving.
Why would you Log Out
If your Mac is one that is used by more than one user - and you have more than one User Account on the Mac - it is a good idea to Log Out before walking away from the computer, so that your account is not left logged in when the next person comes along to use it.
Too often I deal with families who complain of very slow performance from their Mac, only to find that they usually have two or more users logged in at a time. If each of these users has multiple Apps open, the Mac can grind to a halt due to lack of available memory.
So it is a good practice to get the family to Log Out each time they finish using the Mac.
Does your Mac re-open a heap of Apps when it restarts?
When you do start up your Mac again, do you find that it seems to automatically open up a heap of apps and windows? This can dramatically slow down your startup process and can be very frustrating.
Here is the link to a separate article on this topic.
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