Cleanup, you can rid your Mac of duplicate or orphaned
files, all those ‘read me’ files you no longer
need, aliases that point to nowhere, and completely uninstall
applications, much more thorough than just dragging an
icon to the trash. Once you have run a search, you will
be presented with a list of all the files on your Mac that
match the search criteria. As an example, on a search for
duplicate documents, Spring Cleaning found no fewer than
3639 files that had a duplicate somewhere on my computer.
Once a file is selected, separate windows open to show
you a preview of it, as well as its location on your computer.
Be forewarned though, just because you have two of the
same file doesn't necessarily mean that you can safely
delete one. It might be fine to trash one of the duplicate
pictures of your dog but a font file in two different program
folders may be a necessity and could render one program
unusable. Delete judiciously. Spring Cleaning also offers
a lot of help in determining which file to delete as not
only is the file name listed, but also its properties including
size, type and modification date. Once you have your duplicate
items highlighted, you can choose to move them to a separate
folder, archive them, or trash them altogether. Advanced
alternatives are also available like running an AppleScript
but like I said before, I'm a new Mac user so the advanced
stuff will be left to those with more experience than me.
Speaking of being a new user, how in the world did I manage
to duplicate almost 3600 files? The picture files I can
understand – that would be me playing with iPhoto’s
import settings, but 3600? Imagine the disk space I am
about to reclaim once I'm finished this clean up task.
an experienced Windows user I know the value of maintaining
my PC. A lot can be accomplished just by identifying
a damaged file, or emptying out my Internet caches and
the same can be said for Mac OS X. Under the Maintenance
category, Spring Cleaning will not only check for files
that are damaged in some way and help clean out the Internet
caches but will also find empty folders and aliases that
no longer point to anything. Here again, how does a new
computer end up with 202 empty folders? Goofy third party
software for one thing and programs with default folders
that just haven't been used. So again, you might want
to be careful in choosing to delete a folder. As before,
when a folder in highlighted in the list, both a preview
of the folder and its location on the drive are shown
so you will know exactly where the folder is and whether
or not it is a good choice to delete.
file checker will find any damaged files, but it can't
fix them. Once Spring Cleaning shows you which files
are damaged, you will have to decide whether or not you
can delete them. Deleting damaged files will often fix
a problem program; it's almost better to not have the
file at all than to have a broken one get in the way.
While Spring Cleaning will not fix a broken file, it
will tell you where the problem is and that is more than
half way to finding a solution.
options include the aforementioned Duplicate Finder and
Alias Fixer but it also includes a program to find orphaned
files, items which are no longer associated with a program
and a Document Finder. This option can come in very handy
if you have a lot of documents on your disk that were
created by a piece of software you are no longer running.
Once located, you can decide to trash the files or archive
them in a separate folder. From there, burning them to
CD is a simple click away and you can use those files
on another computer that is still running the parent
the most necessary things you can do to clean up your
Mac is to run the Cache and Cookie finder and MailCleaner.
The Internet Cache finder looks for all those superfluous
files that web browsers keep. These files make loading
web pages faster as they contain pictures and other information
that the browser would have to otherwise download every
time that particular site is visited. Unfortunately,
if your cache size is too large that can make for a lot
of useless files and cookies. Every once in a while it’s
a good thing to just clear the whole thing out and start
it all over again. Spring Cleaning will allow you to
trash the selected files, or archive and store them,
or perform other advanced options such as excluding them
from future searches. There may be files that you want
to keep but don't want to see every time you run a search.
Spring Cleaning can be configured to ignore them. I ran
the Internet Cache finder and was able to reclaim 35MB
of disk space. Not bad!
(and it's about the only negative thing I can say about
this version of Spring Cleaner) MailCleaner, the part
of Spring Cleaning that rids your drive of unwanted or
hidden e-mail attachments, only works with Entourage,
Eudora and Outlook Express. A few weeks ago I started
using Mozilla’s Thunderbird which MailCleaner does
not recognize. I'm hoping for an update to Spring Cleaning
that will include compatibility with Thunderbird and
whatever else comes along in the way of email software.
once all this Spring Cleaning is done you will have regained
dozens if not hundreds of megabytes of hard drive space.
So what if you make a mistake? Do not panic because Spring
Cleaning includes a Restore option that will allow you
to undo many of the actions taken in the process of cleaning
up your hard drive. You're safe, until you're sure.
only usage caveat worth mentioning is that your Mac contains
thousands (if not tens of thousands) of files on it and
some of Spring Cleaning’s searches can take a while.
This is not something you want to do just before bedtime.
Take a couple of hours, brew a cup of tea and go through
the cleaning process one category at a time. With a complete
online guide giving you step by step instructions and
full explanations of each process, running Spring Cleaning
on your Mac, new or otherwise, is easy. Regardless of
how long it may take, once completed and you see the
amount of drive space regained, you won't regret it.
Clean systems run faster and more efficiently. Highly