MacBook regular maintenance (also for other machines)

Those are the steps I usually do to cleanup, verify and recalibrate a MacBook regularly. Those steps should work for iMacs too (except the battery recalibration and similar stuff) and can be used as a general guideline for other operating systems too but with other software tools than the mentioned ones. Perform them in this order if unsure.

A note about the battery calibration: verify if your laptop model requires it at your vendor, including Macs.


  1. Close all running programs and applications, if possible
  2. Perform a backup of the whole machine. On a Mac: use TimeMachine
  3. Empty the trash can
  4. Check for unused and removable apps; use AppCleaner
  5. Check for unused files and remove them or move them to another machine or disk
  6. Perform a backup of all the e-mails in your e-mail client. Export your mailbox with Apple Mail or, if Thunderbird user, consider the add-on ImportExportTools.
  7. Vacuum Apple Mail database to improve it’s performance by running this command in a terminal: sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope\ Index vacuum;
  8. Update the packages with your favorite package manager; if you use Homebrew: brew update; brew upgrade; brew cleanup
  9. Update the software installed with any market or store; AppStore updates
  10. Perform a disk integrity check. Run _verify disk_ with disk
  11. Still using disk, verify and correct the disk permissions
  12. Perform a full-system scan with your favorite antivirus
  13. Recalibrate the battery of your laptop; follow this guide for MacBooks (see below for short version)
  14. Perform an SMC reset and a NVRAM (a.k.a. PRAM) reset (see below for short version)
  15. Add a log entry in
  16. Clean the computer screen with a clean cloth
  17. Clean the keyboard, touchpad, laptop case, charger, mouse and other peripherals with alcohol
  18. Perform a reboot

MacBook battery calibration

Be sure to take the right time to do it, since it forces your MacBook to be charging without interruptions and shut down for some hours.

  1. Fully charge your MacBook’s battery
  2. Let it rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours
  3. Prevent the sleeping of the computer using Caffeine
  4. Disconnect the power adapter
  5. Use the MacBook until the battery dies (save your work first!)
  6. Let the MacBook sleep discharged for at least five hours
  7. Charge it until it’s full again

CoconutBattery helps take track of the improvement this process does to the battery capacity.

SMC reset

  1. Shut down
  2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter, if its not already connected
  3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift+Control+Option keys and the power button at the same time for about 3-4 seconds. Release them together. If you see the MagSafe LED blink or change color, then you’ve done it right, but sometimes the LED stays still
  4. Power on

NVRAM (a.k.a. PRAM) reset

  1. Shut down
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in the next step
  3. Turn on the computer and quickly press and hold the Command+Option+P+R keys before the Apple logo appears
  4. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound
  5. Release the keys
  6. Reconfigure speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection and time zone information if needed
Categories: Computer
Tags: Backup // Calibration // Cleanup // Wipe // Software // Mac // Tip