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As most of you know, the Mac OS is a UNIX-based operating system. UNIX systems have a way of maintaining themselves through scheduled maintenance routines that clean up a variety of system logs and temporary files. These automated scripts generally run in the wee hours of the morning (somewhere between 3am and 5am). However, if your Mac is turned off or in sleep mode during these hours, these maintenance routines will not run.

A healthy Mac is a regularly maintained Mac. So if you don’t leave your Mac on and awake over night, it’s best to run these maintenance routines on a regular basis.

You can do this manually by typing the following into a Terminal session:

sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

Using Maintenance Applications

There are a number of 3rd party applications that do this work (and more) for you. Some of these are free, some cost. Check them out:

My current preference is Cocktail, which has a free version and a paid version.

I’d like to hear from folks who have other opinions and experience with these types of applications.