Skinny Down Your Mac OS X

I am forced to use Windows computers in my day job but for personal use I am Mac all the way. If you use a mac you already know why. If you love Windows I’m happy for you but no point in reading on – this is a Mac only post.

I was reading the current (April 2007) issue of Mac Life Magazine (formerly Mac Addict) this morning and I ran across a really interesting series of articles about all the fat installed with Mac OSX and how you can trim it up to save some disk space and/or RAM.

I’m always short of disk space so I thought I give a couple of them a try. The first suggestion was to go into the /Library/Printers folder and remove all the printer drivers that aren’t being used. It seems that OS X ships with hundreds of printer drivers and most simply lie there unused taking up disk space. In fact, when you get a new printer it invariably will come with a CD containing new drivers so I really can’t see a reason for keeping all these drivers around. I went to this folder and found tons of drivers all segregated by manufacturer. The only printer I’m currently using is an HP so I just moved all the other manufacturer folders to the trash and emptied it. net result – a new 1GB of free disk space!

Next the article suggested removing language support that is not being used. I rarely used the Dzongkha language installed on my Mac along with many others. Mac Life suggested a freeware program name Monolingual to assist in this removal. I downloaded and installed Monolingual and told it to keep English as well as English (United States) and remove the other languages, including Dzongkha. If you do this double check that you are keeping every language you might want as it takes a reinstall of OS X to get them back. Kick off Monolingual and get comfortable – it takes a while. Once it finished its job on my system it reported back that it had freed 1.3GB of disk space.

So there you have it, I read an article, tried a couple of suggestions and found myself with almost 2.5GB of new disk space. Quite a morning, I need a nap.

If you’d like to read up on all the other suggestions for slimming down your Mac pick up the current issue of Mac Life or, better yet, get a year subscription for about $10 at Best Deal Magazines. Yeah, I know they say it costs $5.95 but watch out for that sneaky $4.69 processing fee.

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One Response to Skinny Down Your Mac OS X

  1. icedmocha says:

    Good suggestions. Sometimes I wonder why the default install isn’t more streamlined. There is so much extraneous stuff.

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