Tune up your Mac – the easy way. Yasu is a free app designed to be your first step while troubleshooting.
Mac OS X has a well-earned reputation for stability, but that doesn’t mean problems don’t arise. If your Mac is acting odd, Yasu is designed to be a first line of attack. It runs a variety of common maintenance tasks that solve several superficial problems. It’s not a magical cure-all, and it’s not meant for routine maintenance, but it’s a good first step if your Mac is acting up.
It’s also really easy to use.
Just check the things you want to do, then click OK. The application will take care of the rest.
You probably don’t need apps like Mac Keeper for routine maintenance, but it’s worth having some tools around for troubleshooting. Whether you repair Macs regularly or just want to tweak your own, Yasu is a great first app to run when things get wonky.
What Yasu Actually Does
Of course, you shouldn’t run software like this unless you understand it. Let’s break down what Yasu actually does.
Runs Cron Jobs, Repairs Permissions
The first things you’ll see listed are the cron scripts:
What are these? Well, your Mac routinely runs three maintenance scripts – these are known as the daily, weekly and monthly cron scripts. TheXLab.com explains these scripts nicely, but to summarize the core functions of each script:
- daily runs once a day, deletes “scratch” and “junk” files.
- weekly runs once a week, rebuilds a couple of databases.
- monthly runs once a month, reports user usage.
This is a vast oversimplification, and the daily, weekly and monthly nature of these scripts has changed a little with recently releases of OS X – they’re somewhat inconsistent now. The main thing to take away is that you don’t need to be afraid of these scripts, because running them is something your Mac already does routinely.
This section also resets various permissions. Sometimes, when you’re installing apps, permissions can change without changing back. This option can help undo that, by resetting permissions back to the way they should be – similar to the “Repair Permissions” option in Disk Utility.
The next section of the app clears various caches.
Caches files are created by OS X and various applications to speed things up. Sometimes, but not usually, these files can become corrupt and slow your system down or otherwise cause glitches. Caches are made up of information your Mac can easily recreate, and clearing them out is a common troubleshooting step. The System, Local and User caches are all enabled by default.
The font cache doesn’t often need clearing out, which is why it appears unchecked by default. If you notice certain fonts aren’t showing up in all programs, or that some fonts aren’t loading properly, consider clearing the font caches as well.
Your Mac spends a lot of time making logs. Seriously, it creates a record of just about everything. This can be useful, but also takes up a lot of space, so you might want to clear them.
By default the system, application and archived logs are marked for deletion. Crash and error logs are not – it’s probably worth keeping these in case an expert needs to diagnose your Mac later.
Actually running Yasu couldn’t be easier. After picking which things you want the program to do, as outlined above, just click “OK”. You’ll need to enter your password:
Then the app will run. You can keep using your computer while it goes, or just watch what’s happening:
Note that the computer will shut down or restart when the processes are complete.
There aren’t many preferences to explore at all, unsurprising for an app designed to be simple.
You can head to YasuApp.net right now to download the app, which was recently updated to work with Mavericks.
Developer Jim Mitchell actually shut down development for Yasu last summer, only to announce its return last month. This former shareware is now donationware, meaning you’re free to use it but contributions are welcome. Donating helps ensure developers can eat as well as make new versions, so consider chipping in if you find the software helpful.
Other Apps For The Job
Yasu is simple, sure, but that’s by design. Its name – which stands for Yet Another System Utility – is a partial admission that there are plenty of other apps out there for the job. Yasu aims to set itself apart with its simplicity, and for that I’m thankful.
Want something more complex? Here are a couple:
- Onyx (free) gives you access to all kinds of hidden Mac options, as well as troubleshooting steps.
- MacBooster ($40) is a one stop Mac tune up. If you want something to clean your system without asking you questions, it might be worth checking out.
- MountainTweaks (free) is another slightly outdated but useful app for tweaking the way your Mac behaves.
An unrelated too that I’d also recommend is AppCleaner, which removes crap left behind by applications you delete. If you regularly try out Mac apps, it’s a must have.
Know of anything else worth checking out? Leave a comment below!
Image Credits: stethoscope Via Shutterstock