Categories
COMPUTER REVIEWS SOFTWARE

How to Make Your Mac Run Faster

More often than not, we are finding that our hard disk is filling up every time we use the Mac. One of the reasons for this is the temporary files.

They can potentially take up a lot of space on your device and also make it slow. All you have to do is delete those temporary files on the Mac to regain extra storage.

So we’ll be discussing the best ways to get rid of them. Before go through the steps and solutions, we’ll discuss briefly what temporary files are.

The temporary files are created by a program on your Mac to keep the data temporarily. As the name suggests, these files are temporary and will be deleted automatically over time.

Following are the 4 types of temporary files on your Mac:

  1. Intermediate document versions
  2. Outdated system logs
  3. Browser cookies
  4. Application cache

Temporary files can be deleted by two methods.  The first is manual deletion which may be risky and the second is using tools that will save you time.

First Things First:

We’re always going to recommend and remind MacBook owners to make a backup before running any type tool, either with Apple’s Time Machine, a 3rd party tool or via the cloud.

It is also advisable to close all of your applications other than the tools outlined here.

How to remove junk files on your Mac with CleanMyMac X?

We already mentioned CleanMyMac X as a universal cleaning solution for your Mac. So how to clean system junk on your Mac with CleanMyMac X’s System Junk module?

1.Download CleanMyMac X for free here.

2. Launch it and select System Junk from the list of features on the left.

3. Click Scan.

4. After the scan is done, click Review Details.

5. Check the boxes opposite to User Cache Files, System Cache Files, Language Files, and other items you want to delete.

  1. Click Clean.

Download CleanMyMac X v4.

Find Duplicates with Gemini 2

One of the only features missing from CleanMyMac X is the ability to search for and remove duplicates.  The good news, the same developer of CleanMyMac X has Gemini 2 available as a stand-a-lone app to do just that job.  This isn’t related to tracking down and removing temporary files, but it is a great tool for organizing your files and removing duplicates that you no longer need.

1.Click on the big + sign or drag and drop your folders to scan.

2.Your scan is now completed, and you may Review Resultsor proceed with Smart Cleanup.

Download Gemini here.

Closing Applications and Restarting Your Mac

As previously stated, temporary files are generated by the applications, and also the MacOS itself.  So closing applications can remove some of those temporary files, and also restarting your Mac can do the same.

Restarting:

  1. Press and hold Power button for 2 seconds.
  2. Choose Restart, Sleep or Shut Down in the menu that appears.

Emptying the Trash

Launch the Finder application by clicking on its icon in the Mac OS Dock. Open the Finder menu and select “Empty Trash.” The Trash folder can sometimes contain temporary files that have not been properly deleted by applications.

  1. Go and select Finder located at the top left corner.
  2. Select Empty Trash.

Final Note

Before you go about deleting your cache and temp files, keep in mind, cache and temp files are designed to improve the performance of an app or service. One of the methods we have not shown is how to manually delete the cache and temp files, as that could lead to some serious problems with the functionality of your Mac.

Unless you’re having issues, such as needing more free space, or an app is not functioning properly, it’s probably better to leave the cache and temp files alone and let your Mac manage them. Alternatively, any of the apps outlined would be the safe alternatives to removing the cache and temporary files.

Learn more useful MacOS, Windows software, Android and iOS apps on Softwarefavorite.

Categories
COMPUTER SOFTWARE

4 Best Data Recovery Tools for PC, Windows, Mac, OS X

When it comes to media, it’s good to be prepared and know that anything can happen. Fortunately, there are programs that can help you recover lost or deleted media, get a better look at photos, and help you pull media off of storage devices that have crashed.

When looking at which programs are the best there are 5 main factors that need to be considered. We will look at those below and tell you the top 4 programs that were tested and also meet these factors.

Factor #1: Security

This is the biggest factor that was tested. You want to make sure that whatever program you use is going to be safe. You don’t want to end up having your information stolen or end up getting a virus on your computer. When testing the websites, a program called Valkyrie was used that checked to make sure the programs were virus-free and that they wouldn’t damage your computer.

Factor #2: Recovery Ability

This next factor is also very important. When testing one of the things that was looked for was what kind of formats were recovered. Some of the biggest formats were JPEG, PNG, RAW, video formats, and audio formats. You want to make sure that the program you use will recover the type of media formats that you are trying to get back.

Factor #3: Supported Devices

When testing the programs, it was checked that they could recognize different types of storage devices, such as memory cards and flash drives. This is such a big deal because, most of the time, your media will be stored on a device and if the program can’t recognize them then it is pretty much useless. Not being able to recognize devices means your media can’t be recovered.

Factor #4: Ease of Use

While this one isn’t one of the most important things, it is still one of the things that was looked for. The programs had to be easy to use and have a good graphical user interface(GUI). Without these, people are going to have a much harder time trying to figure out how to use the program and be able to actually recover their data.

Factor #5: System Compatibility

This is the last factor that was considered and it’s a pretty important one. The first reason for this is that while most programs can run in Windows or Mac, some are only compatible with one or the other. With that being said, you want to make sure the program can run with the latest operating systems such as Windows 10 and macOS Sierra or OS X El Captain. Also, you want to make sure that you have a program that updates a lot. This will ensure that it is safe and has the latest safety measures.

Now that we have went over the top 5 factors, we are going to look at the 4 programs that are the best for recovering media files and why they are the best.

Program #1: Easy Digital Photo Recovery

  • Only works with Windows, including: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8. Although it didn’t say it worked with Windows 10, when tested it worked fine.
  • Recovers many formats including: JPEG, TIFF, and RAW.
  • Scans for pictures quickly and you can preview all the images
  • Has multiple languages, including: English, French, Spanish, and German

Program #2: Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery

  • Works with Windows and Mac
  • It can recover images, video, and music.
  • Can recover many formats, including: JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, RAW, MP3, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MOV, and WAV
  • Supports storage devices, including: digital cameras, flash drives, and PC/Mac hard drives excluding SSDs.

Program #3: Odboso Photo Retrieval

  • Only works with Windows
  • It can recover photos, videos, and audio.
  • It can recover from hard drives and storage devices, including: digital cameras, cell phones, and memory cards.
  • Good for almost any situation, including: accidental deletion, disk formatting, and hardware malfunctions.

Program #4: Remo Recover Media

  • Works with PC and Mac and is compatible with all versions of both, including: Windows 10. macOS Sierra, and mac OS X El Capitan
  • It can identify and restore up to 60 different media formats from devices that include: Ipods, flash drives, memory cards, camcorders, and hard drives.
  • It has a feature called deep cleaning that will scan your entire disk drive and get back any deleted, lost, or formatted pictures, videos, and audio files that are found.

As you can see, these are the top 4 programs and they will help you recover any files that you might need!

Categories
COMPUTER HARDWARE SOFTWARE

Hard Drive Cloning Software Buying Guide

For every Mac user, it is vitally important that you use good backups. Whether you use Apple Time Machine, online backup services or send your data to a cloud service, it is essential that your drive is backed up so that in case of any accident, you do not lose your precious data.

An online backup provider, for instance, the CrashPlan is an effective tool in case you are in need of a secure offsite backup without moving your drive physically. Other tools such as the Apple’s Time Machine will help you store all your files in different versions to an Airport Time Capsule or an external drive.

The Best App for Mac Drive Clone

Once a data loss disaster strikes, you will most probably have to wait for long hours for the common data recovery processes to complete. If you are using a cloud or online backup, you must have a very fast internet connection otherwise the process will be slow.

Cloning your Mac hard drive is, therefore, your solution for immediate data recovery. Stellar Drive Clone is the recommended app for cloning your drive. The application copies the data in your drive and it will offer you immediate recovery in case of an emergency.

Significance of Cloning Your Mac Hard Drive

The most significant advantage of cloning your Mac drive is that it saves time through immediate recovery. You will also get a secure backup which will easily work in case your drive fails to boot. Relying on the Time Machine backup may not be as efficient especially when your hard drive crashes.

This is because one will need a start disk containing an OS for Mac to assist in rebooting your computer. If your hard drive dies, then you will be required to purchase another one and then install a new operating system before restoring your precious data. A lot of time and money will have to be spent and this shows that the Time Machine backup may be inefficient leaving you with the better alternative which is cloning the drive.

Qualities of an Effective Cloning Mac Drive Clone App

Reliable: If you are to select a backup plan, make sure that it is reliable. A good Mac cloning Application is one that can quickly extract huge amounts of data, create an exact copy of your drive and even ensure efficient recovery of your data. It should have the capability to create an exact replica of your drive and even clone a drive that has been formatted with Master Boot Recorder.

Easy to Use: For simplicity, an efficient cloning tool should be easy to use, therefore not requiring much expertise or comprehension. It should be software that even a person who is not experienced with the Mac OS can use.

Compatible: For software to function on your computer, it has to be compatible with its features. A good cloning app should be compatible with common versions of OS.

Secure: Your Mac is prone to malware and viruses and it’s thus essential to ensure that any app you are using is secure and may not in any way harm your data. The existence of adware within the programs running on your Mac could cause it to slow down making common easy tasks take a long time and you should thus be cautious to learn about a program before installing it.

Stellar Drive Clone qualifies on all the qualities needed for an efficient cloning app. The tool is highly reliable and it’s very simple to use once you have it on your Mac. Again, it is powerful in that it can operate in most of the existing OSs and also supports cloning of an exFAT-formatted drive and a Macintosh HD.

Categories
COMPUTER SOFTWARE

6 Powerful, Built-In Windows Tools You Might Not Know About

ou can do a lot more on your computer than check your social media, purchase products online, and read emails. When you are using a new version of Windows your computer has tools and utilities to remind you about tasks and ways to protect itself. These tools may be hidden but you don’t have to download any software because the tools are built into windows.

Slow Starting Computers

When your computer takes too long to boot it is frustrating. When you have a lot of programs opening while your computer is booting your startup can be lengthy. You can access these programs by pulling up your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete.

Click on the tab that says Startup and you can see all the programs and disable any you don’t need to activate when you turn on your computer. Windows will even tell you the impact disabling each program will have on the speed of your boot.

Data Usage

You can find out how much data you have used in the last month. When your internet plan has limited data and you are using wireless internet this is helpful. You can use Cortana in Windows 10 to search for your Data Usage or choose Network & Internet by first navigating to your System Settings.

Your Computers Virus Protection

When you browse a website that is not safe or have downloaded applications or a third-party program Windows Defender will protect you from adware, malware, and dangerous viruses. If you keep Windows Defender running and are careful during your browsing you will not require additional software to protect yourself from viruses.

A deep scan will find and remove any malicious software that has become embedded in your computer registry. You can use Cortana to search for Windows Defender or choose Update & Security from your System Settings.

Your Task Scheduler

When you have tasks, you do not want to track manually you can use a Windows tool called a task scheduler to place them on a timed schedule. A good example is checking for malware every week. If you keep your computer on, Windows can use the tool to run a scan while you are sleeping. If you add or remove a lot of programs you should use your disk defragmenting tool to clean your hard drive and this can also be accomplished automatically with the task scheduler every month.

Your Memory Diagnostic

This tool can tell you if the memory in your computer is going bad and can be found in your system settings or by using Cortana. You can’t use your computer while the tool is running and checking the health of your RAM but you can have it run after you have turned your computer off.

Your computer will reboot after its done so you can see the results immediately or they are in the Event Viewer. It’s in the pop-up menu in your Start button. Simply choose Windows Logs, then System, then type MemoryDiagnostic in the Find function.

Cortana

Although Cortana is not hidden many people hardly use the program. Cortana can sync your calendar, email, and devices, and remind you of tasks every day. Any packages out for delivery can be tracked, you can translate languages, and get an aural example of phrases in any foreign language all by using Cortana.

The Windows operating system has a lot of power and hidden tools you may not be aware are there. Instead of immediately looking online for a program check with Cortana. You may be surprised how many tools have already been built in.

Resources:

How to Test Your Computer’s RAM for Problems

Antivirus Protection

Top 5 Ranked

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortana

Categories
COMPUTER REVIEWS SOFTWARE

Free Full Disk Encryption Program Review

When extra security is needed to keep your files and data safe using full disk encryption software will keep all of the information safe. Full disk encryption software has the ability to protect not only your hard drive but can protect the information on external hard drives and flash drives.

Windows and Mac operating system users have the choice of using built-in data encryption software programs. BitLocker is a full disk encryption software program that is included with Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. BitLocker was created to protect information by providing encryption for entire volumes.

The original data encryption software FileVault for the Mac operating system was created to back up the home directory and has had its share of limitations the newer version has more options. For users who don’t want to use BitLocker or FileVault, the following full disk encryption freeware software may be an option.

TruCrypt

TrueCrypt is powerful and flexible data encryption software that offers many benefits. TrueCrypt is perfect for, on the fly encryption, it can encrypt the entire storage device or partitions, and create virtual encrypted disks within a file. One of the benefits of using TrueCrypt is that the system volume can be encrypted in the background while a user continues to work on their computer on other activities.

It is important to note that although there is a downloadable version of TrueCrypt for use. The creators of TrueCrypt have discontinued work on the software and no new versions will be forthcoming.

DiskCryptor

DiskCryptor is full disk encryption software that was created for Microsoft Windows and allows the user to encrypt the entire hard drive of a computer or just individual partitions. Password protection can be use and key files can be added for additional security. The keyfile o file that contains encryption or license key is required when decrypting or mounting a volume.

Decryption of an entire volume is not needed to access files. The files and data can be accessed and modified while the drive is mounted. The drive can be dismounted in seconds until the keyfile or password is entered and the data can be accessed once again. DiskCrypter can encrypt several volumes at once and can even encrypt CD’s and DVD’s using the ISO image.

DiskCrypter has failed authentication during boot if you choose to use a keyfile and the user will not be able to log into Windows. DiskCrypter is supported up to Windows 10.

COMODO Disk Encryption

COMODO Disk Encryption can encrypt the system drive and any attached drive. Users can configure authentication of both using USB and password. External devices must be plugged in before authentication can occur. One password must be used for all drives. Changing the authentication method will affect all of the drives in the same manner.

Users must keep in mind that updates to COMODO Disk Encryption have been discontinued and no future updates are expected. COMODO DISK Encryption supports Windows 2000 and newer versions.