Our favorite Mac cleanup tips

Spring comes with its own rituals. Here at Macworld, we like to throw open the windows, beat the dust out of the rugs, and straighten up our Mac desktops. Don’t stop at cleaning your home this season. Clean up your Mac.

If you're using macOS Sierra, it has a feature that will help tremendously with your Spring cleaning: Optimize Storage. You can use Optimize Storage to activate the Store in iCloud option, remove iTunes videos you've watched (they can be re-downloaded), set it to empty the Trash automatically, reduce clutter caused by large files and downloads, and a lot more. Optimize Storage is especially handy if you're using a Mac laptop with flash storage. You usually don't get the same amount of space as you would with a hard drive, so managing your space becomes more important.

Learn more about Optimized Storage in macOS Sierra
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How to use NetSpot to map out your Wi-Fi network

This week’s column is my last Working Mac column for Macworld. You’ll still find me elsewhere on the site, but I want to say thank you for the last two years and for your input and insights each week. Thanks! -Jeff

The quality of your Wi-Fi in every corner of your home or office can be a bit of a sticky wicket: Great in the reception area, not so hot by the copier. Mediocre in the boss’ office and absolutely perfect near the last toilet in the bathroom. The question is, how do you figure out what’s bad where and why so you can make adjustments and guarantee good Wi-Fi in the places you need it most.

With NetSpot, the Wi-Fi network survey tool. The app comes in there expense tiers: free for non-commercial use, $149 for a one-user-per-device license for the Pro version, $499 for a 10- user-per-device license. The free version is sufficient for most small homes and offices, but you’ll want to purchase the profession or enterprise versions if you plan on using NetSpot for anything other than personal use.

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How to manage your network with iNet Network Scanner

Two weeks ago in part 2 of the indispensables series I made mention of a network scanning app called iNet Network Scanner. I’ve used this app on my Mac for years and love it, but it also comes in two iOS versions, which I’ve only begun using recently.

After that mention I thought it worthwhile to take a deeper look at how iNet Network Scanner works and why it’s worth your while to to grab one or all versions of this app.

Know your network

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The indispensables: Essential tools for fixing your Mac

We’re heading into that season where you may be thinking about things you want to give to others or things you need to fill out your own bag of tricks. I have very few wishes for anything new this year, which is to say that my kit is pretty well tricked out. But there are tools that I use on a regular basis that I can’t live without, so for the next two weeks of Working Mac I present to you those things without which I can’t get done what must be done. A collection of hardware and software tools I can’t live without. (Next week: indispensable software.)

Backpack: Ogio Gambit laptop backpack

I travel a ton, both local and long distance, and a good backpack is essential to my travel needs. I require something sturdy, with tons of pockets, that’s well made, doesn’t fray, feels balanced when it’s on my back, and which make’s most everything accessible with a single zip.

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Track your valuable work hours with TSheets

I have long been on a search for a good time tracking app that integrates well with a business accounting package. While it’s been quite some time since we’ve taken a look at it, FreshBooks offers excellent built-in time tracking and continues to up its business accounting game.

For my money (For real! I pay for and use) Marketcircle’s Billings Pro is the best time tracking and invoicing software I’ve had the pleasure to use, but it’s not an accounting package, so I still have to pay for QuickBooks Online to track income and expenses. I also have to create duplicate invoices, one that I send from Billings Pro and another for accounting from Quickbooks Online.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of playing with TSheets, an online timecard app that integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero, and there’s a lot to love. It offers great time tracking and timecard management with a ton of integrations that make it very versatile.

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