This is a rather quicker trick that I think I have mentioned before. However it is worth repeating. For the last couple of days my Mac has randomly been locking up. Sometimes it would be straight after boot, some times after a couple of hours. I spent ages seeing if it was a hardware problem, testing my Mac’s memory, doing disk checks etc. However the problem would still persist and it was getting rather annoying. The solution to this problem was to clear my Mac’s cache files. I normally mention to people that this is the first thing you should do if you have an application or system problem, such as lock-ups or freezes.
Clearing your cache files is quite easy. There is two ways to do it. Either through an application or by hand. I prefer to do it through an app called Onyx although there is many applications which can do this sort of thing. The advantage of using an app is that it can clean many places at once, most of the time it is quicker to do so. Within Onyx by going over to the “Cleaning” tab you can run through the various check boxes and delete various different cache files. It will ask you to restart after each time, but you can hold fire until you have finished every option.
I recommend you clean up every option, except Boot and Kernel as well as the options under Logs and Misc, as these options are not needed. When you have finished, restart and hopefully your problems are gone. After you have cleaned your cache files Onyx has a bunch of other options to help you keep your Mac clean.
If you don’t want to download an app you can do it by hand. Although it doesn’t have as many options as using an app such as Oynx, doing it by hand is certainly useful. Your three main cache file locations are found in:
Delete all of the files within those folders and restart. This should have solved your problem.
The caches files one you Mac are designed to be a quick way for apps to retrieve certain elements needed by the app for fast operation. Sometimes they get corrupted and don’t function as desired, by deleting them you force your Mac to great a new fresh file. When you start your Mac and an app up again after the install it may be a little slower as it has to create the cache file. However once it is created you Mac should be up to full speed.
If your Mac still locks up and freezes it is probably a specific hardware or software problem and you may need to delve deeper. If you want to learn more about your Mac I recommend Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual or Mac OS X Snow Leopard Bible. They are both great books.