OnyX for Mac is a free system maintenance application, which automatizes processes needed to keep your Mac at its top performance. Even though Mac OS X is a very stable operating system and it comes with a certain maintenance processes already built-in, you’ll still need a third-party software which specializes in these tasks. OnyX might just be the perfect one, and the best thing is that it’s completely free.
OnyX can be used to fix corrupt Mac OS X installation, to fix problems which may occur after you update your operating system, and finally, it’s built to prevent and fix any problems which might slow down your Mac. Newest version of Onyx (2.6.2) requires OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), but you can also download older version (2.4.8), designed for OS 1.7 (Lion). You can find download links for both of these version on the official website.
OnyX is quite complex operation, which is designed to deal with the maintenance of your Mac through several different levels. Still, interface is very simple and user-friendly, so even new Mac users won’t have any problems using it. Once you open Onyx, you’ll get a toolbar with several tools which will, once clicked on, expand with the appropriate set of settings. Main tools are: Verify, Maintenance and Cleaning, detals will be explained further down in the text. There’s also Automation (which automatizes Mac maintenance, with a minimum of adjustable settings), Parameters (which gives you access to those hidden OS X’s settings) and Info, which scans your hardware and software and gives you a detailed report.
Each time you open Onyx, it will automatically scan a SMART status of your hard drive. SMART stands for “Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology” and it used to test your hard drive in order to prevent any errors or failures. This process will take a minute and after it completes, you’ll gain full access to OnyX’s tools. Verify tool will let you re-check SMART status, structure of the volume and it will give you additional access to hidden preferences for your hard drive(s).
Maintenance tool is used to repair permissions (which is advisable to be done once a month), run Mac OS X’s built-in maintenance scripts on demand and rebuild databases. An option to rebuild databases of your Mac OS X may come in handy if you have various problems with your operating system. OnyX will repair databases by switching them to their original state and the best thing is that it will take only a few minutes.
Cleaning tool is used to completely remove any cache file on your Mac, as well as different kinds of logs. You’ll be able to check which type of cache files you’d like to remove (for example, you can choose boot files, QuickTime components or font caches). This operation is used to speed-up performance of various applications that you normally use on a daily basis.