5 Amazing Apps to Check Your Mac Hard Drive Health
Hard drives fail, they eventually will. It doesn't matter if your Mac is with a spinning hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). Data shows that 22% of hard drives fail in their first four years.
Is there anything we can do to extend a hard drive's life? There are plenty of. But, you never know when your Mac hard drive will fail or crash; And then that happens, it can be a disaster in terms of data.
So what can you do? Check its health and backup the data on a regular basis. For data backup, we recommend Time Machine and/or a Mac drive clone software (optional, but it's more efficient to restore data if needed).
Today we're going to show you 5 great tools to check Mac hard drive health, from speed test, disk verify and repair, disk cleaning and tuneup, we cover them all.
1. Disk Utility
The first thing you should do is to check S.M.A.R.T. Status. SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is an internal monitoring system that is included in many Mac hard drives (both HDDs and SSDs). It can help you indicate the health of your Mac drive. How to identify? Open Disk Utility app (by searching it in Spotlight). Highlight the hard disk name on the left, then check the status from the table (see below). If it shows "Verified", that means your hard drive is not failing. Otherwise, you may need to replace it as soon as possible. If your budget allows, consider upgrading to an SSD.
Next, check disk errors with First Aid. If your Mac is with OS X El Capitan or latest macOS Sierra, just select Macintosh HD on the left and click on First Aid. A new window will pop up asking you if you would like to run, just hit Run to continue. Note: For OS X Yosemite or older versions, use the two buttons on the right corner "Verify Disk" and "Repair Disk" instead.
MacPaw CleanMyMac app is more like a Mac cleaner that helps make more room on your full hard drive. It does a number of things to deep clean your Mac system and free up as much space as possible on the hard drive. You can also use it to fix broken preference files, find large duplicate items, and uninstall unused programs on Mac.
In short, if your Mac hard drive is getting full, use CleanMyMac to clean it up. Not only will you get more free space, but your Mac would run much faster — which is always you want, isn't it?
3. Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
If you feel your Mac hard drive is slow to respond, probably it's time to test its write/read speed. You'll find Blackmagic amazing. It's a simple to use app that enables you to quickly benchmark and certify your Mac hard drive performance. After installing the application on your Mac, open the app and click the START button in the center. Soon you'll see the numbers shown on the two speedometer circles. Note: be sure to quit all other apps before using this app, this helps get more accurate data.
4. Stellar Drive Defrag
If your Mac is with a hard disk drive (HDD), you'll find this app helpful as it can search for all scattered pieces of large data files on your disk, group and store them in contiguous segments. The procedure helps improve data access speed and overall Mac hard drive performance. What's cool about the app is that it adopts intuitive color legend which enables you to immediately identify whether your Mac needs defragging.
CleanMyDrive is totally free. The app is more like a lightweight drive manager for both internal Macintosh HD and external hard drives. You can use it to check your hard drive status, e.g. a visual look of how your drive is used, how many junk files exist. If it detects hidden junks, you can use the app to clean them automatically. It also works with USB flash drives, SD memory cards, etc.
That's it! Hope you like these free apps and use some of them to check and test your hard drives regularly.
This post was last updated on Dec 23, 2016 (content revised for accuracy and freshness).