With the official start of Spring today, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning your home or office. It’s also a great idea to consider “spring cleaning” for your Mac or PC as well, and one of the most convenient ways to do this is with Parallels Toolbox (US$19.99 per year), a set of utilities that’s included in subscriptions for the developer’s virtual machine flagship product, Parallels Desktop for Mac.
Parallels Toolbox includes over 30 utilities but we’ll just look at a few that can keep your Mac or Windows PC humming along nicely. Thanks to Parallels, we even have a set of video tutorials showing how to use each of these tools on the Mac. Let’s get started!
There are a lot of files on your Mac that can be safely removed every once in a while. Caches, logs, and temporary files created by the operating system tend to clutter up your computer and eat up valuable storage space. The Clean Drive feature of Parallels Toolbox scans storage periodically, then reminds you to clean out those pesky files. Here’s a video showing how to do this on a Mac:
Pretty easy, isn’t it? That’s the way that most of the tools in Parallels Toolbox are. With a click on the menu bar icon and another few clicks, you can save gigabytes of storage, speed up backups, and keep your Mac clean.
Another tool can find duplicate files on your Mac that can be safely removed. Find Duplicates can even find duplicates that have different names:
All you need to do is select one or more directories, and Parallels Toolbox goes to work finding those duplicates. Once you see what the files are, you can decide which of the duplicates to delete, saving even more space in your storage.
Free Memory for Mac
Sometimes your Mac will act sluggish if you didn’t buy it with enough memory. Run a lot of apps simultaneously and each app chews up some RAM, and if things get a little too crowded, the Mac begins doing “disk swaps” to store working memory to storage temporarily. This really slows things down!
The Free Memory tool in Parallels Toolbox releases inactive memory on your computer, optimizing memory consumption, and overall computer performance.
Resize Images for Mac and Windows
Do you run a website? Work on a newsletter? Need to send a lot of photos through email? Especially with today’s high resolution cameras, image file sizes can be enormous. The Resize Images tool lets you resize images, or convert them to a different format. All you need to do is drag the files to the tool’s window or dock icon, specify the preferred dimensions and file format, and let it go to work. This tool works wonders with batches of files.
The video here is of the Windows version, but it works similarly in macOS:
While macOS provides a built-in way to handle .zip files and several other common compressed file formats, Unarchive (paired with the Archive tool) gives you more control over your storage by minimizing the space needed to house certain files. Use Archive to compress unused files that you’d still like to keep around, then get them back in seconds with Unarchive.
As I mentioned, these are just a few of the many tools that are available in Parallels Toolbox. While some may provide functionality that’s similar to other utilities or even macOS functions, it’s very handy to have all your tools in one easy to use toolbox.