Maintain Your Mac with Cocktail

Cocktail is a Mac maintenance utility that performs many cleanup tasks. It’s easy to use, and we strongly recommend it to every Mac user. It will speed up your Mac, correct fonts that are not displaying properly, files that display the wrong icons, and many other performance issues.

Download Cocktail at

Each major version of MacOS has a corresponding version of Cocktail. Click to download the correct version of Cocktail for the version of MacOS installed on your computer…and if you upgrade to the next major version of MacOS, replace the Cocktail you have with the version that corresponds to the new version of MacOS you’ve installed.

Once you’ve downloaded Cocktail, here’s how to configure and run it. Note that each version is slightly different, so the windows you see may not exactly match the pictures here…but they will be similar. These pictures are from the Big Sur version.


First, Configure Cocktail

Before you run cocktail for the first time, you’ll need to configure it’s settings. Because Cocktail performs many maintenance and cleanup tasks at the click on a button, you’ll have lots of settings to configure, and they’ll be done in multiple windows in Cocktail The good news is that you’ll configure it once…after that, Cocktail will remember the settings and you’ll be able to run it with a  couple of mouse clicks. Open Cocktail and follow the configuration steps. If you’ve previously configured Cocktail, scroll down to the Run Cocktail section below.

1. Click the Pilot button at the top of the window. The first time you run the Pilot, you must configure its settings. Thereafter, the settings will be remembered. Here’s how to configure the Pilot settings. It takes place in several windows.

2. Starting in the main Pilot window, click all the boxes that are clicked in the picture below. We’ve also pointed to them with red arrows. Also, set the popup menu for Automatically to Restart.

3. Once those boxes are clicked, click the upper Options button (to the right of the Applications click box). A new window appears that has four tabs at the top, System, User, and Internet, and Applications.

A. Click on the System tab to make sure it’s selected. In the System window, make sure that all the boxes are clicked. Depending on which version of Cocktail you’re using, your window may have additional boxes, or fewer boxes compared with the illustration. Just make sure all the boxes in this pane are clicked.

B. Click on the User tab. In the User pane, there are two columns of boxes…the left column sets Cocktail to clean caches only for your user account. The right column cleans the caches for all user accounts on the computer, and it makes more sense to clean them all if you’re going to run Cocktail. Click all the boxes in the right column.
C. Click the Internet tab. Like the User pane, click all the boxes in the right column Also click the boxes for for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera to clean the caches for those browsers as well.
D. Now click the Applications tab. Again, make sure all the boxes in the right column are clicked.
Now click the OK button at the lower right corner of the window to go back to the main Pilot window.
E. Click on the lower Options button, in the row that says Clear log files to configure the log files settings.

F. In the Logs window. Click all the boxes in the right column at the lower left of the window.

Depending on which version of Cocktail you’re using, your window may have additional boxes, or fewer boxes compared with the illustration. Just make sure all the boxes in the right column are clicked. Then click the OK button to go back to the main Pilot window.

Configuration is done!


Run Cocktail

1. Launch Cocktail. (Mac OS X will ask for your password.) Enter it and click the OK button. You’ll arrive at Cocktail’s main window. Click the System button at the top of the window.

2. In the System window, click the Databases tab at the top.

3. In the Databases window, work from the bottom up, and do things one at a time. Wait for each step to finish before going to the next.

  • In the bottom row, that says Update Locate database, click the Update button to the right. Rebuilding may a little time. Be patient.
  • Next, in the tow labeled Rebuild Help database, click the Rebuild button.
  • In the top row, labeled Rebuild Launch Services database, make sure the box for Restore default file associations if clicked, then click the Rebuild button.

NOTE: In later versions of MacOS, once the Launch Service database has been rebuilt, you’ll see a window asking if you want to reboot your Mac. Click the Cancel button.

4. Click on the Pilot button.

In the Pilot window, click the Run button in the lower left corner of that window.

Cocktail will run all of its maintenance tasks, and your Mac will restart. Once it’s done that, you’re finished!