Mac Tips – Speed up a slow Mac

One thing that is always quite easy to diagnose in a Windows based computer is when the system begins to run slow, it’s usually a simple task to determine what has gone wrong. With a Mac, it’s not that simple. With Apple wanting to keep the MacOS “simple” so that anyone can use it, they remove the pathways in which you can get to the inner workings of your Mac to find out what is going on. In most cases, this is a good thing, as it stops computer-illiterate people from mucking about in the workings of their Mac.

However, when you want to try to understand and diagnose what it going on, it makes it very tricky. I’ve done a search and have discovered some tips to help bring the Mac back up to speed. The first few tips I discovered here.

1. Clean out the startup items – This stops the computer from loading unnecessary programs at each startup or reboot. To remove them, simply go to the Apple menu >
System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items.

2. Check your harddrive – Even though your harddrive may be extremely large, eventually it will fill up with junk. Do some spring cleaning every once and a while, removing useless applications and files. Also ensure that your harddrive is in proper working order by checking its S.M.A.R.T. status by going to: Utilities > Disk Utility. Select your drive and click “Verify disk”. This will then check the status, if it returns with red text, begin to back up your drive and start looking for a new drive.

3. Turn off features you don’t use – Macs have many different features installed on them, most of which you most likely didn’t even know existed, let alone use. Some of the features that you may want to consider turning off are: Universal Access, Bluetooth, Speech Recognition, and Internet Sharing.

4. Look for updates – Always make sure that your apps are running the latest versions. Usually, developers update their programs which makes them run faster and more efficiently. Slow, clunky and out-dated programs really slow your Mac down.

5. Check what “build” your software is – If you have an intel powered Mac, you may be using the rosetta translator, which allows software written for the PowerPC to be run on the Intel chip. Try to avoid using this translator but ensuring that your software is up to date.

6. Remove translations and language packs – If you don’t need to know what your document says in eight languages, then disable and remove unnecessary languages using monolingual.

7. Close down those widgets – Having widgets idling running in the background will hog your resources.

8. Run maintenance schedules – The Mac has in built maintenance programs that are scheduled to run at a ridiculous hour; a time when most people won’t have their Mac running. You can run these yourself using programs such as OnyX, Cocktail or TinkerTool just to name a few. These act as a service for your computer, cleaning out dead data and returning it back to normal.

9.Clear the cache – These temporary storage areas tend to fill up very quickly, and remain that way. Give them a flushing every once and a while. You can use the programs listed in point 8 or by using the command at a terminal screen:

atsutil databases -remove

You can also clear out your browser cache. To clear them, simply go to the options section of the browser, and look for a clear option.

10. Turn off other users – If you have multiple users on your Mac, if they are not using it, ensure that all apps in another profile have been switched off. Why let your memory be hogged by idle programs?

11. Restart – If you leave your Mac running 24/7, turn it off and give it a reboot. At least once a week, but every three days is better.

12. Clean the Desktop – Keeping the desktop free will reduce the amount of time your mac spends loading up all your links and folders.

13. Disconnect peripherals – If they aren’t being used, remove items on standby, it will stop your Mac from pinning them every so often.

14. A bigger HDD – Grabbing a bigger harddrive will allow you to store more and will stop you from running into the issues outlined in point 2.

15. RAM – Adding RAM is always a good way of speeding up your Mac, however, it does not address the issues, it is merely throwing more resources at it; eventually, it will catch up and you will have this problem again. You need to look further as to why it is running slowly – bad programs, full caches and harddrives are the normal culprits.

Hopefully these fifteen tips to speed up your Mac will address the majority of your issues. If, after all of these steps, you find your Mac is still sluggish you can either a) lower your expectations b)look for a faster mac.

Come check out the directory for the rest of my Mac tips!



Posted by:submeg

Musician, Writer and Inspirer. I discuss the projects I am working on, the services I provide and my general thoughts.

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