How to Speed Up a Mac in 9 Simple Ways

Mac computers are versatile devices and are reliable for all manner of processes. Unfortunately, like all computers, Mac laptops run slower over time. This can lead to some nasty problems such as crashing files or poor systems.

If you’re looking to optimize your Mac, we have the perfect guide for you. With a few simple tweaks, you can get your Mac as good as new, or even better. Look forward to having better efficiency and performance and don’t look back. 

Continue reading for nine ways on how to speed up a Mac. 

1. Manage Your Startup Apps 

Knowing how to speed up a Mac starts with you checking your startup apps. These are the apps that open up as soon as your computer boots up. It’s convenient, but they can slow down start-up time and other processes. 

Click on your Apple menu and under System Preferences look for  Users& Groups. Then click on the Login Items to select apps. Click on the minus icon to remove the app from your background and startup. 

2. Update the Operating System 

In the past, OS updates slowed down older versions of Mac. Those days have passed with Apple now focusing on trimming features and optimizing resource usage. 

If your system is running macOS Mavericks and up, you can directly download it to Catalina. Before updating your OS, be sure to backup all your files.     

Under About This Mac you can check the version of your device. The latest version of this 2020 is the macOS 10.15.5 Catalina. If your version is older, click on the Software Update on the bottom right of the window. 

If it’s not there, head to your System Preferences and click on Software Update. This starts scanning for updates and gives you the option to use the Update button. 

Check the box next to Automatically keep my Mac up to date to reduce the hassle of manual updates.  Knowing how to clean up Mac devices means keeping up to date, so keep an eye out for new updates. 

3. Have Extra Storage Space

Start by checking how much space you have left by clicking on the Apple menu. Choose About This Mac and click on storage. Each color bar is an estimate of storage taken up by your files. 

You should have as much space on your device as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum extra space of 15%. Knowing how to make a mac faster is easier with more resources.

The first step to having some extra storage is to empty out your trash. Delete some of your unnecessary files in downloads as well. 

Try setting up automatic delete for your trash. If you tend to accidentally delete important files neglect this option. 

You can access this by going to the Apple menu, then to About This Mac. Click on Storage and click on the Manage button. Turn on the Empty Trash Automatically to delete items n the trash after 30 days. 

4. Move Some Files 

Your photos, videos, music, and downloaded files can take up a lot of space. Consider moving your files to an external hard drive. As a bonus, this can also act as your back-up storage. 

If you opt to disregard external drives, try out a cloud storage service like Google Drive or DropBox. Cloud storage services can recover lost files and have better security. 

Your data will all be online which makes sharing with clients and colleagues easier. Most cloud services offer free storage space. No need to panic about the prices since upgrades for storage and features are affordable.

5. Empty the Cache 

Mac has plenty of small files in your hard drive to re-use. Some caches the system organizes, while others get grouped under individual apps. 

For example, a web browser caches web pages whenever you revisit the page, it loads faster. Caches stop your system from redownloading the same thing.  

You can check your cache by holding Cmd+Shift+G. This will bring up the Go To Folder. Type ~/Library/Caches/. You can safely delete them since User Cache can reappear when needed. 

As for Safari caches, click on the Safari menu and select Preferences. Click on the Advanced settings and select Show Develop Menu. Click on the dropdown menu and choose Empty Cache. 

6. Limit the Visual Effects

Although the effects look great, it may be causing your Mac to run slower. Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Go to the Dock and uncheck the boxes with:

  • Magnification
  • Animate app launches
  • Automatically hide/show your system dock

Then click on the dropbox beside Minimize windows and change the Genie Effect to Scale Effect. 

Next, select Accessibility and switch the Display category. Check the Reduce Motion option. Eliminating motion effects can reduce older Macs from slowing down. 

7. Install More RAM

Check your RAM in About this Mac. Take a look at how much memory you have. 

For faster processing, aim for a RAM of at least 8GB. It’s worth maxing out your RAM for more storage capacity and better app activity. 

You can free up your RAM by using cleaners like CleanMyMac X and Disk Doctor. Some cleaners have features to speed up your Mac by disabling apps and running macOS maintenance scripts. 

8. Remove Demanding Processes

A good step in learning how to clean up Mac is to reduce the number of demanding processes. Some apps demand more power than others and this may slow down your Mac’s processing. It could also heat up the device and drain your battery faster than usual. 

Use your Activity Monitor to check which apps consume your system resources. You can find these under the Go in the menu bar by clicking on Utilities. 

You can ignore everything related to the macOS like WindowServer and root. Remove the apps consuming more than 5% to 10% of your CPU. You can kill the app by clicking the X button and selecting Quit or Force Quit. 

9. Swap Your HDD to SDD

Hard drive disks or HDD have a mechanical arm with a read and write head. They move around and read your data info. The HHDs can damage other internal components if you move your Mac the wrong way.

SSDs are lighter and are better at withstanding movement. They use less energy meaning your Mac heats up slower.

Any programs and data reaching 100MB will go up to 3500 MB. You won’t have to worry about the costs since the prices for SSD have gone down immensely.  

Now You Know How to Speed Up a Mac

We hope you learned the best ways on how to speed up a Mac. If you’ve got more devices to optimize, you can use these ways to solve them. 

Of course, optimizing your Mac is only the start. Learn which apps to get and how to get the most out of your new device with our other guides, right here!

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