Undoubtedly, Macs are great! They are “charismatic and stylish” computers but quite expensive when it comes to the price. This is why you want to be sure that it’s worth buying one. Clearly, if the device cost you much, it should compensate for your expenses with its top-level performance. To answer the most common question “How do I improve my Mac’s performance?” we offer a few hints to prevent your Mac device from losing speed or making a slow Mac faster.
The following suggestions generally apply to all types of Mac devices, whether it is a MacBook Pro, iMAc, Mac Mini or MacBook Air.
1) Delete Unused Apps
If you visit your Applications folder, you will certainly find at least few programs which are no longer needed or used. Uninstalling them will increase free disk space, consequently making your Mac run faster and show a markedly better performance with any program you may run on it. Besides, you can place other programs or files of your today’s preference.
The cleaning procedure may be either manual or with the use of a specialized software (so-called cleaners). If you want to delete apps manually, it is not enough just to drag the app icon to the Trash. You have to find and remove all the associated files (leftovers, junk or duplicate files, cache, trash and etc.) that come along with each application. Here are the folders where you’ll find app leftovers. To delete them completely just drag the files which contain the app name to the Trash.
- /Applications/ (binary and dock icons);
- ~/Library/Applications/ (application support files);
- ~/Library/Caches/ and /Library/Caches (support caches);
- ~/Library/Address Book Plug-Ins/ (plugins);
- ~/Library/ (library files);
- ~/Library/Preferences/ (application preferences);
- ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/ (crashes);
- ~/Library/Saved Application State/ (app saved states).
But be aware that manual removal may leave behind various fragments of uninstalled programs that may become a problem in the future. For a more secure and convenient deletion, it is recommended to use specialized tools, like, for example, the multi-purpose MacFly Pro, which is designed especially for complicated cases of junk removal.
2) Check if Your Browser Isn’t Running Unnecessary Extensions
A web browser starts to perform poorly in a similar way that the computer does. While computer becomes cluttered with too much stuff on the hard disk, the browser gets bloated with too many extensions and plugins. It very often happens that a Mac user adds a lot of browser extensions and quickly forgets about them. So sometimes just by uninstalling a few unused extensions (a one-click operation), you can gain a considerable increase in your browser performance (that especially applies to Chrome).
- Safari Browser: open Safari > click on Safari in Mac menu and select Preferences > switch to the Extensions tab > uncheck the box next to the extensions tab > click Uninstall to completely delete the extensions from Safari;
- Chrome Browser: open Chrome > click on Customize and control Google Chrome menu in the top right > choose More tools and press Extensions > uncheck the Enabled box > hit the Trash can icon to completely uninstall the extensions from Chrome;
- Firefox Browser: open Firefox > click on Tools in the menu bar and choose Add-ons > switch to the Extensions tab on the left > hit Disable or Remove to completely delete the extensions from Firefox;
- Opera Browser: open Opera > click on View in the menu bar and choose Show Extensions > hit Disable to turn off the add-on > press the “X” button to delete the extensions from Opera completely.
3) Clear the Hard Drive Space (Only if You Have an Older Mac)
With the traditional hard drives (not SSD) on older Macs, the search of necessary items greatly depends on how much stuff you have on them. If the share of the free space on an old Mac drive exceeds the ideal 10%, its performance slows down.
To boost it back you have to either delete the junk from it or move some content to the cloud, for example, via Google Drive. Following these tips, you’ll clean up your hard drive and make your Mac run faster.
4) Close Memory-Hogging Processes
Memory shortage is another classic cause of slow performance. The Activity Monitor in your Applications folder will show you which processes and applications hog the most memory (random access memory, or RAM). Stopping the unnecessary but “memory-hungry” processes will change things for the better. In order to watch the memory consumption for the running processes, head to Activity Monitor where you will find the corresponding indicator under Memory tab.
When you find all processes or applications that causing a problem and taking up your memory space, you need to shut it down. To do so, click on the process itself and then press the “X” button in the Activity Monitor toolbar. The process will quit and free up resources. If the operation you have stopped was essential for your Mac’s performance, then it’ll restart again. If it’s an app, it’ll remain shut down.
5) Reduce Your Browser Cache
If your computer is especially slow during your web surfing, this may be a signal that the problem is not directly with your computer as such, but with your browser. A simple way to cure your browser is emptying its cache. In most browsers, the corresponding instruments are located within Settings in the History section.
open Safari browser > go to the “Settings” menu > select History > Clear History > then choose how far back you want your history to be cleared;
open Chrome browser > go to the “Chrome” menu > select Clear Browsing Data > choose the web data and caches you wish to clear, and the period of time to delete from;
open Opera browser > click on the “Opera” menu > select Clear Private Data > choose the time period you want to delete caches from;
open Firefox browser > click on the “History” menu > select Clear Recent History > then choose the appropriate Time range to clear.
But it is even simpler to check it for the presence of unused but unclosed tabs. It would be a useful habit to close them every time just after using.
6) Minimize the Number of Items on Your Desktop
Surprisingly for many, reducing the number of objects on the desktop may have a boosting effect on your Mac’s performance as well. The point is that OS X treats each desktop item as a window having own memory footprint. That is the reason why you may achieve a little performance improvement thanks to a reduction of the number of items on your Mac’s desktop. Just drag them to the Trash, then right-click on the Trash bin and select Empty Trash.
7) Add More Memory on Older Macs
RAM as a computer’s component is responsible for running multiple programs simultaneously. So, if your machine becomes sluggish, additional RAM is relatively cheap and reasonable way to boost performance. This tip does not work for MacBook Pros from the latest Mac production, because it is impossible to add any more RAM on them. That won’t give a significant upgrade for your computer, but still if you’re a newbie and don’t trust yourself it is better to get help from tech specialists or someone who feels free in this area.