11 tweaks that will make any Apple Mac run faster. Here’s how to speed up a Mac.
The only surefire way of boosting your Mac is to install more RAM, but that can be a challenging hardware upgrade. Here we will focus on a variety of software tips, each of which will give your Mac a little boost.
You should also be sure to restart your Mac from time to time. This will stop unused apps and processes from clogging up your Mac. Also keep a clean and tidy desktop. The fewer things your RAM has to render, the more RAM you will have to keep the lights on.
Finally, if all else fails you can reinstall your Mac’s OS. This is a painful and in depth thing to do, though. So we will try our quick tips first. (See also: 9 best antivirus for Mac | Do Macs need antivirus? Best free Mac antivirus.)
How to speed up a Mac: Shut down unused or unwanted apps
If you’re running a load of applications on your Mac it will be throwing memory and CPU cycles at them, reducing the amount of both that is available to use for the apps you need. First up find out what is running. Open System Preferences and click Dock. Make sure there is a tick next to ‘Show indicator lights for open applications’.
That will show you which apps are running. To find out which are kicking your Mac’s behind, open the Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder.
Activity Monitor shows all the processes on your Mac. Click on View and Windowed Processes. Select the CPU button and the “%CPU” column to list programs filtered by the amount of CPU they are taking up. This tool also lets you list by memory, disk and processes.
Now you know the apps you want to kill go to the Dock, right-click on the icon of any programs you don’t need, and choose Quit. Alternatively press Command-Tab to bring up the App Switcher, and press Command-Q to quit unused programs.
How to speed up a Mac: Uninstall apps you never use
We’ve stopped running apps we don’t need right now. But for a greater impact let’s uninstall any apps we never want to use again. The simplest way is to drag and drop apps into the Trash.
You should also remove from the dashboard any widgets you don’t use. Click the Remove icon in the bottom-left, and tap on the Remove icons on any widgets you don’t regularly use.
How to speed up a Mac: Make sure your Mac software is up to date
First let’s do a software update for Mac OS X and all your apps. Click on the Apple icon in the Menu bar and choose Software Update. To avoid ever having to do this again, click on System Preferences > App Store and make sure that ‘Automatically Check For Updates’ is selected. Then tick Install App Updates which will automatically update your software.
How to speed up a Mac: Clear disk space
If your hard disk is full it will impact on your Mac’s performance. So we will clear a little space. First right-click on the Trash can in the dock, and select Empty Trash to clear the bin.
If you need to free up more space then check through your User folder for items to get rid of (Movies and Pictures are often likely culprits). You should also empty the Downloads folder of any items you’re unlikely to need.
How to speed up a Mac: Reduce Login items
Go to System Preferences. Click Users & Groups. Click on the Login Items tab to see which programs and services are launched when you first start up your Mac. Click on any item that you don’t want, and hit the Delete from Login Items button at the bottom of the pane.
How to speed up a Mac: ‘Remove From Preference Pane’
Now we are going to look for custom items in your System Preferences. If you are not using these, they will take up a tiny amount of your Mac’s resources.
Open System Preferences and check in the row at the bottom. Right-click on any item you don’t need, and choose Remove From Preference Pane.
How to speed up a Mac: Turn off visual effects
Keeping the Dock static will help to boost your Mac. Click System Preferences > Dock and untick Magnification, Animate opening applications, Automatically hide and show the dock, Turn off accessibility.
Finally, click on ‘Minimize windows using’ and change Genie Effect to Scale Effect.
How to speed up a Mac: Limit what Spotlight searches
Spotlight is a great tool, but it has to index and re-index everything on every drive. That can steal precious resource from your Mac.
If you want to speed up your Mac, you need to limit the scope of Spotlight. Go to the Spotlight pane in System Preferences. Click on the Privacy tab, and drag in any folders or volumes you don’t need to search. That will reduce the number of files Spotlight needs to index.
How to speed up a Mac: Disable File Vault encryption
File Vault lets you encrypt every file you store on your Mac. This uses a lot of processor cycles, however. Disabling File Vault encryption can refresh your Mac. Click on the Security & Privacy tab in System Preferences, then on the File Vault tab. Click the padlock, type in an admin password, and click Turn off File Vault.
How to speed up a Mac: Tweak the Finder
Opening a new Finder window shows you the All My Files view. Literally every file on your Mac. This can be a drag on your Mac. Go to Finder Preferences, click the General tab, and choose a different folder from the drop-down menu.
How to speed up a Mac: Speed up Safari
Not specifically a tip to speed up your Mac, but if the slowness is affecting you browser, clearing its cache will help. Open Safari and choose Safari > Reset Safari and check Remove all Website Data. Click on Reset. READ NEXT: Delete junk files on iPhone | Empty iPhone cache | Delete temporary files on iPhone: 5 ways to speed up your iPhone