If your Mac’s performance has slowed down over the years, it might be time for some maintenance. You don’t have to spend a lot to get better performance from a fast iMac or MacBook. Instead, we made a list of things you can try to increase the speed of your Mac without making any changes.
Close Power-Consuming Programs
One of the simplest things you can do to improve the performance of your iMac or MacBook is to close any apps or programs you aren’t using. Your Mac may be consuming memory and CPU power for programs you rarely use. Because of this, it’s important to free up space and Mac workload from unwanted programs that slow down performance.
There is also an Activity Monitor which shows you all the programs currently running on your Mac. You can open Activity Monitor in System Preferences > Use or search for and open by pressing Command + space key. Some applications and programs will appear that consume more power and resources than others. Activity Monitor will break down the consumption level of each program you last opened by CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk and Network.
Select the CPU tab and you can see how much CPU power each application is using. Close unused applications or programs, especially those that are consuming high CPU power. Activity Monitor is a very useful tool to check the consumption level of your apps and programs.
Clean Start-Up Applications and Programs
Annoying apps and programs that launch every time you start up the system might be the culprit behind slow Mac speed. Go to System Preferences then click on ‘Users & Groups’. From there, select the ‘Login Items’ tab to see which apps and programs are set to launch when you turn on your iMac or MacBook. Select the programs you don’t want to launch during start-up, then click the minus sign in the list button to remove.
Syncing files and photos with iCloud across multiple desktops and devices can also slow down your Mac. When using iCloud, it’s best to avoid saving large files and documents to your desktop for storage. Keeping only the documents and files you need will help speed up performance and reduce the waiting time to sync all your files.
This includes syncing photos in iCloud. If your Mac is too busy syncing all your photos to all your devices and vice versa, you can always turn off iCloud Photos on your device to prevent your Mac from working too hard and slowing down its performance.
Free Up Storage Space
There’s no doubt that the Mac will feel very slow when you run out of storage space if the storage capacity is almost full. Photos, videos and music are the largest files that take up a lot of storage space.
Many people think that buying iCloud will be the solution for low storage space, but that is not the case. If you delete files from your Mac after backing them up to iCloud, you’ll delete them from all of your devices. If you already have iCloud and it’s synced across all your devices, a lot of your files and documents might be taking up storage space on your Mac. For example, pictures you take from your iPhone that sync to iCloud will be stored on your Mac using storage.
It may be better to disable iCloud photo sync on your Mac. There are other services you can use to back up all your files and documents in the cloud allowing you to delete them from your computer. Services like DropBox and Google Drive have the same ability to back up files like photos to the cloud without storing them on the Mac for access.
Your music downloads can also take up a lot of storage space on your Mac. You can save storage by offloading music to an external hard drive to free up space on your computer. You can also pay for a streaming service like Apple Music which has a feature to move all your music to the cloud so you can remove it from your Mac and access it on all your devices. You also get the benefits of streaming Apple Music to listen to any song or artist without having to download songs on your Mac if you have data or Wi-Fi access.
Delete Unused Old Files and Clean Trash
A quick and simple way to free up some storage space to increase Mac speed is to delete old and unused files while also clearing the Trash. It never hurts to check your Mac now to remove old and unused files and documents. Storing them locally when not in use only takes up storage space and slows down your Mac’s performance.
Don’t forget to remove the item from your Downloads folder. Go to ‘Finder’ and access your Downloads file to remove the item to Trash. The Downloads folder is often overlooked and holds many documents and files that you might forget.
Back up your old files and documents to an external hard drive and delete them from your Mac. If you no longer need them, you can always remove them from your computer. Remember to clear Trash after deleting it. Deleted files and documents will still take up storage space in the Trash if you don’t clear the Trash.
You can set system preferences to clean Trash regularly which will help you do it yourself manually. Click the Apple logo in the Menu section, select ‘About This Mac’, click ‘Storage’ and then click ‘Manage’. From there, you can set Trash to automatically delete which will happen every 30 days.
Lower or Disable Graphics
Apple computers can usually run MacOS without issue, but sometimes they can work too hard to maintain performance. Turning down or disabling graphics can help speed up your Mac’s performance.
Some people prefer to disable Dock to avoid slowing performance. To do this, click System Preferences, Dock, and uncheck the following boxes:
- App opening animation
- Hide and show the dock automatically
You can also click ‘Shrink windows using’ and change the Genie Effect to Scale Effect.
Last Bad Possibility
If all else fails, the last thing you can try is to reset your entire Mac and perform a clean OS reinstall. This should be considered the final step as you will need to completely wipe the entire boot drive. Reinstalling will also delete all files in the System and User Libraries created over the years.
We recommend backing up all important files, documents, pictures, music and anything else you may need after installing the OS. In the end, if the worst conditions can’t be resolved and your Mac doesn’t improve, it might be time to find a replacement.