How to speed up a slow Mac How to speed up a slow Mac Mac running too slow? But luckily you don't have to fork out for a new computer to enjoy speed increases: There are a few reasons why your Mac could be running slowly. Read How to speed-test a Mac if you want to check. It could simply be old age, or maybe the hard drive is nearly full. You might be running an old version of the operating system that isn't designed to work with some of the apps you're using, or perhaps some of the background workings of the Mac have become muddled - for example, your permissions might be broken.
You may have too many things trying to run automatically when you start up or perhaps you're just running too many programs at once - Mac users are notorious for not properly shutting down their machines at the end of the day so some apps may have been running in the background for weeks. Spending a bit of time cleaning up the operating system and doing some basic housekeeping with your programs will help your Mac pelt ahead at full speed.
Another way to speed up your Mac is to become an expert at using system preferences and other features - so you can get things done even quicker. Read our Mac System Preferences guide for detailed advice. Best software for speeding up a Mac While it's perfectly possible to achieve many of the features offered in third-party apps by using the techniques listed below, the automated nature of bespoke software generally speeds up and simplifies the process.
Here are some of the best virtual tools for keeping your Mac in fine fettle. The app combines cleaning apps for memory, junk files and duplicates, and identifies the apps that are taking up most room on your hard drive.
Employing these features can ensure that you don't have an overstuffed internal drive, as that can lead to a drop in performance. Regularly clearing out the memory is also a quick, simple way to give back a stuttering Mac its pace.
Launching Dr Cleaner sees a small panel appear at the top of the screen with sections for CPU usage, the amount of junk files on your drive, and current memory status. There are options to delete junk files, clear the memory, and also a System Optimiser that lets you move specifically through the various functions in more detail.
You still need to spend time checking which files you want to allow Dr Cleaner to delete, but the process is a lot quicker than the manual route thanks to its interface and performance. Of course, we'd always advise making a backup of your hard drive before beginning any kind of cleanup procedure just in case important files get caught up amidst the jetsam. Dr Cleaner is available as a free download on the App Store, but there are also two other tiers currently available. The app allows you to identify and turn off apps that open when you start up your Mac, as these might be hogging resources.
It also has the useful feature of finding files left behind from incomplete uninstallation procedures. Plus it disables the adverts found in the free version. Malwarebytes for Mac While macOS is generally free from most of the viruses and malware that assail Windows users, that doesn't mean you should be complacent. Regularly checking for any nasty data- and resource-stealing infections is a good idea as they can have a huge impact on the performance of your device. Malwarebytes for Mac is a free option that scans your drives for anything untoward and can then remove unwanted interlopers.
Running the full scan periodically is a simple way to ensure your system is free from threats, plus you can make a lovely cup of tea while Malwarebytes does its thing. If you'd like to consider other options, see our roundup of the Best antivirus for Mac. Dashlane Okay, this is a bit of a cheat, but sometimes one of the main things that slows down any workflow is having to remember passwords. To alleviate this we'd recommend an app like the Dashlane password manager which automatically takes care of logging into all of your accounts.
Dashlane claims that using its app will save an average user 50 hours a year, so that's why we think it fits into this article. All account details and passwords are safely locked behind a secure master password, which is the only one you're required to know.
It's a great way to quickly move between apps and websites without chuntering to a halt as you try to recall which format and special characters you used for your Netflix account. There are discounts for multiple years, and of course you could try one of the many other services available such as LastPass or 1Password. Check out our Best Password Manager for Mac feature to see which others are worth a look. Trim Enabler 4 Finally, before trying the extensive manual workarounds below, we would recommend you consider purchasing Trim Enabler 4.
As long as you're using a Mac with an SSD, the software cleverly and subtly monitors disk health, improves performance and lets you benchmark. A quick way to see which apps are running is to glance at the Dock at the bottom of the screen. Use Activity Monitor to identify memory hogs Some apps are more power hungry than others, and sometimes apps have issues that cause them to grab more than their fair share of your system resources.
If you want to see which apps are using up your system resources, open the Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder.
Or press Cmd-space bar and start to type 'activity' and press enter to open it from there. You can also use this to see what Memory, Disk and Network different processes are using. If you see that one app in particular is gobbling up a lot of CPU power then you can close it from here by selecting the app with the mouse and clicking on the x in the left-hand corner of the Activity Monitor.
Edit preference panes Open System Preferences and check in the row at the bottom. This is where custom items are added to your System Preferences. Right-click on an item and choose Remove From Preference Pane.
Now click on the Login Items tab to view which programs and services are launched when you first power up or log in to your Mac. Highlight an item in the list that you don't want and click on the Delete from Login Items - button at the bottom of the list. Find out how much space is free Part of your Mac's performance depends on empty hard or flash drive space.
The Mac needs to be able to write and read its swap files and contiguous free space helps. This brings up the thorny issue of defragmenting a Mac. Defragging a Mac is unnecessary because MacOS but has its own built-in safeguards that prevent files from becoming fragmented in the first place. This is probably the reason why there isn't a defrag option in Disk Utility.
But for these safeguards to work, you need at least ten percent of your disk drive empty. Replacing your hard disk with a larger capacity model is one answer but it will still fill up eventually. Your hard drive hosts a number of big files and folders. These include email files and backups, old versions of apps that you no longer need, and photos. There are a few ways to find out how much space you have available.
One way is to open the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen and then click on About This Mac. Choose Storage from the tabs and it will calculate how much of your storage is being used, and also show you what is using it.
In newer versions of the Mac OS you can click on Manage to get options for optimising your storage or storing photos and videos in iCloud rather than on your Mac. Move your photos You might be surprised by how much of your Mac's storage is taken up by photos and home videos. You may consider paying for iCloud Photo Library, thinking that this would mean you could delete photos from your Mac as they would be stored in the cloud, but unfortunately that isn't how iCloud Photo Library works.
Delete the photos from the Mac that they are stored on and you delete them from all your devices. Of course if you already have iCloud Photo Library this might mean that a lot of space is being taken up on your Mac by photos that are stored in iCloud - photos taken on your iPhone, for example.
In that case you might be better off turning off iCloud Photo Library on your Mac. Read more about iCloud Photo Library here: You may like to use another service to back up your photos in the cloud.
You could try DropBox or Google Drive for example. Read about how to back up your Photo library in the cloud here: How to back up your Apple photo library. If you would prefer not to use a cloud service, a better idea would be to set up a separate storage device and move the photos currently stored on your Mac there. To do so, follow these steps: Copy the Photos Library by dragging it from the startup volume to your external volume.
Once your music is in iTunes Match you can just download the tracks you want to listen to when you want to listen to them. Read all about setting up iTunes Match here.
If you're running the latest version of macOS you'll be able to set the Trash to automatically delete items regularly. To do so follow the following steps: