Is your Mac’s performance going downhill? Is it getting sluggish and slow? Never fear — that doesn’t mean you need to buy a new one. Rather, it probably just means you need to give your Mac a little TLC to help it get back to functioning at its best.
You don’t need professional help to speed up your Mac. Whether you’re clearing caches, changing your login permissions, emptying unused files from your hard drive, or updating your OS, you can easily tweak your Mac’s performance yourself. Follow these five steps to get your Mac running like new again.
1) Edit Your Login Permissions
Login permissions tell your Mac which apps to launch on startup, but the more apps you’ve told your Mac to launch on startup, the longer the startup process will take. To help your Mac boot up faster, go to Apple logo > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. This should bring up a list of apps that launch on startup. You can select the ones you don’t need to launch on startup and click the minus button at the bottom of the list to remove them.
2) Scour Your Hard Drive
Freeing up space on your hard drive can make your Mac run faster, especially if your machine is old enough that it doesn’t have a solid-state drive (SSD). An easy way to free up space is to delete files and data you no longer need from your hard drive. Photos, text messages, and other files you want to keep can go into iCloud storage. Other stuff can be deleted altogether.
Go to Apple logo > About this Mac > Storage > Manage to see what files you have on your hard drive. You can set your Trash to automatically empty every 30 days, and you can optimize TV storage so that TV shows and movies are automatically deleted after you watch them. Go to Reduce Clutter to sort through other files on your machine. If you want an easier option, though, an app like Trend Micro’s Cleaner One Pro for Mac can give you an overview of everything that’s on your harddrive so you can easily decide what gets the ax.
3) Delete Unused Apps and Large Files
Unused apps and large files are two of the biggest space hogs on your hard drive. In fact, large files often take up much more space than unused apps. You can use Cleaner One Pro for Mac to identify large files that you can either delete or move to iCloud storage, an external harddrive, a flash drive, or somewhere else.
You can also pinpoint and get rid of any apps, games, and programs you no longer use. You might be surprised at the apps that have been kicking around, unused, on your system for months or years. Deleting unused apps can free up a lot of storage space, and you might even be able to improve performance by switching to less resource-hungry versions of apps you still use. Use the Activity Monitor to figure out which apps are using the most resources, so you switch to less resource-hungry versions. Make sure you exit out of apps completely after you’re done using them, so they don’t keep running in the background and slow down your system.
4) Clear Browser Caches
If your browser isn’t running as quickly as it once did, you probably need to clear the browser cache. You should look up instructions for how to clear the cache on your particular browser, but it usually involves going to the browser settings, then navigating to the history tool.
5) Tidy Up Your Desktop
Every icon on your desktop takes up RAM space, so if your desktop is crammed with icons, you’re slowing down your system. Move any files stored on your desktop to iCloud storage. Use the Desktop Stacks feature to sort your icons, and restart your system once you’ve cleaned up your desktop icons.
Your Mac will naturally get slower as its hard drive fills up with unused apps, files, photos, text messages, videos, and more. Do some maintenance once in a while to keep your Mac running smoothly and quickly, so you can focus on getting your work done faster.