10 Helpful Tips for Optimizing Your Mac

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The older your computer is, the more problems and slowdowns you can expect to see. Hardware becomes outdated, and once new components begin to struggle with handling modern software.

Yet instead of replacing your computer, consider looking for ways to boost its performance.

If you’re wondering how to speed up an old Mac, keep reading for a list of 10 tips for optimizing your Mac.

1. Make Sure You Exit Apps

If you’re new to Macs or are coming from a PC, you may be used to exiting out of apps by pressing the red button. Be aware that on a Mac, doing this will keep the app open in the background.

To fully exit an app, make sure you click File > Quit. You can also press Command + Q to exit them. Make sure that you close demanding apps, such as Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, when you’re done using them.

2. Avoid Resource Hogging Apps

If you hear your Mac’s fans kick on, or if things start to slow down, it can be a sign that you’re pushing it too its limits.

To check out which apps are hogging memory, you can look at Activity Monitor. Press Command + Space to launch Spotlight, then type Activity Monitor and press Return. You’ll then see a list of all the different programs and tasks running on your computer.

3. Free up Disk Space

How much available disk space does your Mac have? If you don’t know, you should. At the very least, you should leave around 5 to 10 GB of free space for it to breathe and perform housekeeping tasks.

To check, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen. You can then click About This Mac, and head to the Storage tab. You’ll then see a breakdown of what exactly is taking up disk space.

If your startup disk is full, there are a variety of things you can do to free up space. Check out this guide on how to fix startup disk full.

4. Keep Your Desktop Tidy

Some people have 5 folders on their Desktop, while others have everyone they’ve ever opened. Regardless of which category you fall into, you should understand the effect a cluttered Desktop can have on your computer.

For every icon on your Desktop, your Mac needs to spend processing power to render it. When you have too many, it can eat up a lot of extra memory. Try to organize your files and applications into simplified categories. If you no longer need something, throw it away or uninstall it.

5. Avoid Animations

Macs have a lot of features that can make the tasks you do look aesthetically pleasing. Yet these can also affect your computer’s performance. If you’re wondering how to increase Mac speed, consider turning these animations off.

Head to System Preferences, then Dock. Change “Genie Effect” to “Scale Effect”. You can also disable Magnification and “Animate Opening Windows”. Things will look simpler, but you might notice a boost in speed.

6. Stop Apps From Opening at Startup

When you turn on your Mac, how many programs do you have that open right away? Aside from being annoying since you don’t need them at that moment, these apps can also impact your computer’s performance. Consider disabling startup apps.

To do so, go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups. Click Login Items, and you’ll then see a list of applications that begin when you log on to your computer. Click on the “-” button to stop them from opening.

7. Use the Right Web Browser

Are you a fan of Google Chrome? Although it lets you have easy access to your Google account and syncs with other devices, be aware that Google Chrome can also use up a lot of memory.

Instead of using Chrome, consider using Safari. Apple’s own web browser is better optimized for Macs and will let you do all of the same things without using as much memory. Safari also comes with Keychain Access, which lets you store all of your passwords in one safe location.

8. Control the Number of Browser Extensions

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or some other browser, try to limit the number of extensions you have. Browser extensions force your computer to use extra CPU and memory, which can cause slowdowns.

In a similar vein, make sure to never have too many tabs open. A browser with 2 tabs open will run faster than one with 13 open.

9. Update Your Software

When’s the last time you’ve installed a software update for your Mac? Next time, instead of pressing the “Remind Me Later” option, consider getting around to installing it.

Software updates ship with several improvements, all of which can make your computer run better. Install them, and you’ll enjoy the latest security upgrades, bug fixes, and performance boosters.

10. Consider Resintalling MacOS

In extreme cases, you might be out of options, with nothing improving Mac performance. In that case, it might be time to reinstall macOS.

Although it might be a lengthy process, reinstalling your operating system will give your computer a fresh slate and a new start. Make sure that you back up your files beforehand.

Wonder How to Go About Optimizing Your Mac? Try These Tips

Macs are great computers, but sometimes they need a little bit of help to get them running how you want them to. By following these 10 tips, you’ll know how to go about optimizing your Mac.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to increase Mac speed? Let us know in a comment below!

If you found this article to be helpful, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips.

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