One of the drawbacks of Mac computers, especially Macbooks, is that they don’t come with much storage space. So if you’ve been using your Mac for a couple of years, you’re probably seeing diminished performance. It just isn’t as fast as it used to be.
But there’s no need to lay out the cash for a whole new system. You can take steps to speed up your existing Mac, no matter how old it is, just by cleaning up old files and adjusting some settings. Follow these steps to speed up your aging Mac, and get it back to running like it did when it was new.
Close Background Apps
When was the last time you shut down your Mac? If it’s been awhile, there may be apps running in the background, slowing down your system.
Take a look at the Dock on your system to see which apps are running in the background. Those that are running should appear in the Dock with a little dot under them. If there isn’t a dot, that might not necessarily mean that the program isn’t running in the background. Open System Preferences and click on Dock, then make sure that the tick box for “Show indicator lights for open applications” is checked. Right click on the app icon in the Dock and choose “quit”. If there’s an option for “force quit,” choose that instead – you have likely identified the culprit behind your lagging speed.
Clean Up Old Files and Apps
Macs don’t need to be defragmented the way that PCs do, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get cluttered with old files. A Mac needs 10 percent of its memory free in order to function normally. But a Mac’s hard drive can rapidly fill up with downloads, old emails, and photos, not to mention apps that you no longer use and videos that you no longer watch.
The easiest way to clean up old files and apps from your Mac’s hard drive is to use a Mac cleaner app like Cleaner One Pro. A cleaner app can scan your system, and identify large files, apps you don’t use, and downloads to delete. With the help of a Mac cleaner app, you can quickly restore space on your hard drive.
Free Up RAM
Newer Macs no longer offer users the option to add more RAM, so you will have to focus on freeing up the RAM you do have. The easiest way to free up RAM is by restarting your Mac – and you should restart it regularly anyway, to stop apps from running in the background and slowing your system.
However, if you don’t want to restart your Mac right now, there’s another option. Open the Activity Monitor by pressing Command+spacebar and typing “activity” into the field that comes up. You can see at the bottom of the window how much RAM your system is using. Peruse the list for apps you aren’t using and close any that are gobbling up your RAM.
Update Your Software
If you’re running an older version of the macOS, upgrading to the latest version should help your system run more efficiently. Users running Mojave, Big Sur, Catalina, Monterey, or a newer MacOS can open System Preferences and choose Software Update to look for updates. If you’re running an older macOS, you can click on the Apple in the menu bar and then go to Software Update or go to App Store>Updates.
Adjust Login Items and System Preferences
Login items are apps that launch automatically when you turn on your computer, and having a lot of them can really bog down the whole system. Many apps are set to launch upon startup by default. Stop them by going to System Preferences>Users & Groups>Login Items. Highlight the programs that you don’t need to launch on startup and remove them from the list by clicking the Delete from Login Items button at the bottom of the window.
Empty the Trash
Once you’ve finished clearing old photos, apps, videos, and large files from your Mac, don’t forget to empty them from the trash. Otherwise, they’re just going to keep hanging around in your trash folder, slowing down your system.
Is it really possible to speed up an old Mac? Sure it is. All you really need to do is clean old files and downloads off your system, and make some adjustments to your System Preferences. Soon, you’ll be enjoying the lightning-fast performance that makes Macs so popular among their adherents.