Tips and tricks to keep your Mac fast, even if old, and avoid slowdowns of the macOS system
Although Macs are very optimized at the operating system level, they can slow down after a few years of use, without ever having thought about its maintenance.
Although macOS can optimize most of the features to always remain fast, we may run into some sporadic problems that can ruin our experience with the Mac environment.
Just to avoid this scenario, in this guide we show you some tips and tricks to improve performance Apple Mac or MacBook, to make it as fast as possible, even if he has a few years on his shoulders.
The most effective ways to speed up macOS
In this part of the guide, we have collected what we believe are the most effective methods of speeding up Mac OS significantly.
Remove auto-boot applications
To manage the applications and services that open automatically upon Mac login, simply go to the path System Preferences -> Users and Groups -> Login Items.
We press the padlock symbol at the bottom left, enter the system password, and then remove the checkmark for all the programs present (leaving only one or two programs that are useful in auto-start).
At the next boot, the system will boot much faster since we have removed many programs from the automatic startup.
READ ALSO: Mac programs to manage the automatic launch of apps
Disable the graphic effects
macOS has many graphic effects, which make the system very nice to use. If we want to get more speed, we can disable these graphic effects, to free CPU but above all GPU (which will be used only for programs).
To disable the animations of the Dock, let’s get in System preferences -> Dock and remove the checkmark from the entries magnification is Animation when opening applications.
Another method to disable the graphic effects is to use the free app Onyx. After adding it to the system, open it and go to Parameters, click on General and remove the tick from Activate effect when opening windows is It shows the elastic rebound when windows scroll.
Always from the same app, let’s go to the Finder tab and disable the items related to the effects (if available, since much depends on the version of macOS in use).
Free up disk space
If we have apps that we no longer use, we uninstall them by going to the folder Applications of the Finder and dragging the useless application into the Trash can. After the operation, we can also empty the trash, by right-clicking on it and using the item Empty the trash.
If we installed the app through the Mac App Store, we can remove it by turning on the Launchpad MacOS, holding down the left mouse button on the app icon, clicking on the X that will appear, and finally on the button Delete.
Other methods to speed up Mac MacOS
If the methods we have recommended above have not had the desired effect, let’s see together other methods to speed up macOS.
Make sure you have at least 5-10% free disk space: as with any computer, if the disk is full, the performance slows down. If the disk is 100% full, it is even possible that the computer will no longer boot. So to avoid this problem and to prevent the Mac from losing processing speed, it is better to keep about 10% of the hard disk free. If space was occupied by photos and music, consider moving them to an external drive. To optimize performance in absolute terms, it is better to use only 50% of the memory unit and use the rest only to make backups. To understand what is taking up disk space, download Disk Inventory X (free) to see the detail of files and folders.
Reformat and perform a clean install: as with Windows, even a Mac can ultimately benefit from a clean re-installation of the operating system. This also applies and improves performance considerably, especially if the operating system has been updated several times over time.
Clean the desktop: Ogni icon on the desktop of a Mac OSX eats memory. So you have to get used to putting files and folders by organizing them on the disk without leaving them on the desktop. To clean up the desktop every day, you can use the free app Clean.
Check what all memory is using from Activity monitoring found in the menu Applications -> Utility.
Rebuilding the Font Cache to correct problems if different fonts have been installed and uninstalled.
Repair disk errors: power outages can cause errors on the disk or cache and on the permissions that are often the cause of a Mac slowdown. To check the drive and repair the permissions go to Applications -> Utility folder -> Disk Utility. From the window select the “check permissions” to see if everything is ok and, if necessary, correct the errors.
Use Chrome to surf the internet, but without too many extensions. Chrome is among the fastest browsers on macOS, but the number of open tabs and extensions installed can seriously slow down the browser and consequently the operating system.
Terminate applications when you no longer use them: with the command CMD-Q, you exit a program. On a Mac, clicking the X or closing the active window with the CMD-W keys is not equivalent to ending a program.
Has none of the recommended methods so far proven effective? Maybe the time has come to upgrade our Mac, changing the hard drive and RAM.
If our Mac allows these types of changes, we can add RAM modules, to bring the memory for programs and the operating system to at least 8 GB. The modules that we can use on a Mac are the following:
- Komputerbay MAC MEMORY 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHz (37 €)
- Corsair CMSA8GX3M2A1333C9 Apple Mac 8GB (2x4GB) Memory Kit, DDR3 (52 €)
- Corsair CMSA8GX3M2A1066C7 Apple Mac Memory, DDR3, 1066 MHz (51 €)
- Corsair CMSA16GX3M2A1600C11 16 GB Memory Kit, (2×8 GB), DDR3L (86 €)
If we don’t know how to choose the right type of RAM for our Mac, we recommend that you read our guide first Computer RAM types: DDR, shape, and speed.
Use an SSD disk
As with any Windows PC, even a Mac or MacBook a few years ago can achieve great performance if, instead of the mechanical disk, we use an SSD. The best SSDs that we can use on a Mac is the following:
- Samsung MZ-76E500B Internal SSD 860 EVO, 500 GB, 2.5 “ (74 €)
- Crucial MX500 CT500MX500SSD1 (Z) Internal SSD, 500 GB, 3D NAND (65 €)
- Crucial MX500 CT1000MX500SSD1 (Z) Internal SSD, 1 TB, 3D NAND (124 €)
- Samsung MZ-76E1T0B Internal SSD 860 EVO, 1 TB (139 €)
If we want to deepen the topic on SSDs and what to do to install one on our computer, we refer you to reading our guide to Best SSD drives to buy to make your PC go as fast as a tablet.
We have seen together all the most effective tricks and tips to speed up macOS and avoid slowdowns, especially on older Macs and MacBooks (taken before 2015).
If we are looking for a beginner’s guide on all the Mac features, we can read the Basic guide for using the Mac with the main functions that we made on our site.
If, on the other hand, we are looking for a guide with all the best apps that we can try for free on Mac, we recommend reading the guide to Top 100 Free Mac Applications on macOS.