Is your Mac losing its edge? Your Mac’s performance can deteriorate over time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re nearing the end of your device’s useful life. If your Mac isn’t booting up as fast as it once did, it’s overheating a lot, it’s throwing up a lot of spinning beach balls, or the browser is crashing, you need to do some maintenance.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean installing new hardware. Instead, you need to clean out your memory and tweak some settings to help it boot up fast and function quickly again. Here’s how.
1) Cut Out Some Login Items
If your Mac takes forever to boot up when you turn it on, you probably have a passel of login items slowing down the process. Login items are programs that are set to launch on startup, and the more of them you have, the longer it takes your system to start up.
Fix this problem by clicking on the Apple icon and then going to System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items. Here, you’ll see a list of apps that launch on startup. Highlight the programs you want to remove from this list, and then click the minus symbol at the bottom of the list. This should speed up your startup process considerably.
2) Clean Up Your Hard Drive
The more files you have sitting on your Mac’s hard drive, the slower it’s going to be. You can go to Apple logo > About this Mac > Storage > Manage. Here, you’ll find a few options for clearing up space on your hard drive, including:
- Moving text messages, files, and photos into iCloud storage;
- Optimizing storage to remove movies and TV shows from your Mac once you have watched them;
- Sorting through files manually to reduce clutter; and
- Setting your trash to empty automatically.
However, the easiest way to deal with freeing up storage space on your Mac is to use a reputable Mac cleaner app, like Trend Micro’s Cleaner One for Mac, available at https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/forHome/products/cleaner-one-mac.html.
3) Update Your OS
Keeping your Mac OS updated ensures that your machine’s performance is optimized, and it can also offer additional protection against malware and viruses. New versions of the Mac OS are released as free upgrades, so you have nothing to lose by updating your OS. Just go to System Preferences > Software Update and then check Automatically keep my Mac up to date.
4) Delete Unused Apps
Unused apps can really eat away at your device’s memory, and if you’ve had your machine for a few years, you might be surprised at how many apps have accumulated on it. A program like Trend Micro’s Cleaner One for Mac can help you narrow down which apps you no longer use and remove them, one at a time or in batches. You can also go through your apps manually and delete ones you no longer use.
In addition to removing unused apps from your system, you also need to make sure you’re properly closing out of apps when you stop using them. Apps can keep running in the background, eating up a lot of processing speed — and, like tabs in your web browser, they can also slow down your machine if you have a lot of them open at once. Exit out of apps you’re not using, and check the Activity Monitor to see which apps are using the most resources. If an app like Google Chrome is using up a lot of your processing power, you might consider making a switch to speed up your machine.
5) Dump Your Cache
If your machine seems to run fine most of the time but gets bogged down when you’re browsing the web, the problem may be with your browser caches. You need to empty them once in a while to keep your browser chugging along at top speed. The exact process may vary somewhat, depending on what browser you’re using, but a quick web search should help you find the right set of instructions. Failing that, go to your browser’s settings and then look for the history function.
When your Mac starts slowing down, don’t despair. A drop in performance is often just a sign that your Mac needs some house cleaning. Give it some TLC, and you’ll soon see it return to its former glory.