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It has been a while since I migrated from Windows to become a full-time Mac OS X user, and that seems to be one of the best decisions I ever made. To be honest, there are times when the Mac OS X has also fallen short, well I never expected it to be without any flaws but, all the same, its more than I can say for the former. When it comes to systems stability and performance, Mac computer always will take a lead. However, if you find yourself with an aging system and performing at a very slow pace there are ways or steps to clean up Mac.
Let’s take the system slow-downs as an example; it will take almost five times over for a Mac to get to the point when the performance starts slowing down, in comparison with the Windows. But if it happened, there is no need to get frustrated as it’s quite easy to save the situation. So, if you already at that point, let’s show you some few things you need to try if you have been worrying about how to speed up Mac before considering re-installation of your OS.
As it was mentioned above there is no certainty for any device to function at a hundred percent when there are factors that always get the best of its functionality, as an example let’s take the age of the hardware. You have to understand that the older your hardware gets the slower it becomes in performance. So when you notice that your old Mac is getting slower try these few steps below and hopefully one might help to get your system back to speed. The MacFly Pro software can help you restore some free storage space or deal with the corrupt cache and duplicate files. So, if you are lazy as me then this software can come in handy.
Quit Apps Properly On OS X
Most users are kind of used to the idea of just clicking the Red Cross button and feel they have done the right thing. Well, what really happens when you use that button is allowing some background programs to continue running even though they seem to disappear from the main view. Chrome is a very good example.
Depending on the type of OS X you have installed generally the default behavior is putting a dot right underneath any program that is still running. With these dots or illuminations depending on the version of OS X you know which program is still active and you can properly close them by using the Command + Q key combination. You can also right-click on the Dock item and select Quit. This way you stop any unwanted program from running when not needed.
First, Chrome is a big resource hog, and most of the times it does not work well with OS X. Unless you are a really big fan and can’t do without it, we will advise you stay clear of Chrome. It clutters the hard drive because of the extensions, bookmarks and its apps. Safari is always the best choice when you want a good compatibility with your OS X.
Use the Activity Monitor
Fortunately, there is a very nice tool in Mac called the Activity Monitor. With this tool, you can see the applications that tend to put stress on your CPU and memory on your drives and the amount of resource they are consuming. All processes and consumption rate are displayed to you so you can make decisions based on what suits you best.
You can quit these programs or find alternatives for them based on how much energy they consume.
Restart Your Mac periodically
The power management in OS X is one of the best or the best across all platforms. This, however, has resulted in users being addicted to just closing the lid and reopening it whenever they want to make use of their device. Therefore, most times the system will run for weeks without any reboot. Well, one thing they do not know is that broken fragments and processes that got corrupted are kept alive each time you just flip open your Mac’s lid. So, to avoid this always ensure to restart your device periodically. This will certainly prevent your system from slowing down and function properly.
Audit Your Mac’s Start-Up Items
All operating systems come with start-up items; programs that open up as soon as you boot up your system. Most of these items are required for the effective functioning of the OS and others we include ourselves to make our lives easier. As you log in, there are apps that will ask for permission to be launched and subsequently with time this list becomes overcrowded.
This can be avoided if you periodically take some time to audit your startup list and remove items that are not necessary. You can access all your login items by going to launch System Preferences >Users & Groups, then select your user from the left and click the Login Items on the right. After selecting all items you do not need, you tap the minus button to delete them from the list.
Clean Up Your Mac’s Hard Drive
A very important information you need to have at the back of your mind all the time is, irrespective of the platform you on, if your storage is almost full then your device will certainly slow down. We are referring to the storage space and not the RAM. The reason is that there are very important files that are vital to the system, which are constantly being stored and deleted. So, when there is not enough space for this process to take place, the system struggles to execute its function. It’s better always make sure you have at least 10% of your total storage free up at all times. You can know the amount of storage you have by clicking the Storage tab to see available space and the space used by files. There are many programs that can help you clean it, for instance, MacFly Pro which does more than just cleaning.
Minimize Visual Effects
I love the gorgeous look presented by the OS X so I am not really a big supporter of the idea of reducing visual effects. However, if your system is showing signs of slowing down then this can help. There are two areas from which these can be done. Get to the Dock preferences and uncheck the following:
- Minimize windows into application icon
- Animate opening applications
- Automatically hide and show the dock
Then, from the Minimize windows using the drop down, choose Scale effect rather than Genie effect. Before we go to the second area; note that these changes will affect the look of OS X considerably. In this area we reduce the transparency by getting to System Preferences > Accessibility settings > Display and check the box next to Reduce transparency.
Turn off FileVault
There is a default encryption technique in the OS X called FileVault. This is mainly for the protection of your data. Well, if you chose to disable this feature you will gain some performance at the expense of putting your data at risk. This is advice to be used only as a last resort and you can get this done by visiting your System Preferences > Security & Privacy and switching it off after which you restart your Mac to let system boot up for the new changes to take effect.
Go Easy On Multi-User Logins
OS X comes with the ability to let multiple users log in at the same time and enjoy their time online. However, it becomes a problem when users have background programs running even when their accounts are not in use. This takes a bunch out of the RAM. Best if a user won’t be using the system for some time and log out totally instead of switching between users.
Use the First Aid
OS X has such an option called the First Aid button. This will run various operations on your disk and fix or correct most common problems if present. Launch Disk Utility select your primary hard disk and click the First Aid button on top.
Reset Mac’s SMC
This is a last resort measure. Use it if you are about to go for a total system reinstallation. SMC (system management controller) is in charge of all power management, video drivers, adapters, and several others. This is perhaps why resetting can solve different ranges of problems with your Mac. Different Mac types have different ways of reinstallation. If you use a MacBook without a removable battery then ensure its plugged into a power source and hit the Control + Shift + Option + Power keys at the same time. After releasing the keys you can use the power button to turn your Mac Book pro on.
If it’s with a removable battery then take the battery off and then press and hold the power key for about 5 seconds. Reintroduce the battery and plug into power and press the power button to start.
The process is quite simple for iMac or Mac Mini as the SMC is reset almost all the time you unplug the system. Manually, it can be done by just turning off your device and unplugging it, wait for 20 seconds and plug it back.
Getting a slowed down Mac back to speed isn’t such a big deal as there are several ways you can go about it. In extreme cases, you can choose to increase your RAM and hard disk, though, this can cost you some money. Backup your photos to an external source or you can even buy some cleaning app like MacFly Pro and if any of these do not work then probably getting a new Mac with higher speed performance can be the remedy. So, the decision is totally yours.
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