5 Ways to Speed Up Your Mac

So I own a fairly new iMac, roughly 2 years old, and I've never been real happy with the speed og my iMAC. It always seem real sluggish to load programs and to boot up. And it is basically stock, meaning that I haven't done much to the operating systems aside from loading on iTunes and storing my music.

The Mac shipped with an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, which in the PC world would make it run like a champ. So I sat down to finally make this computer run as fast as it should and I've documented it here so that maybe it would help you speed up your Mac as well.

Upgrade the Hard Drive to an SSD

Moving from a traditional spinning hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) is the single best thing you can do to improve the performance of any computer. You'll be shocked at the huge impact it has on performance. Because traditional hard drives have mechanical parts that spin, they are they first source of bottle-necking because they are much slower at reading and writing data than the memory or the processor is at doing it. So subsequently, the computer is always waiting on the hard drive to complete it's read or write tasks.

A new SSD drive is around $200 on Amazon and will take about a 12 hours to clone your old hard drive to the new SSD drive.

Upgrade the Ram

While you have your MacBook opened up to replace its hard drive, take the opportunity to add more memory. Like the replacing a hard drive, adding more memory is a straightforward, simple process.

You will need to make sure that you purchase the correct type of memory for your MacBook model. Make sure to buy the right amount, type, and speed. Apple has a handy support page that shows the memory specifications for a variety of models, along with an illustrated guide to replacing the memory

Clean Out The Hard Drive

Sometimes, all your Mac really needs is to be cleaned up because, after time, you may have cluttered your Mac with files and applications you no longer use or need.

Uninstall old Mac apps - Look in the Applications and Downloads folders. If there are apps in there you can't remember installing, odds are you can live without them. Move them to the Trash to reclaim some hard-drive space.

There are files associated with every application you install, however, and they are left behind when you simply move an application to the Trash. Since Mac OS X doesn't have a built-in uninstaller, AppZapper can uninstall apps and the related files. It's free for the first five zaps, after which you'll need to pay $12.95

Clean up applications you still use - When you install an app on your Mac, it is installed as a package of files, including permissions that tell OS X which users can do what things with specific files. Over time, these permissions can get changed, resulting in your Mac lagging, freezing or crashing. Repairing these disk permissions can help speed up application startup and run times To address this, OS X has a built-in tool called Disk Utility that does just the trick.

Find out which apps are using the most resources - There is an easy way to see which of your open applications is using the most system resources. Open the Activity Monitor.

The numbers are constantly fluctuating, but they show you the amount of CPU and memory resources each app is using. 

Delete big, unused files - You can use Finder to search for huge files. To do so, open Finder and select the volume you'd like to search. Next, choose File > Find (or hit Command-F). Click on the Kind pull-down menu and select Other. When the Select a search attribute window opens, check the box for File Size, uncheck any other boxes, and click OK. Change the "equals" pull-down menu option to "is greater than" and then change KB to MB. Enter a minimum files file size such as, say, 100MB. You can then delete any files that show up on the list that you no longer need -- or move them to an external drive at the very least.

Reduce Logon Items

If your Mac is slow to boot up, the problem may be that there are too applications to open at startup. It's likely you never set them to launch at startup -- they launch by default. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups and then click on the Login Items tab to see a list of the apps that open when you boot your Mac.

Highlight the apps you don't want to open at startup and click the minus-sign button below the list of apps.

Keep current with OS X

Apple releases new versions of OS X as free upgrades, so there is no reason not to stay current. New versions of OS X contain performance enhancements and security improvements to keep your Mac running smoothly and safely.

Check in periodically with the Updates tab of the Mac App Store for OS X updates, and don't ignore notifications of updates that are ready to install.

I hope this helps you with speeding up your Mac computer. If you feel like this is not something that you are comfortable with doing yourself, you can always bring your computer into our shop in Brick, NJ and a technician can perform these steps for you!

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