New Apple computers often cost upwards of $1000, which is just too much for many people. Your computer is starting to slow down, but you can’t quite afford a new one– so how can you make your current computer last as long as possible?
Perform regular maintenance
Just like a car or any other complicated device, your computer requires regular maintenance. Keeping up on these tasks is a good first step towards keeping your computer in tip-top shape.
1. Keep up with operating system updates
Some people don’t bother updating their operating system when new software upgrades are available– but they’re necessary for keeping your computer working as long as possible. Operating system upgrades will include performance optimizations, repair memory leaks, and fix various bugs that lower your computer’s performance.
2. Follow our guide on speeding up a mac
We don’t want to toot our own horns, but this guide is a great place to start. “Speeding up” your computer and extending its life is very similar in many ways.
3. Use lower-impact apps
One of the biggest issues with an older Mac computer is a lack of RAM. Some programs tend to use more RAM than others, and these should be avoided.
Google Chrome is one of the biggest offenders here. While it is very full-featured and easy to use, it can be a bit of a memory-hog. Safari used to to be a similarly hungry browser, but it has slimmed out in recent years. Sorry Google fans, but Safari is just the better choice for an older system.
iTunes is a very wide-reaching program that’s deeply integrated into the OSX experience. It handles just about everything, but that means it can be a bit bloated and memory-hungry. There aren’t a ton of alternatives, but if iTunes is using up too many system resources it might be a good idea to give something else a try.
Miro is a good alternative for iTunes. Miro is open-sourced and very lightweight. It doesn’t sacrifice features in order to give a great user experience. Give it a shot if iTunes is hogging too many of your system resources.
Clementine is another good choice for older systems, but development has ceased and it will only work on a computer running Mountain Lion.
4. Clean out your harddrive
There are a couple of ways to do this– manually, or with the help of a Mac cleaning utility.
MacPaw has a good program for this called CleanMyMac 3, and it’s what we recommend for this process. It does more than cleaning out your hard drive, and the program provides a good way to extend the life of your computer if you don’t want to fuss about for hours worrying about installing new programs .
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