Mac running slow? Speed up your computer with these tips!

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Any Mac computer can run slowly (iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Macbook). Even the fastest computers will slow down over time, but there are steps you can take to speed up a slow Mac.

In this post, we will show you some simple but effective tips that will help you speed up your Mac, and allow you to experience your computer’s best performance for the longest amount of time possible.

Mac running slow? –  Common Fixes

1. Use Mac Utilities to Clean Up Your Mac’s Hard Disk, Resulting In Faster Speeds

If your Mac is running slow a program like MacKeeper can fix a myriad of issues on your system. The program helps clean up your hard drive, remove Mac viruses, and keep your data safe.

MacKeeper is available for a free demo download here.

MacKeeper is a suite of software focused on speeding up a slow mac and protecting you from viruses and other malware. It’s a one-stop shop for all of your Mac maintenance needs.

How can MacKeeper speed up your slow Mac computer?

  • Frees up your hard disk and allows for more of the files you need on the system.
  • Provides an easy way to delete programs you no longer need.
  • Slims down your startup programs, allowing your computer to boot more quickly
  • Provides a chat connection with a real human to help you fix your computer problems.
  • Helps delete junk files, duplicate files, and unnecessary language libraries.
  • Protects your computer from Mac viruses and other security threats.

Not only will MacKeeper speed up your Mac, it can also be used as an effective maintenance suite to ensure that your computer lasts longer and runs faster in the future.

Here’s our Review of MacKeeper

2. Hardware upgrades

Hardware upgrades are the easiest way to improve the performance of a slow Mac. You can enjoy significant performance gains on your Mac even on a budget by investing in additional RAM for your Mac.

You are looking at a max of about $200 for a 8 GB RAM upgrade that can increase the number of programs you can run on your Mac. If you can afford it,you should definitely consider upgrading. There simply is no better way to speed up your Mac. Here’s a good Lifehacker article that talks about what all can be upgraded on your Mac Pro.

Solid State Drives are a great way to speed up an aging system. Your hard drive is often the bottleneck for system performance, meaning that it’s the slowest part of your computer and it holds back everything else. Here’s our guide to some of the best SSD’s on the market right now.

3. Check for Power Hungry Apps

Sometimes resource-heavy apps are the culprit for a slow Mac. These apps use up precious system memory and processor cycles and they tend to slow down the system overall.

See if you have resource hogs on your Mac by performing this check:

  • Go to the Applications Folder
  • Select Utilities
  • Select Activity Monitor
  • Select the CPU tab, shown at the bottom
  • Check the % Idle statistic
  • A high Idle statistic means that your computer is taxing itself under the load of the programs you’re running.
  • Check the list of active apps to see which apps are slowing down your Mac
  • Uninstall these apps. Try to find alternative versions that perform the same functions but use less resources.

4. Repair Disk Permissions 

Repairing disk permissions is critical for speeding up older slow Macs. Disk permissions dictate which users on a computer are able to view which files. Over time users tend to change permissions for various files, making it difficult for your computer to bring you files you need as you need them. Repairing disk permissions is a critical part of Mac maintenance for aging systems.

How do you repair your Mac’s disk permissions?

  • Go to Applications-> Disk Utility
  • Click on the First Aid tab
  • Run the Verify Disk Permissions function for the computer to scan for incorrect or unverified disk permissions
  • Once this scan is complete, you can Repair Disk Permissions

 

5. NVRAM Reset

Running an NVRAM reset helps Mac owners fix performance problems on their computer putting an end to their Mac running slow problems. You might have to run this reset if you’re experiencing issues with volume levels or startup disk selections. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of a regular maintenance cycle, but it’s something to keep in mind when your Mac is running slow.

NVRAM resets will not delete your user generated data when you run the program. You might have to restore your time and date settings, but this should only take you a couple of minutes at the most.  (Older computers used PRAM, newer Intel based Macs use NVRAM– the process for a PRAM reset is the same)

How do you perform an NVRAM reset to fix slow Mac problems?

  • Shut down your Mac
  • Press the power button
  • Press Command + Option + P + R before you see the grey startup screen
  • Press and hold until your Mac restarts
  • Release the keys when you hear the familiar startup chime
  • Your NVRAM reset should be complete

6. De-Clutter Your Desktop

Many amateur Mac users have about a 100 icons on your desktop at all times. What you must understand is that these icons are not static. Your Mac’s processor has to check up on and re-position your icons every time you start the computer, so keeping these to a minimum will help speed up your Mac.

That process takes up a lot of memory and CPU resources. Try to limit your desktop icons to just 10 or 20 icons. Try to keep the rest of your files and programs organized within your system’s libraries. Doing this will de-clutter your desktop and help you find the files you need more quickly than ever before.

We hope this post helped you find at least some answers to your question; “How can I speed up my Mac running slow?” We’d love to hear anything that we’ve missed– so please feel free to submit them to us in the comment box below.

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MacKeeper is available for a free demo download here.

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About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
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