Whether you like it or not, only those Macs that are working at the desired (read: superfast) speed are either fresh from Cupertino or have had their OSs completely reinstalled. But unfortunately from the moment you start using your iMac, Mac Pro or MacBook, it starts hoarding junk data, filling up its cache files, clogging up the RAM, taking up valuable space on your hard drives and other irritating problems. And together not only do they result in the loss of your hair (try to stay calm!), but other frustrating side effects too.
These include longer boot times, repeatedly encountering that annoying spinning beachball cursor (which indicates that the task is still processing), increased use of CPU or memory, overuse of valuable battery power, and even a disturbing noise from the computer’s fan that is often accompanied by the entire device overheating.
System Memory and Hard Drives
There are various reasons why your Mac is slower than a butchered Windows XP system. Sometimes the problem comes from the hardware itself. Although simple hard drives are more reliable (and can store more data), they are still inferior when compared to the speed of solid state drives, which are often used to increase the pace of booting up and loading things. However, not even the market’s best SSD is safe from slowdown unless you have a large amount of RAM.
While Macs come with increasingly more system memory, the continuous advancements and expansion of macOS requires the operating system itself to take up more and more of these resources. The general rule for system memory is ‘the more, the better’. Another thing that can significantly slow a Mac down is a crowded disk drive; thankfully the solution is as simple as (Apple) pie: delete what you don’t need and voila, you’ll have plenty of disk space back and a swift computer once again.
Update to Accelerate
Yet one thing that users constantly forget is that it’s not only apps that need to be updated from time to time, but the OS itself as well. Unlike Windows operating systems before the introduction of Win 10, whenever you update macOS everything will stay in (more or less) its original place. Additionally there is always the option to just drop the equivalent of an A-bomb onto your Macs: a complete reinstall of the entire OS with which you’ll have a second chance at using your computer more wisely.
Even when you use your Mac for the most basic tasks using very little apps it will inevitably become slower over time. Even the smallest, seemingly insignificant things can cause your Mac’s speed harm: programs that launch at startup, apps that take up all of your RAM, using too many browser extensions, filling your desktop with files and folders will all affect your Mac’s performance. But even trivial things like not emptying the Trash will be a detriment to your Mac’s health.
Thankfully, all of the above can easily be solved; in fact, there are a number of tips to keep in mind to prevent your Mac from slowing down. Just to quickly recap, you will need to: reduce the number of programs running at startup; delete apps that consume too much memory; and wipe everything unnecessary from your hard drive, browser, desktop, and media libraries. The list really could go on. You should also delete your Mac’s and your browser’s cache – though admittedly this is only easy in the case of the latter.
Big Broom Sweep
Speaking of easiness, most of the above tasks can be performed without a Mac optimizer, but for jobs that require you to be extra careful or are not as self-explanatory as, for instance, emptying the Trash, such a program can be extremely handy. In fact, if you want to spend as little time with maintenance as possible then getting an optimization tool is a must: it performs deep system scans for you and all you need to do is pick what should stay and what should lie beneath the guillotine. Mac optimizers are often capable of ensuring better internet privacy, too, without tampering with your browser’s settings (and sometimes even equipping Macs with antivirus solutions), as well as optimizing your memory with just a click and completely removing files, folders or apps without a single trace of them left behind.