You watch with envy the new Mac available on the Apple site ? Do not give in to the temptation, we will show you how to improve the performance of your computer to be as fast as a new one ! You will see that spending a little time cleaning up your Mac can (almost) work miracles.
To clear on your computer, we recommend CleanMyMac X.
1. Your Mac has a little bit of slack ? .
If you recognize your Mac in this list (non-exhaustive), then this article is for you :
Your Mac is exceeded.
Its you hard disk seems to be almost full.
Your OS no longer supports some applications.
Do you think that your access permissions are to be repaired.
To start up your Mac, many applications start automatically and at the same time.
You forget frequently to correctly shut down your Mac, some applications are still open.
For a complete cleaning of your Mac before a sale by sample, see the tutorial : Reset your Mac to factory settings.
2. Close all unused applications .
This may seem obvious, but start by exiting all programs in the background that you have no utility.
It may be that your Mac dedicates all of its memory and its processor to a program that you no longer use for days or even weeks.
To identify the relevant applications, it is sufficient to look at the Dock (the bar of icons at the bottom of your screen or on the side), if you see a point below them, this means that they are open.
If you do not see anything and want to have the heart net, you can go to System Preferences.., then select Dock, and select Show indicators for open applications.
Alternatively, you can press Cmd and Tab key (above caps lock) to bring up the Switcher of Apps. Press and hold the two keys and use the Tab key to move from one application to another.
There are three techniques to quit open applications :
Right-click and click Exit.
Click on the application in question by pressing down the ctrl key, and then select Exit.
If you do it via the App Switcher, press and hold cmd and press the Q button.
If the option Force quit is proposed to you, is that this application may be causing the slowdown of your Mac. Please do not hesitate to check out our tutorial that explains to you precisely how to force quit on macOS.
3. Use activity Monitor .
Some apps require more space and energy than other.
If you want to find : go to Utilities and select activity Monitor (or press command and the space bar)and in the search field type “activity”.
The activity Monitor will show you all the operations performed by your Mac. Attention, certain operations should not be closed.
Click Processor, and then click %processor,for displaying the programs in ascending order, of the most consumers at least. It’s the same for the options : Memory, Disk, and Network
For the app the more intensive, you can close them from the monitor. To do this, select your application and click on the X in the top left.
Note that they are often subject to updates, which should make them more efficient and faster to execute.
Speaking of efficiency, the last few years, the functionality and Energy has been added to the system OS X Mavericks. It allows you to see which apps and operations are using the most, as his name indicates, of energy.
If energy is your biggest concern, then close the most greedy of them.
4. Customize your System Preferences .
Open System Preferences and bring your attention to the last row. It lists all the applications that you have added to the system. If you don’t use them then delete them.
For this nothing more simple : right-click on the application, here Flash Player, and click Delete the preferences window “Flash Player”
5. Startup applications .
Open System Preferences.. and click on Users and groups. Now, go to Open, there you can see the programs which open automatically at startup of your Mac.
Select those that you want to close and click (-) to remove it.
6. Find free space .
The performance of your Mac depends, in part, of its available space. The Mac needs to be able to read and write its own virtual memory. This is a space for extra memory in which is temporarily stored data that is not used by the memory (RAM).
All of this returns us to the issue of the defragmentation process to consolidate fragments of files scattered on the disk, which then is accessed more easily and quickly.
macOS has its own safeguards that prevent the fragmentation of files. This is probably the reason why the defragmentation option does not exist in the Disk Utility. However, in order for these safeguards to work, you need at least 10 % free space on your hard drive.
Replace your Mac would not be the solution, since its memory will end up, sooner or later, by fill. It would therefore be more appropriate to “release” truly large files.
These large files can be backups as old versions of applications that you no longer use, e-mails accumulated or photos.
There are different ways of getting to know the amount of space available.
One of them is to go to the Apple menu, by clicking on the logo in the top left, and click on about this Mac.
Select Storage, from the tabs, it will calculate the backup space used and the applications in this space.
In the new versions of Mac OS, you can click on Storage, and from the options offered, you will be able to maximize your backup space. Otherwise, the iCloud is also a very good alternative.
You can also use the free trial version of WhatSize, or OmniDiskSweeper, to see the space used by each application on your Mac.
7. Move your photos and music .
You’ll be surprised at the amount of space occupied by your photos, videos and music on your computer.
To make room, you can either store it on the iCloud, on an external hard drive or on a USB key.
The iTunes library, for example, lends itself perfectly to the storage of your music or your videos. The access is from iTunes → Preferences..→ the Advanced tab, and make sure that the box Copy in the iTunes Media folder the files added to the library to be checked.
8. Empty the trash and the Downloads folder .
Still handling quite obvious : empty the recycle Bin.
Right‑click on the recycle Bin from the Dock and select Empty the recycle Bin.
You can also delete the unnecessary files in the Downloads folder. To access the files, click on Downloads, from the Dock, and all of its contents appears.
9. Remove old and large files .
Another way to recover the empty space, very quickly, is to open Finder and select All my files, then to classify them either by date or by size.
A ranking size allows to view files occupying a lot of space and by date of delete the oldest files.
To do this, click on the icon of a wheel. Click on show View options, dansOrganiser by, check the Size.
10. Remove applications and mini-applications .
Begin by removing applications and widgets is often the best starting point.
You just need to drag-and-drop the apps in the Trash. However, we recommend App Zapper, this app will reveal you the amount of space occupied by an application on your hard drive, when was its last use and gives you the opportunity to remove it and its associated files.
You can also find a lot of iOS apps that are hidden in your iTunes Library, and some of them can be heavy. If they are backed up on your Mac, they may be in the iTunes folder, which is itself under the Music folder.
Remember that once an app is downloaded from the Apple app Store, you are not charged for the second download, then please do not hesitate to delete it if you don’t need it.
The widgets can be deleted from the Dashboard. To access it, click the LaunchPad icon in the Dock.
In some versions of Mac OS, you can click on the icon (-) to delete in the bottom left of the Dashboard (in Mission Control) ; then click on the icon (X) to remove the icons and widgets that are unused.
On Sierra, they are in the Center of notifications, represented by the icon with four lines in the top right corner of your screen. To remove them, click on its icon to open it, click Edit at the bottom, then click the icon (-) in red.
11. Manual update (or automatic) programs .
Make sure that your macOS as well as all your applications are up to date. To do this, click the Apple icon in the top left. Select App Store → Updates.
Note that applications that have not been purchased on the Apple Store must be updated separately.
AppFresh is an app that allows you to track the updates that are available. Some of them automatically update when they are already built in to Apple.
For that macOS runs their update automatically, click on System Preferences..→ App Store, and check the box check for updates automatically, if this is not done. Also, check the box to Install updates to applications.
12. Delete the Caches .
Mac uses a lot of the Cache system, small files that are stored on the hard disk for later re-use.
Some are controlled by the system, others by applications. For example, a Web browser will hide the internet pages, for that, in the case of revisits of the pages, the hard drive reads the data caches of the site instead of reload. This process allows you to quickly display the pages you have visited.
Note that this is not all the apps that can manage these files.To realize, simultaneously press the keys Cmd + Shift + G from your Desktop.
A window named : Go to the folder then opens, enter : “~/Library/Caches/”.
Don’t be surprised by the number of gigabytes, the more heavy is often derived from your Web browser and programs such as Google Earth, iTunes,..
Given that the caches are re-created only when needed, you can delete them without hesitation, especially those related to applications not in use. Safari, Firefox, and iTunes will offer to remove the caches from their program.
There is a plethora of apps such as OnyX (available in French) or Cache Cleaner (in English) that erase the caches and you suggest to select those that you want to keep.
13. Empty the Safari caches .
Speaking of caches, Safari is cluttered ; remove them and your mac will thank you.
Click on the Preferences.
Select the Privacy tab.
Click Manage data from the web site..
Then click Delete or delete All, then Delete.
Finally, click Done.
14. Repair permissions .
Authorizations or permissions are used to manage the rights to files and to share access to it.
For repair :
Open the disk Utility.
In the sidebar on the left side, select your primary hard disk.
Click S. O. S, and then click Run.
On El Capitain, and macOS High Sierra, you no longer have the option of repairing permissions from the Disk Utility. In fact, the new System Integrity Protection (SIP), a kind of over-protection of the system against potential vulnerabilities, prevents any modification of the permissions, so no repair is necessary.
15. Turn off the visual effects .
Most of the users, not to slow down the system, choose to have their Dock stable.
To do the same :
Click on System Preferences.. → Dock.
Uncheck all options except Minimize windows into the application icon.
And then, in reduced Type, select scale Effect instead of Effect genius.
16. Add more RAM .
Adding RAM (random access memory where are stored temporary data) is often the first option considered when a computer..rame.
Before breaking your piggy bank, it would be a good idea to see how adding RAM to your Mac would make a difference.
The most simple :
Applications → Utilities and open Activity Monitor.
Click on the Memory tab.
Look at the gauge of the memory in the bottom of the window, if it is still green, adding RAM will not be necessary, but if it turns red then think about investing.
Also, the amount of RAM to add and the way to take depend on the model of your Mac. However, what is the common rule to all Mac and try to get the RAM chips from the same manufacturer and having the same ability to pair.
17. Rearrange your Office .
Each file on your Desktop is a window with an image in his breast (an icon or a preview of a file). Each window has a content which is stored in the RAM, so when you switch to the Desktop or using Quick Look, your Mac can show you the contents of the window.
In other words, most of the files are present on your Desktop, and more data are stored in the ram. This may cause the slowdown of your computer.
Then, think about arranging your files in a logical manner, for example store the songs in a Music folder, the vacation Photos in a Photos folder, etc
18. Restart regularly .
The eternal debate about the Mac is turn it off or put it to sleep ?
The main advantage to leaving it in standby is that it will resume the service as you left it after your last use. However, his sleep will impact on the RAM as there will be no more temporary files which are stored, until a complete shutdown of your Mac.
The virtual memory and the space on his hard drive allow him to “pretend” that there is RAM available. When these spaces are filled, it is then necessary to think about the restart.
Depending on your usage and the amount of RAM of your device, it is recommended to restart your computer several times a day, this will enable him to get rid of all the temporary files stored.
If, during the night, you want to perform a maintenance of your Mac, or run maintenance scripts (simple instructions allowing the execution and the automation of some specific functions of the system) it is always possible to schedule your Mac to automatically shut down at the end of the maintenance.
If we summarize, restart your Mac will delete the caches and close the applications, so it will be faster.
19. Check Spotlight .
Under macOS, you have Spotlight, a tool to locate files on your Mac.
If you have an older model Mac, Spotlight can take more time to explore and réexplorer the system. This may therefore slow it down.
The solution is to manage Spotlight to limit the files in explorer. To do this, go to System Preferences.. → Spotlight. Once the window open click on the Privacy tab.
You can now drag files and disks that Spotlight will not need to browse. In fact, it will be prevented.
This will have three significant impacts : a reduction in the number of files to explore, a faster search and a better performance of your Mac.
20. Create its own Fusion drive .
Most Mac come with an SSD instead of traditional hard disk.
A SSD allows you to store data on Flash memory (like a USB stick) ; it is smaller, less energy-consuming and much faster than a hard drive.
The downside is that it is obviously more expensive, depending on its storage capacity.
To not have to choose between hard drive and SSD price and performance, Apple released the technology of the Fusion drive. It is the combination of an SSD and a hard disk drive in one, which is the only one that Mac detects it. On the SSD of the Fusion drive will contain the operating system and applications because it is faster.
Other files, such as music, videos or photos will be, them on the hard drive.
If your Mac has an empty bay for hard disk (the location on the computer where is the hard drive), then you can also create your own Fusion drive, except if your Mac has an optical drive.
Please do not hesitate to take a look at our buying guide best SSD external for Mac.
21. Customize Finder .
By default, when you open Finder you are returned automatically to All my Files.
In order to change that, in Finder, go to Preferences. Click the General tab and select in the drop down menu to the desired location.
If you have an old Mac and a lot of files, especially if they are pictures, images of all formats, videos, viewing them, may also slow down your Mac.
22. Disable File Vault .
FileVault encrypts, by using the cpu cycles, files present on your hard drive. If you use it, disable it and observe the difference in performance.
Here’s how :
Open System Preferences.. and click on Security and privacy.
Select the FileVault tab.
To the right of the screen you will see Turn on FileVault, if it is on a grey background, is that it is not enabled. This is confirmed further down by : FileVault is turned off for the disk “Mac hd”.
If you need to disable it, first click on the padlock in the bottom left, enter your password to unlock it. Then, turn off FileVault.
23. All or nothing ! .
If you have tried all of our small manipulations to speed up your Mac, and that none of them really worked, you still have a solution : Install a new OS.
Attention, this is not to be taken lightly because you will have to fully erase the hard drive on which your operating system is installed.
This will erase including your different libraries, accumulated over the years may be also at the origin of the stroke of the slack out of your computer.
Remember that there should be at least a backup, or even two, of your drive before you erase everything. This will allow you to restore all your files after the installation of a new system’s OS performed.