It almost doesn’t matter how well you take care of your Mac, with time it will get slow. Especially when you install MacOS X updates. On the other hand, it keeps doing what it’s supposed to, and you just hate the idea of throwing it away just because you have to wait several minutes longer for it to perform the required operation.
Moreover, when you visit the Apple store and see the price of a new MacBook or iMac, chances are huge you would conclude that an attempt to speed it up using a special software or partially upgrading hardware might be well worth the effort. Besides, you might have just become attached to this machine that was serving you faithfully for many years. Below you’ll find several ideas on how to make your old Mac perform much faster and be good for quite some time.
How to Speed up an Old Mac without Buying Hardware
- Disable animations
The visual part of any MacOS is close to a masterpiece, no doubt about it. But all these magnificent animations slow down your Mac – no doubt about that either. Thus, if you want speed, you’ll need to sacrifice all this fancy window, quick look, dock, and mail animations. Just google appropriate Terminal commands for each type of animation.
- Disable noncritical Finder features
Mac’s Finder is another example of very well-thought out interface and functionality. At the same time, on older Macs, some Finder features may cause lags and sluggish performance. To keep it in good shape, we advise you to disable the following components in Finder and free up valuable system resources:
- Item Info;
- Size Calculations.
You can do this all together via View Options in Finder’s View menu.
- Remove unnecessary login items and background applications
Even if your Mac is really old, it doesn’t mean that it should boot up slowly. Check out the list of items that launch on startup (System Preferences -> Users and Groups -> Login Items), find those that you don’t really need and remove them. Additionally, disable the auto-resume feature that opens all apps that were active on shutdown (Shutdown Menu -> uncheck Reopen windows when logging back in).
To get done with the unnecessary applications, after the system starts, go to Force Quit from the Apple menu. You will see the list of apps that are currently running in the background and eating up precious resources. Select those that you don’t use and click Quit.
- Free up disk space and clear desktop
This advice is as good for the old Macs as it is for the latest ones. No matter when your Apple computer was produced, having enough of free space on the hard drive is crucial for its performance (from 5% up to 20% on some models). Hence, delete or move to external drive anything that you don’t imperatively need on your Mac. And do yourself a favor: clean up that mess on your desktop. You’ll wonder how much space all those shortcuts and files that you forgot to move take up.
- Clean browser extensions
Surfing the Web is a vital necessity nowadays. It’s not a rare thing when you have couple dozen tabs opened in your browser concurrently. Add here various browser extensions and plugins that are supposed to make a user’s Internet experience comfortable. As a result, your Mac almost certainly would lag. You’d better limit the number of tabs you open simultaneously and get rid of browser add-ons you don’t use.
- Repair disk + defrag (if you have HDD)
Repairing disk is a must-do operation for any Mac user. Go to Applications -> Utilities, choose the hard drive you want to check and recover, click Verify and then – in case errors were found – Repair. Also, if you still have HDD, defragmenting it would be a good thing to do. Although defrag is not required for Macs in MOST cases, it still may be quite useful for old HDDs, for example, after several OS updates. Thoroughly follow this guide to perform defragmentation safely.
- Reinstall MacOS X
If you’ve tried everything to revive your old Mac, but its slow performance still drives you mad, just start with a blank sheet – reinstall MacOS X. You can do that from MacOS Utilities menu. Thus, in a short while, you’ll have a brand new operating system. Just don’t forget to back up all your data before launching reinstallation sequence.
Accelerate Your Old Mac Running Slow with New Gear
In case manipulations with software-based methods don’t work good enough for you, it may be a sign that it’s time to set sights on hardware. Yes, it would cost you a buck, but buying a new Mac would cost you way more.
We just would like to note that recommendations below are easier to implement when you need to speed up old iMac or Mac mini. But some tips would still work well for all MacBook versions, too.
- Get SSD
Hey, it’s XXI century outside the window, HDDs are now blast from the past. SSDs are faster and more reliable. Just get one.
- Buy more RAM
Increasing RAM volume is another surefire way to breathe new life into your ancient Mac. It’s not a flat assertion, but today you need a minimum of 8Gb memory to carry out a bit more than just everyday tasks. Got less? Well, you know what to do.
- Replace battery
Mac’s CPU performance (and the overall speed consequently) to a great extent depends on battery. If the accumulator is old and drains quickly, it’s no wonder Mac is sluggish. Check the battery with a designated software or in the service center and replace it if necessary.
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