How to make your Mac run Faster

Like all computers, Macs become slower over time. Here are our top five tips for speeding up a slow Mac.

Limit the number of apps you have open
Keeping too many apps open uses up valuable RAM resources. When you have multiple apps open, your Mac’s ram is being spread out amongst them. If you have a web browser open, keep an eye on how many tabs you have open, as each tab is effectively a new browser being opened. You can find out what apps are draining your Mac’s memory by using the Activity Monitor feature. Open the Applications folder, then select Utilities, and finally Activity Monitor. Here, you’ll be able to see the processes that are using the most memory. You should also periodically restart your Mac, as if you haven’t, your RAM could be maxed out. We’re all guilty of keeping our Macs open for weeks on end, but restart it regularly and you’ll notice some improvement.

Keep enough storage space free
Part of your Mac’s speed is based on how much empty storage space you have, so bear this in mind. In terms of defragging you don’t need to defrag your Mac, because macOS has its own built-in way of dealing with the issue of fragmentation. However, it’s still recommended that you leave at least 10% of your Mac’s storage space free. It’s worth looking at what needs to be stored on your Mac, both in terms of large files, but also apps. You should consider uninstalling apps that you haven’t used in a while, or don’t use frequently enough to have them installed on your Mac.

Keep an eye on iCloud syncs
If you use iCloud to sync files from your Mac to the cloud, this can slow down your Mac, particularly if you’re saving large files. Now, obviously backing up is important, and iCloud and other cloud storage services are a great method of doing so, but syncing can slow down your Mac. Our advice would be to avoid storing large files in places that are set up to be synced to the cloud, like your desktop. Doing so will mean your Mac won’t be constantly uploading these large files to iCloud. Do remember, however, that this means you won’t have a copy of the file anywhere else, so a proper backup – for example, to an external hard drive – is still important.

Upgrade your Mac’s hardware
If you’re still using an older Mac and want to get the most of it, look into upgrading your hardware, in particularly the RAM and storage device. In modern Macs, which use M1, M1 Pro or M1 Max, upgrading RAM is impossible. If you own an older Mac, installing additional RAM is relatively easy and can make a huge difference. You can also look into upgrading your Mac’s primary storage device. Again, if you’re using a newer Mac, then it will contain a solid-state drive (SSD), so this won’t be an issue; but older Macs used hard disk drives (HDDs) to store data. Hard disk drives are slower, use more power, and by upgrading to an SSD, you will see immediate differences.

Do a clean reinstall of the operating system
This is not a decision to be taken lightly, but if you’ve exhausted all of the above options and your Mac is still slow, consider reinstalling macOS. This obviously means everything stored on your Mac will be deleted, including apps and files, but it will give you a Mac that is effectively brand new, straight out of the box. Just remember to back up any important files before you do this,  because data recovery will be impossible.

Speed up Mac