You shelled out a good bit of cash for your Mac. So it’s frustrating when you notice it start to slow down or otherwise fall short of its original zippy pace.
Here are 13 strategies you can employ to help lighten the load on your struggling computer.
These aren’t failproof silver bullets, though. They’ll certainly go far, but they won’t necessarily get your computer back to its original level of performance.
It’s perfectly natural for computers to slow down over time, so occasionally having to replace a computer is just a fact of modern life.
But here’s what to do to stretch every last bit of life out of your machine.
Browse your Applications folder and see if there are any apps in there you don't need. If so, use an uninstaller to get rid of them and free up hard disk space.
We recommend AppZapper to help with the uninstalls.
If you fill up your hard drive to the point that you have fewer than 10 GB of space left, this can cause some problems with virtual memory. Help reduce the burden on a drive that's filled with stuff by deleting the junk you don't need or by moving it to an external hard drive.
Your Mac and many of the programs you install come with alternative languages that you'll probably never use. Delete them using a free app called Monolingual and you can free up hundreds of megabytes of space.
Start up Activity Monitor from your Applications folder. You can sort your computer's processes by memory usage to see if something's using all your memory. If you can safely kill a memory-hogging process, go for it.
Frivolous Dashboard widgets are just one more way to throw your memory in the garbage. Pull up Dashboard, click on the plus sign in the bottom left corner, then click on Manage Widgets. Get rid of the stuff you don't need by clicking on the X in the corner of each one.
RAM is what lets your computer keep multiple programs open simultaneously. If your computer starts acting sluggish and it's been a while since your last upgrade, adding RAM is a cheap way to squeeze more life out of your computer.
It's a relatively low-level upgrade, but if you don't trust yourself, grab a tech-savvy friend to help you with it. You can pick up cheap RAM at a store like NewEgg.
Go to System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items. Browse the list of apps that appear there -- if any of them are apps that you don't immediately need when your computer starts up, remove them from the list. This helps unburden your computer during its startup process.
It's just good practice to make sure you're running the most current software. Run Software Update every now and then to download the latest updates. This will occasionally fix problems behind the scenes that make your computer run slower than it should.
We swear by Chrome. It tends to run faster than Safari and won't pilfer as much of your machine's memory.
A hot computer is a suffering computer. If your computer gets too warm, arrange some fans near it or prop it up to get better air circulation underneath it. You would also do well with one of these laptop stands.
This is commonly debated, but repairing disk permissions can supposedly help your computer run more efficiently. Open Disk Utility from your Applications folder and click on 'Repair Disk Permissions.'