Mac Performance

How to Speed Up Mac Catalina

When looking after the performance of your Mac running macOS Catalina, it's crucial to pay attention to several factors. These issues can range from whether the software is outdated to if there's an accumulation of bloatware, which can slow loading speeds down and take up space on your system.

 

Holding on to old programs you no longer use and not clearing out bloatware and junk files can consume precious storage space and degrade your Mac's overall performance. But there is hope; with cleanup tools like MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup, you can remove junk, speed up your device, and reclaim space for what's most important. Download MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup today to help keep your Mac running like new.

Before we start:

 

Knowing where to begin can feel daunting if you want to speed up your macOS Catalina. With help from groundbreaking cleanup tools like MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup, you can get your Mac up and running like new again. By cleaning up the clutter piled up in your Mac system, MacKeeper reaches extraordinary results with improving Mac performance, especially on older models.

 

So, kick back and take it easy, knowing MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup is taking care of everything in the background. Follow the steps below on how to use MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup tool:

  1. Download MacKeeper here and install it.
  2. Select Safe Cleanup in the sidebar menu.
  3. Click Start Scan to locate the junk files on your Mac.
  4. Choose the files you want to remove, then click Clean Junk Files.

Why is macOS Catalina so slow?

If your Mac is running slow on Catalina, it could be due to various reasons, including insufficient hardware, too many startup programs, a cluttered hard drive, outdated apps, excessive background processes, and demanding system settings. To find out more about the potential causes of your Mac running slow on Catalina, read more below:

  • Insufficient hardware compatibility: If your Mac doesn't meet the minimum system requirements for macOS Catalina, your device can slow down due to inadequate hardware resources like RAM or CPU power.
  • Overloaded startup programs: If you typically have too many applications set to run automatically while your Mac starts up, this can consume significant system resources, slowing down the boot process and overall performance.
  • Cluttered hard drive: Hard drives that are nearly full or cluttered can struggle to operate efficiently due to a build-up of large files, redundant data, and a lack of free space, which hampers file management and slows down system tasks.
  • Outdated applications: Out-of-date apps might no longer be compatible with Catalina, causing them to be unable to run optimally, along with additional drag on system resources, resulting in slower load times and difficulty opening new programs.
  • Background processes: If your Mac has too many processes running in the background, this can dramatically decrease device performance, particularly if they are consuming a large amount of memory or processing power.
  • System settings and visual effects: Macs with settings too high for visual effects and specific system preferences can cause older hardware trouble functioning, leading to slower response times.

Does Catalina slow down older Macs?

Using Catalina as your operating system on an older Mac may lead to slower performance, largely due to the increased hardware demands of this version compared to previous macOS versions. So, if your Mac is slow and you're wondering what is causing these macOS Catalina problems, the root of these issues might be due to your device's age.

 

Often, older Mac computers can lose their processing power over time, along with memory or graphics capabilities, to effectively handle the newer features and enhancements found in Catalina. As a result, this mismatch can cause your device's system to slow down, require longer loading times, and become less responsive.

How to make macOS Catalina faster

Now that you understand what causes your Mac to run slow on Catalina, here are some helpful tips and tricks to help make macOS Catalina faster. Sometimes, you might need to learn how to delete system storage on a Mac by removing junk files, bloatware, and programs you no longer need. By removing these old files, you'll quickly find that you have ample macOS Catalina storage space, and your device is running smoother and faster.

 

Improving your device's performance can help make macOS Catalina faster and boost how efficiently it operates, regardless of whether you're working, creating, or browsing. Take a look below at this guide full of strategies to help enhance your system's speed:

1. Make sure your hardware is compatible with macOS Catalina

It's critical to ensure that your hardware meets the minimum requirements for macOS. Catalina can significantly enhance system performance. Incompatible hardware can result in your Mac running slow on Catalina, resulting in frequent system crashes and sluggish loading times.

 

Here are the steps you need to follow to check hardware compatibility:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left.
  2. Select About This Mac to check your current macOS and hardware details.
  3. Compare the results with the official Apple requirements for macOS Catalina and complete any upgrades to your device to boost compatibility.
Click the Apple icon to view hardware details. Compare this with Apple's requirements for upgrading to speed up MacOS Catalina.
Step 1. Select the Apple icon
Select About This Mac to view hardware details. Compare this with Apple's requirements for upgrading to speed up MacOS Catalina.
Step 2. Click About This Mac to view hardware details
Official Apple hardware requirements for macOS Catalina. Compare them to your Mac and complete any upgrades to your device to boost compatibility and speed up Mac Catalina.
Step 3. Compare the results with the official Apple requirements for macOS Catalina

2. Stop applications from running at startup

If your Mac has unnecessary applications running at startup, this can cause your device to use up precious resources and cause longer loading times. If you're eager to speed up macOS Catalina, follow the steps below to help manage which applications launch during your Mac's startup period:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Click Users & Groups, and then locate the Login Items tab.
  3. Select the Login Items tab, choose the applications you want to stop from opening at startup, and click the "-" (minus button) button to remove them.
To prevent apps from launching during startup, first access System Settings by selecting it from the Apple drop-down menu to help make macOS Catalina faster.
Step 1. Go to the Apple drop-down menu and select System Settings
Next, to prevent apps from launching during the startup process, open Users & Groups within the System Preferences menu to help make MacOS Catalina faster.
Step 2. Choose Users & Groups in the System Preferences menu
In the final step of this process, first click on the Login Items tab and choose apps to prevent from launching at startup to make macOS Catalina faster.
Step 3. Select the Login Items tab and select the apps you wish to stop during bootup

3. Remove launch agents

Another way to help make macOS Catalina faster and free up precious storage space is by eliminating unnecessary launch agents, essentially small helper programs running silently in the background. Here are the brief steps to help make macOS Catalina faster:

  1. Open Finder and go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents.
  2. Check the list for any items you don't want to use, then delete the files for these apps to prevent them from running.
Open Finder and navigate to LaunchAgents. Review the list of applications and delete their files to stop them from running, which will speed up macOS Catalina.
Step 1. Open Finder and go to LaunchAgents to stop unwanted programs from running
A Finder application on Mac showing the startup app files. Review the list of applications and delete their files to stop them from running, which will speed up macOS Catalina.
Step 2. Check the list and delete files for the apps you don't want to use

4. Close unused tabs in your browser

Now, for an easy strategy to speed up macOS Catalina, close any unused open tabs in your browser. This can help make macOS Catalina faster and smoother while saving up resources. In this case, go through your open tabs and close any that you no longer need; this will help keep your Mac running like new.

5. Manage Spotlight

Another helpful trick is configuring Spotlight to index only essential locations, which can help dramatically decrease the load on your Mac's CPU and drive speed. Follow the steps below to configure Spotlight and make macOS Catalina faster:

  1. Go to System Preferences, then select Spotlight.
  2. Click the Privacy tab, and press the "+" (plus button) to add folders you do not want.
To begin this process, navigate to System Preferences and select the Spotlight option to adjust search settings if your Mac is running slow on Catalina.
Step 1. Access System Preferences and choose Spotlight
In the Privacy tab, click the plus button to add and exclude specific folders from being searched or indexed if your Mac runs slow on Catalina.
Step 2. Click the Privacy tab and use the "+" to add folders you wish to exclude

6. Update programs

Additionally, regularly updating your apps can be an easy and quick way to speed up MacOS Catalina, often resulting in better device performance. Check out the steps below on how to update programs if you find your Mac running slow on Catalina:

  1. Open the App Store and click on Updates.
  2. Update all available apps for optimal compatibility and performance.
Open the App Store, click on Updates, and update all available apps to ensure optimal compatibility and performance to help make macOS Catalina faster.
Launch the App Store to check for updates

7. Shut down your Mac regularly

A simple way to speed up macOS Catalina is to restart your Mac; this can clear out temporary files and free up memory, resulting in faster boot-up times and operating speeds. Here are the steps you need to follow for a proper shutdown and restart:

  1. Close all applications and click the Apple icon in the top left.
  2. Select Shut Down or Restart from the dropdown menu.
Close all applications, click the Apple icon in the top left corner, and select either Shut Down or Restart from the dropdown menu to speed up macOS Catalina.
In the Apple icon, select Shut Down or Restart from the menu.

8. Add more RAM

The memory display shows how much memory your Mac consumes, giving you a breakdown of the amount of memory swapping between RAM and your startup disk and the allocation of memory that a specific app requires, including compressed memory.

 

Follow the steps below to see the amount of available memory on your Mac (for devices using macOS Sonoma 14):

  1. Go to the Activity Monitor, then click Memory.
  2. The Memory Pressure graph indicates how your computer is using memory:
    • Green: Your Mac is efficiently using all its RAM.
    • Yellow: Your computer will need more RAM.
    • Red: Your computer requires additional RAM.
  3. Check if your memory pressure displays red or yellow if a specific app uses more memory.
Use the Activity Monitor to assess your current RAM usage and, if necessary, upgrade by installing higher-capacity RAM sticks to speed up macOS Catalina.
Check your RAM consumption using the Activity Monitor

Note from our team: Free memory doesn't necessarily help boost device performance. Typically, macOS optimizes performance by efficiently using and managing all available memory.

9. Clean up your Mac's drive

A great tip to help speed up macOS Catalina is to remove and delete any unnecessary files or applications from your device. This strategy is quick and easy and will free up precious storage space on your hard drive while improving device performance in no time. However, if you want to speed up macOS Catalina automatically, try decluttering your macOS with MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup:

  1. Open MacKeeper, then select the Safe Cleanup tool and click Start Scan to identify the junk files on your Mac.
  2. Select the files you want to delete, then click Clean Junk Files.
  3. Click Empty Trash to automatically empty your trash during the cleanup.
The MacKeeper window displays various options, showing the Safe Cleanup feature selection to begin the process to help fix and speed up macOS Catalina.
Step 1. Open MacKeeper, select Safe Cleanup, and start the scan
Within the Safe Cleanup window of MacKeeper, users will follow the simple process of how to speed up macOS Catalina for enhanced system performance.
Step 2. Choose files to delete, then click Clean Junk Files
An interstitial window emerges, advising to empty the trash to complete the process to help quickly speed up macOS Catalina, by removing any unnecessary data.
Step 3. Click Empty Trash to remove it automatically

Hint from our team: 

 

If you’re serious about finding new ways to make macOS Catalina faster, deleting your cache on your browser can help make a difference. Keep in mind that besides freeing up space on your Mac, removing cache files can cause the deletion of critical system and application files. If that happens, bringing your device to an expert is an excellent way to prevent further damage.

10. Use Safe Mode for a clean boot

The benefit of starting your Mac using safe mode is that it prevents any third-party programs from booting up. As a result, this makes it possible to open apps individually to try and determine which app may be causing the issue.

 

Check out the steps below to start your Mac (for devices using macOS Sonoma 14) up in safe mode to help speed up macOS Catalina:

  1. Shut down your Mac, press the power button, and hold down the Shift key.
  2. Release the Shift key when you see the login window.

11. Setup user interface visual effects

Decreasing visual effects on your Mac can be a simple way to lessen the strain on your device's graphics processing unit, while also helping to boost uploading and response times. Follow the steps below to quickly adjust the visual effects on your Mac and make macOS Catalina faster:

  1. Open System Preferences and select Accessibility.
  2. Choose Display and check the options to reduce motion and transparency.
To start this brief process, open System Preferences and select Accessibility to help speed up MacOS Catalina and free up space.
Step 1. Launch System Preferences and then choose Accessibility
After that first step, select Display and adjust settings to reduce motion and transparency for better visibility, which will help speed up macOS Catalina.
Step 2. Select Display and check the available options.

12. Use external eGPU

If your Mac is running slow on Catalina, one way to resolve this frustrating issue is to connect an external eGPU (external Graphics Processing Unit), which can help significantly boost the performance of graphics-intensive applications. Follow the steps below to set up an eGPU to speed up macOS Catalina:

  1. Quit any open apps.
  2. Use Finder to locate the app in the Applications folder.
  3. Press Command and 'I' to open the app's info window.
  4. Check the box next to Prefer External GPU.
  5. Open the app to use it with the eGPU.

When searching for the right eGPU, here are some crucial factors to consider:

  • Compatibility Check: Double-check the eGPU's compatibility with your system, including the amount of space, power supply, and connectivity.
  • Performance Needs: Find out the tier of graphics card based on your performance requirements, including resolution and frame rate.
  • Thermal Design: Choose a graphics card with an efficient thermal design to maintain optimal temperatures and ensure stable performance.
  • Power Requirements: Ensure that the power requirements of the graphics card and your eGPU enclosure's power supply are compatible.

13. Keep large files on external storage

Another option is to start storing all large files on an external hard drive, which can help declutter your Mac's internal drive and optimize device performance to help make macOS Catalina faster. Check out the steps below on how to manage an external storage hard drive:

  1. Connect an external hard drive or SSD to your Mac.
  2. Transfer large files such as videos, photos, and documents to the external drive.
  3. Keep your internal drive with at least 20% free space for optimal performance.

14. Use an SSD instead of a hard drive

In some cases, to make macOS Catalina faster, you might have to upgrade from a traditional hard drive to a Solid-State Drive (SSD), which can dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of your Mac.

 

If you want to upgrade to an SSD and make macOS Catalina faster, you have two options: purchase a compatible SSD, replace the hard drive with the SSD, or hire a professional. Before you begin, you should back up your Mac using Time Machine, using the steps below:

  1. Click the Apple drop-down menu and select System Settings.
  2. Choose General in the sidebar, then select Time Machine on the right.
  3. Click Add Backup Disk, connect the storage device, and click Set Up Disk.

15. Apply First Aid

The First Aid feature in the Disk Utility on Mac is a fantastic tool that can help you quickly find and repair disk errors, improving system stability and speed. Here are the steps on how to use First Aid to help make macOS Catalina faster:

  1. Open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder and find the First Aid tab.
  2. Select your startup disk, then click First Aid and Run to repair the disk repair.
To make macOS Catalina faster, begin step one by opening Disk Utility. Then, locate the First Aid tab and the Utilities folder.
Step 1. Open Disk Utility, then locate the First Aid tab and the Utilities folder
In the second step of this brief process, choose your startup disk, click the First Aid tab, and select Run to speed up macOS Catalina.
Step 2. Choose your startup disk, then click First Aid and Run

16. Use third-party software for optimization

Another helpful trick to make macOS Catalina faster is to use third-party software cleaning tools, which can work to thoroughly remove junk files and optimize the performance of your Mac. Follow the steps below on how to use third-party optimization software like MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup:

  1. Open MacKeeper, then select the Safe Cleanup tool and click Start Scan to identify the junk files on your Mac.
  2. Select the files you want to delete, then click Clean Junk Files.
  3. Click Empty Trash to automatically empty your trash during the cleanup.
The MacKeeper window displays various options, showing the Safe Cleanup feature selection to begin the process to help fix and speed up macOS Catalina.
Step 1. Open MacKeeper, select Safe Cleanup, and start the scan
Within the Safe Cleanup window of MacKeeper, users will follow the simple process of how to speed up macOS Catalina for enhanced system performance.
Step 2. Choose files to delete, then click Clean Junk Files
An interstitial window emerges, advising to empty the trash to complete the process to help quickly speed up macOS Catalina, by removing any unnecessary data.
Step 3. Click Empty Trash to remove it automatically

17. Do a clean installation of macOS Catalina

If you find your Mac running slow on Catalina, one of the best ways to rectify this issue is by installing macOS Catalina properly; this can help remove any hidden or underlying system issues and refresh your Mac's operating system.

 

You should back up any critical data to an external device before erasing it, as this process will delete all information on the disk. Check out the steps below on how to perform a clean installation:

  1. Select Restart in the Apple menu and hold down Command + R as your Mac reboots until the macOS Utilities window appears.
  2. Choose Disk Utility and click Continue.
  3. Select your startup disk, click Erase, choose APFS or macOS Extended from the Format menu, name the disk, and click Erase again.
  4. Choose Disk Utility and then Quit Disk Utility.
  5. Select Reinstall macOS, click Continue, and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to speed up macOS Catalina by removing malware, junk files, and programs no longer in use, how about taking the next step and keeping your Mac running at peak performance? With help from a cutting-edge tool like MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup, you can boost your device's efficiency, free up space for what you value most, and keep your Mac running at optimal speeds. Try MacKeeper today, and let it take care of everything!

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