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29 / 02 / 2016

Geeks Advice: Getting Your Mac Faster - Tips & Tricks

While Apple is always trying to make sure that its operating systems are optimized to run as smoothly as possible on newer hardware, the OS X might be a little sluggish for users of older Macs.

We’ve got some tips to help you improve your Mac’s performance:


1) Manage Login Items

Login items are processes that launch automatically after you log in to your computer account. These items can affect not only the startup time of your device, but also your computer’s performance by eating up RAM memory. Don’t forget to quit apps after you finish working with them so that they don’t continue to run in the background.

As for the login items, you can easily manage them by using MacKeeper:

  • Open MacKeeper:

  1. At the bottom of your Desktop, click the Finder icon.

  2. In the Finder's left sidebar, select the Applications folder, or press Command(⌘)-Shift(⇧)-A and double-click the MacKeeper icon (refer to pic #1).

  • In MacKeeper, navigate to the Login Items tab in the left sidebar.

  • Remove the applications that you don’t need to be opened automatically on startup by selecting the application and clicking the Remove button at the bottom of the Login Items window. (refer to pic #2);

Tip: If you want to select several applications at once, select them while holding the Command key.

  • If a pop-up message appears, click Remove once again.

For more information, see MacKeeper manual: http://manual.mackeeper.com/features/login-items/


2) Repair Disk Permissions

According to Apple, starting from OS X 10.11, system file permissions are automatically protected, so it's no longer necessary to verify or repair permissions with Disk Utility. However, if you are using the OS X version prior to El Capitan, you can use Disk Utility to repair disk permissions. Disk Utility checks whether the current file permissions are the same as they tended to be. When the permissions are incorrect, the applications might fail to work properly or might be running slow.

  1. Click ApplicationsUtilities to open the Disk Utility application (refer to pic #3).

  2. In the left sidebar, choose your startup disk (Macintosh HD, by default).

  3. In the bottom-right corner, click Verify Disk Permissions. As a result, your Mac will perform a diagnostic test. After the verifying is finished, click Repair Disk Permissions (refer to pic #4).

  4. Wait until the process is finished and shut down your Mac.

  5. In 30 seconds, turn on your Mac.

Note: Don’t worry if you get hundreds of error messages. You can ignore them, unless you see a warning in red telling you to replace a drive.

For more information, see this Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203172


3) Free Up Some Space

First, check how much free storage memory you have. Open the Apple menu, select About This Mac, and check the Storage tab (refer to pic #5).

The OS X can utilize free space on your hard drive as ‘virtual memory’. Make sure that your volume has about 10% free space. The more, the better.

If your Mac is running low on storage, you need to free up as much space as you can. You can use MacKeeper's Disk Usage tool to find large files and delete the ones that you don’t need (however, it’s better not to delete the files in the System and Library folders), or move them to an external drive.

You can find the Disk Usage manual here: http://manual.mackeeper.com/features/disk-usage/

We can also suggest using other MacKeeper cleaning tools, such as Fast Cleanup, Smart Uninstaller, and Duplicates Finder: http://manual.mackeeper.com/features/fast-cleanup/

Don’t forget to empty Trash, that’s when the files are actually removed from your computer!

4) Clean the Desktop

If you used to store most of your files on the Desktop, it’s time to move them to an appropriate folder. For example, the Documents folder will work fine for the pdf or text files.

The system must recognize and draw every single icon on the Desktop, and all that preview information for each icon is then stored in the memory. This might affect both the general performance of your Mac and the Finder’s performance. Try to keep your Desktop as clean as you can.

Tip: If you want to select all files on the Desktop at once, select one of the files and press Command-A.


5) Quit Unused Applications

One of the major reasons why your computer slows down is because it uses the most of the RAM. The following tips focus on optimizing the RAM, which should help you improve the overall performance of your Mac.

Your computer keeps as much information in RAM as it can, because it’s the most efficient type of memory. However, its fairly small size means that you should free it up somehow (by quitting the apps in the first place).

The easiest way to see a list of running applications is to open the Apple menu and choose Force Quit. (refer to pics #6a, #6b).

Quit the applications that you don’t need to be running at the moment, but remember to save all the unsaved progress before force quitting them.

Tip: If you want to select several applications at once, select them while holding the Command key.


6) Close Unneeded Tabs

The OS X treats each tab of an Internet browser as a separate process. Together with the browser itself, these processes might consume significant amounts of memory and CPU resources.  Don’t forget to close the tabs that you don’t need at the moment. If you want to return to the pages later, you can either bookmark them or add them to the Reading List (if you are using Safari).