As time goes by, most Mac users will begin to notice that their machine is gradually slowing down and struggling to perform tasks it could once manage with ease.
Whilst this effect is more pronounced on Macs than it is on Windows computers, it is generally easier to fix as well. Have a look at the tips below for advice.
Clean Up Your Hard Drive
1. What many users don’t realize is that in order to run efficiently, Macs require at least 10GB of free hard drive space, which they treat as “virtual memory” for processing ongoing applications.
To find out if your Mac meets this requirement, open a Finder window and select your hard drive directory from the top left of the menu, now press “Command” and “I” together and observe how much space you have available.
2. If your “virtual memory” reserves are below 10GB, you’ll need to free up some processing power by locating redundant/unused applications. You can use Finder to locate them, and most of the time you’ll be able to simply delete them, although some may have integrated uninstall programs.
3. On a similar note, you’ll need to delete some of your saved data / files, preferably stuff you no longer need, but in any case you can always back it up with a USB storage device.
4. Now you will need to empty your trash, as the files and applications you just tried to get rid of aren’t actually eliminated until you do so. Make sure you have backed up anything valuable before you do this as there’s no going back.
Tackle Sudden Slowdowns
1. If you notice a sudden slowdown in your Mac’s performance, then the culprit is more likely to be one or two specific programs that are running into difficulties.
Simply open the Activity Monitor located in your Utilities folder. This will bring up a list of all the applications you are currently running, and give you the option of ranking them according to how much of your processing power they are soaking up.
2. Observe which program(s) are soaking up a disproportionate amount of your CPU usage capacity. Save and close any applications relating to them, before shutting them down altogether.
If they won’t comply manually, you can force them to close by highlighting them in the Activity Monitor and selecting “Stop Process”. This will restore your Mac to full speed.
3. To stop this from happening when you next open the program responsible, search the developer’s website for updates. This kind of problem usually occurs when web browser plugins such as Flash become outdated, and generally they’re easy to fix.
4. It may also be worth taking note of applications that do not work well in conjunction with each other. For example, you might find that a sudden slowdown occurs when you try to run Firefox and Microsoft Word at the same time, and in this case it’s better to use them separately or to find another browser.
1. Dashboard widgets soak up processing power whether you are using them or not, so it’s generally wise to remove any that you don’t absolutely need. To do this, simply open your Dashboard, go to “Manage Widgets” and click the “X”. It’s that simple!
2. You should get into the habit of allowing your Mac to shut down and restart each day, if you’re one of those people who just leaves it on for days, you could be denying it the chance to install a multitude of updates it needs to run smoothly.
Following these simple steps should enable you to restore your Mac to full speed effectively. Understandably though, you may feel you don’t have the time to invest in such meticulous measures, and as such you might consider downloading one of the many Mac cleaner software packages available on the web.
These applications will take many of the steps outlined in this article for you, and go further to protect the efficiency of your machine in the future – all you need to do is decide how much you are willing to spend.
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