How to Optimize Mac Performance and Say Goodbye to Lag


Slow computers are no fun, especially since more and more people are working from home. Learn how to optimize mac performance and say goodbye to computer lag.

In 2017, Apple revealed that there were almost 100 million active users of its Mac computers. During that time, the value of the company’s Mac sector alone was worth nearly $25 billion.

Today, iOS X (AKA macOS X) now accounts for 25% of desktop operating systems in the US alone. That makes North America the biggest user of Apple computers in the world.

Despite its pros over other brands, such as ease of use and better security, Macs aren’t immune to lags. Just like any other computer, iMacs and MacBooks will still slow down over time.

Simple hacks to optimize Mac performance can prevent these issues though. What’s more, today’s Macintosh computers make optimization even simpler for users.

Ready to get the max out of your Mac? Then be sure to check out these tips on how to clean your Mac and make it perform at its peak once again!

Make Sure You Have the Latest macOS

The first step on how to optimize your Mac’s performance is to make sure it’s running the most recent OS version. The most recent operating system update is the macOS Catalina version 10.15.3.

To check what version your Mac is running, click the Apple icon on the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Click “About This Mac”, which will bring up a window that contains details about your current OS. If you see other than “macOS Catalina” in there, click the “Software Update” button.

The latest OS version is key to better Mac optimization as it installs the latest app patches. These patches correct bugs that may have been an issue with previous versions. Aside from performance upgrades, these patches also make your Mac more secure.

Take Advantage of Mac’s Storage Recommendations

This being 2020, experts say that the world will produce a whopping 40 zettabytes. That’s 5,200 GB worth of data spread throughout every human being in the world.

While you may not be holding that amount of data to your name, you’re still likely using much of your Mac’s storage. Note that new MacBooks only have 128 GB to 256 GB of hard drive, while iMacs usually come with 1 TB of hard drive. If you have an older model, then your iMac likely only has a 500 GB drive.

The thing is, unnecessary files and apps are likely taking up a good portion of that space. That means you have less space for new files or programs that you do need. Moreover, all those unneeded files can cause your Mac’s performance to drop considerably.

The easiest way to address these files is to follow your device’s recommendations. You’ll find this under the “Manage” option in the “Storage” tab of the “About This Mac” window.

Within that tab, you can set the automatic deletion of files in your Mac’s Trash folder. Turning this on will erase all files in Trash after 30 days of being in that folder.

You can also enable the “Optimize Storage” option for TV shows and movies you’ve already seen. This feature also automates the erasure of these downloads after you’ve watched them.

Move Important Files to the Cloud or a Hard Drive

For files that you don’t want to permanently delete, consider moving them to iCloud. It gives you 5GB of online storage for free, but you can upgrade your plan up to 2TB.

You should also import as many files as you can to an external hard drive. If your EHD has a large capacity, consider setting it up as your main storage space. The less the load on your Mac’s built-in hard drive, the faster it will perform.

Optimize Mac Performance By Uninstalling Apps You Don’t Need

One of the best steps on how to clean Mac computers is to get rid of all those unneeded apps. You don’t use them, but they’re still eating up valuable space in your hard drive. The more of these programs you have, the slower your device will get.

Start with the apps that you may have only used a few times before but no longer really need today. You may also have installed these programs as an “extra” or “add-on” of another download.

Either way, you can easily find all your apps by opening Finder and clicking “Applications”. That should bring up a complete list of all the apps stored in your Mac. Drag those that you don’t need into the Trash or right-click on each one and choose “Move to Trash”.

Monitor Memory-Guzzling Apps Running In the Background

The fastest way to do this is to open Spotlight Search (command + spacebar) and type in “Activity Monitor”. This will bring up a window containing all processes your Mac is running. Go through the list and see if there’s any program that you’re unaware of but is using valuable CPU resources.

If there is, click on that item to highlight it and then click on the “X” button on the upper left-hand corner of the window. You’ll get a message asking if you really want to quit or force quit the program. Make sure that you don’t need that app before hitting either quit or force quit.

Disable As Many Start-Up Items As Possible

Another key step on how to optimize Mac is to make it boot without additional startup items. Startup items are programs loaded and launched as your Apple computer boots. Since your Mac needs to run these at the same time, it will take longer to restart.

Moreover, once these programs launch, they’ll continue to run even if you don’t use them. This means that they’ll still contribute to RAM usage, which can affect your Mac’s speed.

As such, disabling these programs will help optimize your Mac from the moment it boots. You can do this by opening your System Preferences with Finder or Spotlight. Go to “Users & Groups”, select your username, and then choose the “Login Items” tab.

Highlight each of the apps that you want to disable and then click the “-” button at the bottom of the list. You may have to click the Lock icon first and key in your password before you can make changes.

Optimize Your Mac Now for Max Performance

There you have it, all the easy ways to optimize Mac performance and make it a speed monster once again. The more of these hacks you follow, the more space you’ll be able to free up in your Mac. The more free space it has, the faster and better your Apple computer will perform.

Ready for more insider tips that’ll help improve your tech-savviness? Then be sure to check out the other tech posts on our site!

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