When you turn up your Mac, its OS is the first to turn, because the operating system controls everything on your computer. If you want to make your Mac run really fast, you need to speed up the operating system (Mac OS X) and get it to run more efficiently. This may require a bit of tidying up, turning off or deleting several settings, apps or unnecessary files. Of course, you should run the latest version of Mac OS X.
How to Clean Up Mac OS X
How to Slim Down the Hard Drive
The hard drive runs faster when you have less clutter on it. That’s the only truth. So if you delete any folder, file, program you don’t need will speed up your computer. After you have deleted all the items you don’t need anymore, empty the Trash bin (click ᴂ+CLICK on the Trash icon to open the Trash, then choose Empty Trash).
If you think that you could use some of the files in the future or are just unsure about their destiny, you can move rarely used programs to an external hard drive instead of deleting them.
How to Shut Down Unused Apps
Too many apps slow down the Mac, if they are running simultaneously, as they all jostle for processor attention and memory. Some of the programs are very “processor intensive”. So to speed up your computer, quit the unused apps: Open the Dock and look there at the icons. You’ll see how many applications your Mac is currently running (see also the next paragraph). An open app has a white dot below its icon. Now Ctrl+click the icon for the program that you don’t need at this moment, then choose Quit. You can also use the Application Switcher to see what apps are open. Just press ᴂ+Tab.
How to Shut Down Menu Bar Apps
Note that not every running program displays in the Dock. Some of the apps run in the background (commonly, they are services). These apps display in the menu bar at the top right of the desktop, and, therefore, you can overlook them. But quitting these apps speeds up background processing.
To quit a Menu bar app, just click its menu bar icon and then choose Quit.
Don’t worry about unwillingly quitting an application that is vital for Mac OS X functions, as these icons don’t have a Quit option, and you will not be able to close them from the Menu bar (we are talking about AirPort, MobileMe Sync, Time Machine apps and so on).
How to Get Rid of Login Items
The apps which load during login, slow down the initial startup process and take up space in memory. To see a list of items that open automatically when Mac starts, open System Preferences, then click Accounts, click Login Items. When a dialog box opens, showing all items which load during startup, highlight the item and click the remove icon. In this way you’ll prevent unwanted program from running during startup by using the Accounts window.
Tip: If you are not sure what an item in the Login items list is, press ᴂ+CLICK. Go to Reveal in Finder. This screen takes you to the location of the application in Finder. If you still can’t understand what the app is, copy and paste it’s name into a search engine, the answer may be right there.
How to Clean Out Unused System Preferences
Programs running in System Preferences usually work in the background. It is possible to gain a performance boost by turning off or removing those preferences you don’t need. To perform the operation and improve performance, open System Preferences and go to Other section. In the Other section you’ll find the list of the applications you have added to your Mac OS X. To remove a system preference, ᴂ+CLICK the icon. Then choose Remove name of application Preference Pane. Keep in mind that you’ll have to enter an administrator password to remove items from System Preferences.
Important: Only the items in the Other section of System Preferences can be removed. You can’t remove the items which are included by default with Mac OS X. Thus it is rather safe to remove the apps you can remove (you’ll not be able to use their functionalities, of course, but this will not affect your computer).
How to Remove Old Code, Fonts and Languages
Apple has so called Universal applications, programs that could run on both types of computers, Macs and PC. These Universal applications contain two sets of codes, one for PowerPC and another for Intel. You may want to remove the unused codes from apps installed on your Mac.
Mac OS X installs multiple languages, and, logically, all of them take up space. You can get rid of all the unused languages. To delete unused languages, you can install Monolingual, which is a program for removing unnecessary language resources from Mac OS, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. This program requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least macOS 10.11 (El Capitan). Monolingual is freeware. If you like it and want to support its development, you can donate a small amount.
Many fonts are installed on Mac to control the display of text. Cleaning out unnecessary fonts saves a very small amount of space, but duplicate fonts can cause conflicts, so keeping only trouble-free fonts ensures that everything runs smoothly. A built-in application exists on Mac OS, which manages fonts. This app is called Font Book, and it is located in the Applications folder. Font Book easily identifies duplicate fonts, which will be marked with a small yellow triangle. To remove these fonts, highlight them, then choose Edit-Resolve Duplicates. If the Edit-Resolve Duplicates command doesn’t fix a conflict, highlight the duplicate fonts and choose Edit-Disable.
Be aware that when you delete codes, fonts or unused languages, you nonetheless remove codes. Be sure to back up Mac OS before using these options.
How to Clear the Cache?
In fact, programs you use improve performance by storing data accumulated on a hard drive. This data is called cache, and clearing the cache shouldn’t be part of regular maintenance of your Mac (however this concept of clearing out the caches often crops up in Mac speed tips). A faulty cache can bring a program to a halt, but caches are used to speed up a system. So we advice you to keep caches unless you have got problems with them.