This article was published 12 years ago, therefore the contents of this post may be out of date.

Day by day your Mac can get slower and slower but you don’t really notice it because it happened so gradually. As time goes by it could interrupt our work and as people who work in the web industry for example the use of a computer is essential.

Today all is not lost, while this list is unlikely to make you mac into the speed freak these are just some simple tips which i personally use to help my mac feel a bit faster,  the following suggestions may help you.

I would recommend before doing any of these tips make sure you do a Time Machine backup also if you like make a folder on the desktop to drag and drop the following such as plists, caches files etc to compressed it just incase you do something stupid. Now these tips take some time but at least you will know what has been deleted etc.

1. Cluttered Desktop

Is your desktop cluttered with files these can slow down your machine. What about putting these files into folders in your home directory and create aliases to them on the desktop.

2. Repairing Permissions

All files in Mac OS X have a set of permissions, these determine which users or applications can have access to them. Sometimes the permissions are incorrect and not what the operating system expects. To repair disk permissions you can use the Disk Utility app (in /Applications/Utilities).

3. Your Hard Disk Nearly Full

Your Mac automatically utilises free space on your Hard drive as Virtual Memory to free up the RAM.  Try to make sure you have at least 10% to 15% free space available for this task. Using external hard drive for files and information that you don’t need to have on your Mac hard disk.

4. Login Items

Removing unwanted or little used programs from your login items to change your login items.

  • 1. Go to System Preferences then Accounts and click the Login Items tab.
  • 2. Right click any App Icon on the Dock, then go to Options then click Open At Login

5. Clear Out Caches, Log files and Temporary Items

It doesn’t hurt you to regularly clear out the Caches, Log files and Temporary Items in your user library. We have one easy way to do this and that is to use an application like CleanMyMac, MacKeeper or OnyX. If you prefer you can delete these items manually. These items can be found in User/Library/

6. Not Enough RAM

Your software can only take you so far. Upgrading your RAM will probably give you the biggest speed increase out of any of these tips. By utilising the Activity Monitor application which is under Utilities in your Application folder you can check if your Mac would benefit from more RAM.

7. Deleting Corrupt Preferences Lists (plist)

Preference files otherwise called plist can easily become corrupt and can make programs act weird or run slowly. If your Mac is slow using a particular application you can try deleting its preference file and relaunching the app and don’t worry the applications create a new file when they are relaunched if they can’t find an existing one.

Tip: It’s worth making a backup of the old file just i case you lose some settings that are hard to replicate.

8. Animated Wallpaper

Animated or slide show wallpaper can really impact the performance of your machine so it’s a good idea to turn this off

9. Unused Applications Running

All running applications use up your memory and your CPU usage, quit applications if you are not going to use them for a while. Some applications have memory leakage issues which means they tend to consume more and more memory the longer they are running (again you can spot these leakages in the Activity Monitor)

10. Removing Widgets Your Don’t Need

Every single Widget you have on your Dashboard uses memory, Remove any used or memory hogging widgets using the Dashboard control panel can help boost your Mac


10 Simple Tips On How To Speed Up Your Mac


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