Hello and welcome to this months top tips from All Things Mac..
I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do to speed up your Mac quickly and safely.
Stop unnecessary applications from starting up at login
First go to the top left hand Apple/system Preferences/Users and Groups panel.
Click on the Users and Groups icon and locate the login items tab. There should be no items in here. As in no applications should be starting up when you turn on your Mac. This enables the Mac to start up as it should. When you turn on your Mac it completes over 100,000 tests on its self. This is why it is always good practice to shut your Mac down each day. Apart from saving energy. Its a good way to ensure any issues are picked up and fixed before you start your days work.
If you do have items in this list first you might need to ‘unlock’ your system preferences. Click on the padlock and enter your password. This is the password associated with your Apple Mac user account. Then highlight the applications in the list and press the – (minus) sign in the bottom left of the login items box.
Once you have deleted all the items in the list. Give your Mac a restart and it will definitely run faster.
Another rather pointless (in my opinion) element of the Mac operating system I personally do not like is the option to ‘reopen windows when logging back in’ option you get when you restart your Mac. In a similar way to login items this option basically starts all the applications you had running prior to restarting. The problem I find with this option is that if you had a ton of apps open and finish your days work. When you start your Mac the next day and use different apps as you want to do something else you end up with a ton of apps running that are not being used. The biggest problem with this is that the more apps you use, the more Ram or memory your Mac and system resources will be using and in turn will be slowing down your Mac.
I say just start your Mac up and run what apps you want to use when you want to use them. If you are not using the app shut it down so your Mac is always running as fast as it can.
Keeping Files and Folders on your Desktop.
Any thing over 500MB I advise to store away in your house. No, not your physical house where you live but your user accounts house or home. When you start your Mac for the very first time you are asked to create an account. This is where all your data is kept by default. If you create say a Word document or a spreadsheet in Excel when you go to save it, by default it saves it in your house, Documents in documents. Music in Music. Photos in Pictures and so on. You can find your home or house folder by opening a finder window and you should see the house icon in the left had side of the favourites side bar or you can find it by navigating to Macintosh HD/users/
In your home folder you will see some folders. One if these is called desktop. This corresponds to the actual desktop on your Mac. Either create a new folder in your house account or just drag and drop the items from your desktop away to your house. Again. Restart and this will speed things up for you.
The reason why this is not advised is that if you place files or folders on your desktop your Mac thinks you are about to use it and it places some of this data in Ram or memory and again just slightly slows your Mac down. Of course if you have just a small amount of data then this will not impact on your Mac. If like one of my clients stored every single photo and video they had ever taken on their desktop then of course it will slow it down to an almost snails pace. The record for the most amount of data I have ever seen stored on a desktop 161GB.
Upgrade your system.
I still have people contact me that are running systems from 2008 and that can run Apple latest operating system Sierra or v10.12. Yes I’ve said this before but it really make a massive difference to how your Mac operates running the latest operating system. Its free and once you have a back up easy to do. Of course I am only at the end of the phone for any issues or questions but Apple make it very easy to do this stuff your self. Even just updating your system via the App store can make a big difference if you have let the updates slide. Back up first then upgrade. Security is the global buzz word flying around this rock we live on and your online safety is absolutely paramount and first in line to what Apple do when releasing new versions of their operating system. At the very least ensure you are running the latest updates for your version of the Apple Mac operating system you are running.
Upgrade Your Hardware
Do you think your Mac is getting old? You might be mistaken for thinking this but in reality Mac’s that are 5 or 6 years old are still very much able to be upgraded and you will get many more years out of it by spending a few quid on it. You might not be able to continue running the very latest version of Apple’s operating system but Apple will definitely keep it fully and securely updated for many years. That is their commitment to you. For around £200 you can massively speed up your Mac with a Ram and SSD upgrade but if you purchase a new Mac today from Apple you will only gain a small amount of speed increase than a 7 year old Apple Mac. If you choose Apple’s SSD (solid state drive) option you will be paying almost 3 times the cost of buying a non Apple SSD. I guess as Apple patented their own designed SSD then they can charge what they want. 15 years ago you would pay through the nose for a larger hard drive. Jump 10 years the same hard drive would be at least half the cost. 5 years ago you would pay £1000 for a large SSD that would cost you just a few hundred pounds today. The way of the world I guess. In any event our clients go wild for an SSD upgrade many saying they wish they had done it years ago.
Use Apple’s operating system to clean up and delete your data.
Finally with the release of Apple’s 10.2 or Sierra operating system you can go deep and delete all those unwanted App’s and that data you created 20 years ago that you’ve never again looked at or needed. Basic housekeeping is the term we use and apart from cleaning out and creating more space on your Mac it feels great if you have a touch of OCD like me. Again go to the top left hand Apple/about this Mac/Storage/Manage. When here your Mac will collate all your applications and data. It might take a while for your Mac to finish collecting the information it needs to be able to delete your data but let it do its work. You will then be able to click on the x on any item be it an Application or data and delete it. Remember if you delete an app purchased from the App store or music from iTunes you can just download it again when needed. This is particularly useful with MacBook Airs and their small solid state drives.
Anyway. As always. If you need any help or advice just get on touch.
Happy Macking
Jason