Tips to Maximize the Performance of Your Old Mac

Posted on November 22, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Your old Mac may not be performing to the best of its ability. Slowdowns could be due to a number of reasons such as corruption in the file system, errors etc. Getting a new Mac may not always be a feasible option. So before you take that step, take a look at these tips to maximize the performance of your old Mac.

old mac

1. Clean out start up items: There are some items which start up automatically each time you log in or restart the Mac. Check which ones fall into this category by going to Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Items. If you find too many, simply delete the unnecessary ones by selecting the name and hitting the minus button at the end of the list. Ensure that you are removing the right ones though!

2. Clean off your Hard Drive: This is a must if you want your old Mac to start working more efficiently. Your hard drive, no matter how big it is, will start to fill up over a period of time. Clean out all the stuff (read useless) you don’t really need. Check what apps and files are of no use to you and get rid of them. Once you’ve done this, you will notice a major improvement in the way your Mac works.

3. Evaluate your Widgets: Remember that widgets take up RAM. While there are several hundreds of widgets available, ask yourself how many you really need to use. Remember that the processor and RAM keep these widgets up and running. Disabling widgets that you do not really need helps to conserve the use of both the RAM and processor. Using Dashboard may not be necessary either. Disable it with free apps such as Tinker Tool, Disable and Enable Dashboard Utility or Bye Bye Dashboard.

4. Get rid of languages that you do not use: Macs’ come with several languages to use. However, chances are, you are not using all of them, nor do you need to. Getting rid of them will help to clear up space on your hard drive. Use a utility app like Monolingual to help you do this.

5. Run maintenance checks: This is crucial but a point that many of us overlook. Many a time, computers slow down because the cache has not been cleaned out. Maintenance apps like Onyx or MainMenu repair and verify disk permissions as well as clean out the cache.

6. Clean out System Preferences: There are several features that fall into the category of ‘System Preferences’. Turn off the ones that you do not use, such as Internet Sharing, Bluetooth, Universal Access, Speech Recognition etc. Doing this will once again help you to save precious resources on your processor and RAM.

7. Check your Activity Monitor: Use this to check the amount of SWAP and Paging usage. This way you can see if your system is running low on RAM which would account for the slowness. Consider upgrading your RAM – it is more economical than buying a machine.
Try out these steps to see if they help make your Mac work faster. If all else fails, you may just have to buy a new one!

About the Author: Allan Goltz likes writing articles related to Technology News, Gadget Reviews and How To. He also does guest posting for – a site that offers savings and current information on charter tv.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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