How to clean, optimize and speed up your Mac

If your Mac is beginning to slow down, it may be time for a deep clean. Whilst a tidying up of your Mac is an impactful way to immediately improve performance, we can also optimize the Mac in other areas for more long-lasting performance. So, here are a few ways to clean and optimize a Mac to get the most out of your machine.

Macbook Cleaner Software

Before starting with the more manual advice, there is Macbook cleaner software to help automate the process. This can help clear the cache and empty the trash with a click of the button. We’ll come back to this, but it’s important to know all of the tools at our disposal before starting.

Updates

A common reason behind dwindling performance and errors is because of out-of-date software. So, make sure that not only the OS is up to date, but all of the software applications too. Very strange things can happen otherwise, from audio and second-screens not working to a device that randomly turns off. New software is vital for not just speed, but security too.

Managing your storage

You need to keep your storage under control in order for your Mac to operate at its optimum. This means that storage shouldn’t be more than 85% full. If it is, there are some options on how to solve this. Firstly, you can uninstall software that isn’t really needed, or media that you no longer use. In fact, you can back these up to iCloud, so you won’t actually lose them when you delete them locally.

The second way to improve your storage situation is by clearing the cache, temporary files, and logs. This can be done by heading into the ~/Library/Caches/ file directory and going into each application folder and deleting the cache and temporary files within. Alternatively, you can use the Macbook cleaner software mentioned earlier.

Finally, expand your HDD, or upgrade to a SSD. This way, more storage can be used, meaning the % used up will drop. An SSD will also drastically improve performance.

Managing Memory

Memory is slightly different to storage – it refers to the RAM instead. RAM can be cleared in one of three ways. Firstly, you can open up the Activity Monitor (within Utilities in the Application folder). This is where you can view all the demanding processes and close down the ones you don’t need. The second way is to open up the terminal and type in: sudo purge

The last way to do this is through the 3rd party cleaning software.

Optimize your startup

When you turn on your Mac, a bunch of programs automatically start. You can control which ones do this by heading to System Preferences and then Users & Accounts. Click on the Login tab and uncheck the programs you want to stop automatically starting up. This can improve the bootup speed, help ease up RAM and CPU resources, and decrease clutter. 

It’s also important to fully turn off your Mac now and again. Some people never do, but it can mess with the temporary files and clutter. So, at least once a week turn off your Mac entirely.

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