Speed ​​up MacOS X and avoid slowdowns

Over time, the performance of any computer tends to deteriorate; this is not only true for a Windows computer, but it is also true for expensive Macs. Although Macs are very optimized at the operating system level, they can slow down after a few years of use, without ever having thought about its maintenance. Although MacOS is able to optimize most of the features to always remain fast, we may run into some sporadic problems that can ruin our experience with the Mac environment.
Just to avoid this scenario, in this guide we show you some tips and tricks to improve the performance of Apple Mac or MacBook, so as to make it as fast as possible, even if it has a few years on its shoulders .
READ ALSO: How to optimize your Mac and do MacOS maintenance

The most effective ways to speed up MacOS

In this part of the guide we have collected what we believe are the most effective ways to speed up Mac OS significantly.

Remove auto-boot applications

To manage the applications and services that automatically open when Mac is logged in, simply go to the System Preferences -> Users and groups -> Login items path.

We press the padlock symbol at the bottom left, enter the system password and then remove the checkmark for all the programs present (leaving only one or two programs that are really useful in auto-start). At the next boot the system will boot much faster, since we have removed many programs from the automatic startup.
READ ALSO: Mac programs to manage the automatic startup of the apps

Disable the graphic effects

MacOS has many graphic effects, which make the system very nice to use. If we want to get more speed, we can disable these graphic effects, so as to free CPU but above all GPU (which will be used only for programs).
To disable Dock animations, go to System Preferences -> Dock and remove the check mark from the items Magnification and Animation when opening applications .

Another method to disable the graphic effects is to use the free Onyx app. After adding it to the system, open it and go to Parameters, click on General and remove the check mark from Activate effect when opening windows and Show elastic rebound when windows scroll .

Always from the same app, let's go to the Finder tab and disable the items related to the effects (if available, since much depends on the version of MacOS in use).

Free up disk space

If we have apps that we no longer use, we uninstall them by going to the Applications folder of the Finder, and dragging the useless application into the Trash . After the operation we can also empty the trash, by right-clicking on it and using the item Empty the trash .

If we installed the app through the Mac App Store, we can remove it by turning on the MacOS Launchpad, holding down the left mouse button on the app icon, clicking on the X that will appear and finally on the Delete button.

Other methods to speed up Mac MacOS

If the methods we have recommended above have not had the desired effect, let's see together other methods to speed up MacOS.
  • Make sure you have at least 5-10% free disk space: as with any computer, if the disk is full, performance slows down. If the disk is 100% full, it is even possible that the computer will no longer boot. So to avoid this problem and to prevent the Mac from losing processing speed, it is better to keep about 10% of the hard disk free. If the space was occupied by photos and music, consider moving them to an external drive. To optimize performance in absolute terms, it is better to use only 50% of the memory unit and use the rest only to make backups. To understand what is taking up disk space, download Disk Inventory X (free) to see the detail of files and folders.
  • Reformat and perform a clean install: as with Windows, even a Mac, in the end, can benefit from a clean re-installation of the operating system from scratch. This also applies and improves performance considerably, especially if the operating system has been updated several times over time.
  • Clean the desktop: every icon on the desktop of a Mac OSX eats memory. So you have to get used to putting files and folders by organizing them on the disk without leaving them on the desktop. To clean up your desktop every day, you can use the free Clean app.
  • Check what all memory is using from the Activity Monitor located in the Applications -> Utility menu.
  • Rebuild the Font Cache to correct problems if several fonts have been installed and uninstalled.
  • Repair disk errors: power outages can cause errors on the disk or on the cache and on the permissions that is often the cause of a Mac slowdown. To check the drive and repair the permissions go to Applications -> Utility folder -> Disk Utility . From the window select the " check permissions " function to see if everything is ok and, if necessary, correct the errors.
  • Use Chrome to surf the internet, but without too many extensions. Chrome is among the fastest browsers on MacOS, but the number of open tabs and extensions installed can seriously slow down the browser and consequently the operating system.
  • Terminate applications when they are no longer used: with the CMD-Q command you exit a program. On a Mac, in fact, clicking the X or closing the active window with the CMD-W keys is not equivalent to ending a program.

Hardware changes

Has none of the methods recommended so far proven effective? Maybe the time has come to upgrade our Mac, changing the hard drive and RAM memory.

Add RAM memory

If our Mac allows these types of changes, we can add RAM modules, so as to bring the memory for programs and for the operating system to at least 8 GB. The modules that we can use on a Mac are the following:
  1. Komputerbay MACMEMORY 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHz (€ 37)
  2. Corsair CMSA8GX3M2A1333C9 Apple Mac 8GB (2x4GB) Memory Kit, DDR3 (€ 52)
  3. Corsair CMSA8GX3M2A1066C7 Apple Mac Memory, DDR3, 1066 MHz (51 €)
  4. Corsair CMSA16GX3M2A1600C11 16 GB Memory Kit, (2x8 GB), DDR3L (€ 86)

If we don't know how to choose the right type of RAM for our Mac, we recommend that you first read our guide on computer RAM types: DDR, shape and speed .

Use an SSD disk

As with any Windows PC, even a Mac or MacBook a few years ago can achieve great performance if, instead of the mechanical disk, we use an SSD. The best SSDs that we can use on a Mac are the following:
  1. Samsung MZ-76E500B Internal SSD 860 EVO, 500 GB, 2.5 "(74 €)
  2. Crucial MX500 CT500MX500SSD1 (Z) Internal SSD, 500 GB, 3D NAND (65 €)
  3. Crucial MX500 CT1000MX500SSD1 (Z) Internal SSD, 1 TB, 3D NAND (124 €)
  4. Samsung MZ-76E1T0B Internal SSD 860 EVO, 1 TB (139 €)

If we want to deepen the topic on SSDs and what to do to install one on our computer, we refer you to reading our guide to the Best SSD disks to buy to make the PC go as fast as a tablet .


We have seen together all the most effective tricks and tips to speed up MacOS and avoid slowdowns, especially on older Macs and MacBooks (taken before 2015).
If we are looking for a beginner's guide to all the features of the Mac, we can read the basic guide to use the Mac with the main functions that we have created on our site.
If instead we are looking for a guide with all the best apps that we can try for free on Mac, we recommend you read the guide to the Top 100 Free Mac Applications on MacOS .

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