It’s a common misconception that if you have a Macintosh computer running OSX, that you will need the same system cleaning software needed for Windows. The reality is that Macs tend to take care of themselves and despite some claims, there aren’t really any Mac cleaning products on the market worth your hard earned change. There are however some simple and often overlooked steps you can take to ensure your system is running properly.
- Diagnose the problem
If you’re Mac is running slower that it should, it is a good idea to see what is eating up the CPU usage. To do this, open Activity Monitor (Applications–>Utilities–>Activity Monitor) and look at how much CPU each application is using. Run the same programs you were running when the delays were occurring as some programs may be contradicting each other and causing the sluggish performance. As a general rule, applications rarely require anything more than 30 per cent of the CPU’s computing power. If you find one is, consider its removal or a fresh install.
- Check your starting applications
If you are experiencing problems with slow boot ups, the problem can often be applications that are opening automatically on startup. To take a look at your starting applications go to System Preferences–> Users & Groups–> Login Items. If you have applications opening on start-up that you don’t need literally every time you open the laptop, consider removing the start-up permissions by clicking the checkbox.
- Clean your desktop
As with Windows, less on the desktop is generally better. A messy desktop with large files on it will slow down your Mac considerably. It’s a good idea to create a desktop drop folder called desktop drop and place all the files in it until they can be moved elsewhere. Cleaning up the desktop will also speed up your boot up times.
- Check for software Updates
It sounds obvious but many people may be unaware that Apple is often rolling out software updates and unless you have your system set to automatically install them you may be running out of date software. You can check if your operating system is current by clicking the Apple icon and going to system update. If there is one available, run it and restart your computer. Don’t be concerned if the files are large and take some time to download, OSX files generally are. To set it so your computer will automatically update go to Menu–> System Preferences–> Software Update and make sure the automatic updates check box is checked.
- Upgrade your RAM
If you are still experiencing slow speeds after the first four steps, a RAM (Random Access Memory) upgrade is worth considering as an affordable and effective hardware upgrade. A RAM chip works together with your processor to carry out tasks and an upgrade from say 1GB of RAM to 2GB will nearly double the speeds of your laptop.