9 Ways To Speed Up Your Slow Mac Computer

Slow and Steady? Yeah, Right.

Summer vacation is coming to an end. Our computer’s hard drive is jam packed! From vacation photos and videos to files from our side projects. If you find you computer is sluggish, this post is definitely for you. I know how dreadful a slow computer can be which is why I’m giving you nine super easy ways to speed up your slow mac computer. PC users can use this list too!

1. Utilize external file storage

Having an external drive is essential before you delete or move your files. If your computer is so full that you can’t store another file, I suggest you use an external storage system. You don’t want to delete important files just to make room for new ones. I recently purchased the Western Digital 1TB My Passport and it saved my computer a ton of valuable space. It’s small enough to fit in your purse and large enough to fit 1TB of files. Another great way to store your files is with Dropbox. It’s completely free and you can access it anywhere on any computer.

2. Find out which folders are taking up the most space

Daisy Disk is a super cool app that analyzes how you’re using the space on your computer and what files are taking up the most space on your disk. You can download a free trial to get started.

3. Remove Unused Applications

A great app to help you do this is App Cleaner. This app not only removes the application, but it also removes files from the app stored elsewhere on your computer’s drive.

4. Clean your stash & Delete your trash!

After you delete your files, having them sit in your trash can still take up valuable space. Take that final step by deleting your trash can. This step is super easy but often overlooked!

5. Delete those “not so cute” photos from iPhoto

If you upload your photos to iPhoto, having them sit there is taking up a ton of space. Go through all of  your albums and delete unwanted photos. It might take a while but it’s worth it. You’ll be able to clear out unwanted photos and keep the cute ones making it easier if you decide to print them out (or post them on Facebook). After you’ve deleted all of your unwanted photos, remember to empty the trash can within the app. Just like the trash on our desktop, the trash can in iPhoto still takes up space if it’s not emptied.

6. Organize your iTunes library

If you’re a music lover, this step is not the easiest. Although, it can be if you have an external hard drive. Organize your iTunes library by removing the songs  that make you say “why the heck is this here” and keeping songs you play on repeat. For starters, check out your “most played songs playlist and you’ll know that those top ten songs are keepers.

7. Delete iPhone/iPad apps hidden on your computer

Did you know that when you delete apps on your iPhone/iPad, they’re still hanging out on your computer? Crazy, right? But it’s easy to find them. Go to Finder > Music > iTunes Media > Mobile Application. Yup, that’s where they’ve been hiding this whole time!

8. Check For Duplicate Fonts

If you find yourself downloading a ton of free pretty fonts (I’m guilty of that too), it’s possible that you’ve downloaded the same font more than once. To remove duplicated fonts, go to Applications > Font Book > User. Highlight all your downloaded fonts > Right-click > Resolve Duplicates. While you’re at it, disable or remove any unused fonts to further free up some space.

9. Disable Dashboard & Widgets

The mac dashboard comes with widgets that still run in the background draining your system’s resources. If you never use the dashboard and its widgets, there is a way you can disable it completely. Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal. In the Terminal app, run (copy & paste) the following commands: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled –boolean
YES killall Dock

To enable the dashboard again, re-enter the same command and change YES to NO.

Now It’s Your Turn!

What was taking up the most space on your computer? Have any other tips that can help speed up a slow computer? Leave a comment below!

Marisa Blair is a front-end web developer and graphic designer based in Toronto. When she's not writing for her blog xopixel.com, she's making design & tech videos for her YouTube channel.

6 Comments

  1. As you mentioned that which folder is taking up more space. Similarly, which application is taking more memory is get to know by ‘Activity Monitor’ pane. Moreover, if Mac is running OS X Mavericks then by clicking on ‘quick Option-Click on the battery menu bar’ icon can inform which app is consuming more power.

  2. As you mentioned that which folder is taking up more space. Similarly, which application is taking more memory is get to know by ‘Activity Monitor’ pane. Moreover, if Mac is running OS X Mavericks then by clicking on ‘quick Option-Click on the battery menu bar’ icon can inform which app is consuming more power.

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