10 Simple Methods to Tune Up Your Mac for Finest Efficiency

Your Mac doesn't require a lot of maintenance as Apple strives to make macOS as reliable and easy to use as possible. Still, from time to time you want to tweak your Mac to make it run faster and smoother than before.

Clean Mac Cache

This could include deleting old files, fixing problems with your storage hard drive, or disabling CPU-intensive animations.

If you're not sure how to optimize your Mac, follow these steps to keep your MacBook, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro running better than it has in years.

1. Clear free space

No matter how much internal storage your Mac came with, you'll always want to leave at least 10 percent of it blank to make sure your Mac is running smoothly.

Open that Apple Menu and choose About this Mac> Storage to find out how much memory you are currently using. This will show you a breakdown of the types of files taking up your storage including system, documents, photos, and more.

Learn about this window about using Mac storage

If you don't have a lot of free space, click Manage to see what you can do about it.

You can also check out our guide on How to Create Free Space on Your Mac for the best space-saving tips. We'll show you how to uninstall old apps, find and delete large files, and move your documents to the cloud.

Mac disk cleanup

2. Check the activity monitor

The activity monitor is integrated in macOS and shows you which apps and processes are using your computing power. If your Mac needs tweaking, you can use the Activity Monitor to find out which apps are slowing it down.

Start Activity monitor of the Utilities Folder in your Applicationsor by searching for it using Spotlight (Cmd + Space).

Then use the Central processor Tab to find apps or processes that are using a large percentage of your CPU. You can use that too memory Tab to see which apps and processes are using your RAM.

Activity monitor that shows the process based on the CPU percentage

If you find an app or process that is using more power than it should, highlight it and click Stop sign Icon to close it. Make sure you only close processes that you are familiar with to avoid damaging macOS.

3. Reduce your login elements

Is your Mac slow to start? Too many applications might open at startup. Go to System Settings> Users and Groups and select your user account. Then click on Login elements Tab to view a list of all items that start each time you log in.

User and Group Login Items window in Mac System Preferences

Highlight the apps that you don't always want to open and click minus (– –) to remove them. This will not delete the app from your Mac. The automatic start is only stopped when you log in.

4. Scan for malware

Your Mac is less likely to get infected with malware than a Windows PC, but it's not impossible. Still, if you don't follow best practices, it can still be easy to accidentally infect your Mac with malware.

Download and install Malwarebytes – the best antivirus software for Mac – to run a scan on your Mac. You don't have to keep this app open all the time. Just run a scan every now and then with the free version to quickly optimize your Mac.

Download: Malwarebytes for macOS (free, subscription available)

5. Empty the caches

Over time, your Mac will create caches of files from various applications and websites that will help it load content faster. Unfortunately, sometimes these caches get so large – in some cases 20 GB or more – that they are more of a hindrance than a help.

You can safely empty the caches Library Folder in the Finder. After that, some apps may appear slower when your Mac rebuilds the caches. Before long, however, your Mac will be running better than before.

To clear the caches:

  1. Start finder and open the Go Option from the menu bar.

  2. Stop possibility and click on Library Option that appears in the menu bar.

  3. Open that Caches Folder, then move all its contents into the rubbish.

  4. Then enter your administrator password when prompted Empty garbage.

From the Finder menu bar on Mac, go to Library

6. Run first aid on your hard drive

Even if your Mac seems to be working normally, invisible problems with the storage disk can cause it to slow down when you try to access your data. You can use First Aid in Disk Utility to easily locate and correct most of these problems.

Note that first aid can take about an hour to complete and you won't be able to use your Mac until it's finished.

Start to run First Aid on your Mac Disk utility of the Utilities Folder in your Applications (or find it with Spotlight). Then select your startup disk in the sidebar. This is usually called Macintosh HD. When there are two Macintosh HD Options, choose the one that says Data.

Disk Utility highlighting First Aid option on Mac

Now click on First aid at the top of Disk Utility to run First Aid.

If you run into problems with First Aid that it can't fix, enter Recovery Mode on your Mac and run it again. If that doesn't work, you may need to do a physical repair.

7. Disable system animations

Various animations in macOS can cause problems on older computers with less processing power. If your Mac is feeling slower than it used to be, a quick and easy way to set it up is to turn off those unnecessary animations.

to open System settings> General and change the following settings:

  • change Show scroll bars to always.

  • Deactivate if available Show and hide the menu bar automatically.

  • Deactivate if available Smoothing of LCD fonts.

Now go to System Preferences> Dock & Menu Bar and change these settings:

  • Deactivate enlargement.

  • Decide Minimize window with the Economies of scale.

  • Deactivate Animate opening applications.

  • Deactivate Automatically hide and show the dock.

Finally go to System Preferences> Desktop & Screen Saver and change these settings:

  • Choose a static one Desktop Wallpaper that doesn't change during the day.

  • Disable the change picture Possibility.

8. Speed ​​up your browser

Many Mac users spend most of their computer time browsing the Internet. If your Mac feels slow, the browser may need tweaking instead.

The exact steps to optimize your browser depend on which one you are using. In general, however, you should aim to:

  • Clear the history and cookies

  • Clear the cache

  • Disable unnecessary extensions

Follow our guide to make Safari faster on your Mac if you continue to use Apple's default browser. If none of these tips make your browser faster, it may be time to switch to a faster alternative like Chrome or Firefox instead.

9. Re-index the spotlight

Spotlight is Apple's name for the search function on your Mac. If Spotlight takes a long time to find something, you may need to re-index it to make sure all of your files are saved.

This can take a long time, and your Mac can slow down as it re-indexes. After that, however, it should find files faster:

  1. Go to System Preferences> SpotlightThen click on privacy Tab.

  2. Use the Add (+) Button for selection Macintosh HD in the sidebar and tells Spotlight to ignore it.

  3. Now choose Macintosh HD in the list and use the minus (– –) to remove it and tell Spotlight to index it and search again.

Spotlight privacy settings

10. Update your apps

Outdated software often runs slower than the latest updates. This is because Apple and third-party developers are constantly working to optimize the software for your Mac. Make sure you keep everything up to date to keep your Mac tweaked with the latest improvements.

Go to System settings> Software update to check for new macOS updates. Activate the Keep my Mac up to date automatically Option to avoid this hassle in the future.

System Preferences Check for macOS software updates on Mac

Open that Appstore and click on Update to find and install app updates as well. For information on apps that you installed outside of the App Store, visit the developers' websites for the latest updates.

Is it Time to Update Your Mac?

Mac computers last a long time, but you may need to buy a new one. If these tweaking tips haven't got your Mac updated, it's probably time to look for a replacement.

Don't worry – buying a Mac isn't always very expensive. On a refurbished Mac, you can often find great deals to help cut costs.

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About the author

Dan Helyer
(148 articles published)

Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he earned a BSc in audio technology, oversaw repairs at an Apple store, and even taught English in China.

More from Dan Helyer

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