52 ways to speed up Mac OS X

Apple Store“After Apple recently announced a delay to OS X 10.5 Leopard, I had to delay my iMac upgrade until the Autumn. This led me to thinking about how to speed up Tiger to get the most out of my ageing G5,” ImAFish blogs. “This is what I came up with…”

General System
1. Repair Disk Permissions
2. Clear out login items
3. Clear out unwanted applications
4. Clear out unused system preferences
5. Clear Desktop
6. Empty Trash (if it wont empty see #38)
7. Turn off Universal Access (if not used)
8. Turn off Bluetooth (if not used)
9. Turn off speech recognition (if not used)
10. Turn off internet sharing (if not used)
11. Check there is plenty of disk space on the boot drive.
12. Remove Unwanted Language Packs
13. Remove any desktop changing programs
14. Check dock for unwanted apps.
15. Choose suitable applications for files
16. Check Software Build

Eye Candy
17. Remove dock animation
18. Avoid animated desktops

19. Remove unused widgets
20. Check to see how much processing power and memory each widget uses

21. Remove animation effects
22. Disable Dock shadow
23. Disable Dashboard
24. Skip checksum verifications when opening DMG files
25. Remove or deactivate unwanted login items from the Login Items pane
26. Reduce delay time for display of loading pages in Safari

27. Un-tick Graphic Effects
28. Un-tick Animate ‘Opening applications’ and ‘When alert in background’
29. Disable Dashboard
30. Set Safari speed of web page display to fast
31. Repair Disk Permissions
32. Run Maintenance Scripts
33. Reset Spotlight Index (it may take over a day to rebuild the index afterwards)
34. Run complete system optimization
35. Clear Internet Settings
36. Clear User and Font Caches
37. Clear unused logs
38. Force Empty Trash
39. Check settings – The default settings should be fine here. Click Execute.

40. Clear Cache
41. Clear History
42. Clear AutoFill
43. Clear Favicons

44. If you use Firefox then you can get specially optimized versions of the browser based on your processor architecture – either G4, G5 or intel
45. Use Extensions wisely

46. Smart Playlists: deactivate live updating

47. Check your HP Printer drivers
48. Check Classic is not running if not being used
49. Run Software Update
50. Update other applications
51. Add More RAM
52. Reboot your Mac

Full article with explanations and links here.

MacDailyNews Note: Over on MacUser, Derik DeLong breaks down “52 ways to speed up Mac OS X,” debunking many of them here.


  1. Nice to occasionally reboot the Mac due to WANTING to instead of HAVING to, often, like my old Windows PC. I generally reboot the Mac about once a month. This is both at work and at home!

  2. I didn’t realize it needed speeding up. My PM G4 867 x 2 runs plenty fast (as fast as it ever did). Actually, it runs faster now than it did w/ Jaguar. I guess I must keep it cleaner than some.

  3. Mostly things I’ve already learned – and others in my household have NOT! Especially those who use Classic! “Dear, that uses up your RAM – causing thrashing – and your CPU cycles.” “Could you say that in English?” “It slows your system down.” “How?” ARGhhlh! Shut! It! Off! “how?” G4 iMac … maybe more memory? 🙁

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page Pod-Cast

  4. I just got my G5 to go quite a bit faster by buying a new second SATA drive (my startup drive had just 6 gigs left) and moving most of my documents to it. Adding another 2 gigs of RAM helped loads too.

    That’s all you need to do. Also a tidy clear desktop seemed to help a little.

  5. Mostly useless info … whatever you do .. don’t “optimize” your system in Onyx …

    OSX already does that automatically …
    If you force it in Onyx it will take forever and there’s no reason to do it …

  6. The fastest way to speed up your Mac

    1: Keep less than 50% of your boot drive filled, use external drives for files, movies and changing content.

    2: Max your RAM.

    3: Clone your boot drive to a external, boot from it, Erase w/Zero the original and reverse clone using Carbon Copy Cloner only. (as it copies via files/folders on the main directory in alphabetical order thus optimizing your drive.)

    4: If you have a MacPro, PowerMac, get a pair of 10,000 RPM Western Digital Raptors and RAID O them, clone Mac OS X from a external onto it. Some PowerMac G5’s etc, require a Firmteck bootable SATA PCI card with the new Raptors. Check Accelerate Your Mac for info.

  7. Yeah, they actually missed not having a lot of files/items on the desktop. I sincerely doubt a couple extra icons in the dock hurts anything. And some of these other items are of dubious value also.

  8. “This is to give switchers a fix by tweaking their OS even though it’s entirely uneeded.”

    I agree completely with that statement. The article is for “tweak-o-philes”. Note to switchers: stop being paranoid and start creating something that brings joy to your life. Then you will “get it” You don’t have to do any adjusting on your dishwasher before you start a cycle, the Mac is not much different. It’s my favorite appliance.

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