Performance tips and free software to make your Mac run faster

“Is your Mac running slowly?” Mark Hattersley reports for Macworld UK. “Our Mac speed tips ensure your Mac runs faster. Spend a bit of time to clean up Mac OS X and it will pay you back by running software quickly and smoothly.”

“Apple Macs generally run efficiently, but with an older Mac you might want to keep an eye on the performance,” Hattersley reports. “And even if your Mac is running perfectly fine, a bit of extra Mac OS X speed never goes amiss.”

“The tips give you the confidence to clear out the clutter without losing any precious files,” Hattersley reports. “Follow these steps and Mac OS X will pelt ahead at full speed…”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. The #1 thing you can do, if applicable, is to put in an SSD. Recently did this with my 2009 MBP, and it feels like a new computer. $180 has allowed me to delay the purchase of a new computer until at least 2015.

    1. Yep. And if you still need larger storage capacity but can’t afford a big SSD (and you don’t want to give up the optical drive) then I highly recommend a hybrid drive like Seagate Momentus XT or newer models.

      You get a big speed boost with the integral SSD “cache” and still have plenty of room (1TB) for storage.

    2. Yep, put a SSD in my 2007 MacBook a long time ago. Originally scored a 113 on MacBench. Added a SSD in Jan 2010, and it scored 160. A faster and larger SSD in Jan 2011 scored a 172. New ram in April 2011, for some reason, upped my score again to 181. It’s now over 6 years and my MacBook feels fine, though I can’t use Mavericks.

  2. “It’s usually best to keep some space free on your Mac (we usually aim for around 10 per cent). ”

    This is turning more and more into a myth. The details aren’t that complicated so there’s no need to dumb this down.

    You don’t want free space based on the capacity of the drive. You want free space based on the amount of memory you have installed.

    A Mac with 16GB of RAM should have 16GB+ of free drive space. Below that amount and your Mac has to compress the default virtual memory (even if swaps outs aren’t occurring).

    If you have a 1TB drive and reserve 10% of it for “speed”, you’re allocating 100GB, much of it just wasted.

    Yes, having more drive space on a hard disk drive does reduce the amount of fragmentation, to a point. This was a bigger issue back when drives were much smaller and files were larger as compared to the size of the drive. Again, 10% representing 100GB on a 1TB is total overkill in terms of what’s needed to prevent significant fragmentation on a hard disk drive. It’s also worth noting that OS X is less affected to begin with in regards to fragmentation, and more importantly, the issue goes away entirely with SSDs.

    TL;DR: You’re wasting space by allocating 10% on a large drive. You only really see a significant difference at the level that matches the amount of installed RAM. That’s for a system drive. For a second drive, go wild and fill ‘er up if it’s an SSD. If it’s a hard disk drive, fragmentation may become an issue depending on use, but the percentage of free space needed goes down for the file size relative to the capacity and is much lower than 10% on today’s drives.

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