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How To Speed Up A Mac Or Apple Computer

Updated on December 7, 2016

No matter how fast a Mac you bought, eventually it will slow down. It's simply inevitable. Newer software applications often require more system resources than did previous generation applications. The result is that your Mac no longer runs as fast as the day you first bought it.

The obvious possibility to make your Mac run faster is to get yourself the latest Mac. However, that may be too expensive at this point in time. You can first try to reconfigure your Mac to run as fast as possible, which won't cost you anything.

Once you've tried that, you will have to replace some parts with faster ones. That will require you to buy things, but it should cost you less that the cost of a whole new Mac.


How to make your Mac computer run faster for free?

If you're unwilling or unable to spend some money on upgrades at this point, you still have some options available. Here's what you can do to help speed up a Mac:

  • Remove all bloatware and uninstall all software applications that aren't being used. Keep everything to the bare minimum and try to maximize available memory.
  • Don't run any applications in the background. Keeping too many applications running at the same time means there are less resources around for everyone.
  • By default, your Mac will throttle its speed to save energy. Disable it to make your Mac faster. However, it will cause your Mac to use more electricity.
  • If you're using a Mac laptop, try to avoid running it on battery power. Your Mac may be set to run slower to preserve battery power.
  • Always use a Mac laptop on a flat surface. If your Mac is unstable, your hard drive may run slower to preserve data integrity and prevent data loss.

However, there is only so much tweaking that you can do. At some point, you will have to replace parts of your Mac with used or new components to make your Mac run faster.

What is the best way to speed up your Mac?

If your Mac comes with a conventional hard drive, then the best upgrade is to get a solid state hard drive. Some high-end Macs already include a solid-state hard drive. The reason why a solid-state hard drive gives the biggest boost in performance is because they address the biggest bottleneck in performance, the hard drive.

Normal hard drives have to spin around to retrieve and store information. But solid-state hard drives have no moving parts. The result is that there is very little delay in booting up compared to normal Macs and applications start faster and are much more responsive.

You can try out a solid-state drive in many stores and compare their performance to regular Macs. There is no doubt that they offer the best way to speed up a Mac. In addition, they use much less electricity, which can help you save some money.

They do tend to be more expensive than regular hard drives and offer a lot less storage compared to a normal hard drive with equivalent price. However, in terms of performance, they are worth every penny for what they offer.

[2] CPU [3] Memory [7] Hard Drive
[2] CPU [3] Memory [7] Hard Drive | Source

Can you make your Mac PC faster with more memory?

In general, the more memory you have, the better. When your Mac runs out of available memory, it uses the hard drive to store information that would normally reside in your memory. Since the hard drive is much slower, your Mac performance suffers as a result.

Minimizing the number of time that your Mac has to use your hard drive is one way to speed up a Mac. Depending on how you use your Mac, you should at the minimum have between 4 and 8 Gigabytes of memory. More if you run memory intensive applications or do a lot of multitasking.

Open up your Mac and check how many available slots you have. If you have any open slots, you can install them by yourself with identical modules. If you don't have any open slots, you will also have to replace the ones you already have.

Next to getting a solid-state hard drive, getting more memory can be the second best way of speeding up your Mac depending on how much memory you already had. It should also cost less than the cost of a new solid-state hard drive.

How do I speed up a Mac with a faster processor?

A central processing unit or CPU is usually made in several versions with progressively faster clock speeds. In general, the newer the processor, the faster it is. Current Macs use processors from Intel and you will likely find one that is faster than the one you currently have.

Swapping processors is relatively easy. Remember to consult the manual to find out which processors are compatible with your PC. Better yet, ask around for help. It shouldn't be too hard to find someone because many people have done it before. It can be done in very little time by yourself or by someone else for a small fee. You are guaranteed to speed up the performance of your Mac with the addition of a faster processor.

Another benefit of processors to the consumer is that they tend to gradually fall in price. So by the time your Mac may need a speed boost, the price of a new processor that is faster than the one you already have, should be relatively affordable to you.


How to speed up a Mac with salvaged or used parts?

If you know of any Macs that are no longer used, you may want to try to find out if there are any parts that could be of use to you. If they allow you to, you can remove those parts and install them in your Mac to increase speed.

If the central processing unit is the same as the one in the Mac you have, but a faster version, you should definitely install that one in your own Mac. The increase in clock speed will make things run faster at no cost to you.

You can also use the memory modules in an old Mac. Plug them into any open slots and boot up. There is nothing else you have to do and your Mac will automatically know there is more memory available. This will significantly boost your Mac performance.

In the unlikely case the unwanted Mac contains a solid-state hard drive, you can use that also. All these parts tend to hold up well over time to wear and tear. They are very likely to be still in good working condition.


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    • Viss profile image

      Vishal Chaudhary 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice article and useful suggestion. But sometimes there are certain leftovers, junk files, extensions, binary files which are difficult to manage and not removed with the log files and other softwares. So for that purpose I want to introduce you with Stellar Speedup Mac which not only remove extensively all the files but do the automatic cleaning of Mac removable devices as well.

    • johntsang profile image

      John Tsang 5 years ago

      You're welcome!

    • Girishsks profile image

      Girishsks 5 years ago

      good info.. Thank you