Why is My Mac Running Slow? 8 Tips to Speed Up Your Apple Device

Posted on Oct 20, 2020 11:39:16 AM

Whether your employees are located in an office or currently working from home, every business in Ontario can realize significant productivity and efficiency benefits by encouraging their team members to learn how to boost the speed of their work computer. 

In a recent blog, IT Advice: 8 Tips to Speed up Your Windows Computer, we listed some simple steps that you can take to improve the system performance of your workplace or home office Windows computer. 

However, not all organizations and team members use Microsoft computers. Perhaps your graphic designers use an iMac, your sales team use MacBook Pro’s or your entire office and remote employees use a variety of Apple PC products.

Don’t worry, we haven’t left you guys out! Here are eight tips and tricks to ensure your company’s Mac computers run smoothly:

#1 - Update your Mac’s software

The first step of speeding up your Mac should always begin with making sure you perform regular software updates for macOS, as well as the applications that you have installed on your computer. 

These updates are crucial not only for the efficient running of your system, but also to protect your organization from vulnerabilities that cybercriminals have found in older operating systems.

To update your operating system or your applications, simply go to App Store > Updates. You can also set your Mac to update automatically by navigating to System Preferences > App Store and then ticking the Automatically Check for Updates option.

#2 - Make use of Activity Monitor

The Mac operating system has a useful built-in function called Activity Monitor. Activity Monitor works by showing you which applications are using up your system resources and potentially slowing your Mac down.

To view Activity Monitor press command-space and then type Activity Monitor into the Spotlight Search feature. Once opened, Activity Monitor will show you the applications that are taking up the majority of your Mac’s CPU and memory. Quit the applications that you aren’t using that are taking up your resources until you actually need them.

#3 - Prevent applications from opening on startup

While we’re talking about applications, most programs have the ability to open automatically when your Mac starts up. Applications that launch themselves when you start up your Mac will likely lead to a slowdown of your computer - you probably don’t even need to use most of them and they’ll just continue running in the background.

To prevent this from happening, navigate to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. This will show you which programs are launched when you power your Mac on, and gives you the ability to remove them from the start up items list.

#4 - Remove clutter on your desktop

Every file and application saved on your desktop is an image that is displayed as either an icon or preview of the file. These images take up valuable memory (RAM data) from your Mac that you could be using to make your computer run faster.

The more files you have on the desktop of your Mac, the more likely your system is going to run slower. This is particularly true for systems which are already strained in terms of their memory. Storing these items in folders away from your desktop instead will free up RAM space on your Mac and likely speed up your system.

#5 - Check your Mac’s storage

If your Mac doesn’t have much empty drive space available, it’s likely going to slow down significantly. It’s generally recommended that you have at least 10 percent of your Mac’s entire storage space available at all times.

To check your storage space, you can open the Apple menu on the top left hand corner of your screen and then click About This Mac. Navigate to the Storage tabs and it will tell you how much space you have left. If you need to remove some files to open up storage space on your drive, the next few tips will help.

#6 - Delete files you don’t need and empty the trash

An obvious way to free up storage space on your Mac is by deleting files that you don’t need. Start with your download folder, which is often a location where unnecessary folders and files start to build up on most worker’s computers. Try in particular to delete large files that you aren’t using.

Once done, don’t forget to empty your trash. Files aren’t actually deleted from your Mac until they are deleted from your Trash, so make sure you check and clear this part of your Mac regularly. 

#7 - Remove applications and programs that you don’t use

Another way to clear up storage space on your Mac is to delete any unnecessary applications. Most employees tend to download apps on their computer and never delete the ones they no longer use. This means the number of applications on their Mac slowly builds up. If this is happening with your employees, it’s time that they have a purge.

Applications can be deleted by navigating to Finder > Go > Applications and then right clicking on all unwanted apps and selecting Move to Trash. This will uninstall and delete the app from your Mac, freeing up space that enables your device to run faster.

#8 - Restart your Mac regularly

Using the sleep function to temporarily turn off your Mac can bring huge advantages in terms of employee productivity and efficiency. It allows employees to easily, and incredibly quickly, turn their Mac computer back on in the morning and seamlessly continue where they left off.

The downside, however, is that restarting your Mac clears caches and closes down applications. If you don’t shut down your Mac then your caches and apps will build up and gradually slow your system down. We advise that your employees should shut down, or restart, their Mac at least once a week - shutting it down on a Friday over the weekend is always a good idea.


Are you looking for further advice on speeding up your company’s Apple products, or simply want to learn more about how your IT strategy impacts employee productivity? Contact the OT Group team of technology experts today. We would love to answer any questions that you may have.

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Topics: IT Infrastructure

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