13 easy steps to Optimize your Mac and make your Mac faster – Mac Tutorials

Learn how to optimize your Mac! Mac computers are fast, especially if you’ve just bought it. However, just as with Windows computers, Mac computers become slower the longer you use them. That’s because Mac computers also retain system settings, configuration files, and caches that can slow down the Mac. These files can lead to slower application booting, slower Mac booting, and less RAM available to perform other actions on your Mac. It’s therefore important to optimize your Mac to maintain the speed you’re used to from your Mac.

There are a variety of steps you can take to prevent your Mac from slowing down. To optimize your Mac, we’ll take a look at these steps in this article.

Reduce Mac storage

Your Mac can become significantly slower if the disk space on your Mac is almost full. So, check to see if your Mac still has enough disk space available. A Mac loads certain files, settings, and configurations from your Mac hard drive. When the hard drive becomes full, it takes longer for your Mac to find these files, this makes your Mac slower than you’re used to.

Open the Apple menu in the top left corner, from the menu open About this Mac. Open the Storage tab and verify the amount of free space on your Mac. If the amount of free space is low, click the Manage button.

manage storage mac

Mac OS offers four options to save space and optimize your Mac.

Store in iCloud

Save space on your Mac by moving files, photos, documents and message to iCloud. Your Mac will only keep the most recent files on your Mac. You do, however, need some extra space on iCloud. The standard space on iCloud is 5GB which is most likely not enough to save all the extra files.

store in icloud

Optimize iTunes storage

When you have downloaded movies or TV shows on your Mac through iTunes these files take a huge amount of disk space. Certainly, because Apple offers the movies and TV shows is a very high quality. You can save space and optimize your iTunes library by removing the movies and TV shows you already watched. No worries, you can download them again any time you want to watch the video again.

optimize itunes storage

Automatically empty trash bin

Everyone delete’s files from their Mac, right? Did you know that when the files are moved to the trash bin these files still preserve hard drive space on your hard disk? In order to actually clean up some space, you need to empty the trash bin. Mac OS can automate this process, files older than 30 days are automatically deleted from the hard disk, saving space with files you already wanted to get rid of.

empty trash automatically mac

Remove large and outdated files

Save huge amount of space by reviewing old outdated files. I bet everyone has a few of these files on their Mac, but how do you actually find these files? Reduce Clutter is an optimization recommendation Mac OS has to offer. Mac OS automatically sorts the list with files on the space these files take on your hard drive, making it a lot easier to review the files and delete when necessary.

reduce clutter mac

Update Mac OS to the latest version

Running an old version of Mac OS? This is a big no, no. Not only does Apple release a new version of their Mac operating system to provide stability, security, and support for peripheral devices. A new version of Mac OS is also released to provide the user with speed and better performance with native applications. Make sure you are running the latest version of Mac OS to optimize your Mac. Open the App Store and go to Updates to install the latest updates.

update mac appstore

Remove startup applications

Nothing is more annoying than starting up the Mac and applications are started which you do not even need at that moment. It looks like every application is adding itself to the startup configuration on your Mac to load faster. In reality, all these applications that load when Mac OS is starting will slow down the Mac startup process. I do advice periodically verify if you need the application on Mac startup. In order to check for applications that load when Mac does, go to the Mac menu in the top left corner, open System Preferences, or launch Spotlight (tap command + spacebar) and type System Preferences.

system preferences mac

Open User & Groups and open the tab Login Items from the Current User. In the list of Login Items, you see the summary of Mac applications that automatically open when Mac OS is started. If you want to remove a Mac application from starting when Mac OS does, select the application name from the list and click the (-) button. You can also check the checkbox to hide the application. However, this option will start the application but it remains hidden, this doesn’t help for slow Mac startup performance issues. The fewer applications your Mac has to start when the user logs in, the faster the startup performance on your Mac.

login items mac

Add faster hardware to your Mac

mac memory ramWhen a Mac is old, it’s old, right. Nothing you can do about it. Well, there are some considerations. First of all, buy a new Mac (sorry had to say it) but it can be expensive. On the internet, you can find many instructions on how to upgrade your Mac’s RAM (Random Access Memory) to make the Mac faster.

If your Mac has support, adding new memory is your best chance to optimize and make the Mac considerably faster. It goes beyond my instruction, but it’s a decent and not so expensive option, consider It and do some research on your Mac model first. Also, when you experiment yourself by adding in some new memory to your Mac you warranty is most likely lost, so if you have warranty go to your local Apple store and let them perform the enhancement.

Activity Monitor

When a Mac becomes slower and you want to optimize the Mac, you need to identify which application is slurping all the CPU performance or memory. You might want to get rid of the application that is slowing down the Mac, for example, you can look for an alternative. If you want to check Mac’s performance and the heavy applications that are abusing it, you can so through Activity Monitor. Open the Applications folder, go to Utilities and open Activity Monitor (or press command + spacebar, which opens Spotlight and type Activity Monitor).

activity monitor mac

Identify heavy processes by sorting the CPU tab with arrow down. Select the process name and click the [X] button in the top left in Activity Monitor. Now you have identified the process that takes the most performance from the CPU, you can also search processes that take a specific amount of RAM (memory). In the Activity Monitor open the tab Memory, identify the application that uses the most memory and decides if you want to close it or not. Sometimes a Mac just becomes slow and old terminating applications is a quick fix but doesn’t solve the problem.

activity monitor memory mac

Remove cache files

Cache files take on the most space on your Mac, and cache files can be responsible for the performance issues. Lots of cache files, generated by either an application or the system can seriously take up much space on your Mac. Make sure to clean up cache files, it will give the Mac some extra space and performance booster. Open Finder, in the Finder menu at the top of your Mac, open Go and select Go to Folder from the menu. You can also open Finder and press SHIFT + Command + G on your keyboard to open the Go to Folder.
Type ~/Library/Caches locate the application from which you want to delete the cache files and delete the content. Make sure the application is not started, otherwise you can’t delete the application cache files. Empty the trash bin.

caches folder mac

Reboot your Mac

Yes, you read it correctly, reboot your Mac. People tent to leave their Mac on for days, even weeks or months. No problem. However, for Mac performance and optimization, you might want to reboot the Mac once in a while. When you reboot the Mac, temporary files are removed and valuable memory is cleared, giving some free space and memory is likely to boost Mac’s performance. Simple and usually very effective.

reboot mac

Automatically optimize and clean your Mac with CleanMyMac

Some performance pieces of advice are just too complicated for the normal Mac user, take cache files for example. I did explain to you how to remove cache files; however, you need to expand many folders and delete their content one by one. These manual handlings take a lot of time and most users do not know which cache files to delete. CleanMyMac the best and most user-friendly Mac optimization tool available today. CleanMyMac optimizes, cleans and maintains a healthy Mac.

cleanmymac main

CleanMyMac has the following in-build tools to optimize your precious Mac and keep it in great health.

CleanMyMac - Mac Optimization tool

Clean, optimize, and maintain your Mac with CleanMyMac 3. CleanMyMac scans every inch of your Mac system, runs maintenance tasks, and keeps an eye on your Mac’s health.
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Smart Cleanup

Smart Cleanup is the easiest of all tools in CleanMyMac and it performs all individual scans on your Mac. Smart Cleanup shows one big scan button to scan for optimizations and problems on your Mac. CleanMyMac – Smart Cleanup will identify system junk (user cache files, system cache files, user log files, system log files, broken login items, old updates, language files, Mac localizations), mail attachments, iTunes junk, files in the trash bin and large or old files. Review the files and remove them to save huge amounts on disk space and boost performance on your Mac.


CleanMyMac has some very useful utilities to optimize your Mac. Uninstaller is a tool to detect and remove an application and its content and traces only by selecting it from the applications list and click the Uninstall button. Very useful, some applications leave traces, CleanMyMac also removes the traces to make sure the application is completely uninstalled.

In the utilities, you will also find the Maintenance tool. The maintenance tool is a very special and powerful tool to perform in-depth clean and optimization actions in Mac OS. Run Maintenance Script is a complex set of scripts to keep your Mac healthy, recommended tool!

cleanmymac maintenance scripts

CleanMyMac offers more utilities, such as Flush DNS cache, speed up Mail, Rebuild Launch Services database, Reindex Spotlight, Repair Disk Permissions and Verify Startup Disk.

We Mac users spent a lot of time on the internet. In order to optimize the web browser, CleanMyMac has the Privacy tools. Privacy tools provide the user with tools to easily remove cookies, browsing history, downloads history, remove local HTML5 storage, remove saved passwords, remove autofill values and remove last stored tabs. The privacy tools are compatible with Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, very useful to make the browser faster.

CleanMyMac has much more tools, however, these are out of the scope of this article. Find out for yourself and try CleanMyMac, you won’t regret it.

I hope this article has helped you optimize your Mac!

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