How to speed up your mac startup time? Then; how to speed up your mac in general?
Two questions that are fairly popular in the Mac using community.
It happens to us all after a while, the inevitable realisation that your Mac isn’t running as fast as it used to. It creeps up on you like old age, every week just a bit slower until one day the dreaded beach ball is sitting there for minutes and you realise you can’t ignore it anymore.
My main machine at the moment is a Macbook Pro 13 inch, it’s 2 years old and really has all the spec I need. The easy (and expensive route) naturally is to blame the computer and then you’re on the slippery slope to an upgrade.
Not this time.
I’ve spent the time trawling through various Mac forums to discover the most common suggestions to help you speed up your Mac.
Tip 1 – Empty your desktop
I don’t profess to know the science behind this one but most of the forum threads I read had this, relatively simple tip – get rid of all the clutter, files and folders from your desktop.
So the simple thing to do is make another folder on your desktop and move everything in there, if you’re like me, you can put off actually deciding if you need that screen grab from 7 months ago later.
Tip 2 – Reset your computer’s PRAM
Shut your computer down, wait 30 seconds then turn it back on. Immediately after you push the power button hold down, Control – Option – P and R. You will see instead of booting normally your machine’s screen will light up, play the Mac chime and then do it again. Let it do it three times then release the keys, the computer will then boot up.
Tip 3 – Remove items from the start up process
From time to time when you install new applications they will help themselves to a bit of start up action. Meaning they start themselves or part of themselves when you login to OSX. What this means is that instead of just booting your operating system your computer is opening other programs as well.
The net result of this is you’re left waiting longer before you can start to use your computer.
So here’s how to fix it.
Open System Preferences, click Accounts. By default your current account will be selected, top right of that box click login items.
Unless you absolutely want one of the apps listed to run when you start your computer, remove everything. Just click the application name then click the – icon to remove it from start up.
See screen shot opposite, you can see here that I’ve removed everything except for the Dropbox application, which I want to start when I login.
Tip 4 – Install the Onyx utility.
This is a great little application that does all sorts of things, from emptying cache files, to cleaning up Safari’s temporary files and everything in between.
It’s a free utility and can be downloaded from Apple’s download page here.
Onyx is not hard to use, you basically just walk through the various screens and ask it to do each of its jobs one by one. If you’re interested in more detail have a look at this short tutorial on Onyx.
Tip 5 – Create a new user account
This one is a bit more drastic but if all else fails it’s something worth considering. Create a new account on your mac, even if it’s just to test the theory. Then log into this new account to see if things are a bit more zippy. If they are and you want to do the drastic move, this is one step short of just reinstalling Mac OSX you could consider using this new account as your main account.
All of the applications will be there but not your files, you will need to consider moving all of those manually between accounts. It also means reconfiguring a lot of your software, eg Mail, utilities like 1Password and bookmarks in Safari.
However if it means you get your computer back to full speed it may be worth considering.
Do you have other suggestions?
If so please leave a comment here with other things to try!