This article is based on our expertise in cleaning and optimizing Mac HD. We’ve been working 10+ years in developing special disk cleanup utilities for making a Mac work smoothly. We regularly update our apps and our articles according to the changes in macOS. For any related questions contact us by email.
Author: Asya Karapetyan       Last updated: June 10, 2020


After a certain length of time, each Mac may become slow. Luckily, there is no need to buy a new computer, since you can take some steps to make your Mac run faster. In this article, we give you the reasons why your Mac slows down and share the tips that will help you to clean up your hard drive and speed up your Mac.

#1 Tip to quickly speed up a slow Mac

If you do not have time for manually exploring why you have a slow Mac and how to make your Mac faster, use the special software, MacCleaner Pro.
This all-in-one solution will help you to easily and quickly clean up and speed up your Mac.

The reasons of a slow Mac

First, Let’s have a quick look at the possible reasons why your Mac has become disappointingly slow. Here are some of them:

  • You have an old macOS system that is unavailable to work with the newest apps you’re using.
  • Your Startup Disk is almost full of useless files.
  • You have never cleared cache, which takes up too much space on your Mac.
  • There are too many startup programs automatically running at Mac login.
  • The RAM memory is too minimal for a fast Mac performance.
  • You have malware attacks that slow down your Mac.

Now, let’s turn to the steps on how to speed up your Mac computer.


12 Steps to make your Mac run faster

1. Keep your software up to date

Keeping your macOS and used apps up to date helps to protect yourself not only from being hacked, but also allows you to keep your system work smoothly and fast. To check whether your system needs an update, do the following.

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the Menu bar → select System Preferences.
  2. Click on Software Update. Here you will find the information about the version of macOS you use.
  3. Enable Automatically keep my Mac up to date to allow the system to always check for updates, download new updates, install updates from App Store.
    up to date software
  4. Check also installed apps for new updates. For the app downloaded from the App Store go to the App Store and click on Updates. If you downloaded apps from the developers’ web sites, you will need to update them separately.

2. Close memory-consuming apps

Every launched program uses RAM memory. A large number of active applications can slow down your Mac greatly. To find and close heavy apps and make your Mac faster use the Activity Monitor app.

  1. Launch Activity Monitor.
  2. In the CPU tab, sort tasks by CPU usage.
  3. Find the most demanding processes and click to close them.

memory-consuming apps
Alternatively, you can use one of the tools of MacCleaner Pro – Memory Cleaner. This app shows not only the memory usage by apps but also allows to clear RAM and free up inactive memory.

speed-up-mac

3. Clear cache

Each program in macOS creates cache files and stores them on the local disk. Over time the total size of these files will increase significantly. Moreover, sometimes for various reasons, this data can be damaged or you removed apps but still store their cache on your Mac. As a result, this makes your Mac running slow. We recommend that you periodically clear the cache to speed up your Mac.

Here is how to manually clear cache on a Mac:

  1. Open Finder and press Command+G key shortcut.
  2. In the search field enter the following location: ~/Library/Caches
  3. Click Go.
    how to clear cache
  4. Go to each folder and clear cache files here. Please, be accurate and make sure you don’t need some files.

clear cache
And again, with MacCleaner Pro you can safely clear all cache with just a few clicks. Just launch the appropriate tool from the MacCleaner Pro bundle, select Caches and click to clean them.
speed-up-my-mac

4. Disable startup items

Some applications are launched automatically after your Mac starts up or reboots. As a result, you have multiple apps running and your Mac’s performance will decrease. To stop apps from running automatically at Mac login and making your Mac run slowly, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu → select System Preferences.
  2. Click on the Users & Groups category.
  3. Switch to the Login Items tab. You may be surprised at the number of your login items.
  4. To remove a startup item, simply select it and press the “” bottom of the list.

how to disable startup items

5. Disable unneeded widgets and extensions

Widgets are mini-programs that are constantly running in the background. A big number of used widgets also make your Mac slow, as they usually eat up a great deal of RAM memory. You should take a look at them and get rid of unneeded widgets.

  1. Go to MenuSystem Preferences → select the Extensions section.
  2. In the list of all third-party extensions uncheck unneeded extensions.
    how to speed up slow mac
  3. Go to the Today category where you will find the list of widgets. Uncheck unnecessary widgets as well.
    how to delete browser extensions

6. Delete browser extensions

Your browser may start to slow down because of a large number of installed extensions. Some extensions may even be used as malicious software that changes your start page or the search engine or allows annoying advertising pop-ups. Thus, if you want to speed up your Mac’s performance, you should remove unused or rarely used browser extensions.
Here is how to disable or remove extensions for different web browsers.

For Safari users:

  1. Open Safari → in the menu bar click Safari → select Preferences.
  2. Switch to Extensions tab and click to uninstall unneeded extensions.
    how to delete safari extensions

For Google Chrome users:

  1. Open Chrome → in the menu bar click Chrome → select Preferences.
  2. Click Extensions on the left.
    how to delete google extensions
  3. Take a look at the list of all installed extensions and remove unneeded ones.

For Mozilla Firefox users:

  1. Open Firefox → in the menu bar click Firefox → select Preferences.
  2. Click Extensions & Themes on the left → Extensions.
  3. Click the settings icon next to each extension (three dots icon) and select Remove.
    mozilla firefox extensions

7. Uninstall unused applications

Over the years, you’ve likely littered your Mac with applications you no longer use or need. Remember, that a lack of free disk space impact on your Mac’s performance. That’s why you should remove unused apps.

  1. Go to the Applications folder in Finder.
  2. Skim the list of your apps and remove unneeded ones to Trash.
    why mac is slow
  3. Keep in mind that even if you empty your Trash then, the app’s support files still remain in your Library folder. They are called apps leftovers. So then you need to find all cache, logs and other service files and remove them as well.

Please note, that with MacCleaner Pro you can completely uninstall apps, find apps leftovers, remove extensions, manage startup items much easier than doing it manually. Just launch a special tool App Cleaner & Uninstaller from the bundle and perform these tasks with just a few clicks.

make-mac-faster

8. Clean up unnecessary icons from your desktop

Too many icons on the screen can affect Mac’s performance adversely. The reason is that macOS treats each icon as a separate window. The impact may be negligible, but when you have a large number of icons it slows down your Mac significantly. Thus, to speed up your Mac, remove files from the desktop or move them to another folder.
why is mac running slow

9. Remove malware

Your Mac is a secured device, so there is no need to install an extra antivirus program. However, there are different malware programs on the net that could harm your Mac. If you notice that your Mac is behaving strangely, if Mac’s performance became very slow for no reason, or if there are uncontrolled advertisements in your browser, there may be malware on your Mac. To keep your MacBook safe, use the App Store and trusted official websites to download software, instead of using torrent-trackers and websites full of aggressive advertising.

10. Remove large unused files.

Large and unused files just clog your Mac hard drive space. If there is low free disk space on your Mac, it also makes your system running slowly. You should skim all your folders step by step and delete the biggest files. Here is how to manually find the biggest files on your Mac.

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. In the menu bar click File → select New Smart Folder.
  3. Click the plus “+” icon.
  4. Customize the search filter by size, greater than and type the size of files you want to find.
  5. Take a look at your large files and remove unneeded ones.
    how to remove large unused files

Using New Smart Folder is ok for finding big files, but it may take hours. Keep in mind that MacCleaner Pro can help you to find the list of big unneeded files quicker and easier. For this use the Disk Expert app from the bundle.

Disk Expert will scan your Mac hard drive, analyze your disk space usage and provides a convenient diagram to find the large files and folders on your Mac. Also, the app displays the list of top 30 big files and provides a special option to easily operate these big files.

mac speedup

11. Move media files to external storage

Photos, videos, and music files take up significant space in your Mac storage. Having a low free disk space effects on Mac’s performance negatively. Use cloud storage services or set up a separate storage device for storing your photos, music, and videos.

12. Clean up your Mac hard drive from other junk files

We call the junk all the files that are unnecessary and they take up useless space on your Mac hard drive. Duplicate files, logs, downloads, Trash, localization files – all of them are junk files. You should find and remove such files to recover some disk space and help your Mac run faster.
The good news is that you can easily find all other types of junk files again with MacCleaner Pro.


What is the best way to speed up a Mac computer?

Now you know why your Mac is slow. We provided the manual steps to clean up your disk, disable extensions, widgets and other items to speed up your Mac. Yes, the manual way of removing some files takes up much time. Luckily, you can perform all these tasks automatically with a help of MacCleaner Pro.

MacCleaner Pro is a set of tools to free up disk space and speed up a Mac computer.