MAC Corner

How to Speed-up Your Mac

Rahul Dowlath, BLOGOTE July 15, 2010

* Clean out the “Downloads” folder:
This is a surprising one; sometimes, you never realize how big the Downloads folder on your Mac can really get. Mine is almost 2GB (!). This is valuable hard-disk space that could be utilized in better ways. I recommend you delete any unnecessary files in this folder (if possible, clean-out the entire folder). Move any files you want to keep for future use (such as installation packages) to an external hard drive.

* Clean out the “Start-up” Processes:
Some applications launch immediately when you start-up your Mac. However, you may not need to use any of them, so why not remove them from the Startup que? Do this by navigating to: Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Items. In there, simply select the name of a startup item, and select the “minus” sign at the bottom of the list box.

* Get rid of languages you don’t need:
By default, OS X installs a bunch of languages to make the OS more universally accessible. But you may not need most of those files; simply remove them by using a nifty utility called Monolongual.

* Restart your Mac:
If you tend to keep your Mac on for a long time (a good few days at most), it’s time to give the poor thing a rest — they do have feelings too, you know! Restart the machine, and you may experience a jump in performance.

* Repair your system:
Utilities like Onyx (link to application site) can perform “repairs” to the system, fixing little portions of the OS that may have gotten damaged with the day-to-day stresses of digital life.

* Clean the Hard Drive:
Move-off those unnecessary files like movies, music, and photos, to an external hard drive. Personally, I have my DVD collection which is optimized for iPod viewing sitting on my external drive, saving over 20-30GB of space. Saving disk space gives your Mac a “fresh” feel too, and it makes Spotlight searches that much quicker.

Finally, it’s highly recommended that if you own any of the latest Macs (from 2008 onwards, like the uni-body Mac Books), you upgrade to Snow Leopard. While OS X 10.6 doesn’t include many visual features, it’s refinements under-the-hood make your Mac feel brand new. Do you have any tips of your own that you use to speed-up your Mac? Drop a line in the comments below!