Is your computer suffering from a slowdown? You know it does when it’s taking forever to boot up, your apps are slow or won’t respond at all, and websites refuse to load. It’s incredibly frustrating when your Mac or PC runs at a glacial pace, and you need to get work done. In this article, we have put together a few simple tricks to troubleshoot a slow machine, without having to shell out for a newer model. Here you can find the details about 6 ways to speed up your mac.
Tip 1. Tidy up your desktop, downloads, and trash bin
How often do you download something and then forget about it? Your computer stores your downloaded files in the Downloads folder or on your desktop. Even your Bin can be the place where you keep multiple files, just in case you need them later. If your computer’s become sluggish, it’s probably because it is running out of free space. That said, time to look at what’s inside your folders because it may affect your computer’s performance.
What can you do to expand your computer’s memory? The quickest fix is to delete unnecessary files and declutter your desktop by creating folders for your essential files. Alternatively, you can move everything you store on your computer to external storage like Cloud or a hard drive. Here’s what you can do:
- Sift through and delete images, videos, and documents you don’t need;
- Store your documents in iCloud, Google Disk, or on an external hard drive;
- Empty the Bin.
Tip 2. Remove unneeded software
Chances are there’re apps on your computer you never use. They are just sitting there, collecting dust and hogging disk space. Some have landed on your computer after you installed them and forgot; others have been put there by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, it’s best to remove them if they aren’t being used, as they might reduce the speed.
First, locate those apps. Note that you need to access the actual program, not just its icon.
For Mac users: Uninstall apps you have downloaded from Mac App Store by going to the relevant page in the store and clicking Uninstall. For pre-installed files (or ones you’ve got off the web) click Go – Applications, locate files you want to delete, and drag them to the Bin.
For Windows users: To see the list of installed programs, go to the Windows Control Panel and select “Programs and Features”. You can delete your unused apps from there.
Tip 3. Limit your running apps
Some apps launch upon startup and keep running behind the scenes as you go on using your computer. It can take a toll on its performance. Thus, consider starting your apps when you actually need them. For example, you only use Zoom for calls, so it’s best to keep it from launching automatically when you boot up your computer.
Not sure which programs are currently running? If you’re using a Mac, take a look at your Dock. Launched apps are labeled with a dot below their icons. With Windows, you can use the Task Manager to see how many programs are currently running. Open the Task Manager by pressing and holding down CTRL + ALT + DEL. Task Manager will show you which programs are running, so you can quit them and relieve the processor.
Tip 4. See if your browser is the problem
What if your computer boots up fast, but your browser works at a glacial pace? Just like too many running apps eat at your computer’s speed, numerous open tabs and extensions can do the same to your browser. The browser tabs run in the background, overwhelming the memory. Here’s why you need to do to claim back your browser speed.
- Remove unused extensions. To do that, head to Extensions – More tools if you’re a Google Chrome user. For MS Edge and Opera, open extensions from the main menu. In Safari, you can access them under Preferences.
- Stick to a few browser tabs. While it’s handy to keep many tabs open and return to them in due course, it’s best to add them to bookmarks for that purpose.
- Clear cache and cookies. Your browser keeps old data so you can reaccess it quickly. But when the memory becomes chock full of it, it can slow your browser down. A handy guide will navigate you through the process for each browser.
Tip 5. Update your computer
New releases of the software offer significant performance enhancements, so installing the most recent versions of your apps and operating system is essential. As such, check if any updates are available, following this path:
For macOS, head to Apple Menu – System Preferences when you want to update your OS and the Mac App Store to see if your apps need an update. For example, Big Sur, the newest macOS version, is now up for grabs. Windows users should select the Start screen and head to Microsoft Store – More – Downloads and updates – Get updates.
One more reason not to skip on updates is that they make an entire experience more secure.
Tip 6. Disable visual effects
Keeping animations and transparency at a minimum is an effective way to speed it up. Both Windows and macOS boast smooth window-transition effects and transparency that have a visual appeal but may overwhelm the processor, which slows down your device. Unfortunately, this is the bane of older machines.
Luckily, both operating systems provide an opportunity to reduce the effects. To reduce the visual effects for Windows, go to Computer – Control Panel – System – Advanced system settings – Provide the best performance. For Mac, head to the Apple Menu – Accessibility – Display and check off Reduce Transparency. To manage animations, go to System Preferences – Dock and choose the option “Minimize windows using Scala effect.”
In this article, we went over the most efficient ways for troubleshooting a slow computer, whether it runs a Windows or macOS operating system. To sum up, you can follow the next steps:
- Get rid of unused files and apps;
- Identify what apps are running in the background and quit them;
- In your browser, clear your cookies and cache, avoid multiple tabs, and unnecessary extensions;
- Update your apps and operating system;
- Reduce visual effects.
Hopefully, this helps bring your computer back to speed.