How to Speed Up a Slow Mac

Some users, slow to update the current version - to macOS Sierra, first released on 20 September 2016, will realize that this system can cause your beloved Mac to run painfully slow.

No one wants to be stuck with a slow running computer. Especially Macs, known for their fast, efficient operating systems and processors, making them the perfect device for creative work, playing games, watching movies and listening to music. People stuck with a slow Mac after an upgrade to Sierra were quick to seek solutions online.

Now is a great time to get your OS up-to-date before downloading the newest release, since there is a risk High Sierra will have some teething problems. So, if you have Sierra already downloaded it will make it easier to upgrade to macOS 10.13 once any initial problems have been fixed with a patch or an updated version.

Easy tips to speed up slow macOS

Check compatibility. Firstly, we have already seen that Mac users with devices dating from 2008-09 will have difficulty upgrading to the new macOS package. There are several compatibility and RAM speed issues that the new update could not cope with when it came to adapting to older devices.

Whereas, this upgrade - and the next one - with anything built after 2010 (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook and even some iMac computers) will be easier to manage and should not have the same difficulties as anything built before 2008.

If you find yourself wondering, “Why my Mac so slow on Sierra?” you may need to upgrade your RAM. Unfortunately, new operating systems, on a desktop, laptop, tablet and phone devices tend to devour RAM. Two applications to update before or after you’ve downloaded and installed Sierra is your System Management Controller (SMC) and your Parameter RAM (PRAM) device. Both are small cogs in a larger wheel and can be done by resetting your device for 5 - 10 seconds, but it can make a big difference when it comes to speed.

Find which process is eating RAM and free up memory

When trying to figure out why a Mac is running slow, you need Activity Menu - within settings - or iStat Menus, a handy app that will quickly identify what is absorbing so much CPU processing power and advise those applications are closed. 

Find resource-hungry processes with iStat Menus

Unlike Activity Menu, iStat Menus provides users with even more useful data, and is available through Setapp, along with hundreds of other apps for Mac customers.

You can use Terminal app to free up the inactive RAM. 

  • Just open Terminal app and enter the following command:
    sudo purge
  • The system will ask you to enter a password, wait a minute or two to complete the process, and inactive memory will be cleared.

Also you can use a memory script to clear RAM. You don’t have to run it yourself,  you can use a memory freeing tool in CleanMyMac. Perfect RAM cleaning will boost your Mac's performance.

Need a faster Mac? - Clean up your disk drive

CleanMyMac comes highly recommended, as the easiest, most efficient way to identify problems, applications and settings that slow Macs down, then clean them. Around the world, over 3 million people are using CleanMyMac to scan, dig up junk cluttering up Macs, delete unused apps the right way, tidy up email folders and attachments and remove plugins you don't need with one click.

What happens, when you are cleaning your Mac for an update - either OS Sierra or High Sierra - and you delete something you later realise you need? Thankfully, an app already exists for that nightmare scenario. Disk Drill is the world’s premier data recovery software for macOS. Powerful enough to retrieve long-lost, mistakenly deleted files from Macs, external hard drives and USB drives and camera cards.

Retrieve mistakenly deleted files with Disk Drill

Nothing is gone forever, but of course, you don't want old files taking up too much space, especially when you will soon need to download macOS High Sierra, which means it’s always handy to have Disk Drill ready to retrieve something you may need.

Try to use Optimize storage

Another way to ensure your Mac operates at peak efficiency using Sierra is by deleting files you don't need and putting as much as you can into iCloud. Optimized storage - clearing out old, unused and idle items - comes part of the package with Sierra, but at the same time, storing files offline on a spare hard drive is equally useful since it avoids automatic syncs with iCloud, thereby potentially slowing your Mac down again. But.. you'll see a purgeable storage.

purgeable space

Purgeable storage space contains data that the system hasn't accessed in a long time. If you're running low on disk space, macOS can safely remove them, and then downloaded from iCloud or generated again when data are required again by you or your Mac.
You can’t manually delete the files that are designated purgeable with CleanMyMac app, or macOS removes them as space is needed.

With Setapp, you can have all the tools you need to tidy a Mac ready for an update, speed it up if Sierra or High Sierra slows your device down and retrieve files if your system gets too tidy.

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