How can I speed up a Mac Computer

Posted on 2014-10-17
Last Modified: 2014-10-19

I am trying to speed up the performance of my Mac Laptop. I am not familiar with Mac yet therefore I am asking :

what are the steps I should take to speed up my Mac
are there any utilities that I should download to optimize my Mac
are there utilities already built in my Mac that will increase the performances

Any other advices are more than welcome
I am running OS X version 10.8.5

Thank you
Question by:Italiabella
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40387989
How and why are you thinking that it is slow?  Most of my clients tell me their computer is slow when it is really the fact that they are going to slow websites.  Not because the computer itself is slow.
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Accepted Solution

quizwedge earned 250 total points
ID: 40388029
Here are a few simple (though not all free) ways to speed up a Mac laptop

1. Buy more RAM. While not always the fix, RAM is typically a relatively cheap way to increase performance.

2. Buy an SSD hard drive and replace the current hard drive. SSD hard drives are much faster than regular hard drives and also will extend your battery power since they're typically more energy efficient.

3. Make sure you have at least 10% of your hard drive free. 15% free is even better.

4. Uninstall / disable any startup items you don't need.
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

bbao earned 250 total points
ID: 40388058
of course you first need to determine which slow part it is, the network, the web sites to access, the computer hardware, or the OS itself.

if you are talking about to speed up the OS X itself, my favourite utility is Onyx, which can speed up the OS by deleting unused files, refresh caches, and removing unnecessary startup processes.

it's a free tool, and it has a specific version for 10.8.5. just google it and download it.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 40388912
For clearing up your hard drive, I'm a fan of It lets you see which folders are taking up the most room.

Author Comment

ID: 40388931
Dave: It's not the internet or the browser that is slow. Is the OS. When I double click any program it takes 6-7 or 8 seconds to open.

Quizwedge: Thank you for your 4 important points. I am following them one by one. About point # 4 due to the fact that I am not familiar with Mac would you please provide step by step how to disable any start up items I don't need. This is exactly what I was thinking to do but I don't know how to accomplish it.

Bbao: I like the free utility you are mentioning. I google it and there are several options. Which one is the right one :) ? Everytime I download some programs or utilities from the net I also download a bunch of junk. If you are familiar with this utility would you please send the right link to download it so I won't make any mistake.

Thank you so much everyone.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 40389056
Stole this answer from strung over at

Removing Startup items:

System Preferences>Users & Groups>Log in Items

Highlight and use the minus button at the bottom left to remove startup items. (Unchecking does not remove them - simply tells them to load  in background)

Open in new window

I probably should have posted my points in reverse order since the free options are at the bottom. Checking startup options first is a good idea.

To see if memory is an issue, you can use Activity Monitor. Apple has instructions at You want to make sure that Active + Wired is not close to the total amount of RAM. Inactive memory should be available for use, but I've found that's not always the case.

To find out if the hard drive is full, use Get Info on the hard drive. I skimmed parts of this article, but looks like it gives you the directions with pictures: Simple answer is click on your hard drive and press command and i on your keyboard. If you report back the capacity and available numbers, that would let us know if a full hard drive might be the issue.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 40389504
here you go, the official download links.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40390521
Thank you Everyone

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