Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

Every computer begins to show its age over time. You know the signs of an out-of-date Mac 4 Signs It's Time To Replace Your Mac 4 Signs It's Time To Replace Your Mac It's generally pretty obvious when it's time to replace your computer, but just in case you're unsure here four signs that it might be time for a trip to the Apple Store. Read More : you can make a sandwich in the time it takes to boot your machine, you can’t install the newest version of macOS and enjoy all its features 5 Reasons to Install macOS Sierra Right Now & How to Upgrade 5 Reasons to Install macOS Sierra Right Now & How to Upgrade After a few months of public beta, the latest version of Apple's desktop operating system is ready for prime time. Read More , and forget trying to run modern resource-intensive software.

But it might not be time to get a new computer just yet. Macs hold their value for a reason Apple Tax: Why Do Macs Hold Their Resale Value? Apple Tax: Why Do Macs Hold Their Resale Value? You've probably heard it before: Macs may cost more, but they hold their value. Is this true, and if so why? Read More , and there are steps you can take (both free and paid) to get some more life out of it.

If you feel like you need to give your Mac a second wind, here are some great ways to freshen it up.

Upgrade to an SSD

Far and away the best upgrade you can possibly make on your Mac is to replace its old mechanical hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD). Unlike older hard drives 101 Guide To Solid State Drives 101 Guide To Solid State Drives Solid State Drives (SSDs) have really taken the mid-range to high end computing world by storm. But what are they? Read More , SSDs have no internal moving parts and their speed improvements boost performance across the board. Whether you’re booting your Mac, opening applications, or moving files, you’ll feel the benefits of an SSD.

No matter which model of Mac you have, be sure to check out website like Crucial’s Mac SSD compatibility page or a retailer like MacSales to make sure you order a compatible drive and that the process isn’t too difficult to perform. Most MacBooks only require removing a few screws to make the swap, but older iMacs don’t have the hard drive in such an accessible spot.

Ads by Google

Fortunately, SSDs have had a huge drop in price recently, so you can get a high-end Samsung 850 (500 GB) drive for about $160, or a more modest Samsung 750 (250 GB) drive for about $70. Remember there are a few key factors to consider 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD The world of home computing is moving towards solid state drives for storage. Should you buy one? Read More when buying your SSD, and bigger is always better when it comes to storage capacity.

Increase Your RAM

Second to an SSD is adding more RAM to your machine Which Upgrades Will Improve Your PC Performance the Most? Which Upgrades Will Improve Your PC Performance the Most? If you need a faster computer but aren't sure which component would be most beneficial to upgrade, then here are the guidelines you should follow. Read More . While an SSD improves performance in every aspect, more RAM means that you can run more things at once without feeling the drag. If you like to stream Spotify while you have 23 Chrome tabs open as you follow a crazy tutorial for Photoshop Create a Crazy Killer Doll Image with This Photoshop Tutorial Create a Crazy Killer Doll Image with This Photoshop Tutorial Want to create awesome composite images? We should you how with this easy-to-follow free Photoshop tutorial. Read More , you probably need more RAM.

Again, you’ll need to check out specifics for your Mac here. You can go to Apple > About this Mac to view how much RAM you currently have in your system, then visit EveryMac’s RAM compatibility page to see how much RAM you can put in your system How Much RAM Do You Really Need? How Much RAM Do You Really Need? RAM is like short term memory. The more you multitask, the more you need. Find out how much your computer has, how to get the most out of it, or how to get more. Read More . In some cases, Apple has specified a minimum which is completely safe to exceed.

Once you’ve determined how much RAM you can expand to, it’s a good idea to visit Crucial’s Mac RAM finder to see which sticks of RAM are compatible with your device. You may be able to find RAM for cheaper on Amazon, though it’s a bit of a gamble as everything from Crucial is guaranteed to work. If you decide to buy on Amazon, verify that the supplier has stated the RAM will work with your exact model.

Uninstall Old Applications

If you have an older Mac you’ve probably got some applications sitting around that you never use. In your quest to freshen your Mac’s pace a bit, it’s a good idea to identify these apps and get rid of them. Find a tool you tried and disliked but never removed? Sitting on some outdated software that’s still taking up a lot of space? Let’s get rid of it.

Thankfully, it’s possible to uninstall just about anything on your Mac How To Uninstall Just About Anything From Your Mac How To Uninstall Just About Anything From Your Mac No registry, no uninstaller – how do you completely remove a program from Mac OS X? Read More . The best way to quickly uninstall multiple apps AppCleaner: The Best Free Uninstaller App For Mac AppCleaner: The Best Free Uninstaller App For Mac Leave no crap behind. AppCleaner is a free uninstaller for Mac that searches for and lets you delete all the settings, caches and other junk files programs you delete that would otherwise remain. Read More , including removing the extra files that the built-in method of deletion might miss, is to use AppCleaner. This utility simply has you drag and drop an app’s icon to its window to remove all of its associated files.

Don’t feel like you need to uninstall every application you have, but the ones you haven’t used in years should probably be chucked.

Use Lighter Applications

Once you’ve eliminated the software you no longer use, it’s smart to look at the software you do use. While there are plenty of apps that we love on Mac The Best Mac Apps of 2015 (And Our Favorite Updates) The Best Mac Apps of 2015 (And Our Favorite Updates) Brilliant calendar apps, feature-rich Twitter apps, a whole new Office experience, and a sassy way to find out the weather, were just some of the best OS X apps released or updated this year. Read More , there are also some to avoid, which goes double if you’re using an older system.

For instance, you should think twice about using Chrome on Mac 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Chrome on a MacBook 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Chrome on a MacBook Chrome is, for many people, the first thing installed on a new Macbook. It makes sense: in its early days Chrome gained a reputation for being lightweight and fast. Read More  due to heavy battery drain 3 Quick Tips to Reduce Chrome's CPU Usage & Battery Drain 3 Quick Tips to Reduce Chrome's CPU Usage & Battery Drain Is Chrome using too much CPU and draining your battery? There may be a way for you to reduce its impact. Read More , slower system performance, and poor integration with the rest of the OS. For a speedier experience that’s more power and resource efficient, you should stick with Safari. After all, it does contain a ton of cool features and is way better than it used to be Mac & iOS Users: Why Aren't You Using Safari Yet? Mac & iOS Users: Why Aren't You Using Safari Yet? Apple's browser is now a polished first-party product that's exclusive to Mac and iOS devices. So why aren't you using it? Read More .

You can probably identify similar applications on your system that you could replace with a lighter alternative. Could you get by with a Photoshop alternative The Best Free & Paid Image Editors for Mac OS X The Best Free & Paid Image Editors for Mac OS X We thought it was about time we compiled a list of our favourite raster image editors for Mac OS X. Read More until you’re able to upgrade your system? To identify more apps that are using a lot of power, utilize the Activity Monitor Activity Monitor: The Mac Equivalent of Ctrl+Alt+Delete Activity Monitor: The Mac Equivalent of Ctrl+Alt+Delete If you want to be a fairly proficient Mac user, it is necessary to know what Activity Monitor is, and how to read and use it. As usual, that's where we come in. Read More to see which are using the CPU heavily, sucking up your RAM, or draining your battery in the Energy tab.

Reinstall the OS

For Windows users, reinstalling the OS every once in a while to fix problems and clean up cruft is an oft-quoted, if not really necessary, step. We’ve discussed the reasons you might want to reinstall the OS on your Mac Mac Users: Is There Any Good Reason To Ever Reinstall OS X? Mac Users: Is There Any Good Reason To Ever Reinstall OS X? Do you need to reinstall OS X regularly to keep your Mac running well? No. Are there times when doing so might be a good idea? Possibly. Here’s when. Read More , and concluded that one good reason is to speed things up if everything is slow.

If you’re looking for a fresh start on your machine, upgrading the hardware per above combined with a fresh install of macOS is a great option. However, with years of files on your system, this might not be practical. In that case, your best bet is to clean old junk off the system, back it up with Time Machine Partition & Use Your Time Machine Hard Drive To Store Files Too Partition & Use Your Time Machine Hard Drive To Store Files Too If your Mac's hard drive is small and your Time Machine hard drive is big, it might be worth using the drive for both backup and storage purposes. Read More , and reinstall. We’ve written a complete guide on the reinstall process How To Reinstall Mac OS X For A Fast, Squeaky-Clean Mac How To Reinstall Mac OS X For A Fast, Squeaky-Clean Mac Just like Windows, prolonged use of a Mac slows down the operating system. When you've been hoarding data and applications for over a year, the difference in performance starts to show. It just doesn't run... Read More for more info.

Give It a Fresh Coat of Paint

The above steps are the important parts of making your Mac feel like new, but there are a few optional parts of the process, too. If you’re sick of staring at the same old desktop all the time, change it up! There are tons of ways to personalize your Mac desktop Top 7 Ways to Personalize Your Mac OS X Desktop Top 7 Ways to Personalize Your Mac OS X Desktop Make your Mac more personal: change how applications, your desktop and the rest of OS X looks. Read More , and you can tweak Safari to make it perform exactly as you want The Ultimate Guide to Customizing Safari on Mac The Ultimate Guide to Customizing Safari on Mac Customize Safari. From adding favicons to your tabs to changing how Reader Mode looks, Apple's web browser is way more flexible than you think. Read More .

Unfortunately, El Capitan lost a lot of the customization options El Capitan Means The End Of Mac Themes & Deep System Tweaks El Capitan Means The End Of Mac Themes & Deep System Tweaks If you like customizing your Mac, Yosemite might be the last version of OS X that works for you. And that's too bad. Read More possible in earlier versions. If you’re still running an older version of OS X this won’t affect you, but it’s a good point to note should you be up to date. It won’t affect you from customizing your dock Customise Your Mac OS X Dock With These Hidden Terminal Commands Customise Your Mac OS X Dock With These Hidden Terminal Commands From simple tweaks like adding hidden stacks for recent items, to only displaying the currently open applications – there's a lot you can do to customize your Mac's dock. Read More or arranging your menu bar How To Customize & Tidy Your Mac Menu Bar How To Customize & Tidy Your Mac Menu Bar Nothing makes OS X look cluttered faster than unwanted menubar icons. Read More , though, so don’t despair.

Don’t Forget Physical Cleaning

Once you’ve done all this, take a quick look at the physical state of your Mac. Is there any residue from spills on the system, dust on your keyboard, or other unsightly aspects? If so, take a few minutes to follow our MacBook and iMac cleaning guide How to Clean Out Dust From Your MacBook or iMac How to Clean Out Dust From Your MacBook or iMac Cleaning dust out of a Mac isn't as easy as cleaning dust out of a PC, but it's not impossible. Here's what you need to know. Read More  to get your keyboard, mouse, and screens spiffy and clean. You can also take a look at our general PC cleaning guide A Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your PC Part 1: Hardware Cleaning A Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your PC Part 1: Hardware Cleaning With the arrival of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, houses across the globe get a nice cleaning to rid them of dirt and clutter that has accumulated over the past year. Dust and junk also... Read More for more ideas.

As Good as New

With a few upgrades and a little maintenance, your Mac might just feel like a new machine. Following all these steps means you have a blazing new SSD, plenty of RAM for keeping applications open, more optimized apps for better performance, less clutter, and possibly a quieter machine to boot.

This might help you get another few years out of your older Mac. It’s a lot cheaper to spend $100 on new components and take the time to perform some upgrades than it is to buy a new computer.

Looking for an even speeder computer? Check out our hidden tricks for making any Mac a bit faster Speed Up an Old Mac with These Tricks [Mac OS X] Speed Up an Old Mac with These Tricks [Mac OS X] Given time, the performance of any computer will tend to degrade - even Macs (gasp!). Years of improperly un-installing applications can leave your drive littered with preference files and resources that are no longer needed.... Read More .

What other steps would you take to make an older Mac feel like new? Let’s talk about how we could add to this list in the comments.

  1. Fungus
    October 1, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Late 2011 MBP - SSD'd, RAM'd and installed Ubuntu - it's my daily driver now.

  2. Ellen Loehman
    September 30, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I love my Early 2008 MacPro. It has 4 hard drive bays and a zillion USB ports. I installed an SSD about a year ago and have increased the RAM to 16 GB. It starts and stops on a dime. In the past, I just popped in a new hard drive and installed the latest system. Sadly, I will not know what I am missing in the newest Sierra, since my old Mac not supported. I looked at getting a new one, but an iMac is too limited and a shiny new black MacPro is overkill. This article is good advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *