Is your Mac slowing you down? Try these top tips for a boost.
Macs and other Apple products come with a hefty price tag, but just ask any die-hard devotee—they’re worth it. Just because your old Mac device has a few miles under its belt, that doesn’t mean it has to be replaced. Of course, if the stellar performance that first made you invest in the device in the first place is slipping, you might be tempted to go in for an upgrade.
This is especially true if you’re a Mac gamer (a somewhat rare creature) and a slow computer can mean losing out in a high-pressure scenario where other players are counting on you. And it can just be really annoying.
But don’t splash out just yet. There is a laundry list of things you can try to speed up your Mac before chunking it and spending a couple months’ salary on a new computer.
Pro tip: Simply banging the keyboard and shouting, “Speed up, Mac!” isn’t going to do it, so here are some real, actionable steps you can try.
1. Close unnecessary processes
First, check to see if you have too many processes running, especially on startup. A lot of apps run in the background by default, so they could be slowing down your game if you didn’t manually tell them to stop it.
A quick look in your settings will tell you which ones are authorized to run without prompting, and give you the chance to make changes to ones you don’t absolutely need at all times.
2. Check for viruses
A virus could also be to blame, so don’t believe the hype that Macs don’t get viruses. If you’re device is running slowly, your browser or tool bars have been reset, or your browser keeps crashing, those are just a few of the warning signs that you might have an infection.
Fortunately, as you’ll see below, several cleaner utilities are also really good at removing and blocking malware. Otherwise, check out some solid reviews and make an informed decision about Antivirus for Mac.
3. Adjust in-game settings
Okay, there’s a minor chance that the game settings themselves might be affecting your Mac’s performance. Before giving up, see if you can adjust your resolution, quality, even things like your sound settings. These minor tweaks might just be enough to give you a better experience, although they shouldn’t be significant enough to completely change your speed.
4. Adjust your unused OS features
There are a handful of automatic features that are set to active by default that you can turn off, freeing up some “thinking” capacity for your Mac. You can give your gaming another boost if you stop your Mac from trying to do things you don’t do anyway.
5. Clear or add space on your drive
For a lot less than the cost of a new machine, you could try adding some more memory or even swapping out your hard drive for a newer model.
Of course, one of the easiest possible fixes involves old files, specifically things like old directories, duplicate files, ghosts from software and apps that you deleted ages ago, and general clutter.
How long would it take you to run the legitimate process you actually needed while you sorted through all that junk? Too long. But luckily, there are some great software options that do the hard work for you.
Take a look at each of these programs to see which one can remove some of the cobwebs from your Mac.
Recommended Mac cleanup software
Movavi Mac Cleaner
This highly-rated all-in-one cleaner and tune up utility is a pro when it comes to rooting around in your system and finding the things that are clogging the pipes, so to speak.
You’re in control of which files get deleted, and whether you go one-click or step-by-step, it will look for cache files, log files, trash bin contents, unused localizations (languages you don’t need), large or cumbersome files, and even duplicate files.
Movavi’s free trial gives you plenty of wiggle room to test out its capability by clearing up to 500MB of space, optimizing your RAM, and configuring a firewall tool. You’ll get a feel for whether or not it’s upped your “gaming game” before investing any money. The paid version includes those features and much more, including some really secure antivirus capabilities as well.
CleanMyMac claims that it can get your Mac functioning like it did the day you took it out of the box, which is a pretty strong claim (fortunately, that claim has been backed up in reviews by some major-name tech news outlets).
Viruses and malware are also sought out and removed during a regular clean, then future installations are blocked. It’s like combining a heavy-duty antivirus and anti-malware tool with a really great housekeeper. Even better, the Uninstaller and Updater tools help you completely get rid of apps you no longer use and automatically update all the ones you do use.
This intuitive, user-friendly utility offers a premium version that’s packed with features, but also includes both a free version and a 30-day moneyback guarantee on the paid version.
Avast Cleanup Pro for Mac
Avast Cleanup for Mac is an incredibly useful and effective tool that can speed up your gaming capability to the point your Mac runs practically like it’s factory-new. It also tackles your external storage if you run a cleanup of any extra drives.
Avast will remind you with regular cleanup alerts that you need to do a little housekeeping. You can install the software, run a scan, free up tons of space on your hard drive, and then forget the whole thing.
Avast has a long history of working with users of every ability level, from the IT pro who wants to exert a lot of control over how it works, to the casual user with their first laptop. It will offer as much or as little user input as you’re comfortable with, all while standing behind the Avast name and functionality. All of this brand reputation and capability comes at a price, but it also comes with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.
So there you have it, 5 simple steps to help speed up your Mac for gaming, and some recommendations of 3 brilliant pieces of software to clean up your Mac and help it run at its best.
You’re likely to see some level of improvement after implementing each of these steps, but if your Mac’s performance still isn’t up to your standards, it may be time to bite the bullet and invest in some extra RAM or consider upgrading your model.