Though most of the causes of slow Mac performance we list below are commonsensical, rarely ever do Mac users address them by themselves. Most of the time, they allow their computer to become more and more bogged down with resource-hogging and space-hogging apps and data, until it eventually crashes. Since it’s always better to be safe, rather than sorry, check out the situations we explain below and make sure you address them, if any applies to your own Mac.
Issue: There are tons of apps you never use on your Mac.
As any Apple product user knows, the iTunes store is a virtually endless supply of apps. As the saying goes, if it exists, there’s an app for it. That, of course, doesn’t mean you have to download each and every single one of them, as this will significantly slow Mac performance. Likewise, you might have once downloaded and used an app, but have since replaced it with a better one that does the same thing, either in terms of performance or of resource usage (hint: if you’re still holding on to apps that are massive resource hogs, you should consider replacing them stat).
Fix: Cull out the useless apps.
It might take a while, since you’ll have to review each app manually, but in terms of improving slow Mac performance, it’s really important to select your apps. Think of culling out the apps you no longer need as a sort of maintenance work on your Mac. If you still want to hold on to some of the less frequently used apps on your machine, we recommend that you at least remove them from your start-up lineup, in order to stop them from running in the background pointlessly.
Issue: Indexing massive amounts of old data is causing slow Mac performance.
A lot of folks still store music, movies, old word processor files, and what-not on their hard-drives. As a side note, ever since removable hard drives have been invented and perfected, such hoarding behavior has become less and less explicable. However, if for some reason you don’t want to remove all the data, no matter how sporadically you actually use it (if you work with databases, for instance), there is a solution to address slow Mac performance.
Fix: Archive the data you don’t use on a regular basis.
Archiving programs have been around for decades, literally. Some of the most popular choices include WinZip and 7-Zip. They are both free for use, can be downloaded and installed easily, and will run seamlessly on Macs. Run whichever one of these programs you prefer, select the folders you’re going to archive and compress them into archives. These ‘zipped’ files can either be kept on your Mac or stored away on a removable device.
Issue: Your log files are hogging down precious space.
You may or may not already know this, but your Mac is also a highly skilled tracking device. In a nutshell, there are logs of every click you’ve performed on your computer – and, of course, they’re taking up space. In some cases, the log files on a single Mac have been known to take up as much as 40GB of space at a time.
Fix: Need them? No, you don’t. Trash ‘em!
You can either choose to remove them yourself, manually, or do so with the aid of specialized software that will take care of the Mac clean-up for you. The manual process does require some degree of computer skills and it’s also very tedious, which, of course, makes the latter variant far superior. In any case, keeping that much private data stored on your Mac is not a good idea and should be avoided.