I created this easy-to-follow video guide to show you exactly how to make your mac faster. I’ve written about it in the past, but I think this is a useful resource for those of you that would rather watch it being done. Did you know you can see exactly what’s hogging the space on your computer? You can see how hard your computer is working, and which programs are eating the speed of your system as well.
If your Mac is behaving very strangely, for example:
Your battery doesn’t charge all the way
Your fans are always loud, and running nearly non-stop
Your CPU seems to freeze and act sluggish
You may need a PRAM or SMC reset.
Now, normally, I just make content about cleaning up and speeding up a Mac or Macbook, but today I’m getting a little more technical for you guys.
You see, I’and had 2 e-mails in the past week about Fan problems and battery issues. These e-mailers were out of warranty, so instead of paying a couple hundred bucks to some tech-dude to tear into their laptops, I suggested they reset their PRAM and SMC.
I made a YouTube video, explaining the process as well, if you prefer to learn visually.
What does the PRAM do?
The PRAM stores “core” info such as your mac’s virtual memory, RAM disk, disc cache, and other stuff.
What does the SMC or System Management Controller do?
The SMC is the part that must be reset to more often see positive results, however – if your Mac is acting strange, it’s beneficial to do both, because they’re pretty easy to do.
Before you begin, please back-up any important data.
Here’s how to reset the PRAM:
Shut down your computer. (No logging off or putting it to sleep)
Press the Power button. Then, Press Command Option P R at the same time.
Hold these keys down – BEFORE the grey start-screen appears.
Once the screen appears, and you hear the start-up “chime” you’re done
Let go of the keys, and let your Mac reboot.
Once your system has rebooted, you may notice that some of your minor settings need to be changed back, such as mouse speed, double click speed, etc. This is good. It means the reset worked.
Next, we must reset the SMC:
Shut down your computer
Disconnect the plug
Remove the battery
Press the power button for 5-Seconds, and release
Put the battery and cord back in
Power on the system
Here’s how to reset the SMC for Macbook Airs and Macbook Pros (Macs where you can’t remove the battery.)
Turn off your machine
Keep the cord plugged in
Press at the same time Shift-Option-Control Power Button
Turn your machine on
Here’s how to reset the SMC for iMacs, Mac Pros, Mac Minis, etc.
Shut the machine down
Unplug the cord
Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds
Plug it back in and turn it on
Now you should ideally see a difference in the behavior of your Mac computer. Are the fans still going crazy? Is the battery charging past 50%? Hopefully this advice helps.
(Note: As with any technical advice, I cannot be held liable or responsible if these tips negatively affect your system. You must assume all risk to make changes to your computer. However, I have been resetting the PRAM and SMC for years without any issues. Having said that – please remember to back up your stuff before making any changes to your computer. Good luck!)
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the spinning rainbow beach ball. Lately I’ve noticed that it happens more often when I don’t maintain my Macbook properly. I’m using a Macbook Air which is less than 2 months old, so when I see the rainbow beach ball, I know that something isn’t right. Here are 7 ways to speed up your Mac.
1. Check the App Store for Software Updates, and Restart every so often.
I’m running OS X 10.8.2, and I’ve already had at least 2 software updates in the past 2 months. I know that sometimes it can feel like a pain in the you-know-what to have to download a new update, close your existing windows, and restart your computer. Sometimes I can be at fault here – I’ll often just put my Macbook Air to sleep by closing the lid, and the idea of restarting it is not something I want to do. However, this can make a big difference. So keep your Macs updated – and also, make sure to restart your Mac every few days, as just putting it to sleep doesn’t fully ‘refresh’ the Mac the way it needs every so often.
2. Reset the Safari Cache
Do you know that every time you visit a website, it stores the images and other site information to allow it to load faster the next time you visit? These site files can quickly add up and slow you down. My brother, who has a Macbook that’s a few years old, had no idea about this phenomenon. We cleared out his cache by selecting Safari > Reset Safari. You can also do so by clicking Safari > Preferences > Privacy, and then clicking “Remove Website Data.” You don’t need thousands of cookies and other files stored locally. So make sure to clean that out every so often as well.
3. Clear your desktop
The harmless thumbnails of your photos, screen shots, and downloads are not so harmless, after all. You should try to have as clear a desktop as possible. The reason is that every time you load up your desktop, it takes some system memory, or RAM, to load them up. When you have a whole lot of them, it can significantly slow down your Mac, and you might have to stare at a beach ball much longer than you’d like to.
4. Get Rid of Duplicate Photos and other Files
It should surprise no one that duplicate photos are a menace. Every time you dump your memory stick into your computer, you add hundreds of files that when left at their default large sizes, take up big blocks of space on your hard drive. It’s worth your while to a) use an external hard drive or cloud service, and b) to clean out all of your duplicate photos, music, video, language files, and folders in one easy sweep. You can do this manually, but for simplicity’s sake, I use TidyUp by Hyperbolic Software.
5. Monitor your Start-Up Items
I know that everyone loves the shiny icons in the dock, or task bar (except when they’re hopping up and down, of course). The problem with all of these running programs showing up every time you start your Mac, is that they hog system resources. Unless you are using the program every time you boot up, then you don’t need it automatically running. Go to System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items, and hit the ‘subtract’ button to get rid of programs that you don’t need running right away. I personally put a lot of programs in my Launchpad app instead – and if you don’t have the Launchpad app, then you can make a folder such as “apps” in your Documents folder, and can easily make a shortcut to that new folder by dragging it down to the dock.
I was passed along an e-mail today that I should consider a piece of software called ‘Dupe Guru’. So, I installed the software on my Macbook to compare it’s features to the current #1 pick on this site, Tidy Up.
What I first found, was that Dupe Guru took an awful long time to download. I think there must have been problems with it’s server, because the internet speeds in my office reach 50 mbps, and the download took nearly an hour.
But irregardless, the speed of the download isn’t what’s important.
When I first booted the software up, there was a request for a donation. I understand that this software is considered “Fairware,” which basically means it’s free to try, but they ask that you pay a recommended amount. I found this to be unnecessary to occur right when you boot the program up. You should wait to actually let the user try the software before asking for any type of donation.
The interface was easy to use and straight-forward. When I began to attempt to try the more advanced features that I’m used to when I use Tidy Up, I found that features were missing.
Most notably, I wanted to find music files that were not identical in file name, but were similar in length and content. Tidy Up can match songs in this way, which is one of it’s most impressive features, while Dupe Guru wasn’t able to match songs in this way. That left me pretty disappointed.
There were duplicate mp3s that were not removed, because the searching capabilities were not where they needed to be.
The price of Dupe Guru is slightly cheaper, but in my humble opinion, TidyUp is the better option, and I’ll continue to recommend it to friends and visitors to this site.
With the ability to add photos to your MacBook through the use of websites, digital cameras, or emails your computer can become overloaded. With the addition of so many photos also come the frustrations of trying to organize multiple copies of the same photos that vary in size, file type and other slight differences. With all these photos comes the frustration related to a computer that is drastically slowing down in speed.
Before you go through the process of cleaning up duplicate files, you need to know how they got there to begin with so that you can attempt to prevent from doing it again. One of the biggest means for the creation of duplicate files is when photos are taken on digital cameras. When pictures are uploaded, many forget to delete them from their camera and take more pictures, thus uploading them on to the computer more than once. Other common reasons for having duplicates is making copies with names, changing the format the image is saved in, and downloading and installing various software.
Remove duplicate photos in MacBook can be performed manually or Duplicate finder and removal software either.. Manually finding and deleting duplicates, although it is a timely process is extremely effective and highly accurate as no errors can be made with proper care. With duplicate finder software, duplicate photos can be found faster, using a variety of labels, the interface is customizable, and there is the ability to retrieve photos even after the iMac has been restarted. You can try this type of software out for yourself by downloading Tidy Up!
OK – another viewer e-mail. In this example, a young lady told me that she’s getting this error message. It will pop up at her and will display “You need to free up space on the startup disk.” She’s deleted some files, but she still gets the error message. So what gives?
If you’ve gotten this message before, the first thing you’ve got to keep in mind is *Don’t Reboot*. If your machine is too full, it may not work after rebooting, and you’ll have to take your macbook or imac to a technician or Apple Support.
————————————— Here’s what you should do to fix the ‘free up space’ issue: —————————————
Instead, when you get lots of rainbow beach balls and error messages like this, you need to locate the BIG files, such as movies, photo folders, mp3s, etc. and move them to an external storage drive (or delete them.)
I also recommend you make sure your recycle bin has been emptied, and that you’ve deleted any video or mp3 duplicates.
If you have already reboot and you can’t access your computer, then you’re going to need to access your boot drive from either OS X booted from a different drive, or via a separate Mac with Firewire Target Disk mode.
For most people, this basically translates to – take it to the store, which we’d like to avoid, if possible.
So – if you’ve got the message telling you that you need to free up space, then move or delete the big files, run a double file checker, empty your recycle bin, and THEN reboot your system.
Got a question? E-mail me: steve (at) duplicatefilesoftware.com
Have you been using Safari on your Macbook and it’s crashing, freezing, and stalling? Sometimes you can wait up to 20 seconds for a page to load that used to boot up in a flash.
What gives? Why is Safari suddenly performing like a browser from the distant past?
Recently I received a mail and it was from a viewer with 2 gigs of RAM on a 1st Generation Macbook. Pages were taking 20 seconds to load. Something was not right.
I suggested a few steps. First, he should make sure that he has ample space available in his hard drive. Empty his trash, move any huge video, audio, photo files, run a duplicate file locator, and finally, empty the browser cache, clear your history and cookies, and delete the ‘icons’ folder from / libary / Safari.
What I suggested to fix a slow Safari problem:
In this case, he had ample space, so it wasn’t a file bloat that was causing the slowdown. Could is be a malware or botnet that was causing the issue? We placed 2 new DNS values in his System Prefs>Networking>Airport>TCP/IP>DNS section.
They worked like a charm. Websites that took 20-30 seconds to load now loaded much faster.
Author’s note: Changing DNS may affect sites like Netflix, and iTunes, which need the default DNS to run properly.
Hope this helps a few of you out there with a slow safari issue!
Got a question? E-mail me. Steve (at) duplicatefilesoftware.com
OK. Here’s another viewer e-mail. In this particular e-mail a young man told me he’s seeing the ‘spinning beach ball’ at random times while using his Macbook, sometimes when he’s not even running any programs. He has plenty of room in his hard drive (over 100 gigabytes free) and he has no old software or overheating.
The model of his Macbook is from 2009, he’s running OS X 10.6.8, he’s got a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and he has 2 GB of memory.
So why is the computer running so poorly and freezing up? He’s tired of having to turn off the computer by holding down the power button, in fear that he might be eventually damaging his hardware.
——————– What I recommended to fix the freezing macbook: ——————–
The first thing I recommended was that although it’s may not be a RAM issue, it wouldn’t hurt to upgrade. It’s not overly expensive, and often times 4 gb instead of 2 gb can make quite a difference. If this didn’t achieve the difference he’s looking for, then he should consider getting his hard drive looked at by a professional.
If he had less space available, I’d say he needs to tidy up his system, remove double files, and run disk utilities. But since he has over 100 gb free, the duplicate file problem is unlikely.
What ended up happening with this reader was that the RAM upgrade didn’t solve his problem. His computer was still freezing. When he e-mailed me back, it became clear that this was not a RAM issue, but instead a Hard Drive issue. He mailed it into Apple, spent about $150, and had the issue fixed. His macbook now runs faster than ever, thanks to the working hard drive and the 4 gb of RAM.
If your Macbook is freezing and you have lots of space available, then the problem is usually a hardware one. Either your RAM or your Hard Drive. Since upgrading RAM is far cheaper than upgrading your HDD, I recommend trying to upgrade the RAM first. Even if it’s not a RAM issue, your computer will be even faster after fixing the HDD.
Do you have a Mac problem? E-mail me your issues and I’ll help you sort them out! steve (at) duplicatefilesoftware.com
A Mac that is overloaded with hundreds or even thousands of photos that range in size, shape, file type and so forth can cause numerous headaches for the Mac user. Not only can this excessive number of photos take up important hard drive space but it can also cause your Mac to run slower than it should. So now you are probably asking yourself how to find and remove duplicate photos on Mac OS. What can the basic user to do find and remove any number of hard drive clogging duplicate photos?
There are two options for that user, they can either go through the process of manually hunting for and deleting duplicate photos are they can get removal software that can speed up the process!
There are a number of good programs that help to find and remove duplicate photos on Mac OS automatically. Why spend hours sorting through the possibly thousands of photos you have acquired on your Mac when you there is software available that has features such as these:
Highly customizable interface
Search modes that are automatic or manual
Scan for not only photo files but audio, text, media files, and much more
Delete without worry with file restoration
Seeks out and Locates the duplicate files on your hard drive
Improves the performance of your Mac OS
With features such as these, as well as numerous others, why not clean up your excessive numbers of duplicate photos on your Mac today! IF you want to try this for yourself then download and try Tidy Up!
I recently received an e-mail where a user of this site was noticing something strange… his Macbook Pro was running VERY slowly, and without any particular reason. It had been running fine the week before, he had not downloaded any new software, or anything like that. So what was the problem?
He checked his hard drive space. His Macbook shipped with 120 gigabites of space. He had 10 free gigs left. (Also worth mentioning that he had 2gb of RAM in his Macbook Pro.)
So… he opened his Finder window to see that his free space was dropping down by 500 mb at a time. Up and down, all the way down to 6 free gigs.
What was going on? Was his Macbook Pro possessed by demons?
He quickly deleted a bunch of files and programs he no longer needed, ran antivirus software, ran Mac Disk Utility, but he didn’t fix the issue.
——————————- Here’s how I fixed the Macbook Pro Available Space Problem: ——————————-
First off – the reason his space was fluctuating was because of the system cache. For example, if he was using a photo editing program or video editor, or was viewing websites with large files to load, then it would affect his cache. As a result, these programs would use the space in his hard drive, and it would appear like he had lost gigs of available space.
The reason his Macbook Pro has become so slow was because he had only 10 gigs free out of 120 gigs. That’s a drastic drop, that’s less than 10% of the original amount. When there is less and less space available, it becomes harder for the computer to find a nice, roomy place to find the space it needs to run fast. So I suggested he clean out at least 8 gigs of space. If he had a load of MP3s or Videos, back them up. Find duplicates, and see what kind of clean up that can achieve.
Also – he hadn’t emptied his trash in weeks.
This instantly saved him 500 mbs!!
It’s a good idea to keep tabs on your system. If it starts acting strange, it means something is wrong, and so now you know that you need to keep a fair amount of available space if you want your Macbook to keep running fast.
Do you have a problem with your Macbook?
E-Mail me your issues: ( steve (at) duplicatefilesoftware.com ), and I’ll sort them out for you!
Hey there, thanks for visiting. After enough friends complained of slow mac performance, I felt I had an obligation to them. I hope this site solves your slow macintosh issues and you don't have to spend any more time staring spinning beachballs! -Steve