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9 Simple Ways to Clean Your Mac So it Runs Faster and More Efficiently

Did you know that some models of Macs can last for up to 10 years?

Ten years! That’s two or three times longer than many other laptops and even some desktops.

Macs, after all, make use of more high-end materials than many of its competitors. Also, unlike Windows that comes tied with so many hardware makers, all Macs come from one entity: Apple. That’s why it’s easier for the company to enforce quality control processes.

With that said, Macs aren’t invincible, so they’ll still slow down over time. However, there are many ways to clean your Mac so that you can restore its speedy performance.

Ready to learn some of the top tactics on how to clean up your Mac, so it runs faster? Then let’s get this list started!

1. Disable Non-Essential Login Items

One of the simplest methods on how to clean up your Mac is to clear up its “Login Items” list. These are the apps or services that automatically launch when you sign in to your device. They can be anywhere from sticky notes to browsers to text or photo editors.

Since Mac will run these items from the get-go, it will require more time to think and load. Moreover, these programs will keep running, and thus, use more RAM unless you close them.

To clean up your Mac’s Log Items list, launch “Systems Preferences,” and then click “Users & Groups.” Select the tab labeled “Login Items” to see what apps or services open as soon as you sign in to your device. Highlight each “non-essential” item then click the “-” at the bottom of the window.

These “disabled” items will stop loading automatically the next time you start up your Mac. That should ease some of the burdens on your device, thereby helping it speed up.

2. Uninstall Non-Essential Programs

Depending on the browser you use, running ten tabs all at the same time can use up to 3GB of your Mac’s RAM. Just imagine how much more virtual memory gets eaten if you have other apps in the background.

The thing is, many of these apps may not be useful, so it’s best to get rid of them to free up space in your Mac. To figure out if your device has these non-essential items, launch “Activity Monitor.”

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Review the list to ensure that it doesn’t have any unfamiliar app or service name. Also, be sure to pay close attention to those that have high CPU and Memory usage.

If there are any unknown program in the list, do a quick Google search to find out if it’s legit. If not, they may be potentially unwanted programs, which you should remove right away. Do the same for any familiar but not really useful apps or services.

3. Get Rid of Desktop Clutter

The more stuff you have on your desktop, the slower your Mac will get. Your device, after all, will have to scan all those during login.

So, keep things smooth and speedy by deleting desktop items that you no longer need. This will also keep your virtual workspace tidy, which can then boost productivity.

4. Track Down and Delete Duplicate Files

Duplicates usually occur when you create multiple backups in different folders. Let’s say that you perform a manual backup today and then make another the following week. If you save them in separate locations in your Mac, you’ll have countless duplicate files.

Delete those extra copies (the earlier ones) so that you can free up space in your Mac.

Not sure where exactly those duplicates are? Then you might want to check out https://setapp.com/how-to/find-and-remove-duplicate-files-on-mac. There’s a guide there that enumerates all methods to delete multiple file copies.

5. Delete Unwanted Large Files and Downloads

Open your Mac’s System Information to see what’s eating up its physical storage. Browse the “Large Files” section to see if there’s anything there that you can delete. Next, check the “Downloads” tab to see a time-based list of downloads that you likely no longer need.

Highlight each unwanted item on these lists and then click Delete. To get rid of everything, press command + A (to highlight all the files) and then hit the Delete button.

6. Take Advantage of iCloud

If there are files that you need to have a copy of but not necessarily in your Mac, send them to iCloud.

As an Apple ID user, you can create an iCloud account and get 5GB of online storage for free. Take advantage of this freebie so you can regain at least 5 GB of disk space in your Apple computer.

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7. Move Massive Files to an External Location

You can get more iCloud space by paying a monthly fee. In doing so, you can move larger files, such as videos and raw HD images into your online storage account. You can also do the same if you have an extra external hard drive.

8. Delete Important Files Only After Creating a Backup

Remember: moving your files to iCloud doesn’t constitute a backup. You can only have a backup if you have more than one copy of all your essential data. That means you won’t have a backup if you delete the original copy saved in your Mac.

That’s why it’s best to invest in an external hard drive, too, so that you can create Time Machine backups. This way, one copy would be in iCloud, the other would be in your EHD. Once you have two copies, erase them from your Mac’s physical storage.

9. Empty Your Trash Folder

In a 2019 study, two-thirds of consumers said that they suffered from some form of data loss. Accidental deletions are among the most common reasons cited.

Fortunately, Macs store recoverable copies of deleted files in the Trash folder. If you ever delete a file by accident, this is where you should go to retrieve it.

However, this also means that all recent and intentional deletions are still in your Mac. They’ll continue to eat up valuable space in your device unless you empty the Trash folder.

As such, you should perform a permanent erasure by emptying your Trash folder. Be sure to give the list a thorough final check, though, before you hit the Empty button.

Try Out All These Ways to Clean Your Mac Now

There you have it, some of the easiest, no-frill ways to clean your Mac. As a final tip, enable your Mac’s automated Trash-emptying functionality. This will permanently erase all files in the Trash folder once they’ve been there for over 30 days.

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