Think twice about selling or donating a Mac

Today’s computer users often forget or are unaware of how much sensitive information their devices store. The ability to save passwords, credit card numbers, and personal messages is undeniably convenient, but it’s also a huge liability. If you’re thinking about getting rid of your Mac, make sure to follow these steps first.

1. Back up your files

You don’t want the new owner of your Mac to find your private files, so you’ll want to reformat it first. However, you may have files you would like to keep. To save those files, back them up on iCloud or on an external hard drive or another Mac via Time Machine.

Backing up using iCloud

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to icloud.com, then sign in using your Apple ID. Fulfill multifactor authentication requirements if prompted.
  2. Check if your account has sufficient space remaining by clicking Settings > [your account name] > iCloud > Manage Storage. Free up storage space by deleting some files, or purchase more space if you must.
  3. To control what you’ll include in your backup sync, go to Settings > [your account name] > iCloud, then turn the toggle switches on or off for the applications you want or don’t want to sync.
  4. Once you’re happy with your selection, click Back up now.

Backing up using Time Machine

You can port your old files to an external drive or to another Mac. For the first option, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the external drive into your Mac and wait for its icon to appear on the screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Backup Disk. Select the drive you plugged in, then click Use Disk.
  3. You’ll be asked to erase the disk if it isn’t formatted to support Time Machine and Mac. The backup can proceed once you comply.

To back up your files from one Mac onto another Mac, make sure that both machines are on the same network first, Then, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Mac that’ll serve as the backup destination, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Tick the File Sharing box.
  3. Select Options. Select “Share files and folders using SMB” if it isn’t selected already, then click Done.
  4. At the bottom of the Shared Folders list, click Add.
  5. Find and choose the folder you want to utilize for sharing, then click Add.
  6. Control-click the folder’s name, then select Advanced Options.
  7. Click the “Share over” menu, then select SMB.
  8. Choose “Share as a Time Machine backup destination.”
  9. If you want, you can use “Limit backups to” to put a cap on the size of the backup to be created.
  10. Select OK.

2. Sign in to all your accounts on a new computer

Before you can ensure that your personal accounts are inaccessible on the Mac you’re getting rid of, you must be certain that you can access those accounts on another computer. If you need to recover a username or password, your options may be limited if the trusted computer has been wiped clean. Make sure to log in to these accounts on another device before moving forward:

  • Apple ID
  • iCloud
  • iMessage
  • iTunes

It’s also important that you remember account credentials that you’d saved on your web browser. If you use Safari, here are the steps to check all the accounts your browser has saved:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu directly next to the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  3. Click the Passwords menu.
  4. Comb through the list and confirm that you can access all those accounts on another computer.

3. Sign out of everything

Deleting everything on your hard drive does not automatically mean that all of your personal information will be completely erased. This is because your device may be linked to your Apple accounts, which means that if you’re still signed in on the Mac you’ve given away, the next user may have access to your accounts.

To prevent this from happening, deauthorize as many accounts as possible before formatting the storage disk by doing the following:

  1. Open the Apple Books app, Apple TV app, or Music/iTunes app.
  2. On the top menu bar, select Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.
  3. Use your Apple ID to sign in.
  4. Click Deauthorize.

Next, you’ll want to sign out of iCloud. If your machine is on macOS Catalina or later, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > Apple ID.
  3. In the sidebar, choose Overview > Sign Out.

If your machine is on MacOS Mojave or earlier:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

You’ll also want to sign out of iMessage:

  1. Open the iMessage app, click Messages > Preferences > Accounts.
  2. Select your account in the left sidebar and click the “Sign Out” button.

4. Remove the device from Apple Support

Another thing that people often forget to do is revoke their Apple Support registration (unless they want the new owner of their Mac to receive free assistance from Apple Geniuses). Visit support.apple.com/my-support, sign in with your Apple ID and remove any device you plan to get rid of or no longer own.

5. Do a factory reset

When all your files have been backed up and your accounts are accessible on other devices, you can wipe clean your Mac’s hard drive. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Enter recovery mode. Apple details separate instructions on how to do so on Intel-based Macs and Apple Silicon-based Macs.
  2. To proceed wiping the hard drive, go to Disk Utility.
  3. Under the Internal heading, choose the Macintosh HD drive and click Erase in the top toolbar. Retain Macintosh HD as its name and set its format to either Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS.
  4. To wipe that drive, click Erase or Erase Volume Group (whichever button is shown), then repeat the process for all the other internal drives, if any. This ensures that all data on the Mac is completely erased and that errors during the reinstall process will be avoided.
  5. Close the Disk Utility window to return to the Recovery screen.
  6. Press Command-Q to shut down the Mac.

From here, you can let the person getting the machine install a clean version of macOS.

All in all, this entire process can take a couple of days. Small businesses can save a lot of time by hiring an IT provider with Apple experts to take care of mundane tasks like wiping an old computer’s hard drive. Give us a call today to learn more about what we do.

This post was originally published on this site

Think twice about selling or donating a Mac

Today’s computer users often forget or are unaware of how much sensitive information their devices store. The ability to save passwords, credit card numbers, and personal messages is undeniably convenient, but it’s also a huge liability. If you’re thinking about getting rid of your Mac, make sure to follow these steps first.

1. Back up your files

You don’t want the new owner of your Mac to find your private files, so you’ll want to reformat it first. However, you may have files you would like to keep. To save those files, back them up on iCloud or on an external hard drive or another Mac via Time Machine.

Backing up using iCloud

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to icloud.com, then sign in using your Apple ID. Fulfill multifactor authentication requirements if prompted.
  2. Check if your account has sufficient space remaining by clicking Settings > [your account name] > iCloud > Manage Storage. Free up storage space by deleting some files, or purchase more space if you must.
  3. To control what you’ll include in your backup sync, go to Settings > [your account name] > iCloud, then turn the toggle switches on or off for the applications you want or don’t want to sync.
  4. Once you’re happy with your selection, click Back up now.

Backing up using Time Machine

You can port your old files to an external drive or to another Mac. For the first option, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the external drive into your Mac and wait for its icon to appear on the screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Backup Disk. Select the drive you plugged in, then click Use Disk.
  3. You’ll be asked to erase the disk if it isn’t formatted to support Time Machine and Mac. The backup can proceed once you comply.

To back up your files from one Mac onto another Mac, make sure that both machines are on the same network first, Then, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Mac that’ll serve as the backup destination, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Tick the File Sharing box.
  3. Select Options. Select “Share files and folders using SMB” if it isn’t selected already, then click Done.
  4. At the bottom of the Shared Folders list, click Add.
  5. Find and choose the folder you want to utilize for sharing, then click Add.
  6. Control-click the folder’s name, then select Advanced Options.
  7. Click the “Share over” menu, then select SMB.
  8. Choose “Share as a Time Machine backup destination.”
  9. If you want, you can use “Limit backups to” to put a cap on the size of the backup to be created.
  10. Select OK.

2. Sign in to all your accounts on a new computer

Before you can ensure that your personal accounts are inaccessible on the Mac you’re getting rid of, you must be certain that you can access those accounts on another computer. If you need to recover a username or password, your options may be limited if the trusted computer has been wiped clean. Make sure to log in to these accounts on another device before moving forward:

  • Apple ID
  • iCloud
  • iMessage
  • iTunes

It’s also important that you remember account credentials that you’d saved on your web browser. If you use Safari, here are the steps to check all the accounts your browser has saved:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu directly next to the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  3. Click the Passwords menu.
  4. Comb through the list and confirm that you can access all those accounts on another computer.

3. Sign out of everything

Deleting everything on your hard drive does not automatically mean that all of your personal information will be completely erased. This is because your device may be linked to your Apple accounts, which means that if you’re still signed in on the Mac you’ve given away, the next user may have access to your accounts.

To prevent this from happening, deauthorize as many accounts as possible before formatting the storage disk by doing the following:

  1. Open the Apple Books app, Apple TV app, or Music/iTunes app.
  2. On the top menu bar, select Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.
  3. Use your Apple ID to sign in.
  4. Click Deauthorize.

Next, you’ll want to sign out of iCloud. If your machine is on macOS Catalina or later, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > Apple ID.
  3. In the sidebar, choose Overview > Sign Out.

If your machine is on MacOS Mojave or earlier:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

You’ll also want to sign out of iMessage:

  1. Open the iMessage app, click Messages > Preferences > Accounts.
  2. Select your account in the left sidebar and click the “Sign Out” button.

4. Remove the device from Apple Support

Another thing that people often forget to do is revoke their Apple Support registration (unless they want the new owner of their Mac to receive free assistance from Apple Geniuses). Visit support.apple.com/my-support, sign in with your Apple ID and remove any device you plan to get rid of or no longer own.

5. Do a factory reset

When all your files have been backed up and your accounts are accessible on other devices, you can wipe clean your Mac’s hard drive. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Enter recovery mode. Apple details separate instructions on how to do so on Intel-based Macs and Apple Silicon-based Macs.
  2. To proceed wiping the hard drive, go to Disk Utility.
  3. Under the Internal heading, choose the Macintosh HD drive and click Erase in the top toolbar. Retain Macintosh HD as its name and set its format to either Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS.
  4. To wipe that drive, click Erase or Erase Volume Group (whichever button is shown), then repeat the process for all the other internal drives, if any. This ensures that all data on the Mac is completely erased and that errors during the reinstall process will be avoided.
  5. Close the Disk Utility window to return to the Recovery screen.
  6. Press Command-Q to shut down the Mac.

From here, you can let the person getting the machine install a clean version of macOS.

All in all, this entire process can take a couple of days. Small businesses can save a lot of time by hiring an IT provider with Apple experts to take care of mundane tasks like wiping an old computer’s hard drive. Give us a call today to learn more about what we do.

This post was originally published on this site

Is it time to replace your Mac?

If you’ve owned a Mac for quite some time, it’s probable that you’ve encountered a few problems with it. After a while, using it can be more of a hassle than a convenience. If you’re already experiencing some major problems, it may be time to replace your Mac. Here are some telltale signs that you should.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

The latest macOS version that’s currently in public beta is 12 Monterey. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Monterey. For instance, a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion cannot support the upcoming version of macOS. Your device is likely obsolete, and while you can keep on using it as usual, you won’t get any new features and its slow performance may cause productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them are high.

It’s therefore more ideal to purchase a new Mac instead. Newer versions offer as much as 4TB of storage, which will allow you to store more files in the long run.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could suddenly turn off. There’s the option of plugging your device into an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more random access memory (RAM), swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put toward a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac’s hardware is damaged

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard keys, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Also, small issues can become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, which is a major hindrance if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an older version of macOS, it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your operating system is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your RAM or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

This post was originally published on this site

Is it time to replace your Mac?

If you’ve owned a Mac for quite some time, it’s probable that you’ve encountered a few problems with it. After a while, using it can be more of a hassle than a convenience. If you’re already experiencing some major problems, it may be time to replace your Mac. Here are some telltale signs that you should.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

The latest macOS version that’s currently in public beta is 12 Monterey. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Monterey. For instance, a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion cannot support the upcoming version of macOS. Your device is likely obsolete, and while you can keep on using it as usual, you won’t get any new features and its slow performance may cause productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them are high.

It’s therefore more ideal to purchase a new Mac instead. Newer versions offer as much as 4TB of storage, which will allow you to store more files in the long run.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could suddenly turn off. There’s the option of plugging your device into an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more random access memory (RAM), swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put toward a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac’s hardware is damaged

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard keys, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Also, small issues can become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, which is a major hindrance if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an older version of macOS, it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your operating system is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your RAM or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

This post was originally published on this site

Setting up your brand-new MacBook

When setting up your new MacBook, it’s important not to rush through the setup process. Otherwise, you might miss out on several key steps that will help make you get the most out of it. Here’s a guide to setting up your MacBook, plus some useful tweaks to further improve its performance.

Go through the basics

When you first turn on your MacBook, a setup assistant will walk you through the process of configuring your computer. The assistant will prompt you to select your country and language, as well as create a user account and Apple ID, if you don’t already have one.

You’ll also be asked if you want to enable the following services:

  • FileVault – encrypts your hard drive
  • iCloud Keychain – manages passwords and Wi-Fi credentials on Apple devices
  • Find My Mac – helps track down lost Apple devices together with the Find My app
  • Touch ID – MacBook’s built-in fingerprint reader, which can be used for signing in to the device and apps, switch users, and approve Apple Pay purchases

Check for updates

Apple releases regular updates to macOS. If a new one has been released since your MacBook was built, there’s a way to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest features and patches. Simply click the Apple icon on the upper-left corner of your screen and select System Preferences. If any updates are available, install them by clicking on Update Now or More Info to see the details about the updates.

Choose a default browser

Safari is the default browser on Apple devices, and many users prefer it over other browsers for several reasons. But if you don’t like Safari, you can easily change your default browser to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. Simply go to System Preferences > General and select the browser of your choice.

Configure the Dock

The Dock is used to launch and switch between applications on macOS devices. By default, it’s located at the bottom of the screen, but you can move it to the left or right by going to System Preferences > Dock. Under “Position on screen,” choose Left or Right.

You can also make room on the Dock for the apps that you frequently use. To add an app to the Dock, open it and right-click on its icon in the Dock. From the menu that appears, go to Option > Keep in Dock. To remove apps that you don’t need from the Dock, click on its icon and drag it to the desktop until “Remove” appears above the icon.

Set up Siri

Apple’s virtual assistant is enabled by default on your MacBook, but if you prefer not to use it, go to System Preferences > Siri and uncheck the box for “Enable Ask Siri.” You could also switch Voice Feedback to Off if you want to mute Siri and get responses to your queries as text displayed on your screen.

If you do decide to keep Siri around, you can choose a language and voice for your assistant as well as the apps Siri can learn from and make suggestions. You can also customize a keyboard shortcut to activate Siri.

Flip the scrolling direction

By default, moving two fingers down a MacBook’s trackpad makes the view scroll down an open document or website on your screen. You can change your trackpad’s scrolling direction so that the same gesture makes the view scroll up. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad, and under the Scroll & Zoom tab, uncheck “Scroll direction: Natural.”

Set your screen to lock automatically

Keep unauthorized users out of your MacBook by setting the screen to lock automatically after the system has been idle for a while. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Under the “Require password…after sleep or screen saver begins” option, select “immediately” from the drop-down menu.

Download and install iOS apps

The latest crop of MacBooks run on Apple’s M1 chip — this means that MacBooks and iOS devices now share the same processor architecture. This allows you to install and use compatible iOS apps on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Mini.

To download iPhone and iPad apps onto your MacBook, go to the Mac App Store. Note that not all apps in the store are macOS-compatible, but developers are working on optimizing their apps for MacBooks, which means it may only be a matter of time before your favorite iOS apps become available for your new computer.

Got questions about your MacBook or other Apple devices? Get the answers you need and more from our experts. Give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Setting up your brand-new MacBook

When setting up your new MacBook, it’s important not to rush through the setup process. Otherwise, you might miss out on several key steps that will help make you get the most out of it. Here’s a guide to setting up your MacBook, plus some useful tweaks to further improve its performance.

Go through the basics

When you first turn on your MacBook, a setup assistant will walk you through the process of configuring your computer. The assistant will prompt you to select your country and language, as well as create a user account and Apple ID, if you don’t already have one.

You’ll also be asked if you want to enable the following services:

  • FileVault – encrypts your hard drive
  • iCloud Keychain – manages passwords and Wi-Fi credentials on Apple devices
  • Find My Mac – helps track down lost Apple devices together with the Find My app
  • Touch ID – MacBook’s built-in fingerprint reader, which can be used for signing in to the device and apps, switch users, and approve Apple Pay purchases

Check for updates

Apple releases regular updates to macOS. If a new one has been released since your MacBook was built, there’s a way to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest features and patches. Simply click the Apple icon on the upper-left corner of your screen and select System Preferences. If any updates are available, install them by clicking on Update Now or More Info to see the details about the updates.

Choose a default browser

Safari is the default browser on Apple devices, and many users prefer it over other browsers for several reasons. But if you don’t like Safari, you can easily change your default browser to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. Simply go to System Preferences > General and select the browser of your choice.

Configure the Dock

The Dock is used to launch and switch between applications on macOS devices. By default, it’s located at the bottom of the screen, but you can move it to the left or right by going to System Preferences > Dock. Under “Position on screen,” choose Left or Right.

You can also make room on the Dock for the apps that you frequently use. To add an app to the Dock, open it and right-click on its icon in the Dock. From the menu that appears, go to Option > Keep in Dock. To remove apps that you don’t need from the Dock, click on its icon and drag it to the desktop until “Remove” appears above the icon.

Set up Siri

Apple’s virtual assistant is enabled by default on your MacBook, but if you prefer not to use it, go to System Preferences > Siri and uncheck the box for “Enable Ask Siri.” You could also switch Voice Feedback to Off if you want to mute Siri and get responses to your queries as text displayed on your screen.

If you do decide to keep Siri around, you can choose a language and voice for your assistant as well as the apps Siri can learn from and make suggestions. You can also customize a keyboard shortcut to activate Siri.

Flip the scrolling direction

By default, moving two fingers down a MacBook’s trackpad makes the view scroll down an open document or website on your screen. You can change your trackpad’s scrolling direction so that the same gesture makes the view scroll up. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad, and under the Scroll & Zoom tab, uncheck “Scroll direction: Natural.”

Set your screen to lock automatically

Keep unauthorized users out of your MacBook by setting the screen to lock automatically after the system has been idle for a while. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Under the “Require password…after sleep or screen saver begins” option, select “immediately” from the drop-down menu.

Download and install iOS apps

The latest crop of MacBooks run on Apple’s M1 chip — this means that MacBooks and iOS devices now share the same processor architecture. This allows you to install and use compatible iOS apps on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Mini.

To download iPhone and iPad apps onto your MacBook, go to the Mac App Store. Note that not all apps in the store are macOS-compatible, but developers are working on optimizing their apps for MacBooks, which means it may only be a matter of time before your favorite iOS apps become available for your new computer.

Got questions about your MacBook or other Apple devices? Get the answers you need and more from our experts. Give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

5 Tips to speed up your Mac

So you’re trying to finish an urgent task, but your Mac isn’t performing as fast as you need it to. What can you do? Knowing why your machine is slowing down is key to returning it to its former speed. We have prepared five common reasons Macs become sluggish and what you can do to resolve the problem.

Clean up your Login Items

The Login Items list (also known as the Startup List) contains all the apps and programs that automatically start when you log in. Having too many Login Items forces your computer to work harder at startup, slowing it down.

You can remedy this by going to System Preferences and selecting Users & Groups. Click on Login Items to see the list of the apps that open on startup. Highlight the apps you want to prevent from launching automatically and click the minus button underneath the list.

Start up in Safe Mode

Your Mac’s Safe Mode can be used to troubleshoot system-wide issues, including problems with particular apps. Booting up in Safe Mode also deletes system caches.

Cache files are temporary data stored on a hard drive to speed up various processes, such as loading websites or certain apps. Unfortunately, some of these files can become corrupted, which results in your computer slowing down. To bring back your Mac’s speed, you will need to clear the cache and delete temporary files.

Starting up in Safe Mode is easy. Just press the Power button and immediately after the computer starts, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard. Release the key once you see the gray Apple logo and the progress indicator.

If you want to leave Safe Mode, just restart your computer. Make sure not to press any key once the machine starts up.

Upgrade to solid state drive (SSD) storage

An SSD is a disk storage system that uses interconnected flash-memory chips to store your data. It’s faster and more reliable than a hard disk drive (HDD), which stores data in a spinning magnetic disk. HDD has been around for years, but many new computers continue to use it. If your Mac uses HDD storage, upgrading to SSD will amplify its processing speed.

But before you proceed, know that SSD storage costs more than HDD. If you want the same storage capacity offered by your machine’s HDD on your SSD, be prepared to shell out some extra money. Alternatively, you can settle for a much smaller memory capacity and just upgrade to a bigger one once your budget allows it.

Free up storage space

Having too many files can reduce your Mac’s speed. To free up space, just click on the Apple logo located on the top left corner of the screen. Select About This Mac and go to the <Storage tab. Here, you will see how much free space your computer has.

If your Mac’s storage is nearing full capacity, clicking the Manage button will give you four options:

  • Store in iCloud – This offloads various content, including your files and text messages, to the cloud.
  • Optimize Storage – This optimizes the TV app storage by deleting videos you’ve already watched.
  • Empty Trash Automatically – With this option, all items that have been in Trash for 30 days will be automatically removed.
  • Reduce Clutter – This lets you see the large files stored in your computer, and allows you to delete them manually to save space.

Update to the latest macOS version

macOS updates benefit your computer’s speed in several ways. First, they contain performance enhancements that help your computer run as smoothly as possible. Second, they augment your Mac’s protection against cyberthreats, which can slow down your machine. Updates are free, so you should install them once they become available.

You can also configure your computer to install updates automatically. In System Preferences, select Software Update. Go to Automatically keep my Mac up to date and check the box.

If you’ve tried one or several of these tips and are still experiencing sluggishness, it may be time to consider other options, such as trading in your old Mac for a new one. But before you do that, let us help you explore other ways to improve the performance of your trusty machine. Get in touch with us today.

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