Easy ways to speed up your old Mac

Got yourself some serious MacOS Sierra envy? Well FOMO no more, here's how to make your Mac feel like new

MacOS Sierra was released last month, and only Apple computers newer than 2009 or 2010 are supported by the new operating system.

If you’re a Mac owner who falls within that category, lucky you. But if you don't, you'd have to find solace in this Mac Rumors thread with info about unofficial MacOS support for older models.

But if you want to keep your Mac on the straight and narrow, then the best thing to do right now is to follow these simple and basic tips that will have your Mac running as smooth as butter. 

Quick fixes

These are things you can do right away and they don’t involve changing any of your system preferences. You'd be surprised by the difference if you make it a habit of doing these regularly.


Quit unused apps

Casual users might leave apps open long after they’ve finished with them. Do yourself (and your Mac) a favour and close them when you’re done with them. An app will take up memory as long as it’s open.

(Editor’s note: when we talk about memory, we are talking about RAM. When you run an app, the app will be loaded into RAM. With faster RAM (and more of it) your computer will experience less slowdown. Storage refers to your computer’s hard drive. Your files and apps live here.)

Quit all apps just before watching a movie on your Mac, and you’re going to experience smoother playback. The same goes for image or video editing.

It might help to know that closing the app window isn’t the same as quitting an app. The Dock will tell you what apps are open. Just look for a small black dot under the app icon. Click on the app icon to make it the active app. Quit the app by selecting Quit in the File menu or by right-clicking on the app in the Dock. 

Restart your computer

Older users may be in the habit of turning off their computer when they’re done with it, and rightly so. You never know when a brownout is going to strike. Or worse, a lightning storm. But millennials are more accustomed to a device that’s always on. That goes for their phones, as well as their computers.

Leaving your Mac on all the time can cause some problems. Memory fills up, which makes your computer use disk space, slowing the computer down.

But the short-term fix is simple: restart your computer to flush the cache. Do this every once in a while to keep your computer running fast. If you find it becoming sluggish rather quickly, it means you might have to consider upgrading your RAM.