Spring Cleaning

How to speed up my Mac

Update Sept 2012: 
MacKeeper has now entered a "grayish" zone:  They started nice but have since moved far out.  
The Marketing techniques used, overrated statements, false advertising are making them closer to a legal scam than a true Mac Application.   After digging a bit more into the guts of MacKeeper,   I can only state my personal and private opinion about MacKeeper:  Stay away from it!  

Do you remember when your Mac was brand new?  It was fast, huh?
With the time your mac may have became a little sluggish, a bit slow to respond.
Wait ! Don't sigh!
You can do something! They're apps for that!

They are a bunch of free apps in fact, each of them doing a great job at speeding up your Mac.
Let's look first at the culprits, and the ways to fix the issue(s)

Multiple languages
Each programs ships with at least 10 to 12 languages ready. Some of them are out with more than 50, including Klingon, Swahili & Breton (!)  Unless you are using all them on your Mac, you may just need few.  For the most of us: one.
Removing them will free up to 7GB of space. 
Prog to use:  Monolingual or CleanMyMac

Universal Binaries
Once upon a time, it was Power PC, now it's Intel Chips.
Some progs are still written for both, hence a lot of the code is useless either for one or the other.
(If you are on Power PC and are going to move to Intel soon, skip that step)
Progs to use Xslimmer or CleanMyMac

Cache(s) are made to store information that you may need to re-use. If you use Safari, Firefox or Google Earth, you probably have (large) cache hogging your hard drive.
You can do the following test: Open Google Earth and make a flight over  New-York-Paris-London-Boston.  Then Re-do it.   Much faster now: The Cache!

Yes, it's faster but I recently discovered that the cache for my Google Earth -only- was 650MB.
 If you add all the other App using a cache ... you have few gigs there.
 Progs to use: The App itself,  OnyxCleanMyMac 

If you uninstall your Apps by trashing the App itself, there is a great chance that they are not properly removed and you left dust balls behind you. You need to remove those apps properly, along with the plists and attached folders (resources, folders, icons, etc)
Progs to use: AppCleaner,  CleanMyMac

Memory is in high demand!
If you start you Mac with 10 Apps on "Open at Login", then have everything on the face of the earth running by default (Bluethooth, Universal Access,  etc ) it will drain the resources.
Take a look at Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items.  You'll see what's running at login.
I love DropBox, but i don't need it, I kill it. Ditto for Airport (WI-FI). I used to launch everything at login, just by convenience; I quickly stopped doing that.

A quick look at Activity Monitor may make you gasp: RAM use @ startup: Photoshop 70MB, Firefox 70, Excel 70 Etc. Some Apps (i.e Photoshop) may go up to the gig.

Progs to use: Your common senseiFreeMem

Diverse Junk
Logs, System Junk
Logs are kept for diverse reasons, i.e crashes etc. unless you have repetitive issues, you do not need to keep them for ever.
Progs to use: Finder,  CleanMyMac

Double Trouble
Because I am a reformed windows user, I have a tendency to backup everything. And then backup the backup. Still,  sometimes it's not enough.  (50 crashes on Excel and counting.  Thank you MS)
Because of that, I end up with duplicates and triplicates.  Chipmunk does the trick: It checks your HDD for duplicates.  After that, it's your decision to delete or keep.

Fragmented Files
OS X has a self control over fragmented files, hence you do not need a defragmenter.  The thing that you can do for large files is to copy or move the files or directory to an external HDD,  Delete them on the original and re-copy to the HDD. It does not make miracles but when re-copied,  they are copied in one block.  issue: it does change the date and time on the file, and it's time consuming.

What I would do if I Were You 

If something can wrong, it will!   Hence an excellent idea is to Backup With Time Machine

CleanMyMac does almost everything, BUT it has a Demo limitation of 210MB of cleaning.

The Good news is that there is a Workaround, and no, it's not a Crack, Serial or a Keygen for CleanMyMac.

To avoid reaching the limit in the first try, I would first start with Monolingual and Onyx and once the bulk has been removed use CleanMyMac.  Just use the Workaround explained here to reset the limit.
iFreeMem does not increase your total memory but solely swap some RAM. It create a temporary increase in the RAM available.

Before Clearing the Binaries:  Be sure  to update the "safe list"  Some progs have a Checksum verification. To avoid pirated versions, if the checksum is not correct, they will stop working.
Hence - UPDATE THE SAFE LIST -  (CleanMyMac >> Preferences )

Onyx Does much more than clearing cache. It Checks the SMART Status and is able also to tweak your preferences on a click.  And that's 02% of what is can do.

iFreeMem available here

Xslimmer is here   (Demo)

Once Installed,
Backup with Time Machine, then run Monolingual First,  Then Onyx (Smart, Plist, Cache)
then finish with a polish with CleanMyMac
Check your "Open at Login" settings, reboot and you should be all set.

Sept 2012: 
MacKeeper has now entered a "grayish" zone:  They started nice but have since moved far out.  The Marketing techniques used, overrated statements, false advertising are making them closer to a legal scam than a true Mac Application.   After digging a bit more into the guts of MacKeeper,   I can only state my personal and private opinion about MacKeeper:  Stay away from it!  

While your are at it , take a look at MacKeeper,
( http://mackeeper.zeobit.com/ )it also has an undelete function and also a Duplicate Finder.  I am the type to backup the backup, but I must admit that it takes some space.

WARNING!  You will be tempted to download a crack, or a keygen. That would be illegal, and the best way to end up with a Rootkit or a Keylogger.
The creator(s) of MacKeeper have a Trial Version with no limitation and they provide FREE real licenses. Just be creative


Ryan(Director/Web Developer) said...

great post thanks!!!

Me said...

Thanks a bunch.
your comment reminded me to update the article ; -)

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Bless you. That REALLY helped a lot. Almost cleared 3GB from my Mac.

raxon said...

Although the cleanup Mac is limited with size but its a very useful utility. Recently I tried the Stellar Speed Up Mac for deleting language files and duplicate ones from the Mac hard drive. Its also a nice tool with an interactive GUI.

RBiz said...

Thanks for the hints!! I found them really useful. I have an 18 month old macbook pro which, although updated to Lion, has been performing sluggishly... from your list I chose Onyx and CleanMyMac, and the combination of the two has really improved my speed for general usage.

One thing to note - when repairing the permissions list in Onyx (or indeed using Disk Utility) I continually find that some permissions related to Ruby cannot be repaired. This seems to be a bug, people are talking about it on forums but I couldn't find a solution. I don't think it has any impact on my system, though.

AH said...

There is an App that does everything at once and more!, has a Unlimited Features Trial for free, and does a much better job that many of the apps listed here.

Here is the link to Download & Reviews.

If I were you, I would have downloaded that App Yesterday!"

Where's the link to this app?

Admin said...

Sorry, need to update. This app has become a clusterfuck of less than honest marketing , hence we're removed the link.

Adison Ross said...

Yes, I agree to your opinion about Mackeeper. I was using this application since 2months but, it is not as good as it is advertised. Many times, I got sticked while using this application, because its quite confusing. So, I will suggest to replace this time consuming product with some real Mac application like Xslimmer, Stellar Speedup Mac, Clean my Mac etc.

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