6 Ways to Speed Up Your Macbook For Free

We all know that installing 4gb of RAM will speed up a MacBook and make the whole experience that little bit more smoother and quicker – but what can you do NOW for FREE that will help speed your bundle of joy along and keep it’s user happier? I will tell you 6 things that will help.

1. Remove files from the desktop

Each time that OS X loads it has to index the contents of the desktop, create thumbnail icons for each file and catalog the contents of each folder there.

Do yourself a favor and move those files to the relevant folders they belong in. This will increase the speed at which your desktop loads and therefore make your MacBook faster.

2. Remove unwanted start up applications

Go into System Preferences and User Accounts. View the list of applications that have been set to start against your user name and remove (untick) any that you don’t need any longer.

It’s great to have iChat start automatically – but not essential.

You can view a list of applications running in the background by using the top command from the Terminal window or by using the Activity Monitor application.

3. Disable the Dashboard

This is my favorite “speed up” fix for the MacBook and it works wonders each time. The OS X dashboard is great if you use it all the time, but each one of those swish little widgets and web clips is taking up memory – and you can’t even see them unless you ask for them!

To disable the dashboard, open Terminal and enter the following command:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

You can then either reboot the MacBook or enter the following command into the Terminal window:

killall Dock

If you miss your weather widgets and stocks information, you can reverse the command by entering:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO

And again either reboot or enter:

killall Dock

4. Clear the PRAM (intel MacBooks only)

Reboot your computer while holding down the command + option + p + r keys together. Don’t stop until you have heard the start up chime three or four times.

This is not a real way of speeding up your MacBook, but it will kill any gremlins that have worked their way into the non-volatile RAM settings. I found that it seemed to allow my MacBook to boot faster.

5. Clear the PMU (MacBook, Pro and Air)

You can use this method to clear non-volatile RAM and settings on the MacBook products. Whilst it will not cause your MacBook to suddenly leap into speed mode, it will get rid of any mis-configurations and setting issues.

MacBook, MacBook Pro

1. Ensure that the MacBook is turned off.

2. Remove the power adapter and remove the battery.

3. Press and hold down the power button for 5 seconds and then release.

4. Reconnect the battery and power adapter.

5. Press the power button to restart the MacBook.

MacBook Air

1. Ensure that the MacBook Air is turned off.

2. Connect the power adaptor to a working power source.

3. On the MacBook Air keyboard, press (left) Shift-Control-Option along with the power button once.

Note: You must use the keys on the left side of the MacBook Air keyboard.

4. Wait 5 seconds and press the power button to start the MacBook Air.

6. Disable unneeded system options.

If you are not using Wireless, Bluetooth, Speech Recognition or Internet Sharing – then turn them off! Not only will you see a speed increase but you will save battery life too!

Top Five Mac Tweaks

The Mac (short for Macintosh) is a wonderfully versatile system by Apple Inc. The Mac enjoys a huge fan following worldwide due to its high customisation options as well as a freakingly high style quotient. However, Mac’s aren’t the cheapest gadgets on the block and many people cannot afford to upgrade them and some simply don’t know how to get the best out of their Mac. The following is a list of tweaks to help you get the most out of your Mac:

Mac tweak number one: handle your auto start programs and applications well.

Whenever you log into your Mac, come programs open up automatically, taking up a lot of time and memory space in the process. Therefore, it would be a good idea to remove those programs that you do not need or are not keen on using immediately after logging on. Some of these programs are Quicksilver, iTunes helper, Geektool, Twitterrific, Instantshot! and Magical. In system preferences, go to the Login Items tab and disable the programs you don’t need immediately to open up upon logging in.

Mac tweak number two: enabling and utilizing the tab key.

Go to System preferences, and then to the keyboard and mouse pane. At the bottom of this pane, click the ‘all controls’ radio button. This will enable the Tab key to move between the controls apart from and in addition to moving between text boxes and lists. Saves a ton of time and is really simple too!

Mac tweak number three: allot custom icons for the hard drive components.

This is a great way of easily and quickly differentiating between several application icons. Xcode has an Icon Composer software. This is usually available in your OS x install disk. If not, you can easily download it from Apple website. Icns2Rsrc converts the icon into a proper file format and creates your chosen icon to be assigned to whatever component you want to assign it to. This is another way to make your drive area both user friendly as well as well organized.

Mac tweak number four: a new addition to finder’s toolbar – the Path Button.

This is a smart tweak which helps you save a lot of time and agony in the long run. Have you ever noticed that in the path finder, the chain of command of the programs is usually difficult to estimate? Does this bother you? Wish you could change it? Well, you can. All that you have to do is drag and drop the Path button. To help you out, the Path button resembles a set of steps which clearly differentiates each level.

Mac tweak number five: application shortcuts added to the Finder’s toolbar.

This will allow you easy access to your applications as well as save considerable time while searching for the relevant applications. You can add application shortcuts to the sidebar also. To do this, simply assign drag and drop to useful and helpful accessories and applications on your system. This will enable you easy access to your favorite applications in a click while all the time making the whole process a stress free affair.

Use these tips and enjoy your Mac’s hidden capabilities!

The Latest Macintosh Resources, Software and Tools can be found at: Macintosh Tools.