7 Tips for Reducing Mac Desktop Lag

by Muhammad Irfan Raza
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If you’re having trouble with a slow, unreliable Mac, then it’s high time that you do some troubleshooting. There’s still hope yet for your Mac. Unless you’ve thoroughly misused your unit, it’s probably just experiencing the toll of time and regular use.

Let’s explore some quick ways to speed up your lagging Mac. Below are some of the more common suggestions to deal with the problem.

Table of Contents


Remove unused apps and files

Free up some much-needed space on your Mac by deleting your old, unused, and temporary files. Great places to start are your Trash Bin, synced photos and videos, and download folders. Don’t forget to organize your actual desktop as well and archive any old files on it.

Turn off resource-intensive effects

Eye-candy desktop effects involving the Dock have a performance hit on your system. Disable these options for a more responsive desktop. Animated desktops and fancy desktop widgets also contribute to a slower desktop, so whenever possible, avoid them.

Disabling unnecessary fonts

Believe it or not, fonts can adversely affect your desktop. Having to load hundreds of fonts takes a toll on your system’s performance. If you really have to work with this amount of fonts, be sure to manage them properly via Font Book or third-party apps.

Check processor energy settings

Some Macs can increase or decrease processor speeds depending on how heavy ongoing tasks are. This can adversely affect your desktop’s performance. If your Mac is one of those models that allows processor power tweaking, you can make sure that it’s constantly operating at peak performance via the Energy Saver tab in your System Preferences. Do note that this option will quickly gobble up your battery charge.

Prune start-up items

Apps that immediately load after the boot-up sequence are called login items. When you have a lot of these apps queued for launch, it will naturally result in a slower start for your Mac. Open the System Preferences tab then head over to the Users & Groups option. Click on the Login Items tab and start pruning these login apps.

Regularly update OS and drivers

As part of optimization and security measures, you should be regularly updating macOS and system drivers. Don’t forget to make sure your anti-virus applications are up-to-date as well. Video and audio drivers, in particular, can have a notable impact on your desktop’s performance, so keep those up to spec as well.

Adding RAM and an SSD storage

When all software troubleshooting methods fail, it’s probably time to upgrade your aging Mac. Getting more Mac memory and an external SSD storage will definitely jumpstart your system to new heights. More RAM and faster storage will noticeably result in a more responsive desktop.

Closing Thoughts

Proper maintenance of your Mac naturally results in a zippier and more reliable desktop. There are many ways to accomplish this, but the best approach is to exhaust all available options.

Consider investing in more RAM and faster storage, such as a solid-state drive, if you want to extend the usable lifespan of your Mac. Software and system tweaks can only get you so far. Sometimes, you just have to purchase upgrades to solve the problem.


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