Why Is Your Mac Running Slow? How to Fix It
Mac OS X is not perfect, and sometimes OS X become slow. For help you to solve your problems the are 4 simple solutions to prevent these regular slowdowns, solutions that can complement and enhance.
The hard disk
It is also an old rule that OS X: care must be taken to leave at least 10% of its disk space, with a vital minimum of 5 GB HDD is indeed used to store cache files, temporary files, but mostly as virtual memory (swap). More disk space is small, more the amount of available virtual memory is small, and the performance as a result.
There are many ways to free up disk space on OS X, removing applications that you do not use (use an app like AppCleaner to also remove all their associated files), the cleaning of Downloads folder, which tends to gather dust, but also the displacement of some of your files on an external hard drive.
Virtual memory itself poses performance problems when Mac OS X does not have enough RAM, it uses the hard drive as additional memory (we talk about "swapped"). The hard disk is much slower to access than RAM, performance is generally poorer. If you plan to replace your hard drive, do not hesitate to take a faster model: 7200 RPM instead of 5400 RPM on laptops (or SSD if it's possible), the best-performing drives (Caviar Black, Western Digital, Seagate Barracuda). So don't let your startup disk become full.
Regarding your RAM, if you already have the maximum amount that your Mac can support a model of faster hard drive or change your use are the only solutions before replacing the machine. But if you are still far from the maximum quantity, the price of memory modules is such that it will not cost dearly to give a boost to your machine.
Do not believe Apple's specifications in terms of maximum memory capacity supported by your machine, the Cupertino tend to be conservative. Use a utility like Mactracker: Apple has always claimed for example that the first 13 "MacBook Unibody supported only 4GB of RAM while they agree very well 6 GB (4GB + 2GB). If Snow Leopard is supposed to accommodate 2GB of RAM, 4GB of RAM is a minimum today to comfortably use his machine (2GB Leopard, 1 GB in Tiger - double whenever the dose recommended by Apple).
Accept that your Mac is aging
We must also accept that his machine aging, and as applications require more and more resources: keep permanently open 25 programs whereas we used that 3 may not be a good idea. It is sometimes faster to exit an application and restart when you need to let it run in the background and wait for it wants to respond when we made the board in the background. In addition, fewer applications run, less resources are occupied, so more resources are available for actually used applications.
In general, avoid the proliferation of small utilities still running in the background: you do not see them, but they did not bother to eat. Growl, to name it, is to be avoided on the lighter configurations: this notification system is certainly convenient, but it is an abyss. You can also make your applications themselves consume less: limit the number of Safari extensions and reset from time to time prevents its downturn. From Yosemite, Activity Monitor accessible from Application / Utilities or with the terminal type:
open -a "Activity Monitor”
This is also often the cause of slowdown: the cache files overload, RAM has not been "rendered" to the system for closing an application, all the things that happen when it has not restarted your Mac for some time. Mac OS X is robust enough not to have to be restarted every day, but turn it off once a week is a good basis (the system updates are frequent enough to force this periodic restart). The boot Mac OS X is indeed a milestone which hosts including checking the consistency of the file system (fsck) or emptying of some system caches.
This small action list is far from exhaustive (we could add the use of certain utilities like Onyx), but is a good basis to solve most problems Mac OS X.