Firstly, typically, when your Windows® PC gets slow, you often have to rebuild it from scratch.
The “registry” collects all your daily activity – your mouse clicks, folder and file creation, saves, deletions – every action leaves a “ghost image”, plus caches, etc. This will and does always – 100 percent of the time – make your machine (Windows® and Apple® alike) slower over time.
That’s why you typically should to “clean” your PC, er, in this case, your Apple® (“Mac”) laptop or desktop, every 60-90 days on average.
In the Windows® PC world, without the expert of a tech, the average response to get your machine to back to being as fast as it was the day your brought it home – is to wipe the drive and start from scratch.
What?? In this day and age? Yep.
Generally not with a Mac – if you know how.
The following is based upon the assumption that you are running the latest operating system from Apple at the time of this article, which is OS version “10.11.2”, or “El Capitan”.
Here’s how (Important: do this AT YOUR OWN RISK; we disclaim any responsibility for your actions):
- While in your Finder (desktop), hold down your Mac’s “Option” key while clicking on the “Go” menu at the top menu bar. That’s the only way to show the normally hidden “Library” (betcha didn’t know that).
- Next appears your, well, you guessed it, Library folder.
- Go to the Caches folder and delete EVERYTHING in there. DO NOT DELETE THE ACTUAL CACHES FOLDER. (You may be asked to enter your Mac’s password. Do it.) Do NOT empty your trash – yet.
- Close that folder. You’re done with that one.
- Next, go to you Mac’s main folder, e.g. simply open your. e.g. “Macintosh HD”, or similar. (You know what we mean.)
- Open the “Library” folder there.
- Open the “Caches” folder. Delete EVERYTHING in there. DO NOT DELETE THE ACTUAL CACHES FOLDER. You may be asked to enter your Mac’s password. Do it. Again, do not empty your trash – yet.
- Next, “back out” of that folder to the previous folder path. Then open your System folder.
- Same thing. Find your Library folder, then Caches, then the delete contents that you can. DO NOT DELETE THE ACTUAL CACHES FOLDER.
- Next, launch your Disk Utility application.
- Make sure your Root hard drive is selected, e.g. “Macintosh HD”. Click “First Aid”.
- Hopefully everything will go well.
- Next, there is a term called “repairing permissions” which, prior to the El Capitan, was a selection within the Disk Utility application. No more. In the event you need to do this, which may contribute in now rare occasions to slower performance, go here.
- Quit the application. Then empty the trash.
- Then restart your Mac.
- If things are still sluggish from that point, there are other things that can be done such as “zapping the P-RAM” (nothing to do with the “flow down below” – LOL), and more.
Unfortunately, Apple omitted several of these “do-it-yourself” utilities with El Capitan. (‘Guess they walked the plank!), so you may need additional/professional help. In that case, call 1-800-MY-APPLE. The $40 bucks you may be asked to spend for a phone support “incident” should be a big help.