How to Speed Up My iMac?

What is iMac?

iMac represents a low-cost intuitive all-in-one Macintosh desktop computer with a Retina display made by Apple.

There are many different reasons behind the reduced performance of a system. Every device, including the Mac computers, face slowdowns after certain years of usage. So, if your iMac is running below its normal speed, you will need to figure out the exact cause by trying several different tricks.

An iMac starts creating trouble if there are many background applications, nearly full hard drive, overloaded launch and login items, obsolete hardware, insufficient RAM, etc. Sometimes, the Mac OS like 10.15 Catalina may itself be problematic. In other cases, the system’s memory may not be enough for processing requests from large applications.

How to Speed Up My iMac?

  1. Close all unnecessary applications that run in the background
  2. Disable all unnecessary iMac startup programs
  3. Free up space on iMac Hard Drive if you have low disk space
  4. Make sure that you have the latest macOS Version (install updates)
  5. Remove all extension and unwanted apps
  6. Add more RAM to iMac.
  7. Buy a new fast M2 SSD hard drive.

A slow-performing system adversely impacts your work productivity. Furthermore, even scientific evidence reveals that the annoyance caused by a slow laptop or computer hurts health. Given below are the procedural descriptions of different ways to rectify an iMac’s speed issues:

Close the Background Apps

If there are too many processes running on your iMac, it is bound to slow down and sometimes even freeze. You are likely to think that clicking the red ‘x’s sign on the top left corner will close the applications. However, some apps still keep operating in the background. To stop these apps, you have to do a hard reboot or force quit these processes.

If you want to see which services and apps consume the system resources (memory, battery, CPU, etc.), you can use the Activity Monitor or iStat Menus app. To learn about their proper usage, you may refer to Apple’s support article for the same.

Optimize iMac Startup

Sometimes, several third-party services and apps auto-run as soon as you start up your iMac. Therefore, if your system consumes more than 30 seconds to boot up and show up on the desktop screen completely, there is a high probability that the system’s slowdown is due to the automatic launch agents or login items.

However, it is quite easy to get rid of these start-up and login items. All you need to do is navigate the Apple logo on the upper-left side of your main screen, choose ‘System Preferences, select ‘User & Groups, and then click on ‘Login Items.’ Here, you can view all the start-up apps and services. Next, click the minus ‘-‘ sign in front of the ones you want to disable.

However, some launch agents do not appear in the login programs list. These cannot be removed using the above-mentioned method. But you can disable them with apps like CleanMyMac. Such software applications are designed to identify redundant launch items, eliminate them for using the app, and download and install them on your iMac. Thereafter, select the option ‘Launch Agents’ given under the feature ‘Extensions.’ Here, you can easily enable, disable, and manage all additional services and applications.

Use the Correct macOS

Any system tends to run slow if you use an OS that does not work well with your Mac model. For instance, the macOS Catalina may not always show a good performance, mainly because it needs at least 12.5 GB of storage space and 4GB of memory. Besides, if you upgrade to a previous version like OS X Yosemite, this system requires up to 18.5 GB of storage memory. Further, if the hardware configuration of the iMac is older, the system is likely to run slower after updating the OS. A majority of iMac users have experienced this problem.

To find out the macOS version of your system, go to the Apple logo on your iMac, and click on ‘About this Mac.’ Here, you will see all the required information regarding your system’s OS. Accordingly, you can upgrade the iMac to the latest OS or downgrade to the more appropriate one.

Clear up the Hard Drive

Any Mac will start to slow down if the start-up disk is nearly full. Several features and applications begin to malfunction if there is less storage capacity left in the system. In extreme cases, it may lead to frequent app crashes, freezes, and hangs. So, the first thing to do is check the space on your iMac’s hard drive. To do this, go to the ‘About this Mac’ section of the Apple icon on your system and check under the ‘Storage’ option. Here, you will notice different types of data (movies, photos, etc.) displayed in different colors and the space left on your disk.

While you can delete the unnecessary files shown in this section, you may find it difficult to locate the system junk. For this, you can opt for the CleanMyMac app to save your time and energy. With this application, you will see the system files data that take too much space on your disk. Alternatively, you may use Gemini 2 to track the duplicate files and remove them from your system. The same team of people develops both apps.

Increase RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) plays a crucial role in processing the request from different applications and services. So, if you are a developer or designer who often uses an old iMac for editing purposes, there is a high likelihood that your RAM is causing the trouble. When the system’s RAM gets fully used up, it shifts to utilize the virtual memory, leading to reduced performance. Hence, the solution lies in adding up more RAM.

Will RAM speed up my iMac?

Yes, new RAM will speed iMac in an indirect way because it provides resources to run multiple applications at one time. However, if your iMac has enough RAM memory you probably won’t notice any speed improvement.

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However, before increasing your RAM, check your iMac’s capacity from Apple’s resource page. For example, most 27-inch models have a base memory of 8 GB, which can be expanded up to 32 GB. Among the RAM upgrading options, you can consider Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBX2) and OWC 32GB for the 2017 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Replace Hard Drive with SSD

If you have an older version of iMac running on a fusion drive or hard drive, you may replace it with an SSD (solid-state drive). SSDs are known to boost the system’s speed and performance significantly. However, here also, you need to check the compatibility of SSD with your system.

Remove Unneeded Applications and Extensions

There must be certain downloaded apps or plugins that you rarely use or have used just once and forgotten to uninstall. With time, several such apps and extensions get accumulated in your system. Although most of them won’t do any harm except for taking up the memory space, some may run in the background when you start up your iMac or use the browser. So, a good way to free up storage and enhance system performance is to remove these unnecessary plugins and similar extensions. To do this, navigate to the ‘Applications’ folder and select the apps that you want to remove. Then, you can drag these apps to the Trash and, later on, empty the Trash bin.

Similarly, for clearing up browser extensions and plugins, you need to go to your browser settings and manage them as per your usage and preferences. For example, in the case of Chrome (64-bit Mac version), you have to click on the three-dot icon and locate ‘More Tools,’ where you will find the option for ‘Extensions.’ Accordingly, you can uninstall or disable the listed plugins.

How to speed up my iMac 2010?

To speed up iMac 2010 you need to change the hard disk to a new M2 SSD and add more RAM memory. More hard disk space, removing unwanted apps, and removing unnecessary start-up programs can help but an increase of speed is limited.

All the above-stated solutions usually give a great boost to the iMac’s performance. However, if your problem remains unresolved even after applying these tweaks, you will need to get your system checked by a professional.

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