5 Quick Tips to Make Your Mac Faster

While my MacBook is getting repaired, I’m back to using an old iBook G4 as my portable device.

These are some tips I’ve found to make it run a little bit faster.

If you’ve got any others, let me know.

# Disable Spotlight

For many people, Spotlight is a great utility. For everyone I know, it’s a feature they never use powered by a background task that runs needlessly.

If you don’t use Spotlight, you can shut it off really easy: in System Preferences, just select Spotlight and add your actual harddrive, not a folder, to the list of ‘private’ items that won’t be indexed.

# Disable Dashboard

Dashboard is neat, but its always running… taking up memory and cpus.

To kill it off, enter this in terminal

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

Should you ever want to re-enable it (why? for weather or calculator?!? )

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

# Disable Junk Mail Filtering

Most folks I know have a really good server-side junk mail sorter. That means once mail comes in, it’s been sorted… so your mac is just analyzing it again… and its not very fast at it. In your Mail.app preferences, you can enable / disable junk mail sorting. Turning it off makes my computers significantly happier when messages come in.

# Kill Your Shadows

If you’re on 10.4 , you can run (http://unsanity.com/haxies/shadowkiller)[ShadowKiller] , a neat app that just enables/disables shadows. The shadows on OSX are a great feature on telling one window from another — but if you can do without them, your machine will be noticeably faster.

# Disable Transparency in Toolbar Widgets

I use the awesome iStat package from iSlayer.com to show the current CPU / Memory loads and network traffic on my machines. This toolbar application, along with many others, offer the chance to make their widget opaque. Running opaque stuff is just about always faster than running tranparancy/shading things. If you’ve got any apps that offer this option, take it.

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