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People spend a lot of money on upgrades for older machines. All of them are based on a promise of performance increase. One of the most reliable ways to add some pep to an older, less agile machine is upgrading your storage.
It may be counter-intuitive to hear that storage, rather than memory for example, is what I would start with. Normally fast memory is what most people think will speed up their machine, which it will for heavy multitask users. Most users really only use their laptop for simple web browsing, email and other singular tasks-in these cases increasing memory will not achieve a noticeable speed boost.
Nobody likes day-old-coffee.
Outdated versions of Java produce similarly distasteful results.
Checking your Java version should always be the first thing you do when your web browser seems to be sluggish, particularly on sites like Netflix. We often have clients report this problem and after one visit to the OFFICIAL Java website (which makes it simple and easy to update) their browsers immediately speed up.
Java is frequently revised, and while older versions still function, they do so at a snail’s pace, having to translate instructions written for the latest version. In worst case scenarios the page may never load, producing an error message telling you that “a [java] script is loading slowly”.
Beware though, imitation websites pushing updates that may contain malware or annoying browser add-ons. Avoid this by making sure you only go to the official Java.com page and initiate the update yourself.
There’s always an equation I think through before diving into a “speed up my computer” type job- it’s the predicted number of hours diagnosing & fixing problems one-by-one vs simply re-installing the computer’s operating system in it’s entirety. I’m always reminded of the classic line from the movie ‘Aliens’:
“I think we’ll take off and nuke
the site from orbit. It’s the
only way to be sure.”
It’s true that there are rare viruses that can live in hard to reach places that even an operating system re-install won’t reach, but this is generally not something that most users need to think about. To fix a slow Mac running OS X Yosemite, take these steps. It’s the only way to be sure:
- Everything added to your Mac since you brought it home will be deleted, so the first step is to backup irreplaceable data to Google Drive, iCloud or any other cloud storage service, particularly:
- Follow the steps laid out by David Nield of Gizmodo in his guide, “Make Your Mac Feel Like New Again With a Fresh Install of OS X“
- Once your Mac with Yosemite is back to factory-fresh condition, then comes the process of retrieving all the things you backed up.
I don’t recommend catch-all solutions to restoring your data, because of the potential to re-import the same problems that were slowing down your Mac in the first place. If we’re going to start fresh, let’s TRULY start fresh and take the time to set up what we actually use, in the present sense. It’s easy to accumulate apps that we don’t really use, bookmarks we’ll never actually browse and have a sea of file folders making life difficult. Here is your chance to re-think your digital lifestyle, with the knowledge that if you eventually decide you can’t live without something you can always retrieve it from your backup.
As always, you can call or email us anytime for expert guidance in this process, resulting in a Mac that’s as nimble as the day you brought it home.