Cleaning your MacBook: software and hardware solutions

Despite good software optimization, even macOS-based computers are subject to a gradual decrease in performance: many programs in startup, rapid consumption of RAM and permanent memory, even trivial dust on internal components can adversely affect system performance. Today you will learn how to save your computer from unpleasant “brakes” by returning the system to its original responsiveness.

How to clean a MacBook so that Photoshop and other resource-intensive programs do not slow down?

When working with resource-intensive software, the capacity of RAM plays a crucial role in system performance: the number of layers in Photoshop, effects in Final Cut, the number of desktops and applications running simultaneously – all this requires a certain amount of RAM, after which the system has to upload data to more a slow hard drive or SSD partition.

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How to clean the MacBook RAM so as not hindered working with demanding applications, an ambiguous question. On the one hand, unlike Windows, the “apple” operating system uses computer memory more rationally, occupying RAM with the most relevant data, even if they are not being used at the moment. This optimizes system performance but makes it challenging to monitor memory because it is almost always full.

On the other hand, even Apple computers suffer from freezes, or freezes, if the amount of information required at the moment is greater than the amount of RAM. So, suppose you needed to open 5-10 tabs in Safari or another browser during work. In that case, the system has to unload other running programs’ data, which leads to freezes when, for example, switching to another desktop.

Despite this, it is relatively easy to cope with the lack of RAM: open the System Monitor utility and identify the parasitic programs. Most often, such programs are Internet browsers, which is visible in the screenshot below:


If you use Sleep Mode when you shut down your laptop, unclaimed garbage may eventually accumulate in the RAM, limiting the available memory. To completely clear the RAM, you must completely restart your computer.

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Also, we highly recommend checking the startup list. This can be done in the “Users and Groups” section of System Preferences. Under the “Login Items” tab, there is a list of programs that are launched when the computer is turned on:

Speed up Mac startup: Remove login items [OS X Tips]

To remove an unnecessary application from the startup, select its name and click on the button with the minus icon at the bottom of the window.

Defragmentation on macOS – is it necessary?

Another method of data optimization has traditionally been disk defragmentation, which will organize files’ location for faster, sequential reading. However, if most Windows releases, the defragmentation utility is included by default, then Mac users are deprived of such a seemingly useful function.

MacBook software cleaning

The HFS + file system used in Apple computers out of the box can automatically anticipate file fragmentation, eliminating the need for manual defragmentation. Of course, with prolonged use, macOS data is partially fragmented, but in practice, this factor does not affect system performance in any way.

However, if your macOS is installed on an ExFAT hard drive partition, defragmentation can still play a role in the long run. The same applies to Boot Camp-based Windows.

Necessary: DO NOT use defragmentation on computers with SSDs. The specifics of solid-state drives’ operation allow you to maintain the same speed regardless of disk fragmentation. Moving files between blocks during defragmentation will significantly reduce the resource of the SSD module.

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How to clean a MacBook so that the graphics adapter does not slow down?

As we noted in the introduction, any computer requires not only software but also hardware cleaning. And if full-fledged Windows PCs have a reasonably robust and durable cooling system, Apple laptops are susceptible to dirt and require regular cleaning. The fact is that when the graphics or central processor overheats, the system that cannot cope with cooling begins to reduce the performance of the chip, cooling the crystal, which leads to the appearance of “brakes.”

MacBook hardware cleaning

You can carry out the necessary cleaning yourself: remove the laptop cover (you need a special screwdriver) and blow out the cooling system’s air duct. However, such a solution is a half measure since, during use, the computer’s internal components not only become covered with dust but also wear out: the coolers begin to make noise, and the layer of thermal paste dries out. To get rid of this problem and extend the computer’s life, you should carry out a complete prevention of the cooling system at least once a year – either manually or in a service center.

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