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The biggest resource thief on your Mac

By Ryan Lee • Dec 4, 2018 at 1:00 PM

I make a concerted effort to write columns that help both Windows users and macOS users, but the majority are usually geared toward the Windows Operating System. I like to stay well rounded, so today I’m covering basics about Apple’s macOS. (Previously Mac OS X and OS X which I use interchangeably).

Although over the past couple of years I have had more experience with Windows computers, I have to make sure to keep all of the Apple fans happy. 
I get a lot of feedback when I write about Apple, and specifically Mac OS X tips and tricks. 
With Windows users, the most common types of questions I get are about spyware and viruses. Since Macs don’t typically have many of those problems, I get a wider variety of questions.

One of the most common questions I get is, “Why is my Mac running so slow?” The answer is usually straightforward.

Just like with a Windows machine, you want to make sure to tidy up after yourself while using Mac OS X. One of the most common things that I have seen Mac users do is to keep open every program they launch, taking up valuable resources. Perhaps you are browsing the Internet and you open Firefox, then you open iPhoto to check out some of your pictures. After that, you open Microsoft Word to write up a document. You can see how these programs can add up and can cause the computer to run slowly.

Quitting applications completely can significantly improve the performance of your Mac. When you open an app, a small indicator, such as a dot or a light, appears below the application icon in your Dock. Many times, when people want to quit an app, they simply click on the red dot in the upper left-hand corner of a window. They think that this closes the program. In many programs, though, this only closes the part of the program you are working on and it leaves the program itself open.

You can close the program entirely by clicking on the program icon to select it, finding the program name in the top-left corner of your screen beside the Apple menu, clicking it, and choosing quit from the menu. Alternatively, you can right-click the program icon in the Dock with a two-button mouse and choose quit, or you can hold the control key on your keyboard, click on the program icon, and choose quit.

Making sure to close programs will help to keep your system resources from running out and will help to keep your computer running at its best. If a Mac is used correctly, it will perform admirably. The more programs that are running unnecessarily, the more the computer will slow down. Remember always to quit programs you are no longer using if you notice your computer slowing down. Also, just as with a Windows computer, a restart now and then can never hurt. I try to restart my Mac at least once a week if not more. This helps to keep the memory freed up and the computer running quickly.

Try these simple steps and you’ll notice a huge difference in the performance of your Mac.

Ryan Lee is the IT director for the Sandusky Register and Norwalk Reflector. He can be reached at [email protected]






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