A while back, I told you 5 ways to make your PC run faster, and this led to a lot of people asking how to make their suddenly sluggish Mac faster again. Well, I figured I can’t leave the Mac minority out of the fix. Here are the Top 5 ways to keep your Mac running smooth and fast.

5. Shut your computer down more often

Mac’s have many scripts that run in the background that all do some maintenance tasks to keep your Mac clean and tidy. These scripts run at timed intervals, and also when you shut down and boot up your computer (Gray Apple Screen). Many people just let their computers just go to sleep, which is fine most of the time, but sometimes it’s a good idea to shut down your computer entirely and turn it back on. This is different from a restart as that’s a different process all together. Also, check and make sure you don’t have lots of applications launching upon said startup. To check go to System Preferences> Accounts >”Your Account”>Login Items.

4.Run Software Updates

Just like on Windows, making sure you are running all the latest software is a good idea. Those updates have crucial fixes and enhancements that can make your Mac run better. Make sure to backup your data before running any major updates.

3.Upgrade your RAM/Install Snow Leopard

The Mac Operating System is fast, lean and efficient. To do this, it utilizes RAM more often then its Windows counterpart (Vista excluded). What this means is that RAM is crucial to having a well performing computer.  If you’re running Snow Leopard (OS 10.6.x) make sure you have at least 2GB of RAM for everyday use. I would suggest being at 4GB for comfortable use, but its not imperative. Speaking of Snow Leopard, if you are not currently running it as your OS, and you have an Intel Mac, I would highly suggest installing it ($29 is a bargain). It will give you substantial speed increases over 10.4 and 10.5.

2.Repair your Disk Permissions

Most unix/linux based systems, including the Mac, use a kind of permission system that is both secure and complex. This system can sometime get a little “confused” (excuse the simple word euphemism). This can cause hiccups in your everyday tasks and can cause some slowdowns. Luckily, the Mac OS gives you a simple interface to repair the permissions on your Hard Drive. To run it, go to your Applications folder and open the Utilities folder, launch Disk Utility, and hit “Repair Disk Permissions”. This can take some time,  so be patient.

1. Make sure you have plenty of Hard Drive space

Get it, a HARD Drive?

Mac OS X, like many other operating systems, looks to the Hard Drive for virtual memory. Often times, the biggest reason for slow downs is due to the Hard Drive being full. Believe it or not, Mac OS X wants at least 10GB of the hard drive for virtual memory. If you have less then that free, delete some junk and free up space. Shut down your computer, turn it back on and enjoy speedy Mac times.

Now before people get upset, I know I over simplified my explanations. If you want some more hardcore technology mumbo-jumbo, let me know. For now, enjoy these comprehensible, and easy to use, hints!