How to Make macOS Big Sur Run Faster

macOS Big Sur is the latest operating system that comes packed with lots of useful features and looks more colorful and fresh and more iPhone-like than ever before. But it’s also more demanding in resources, just like any new version of macOS, so once you install it on your Mac or MacBook, you may notice that your device is running slower than before. In this article, we share some useful tips on how to make macOS Big Sur run faster.

Identify Resource-Hungry Applications

Certain resource-hungry apps can take a lot of resources when running and slow down your Mac. You can easily identify such apps or processes using Activity Monitor. You should go to Applications and choose Utilities, and then open Activity Monitor.

Look at the top of the list to find out if there are any specific processes that are taking more than 30% CPU. If you notice such processes, try to quit them and see what will happen. To do that, you need to choose the process and click Quit Process in the toolbar. You can also check the Memory tab to determine which apps and web pages take up a large amount of space. For example, Gmail and Facebook may take a lot of your Mac RAM. If that happens, you can free some memory by just closing a few browser tabs.

Manage Login Items and Launch Agents

The fewer programs run automatically as your Mac is starting up, the faster the process will be. So a good idea is to disable unnecessary startup items that run in the background. Here is how you can do that.

  • Choose System Preferences in the Apple menu.
  • Open User & Groups. Find your username and choose Login Items.
  • Look through the list. If you notice any apps that auto-launch as you start your Mac, choose them and remove by clicking the minus button.

In this way, you can remove visible programs, but there are also auto-start apps that are hidden deeper in your Mac’s interface. These launch agents broaden the functionality of larger apps, but they can overload your Mac’s CPU. If you don’t use larger apps often, you can disable and remove launch agents using clean up utilities. This should help with speeding your macOS.

Turn Off Motion Effects

The new operating system looks great, especially with increased transparency, but some graphic effects in the user interface can definitely slow older Macs, especially when the system has to multitask because they heavily influence the resources your computer has access to. You can disable transparency and motion to speed up the processes. Select System Settings, then Accessibility, and click on Display. If you reduce transparency and motion, you’ll decrease the load on your system.

Optimize Your Storage

It’s important to have enough free space on your drive to run Big Sur. Optimizing your storage, you’ll be able to free up unused disk space, and it can be used for storing new files. There are different options to optimize the storage space on your Mac, and you can see them if you click on About This Mac in the Apple menu and then select Storage and Manage. You will be able to see all options in the Message box.

  • By choosing Store in iCloud, you can save space by storing files in iCloud and keeping only the recent files on your computer.
  • Turning on Empty Trash Automatically, you’ll save space by deleting files that have been in the bin for more than 30 days.
  • Enabling Optimize Storage, you’ll remove TV shows and movies that you have already watched from your Mac.
  • You can also select Reduce Clutter and review your files to delete documents that you don’t need any longer.

Close Tabs in Your Browser

We all love to keep many tabs open when we are browsing the web because it’s very convenient. But these open tabs also use RAM and CPU cycles because each page has to be regularly refreshed. So it’s always better to close tabs that are not using at the moment if your Mac is slow. And if you think you’ll need these tabs in the future, you can easily bookmark them by pressing Command-D.

Uninstall Unused Apps

We often download lots of apps that seem exciting and helpful at first, but then it turns out that we don’t actually use them, and they just clutter up our disk space. This way, we actually waste a lot of space on our system, and it negatively affects Mac’s performance. So maybe, you should honestly admit that you don’t use some of your apps anymore and get rid of them.

You should go to the Finder and open the Go menu. Look through the drop-down list and choose Applications. Review all the apps installed on your system. When you find an application that you don’t normally use, you should right-click on it. After that, you can remove it by selecting Remove to Bin.

Update Your Apps

Developers release regular updates that can improve their performance, and that can also have a positive impact on your Mac’s output. If you download apps from the App Store, you should set up automatic updates for them. You can do it by launching the App Store. Open the menu and select Preferences. Enable Automatic Updates by clicking on the box next to this option.

If you have any non-App Store apps, you’ll need to launch each of them individually and select Check for Updates in the menu, and that can be rather time-consuming.

Final Word

macOS Big Sur combines the visual design of the iPad and iPhone with the functionality of the Mac very well and is a good option for both older Intel Macs and new Apple Silicon-based Macs. But, like any other operating system, it’s not ideal, and occasionally, it can make your Mac run slower. If that happens, follow the tips we shared with you in this article to ensure your Mac runs smoothly again.