Get more out of Apple Notes for Just $5.99!

Discover the hidden capabilities of Notes for Mac, iOS, and
the web with Take Control of Notes by Josh Centers.

Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac

Save 50% with the 4-Book
Mac Fitness Collection

Save 50%! Buy with Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac and Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac for only $30.00!

Dec 19, 2017

Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac, Second Edition

Accelerate your Mac!

If your Mac seems a lot slower now than when you first bought it, it’s not your imagination. Over time, your Mac can become bogged down with extra background tasks, run out of free RAM and disk space, and encounter a wide variety of other issues that lead to slow performance. With expert advice and a little detective work, you can find and fix these problems—returning your Mac to its original, peppy self.

Don’t depend on random tips that may or may not help. In this book you’ll learn how to find and address the exact causes of slow behavior, with before-and-after tests to confirm your results. You’ll discover how to optimize CPU and RAM usage, eliminate disk bottlenecks, improve network performance (including web browsing and email), speed up peripherals, perform strategic software and hardware upgrades, and much more.

This book covers 10.9 Mavericks or later, including 10.13 High Sierra, and it’s mostly accurate for Mojave too. A free update planned for later in 2018 will cover applicable changes to Mojave.

Save 50% when you buy the complete 4-book Mac Fitness Collection (which also includes Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, and Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac—a $60 value—for just $30.

In this practical, hands-on book, Joe Kissell shares the results of his extensive research:

  • Learn the Basics: Separate fact from fiction when it comes to commonly recommended performance tips.

  • Diagnose Speed Issues: Use benchmarking and other diagnostic tools to pinpoint speed problems and test your fixes.

  • Try Quick Fixes: Discover the most effective techniques for overcoming random, temporary speed problems.

  • Lighten Your CPU’s Load: Track down apps that are bogging down your processor and teach them to behave.

  • Increase Available RAM: Turn off or manage processes that are using too much memory so there’s more to work with.

  • Improve Disk Performance: Fix disk errors, avoid running out of space, and eliminate inefficient disk access.

  • Boost Network Speeds: Speed up Wi-Fi and Ethernet network access, DNS lookups, web browsing, and email.

  • Monitor System Resources: Use Activity Monitor and other tools to keep tabs on your Mac’s CPU, RAM, disk, and network usage.

  • Upgrade Your Hardware: Learn when and how to install additional RAM, a new hard drive, an SSD, or other hardware upgrades.

What happened to Speeding Up Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide?
Long story short, this is an updated version of the same book, with a different title. The Joe On Tech book started out as Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac, and now it’s back home in the Take Control catalog.

What's New

What's New in the Second Edition

This book contains a large number of minor changes, but only the following major changes since Speeding Up Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide, version 1.1:

  • Updated the book for compatibility with macOS 10.13 High Sierra and the latest Mac models available as of December 2017
  • Added iStat Menus to the list of utilities in “Use Live Monitoring Tools”
  • Mentioned a way to speed up Time Machine in “Adjust Backup Software Settings”
  • Clarified details about how much space you should leave available on your disk in “Determine How Much Space You Need”
  • Revised “Use Optimized Storage in Sierra or Later” with better details and new advice
  • Updated various topics in “Speed Up Your Browser” to cover the latest browser versions
  • Revised “Monitor Network Activity” to use Little Snitch, rather than the now-discontinued Private Eye, as an example
  • Added a mention of mesh/hub-and-spoke Wi-Fi routers in “Signal Strength”
  • Explained the importance of using the right kind of Ethernet cable in “Check Your Wired Ethernet Connection”
  • Revised “Use a Faster DNS Provider” to reflect the fact that namebench is no longer being developed (and has problems under High Sierra)
  • Added CursorSense to the utilities covered in “Adjust Acceleration”
  • Updated the sidebar “Is My Storage Upgradable?” and the topic “Add a Second (or Larger) Display” to cover recent Mac models
  • Rewrote most of the chapter “Speed Up Your Peripherals,” which now contains complete information about USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3
Update Plans

September 17, 2018—This book is mostly up to date, but a free update planned for later in 2018 will cover applicable changes to Mojave.

Posted by Joe Kissell

  1. Joe Discusses the New Editions of His “Mac Fitness” Books

    I joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices (audio and video) to discuss the new editions of Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac, and Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac—including their transition from Joe On Tech books back to the Take Control world:

    MacVoices #17227: Joe Kissell Releases Four Take Control Titles Updated for High Sierra

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

  2. Caution: Leave Spindump Alone

    On p. 83, in the sidebar “Should You Disable Spindump?”, I explain how to disable the spindump process, which has been implicated in slowdowns after a crash (as it collects data to send to Apple about the cause of the problem). I did this on my own Mac without any problems, but two readers have now reported to me that after trying this, their Macs froze and wouldn’t restart, requiring them to restore their disks from a backup. I can’t explain why that would happen, but to be on the safe side, I recommend just ignoring that sidebar and not disabling spindump. If you do feel the need to try it, be sure you have a recently updated bootable duplicate first—just in case!

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.