Have you recently upgraded your computer to macOS Sierra only to find out that your device is running really slow? Here we’ve collected the most effective methods how to optimize the new Apple OS for Mac.

Just wait a little!

Right after the update, Mac performs re-indexing of the drive for Spotlight and Siri. This procedure may take up to several hours, especially if the system has lots of files on the disk. We recommend to simply wait until the whole process of content indexing is completed. Note that if you interrupt the process, Spotlight won’t function properly, so sooner or later you will still need to resort to re-indexing again.

Another possible reason why your Mac is crawling can be the new Photos application that indexes photos. Again, duration of the procedure depends on the amount of your photo library. All these processes occur in the background and load the processor heavily. Once they are finished, your Mac will be up and running just fine again.

macOS Sierra Update

Organize your desktop and eliminate the clutter

A lot of Mac users put tons of files and folders on their desktops. Therefore, working with a computer becomes increasingly uncomfortable and annoying. Spare a couple of minutes per day to delete all the unnecessary files and group everything you need into folders to increase the performance of your device.

You may clean and organize the Mac desktop in many ways. First of all, just group files into separate folders for easy tracking and structuring. You can do this as follows:

  1. Hold the Control button and select the items that you wish to group.
  2. Click with the right mouse button on any of those files and then choose the option “New Folder with Selection.”

Check your Messages app

If you are a constant user of Apple messenger, mind that amusing GIF animations and stickers might significantly load the processor and slow down the application and Mac in general. In Activity Monitor, be sure to check the status of the Messages process. The good thing is that all the animations will automatically pause once you just send something back. Otherwise, you may also clear the chat dialog.

Optimize your Mac’s storage

New OS update comes with an extremely useful feature – it allows users to delete files they don’t need automatically. It might be some old videos or e-mail attachments that are easily accessed from iTunes or mail server, if required, again. Removing old e-mail attachments and videos will apparently release lots of storage on the device and lead to overall macOS Sierra performance improvement. For that:

  1. Find About Mac;
  2. Click on Storage and then on Manage;
  3. Choose Optimize;
  4. Check the box “Automatically remove watched iTunes movies and TV shows” and then check the box “Download only recent attachments.” If you wish to decide what to download manually, select “Don’t automatically download attachments.”

Turn off transparency and visual effects

Additional effects like transparent windows surely look great. However, they also affect the performance, since every new window requires new resources for drawing and maintenance. Mac computers have always had a lot of beautiful motion type effects, but users for whom the speed of the OS is the most important thing, will have to turn them off. Just follow these steps:

  1. Find System Preferences and go to the Accessibility option.
  2. Select Display in the sidebar.
  3. Check ‘Reduce motion,’ ‘Increase contrast’ and ‘Reduce transparency’ items. While the function “Reduce transparency” was already present in the previous versions of the operating system, “Reduce Motion” appeared only in macOS Sierra.
  4. Close System Preferences.

After these simple manipulations, you will immediately feel how much faster your Mac has become.

Check the activity in the background

If you noticed that your Mac is running slow, the easiest option would be to go into Activity Monitor to see what the computer’s resources are wasted on. Open the program by going to Applications and then Utilities, find the CPU tab and sort tasks by loading the CPU. If you find that an application consumes a lot of CPU time, try closing it in the standard way. We recommend not to force-quit the unknown processes, as those may be the system tasks running in the background.

Remove unwanted items from startup

The sluggishness of the device right after its bootup is arguably the most annoying thing. Too many applications added to the automatic startup list after download may be a possible cause. In order to remove startup apps and items, perform the following:

  1. Go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups and select Login Items.
  2. Check the unwanted startup apps and click the “-” button to delete them from startup.

If none of the above helps, the problem may lie in the compatibility with a particular application. Also, there might be a bug in the kernel of the operating system or another headache. If you have tried everything and are still experiencing Mac sluggish behavior, you are always free to perform a clean install of macOS Sierra or even roll back to OS X El Capitan.