How to Refresh Your Mac: Easy Steps for a Faster Performance

When it comes to using a computer, we all want it to perform at its best. However, over time, our Macs may start to slow down and become unresponsive, making it difficult to get work done efficiently. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to refresh your Mac and get it running like new again. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of how to refresh your Mac with a comprehensive guide breaking down everything you need to know.

Steps to Refresh Your Mac

Step 1: Update Your MacOS

The first step to refresh your Mac is to ensure that you are running the latest version of your MacOS. Apple regularly releases software updates to improve performance, add new features and enhance security. To update your MacOS, go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences”, then click on “Software Update”. If there are any available updates, click on “Update Now” to download and install them.

Step 2: Uninstall Unnecessary Applications

Over time, we may accumulate a lot of applications on our Macs that we no longer use. These unnecessary applications can take up valuable hard drive space and slow down your Mac. To uninstall applications, go to the “Finder” and drag the application to the Trash bin. You can also use a third-party application to help you identify and remove unused applications.

Step 3: Clear Cache and Temporary Files

Your Mac stores temporary files and cache data when you browse the internet or use applications. These files can take up a lot of space and slow down your Mac. To clear cache and temporary files, open “Finder” and select “Go” > “Go to Folder” and type in “/Library/Caches”. Then, delete the files in the folder.

Step 4: Reduce Login Items

Login items are applications that automatically open when you start up your Mac. Having too many login items can cause your Mac to slow down during startup. To reduce login items, go to “System Preferences” > “Users & Groups” and select your user. Then, click on the “Login Items” tab and remove any unnecessary applications.

Step 5: Manage Your Disk Space

If your hard drive is almost full, your Mac’s performance can be affected. It’s important to regularly manage your disk space by removing unnecessary files and transferring files to an external hard drive. You can use the “Storage” tool in “About This Mac” to help you manage your disk space.

Step 6: Check for Malware and Viruses

Malware and viruses can cause your Mac to slow down or behave erratically. It’s important to regularly check your Mac for malware and viruses using a reputable antivirus software. There are several antivirus applications available for Mac, such as Norton, McAfee and Bitdefender.

Step 7: Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

The SMC controls many aspects of your Mac’s hardware, such as power management, thermal management and battery management. Resetting the SMC can help resolve issues with your Mac’s performance and functionality. To reset the SMC, shut down your Mac, then hold down the Shift + Control + Option keys and press the power button. Release all the keys and turn on your Mac.

Step 8: Reset the Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM)

NVRAM stores settings related to your display, volume, keyboard and other system settings. Resetting the NVRAM can help resolve issues with these settings and improve your Mac’s performance. To reset the NVRAM, shut down your Mac, then hold down the Command + Option + P + R keys and press the power button. Release the keys after 20 seconds.

Step 9: Run Disk Utility

Mac’s built-in Disk Utility can help diagnose and repair disk-related issues that may affect your Mac’s performance. To run Disk Utility, go to “Applications” > “Utilities” > “Disk Utility”. Select your disk and click on “First Aid” to run a scan and repair any errors.

Step 10: Clean Your Keyboard and Screen

Cleaning your keyboard and screen can help improve your Mac’s performance and prolong its lifespan. Use a microfiber cloth and gentle cleaner to clean your keyboard and screen regularly.

Step 11: Upgrade Your Hardware

If your Mac is still not performing at its best after trying all the above steps, upgrading your hardware, such as your RAM or hard drive, can help improve your Mac’s performance.

Step 12: Restart Your Mac

If all else fails, restarting your Mac may help resolve any issues with its performance. Simply shut down your Mac and turn it back on again.


Refreshing your Mac can help improve its performance and extend its lifespan. By following the above steps, you can maintain your Mac’s performance and ensure that it continues to run smoothly. Updating your MacOS, uninstalling unnecessary applications, clearing cache and temporary files, reducing login items, managing your disk space, checking for malware and viruses, resetting the SMC and NVRAM, running Disk Utility, cleaning your keyboard and screen, upgrading your hardware and restarting your Mac are all important steps to take when refreshing your Mac.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use a Cleaning Application

Using a cleaning application, such as CleanMyMac X, can help you clean up your Mac’s system and improve its performance.

Tip 2: Use an External Hard Drive

Using an external hard drive to store large files can help free up space on your Mac’s hard drive and improve its performance.

Tip 3: Disable Visual Effects

Disabling visual effects, such as animations and transparency, can help improve your Mac’s performance.

Tip 4: Delete Old Email Attachments

Deleting old email attachments can help free up space on your Mac’s hard drive and improve its performance.

Tip 5: Use a Cooling Pad

Using a cooling pad can help prevent overheating and improve your Mac’s performance.

Tip 6: Use Activity Monitor

Using Activity Monitor to identify and quit applications that are using excessive CPU can help improve your Mac’s performance.

Tip 7: Disable Automatic Updates

Disabling automatic updates can prevent your Mac from running slower due to the update process.

Tip 8: Remove Language Files

Removing unnecessary language files can help free up space on your Mac’s hard drive and improve its performance.

Tip 9: Keep Your Desktop Clean

Keeping your desktop clean by removing unnecessary files and folders can help improve your Mac’s performance.

Tip 10: Regularly Restart Your Mac

Regularly restarting your Mac can help free up memory and improve its performance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Refresh Mac


1. Speeds up your Mac and improves overall performance, especially if you have been using it for a long time and have accumulated a lot of files and applications.

2. Can resolve software issues and glitches, such as freezing or crashing, that may be caused by corrupted system files or conflicting apps.

3. Gives you a fresh start with your Mac, which means you can customize your settings and preferences anew, making your user experience more streamlined and efficient.

4. Erases all personal data, which would be beneficial when selling or donating your Mac, as it prevents your data from being accessed by others.

5. Reduces clutter and frees up disk space, as all unnecessary files and applications are removed, leaving only the essential ones.

6. Can fix problems with Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth, and other hardware-related issues, as refreshing your Mac reinstalls all system drivers and updates them to their latest versions.

7. Can help you troubleshoot software issues, as it eliminates third-party applications and extensions that may be causing conflicts or disrupting system processes.

8. Restores your Mac to its factory settings, which means you get a clean slate and can set up your Mac as new, providing a fresh and organized look and feel.

9. Eliminates the need for manual file and app removal, as refreshing your Mac does this for you, making your workload much lighter and less time-consuming.

10. Employing the refresh method saves money on repairs or upgrades, as it is a cost-efficient way of improving your Mac’s performance.


1. A refresh deletes all files, including important ones. Therefore, there is a risk that you might lose valuable data if you haven’t backed up your files.

2. Refreshing your Mac requires a stable internet connection and can take a substantial amount of time, which may be inconvenient if you need to use your Mac urgently.

3. You may need to reinstall applications manually, which can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of them, or you use relatively uncommon or obscure apps.

4. While refreshing your Mac can fix application and system issues, it might not be a permanent solution, as the same problems may recur in the future.

5. You might experience compatibility issues with older applications and software, as a refresh can result in the installation of newer versions of system software that may not be compatible with some of your installed applications.

6. Some users may find the process of refreshing their Mac daunting and complicated, especially if they are not tech-savvy and have little experience in computer maintenance.

7. If you rely on third-party extensions or apps that are not available through Apple’s App Store, refreshing your Mac might mean that you need to find and reinstall those extensions and apps manually, which can be time-consuming.

8. Refreshing your Mac is irreversible. Once you have started the process, there is no going back, and you cannot pause or cancel it until it is completed successfully.

9. Some users may experience issues with the installation of updates after refreshing their Mac, as the process may have inadvertently changed some of the network or software settings.

10. Refreshing your Mac does not remove malware or viruses, and therefore, you may need to install additional software to scan for and eliminate any malicious software after the refresh.


1. Why do you need to refresh your Mac?

Refreshing your Mac can help to speed up your device by clearing out any unnecessary files and processes that may be running in the background. It can also help to fix any errors or issues you may be experiencing with your device.

2. How often should you refresh your Mac?

There is no set timeframe for refreshing your Mac, but it is recommended to do it at least once a year to keep your device running smoothly.

3. How long does it take to refresh a Mac?

The time it takes to refresh a Mac depends on how much data you have on your device. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

4. Do I need to backup my data before refreshing my Mac?

It is always recommended to backup your data before refreshing your Mac just in case anything goes wrong during the process.

5. How do I backup my data before refreshing my Mac?

You can backup your data by using the Time Machine feature on your Mac or by using an external hard drive to store your files.

6. What happens to my files when I refresh my Mac?

Your files should remain intact when you refresh your Mac, but it is always recommended to backup your data just in case anything goes wrong during the process.

7. How do I refresh my Mac?

To refresh your Mac, you can follow these steps: 1) Restart your Mac, 2) Press and hold the Command + R keys when the Apple logo appears, 3) Select “Reinstall macOS” from the Utilities window.

8. Will refreshing my Mac delete everything?

No, refreshing your Mac should not delete everything, but it is always recommended to backup your data just in case anything goes wrong during the process.

9. Can I still use my Mac while it is refreshing?

No, it is recommended to leave your Mac alone while it is refreshing to avoid any potential issues.

10. What do I do if something goes wrong during the refreshing process?

If something goes wrong during the refreshing process, you can try restarting your Mac and attempting the process again. If the issue persists, it is recommended to seek out professional help.

11. How do I know if my Mac needs to be refreshed?

You may notice your Mac running slower than usual or experiencing various errors or issues. If this is the case, it may be time to refresh your device.

12. Will refreshing my Mac remove any viruses or malware?

No, refreshing your Mac may not remove all viruses or malware on your device. It is recommended to use antivirus software to regularly scan and remove any potential threats.

13. Can I refresh my Mac without an internet connection?

No, you will need an internet connection to refresh your Mac as it requires the macOS installation files to be downloaded.


Refreshing your Mac is an important process in maintaining the performance and longevity of your device. By regularly clearing your cache and removing unnecessary files, you can keep your Mac running smoothly for years to come!


Thank you for reading our article on how to refresh your Mac. We hope that you found the information helpful and that you are now equipped with the tools you need to keep your device running at its best. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, happy computing!