I’m going to surmise that if I canvassed a random cross-section of adults between ages 25 and 30 about whether they waited before upgrading to Mac OS X Mavericks, the majority would admit they didn’t consider the ramifications.
I’m one of them.
We tend to inherently trust that any shiny new product from Apple is free from error and that we’ll instantly divine the best ways to use it; however, history is a great teacher and has shown us that Apple does make mistakes.
If your Mac feels unmotivated after installing Mavericks then I want to show you how to make it happy again. There are a few basic things you can do to improve the performance of your machine but you’ll have to be patient and trust me as I walk you through the solutions.
In this article I’m going to channel all my energy into restoring the spunk to your lethargic Mac. This is how to get your groove back in four steps:
1. Update after Updating
The first task you should complete after updating to Mavericks is to well… update again.
Yes, I can almost see the quizzical, “huh”, look on your face after reading that one but you really need to make sure all your software, not just Mavericks, is current because Apple frequently releases bug fixes which improves the performance of certain apps.
And speaking of Apps, you can use the Application Compatibility table from Roaring Apps to see if there are any known issues with your lazy app and Mavericks.
It’s completely feasible that the app isn’t compatible with the new OS.
2. Repair your Disk and Permissions
It’s possible that your hard disk has easily fixable errors and all you need to do is run Disk Utility to verify and repair things.
Reboot the Mac then immediately hold down the Command key + r. The Mac will end up in recovery mode where you can launch Disk Utility.
Select your hard drive from the list in the left pane then click the verify and repair disk buttons. It may take a few minutes to complete but I find that this often fixes indolent Macs.
3. Activate Activity Monitor
Alright, so your Mac still balks at the idea of running at a normal speed. You tried updating and repairing your disk but the Mac still feels slow.
One thing that might solve this fiasco is to look into the amount of memory apportioned to each app so you can see which ones are consuming an inordinate amount of resources. Then you can close those out and see if that speeds things up.
We gain this wizard like insight from the Activity Monitor.
Press the Command key and space bar then type and enter:
We’re interested in the Memory column.
Click the header so that the hungriest apps float to the top of the list.
Chrome seems to have an insatiable appetite for memory but you might find other apps hanging out here feasting on your memory too. You can kill these corpulent offenders by clicking the stop-sign-x icon directly under the red close bubble.
If this doesn’t do it then my next suggestion is going to really piss you off but it actually works (it worked for me).
Ready for it? Okay here it is:
Yup, I know – I know, you’re thinking:
Vonnie, I don’t have time for that, I need this to work now! Mavericks sucks!
Yes, Mavericks has its idiosyncrasies but I wouldn’t say that it sucks. My computer felt like a sloth after upgrading but the speed wasn’t insufferable so I fought through it. After about 3 or 4 days of daily usage it actually started to feel like the performance improved again.
I know patience is a low-tech answer but it can win the day if you have the discipline.
The Bottom Line
After reading all the bombast from Apple you probably thought Mavericks was going to improve your computer life; however, now you feel cheated and are loathing the day you clicked update.
But by making sure all your apps are current, repairing the disk and killing the most rapacious apps from gnawing away your memory you can effectively improve the performance of your Mac.
And despite all this, the old fashioned trick of patience might be all you need. Give it half a work week then re-assess the performance.
Did you try anything here that successfully boosted the performance of Mavericks? Or perhaps you discovered another trick that worked for you? Please share your knowledge in the comments below, I’m sure there are many readers that can benefit from your experience with this issue!