Enterprise, creative or home user — everyone with a Mac should learn a few simple steps they can take to tweak a little more performance from their Apple machine. This short collection provides an essential guide.

1. Update the Mac

It’s possible you haven’t updated your Mac for some time. Each OS update brings a bunch of useful under-the-hood improvements, some of which may boost performance. To access them, you need to upgrade the system on your Mac. Open the App Store, tap Updates and install.

2. Activity Monitor

Take a look at Activity Monitor (Fastest way to open the app? Command-Space>Type Activity Monitor, tap Return). This illustrates how your Mac is running. Look at the CPU and Memory columns to see if you can recognize an application that seems to be demanding a lot from your system. If there is, just quit that app until next time you need it.

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