Boot up faster
Get your Mac to start more quickly with these simple tricks
One area that most people want to see improved is their Mac’s startup time. Even if you have the fastest, most modern Mac, it can still take minutes to start up, and the whole process is excruciating if you need to use your Mac in a hurry. On the hardware side of things, upgrading to an SSD ensures that a Mac boots more quickly. However, many performance tricks, such as cleaning out the hard drive and reducing animations and effects, have minimal impact because OS X hasn’t yet loaded into memory. Having said that, there is a range of tweaks you can perform to ensure Yosemite loads quickly.
The first thing to do is check what is listed under Login Items in System Preferences, and to remove any you no longer need (see the steps opposite for details). These aren’t the only items that Yosemite loads at startup, though. You can find more in StartupItems in the system’s Library folder – to get there quickly, choose Go > Go to Folder… in the Finder and enter /Library/ StartupItems). These are the system-wide startup items that apply to all user accounts. It’s worth taking a look to see if any of the items relate to things you no longer use. You’ll need to enter an Admin account’s credentials to delete items here. A third place to check is the Dock. Restart your Mac to see which apps are started by default (these are the ones with small white circles beneath them in the Dock). Control-click the app’s Dock icon, select Options and select the Open at Login option to remove the tick from next to it. Rather than asking an app to open each time you log in, it is better to open it when you actually need it.
FileVault is a security feature that encrypts all of the contents on your Mac’s startup volume. While FileVault has its uses, it slows down the login process and some Yosemite users have noted extremely slow login performance with it enabled, so you should turn it off if you can live without it. Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy, click the FileVault tab, then the lock icon (enter your password) and click Turn Off FileVault.
Sometimes peripherals can slow down the login process, so if you find login sluggish, try disconnecting peripherals and reconnect them one at a time. Keep any devices that you don’t use regularly disconnected.
Finally, learn to put your Mac to sleep instead of shutting down, so you can pick up where you left off without enduring the whole startup cycle.