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Optimizing a Second-Hand Mac: 7 Ideas to Consider

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A brand-new MacBook model can be quite expensive, but if you want to get one, you can also go with the second-hand option.

There are plenty of people who are selling their used Macs, and for those with a low budget, this option is quite attractive. 

Of course, there are certain downsides to owning a second-hand MacBook. For one, you can expect to encounter some performance issues. As such, before you use the device, it is recommended to optimize the computer.

The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas on what you should prioritize after purchasing a second-hand MacBook.

Check for Browsing History:

Do not count on the previous owner to be careful enough to clear cookies, history, and even their own personal login details in the browser. 

Take the time to go through the installed internet browsers and see whether you have access to some personal details of another person or if there is too much browser cache.

Clearing the history is useful as well, particularly if you want to treat the computer as your own. Learning how to clear google search history on mac computers is pretty simple, even if you are using different browsers. 

Clean the Dust:

You can definitely expect plenty of dust in an old laptop, particularly if the previous owner did not bother cleaning it for you.

If you launch the MacBook for the first, do not be alarmed by loud noises coming from the internal fans. The situation should improve once you clean the dust inside. And that also applies to overheating. 

You might also consider getting a cooling pad. The money that you spend on such an accessory is worth a lot when we are talking about second-hand laptops, and Macs are not an exception.

Disable Redundant Startup Items:

Another potential issue that you can expect to encounter on your laptop you just got is the number of startup items.

Applications that launch each time you boot the computer are annoying to deal with as they slow down the loading speed.

You can go to System Preferences and uncheck the boxes next to login items on the MacBook. The next time you boot the computer, you will not have to sit through all those redundant applications loading and wasting your time.

Check for Viruses:

The odds of you getting a malware-infected computer are low, but you should not risk it. As a rule of thumb, you need to check for certain things before you make the deal, and malware check is one of the priorities.

Use reliable antivirus software to scan the system to make sure that the device is not infected, nor does it have hidden corrupted files that could cause problems later on.

An antivirus scan could take a while, but it is necessary. Otherwise, you risk exposing yourself while using your newly acquired Mac.

Find Out the State of Storage:

Low amounts of available free storage should not be a thing if the previous owner removed their files from the computer. However, you might still find that there are only a few gigabytes of available space once the computer loads.

The cause of that could be too much temporary system junk. App caches, extensions, and other clutter accumulates over time and consumes the drive’s space. 

A cleanup utility tool is something you need to consider using on a regular basis. Rather than just eliminating the clutter for the first time after you get the second-hand Mac, you should also remember that this problem will not disappear by itself in the future.

As a side note, if you run into various storage issues, remember that you can always get an external HDD or transfer files to iCloud or another cloud service.

Get Rid of Desktop Clutter:

Since your goal is to optimize the second-hand Mac for personal use, you want to remove unnecessary resource hogs.

Desktop clutter is another example of how a seemingly inconsequential thing can affect a computer’s performance negatively.

You are better off not having shortcuts on the MacBook’s desktop, as they need to be rendered whenever you switch tabs from and to the desktop. 

If the previous Mac owner left some shortcuts on the desktop, do not hesitate and delete them. And for yourself, try to keep the number of desktop icons to the minimum or not have any at all.

Upgrade Hardware

Hardware upgrades are not really a thing on MacBooks due to integrated hardware. However, there are still some exceptions, and your model might be compatible with a few modifications.

For one, you could add extra RAM. Replacing an old hard drive with a brand-new solid-state drive is also quite common. Finally, if you have the money for it, an external graphics processing unit is another example of a hardware upgrade that can make a significant difference.

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