How to Fix Slow Performance in a PowerBook G4

by Lexi Sorenson

Over time, your PowerBook G4, like any computer, may begin to operate much more slowly. A PowerBook that hasn't been optimized will open up files and perform basic operations less efficiently. In addition, a PowerBook that hasn't been upgraded won't handle large, intensive programs like newer computers will. By following a few tips, a Mac user can get many years of use out of their older Mac laptop.

Download and run a third-party system maintenance utility, such as Onyx or Cocktail, to delete old caches and other files or errors that may be slowing down your computer.

Run Disk Utility on a regular basis. Open "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" folder, in the "Applications" folder. Next, select "Verify Disk" or "Verify Permissions." If any errors are listed, then click "Repair Disk" or "Repair Permissions."

Upgrade your computer's memory and hard drive. More memory (or RAM) can enable a computer to run more programs smoothly at the same time. A faster hard drive means that a computer can read files or data faster. Talk to a representative at the Apple store (or an authorized Apple service store) to discuss your options based on your specific computer model.

Keep sufficient space clear on your hard drive. It's ideal to have at least 10 gigabytes free on your hard drive to keep your PowerBook running most efficiently. Check the amount of space that is free at the bottom of any window in the Finder.

Keep an eye on the Activity Monitor. Open the "Activity Monitor" in the "Utilities" folder, which is found in the "Applications" folder. The Activity Monitor shows what programs are active on your computer, and how much of your processor they're using. Close any unnecessary programs that could be slowing down your computer's performance.

Clean up your Widgets from the Dashboard. The Dashboard continually runs in the background of your computer, so any extra Widgets (or Widgets that you don't check on a regular basis) will put a little additional strain on your computer.

Get rid of the Genie effect from the Dock, or any third-party programs that add animation effects. Especially on an older computer like the PowerBook G4, these operations slow down basic operations considerably.

About the Author

Lexi Sorenson has been writing professionally since 2008. She has published articles in periodicals such as "The Maryland Gazette," "The Hamilton Spectator" and "Make." In addition to blogging, she writes fiction in her spare time. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from McGill University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera white notebook image by Jorge Figueiredo from