Fresh install difference ?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mayweather15, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. mayweather15 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2015
    Does resetting / reinstalling a MacBook make much difference to performance - it has not had a fresh re install since purchase, just simply upgrading on OS X updates such as Yosemite?
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    In my experience, it doesn't make a difference. Re-installing is a Windows thing. A Mac shouldn't need it.
  3. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Sep 29, 2014
    Everyone's experience is different. I actually always clean install the OS when a new version come out (i.e. 10.10 to 10.11). When I upgraded from Yosemite to El Capitan, my MBP was slow and had probs loading apps. After a fresh install, it's been snappy. If it hasn't had a clean install since purchase, I would suggest it may be time. I know when I upgrade to Sierra (prob 10.12.2) I will do a clean install.

    Make sure you backup your data first. Best way to do is make a clone of your current OS to an external drive and test boot it. You can then nuke your internal and reinstall the OS. Once completed, you can migrate your files/folders over. Reinstall apps, do not restore them. If everything is working ok, you can ditch the clone.

    Better yet, you can create a new clone to use as a backup. All this can be done with Carbon Copy Cloner, which is free for 30 days.
  4. peglegjack macrumors 6502


    Jul 30, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    When I had my 2007 iMac, I did a clean install every year up to El Capitan, also resetting the SSD I installed to regain the perfrormance. It seemed to help, even if it was simply resetting the SSD that gave me the performance boost.

    That being said, I bought a refurb 2015 iMac 27 in retina back in May, and I just don't see the point anymore. So I'm sure it really depends on the system you have and the components you're using.
  5. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I notice a performance difference immediately but it's short lived and soon returns to the same performance prior to the install. I just notice the performance more or less stays the same over the time which is fine with me.
  6. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2008
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    Normally, whenever a new OS update is available, I just install over top of the current installation, unless that it isn't possible. If one is pressed for time, following this approach can be a great benefit.

    However, there are also times when a clean install can be beneficial.

    Look at this way: Over time, particularly over years, as you continue to use and upgrade your OS, add new apps to it, remove old apps from it, etc., you slowly build up unnecessary clutter in different areas of your hard drive. You can have duplicate files that you are no longer aware of. You can have orphaned prefs files and other files and folders that belong to apps that you no longer even have on your hard drive. You can have corrupted files. You can have settings that got messed up at some point.

    A lot of things can happen over time. Your computer can become like a messy attic or cellar. The end result is that it can affect your memory usage, your hard drive's seek time, how long it takes for an app to open, etc.

    There are many apps out there which will address the aforementioned issues to one degree or another. I use some of them myself. However, none of those apps is 100% perfect or catches everything, despite their claims.

    If your computer seems to be dragging along, gets a lot of beach balls, freeze-ups, etc., then maybe it is time to conduct a clean install. It is like taking a much-needed shower. :)

    As Simon noted above, a key point to remember is to always backup your current startup system first, before you undertake a clean install. My personal habit is to make two full daily backups of my internal hard drive to two external USB hard drives, using Carbon Copy Cloner. That way, if I ever mess up anything seriously on my startup drive, I have two reliable full backups.

    Once you have backed up your startup drive, go for it. Do a clean install. Then, use the Migration Assistant to copy over all of your personal user files and folders from your backup.

    Yes, this does require a considerable amount of time on your part. However, if your startup drive is in a seriously clogged up mode, you will notice some level of difference after conducting a clean install.

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