So I know that clean installing an OS is the best way to make computer runs faster. I know that sometimes this is the case too for Linux/Mac OSX.

My question is, is this the case if I restore all my data from Time Machine backup, will it still be the case that it will run faster?

  • Only slightly related (as a clean install might optimize the disk contents): see About disk optimization with Mac OS X. This tells you that disk optimization won't help a lot, if at all. – Arjan Dec 2 '10 at 12:28

You have several options for restoring data from backup. I don't know the exact options, but the following should be quite close:

You can restore the full system, effectively not reinstalling from scratch. This will not have any real effect in your situation.

You can choose to restore the applications you installed to /Applications. This depends on your personal preferences.

You can opt to only restore your user accounts. If you keep your personal applications in ~/Applications, you will have reinstalled your system and restored your applications, documents and other data. This last option is my personal favorite and I've used it a few times with great success. Remember to reinstall applications stored in /Applications, such as iTunes, iWork, and VMware Fusion.

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    You can try creating a new user account without reinstalling your system. If your new user account is faster than your current one, due to not having millions of browser history entries and bookmarks, not having countless background processes running, Dashboard widgets, etc., then it might problem with how you use your machine. Get temporarily rid of automatically starting applications (System Preferences, Accounts, Login Items), Widgets, additional System Preferences Panes, etc. and see what happens. – Daniel Beck Dec 2 '10 at 12:20
  • Ok I see. Creating new account does make it a little bit faster, I guess reinstalling clean OS will just give me this "a little bit" of speed boost... I won't worry too much then. I think my startup programs are only the ones that I need anyway. Thanks for the answer! – Enrico Susatyo Dec 6 '10 at 0:02

No. All the gunk that was clogging up your machine will get restored.

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  • do you have any reference? I thought apple migration assistant only transfers data and applications, not the kernel and the OS? i.e. I could be running on 10.4 then migrate to 10.6 – Enrico Susatyo Dec 2 '10 at 11:11
  • @the_great_monkey: I think what I said is right, but I'll have to get back to you with references when I have more time. – Charles Stewart Dec 2 '10 at 11:20
  • @the, any reference for your I know that clean installing an OS is the best way to make computer runs faster ...? – Arjan Dec 2 '10 at 12:21

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