Impact of using side mirrors and sun tracking on enhancing the performance of a solar still in both passive and active modes is investigated in details by employing the recorded experimental data. The conventional system, using each improvement strategy individually, and the combination of both strategies together are studied, which leads to having four cases in each mode, and eight cases in total. The eight different cases are compared together from different aspects, including, hourly water temperature in the basin, hourly fresh water production, hourly cumulative yield, daily produced distillate, daily efficiency, and cost per liter. Based on the results, all the investigated performance criteria are improved when sun tracking and side mirrors are employed. For example, by employing both improvement strategies together, the peak temperature of water in the basin goes up by 7.6°C in the passive mode, and the maximum fresh water production increases by 34.3% in the active operation. Moreover, it leads to 43.1 and 22.2% growth in the daily water production, and 36.0 and 22.3% increase in the daily efficiency of the passive and active modes, respectively. Using the combination of sun tracking and side mirrors also imposes the cost per liter of 0.0225 $.L−1 for active operation. It is much lower than the corresponding value in the conventional system.