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How to Speed Up a Slow Mac Laptop? 30 Best Tips

How to Speed Up a Slow Mac laptop?

If you want to see all of the best tips and tricks for speeding up your Macbook laptop, whether, for business or gaming, you’re going to adore this (updated) article.

We have tried, examined, and updated these tips, which include both free and premium versions for Mac laptops.

Why is my Mac extremely slow?

Why is my Mac extremely slow

Whether it’s an older Mac or a brand-new one, apps will eventually cease responding, starting up will take longer than preparing coffee, and even movies will stutter.

Something is definitely wrong, and you wake up each morning thinking, “Why, oh why, is my Mac so slow?”

How to Speed Up a Slow Mac’s Performance [ Updated]

Add A Solid State Drive (SSD) For Faster Booting

Add A Solid State Drive (SSD) For Faster Booting

Older MacBooks offer one fantastic feature that few people are aware of. It is a solid-state drive (SSD) replacement. By using this suggestion, you can significantly enhance speed by adding an SSD.

Not only would replacing the HDD with an SSD make your MacBook significantly faster to start, but it will also provide tremendous speed gains.

Such outcomes will instantly result in improved performance, and you’ll feel as though you’re inhaling fresh life into your MacBook.

You only need to consider which SSD to purchase based on the model and year of your MacBook. (Click here for the guide.)

To install a new SSD, you’ll need to open the laptop (but don’t be alarmed; it’s not quite as terrifying as it appears).

If your MacBook is still under warranty, we would not advocate performing the repair yourself; instead, bring it to Apple and have it completed by specialists to maintain your warranty.

Increase Your RAMs for Better Performance

Increase Your RAMs for Better Performance

RAM is the laptop’s physical memory, and boosting it may significantly improve the MacBook’s overall performance.

Almost every MacBook model manufactured before 2014 may have its memory updated manually. The following is a how-to guide.

You’ll need to exercise caution in order to obtain identical RAM requirements but in a larger memory capacity.

The change takes less than 30 minutes and is quite straightforward. Simply take out the old RAM and insert the new one into the slot.

Additionally, we recommend that you check the maximum RAM capacity of your MacBook, as the majority of MacBooks are limited to 16GB.

Maintain A Dust-Free Laptop

To keep the MacBook clean and neat on the outside, never use static-generating water or a towel.

Nonetheless, invest in the specific fabric material designed for laptops and displays.

Maintaining order on the inside of your MacBook is also critical. Years of usage can slow dust to accumulate on your fan or even raise the temperature of your entire MacBook, which can also slow it down.

If your MacBook comes with a guarantee, it’s best not to open it yourself.

If you do not have a current warranty, just open the rear cover of your MacBook and give the interior a good cleaning with your hand.

Remove Inactive Apps

What distinguishes MacBook machines from other laptops is the Mac OS operating system and Apple’s own AppStore.

Additionally, deleting useless applications with the assistance of this advice might result in considerable speed improvements for your MacBook.

You can download the applications in a matter of seconds. Fortunately for everyone, uninstalling them is just as simple, and there’s no reason to keep unwanted programs on your MacBook.

Simply open the Finder and navigate to the Applications list. Then, just drag and drop the application you wish to remove into the trash. It’s that straightforward, yet it may free up a significant amount of space on your MacBook.

However, bear in mind that after you empty the trash, you will not be able to restore the applications and will need to reinstall them.

Update/Maintain Current Drivers

Although MacBook desktops and laptops seldom receive system updates, when they do, make sure you install them.

By following this recommendation, you’ll benefit from increased speed and app compatibility as a result of driver and software updates.

Outdated Mac OS X might cause your computer to slow down, cause problems with your drivers, and even prevent you from installing some critical applications.

Maintain an updated version of your applications as well, as these are the ones that link you to the device.

In comparison to Microsoft’s Windows operating system, Apple has made updating Mac OS X quite straightforward.

Simply navigate to the AppStore, click the last tab labeled “Updates,” and you’ll see a list of available updates for Mac OS X and your installed applications.

Defragment Your Hard Drive

While defragmenting the disk drive is a highly widespread technique used by Windows users, it is less prevalent on Mac.

Even Apple has not provided simple software to accomplish this because – you guessed it – it is not essential. However, employing this technique to assist you in optimizing your drive will result in more space and speed.

On MacBook laptops, however, you may utilize basic software dubbed “Optimize Disk” by Apple.

This tool enables MacBook users to defragment their hard drives and delete any unnecessary material that may be slowing down the device. (If you’d want to see the entire procedure, here’s a little movie you may watch.)

Although MacBook laptops do not require defragmentation, disk drive optimization helps eliminate outdated and unusable material that clogs the drive and so slows the machine.

Conduct A New OS Installation

A fresh Mac OS X installation may make a significant difference, especially if you’ve stuffed your MacBook with data and now want to start over.

The clean MacOS X version will always function quicker since it requires less storage, but it is still a clean version because you have not yet clogged your disk drive with duplicate photos and other things.

The procedure is rather straightforward. The simplest method is to enter recovery mode by pressing Control + R on startup. Rather than booting into Mac OS X, it will present you with a menu from which you must select “Reinstall OS X.”

It may take many hours, so allow plenty of time and avoid being rushed.

Regularly Restart Your Laptop

It doesn’t take long for an operating system like Windows 10 to get congested by the simultaneous execution of hundreds of processes.

The more apps operating in the background, the more memory is consumed, until you notice significant slowdowns in overall speed.

There is a simple solution to this issue – simply restart your laptop regularly! Microsoft suggests doing so once a week, although daily is more beneficial.

Restarting the operating system on a regular basis terminates any background processes. Make sure to read our suggestion on disabling starting programs to achieve even quicker performance.

Prevent Programs From Starting At Startup

If you haven’t eliminated any useless applications from your Mac, your Mac probably starts up a slew of applications when you turn it on.

As a result, your system’s boot time may be significantly decreased, and if you disable the startup of programs you’re not using, you’ll save a lot of time.

To prevent programs from beginning immediately after booting, navigate to System Preferences and click on Users & Groups.

To access the “Login Items” tab in a new window, click on your account name in the left sidebar and then on the “Login Items” tab.

Simply untick the programs you do not wish to run upon booting into the “Login Items” page.

If you’re not regularly utilizing any of the applications, it’s best to disable them and manually open them as needed.

In Safe Mode, Boot Your Laptop

If Safe Mode seems frightening to you and you have never used it, have no fear.

Using Safe Mode on your Mac can assist you in troubleshooting a variety of issues, including unresponsive programs, stopped startup, and a slow-running system.

Starting your Mac in Safe Mode will clean the RAM cache, which may result in a performance boost.

Turn off your Mac to enter Safe Mode. Restart it and, as soon as the white screen appears, press and hold the Shift key.

When the Apple logo appears, you may let go of the Shift key and your Mac will boot into Safe Mode.

Upload Your Files To The iCloud

Transferring your files to the iCloud not only frees up space on your Mac, but it will almost certainly speed it up as well, assuming the hard disk is not congested.

Apple has made it quite simple to transfer your info. When your MacBook is logged in, click the Apple menu button, navigate to System Preferences, and locate iCloud.

Then, next to iCloud, click Options and toggle the “Optimize Mac Storage” switch to the on position.

This allows Mac to keep the most current files on your computer while storing older material on iCloud to free up space on your hard drive.

Reset the SMC and PRAM

Resetting the SMC and PRAM is something that anybody can perform, and it will not harm your Mac while resolving various software or hardware issues.

RAM holds a great deal of data and information, and when it becomes glitchy, restarting the parameters is the easiest approach to restore normal operation.

To reset the SMC, simultaneously press and hold shift+option+control and press and hold the power button. Then release the buttons, and your SMC will restart correctly.

To reset PRAM, press and hold the power button while simultaneously pressing and holding the command+option+p+r keys.

Continue holding the keys down until the MacBook reboots and restarts. When you release the keys, the MacBook will restart normally.

This is how you successfully reset the SMC and PRAM in less than five minutes.

On a Mac, Restore Disk Permissions

Disk permissions are critical for keeping your data and files secure on your Mac. It’s a safeguard against various software gaining unauthorized access to your information and data.

Perform the following steps to safeguard your Mac and fix the disk permissions. Select Macintosh HD from the list on the left side of Disk Utility.

Then, after selecting your hard disk, choose the First Aid tab. You’ll need to click “Verify Disk Permissions” on that tab.

After that, the disk tool will scan your hard drive and erase any misbehaving or broken permissions.

Following that, click “Repair Disk Permissions” and wait for the Disk Utility to do the work for you.

Delete Large and Unused Files From Your MacBook

Deleting large files and unwanted applications is a frequent technique among users wanting to free up some space.

However, by following these tips, you’ll not only free up some space on your Mac but also improve its general efficiency.

To locate and delete huge and unnecessary files, open Finder and type * into the search box. Click the + to expand the filter parameters.

Change the first filter to “Size” and the second filter to “Greater than” in the filter settings.

You may then specify the desired file size for the search, and it will return just the largest files on your Mac.

Check the dates of your last use of each folder and remove those you no longer require.

Utilize Activity Monitor To Shut Down Resource-Heavy Applications

If your battery life is insufficient, some activities may be consuming an excessive amount of energy, draining, and even slowing down your Mac.

With these tips, you can identify which applications consume the most resources, shut them down, and quickly enhance your Mac’s overall performance.

To begin, launch the Activity Monitor. You’ll then notice a new tab with many distinct tabs appear. When you click on one of these tabs, the apps are reorganized.

You’ll quickly find problematic processes that are consuming too much CPU or memory. Simply pick the offending process and click the “X” button in the upper left corner to terminate it.

Eliminate Duplicates From Your Mac

Duplicated files occur from time to time, and your Mac is unable to prevent them without your assistance. By deleting duplicated files, you may increase storage space while also improving your Mac’s overall speed.

To locate and delete duplicated files, open Finder, click File in the upper taskbar and then pick “New Smart Folder” from the bottom menu.

Within the smart folder, search for files by ordering them alphabetically. In this manner, you’ll quickly notice whether the list contains two similar files.

Once you’ve located the duplicated file, just delete it by placing it in the trash.

While this may seem like a lengthy procedure if you want to save time, check into software such as “DrCleaner” that performs the search and removal job automatically.

Disable Disk Encryption with FileVault

FileVault is still popular among older Mac users who continue to utilize the Hard Disk Drive. It is a security function that encrypts and decrypts all of your disk drive data.

By deactivating it, you will not only save time while writing or reading from your disk, but you will also reduce the wait time.

To disable FileVault, open the Settings Preferences menu, navigate to the Security and Privacy section, and then to the FileVault tab.

There, you only need to choose “Turn off FileVault,” which will most likely prompt you for your password if you have one.

Utilize Automatic Login And Disable Window Reopening

Allowing your Mac to automatically log in to your account and disable window reopening is the simplest technique to improve your Mac’s boot speed.

It will improve your Mac’s efficiency and speed simply by deleting superfluous settings.

To enable automatic login on your Mac, open System Preferences, navigate to Users & Groups, select your account, and then select your name under “Automatic Login” on the right side.

To prevent Windows from reopening when your Mac boots or restarts, just click the Apple menu symbol in the upper left corner. Press turn off, and then uncheck “Reopen windows when signing back in” in the new option that appears.

Animations of Death

Eliminating dock animations can result in a gain in overall speed and performance, but it’s certainly not required.

Nonetheless, it may benefit Mac users who utilize older machines and still rely on Hard Disk Drives.

To disable dock animations, open System Preferences and click on one of the Dock icons in the first row. Ensure that “Animate launching programs” is unchecked in the menu to disable the animation.

Along with the dock animation, we strongly advise you to deactivate the open/close, quick glance, and even window size adjustment animations.

To disable these three options, navigate to System Preferences and scroll through the program icons, ensuring that each animation is off.

Disable The Dashboard Functionality

While Mac’s dashboard may be quite useful, if you never use it, you may even profit from deactivating it.

Disabling the widgets dashboard on your Mac can assist in reducing the number of resources required and used by your computer. The benefits include improved overall speed and performance.

To disable the widget dashboard, enter System Preferences and click on Mission Control in the first row. Locate “Dashboard” in the Mission Control menu, click to open the drop-down menu, and select “Turn off.”

However, if you want to disable the dashboard system-wide, you must use a terminal and type “defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES & kill all Dock”.

Change the default setting for “New Finder Window” from “All My Files” to a specific file.

The Finder is one of the easiest methods to search for and locate any file on your Mac.

However, anytime you create a new Finder tab, rather than being sent to all of your files, restricting the new tab to a specified folder may save you time and even improve speed.

To modify the default folder for your new Finder tab, launch the Finder and navigate to the Finder Preferences dialog box.

Maintain the “General” tab in a new pop-up window and search for a “New Finder window shows” option.

You’ll see a drop-down menu from which you can select which folder to open whenever the new Finder window is selected.

Disconnect All Inactive Peripherals

Having everything ready to use when you need it is a strategy that the majority of people employ.

Leaving peripherals attached when not in use, on the other hand, may cause your Mac to slow down, particularly during startup. By disconnecting accessories such as a printer, you can speed up the startup process.

Simply deactivate any third-party devices that are not connected to your Mac but have been inactive for an extended period of time. Simply attach the gadget whenever you require it.

We would also consider disabling network volume automounts. It’s a function that automatically attempts to identify network CDs, which may cause your startup time to slow down.

The simplest method of disabling it without using the launch console is to use a piece of software called Disk Arbitrator. It has an intuitive interface that ensures your hard drive prevents automated recognition attempts.

Rather Than Rebooting, Use Sleep Mode

Many Windows users who have recently switched to the Mac OS on any Mac device choose to shut down the laptop rather than sleep it.

In comparison to Windows, Mac computers have a relatively smooth sleep mode. Additionally, resting your Mac rather than shutting it down and restarting it may help conserve battery life.

To put your Mac into sleep mode, either push the ON/OFF button once or, if you own a MacBook, simply close the lid, which will put your laptop into sleep mode automatically.

Alternatively, you may put your Mac to sleep by clicking on the Apple menu symbol in the top left corner and selecting the sleep option.

Have Corrupted Preferences Files Been Repaired?

If you’ve ever had difficulty with one of your Mac’s applications, it’s quite probable that repairing damaged preference files would resolve the issue.

Repairing damaged preference files can restore your programs’ functionality and hence enhance their overall performance.

To repair corrupted preference files, ensure that the application that is not functioning correctly is shut down.

Using the Finder, navigate to your user account folder and click Go. Select “Go to Folder…” from the drop-down menu.

There, type “/Library/Preferences” and click Go. Locate the application that caused the issue and drag its file to the trash. After that, restart the application and you’ll be prompted to configure your new settings.

This will build a new preferences file and resolve your issues.

On a Mac, enable Guest Mode.

If you have a Mac with the most recent Mac OS installed, you will likely see two profiles on the login screen.

One is your profile, while the other is a Guest profile. Using a guest profile provides many advantages, including the ability to preserve your privacy, conserve disk space, and even increase security.

To access your Mac’s Guest profile, simply click the Apple icon in the upper left corner and select Log Out “Your Username”.

Then, just select the Guest profile and, after logging in, you’ll be ready to utilize it. The guest account provides users with an increased speed because fewer data and settings are kept in the RAM for the individual account.

Alternate Your Browser

Each browser consumes a different amount of system resources, particularly when clogged with add-ons and extensions.

While Chrome is an efficient browser, it is highly resource-intensive and will likely be slower than its competitors.

If you lack the RAM or CPU speed necessary for the best Chrome experience, you may choose to just switch to another browser.

Depending on the kind of websites you commonly visit and the configuration of your machine, you can improve performance by using Microsoft Edge, Opera, or Mozilla Firefox.

Utilize Lighter, Faster Alternate Programs

We are all familiar with well-known tools and applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and numerous more.

However, we are unaware of how many other options exist that may be a better fit for our circumstances. Running such alternative apps and programs may be more suited to your Mac, resulting in a faster startup speed and less RAM usage.

If certain applications are really slow on your Mac, we strongly advise you to replace them with some of the alternatives.

Here are a few well-known options that we strongly suggest.

— Using GIMP rather than Adobe Photoshop

— Using FreeOffice rather than Microsoft Office

Physically Cool Your Laptop

Because computer components create heat during operation, your laptop has a heat sink, cooling fan, and exhaust ports.

However, some laptop computers are more well-designed than others, and many are prone to overheating.

Although this is more of a concern with gaming machines, any laptop is subject to overheating.

If your computer is not adequately ventilated, you may notice decreased performance, slow speeds, and frequent crashes.

If your laptop often overheats, consider purchasing a cooling pad [best cooler by Portable Monkey] with additional fans to help maintain the temperature within an acceptable range.

On a Mac, change the owner of the user directory.

Mac PCs and laptops that have not recently installed a new copy of the operating system may encounter certain root directory ownership issues, resulting in system confusion.

Ensure that you check and establish user directory ownership correctly to ensure that your Mac runs smoothly and without any system issues or slowdowns.

To ensure that your user directory ownership is correct and without errors, you’ll need to execute three simple lines in the Terminal.

Begin by conducting a Spotlight search for “Terminal.” When the terminal window opens, execute the following line.

“sudo chown root: admin /” is the command. Then “sudo kextcache -system-prelinked-kernel” will be the second line.

Finally, you must execute “sudo kextcache -system-caches”.

You will be prompted for your account password; however, this is not unusual. Additionally, these three lines cannot cause any harm to your system, even if your user directory ownership is correct.

Search indexing sometimes referred to as Spotlight indexing, is a Mac feature that records the most frequently performed searches and returns the most precise results.

However, if your Mac becomes slow whenever you use Spotlight search, the issue may be with the search indexing that is running in the background.

To turn off search indexing on your Mac, open Terminal and execute the following line.

“sudo launchtl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDeamons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist” “sudo launchtl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDeamons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist”

This will prevent search indexing, as well as Spotlight indexing. You will undoubtedly notice a speed boost, but if you ever decide to enable search indexing, below is the code you’ll need to utilize.

“sudo launchtl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDeamons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist” “sudo launchtl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDeamons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist”

Read also: How to use a Windows laptop as a monitor

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William Larson is a computer engineering graduate and a techy writer and a laptop enthusiast based in New York who is the man behind BestLaptopsVenture.com, where he reviews and writes professionally about laptops & cutting-edge technology with more than 12 years of experience in the industry. He tends to spend most of his time researching the best laptops. His love for studying laptops enables him to assist others to find the best laptops. He has written and managed content for tech websites like Laptops, Computers, T-Sprint, and TracFone Wireless, etc. On YouTube, he reviews laptops, How to guides, Tips, peripherals, and hold giveaways. You can follow him on Twitter.

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