Time is a valuable resource, we don’t want to be wasting it staring at loading screens, when you find yourself in front of a slow MacBook try these DIY tips
A new MacBook runs like clockwork. Unfortunately, it won’t stay like that forever, even if you take good care of it.
The more you use your Mac, the more warning signs you’ll encounter. The machine might start overheating, booting up slower, and even crashing at times. You’ll also see the spinning pinwheel more often — that’s how your Mac tells you it’s struggling.
The good news: there are plenty of ways to fix a slow MacBook. Listed below are 7 simple steps that will improve your Mac’s performance in no time.
1. Find Problem Processes
Some apps tie up a lot of system resources, slowing your Mac down. You can use Activity Monitor to find these apps and close them.
You can open Activity Monitor from your Utilities folder or find it via Spotlight. It will show you five different resources: CPU, Disk, Energy, Memory, and Network usage. Pay particular attention to the CPU section, which shows processor activity.
If you notice an app that uses up too much CPU power, you can close it from here. To do that, choose the app with your mouse and click the X button. You can also list the apps by the amount of CPU they use by clicking on %CPU.
2. Turn Off Visual Effects
Macs come with plenty of visual effects. As pretty as they may look, turning them off can do a lot to increase MacBook speed.
First, go to System Preferences > Dock. Untick these boxes: Animate opening applications and Automatically hide and show the Dock. Then, click on “Minimize windows using” and select the Scale effect from the drop-down menu.
What this does is keep your Dock static and stops icons from bouncing to prevent slowdown. While you’re here, you may also want to untick the Magnification box. As the name implies, this magnifies icons when you move your pointer over them.
3. Free Up RAM
Mac’s Terminal app offers many ways to speed up mac OS. One of the most effective options is to free up RAM instantly.
This trick comes in very handy if an app freezes up and needs fresh memory. Open Terminal via Launchpad, type “sudo purge,” and click Enter. The machine will then ask you for your system password, so type it in and enjoy the increase in speed.
Not comfortable with using Terminal? If so, another way to free up RAM is to use an app called CleanMyMac. Download the free 2020 version, open it, and head to the Maintenance tab. Finally, click “Free Up RAM” at the top.
4. Manage Startup Items
If your Mac launches fast enough, it will take less time to do anything else. The issue here is that many Macs run unnecessary apps when they boot up.
You can check this for yourself by going to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Click on your username and select the Login Items tab. You should now be able to see all the apps that launch when you log in to (or turn on) your Mac.
If you see apps that you may not need right away, go ahead and remove them. You can do that by selecting the app in question and clicking the big “-” button at the bottom. You can also select which apps to hide by ticking the box next to them.
5. Create a New User Profile
Making a new profile is a great way to optimize a MacBook. Doing so refreshes any profile settings that got cluttered with outdated system logs.
To create a new profile, click the Apple logo and go to System Preferences. Click Users & Groups and press the lock icon to be able to make changes. Add a new user by pressing “+,” select a Standard account, and fill in the details.
For the best experience, you should import your user data to the new account. To access this folder, head to Finder > Go > Computer > Macintosh > Users. Put your documents into this folder and log in to your fresh account.
6. Clean up the Hard Drive
Having an unresponsive Mac is a key indicator of a full hard drive. It’s like driving a car with a heavy trunkload — even with a lot of engine power, it can’t go that fast.
The best way to speed up your hard drive is to delete whatever is slowing it down. This can be anything from your cache, logs, widgets, hidden trash, and big files. To find out what’s slowing your Mac, go to About This Mac > Storage > Manage.
This will provide a comprehensive list of everything on your hard drive. Chances are, your Documents will be the biggest offender. Click on this tab, review the files stored there, and move them to the external drive or delete them.
7. Update Your Mac
When it comes to Software, Macs can take care of themselves. That said, it can’t hurt to make sure you’re on the latest version.
To do this, go to System Preferences > Software Update. If there’s an available update, install it. Keep in mind that this depends on your Mac version — older machines may not be able to upgrade to Catalina or Big Sur.
If your Mac is still too slow for your taste, it may be time to look into hardware upgrades. This may also fix compatibility issues, such as AirPods connectivity. For more information, check out why AirPods wont connect to my MacBook.
More on Speeding Up a Slow MacBook
Any of the above 7 tips may be crucial in breathing new life into your Mac. If none of them help, consider replacing your HDD with an SSD.
These days, an SSD may be the best way to speed up a slow MacBook. It makes your Mac boot faster, copy files in a second, and allow perfect multitasking. Of course, make sure to back up all your data in case something goes wrong.
Want to know more about how to fix a slow laptop? Trying to make sure that you’re getting the most value out of your Mac? Keep reading our Technology section!
Danny White is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. He works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.