Struggling with a slow Mac? Find out why your Mac is so slow and discover a few ways to speed it up
If your Mac is running slow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s too outdated or needs serious repair. In this article, you’ll find helpful tips on how to speed up your Mac and improve its performance. Read on to learn how to fix a slow MacBook and prevent your Computer from slowing down further in the longterm.
If your Mac starts running slow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it caught a virus or became too outdated. The problem might lie in its settings, or lack of disk space, or poor resource allocation. This would be a logical consequence of intense exploitation and it might reveal itself in just a few months after you purchase the device. In this article, you’ll find helpful tips on how to fix a slow Mac with minimum efforts and zero expenses.
Why is my Mac slow?
Your operating system has to manage the resources of your MacBook (memory, drive space, processing power) between all the programs that are running on it. There’s a huge number of things that may be reducing your Mac’s performance, but they usually boil down to your MacBook’s resources being used inefficiently.
Here are some of the things that slow down your Mac:
- Lack of free RAM (Random Access Memory)
- Lack of free disk drive space (HDD or SSD)
- Too many programs working in the background
- Too many startup programs
- Excessive tabs and browser Extensions
- Falling behind on OS updates
- Malware or viruses
If your Mac is running slow, read on for ways to fix the above issues.
How to make your Mac faster
Resort to the Activity Monitor to Detect and Delete Resource Hogs
Feel free to select between these two interchangeable ways to access Activity Monitor:
Proceed to the Utilities section in the Applications
Press Command + Spacebar and type “Activity Monitor” in the search bar
Open the CPU tab and sort the inventory so that the most resource-consuming apps would be displayed at the top. To suspend the unwanted processes, press the “X” button in their left upper corners. Be careful not to stop the ones that are crucial to the system’s functioning! An equal procedure can be done with the Memory section.
Stop the Programs Working in the Background
If you think that closing an app is equal to stopping it, you are making a common mistake. An app might not stop functioning after you press the “X” mark in the corner of its window. To check if the program keeps on working in the background, cast a glance at the dock. If the app’s icon is there, marked with a tiny dot, stop it with any of the following methods:
Two-finger tap the app’s icon, then press Quit
Right-click plus Command-click
Use the Command + Q keyboard shortcut
Proceed to File, then Quit
In case the item doesn’t respond, right-click its icon, hold Option and push the Force Quit button. Steam, Excel and Photoshop would be among the most likely candidates to keep functioning in the background, consuming your Mac’s resources without your knowledge.
Don’t Allow Apps to Autostart
When you start the system, several apps would launch automatically. You won’t be able to use the computer properly until all of them load and start functioning. If you don’t want to wait that long, proceed to the System Preferences and press the Login Items button in the Users & Groups section. In the inventory of the auto starting programs, select the ones you are not planning to use and push the “minus” button.
Reset SMC and PRAM/NVRAM
The SMC abbreviation stands for the System Management Controller. This component is in charge of fans, power buttons, light LEDs and other low-level functions. If a decline in performance is accompanied by weird fan behavior or unusual keyboard backlighting, you should reset your SMC. Please google the exact step-by-step instructions because they might considerably differ depending on the model of your device.
Resetting NVRAM or PRAM, on the contrary, is very easy: while the system is starting up, hold Command + Option + R + P. This element is in charge of storing settings such as time zone, screen resolution or sound volume. PRAM or NVRAM failures are among the most frequent answers to the question why your Mac is slowing down.
Free at Least 5 GB in Your Mac’s Memory
Or even better 10 GB, if possible. This is the minimum volume of memory the device needs to function properly. In the right upper corner, press the Apple icon and then the About This Mac icon. The Storage tab will show you which part of your hard drive’s memory is currently used and which ratio of it is still available.
If you critically lack free memory, the system might fail to boot or hibernate. You’ll be unable to download large files and install updates. The functionality of certain apps might be limited. To fix these problems, erase unnecessary files and apps.
Clean Up the Desktop
Each item stored on your desktop consumes as many resources as if it were a separate window. To boost productivity, relocate the files from your desktop to other folders and eliminate the icons of the apps that you are not planning to use frequently.
Get Rid of Excessive Tabs and Browser Extensions
The more extensions you have in your browser, the more memory and CPU they require. The volume of the resources they consume is incommensurate with their insignificant functionality. The same can be said about all the tabs that you keep open while not actually using them: Twitter, Google, Instagram… Proceed to the Memory tab in the Activity Monitor to check how thirsty these tabs are and close them immediately.
Switch to Safari Browser
Unlike Firefox or Chrome, this one was tailor-made for Apple devices. It saves your Mac’s battery and won’t irritate you with memory hogs.
Timely Upgrade Your Operating System
The above-mentioned measures will have just a partial effect. Installing the latest version of your macOS or a new operating system will give a major boost to your device’s productivity. But beforehand, make sure to save all the meaningful data on an external physical drive or a cloud storage.
Previously, owners of older Macs would hesitate to switch to the latest operating systems because that would slow down their devices. Today, this problem is not relevant anymore. However, it would be wise to do some preliminary investigation and ensure that the newest version supports all the programs you use daily.
If installing a new OS is out of the question, try to upgrade at least all the applications. The exact procedure of doing it depends on how you installed them. Those downloaded from the AppStore should be updated right in the store.
The older your Mac, the less impressive its productivity. Fortunately, investing in a new computer is not the only way out. Try to clean the device’s memory, upgrade its OS and programs, fine-tune its settings to optimize the consumption of resources. As soon as you complete the procedures described in this article, your MacBook will once again become fast and responsive.