How to Speed up a MacBook: The Ultimate Guide

The Apple M1 chip is faster than 98% of those in PC laptops. As of 2021, there are three Mac models with this technology—the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini.

Like all computers, however, they can slow down over time. For example, malware can steal resources to do other things in the background, which can result in a slow MacBook.

Are you dealing with something like that? Looking for some tips on how to speed up a MacBook? If so, you’re on the right page. We’ll be going over a few things that you can do to make it run faster below.

Keep reading to learn more!

1. Keep Your Operating System Up to Date

Make sure that your MacBook is up to date with the latest operating system. Not only will it enhance your device’s performance, but it’ll also address and remedy any potential security threats.

To check for updates, click on the Apple menu at the top-left corner of the screen. Select ‘System Preferences’ and choose ‘Software Update’. Your computer will automatically check for updates. If they’re available, you can install them by clicking the ‘Update Now’ button.

Depending on the user account, you may be asked to enter your administrator password.

Tip: You can set it so that your MacBook will automatically install future updates by selecting the ‘automatically keep my Mac up to date’ option at the bottom.

2. Free Up Storage Space

A full or almost full hard drive will slow things down as there won’t be enough storage space left for the operating system to run efficiently.

To check your storage, select ‘About This Mac’ from the Apple menu. Choose the ‘Storage’ tab from the pop-up and the information will appear on the screen. Ideally, you want to leave 10-15% of the disk space free.

If necessary, you can free up space by uninstalling apps or deleting iOS backups. You can also take advantage of the ‘Storage Management’ tool, which will offer you recommendations on how to optimize your storage. For example, you can choose to store your files and photos in iCloud.

3. Clear the Cache on Your Mac

Cache files are created when you browse a website or use an app for the first time; these files are then used so that things will load more quickly next time. Over time, however, these files can start to pile up and that can affect your MacBook’s performance.

Given that, it’s best to clear your caches once in a while. To do that, press shift + command + G with a Finder window open. Enter the command ~/Library/Caches into the search box and click ‘Go.’

A folder will open containing all of your MacBook’s cached files. Select all the folders by pressing command + A and press delete. You’ll need to enter your administrator password to complete the action.

4. Reduce Startup Programs

Startup programs are apps that run automatically every time you log in. While convenient, having too many applications running on startup can slow down your MacBook. For one thing, they can take up precious RAM.

Fortunately, it’s possible to stop them from launching at startup. Navigate to ‘System Preferences’ and choose ‘User & Groups.’ Select the ‘Login Items’ tab and a list of programs will appear.
Check the startup programs that you’d like to remove and press the ‘-‘ sign at the bottom—that’ll stop them from running automatically.

Or if you want, you can temporarily disable startup apps by holding down the Shift key before logging in; that’ll prevent the startup apps from loading for one session.

5. Restart the MacBook

Restarting your MacBook will allow you to clear the memory and start anew. Not only that but it’s often recommended as a solution for how to fix WiFi connection.

Generally speaking, you want to do it at least once a week—that’ll help keep everything running smoothly. Simply click on the Apple menu and choose the ‘Restart’ option. Alternatively, you can hit the Control and Eject keys simultaneously on the keyboard; a popup will appear with the restart option.

If necessary, you can also force restart the device by pressing Control + Command + Eject at the same time.

6. Disable Resource-Hungry Processes

Running multiple processes will divide your Mac’s system resources and that can cause it to run slower than usual. You can fix this by hunting down and disabling resource-hungry processes in ‘Activity Monitor’.

Basically, it’s the Mac equivalent of the Task Manager; it’ll show you how your apps are using the disks, memory, processor, and network.

To access Activity Monitor, open a Finder window and select ‘Applications’ from the left sidebar. From there, double-click the ‘Utilities’ folder and select the Activity Monitor icon.
The app will come up and you’ll be able to see all of the processes that are currently running on your computer. Select the process with high CPU usage and click ‘Quit’ on the subsequent window to disable it.

Note: Non-responsive applications will be highlighted in red.

How to Speed up a Macbook – Explained

And there you have it—a guide on how to speed up a MacBook. As you can see, there are several things that you can do when it comes to speeding up a laptop, from clearing the cache to freeing up storage space!

Did you find this post helpful? Interested in more MacBook tips and tricks? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our computer section!

Al Hilal:
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