6 Quick Ways to Speed Up a Slow Mac

The biggest pain of an aging Mac, like with any device, can slow down and performance significantly drops. However, this may not be just because of old hardware – there are some speedup tips to help improve your Mac performance in a matter of minutes.

Apple Macbook

Update your MAC

The most important thing with maintaining a Mac is to keep it up to date. Regardless of speed, it’s important to do it for security purposes. You can also use an Apple trade in service to upgrade to a new laptop. However, an older OS often performs worse than its latest version, so make sure to schedule an OS update imminently if there is one.

Beyond the OS, ensure that your applications are running on their latest versions as these will best attend to bugs, along with new features.

Kill demanding processes

The next step is to seek out your resource-hungry processes. To do this, head to the Activity Monitor and take a look at which tasks are demanding the most CPU and memory. The stand-out culprits will be at the top, such as games and software running in the background. These can be closed down when not in use to improve speeds, but also be sure to check apps that are making inefficient use of your memory.

Speeding up your startup time

When you turn on your Mac, various programs will start automatically. This can slow down the time it takes to boot up, but also mean there are potentially unnecessary tasks being run in the background at all times. Head to System Preferences, followed by Users & Groups. From here, click on your username and Login Items.

If there are applications that you don’t 100% need right after turning on your Mac every time, then it may be wise to take them off your startup items.

Upgrade your memory and HDD

A common reason behind the slow performance is that you don’t have enough RAM. You can use the Activity Monitor previously mentioned to help assess if this is true. New RAM modules can be purchased, and they’re not as expensive as you may think – particularly compared to upgrading your MAC entirely.

Additionally, if your startup disk is an HDD, then upgrading to an SSD was drastically improve the time it takes to boot up the Mac. This is slightly more challenging, so it may be wise to pay a repair shop to do it for you.

Make sure your startup disk isn’t full

Your issue may be that the startup disk is approaching full. Whilst you’ll often get a notification for this, it’s worth checking yourself. If it’s more than 85% full it’s time to start deleting files, apps, and media that are no longer needed.

For a quicker fix, you can clear the system and browser cache along with logs and redundant language packs within app directories.

Turn off visual effects

Finally, visual effects and animations within the Mac may be causing you issues. It’s worth experimenting with turning on the Reduce Motion checkbox on the Display settings (found in System Preferences -> Accessibility). This does take extra resources to run and can cause motion sickness, so turning it off may solve an issue you never knew you even had.


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