How to Speed Up a Slow Mac Quickly

Are you frustrated seeing the spinning pinwheel on your Mac?

Well, most of us have faced this issue some time or the other.

But have you ever wondered about the issues your Mac is running slow?. And can you resolve all the issues on your own? Or do you need an expert to do that for you?

The answer is “Yes” you can take care of this issue on your own. You do not need anyone except you to tackle it.

But first, let’s look at some of the reasons this is happening. It can be because your Apple Macbook is not able to run your preferred application quickly, or it is stuck because a lot of tasks running simultaneously at the same time.

Whatever reason may, but it causes a delay in your work and that is absolutely not what you expect from your Mac.

You must not ignore to uninstall the unnecessary or hidden apps slowing your MacBook.

How to Speed Up a slow Mac

That is why we have come up with the best tips you can implement to get rid of your slow Mac. How great does it sound that your Mac will work exactly the first time you purchased it and that means super-fast?

In this article, we will cover all the important steps you have to implement to speed up a slow Mac. They are very easy and good for your Mac’s health.

Methods to Speed up a Slow Mac

This article will comprise the easiest and some tricky ways to speed up a slow Mac either it is Macbook Pro or Air. We can easily speed up MacBook by cleaning hard drive, emptying the trash, clearing desktop items, deleting unnecessary extensions and other such things.

We have also discussed some great hacks like how updating the macOS and deleting unnecessary apps can improve Mac speed performance. And the last method here we have discussed is using the third-party tool which makes the whole work easier.

If you are not interested in manually performing all the methods then using a cleanup tool is the best option. Our first choice when it comes to cleaning your Mac and recreating the experience you got when you first bought it is CleanMyMac. Using this software you do not need to manually perform most of the functions listed below, as this software automatically does all that for you.

For example, using CleanMyMac you can regularly free your Mac from malware, optimize all the applications running and keep a check on the application consuming how much energy. It also provides security and protects your device along with increasing the speed of your Mac.

You can also check out the Best Mac cleaning Software that actually works. Here we have listed our top picks to keep your Mac upto date automatically.

1. Use Activity Monitor to close apps using more power

The applications installed on any computer affect the computer’s CPU, memory, energy, disk, and network usage. With the help of activity, monitor users can manage and see how each application is running.

Closing applications that take a lot of energy can help to speed up a slow Mac quickly. In this method, we have listed steps to close applications that consume a lot of energy. You can also keep an eye on the activity monitor in the future to look at the performance of all your applications.

To close unnecessary apps follow the simple steps below.

  • Open Finder by clicking on the Finder icon located at the bottom left corner of the home screen.
  • Click on “Applications” from the righthand column and then choose “Utilities”. Further click on Activity Monitor and a new window will appear.
activity monitor
  • The Activity Monitor window displays CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk and Network columns. Click on “CPU”. The page will display the % CPU consumed. You can check here that which program is consuming more power and find the reason affecting your Mac’s performance. The higher the % CPU means the more power an app is consuming.
cpu process

Below the chart displaying percentage (%) CPU, CPU Time, Threads, Idle Wake Ups, PID, and User, you will find 3 rows displaying overall details about the CPU Activity Monitor. This will give you an overview of how your Mac is working.

The System shows the percentage (%) used by the Mac for running all the necessary processes. Then we have the User, it displays the % used by apps the user is using. And at last, we have the Idle, which shows % CPU capacity that is not being used. Though users cannot directly edit these numbers by deleting or removing the apps consuming most power these can be changed ultimately.

  • For removing any app you think is using a sufficient amount of energy, click on the Process Name of the app and then click on the delete icon on top. A small window will appear.
  • Again confirm your changes by clicking quit. After you do this, your Mac will be functioning better than before.
close process cpu to speed up a slow Mac

2. Quit Apps you are not using to speed up Mac

At times when we open applications to use, we don’t close them properly. In that case, these applications keep running in the background which slows down the Mac.

This can also lead to multiple apps running simultaneously in the background without your knowledge. And this causes the Mac to either load slowly or even become unresponsive when running another program. Therefore in this method, we will learn how to quit apps to speed up a slow Mac.

So lets take a look at the quick shortcut to close apps you are not using.

You can also do it every time before you Turn Off your Mac.

  • On your Home screen, you will find a panel with icons of apps located on the bottom.
  • The apps which are running will display a “Dot” under there icon. Choose the app you are not using at the time. Click on the App icon for 2 seconds till a small window appears.
  • Click on “Quit”. In this way, you can quickly close the apps running unnecessarily in the background and consuming space and energy of the system.
quit apps Mac

Not able to see any Dot underneath the apps? Try to check if you have enabled this function in the first place.

Click on the Apple menu located not the top left corner of the HomePage and choose System Preferences. Then click on Dock. Tick the box right next to “Show indicators for open Applications”. You will be able to see the dot now.

3. Speed up Startup by removing unnecessary apps that open when a user logs in.

Is there any point to run an application that we don’t need every time we log in? And on top of that, it makes our system works slower.

Sometimes we don’t take a look at these simple things that are slowing down our computer. But making simple changes to the way our computer starts up can change the performance of our computer.

Removing the apps we don’t require to run during login can speed up a slow Mac.

So let’s see how it is done.

  • Go to the Apple menu located on the top-left corner of the Home screen.
  • Select “System Preferences”. A window will appear, now click on “Users and Groups”. Another window will appear.
  • In the “Users and Groups” window click on “Login Items” and then “Click the lock to make changes”.
login items Mac
  • Another small window will appear asking for the admin password. Fill in the password and click on “Unlock”.
password login
  • The Login Items are the programs that simultaneously run when you log in. Click on the item you want to remove. Then click on (-) sign to remove the selected item from the list. In this way now whenever you login in only the required programs with the run taking a useful amount of energy and space. This will ultimately make your Mac faster.
remove login items

4. Switch to Scale minimization

You may have noticed that when you minimize your window it appears as is squeezes in size and gets fixed in the docs section.

This is called a Genie effect.

For some users, it seems cool but for those who want everything fast and quick, you have to let it go. The genie effect comes by default in all Mac’s.

Steps to switch to scale minimization to speed up Mac.

  • Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”.
  • From “System Preferences Window” choose “Dock”.
  • A new window will open. You will notice that in front of the “Minimize window using” – “Genie effect” will be a default option. Click on the “Genie effect” and then choose “Scale effect”.
  • After this look at “Prefer tabs when opening documents”. Make sure to untick the default “Animate opening applications”.
scale effect

Making these small changes will speed up your Mac quickly. You will be able to see the difference from just closing windows quickly.

5. Delete Safari Extensions

The default browser in Apple products is Safari. So here we will specifically be talking about deleting extensions in Safari. If you have any other browser installed then you can delete extra add- on plugins installed in it.

These extensions and plugins make our computer work slowly. So it is a good idea to delete those plugins that you hardly use to speed up a slow Mac.

If you are having multiple browsers installed then that may also be a reason for your Mac to run slowly. Try using one browser which suits your preference and delete others that you don’t use. You can also check our guide on the Best Internet Browser for Mac.

Follow the steps to delete Safari Extensions on Mac.

  • Click on the Safari browser located in the Doc section on Home Page.
  • Now Click on “Safari” located on the Menu bar and choose “Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
safari preferences
  • After the Extensions, window open then click on “Extensions” from the table on top. All the extensions installed will be visible on the screen.
  • If you want to temporary disable the extension then click on the tick box on the left side along with the name of the extension.
  • If you want to uninstall it permanently then click on “Uninstall” located on the righthand side.
delete extensions

Restart your Mac when you are done uninstalling the extensions you don’t need. Now it will take less time to load the browser and useful extensions and speed up a slow Mac.

6. Organize Desktop Items

Organizing the desktop items is a very important step to speed up your Mac. If you have a lot of items on your desktop then it will take up a lot of RAM space.

organize desktop to speed up a slow Mac

Our desktop is only meant to help us navigate our computers. Now if you add a lot of items to it and clutter it then it means that you are not using it the way it is meant to. And therefore it will not be able to function to its full capacity.

So this step is really important where you need to organize the desktop items to the folders they are meant to be in or delete the unnecessary clutter if required.

You can just copy the items or move them with the help of the menu bar to there preferred location. Or you can select items individually and move them to trash located in the lower right corner of Doc.

7. Check space in Hard Drive

Having at least 10-15 % space free in your Macs Flash Drive or Hard Drive helps to speed up Mac. But sometimes we overload our Mac will a lot of things and our Hard Drive gets filled up.

In this case, you may notice notifications suggesting to free up space in the Hard Drive.

Let us follow the steps below to get a closer look at your Hard Drive.

  • Go to the Apple menu of the top- left corner fo Home screen and click on “About this Mac” from the drop-down menu.
  • A window will appear. Now choose “Storage” from the options above.
  • A small window displaying Macintosh HD will appear. Below the Hard Drive icon, you can see total storage space, in this case, “121 GB”. Along with the icon, you can see storage differentiated by different colors such as purple for Documents, Yellow for System Storage, Blue for Apps storage, etc.
  • Now to get a better understanding of which items, in particular, are consuming how much space click on “Manage”. The window will display a column on the left side with items consuming specific space. Click on each item, for example, click on applications, you will see the detailed list of items on the right side and how much space they are consuming.
  • Select the App you don’t use or want to remove and click on “X” right next to it. And confirm the changes. The app will be removed.
applications space
delete application to speed up a slow Mac

In the same way, you can repeat the steps with documents photos, music, etc. Try to free as much space as possible by deleting useless items and check that you have at least 10-15% free space in the disk at last. This will make your Mac run programs quickly and speed up your Mac ultimately.

8. Empty Trash Bin

Just moving the items to the trash bin won’t do the work. You have to empty the trash bin too.

Click on the Trash Bin located on the bottom right corner of the Doc. Click on “Empty” located on the top-right corner of the window. This will delete all the items in the trash permanently.

If you don’t want to manually do this then you can set it up to be done automatically every 30 days.

  • Click on the Apple Logo on the menu bar and click on “About this Mac”.
  • Choose “Storage” and then click on “Manage”.
  • Click on Recommendations and on the right side you will find “Empty Trash Automatically”. Click on it. Now all the trash will be automatically deleted after the item exceeds a period of 30 days.
empty trash

9. Keep Your Software Up to Date to Speed up Mac

One of the reasons for a slow Mac is that your operating system is not up to date. Check which version is running on your Mac and then check for available updates. If you haven’t updated the OS then that might be the reason for your Mac to be running slow.

To update your operating system check the steps below.

  • Go to the Apple menu and click on “About this Mac”. The “Overview” tab will display which versions you are using.
  • You can also click on “System Updates” and you will be able to see all the updates available for your operating system and applications running on your Mac.
macOS update to speed up a slow Mac

If any of your application needs to update then do the necessary. This will make all the processes quick.

But also be sure to check if the suggested update is compatible with your device. Sometimes the latest updates don’t work very well with old devices. So do some research and check for which update you can go for.

10. Limit the files Spotlight Indexes

Spotlight is a great feature located on the top right corner of our Home screen. It helps us to search for items instantly without going to folders and finding them manually.

One of the reasons your Mac is working slow can be if you have tons of items, that Spotlight has to index all of them and it will make the process slow. So here we will discuss how you can limit the files Spotlight indexes. It can be only the useful ones you use regularly and search regularly for.

The other reason can be that you have updated the software of your Mac and it is taking a lot of time indexing files. You will have to reindex files in this case.

Reindex Spotlight by following the steps below.

  • Go to the Apple menu located on the top right corner of the Home Screen.
  • Choose System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on “Spotlight”. Now choose “Privacy”.
  • Go to “Finder” and drag and drop the “Macintosh HD” under the privacy tab. After it has been added click on (-) located on the bottom-left corner of the window.

This will reindex all the files now and your Mac will be fast as a new one. If will take some time but once done you don’t have to repeat it again.

Now talking about limiting the files the Spotlight indexes follow the steps below.

  • Follow the first three steps from the reindexing spotlight.
  • Drag and drop folders that you don’t want Spotlight to waste time indexing. The choice is completely yours. You can add downloads if you don’t search for items present there. Or anything according to your preference.
  • The steps are simple just like before. Go to “Finder” and drag and drop the items under the privacy tab. and you are done.

You can reverse this anytime by choosing the item and clicking on (-). After these steps the files you have added under the privacy tab will not be indexed thus if you search for items with help of Spotlight then it would not show them.

11. Uninstall Apps, not in use.

At times, we install a lot of applications out of curiosity but never use them. They consume space and energy of our Mac, slowing it down. So, if you have an application lying unused then this is the time to install them.

Uninstalling apps frees up space in the hard drive and overall speeds up the Mac.

So lets follow the steps to uninstall apps properly.

  • Click on “Finder” located on the bottom-left corner of Doc.
  • Click on “Application” from the left corner. All the applications installed on your Mac will line up on the right side on the window.
  • Drag and drop the application you want to uninstall on the “Trash” located on the bottom-right corner of the Doc.
  • Open Trash and “Empty” it. Your application will be uninstalled from your Mac.

This was super easy, right? So go ahead and repeat the steps for unused applications. And let us know in the comment section below, about the difference in your mac’s performance after that.

12. Don’t be addicted to Sleep mode.

Are you one of those many users who don’t bother to Turn Off Mac after use? And then just use the sleep mode instead.

Well, to be honest, I mostly do this. It is really convenient to use sleep mode and use your Mac instantly without waiting for another second to Turn it On.

Shut down to speed up your mac

Although, there is no issue with it. But if we are talking about long term use of sleep mode and not turning off your Mac then this can be an issue.

When we turn off our Mac it automatically closes all the programs running and gives it a fresh start when turned on. But in the case of the sleep mode, all the programs still keep running in the background.

Though I would not recommend Turning off your Mac after every use but giving it a break now and then will definitely do a good job.

13. Speed up Mac by clearing the cache

Cache files are temporary and line up when we visit websites. They have there own advantages and disadvantages. If we delete all the cache files then we will be logged out of all the websites we have visited and stored our passwords on. We will have to login again whenever we visit that website.

But, on the other hand not removing cache files is a threat to identity. Whenever you visit a website again, the system will know who you are. Clearing cache protects your identity and also helps in speed up a slow Mac.

Here is how you can clear the cache on your Mac

  • A single click on “Finder” located on the left side of Doc.
  • Now click on “Go” from the menu bar on top of the Home screen.
  • Choose “Go to folder” from the drop-down menu.
go to folder
  • A new window will appear. Type ” ~/Library/Caches ” into the “Enter the Path” area. Now press “Go”.
delete cache
  • Caches Folder will appear. Press Command + A and all items will be selected.
  • Move them to trash. And all the items will be deleted.

14. Upgrade RAM

As we have already discussed in earlier methods, you should have 10-15 % free space on your RAM.

You can check it by choosing “About this Mac” from the Apple menu and then clicking on “Storage”. It will show how much space is being used and how much is free. If you have a red color showing up in the bar it means you are overusing it and if there is a green color showing then it means that you have sufficient space.

Upgrading RAM depends on the Mac you own and how much limit it has to add RAM. Before upgrading RAM be aware of the risks involved with it. You should also do some research and know which RAM is compatible with your Mac.

15. Turn Off File Vault

File Vault is a security feature which encrypts files on your hard drive. Encrypting files on the hard drive will surely take up a lot of processes to run.

Thus, turning off this feature can speed up a slow Mac by saving energy and space by not running the processes.

Follow the steps to Turn off File Vault.

  • Go to the Apple menu and click on “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on “Security and Privacy” and then choose “File Vault”.
security and privacy
  • Click on “Turn off File Vault”. it will require you to type in your admin password and unlock the window.
turn off fire vault

16. Use external hard disk for Mac

Freeing up a lot of space instantly from your Mac to an external hard drive can make a huge difference in the performance of your Mac. If you have a lot of videos, pictures, files, etc stored in your Mac then it can take a lot of energy and space on your Mac and make it slow.

Using a good external hard disk can be a great thing for the better performance of your Mac. Transfer all your files by connecting your Mac to the hard disk with a USB and get free space instantly on your Mac.

17. Using Third-party tool – Speed up a Slow Mac

If you are looking one-stop solution for every problem of your Mac from its slow startup speed to failure in uninstallation then I recommend using a third-party app. As already discussed in the start of our topic we recommend you go for MacPaw CleanMyMac. We have found this software amazing to improve PC performance. Along with just wiping out junk, temporary files, it also plays a significant role in malware removal and protects your online and offline privacy.

cleanmymac speed up a slow Mac

If you can spend a few bucks to make your Mac performance as it is new then definitely you must try it. Our readers can get a special offer on the purchase of CleanMyMac.

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Hope you found this article useful. We have listed the best useful options to speed up a slow Mac quickly. These methods will not only increase the speed of your Mac but also improve the overall performance of your computer.

You can check on the performance of your computer every now and then based on how much frequently you use it. We use these methods quite frequently and have seen a lot of fo difference in the performance of our Mac.

Let us know if you tried to implement these methods and how did it work for you, by writing us back through the comment section below. If you have any other options we could add to our list then do let us know.

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