Editors note: this post was originally published in July 2015 and was updated in March 2017 to reflect new reviews and experiences.
Any Apple computer will start to slow down over time. The most powerful computers of yesterday sometimes can’t hold up in the modern world. There are steps you can take to help make your computer as fast as the day you bought it.
We’ve compiled some simple and effective tips to help you speed up your MacBook Pro.
Is your Macbook Pro running slow? Here are some things to try:
1. Use programs to speed up your older Mac computer
CleanMyMac 3 is an award-winning system maintenance program. It cleans up the junk that builds up over time on your computer. CleanMyMac 3 allows you to schedule maintenance on your MacBook, keeping everything smooth.
How can CleanMyMac 3 speed up my slow MacBook Pro and other slow Macs?
CleanMyMac 3 does the following:
- Frees up hard disk space to improve system performance
- Uninstalls programs and apps that you never use
- Cleans out your startup folder, resulting in faster boot times
- Cleans up your iPhoto folders, removing photo duplicates and other junk files
- Helps you to free up disk space by deleting old files that you never use
- Deletes system junk, cache junk, languages and binary junk
CleanMyMac 3 will speed up your MacBook Pro now. Plus, it is a maintenance solution that ensures your computer lasts for as long as possible.
2. Hardware upgrades
Hardware upgrades, though quite expensive, can be the best way to fix a slow Mac. Software tweaks and changes can make a big difference, but you may need more. Upgrading system hardware can lead to significant performance improvements. Check out our guides on RAM for your MacBook Pro or an SSD for your MacBook Pro.
You’re looking at a max of about $150-$200 for an extra 8 GB of RAM and a max of about $300 – $400 (They go on sale often!) for a 1 TB SSD upgrade, both of which can improve your MacBook Pro’s performance levels.
Both components can be very worthwhile upgrades. Your computer’s hard drive is often the slowest component, so an SSD will make a huge difference in boot times and program launch speeds. Check your average RAM usage before buying an upgrade– if you aren’t using a lot of RAM than buying more won’t speed up your computer.
Go for the upgrades if you have room in your budget– especially if you’re looking to get an SSD. There is no better way to speed up your MacBook Pro. Here’s a good Lifehacker article that talks about what all can be upgraded on your MacBook Pro.
3. Resetting the System Management Controller
Every MacBook Pro has a piece of hardware called the “System Management Controller”. Most people have never even heard of it! Running a reset of this controller can return your Mac to previous levels of performance.
The System Management Controller coordinates battery and heat, LED lights, and other parts of the hardware. Resetting the SMC allows you to re-balance all these factors.
Don’t worry, resetting this controller will not harm your Mac in any way. This won’t delete your content or user settings. It resets the hardware to its original state help your computer run.
How do you reset your MacBook Pro’s System Management Controller?
- Turn off your MacBook Pro
- Plug in your MacBook Pro’s power cord into the wall socket
- Now, hold down the Left Shift + Option + Control + Power Button, simultaneously, for 10 seconds
- When you do the above, your Mac won’t power on but will register on reset
- Release all keys after 10 seconds and turn on and run your MacBook Pro like you normally do
Please note that when doing this, your MacBook Pro should not turn on. If it turns on, you probably didn’t press one of the keys properly. Do it again until you are able to press down all mentioned keys for 10 seconds without powering up your MacBook Pro.
4. PRAM Reset
Like the SMC reset, resetting the PRAM (Parameter RAM) may fix computer problems.
Resetting your PRAM will not delete the data on your hard drive. You may, though, need to restore system preferences like time, date, and mouse settings. This shouldn’t take too long.
How do I reset my PRAM?
- Shut down your MacBook Pro
- Press the power button
- Press Command + Option + P + R in combination, all at the same time, before you see the grey startup screen
- Press and hold until your MacBook Pro restarts
- Release the keys when you hear the familiar startup chime sound that your MacBook Pro makes when it starts up
- Your PRAM reset should be complete
5. Try some Apps
This is less of a way to speed up your Mac, and more of a way to speed up your workflow. Here are some good picks:
6. Check for Power Hungry Apps
Sometimes it’s not your computer’s fault– you might be using programs that eat up too many system resources. There’s a way to check for these offenders.
To check if your MacBook is being affected by such apps, try this:
Go to: Applications Folder > Utilities > Activity Monitor >CPU
Check the % Idle statistic. If your statistic is less than 60% or 50%, some of the apps you are using are using up way too much memory.
Check the list of active apps to see which apps are the culprits. Uninstall these apps. If you need the apps, look for an alternative apps that are more compatible to run on your MacBook Pro.
7. De-Clutter Your Desktop
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