Speed Up MacBook Pro in 10 Minutes

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The MacBook Pro is one of the most popular Macs out there. That doesn’t mean that it can’t slow down. In fact, almost all MacBook Pros slow down once at some point! This post is all about teaching you how to speed up MacBook Pro, in 10 minutes or less. After reading the following tips, we would also recommend that you check out a couple of extra tips in this post that will help with speeding up your MacBook Pro.

How to speed up my MacBook Pro?

 1. Free up disk space

One of the easiest and fastest ways to speed up a MacBook Pro is to free up disk space. More free disk space = a faster MacBook Pro. It is as simple as that. Additional free disk space is used as virtual memory that aids your MacBook Pro’s CPU and RAM. You can use a simple but very effective Apple community approved program like CleanMyMac 3 to take care of this for you.

Clean My Mac 3 is available for download here. 

The program frees up several GBs of disk space in a matter of minutes, with one easy click. Your MacBook becomes faster in the process.

2. Kill resource hungry apps

Some apps might be hogging your MacBook’s CPU and RAM resources. Your MacBook’s Activity Monitor will easily identify such apps. If possible, kill such apps to enjoy a faster MacBook Pro.

To kill such apps, go to Utilities -> Activity Monitor -> Select apps to kill -> Quit Process

Though this is a temporary fix, your MacBook Pro might work normally after you restart the app you killed. If possible, try to replace such power hungry apps with more efficient programs.

3. Allow your MacBook to boot lightly

One of the easiest ways to speed up your MacBook Pro’s booting process is to edit the startup item list. Go to System Preference -> Users & Groups -> Select Your Username -> Login Items -> Edit this list

We recommend that you remove items that you don’t need to start automatically. Once you have edited this list, restart to speed up your MacBook Pro’s boot times.

4. Perform resets

Another easy way to speed up your MacBook Pro is to carry out resets. Here are the official Apple pages with instructions on these resets.

These resets do not delete your data. They just reset controllers in your MacBook that can potentially lead to faster performance. These fixes are often recommended at the Apple Genius Bar as well.

5. Upgrade your MacBook Pro’s hardware

Upgrading your MacBook’s hardware is obviously going to speed it up, quite significantly. If you have about $250 to $500 to spare, we would recommend that you increase your RAM and upgrade your HDD to a SSD.

Here are good resources on how to upgrade your MacBook Pro to a SSD and how to upgrade your MacBook’s RAM.

6. Upgrade your MacBook Pro’s OS X Version

Yosemite is out in beta mode but OS X Mavericks is a free full download. If your MacBook Pro isn’t using OS X Mavericks, it could be missing out on various performance enhancements. Backup your MacBook Pro and carry out the update, right away. Just make sure your MacBook Pro meets minimum hardware requirements for OS X Mavericks.

7. Turn off Local Time Machine backup

Time Machine, if set to local, will backup your Macbook Pro’s disk on the same disk! This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Remember, the more free disk space you have, the faster your MacBook Pro! Disable local Time Machine backups by doing the following.

Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal -> Type “sudo tmutil disablelocal” -> Enter password if prompted

This move will save you huge space in the future. Though we don’t recommend local backups, we do highly recommend backups to external storage or cloud storage!

8. Turn off animated effects

Animated effects can make your MacBook Pro look cool but they don’t help with performance. Disable such animated effects will help with speeding up MacBook pro.

Here are the various ways to do this.

  • Turn off dock animations : System Preferences -> Dock -> Scale Effect -> Disable Animations
  • Turn off window transitions : Install a tool called TinkerTool that will help you turn off Window transitions in OS X Mavericks
  • Use a static backgroud : Make the eye candy sacrifice and choose a static background. Live or animated backgrounds can slow down your MacBook pro
  • Turn off iTunes visualizer : Go to iTunes -> Preferences -> Advanced  and turn off Visualizer
  • Quite unnecessary dashboard widgets : Open Dashboard -> Press the Option Key -> Hover the mouse pointer over the widget you wish to close -> Click X on the upper left corner of the widget, to close it -> Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary

9. Uninstall apps that you don’t use

Another sure shot way to speed up your MacBook Pro is to uninstall apps that you don’t use. Don’t delete but uninstall such apps. Uninstalling will free up disk space and also remove OS X entries that will help speed up your MacBook.

Clean My Mac 2, mentioned earlier, can help you populate and select particular apps that you can then uninstall with just a click.

10. Disable CPU and graphic card energy savings

Depending on your MacBook Pro model, your system preferences and energy savings settings might sometimes make your MacBook Pro’s CPU run at slow speeds. Disable this energy saving setting in system preferences. The same goes for the graphic card setting as well.

The trade off for increased MacBook Pro speed will however be reduced battery life. Still, it can be worth it if you don’t need a lot of unplugged time.

11. Turn off your MacBook Pro once in a while

That’s right, you can actually speed up your MacBook Pro by just turning it off, instead of putting it to sleep or on hibernate mode all the time. Turning off your MacBook Pro allows it to apply some minor updates and resets which won’t happen if you just put it to sleep.

Make it a point to at least completely power off and then restart your MacBook Pro about 2-3 times a week.

These 10 ways to speed up your MacBook Pro will surely help you improve the speeds of your MacBook Pro, if it hasn’t done so already. We recommend that you take action on all or almost all of these above mentioned suggestions.

Clean My Mac 3 is available for download here. 

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About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
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  3. Christopher Reply

    My Dad bought me a MacBook for college that was really expensive so I am hesitating to buy a new one because mine got pretty slow. Eventually I found a site (www.detoxmacbook.com) and its working perfectly again, but I’m trying to figure out if this problem is something that I caused or if Apple computers are just really expensive pieces of technology that will stop working well… kind of like my PC did. Any advice?

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  6. benzamin watson Reply

    Well ! The above mentioned tricks are lovely to follow, but not adaptable by the newbie Mac uses. Few tricks like ‘reset’ and ‘boot lightly’ is little difficult to proceed successfullt. Why didn’t you mention any third party software alternatives like Clean my Mac, Stellar Speed up Mac, Mac Booster etc.

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