Is Your MacBook Running Slow? Full Guide to Speed Up Your Mac

MacBooks are known for their lightning speed, ease of use, great privacy, and user experience. The fact that it comes with so many superior features is often used to justify its exorbitant price tag.

However, you need to remember that at the end of the day a MacBook is also an electric device that is bound to get slow with time. Sure, it may have a better performance as compared to other brands, but it is bound to feel the throes of time at some point.

Macs are designed for a seamless experience and can support heavy tasks on a regular basis. However, once you start getting unresponsive pages and slower load times, you should get the hint to shake things up!

Why Do MacBooks Get Slow Down and How to Resolve It?

There are certain reasons that contribute to your MacBook getting slower. The first thing is to give due attention to the issues and never fall for the myth that a MacBook will never slow down. Here are a few contributing factors.

Your MacBook May Be a Slow Riser

Inactivity in your laptop for a long time (usually 3 or more hours of inactivity) after turning it on would automatically move it to standby mode. This is done to save energy.

However, when you want them back to life, some MacBooks may be more reluctant than others taking all the sweet time in the world to wake up.

Run Diagnostics

Terminal Hack to the Rescue

You need to change the 3-hour rule by prolonging it to 24 hours. This can be done by making use of a simple command in the Terminal. Follow these steps to do it seamlessly.

  • Go to the Terminal app.
  • Paste the following “sudo pmset -a standbydelay 86400” command.
  • Fill in your password.

In case you want to restore the normal settings, please follow these steps.

  • Go to the Terminal application.
  • Paste in the following command “sudo pmset -a standbydelay 10800”.
  • Enter your password

Several Heavy Applications Running in the Background

Have you heard excess of everything is bad? That’s exactly what you need to adopt here. There are tons of applications installed in the system by the developer when you purchase a Mac.

You may or may not need and use these applications. But keeping them in the background can be one of the potential causes of making your Mac slow down.

By getting rid of unwanted applications you can significantly increase your battery life and system resources. If you notice any signs of your system slowing down, troubleshoot your MacBook with the ‘Activity Monitor’.

You can follow the following steps to make your work easier.

  • Move the cursor to the ‘Go’ menu. You can find it on Finder.
  • Move to ‘Applications’ from the drop-down menu.
  • A list of all installed applications will pop up on your Mac.
  • To make the task easier, arrange the list according to size to get an idea of which apps are taking most of your time.
  • See which ones you don’t use at all, the ones you use regularly. Basically, organize them neatly to better sort them out.
  • Delete the apps you don’t use regularly by choosing the ‘Move to Bin’ option.

If you are in two minds about deleting apps saving them for later use, do not worry. There is a way you can save space and also keep those apps running.

All you need to do is to quit those apps to prevent CPU memory wastage on those apps. Follow these steps to do this:

  • Go to Finder and navigate to Activity Monitor.
  • Click %CPU. This will make the job easier by sorting everything out in descending order.
  • Select the app/apps that you don’t need at this point in time. You can also select apps that are dormant for a long time.
  • Now press the “X” sign to quit this process. You can find the sign at the top left corner of the windows.
  • Select the ‘Force Quit’ option.

This way you will successfully prevent these apps from using the MacBook’s resources in the background, solving your slow system woes.

Heavy Applications Running in the Background

Corrupt SMC Settings

The System Management Controller is responsible for managing a ton of functions on your Mac. This includes system volume and power. SMC preferences can break down and that can impact the speed of your Mac.

MacBooks with T2 Chips

The below steps are valid if your MacBook constitutes a T2 chip. You can check this via the main menu. First, click on ‘About This Mac’ under the Apple icon menu. Then, click on ‘System report’ and navigate the ‘Controller’ option. If your laptop has a T2 chip, it will be stated under the ‘Model Name’.

You can fix it by resetting your System Management Controller to factory settings. Follow the steps outlined below:

  • Shut down your MacBook.
  • Click and hold Shift + Control + Option keys for about 7 seconds.
  • Now click the power button while simultaneously holding the other keys.
  • Keep pressing all these keys for 7 seconds.
  • Give it a few minutes and turn your MacBook on once again.

MacBooks without T2 Chips

In case you don’t have the T2 chip, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Shut down your MacBook.
  • Eject its battery.
  • Click and hold the Power button for approximately 5-7 seconds.
  • After having done this, you can reinstall the battery.
  • Turn your Mac on in the usual manner.

If your MacBook has a non-removable battery, follow these steps:

  • Shut down your MacBook
  • Press Shift + Control + Option along with the power button at once
  • Hold all the keys for at least 7 seconds
  • Release the keys
  • Restart your MacBook

Here is how you can reset the SMC on a Mac Mini and Pro:

  • Turn off your MacBook
  • Eject the power cord
  • Give it 10-15 seconds
  • Plug in the power cord
  • Wait for 5 seconds and turn on your MacBook

Reasons Of Lagging

Too Many Open Windows in the Finder

Too many open tabs in the Finder application open is never a great idea and can slow your MacBook down heavily.

Finder is more complicated to work with and without you realizing, there may be several windows that can open up. You need to deal with these.

All you need to do is to merge your windows by choosing the ‘Merge All Windows’ option inside the windows menu in the upper bar.

Startup Processes May Be the Reason

Another reason your MacBook has slowed down is because of the startup processes. You can manage the startup processes by uninstalling unnecessary apps that slow your system down.

Many such apps, when installed, unknowing to you include launch processes that can burden your Mac.

Revisit Your Old Files

Two spaces on your system may be a potential cause of concern for slowing your Mac down. These are, without guesses, the trash folder and your downloads folder.

We download so many files, photos and documents on a daily basis for work or leisure that we don’t even realize how badly we treat the downloads folder. These files then add a significant load on the folder causing a shrinkage in the memory thereby leading to a slow system.

This is why you need to routinely clean your downloads and trash folder. You can either choose to delete the data from the downloads folder (you will be surprised to find things from a long time ago so it could be a joyous trip down the memory lane) or if you think you need it, move it to an external hard disk. This will improve the performance speed of your MacBook.

Cluttered Desktop

A cluttered desktop is not only stressful to look at (reminding you of a ton of stuff that needs to be sorted, hello procrastination!) but can also be a culprit in slowing your system down.

Your desktop cannot be treated as a dumping space. You need to keep it well organized by filing your documents in neat folders.

Stop Mac from Lagging

Lack of Hard Drive Space

Running out of space is a bad sign for your MacBook. This can be a source of potential disaster not only in terms of your system slowing down but also crashing.

You need to be mindful of the hard disk and the space it uses at all times. If you feel you are nearing full hard disk usage, think about buying additional space on the cloud or upgrading your system.

Pending Hardware Upgrades

An upgrade to your hard drive and RAM could just be the silver lining you are looking for in case you are bothered by a slow MacBook.

If your Mac doesn’t return to normal speed after hardware updates, chances are you due for a hardware update. This can come with a hefty price tag.

You can opt for an SSD disk and choose storage space that suits your needs. Anywhere between 240-256 GB is a good place to start with. You will need to replace the current hardware device with the new one. If you’re familiar with tech hardware, you can easily do it yourself. If not, you can take the help of an expert.

Lastly, you must think about upgrading your RAM too, if that is an option with your Mac.

Your Storage Is Not Optimized

One of the biggest culprits in slowing down your system is storage that is not optimized.  You need to make sure that all your files and data are managed well at all times.

Transfer the files you don’t work with on a regular basis to iCloud. This keeps them safe and also declutters your system. Trash your junk folder occasionally to give breathing space to your system.

Your Storage Is Not Optimized

Outdated macOS

You need to keep up with Apple updates to macOS to ensure that your system is working well. There is a reason the company updates macOS frequently. If an update is available and you are using the older version, you may experience your system getting slow.

Junk in the Browser

Your MacBook’s performance is linked to your browser in more ways than you can guess. This is because most of the work we do is centered around the use of the internet.

The bottom line is that a slow browser will slow down your MacBook. No exceptions. Besides, opening many tabs at once in the browser can also sometimes cause the Mac to get slow.

Removing Extensions Is a Quick Fix to Your Problem

This can be one way to ensure that your MacBook performs to its potential without slowing down in the process.

Even otherwise, you should be very careful in choosing the extensions you allow in your browser. They not only slow your system down but can also be sneaking in on your data. Yes, we live in an age where data privacy is becoming a myth and we need to be mindful of it as we move ahead.

How to Get Rid of Extensions in Chrome?

  • Launch Chrome in your system.
  • Go to the top-right corner of your window and choose the three-dot icon.
  • Go to the ‘Extensions’ option that you can find in the ‘More Tools’ option.

This will give you a list of the extensions on your system. You may have installed them unknowingly at times. You can either delete or disable them to make sure your MacBook works fine.

How to Get Rid of Extensions in Safari?

  • Launch Safari in your system.
  • Choose ‘Preferences’ by navigating through the ‘Safari’ menu.
  • Now move to the ‘Extensions’ tab.
  • Delete the extensions that are no longer useful to you.

Also, while browsing the internet make sure to not go overboard with the number of tabs you open at a particular time. Ideally, you should not have more than 8-9 tabs open for your MacBook to operate at its optimum speed.

Get Rid of Extensions

Outmoded Cache Files

There are several types of cache files out of which user caches are in majority making up for more than half (actually around two-thirds) of unwanted files on your MacBook. You need to trim down your caches to fix your lazy Mac. Here is how you can do this.

  • Go to Finder and choose the ‘Go to Folder’ option.
  • Type ~/Library/Caches and press Enter.
  • Find the cache folder.
  • You will now have to check each folder individually to delete files that you no longer need.
  • Give due importance to the trash folder and make sure you delete its contents.

You should not delete the folders but only their contents. While you are at it, you should also delete system caches.

Disproportionate User Profile

Over time, your applications may become a liability for your macOS which is also in sync with your user account. Your account consists of caches and user logs and a range of other stuff, totaling into too many things for your MacBook to make sense of.

Refresh Your Profile

Activating a brand new profile is not as radical as you think. You will need to copy and paste all the required files onto it. Your Mac, in conclusion to this process, will become faster and snappier.

To create a user profile, follow these simple and easy steps.

  • Go to the Apple logo on the top left your screen.
  • Choose the ‘Users & Groups’ option through the System Preferences.
  • Go to the unlock option on the bottom left.
  • Finally, click ‘+’. This will help you add a new user.

You can use the hard drive’s shared folder to transfer files from the old folder to the new one. You can also check for the guide to fix lag on your PS5 for further help.

Reduce Login Items

Visual Overload

Big videos and graphics and pictures are huge on taking up resources. If your system is slow, a lot of other graphics and pictures can further slow it down.

How to Manage Animations?

Go to System Preferences and then to ‘Dock’. Untick the following to disable them to speed up your MacBook.

  • Magnification
  • Animate applications

A very big and heavy photo library is also a thing that needs to be dealt with. It is great to have memories of the great times accumulated at one place should you decide to go down the memory road but do you know exactly how much space is your photo library occupying?

Most people will draw a blank as they hardly check this out! You will not believe too many photos can cause your system to slow down by dragging hard drive space.

Give Your Pictures a New Home

This is a great way to put your photos in order while moving them to a safe option. You have plenty of options to move your pictures including DropBox, GoogleDrive, or a pen drive or external hard disk.

Follow these tips to move your pictures safely elsewhere.

  • Quit Photos.
  • Choose the external drive in the Finder to choose a new storage place.
  • In a new Finder folder, locate your Photos library. It is usually located in the Users folder.
  • Drag and drop your library at this new destination.

You can now come and delete your current photo library to free some space and help your MacBook.

Slow Keyboard Is the Issue

A problem faced by several people is that the keyboard is slow. You must have noticed this too. There may be occasions when you type in something and experience a sudden lag in typing due to a short freeze. The most affected apps by the keyboard lag include Chrome and Notes.

Outdated system caches may be the problem and must be addressed as soon as possible. Here is how you can do this by switching on your MacBook in safe mode.

  • Turn off your MacBook.
  • Restart it.
  • Press and hold Shift.
  • Wait till the login window emerges on the screen.
  • This will take you to the desired Safe mode.
  • Turn on your Mac in the usual manner.

Using the Mac in safe mode lets go of a lot of unwanted caches while also repairing some internal software paths. If you follow the above steps correctly, you should be able to see a marked improvement in the performance of your Mac.

Contradictory Permissions

Your MacBook files have permissions to help classify applications that will have access to them. With the passage of time, you may witness problems with these permissions leading to a slowing down of the MacBook.

You will need to fix these issues to help your Mac run to its potential.

Contradictory Permissions

Is There Anything Else You Need to Know?

We have comprehensively covered a number of common issues that are known to slow down an Apple MacBook. They all lead to a simple conclusion, i.e. you need to give your MacBook some breathing space.

This means deleting unwanted apps, files, and data or moving it to some other place so that your system is devoid of clutter at all times. Though there are manual ways to turn things around, you can also rely on a tool such as CleanMyMac. You can also check for the guide to stop MAC from lagging for further help.

What Is CleanMyMac?

CleanMyMac is a user-friendly solution that helps you instantly perk up your MacBook by addressing all the issues that are causing it to slow down in the first place.

What Can CleanMyMac Help You With?

While we have suggested steps to manage the issues that may cause your system to slow down, there may be things that can come in the way. These include time issues, uneasiness with technology or merely wanting an easy way to deal with problems.

We all have friends who just like someone to fix their stuff rather than putting in the time and effort to do it themselves.

We have been that person at some point in our life and trust us, there is nothing wrong with that especially when you have something like CleanMyMac that is adept and ready to take away your worries and troubles.

Here is what it can help you with.

Prevents macOS-Specific Viruses

Think Trojans, data miners, and browsing hacks, CleanMyMac has you covered against all these commonplace threats thereby keeping your Mac at its most optimum.

Great at Preserving Privacy

CleanMyMac is great at preserving your privacy. It deletes tracking cookies across the internet so that advertisers do not trail you. It keeps your sensitive data safe.

Manages Unknown and known Extensions

As we have already shown how extensions can be a cause of concern and potentially one of the reasons for the slowing down of your MacBook, you need a plan to tackle them.

CleanMyMac helps you do this sans any hassles. How easy is that!

Cleans Your Mac

This is a great application to keep your MacBook clutter-free which is by far the worst culprit in slowing your system down.

It helps you organize your space better and gives suggestions for getting rid of stuff and files you don’t need. It is actually as therapeutic as a friend offering to declutter your room while you are away.

You know you can trust your friend with your personal stuff and their judgment and the thrill of coming back home to a clutter-free space. Isn’t that amazing?

Speed up Your Mac

FAQs on CleanMyMac

Here are a few common questions answered around CleanMyMac that will give you a better idea of what is in store for you and why it is a great product for all your Mac speed woes.

Is this a paid service?

Yes, it is a great service and comes with a price tag. However, you have a great window of 30 days for the free trial. This gives you access to all the features to try it out for yourself. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

How safe is CleanMyMac?

It is completely safe and we understand that safety and privacy are big concerns for our readers. CleanMyMac has been notarized by Apple as a malware-free application and as such only deletes those files that are safe to be removed.

What is the validity of CleanMyMac?

There is an option for choosing a one-time service or a one-year plan. This can cover you for just one Mac or as many as five.

How does CleanMyMac work?

You can go for an automated clean up that will scan your system for junk and suggest what you can do to ameliorate those risks. You also have the option to manually delete items suggested by the application and those that you don’t need.

The Final Word

Sure, a MacBook is a great piece of investment and certainly makes your life easier with its superior features and seamless experience, but one must never lose cognizance of the fact that it is, in the end, an electronic device.

You need to be mindful of its needs and to keep it in optimum shape it is necessary to pay attention to signs that scream something is wrong with your MacBook. These include keeping it de-cluttered, well managed and free of unwanted programs and data at all times.

The best way would be to not let the issue aggravate and follow a routine check up/clean up. However, if you notice any visible signs, intervene at the earliest.

The above guide will help you navigate through the complexities that you may face in the process in a very simple manner. However, if you are looking for a great service that can take care of the headache, you can try out a tool like CleanMyMac.

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