Top 5 Tips to Speed Up a MacBook Pro
The only place where one should see beach balls is on the beach—certainly not on their MacBook Pro. But the beach ball becomes a more and more familiar sight as a MacBook gets older, doesn’t it? But do not worry, if you’re asking the question, “Why is my MacBook Pro so slow?” the good news is that there are quite a few ways in which you can speed it up.
Speed up MacBook Pro by replacing the hard drive
Before you begin with any of the maintenance tips that we’re going to discuss below, you should make a complete backup of all your data. For Apple products, this is generally a really easy process. Simply grab any external hard drive and run the “Time Machine” feature. Once your drive has been backed up, feel free to proceed.
Moving from a regular hard drive to a SSD (solid-state drive) is perhaps among the best ways of improving the performance of a MacBook. You will find detailed instructions on how to do this all over the internet. It is a little complicated, but the results are shocking. It has a massive impact on the performance of your laptop.
If done correctly, you can make the complete switch including copying all of your data to the new hard drive in less than an hour. A new SSD will not cost you too much money either. It’s a very small price to pay when you consider the many benefits you will get from it.
As long as you’re good at following instructions, you should have absolutely no problem replacing your hard drive. The speed gains will certainly be worth it.
Why is my MacBook so slow? Let’s add more RAM
Since you will have to open up your MacBook to replace the hard drive you should also consider adding some more memory to the device as well. Adding more memory isn’t as complicated as replacing the hard drive.
The most important thing here would be to make sure you get the right RAM for your MacBook Pro model. The brand is of no consequence here, but you need to make sure it is the right amount, speed, and type. Apple has a neat little support page which shows memory specifications for a number of models along with illustrated guides which you can follow to replace the memory.
Most MacBook’s come with two DIMM slots. One or both of these slots may be in use. You can use various combinations of memory in these slots. There will be an upper limit, though. There’s no point adding more memory as it will not read.
My MacBook Pro is slow, let’s clean the hard drive
Sometimes, all it takes to get your MacBook Pro running like new again is a quick data clean-up. Over time, you will probably have cluttered up your Mac with a number of applications and files which you may not need or use anymore.
To get started with this, go to the “Applications & Downloads” folder. If there are any apps there which you cannot remember installing, you shouldn’t have any trouble living without them. Move them all to “Trash” so you can reclaim some space on your hard drive.
However, there are some files which are associated with applications that are left behind even after you move them to “Trash.” Since the Mac OS X does not come with any built-in uninstallation program, it’s recommended that you download one which will help you to uninstall apps as well as their related files. Some of these apps are free while others are paid. Choose wisely.
Your job isn’t done yet, though. You also need to clean up all the apps which you are planning on keeping. When you install apps on a Mac, there is a piece of software which is downloaded to your computer including permissions which change with time. These changes can cause your Mac to free, lag or crash. Repairing disk permissions is important to ensure they return to their rightful place. There is a built-in “Disk Utility” tool which you can use for this.
One more thing you can do is find out which of your applications are using the maximum system resources. All you need to do is open “Activity Monitor” and you will get your answer. The numbers will keep fluctuating, but you will be able to see the amount of memory and CPU resources that each application is using. Try replacing some of the apps which are taking up a lot of resources. This will speed up your MacBook for sure.
How to speed up MacBook by reducing login times
If your MacBook Pro is taking time to boot up then the problem you’re facing may just be that there are too many applications opening when you start up. In most cases, you may not have even set most of these applications to launch at startup; they just do by default.
What you need to do is go to “System Preferences” > “Users and Groups” and click on “Login Items” to see all the apps which open when you boot your laptop.
Highlight all of the apps which you do not want to open when you start your Mac and click on the “minus” below the list. The more apps you remove, the quicker your startup time should become.
Speed up MacBook with the latest OS X
New versions of OS X are released by Apple every now and then in the form of free upgrades. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t download and install these upgrades. These new versions come with security improvements and performance enhancements which keep your MacBook running safely and smoothly.
Check in with the “Updates” tab on the App Store regularly for any updates to OS X. Do not ignore any notifications you receive regarding updates which are ready to install either. These updates are important and can help ensure your computer keeps running at optimum speeds.
In summary, to speed up your MacBook Pro, one or all of the following steps should help:
1.) Replace your hard drive with an SSD.
2.) Add more RAM.
3.) Clean the files on the hard drive.
4.) Reduce the amount of time it takes to log in.
5.) Ensure you have the latest OS X version installed.