Has your MacBook Pro lost speed? If you’re watching the blissful little beach ball spinning more frequently as your Mac struggles to keep up, then it’s time to do a little maintenance to put a little cheer on its way.
In a previous version of this article, we had recommended that you replace your traditional MacBook with a solid-state drive (SSD) and add more RAM, but those two maneuvers have now become obsolete. For starters, MacBooks for most of the last decade have featured SSDs, so chances are you already have one unless your MacBook Pro is really old. Second, MacBooks of recent years feature RAM and SSD soldered to the motherboard, making user updates nearly impossible. Therefore, the following five tips will help you speed up your Mac without replacing any of its hardware.
Before we start, there’s a caveat: Back up your data. For Mac, it is easy. Take an external drive and run Time Machine. With you recently backed up Mac drive, you can continue. Improve the performance of your Mac and recover space on your hard drive by following these tips.
Free up storage space
Sometimes all your MacBook Pro needs is a data wipe. The more crowded the SSD becomes, the slower the Mac will run. You can check how much free space is left on your MacBook drive by clicking on the Apple logo in the upper left corner, select About this Mac and then click on the Storage tab. If you are approaching maximum capacity, click the Manage button to free up space. Here, you will see four recommendations to recover free disk space.
The first allows you to use iCloud to download files, photos, and text messages. You can move all the files stored on your desktop and the Documents folder from your Mac drive to iCloud. And you can store full-resolution photos in iCloud and keep what Apple calls “optimized” versions on your Mac that take up much less space.
If you take a lot of photos with your iPhone, using the iCloud Photo Library is probably the biggest space saver for your Mac. Keep in mind that you will probably come across the free 5GB allowance in iCloud and start paying for cloud space from Apple. Upgrading to 50GB will cost you $ 0.99 a month, and the two largest plans offer 200GB for $ 2.99 a month or 2TB for $ 9.99 a month. It is cheaper than buying a new Mac.
The second option allows you to optimize TV app storage by deleting downloaded movies and shows after watching them. The third option automatically cleans up trash, removing items that have been in the Trash for more than 30 days. The last option, Reduce Clutter, allows you to review large files, downloads, and unsupported applications and manually delete the ones you no longer need.
Apply some first aid
Next, let’s clean up the apps you’re keeping. When you install an app on your Mac, the software comes as part of a file package, including permissions that tell MacOS which users can do what with specific files.
Over time, these permissions can change, which can cause your Mac to slow down, freeze, or crash. Repairing these disk permissions, in the most basic terms, is equivalent to shuffling and renegotiating these permissions to get them back to where they belong.
To fix this, macOS has a built-in tool called the Disk Utility that allows you to run First Aid on your Mac’s disk. You can also repair problems with disk partitions and startup processes. You will need to start your Mac in recovery mode and then follow the instructions from Apple Support to repair your disk using Disk Utility.
Discover which apps gobble up all the space
If your MacBook Pro acts like it needs a nap every afternoon, when you’re at the peak of multitasking, there is an easy way to see which of your open apps is using the most system resources. Open Activity Monitor by searching for it with Spotlight.
The numbers you will see constantly fluctuate, but they show you how much CPU and memory resources each application uses. Take a look at the CPU and Memory tabs to see which applications are using the most resources. Maybe you’ll start using Safari instead of Chrome, for example, if you see that Chrome eats more than its fair share of system resources.
The activity monitor shows you which apps are using the most resources on your MacBook Pro.
Reduce the number of login items
If your Mac is slow to log in, the problem could be that too many applications are activated at first. Chances are, you never decided it would be like this, so they jump alone.
Go to System Preferences> Users & Groups and then check the Startup Items tab to see a list of the applications that are activated when you log in.
Dye the apps you don’t want to be activated when you log in and check the button with the minus symbol below the list of apps.
Keep the operating system updated
Apple publishes new versions of its operating system for free, so there is no justification for not keeping it updated. The new versions have performance and security improvements to keep your Mac running efficiently.
Periodically check the Updates tab of the Mac App Store for operating system updates, and don’t ignore the update notifications ready to install.