Tips for speeding up slow MacBook, Mac Mini and iMac

If your MacBook, Mac Mini, or iMac has become slow or sluggish, you should be able to improve its speed and performance with the tips below.

Why is your Mac running slow?

Although macOS is considered to be one of the most stable and responsive operating systems, Mac computers tend to slow down as you continue to use them.

This usually happens due to the accumulation of junk files, multiple startup programs, high CPU usage by certain programs and also due to the presence of malware or virus in the system.

How to speed up a slow Mac?

You should be able to speed up Mac and notice a significant improvement in your slow Mac’s speed and performance by following the steps below in this guide.

1. Restart Mac

The easiest way to close apps and processes that are using excessive RAM and CPU on Mac is to restart your device.

This will close open programs, terminate stuck apps and running processes, delete temporary files, and also clear your computer’s RAM.

2. Remove USB connected devices

In our experience, USB 3.0 devices connected to Mac can interfere with the proper functioning of the keyboard and mouse, resulting in slower browsing and delays when opening apps.

Remove to confirm USB connected devices from your Mac (except keyboard and mouse) > Start anew your computer and see if it runs faster now.

3. Install the macOS update

Your Mac can run slowly when it’s busy downloading updates in the background and also when it’s waiting for an update to install.

Click on Apple logo in the top menu bar and select system settings in the drop down menu.

Open System Preferences on Mac

On the next screen, click software update icon and install To update (when available).

4. Empty the Recycle Bin, remove unwanted files from Downloads and Documents folders

Right click on the garbage icon in the taskbar and click empty trash. After that it is open Downloads folder and delete all unnecessary items from this folder.

Empty Trash on Mac

Next, open the documents Fold and delete documents you don’t need.

5. Close apps that are using excessive CPU and RAM

If your Mac has become excruciatingly slow or unresponsive, you can hope for immediate relief by using Activity Monitor to close apps that are using excessive CPU and RAM on your device.

Go to finder > applications > activity monitor. After Activity Monitor launches, click outlook tab in the top menu bar and select Windowed Processes.

Open Windows processes on Mac

On the Activity Monitor screen, switch to CPU tab > select it apartment consume excessive CPU and click the X Button.

Close apps that consume resources on Mac

Similarly, go down the list and close other apps that are using excessive CPU on your computer. After that, switch to memory Tab and close apps that are using excessive amounts of RAM on your computer.

6. Manage startup programs

Apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others can slow down Mac because by default they tend to start up with the computer and remain active in the background.

Choose Apple logo in the top menu bar and click system settings. On the System Settings screen, click Users & Groups Symbol.

User and group icon on the system settings screen

On the Users & Groups screen, go to Login Items tab > select it program that you don’t want to start with your Mac and click the minus (-) Button.

Remove Startup Apps on Mac

This prevents the programs from starting with your Mac and using up resources unnecessarily by staying active in the background.

7. Enable Firewall

While macOS is considered less vulnerable to malware attacks, malware can still get onto a MacBook through email attachments and malicious websites.

Choose Apple logo in the top menu bar and click system settings. On the System Settings screen, click security Tab.

Security & Privacy tab on the Mac System Preferences screen.

Switch to on the next screen firewall Tab and click Turn on the firewall.

Turn on the firewall on the Mac

Note: You may need to click lock icon and enter yours Administrator password to make this change.

8. Update apps

Mac slowdown can also be caused by apps becoming incompatible with the latest version of macOS installed on your device.

open that app store on your Mac > go to Update tab and click Refresh all.

Update apps on Mac

9. Check hard drive for errors

Choose Apple logo in the top menu bar and click shut down and allow your Mac to shut down completely.

press and hold command + R keys and press the power button to restart your Mac. Release both the Command and R keys once the macOS Launcher appears on the screen.

If prompted, enter your admin password and click Continue > select Disk Utility Possibility.

macOS Utilities screen

On the next screen, select the repair option and allow Disk Utility to check the disk for errors.

If the disk is healthy, you will see the message “The operation is complete and some errors have been fixed”. If not, your hard drive may be damaged and need to be replaced.

10. Optimize storage

Lack of disk space is another common reason for computer slowdown. So, follow the steps below to clean up and optimize disk space on your Mac.

Click on Apple Logo in the top menu bar and select About this Mac option in the drop down menu.

About this Mac

Switch to on the next screen storage tab and click on the Administer Button.

Manage storage option in macOS

On the next screen you can use empty trash, Optimize storage and Reduce clutter Options to free up and optimize storage space on your Mac.

11. Remove unused apps

If you haven’t used an app or program in the last 3 months, chances are that particular app isn’t important to you and you might want to remove it from your device.

Go to finder > applications > select the grid icon and click Date last opened.

Sort apps by last opened date

Next, go through the list of apps and delete them applications that you do not need (right click on the apartment and select move to Trash Possibility).

12. Disable visual effects

macOS has fancy visual effects that can affect the performance of older MacBooks, Mac Minis, and iMacs.

Click on Apple logo in the top menu bar and select system settings in the drop down menu.

Open System Preferences on Mac

On the System Settings screen, click Accessibility Tab.

Accessibility preference option on Mac

From the Accessibility screen, select advertisement in the left pane. Select in the right pane reduce movement and reduce transparency options.

Flatten motion and transparency on Mac

Now you should find that your Mac opens programs quickly and runs a little faster.

13. Disable browser extensions

Browser extensions installed on Mac can become incompatible and affect your computer’s performance.

Open safari Browser > select safari tab in the top menu bar and click settings in the drop down menu.

Open Safari Preferences on Mac

On the Safari settings screen, switch to extensions tab and Uninstall all unwanted extensions from your Mac.

Delete Safari Extensions on Mac

Restart the Safari browser and you should find that it works better now.

14. Reset SMC

Performing an SMC reset on Mac can help fix problems and performance-related issues.

The steps to reset SMC vary depending on the make and model of your Mac: How to reset SMC on MacBook, Mac Mini and iMac.

15. Upgrade to SSD drive

You can expect a big improvement in your Mac’s speed and overall performance by upgrading it to an SSD drive.

For the steps to upgrade Mac to SSD drive, including steps to create a Time Machine backup and safely transfer all your data from the old hard drive to the new SSD drive, see this guide: How to Upgrade Mac to SSD drive and transfer data.

16. Add RAM

If your Mac has an expandable RAM slot, you can consider adding more RAM to your computer.

Choose Apple logo in the top menu bar and click About this Mac.

About this Mac

Switch to on the next screen Support tab and click specifications.

Check the specs on Mac

This will take you to Apple’s support page, which has information about the type of RAM (fixed or removable) installed on your computer.

There you can also find information on how to increase the RAM capacity of your Mac.

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