How to speed up Mac – Best Steps to follow

MacBooks are known to be fast and fluid, but after a long duration with continues use, they tend to slow down. Slow laptops are always disturbing and to solve this issue we will know the process on how to speed up Mac here.

Laptops which are slow will make your work difficult. Slowness in MacBooks can happen

If you follow all the steps mentioned below, you will see a difference in performance in your MacBook for sure.

Update Your MacBook to the latest macOS version

To ensure that your Mac would work fast and to see any performance improvements, you should first upgrade the macOS to the latest version.

Slow down in Mac could happen due to old version. Apple frequently fixes any bugs in the previous version and provide an update in a frequent interval.

To update macOS to the latest version, follow these steps.

How to speed up Mac

Go to the Apple menu and click on “Software Update.” Your Mac will check for any available updates and prompt you to download and install them.

How to speed up Mac

Clean out unwanted files from your hard drive

Junk files are a common reason for a slow-down of your Mac. It also happens when the hard disk or SSD runs out of storage.

Recent generation of the Apple Silicon MacBook come with built-in storage, which cannot be expanded.

If your storage size is limited like 128 or 256 GB, the chances of it getting filled is high.

This could cause your MacBook to respond slowly.

To stop this from happening, you must keep enough space in your storage.

Process to follow for cleaning unwanted files and apps in Mac

Check Recycle bin and empty it

Whenever you delete a file, it gets stored in the Recycle bin in your Mac. You may think that the space is cleared once you delete a file, but it is not.

Until the file stays in your Recycle bin, it would consume the internal storage space.

To delete all the files in the bin, open Recycle bin and select all files and delete them permanently.

One thing to note here is that, you may not be able to recover the files once deleted from the Recycle bin.
empty recycle bin mac

Uninstall apps that are not used

Another thing that you should do is uninstalling all the unused apps.

We install apps for a specific need, but later on we never use it.

Those apps may eat up the storage space, causing the Mac to slow down.

To speed up Mac, we need to uninstall all the apps that are not needed again.

For uninstalling apps, you can go to the Application folder from the finder.

Select the app and delete it.

uninstall app in mac

RAM upgrade in supported MacBook

Capable hardware will always keep the system running smooth.

If you are a programmer or a designer, the MacBook that you are using may need a good amount of RAM to support the tasks that you throw at it.

16 to 32 GB RAM should work great for high-end jobs like video editing and 3D rendering.

Recent generation of MacBooks that come with the Apple Silicon have unified memory, which you may not be able to upgrade after the purchase.

So you should make the choice wisely when you buy the latest MacBook.

If you have an old generation Mac like the 2018 or 2019 variant, you would have options to upgrade the RAM.

The process of RAM upgrade is quite simple.

You may need to open the bottom casing of the MacBook and locate the RAM.

Switch the RAM with a higher capacity one and close it back.

You are done.

If you are worried about damaging the laptop while RAM upgrade, then it would be better to take your MacBook to the nearest Apple service center and ask a technician to do the same.

Changing HDD to SSD on MacBook

This is another way to solve the issue on how to speed up Mac.

Boot and App load times are determined by the read and write speed of storage in the Mac.

Old MacBook come with normal HDD drives which have mechanical heads which are slow in reading and writing data to the disk.

Latest generations come with unified storage, and also variants after 2014 come with NVMe SSD’s.

You can easily replace your HDD with a SSD or upgrade your existing NVMe or 2.5 mm SSD to a faster one.

The process is the same as upgrading the RAM that we discussed above.

You can lean all the steps needed to upgrade the MacBook storage in the video below.

Reduce or Disable the Visual Effects on macOS

macOS by default comes with a lot of visual effect which are pleasing for the user. It makes the MacBook more attractive to use.

People like these effects, and they buy MacBook specifically for the smoothness in transitions and the effects in the OS.

They are good in one way but for old versions of MacBook, these effects and transitions could tax the CPU causing lag in the interface.

If you want to speed up the Mac, then you may need to disable or reduce these effects.

To reduce effects and motion, follow the steps below.

  • Go to System Settings and then click on “Accessibility.”
  • Click on the “Display” tab
  • You will see checkboxes saying “Reduce motion” and “Reduce transparency.”
  • Check those boxes and you are done.
Reducing motion and transparency in macOS

Reduce the number of startup apps and services

You may have noticed as when ever you switch ON the MacBook, some apps appear on the task bar automatically.

These are startup apps which load with the macOS.

If you have many of these loading when you boot your macOS, there will be a lot of delay based on the capability of your hardware.

You may either need to disable these items or remove them if they are not needed.

To disable the startup apps and services, do the following.

Go to System settings > General, Select > Login Items.

Here you will find the list of apps that load automatically when you log in to your Mac.

Disable the apps that you do not need to load.

Disabling startup apps on Mac

Find resource hungry background processes and stop them

Once you startup the Mac, there are a lot of process that start running in the background without your notice.

Some of them may not be needed for you but they stay in the memory and keep using your resources.

This could lag your Mac a lot. To solve this issue you may need to go to the Activity monitor which is a tool built in macOS and identify them.

To find Activity monitor.

Click on Launchpad > Click on others folder > here you will find the Activity monitor.

macOS activity monitor

Once you have opened the Activity monitor, there will be a list of all the processes that are running in the background.

Go through all of them and force quit by Double-Clicking on those.

quit apps

Cleaning tool can help to speed up Mac

You can go to Apple App Store and search for Mac cleaning tool. There are various options available which could help in cleaning the cache and temporary files from your Mac.

This will not only speed up your Mac but also help to gain some storage space that were used by temporary files.

CleanMyMac X is one of the most popular one when it comes to cleaning tools. It can also detect Malware and other issues in your MacBook.

You can also control the startup files using this tool.

Reduce the MacBook temperature

When you use your Mac for demanding tasks like rendering and video editing, the CPU usage goes to 100% which could cause the MacBook to heat up.

When heat increases, to manage the temperature, the processor automatically throttles down to reduce the temperature.

This may cause the UI and the functionality all over to slow down.

I would not say to stop using the apps that you are presenting using, but the solution for this is keeping the MacBook and using it in a cool place.

When you are indoors or in an Air conditioned room, this may not occur but when you are working outside, this issue may arise.

Point to note here is that

  • Do not place the Mac under direct sunlight
  • Have proper ventilation under the Mac to reduce the temperature.
  • Use your MacBook in a ventilated room.


This is the final step to take. Note that this process would work only in old generation MacBook which have Intel processors.

SMC and PRAM/NVRAM are also known as System Management Controller and Parameter RAM/Non-Volatile RAM.

To reset SMC, you may first need to connect the MacBook to a power source.

Now do the following steps.

  • Turn off your Mac
  • Click on Shift + Command + Option + Power button


  • Turn off the Mac
  • Press the power button
  • Immediately press Command + Option + P + R

Once done, your MacBook would restart and the reset process is done.

Conclusion on how to speed up Mac

Once you are done with all the above-mentioned steps, there would be definitely a boost in speed of your MacBook.

macOS is one of the most efficient operating system for Laptop and PC.

It usually manages the background tasks and also performance of the entire system.

But as the system gets older, things may not remain the same as you might have experienced when it was new.

The steps mentioned above are basic things that you can do to improve your MacBook performance if you feel there is a slowness in the system

Thanks for reading.

Kiran Sankar
Kiran Sankar

I am a software engineer crazy about technology and gadget. I like knowing about the latest technologies and the way they work. I created this website to share my knowledge on latest tech and products so that it would help you guys find out what is the best for you and decide for your purchase. We have included products from Amazon and Flipkart in here for you to select.