Like all electronics, after time, MacBooks begin to run much slower than they did when they were originally purchased. One of the most common questions at any Apple store is, “Why is my Mac so slow?” Customers complain about the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air specifically. There are several reasons for this, ranging from the MacBook not having enough cache to its OS X being outdated.
But don’t worry- even though there are several reasons for MacBooks to run slowly over time, there are a plethora of solutions. For example, you might have too much cache and need to clear your browsing or download history. Or maybe you have too many customized settings that are taking up too much memory, so you should switch some customized settings back to the recommended settings. Here is a list of the six most common reasons for your Mac running slow, including how to speed up your Mac. Although this is not a comprehensive list, we hope that it gives you a better idea of how to handle a slow Mac.
Reason 1. There is Not Enough Memory
One of the most common reasons for a slow Mac is that there isn’t enough memory. Believe it or not, it’s very easy for a Mac’s hard drive to get full. If you think about all of the programs and documents that you download onto your Mac, it’s understandable that the memory can get full. Now that you know a main reason for your Mac running slow, what is the solution?
How to Fix:
The best way to speed up your Mac if there isn’t enough memory is to clear space so there’s more memory. There are several downloadable programs available online that can optimize your Mac’s memory and clean its disk by removing junk files, old files and clutter. If you’re looking for the solution of how to speed up your Mac, download one of these programs before doing anything else. If the problem is lack of memory, this is the easiest and quickest way to fix your slow Mac.
Reason 2. There is Too Much Cache
A cache is an area in your Mac that is designed to speed up data retrieval and updating. A cache is reserved within the memory of your computer. Essentially, caches are temporary holding places for items like fonts and web page graphics. Depending on what you use your Mac for and how often you use it, your cache can become full, which can be the reason for your Mac running slow.
How to Fix:
Now you might be asking how to speed up your Mac if the problem is a full cache. The answer is quite simple- clear out your cache. You can do this by clearing out your browsing and download history, plug-ins and cookies, as well as images and files. Having too much cache is a fairly common reason for a slow Mac, so make clearing out your cache one of the first solutions that you try.
Go to Finder>Home/Library/Caches. You will see folders with cached files. You will have to open the folders and delete the contents selectively or as a whole.
Reason 3. Too Many Applications are Running
Like most computers, it’s difficult for Macs to function properly when there are too many applications running in the background. The more applications that are running, the slower your Mac will work. If this is the problem, then the solution for how to speed up your Mac is to eliminate some of the background applications.
How to Fix:
One way to do this is to identify which applications take up the most memory and eliminating them in order to create more space on your Mac, which will cause it to run faster. You can do this by going into your “utility folders” in your “applications” and sort the applications by memory so you can see which applications are at the top of the list and thus taking up the most memory space. Those are the programs that you should force to quit in order to speed up your Mac.
Reason 4. OS X is Outdated
Every version of OS that Apple comes out with is bigger and better than the last. So naturally, if your Mac is running slow, the problem might be an outdated OS X. However, keep in mind that updating your OS X should be one of the last solutions you try to speed up your Mac because it is a more time-consuming process to install a newer version and your computer will typically run slower for a bit after the installation. The more common sources of a Mac running slow is too much cache or not enough memory.
How to Fix:
However, if none of the above solutions help to speed up your Mac, you should try updating your OS X. Sometimes the problem does go deeper than lack of memory and a system update is needed. The simpliest way to update your Mac is to go to the App Store on your Mac, check for Mac OS update, and click the Update button. As it will take a little big long to complete the update, you have to be patient enough to wait for it.
Reason 5. You Have Too Many Customized Settings
The ability to customize settings on a Mac is truly fascinating. You can personalize the settings on your Mac to fit your specific needs, which can be a huge asset. However, if you customize too many settings, you might find yourself asking: “Why is my Mac so slow?” without realizing that the answer is right in front of you. When you customize too many settings, it can take up too much memory on your Mac, which can be the reason why your Mac is running slow.
How to Fix:
If you find that your Mac isn’t running as fast as it used to, try cutting back on the customized settings and returning some settings that you’ve customized back to the standard settings. You’ll be surprised how much faster your Mac will work!
Reason 6. A Software Upgrade is Loading
If your Mac is running slow, you may think that a software update can fix the problem. You aren’t wrong. If you’re wondering how to speed up your Mac, the answer in this case might be to just stay patient. After software is finished upgrading, your Mac might be slow initially but after a while, it should be faster than before.
How to Fix:
While the software is upgrading, it requires your Mac to do more work, so it won’t be able to function as quickly as before. However, if you stay patient, you could come out with a computer faster than you’ve ever had.
As you can see, there are several potential culprits behind your slow Mac. However, the good news is that all of the solutions are fairly easy. If you’re wondering how to speed up your Mac, you should start with clearing the memory and cache before moving on to solutions such as updating your OS X and cutting back on customized settings. No matter the reason for your Mac running slowly, there is always a solution.