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How to Speed up MacBook Pro?

By Lois Green, Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This post has been updated in March 29,2018

Summary: This post provides you seven proven tips to speed up slow Mac and improve Mac performance. The most common reasons why your Mac is running slowly can be the old age of your computer, or the nearly full hard drive. Now, check how to fix a slow Mac with the feasible solutions below.

The built-in flash storage of MacBook Pro starts at 128 GB. After using the laptop for a period of time, some users find that 128 GB is clearly not enough. The MacBook is running out of disk space and gets extremely slow. Before you spend a fortuate on getting a brand-new 256 GB or 512 GB MacBook, why not try these free tips first to speed up your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Method 1. Close Unused Background App

When some unused applications are running on background and taking up memory & CPU space, it slows down your MacBook to run applications that you actually need at the moment. Therefore, check out if there is any application that you don't need is running on the background. There are two ways to do so on Mac system.

Open Application on Dock

Way 1: Quit Apps in the Dock

Any application that are currently running shows in the Dock with a dot underneath. Right click on the icon of the unused application to quit it. If you don't see any dot, go to "System Preferences" > "Dock" and tick "Show indicator lights for open applications".

Way 2: Use App Switcher to Quit Apps

Step 1. Press and hold Command + Tab to bring out App Switcher.

Step 2. View all applications that are currently running.

Step 3. Once find the one that you don't need, press Command + Q to close it.

(People also read: Completely Uninstall Apps to Speed Up MacBook)

Method 2. One-Click to Clean Up Your Mac

Cleaning your hard drive is by far the best and effective way to speed up your Macbook Pro/Air or iMac. To speed up your MacBook, you usually need to delete lots of unused files. It is exhausting to clean Mac from different folders and applications: Finder, Safari, iTunes, etc. Wish there is any tool that can help you to clean up the Mac in one click? Yes, there is. MacMaster is a cleaner program for Mac system. You'll be amazed by its terrific features:

  • Scan out system files (caches, logs, etc.) that can be safely removed;

  • Display app logs and files and their locations so that you can delete extra copies in one click;

  • Sort out large files by the combination of date, kind, size and name, allowing users to quickly locate large files that they don't need;

  • Delete unwanted files: iTunes backups,  mail attachments, etc. on your Mac.

The program can make cleaning Mac much easier, more importantly, part of these features are free to use, like status checking. Just download MacMaster from FonePaw to have a try.


Method 3. Remove Items From Preference Panes

Preference Pane is a plugin in Mac OS that allows users to set preferences for a specific application or the system. If there are items that you don't need in Preference Pane, remove them to save space and speed up your MacBook.

Step 1. Open "System Preferences";

Step 2. Check if there are custom items that you barely use;

Step 3. Click and untick the items that we want to remove.

  1. Customize Preference Pane on Mac

Method 4. Edit Login Items

If your MacBook runs extremely slow when it is started, it could be that your MacBook have to start too many applications simultaneously in the startup.

Step 1. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups;

Step 2. Click on Login Items;

Step 3. If you see any application that you don't need in the startup, select the application and click - button to remove it.

Edit Login Items on Mac

Method 5. Move Your Media Files

If you are used to store media files like musics, movies, photos in your MacBook, an increasing amount of media files are eating up the laptop's memory before you even notice it. Moving your media files to cloud storage or external storage is a great way to free space and speed up your Mac macOS Sierra.

  • If you have purchased iCloud storage, move your photos to iCloud storage;

  • If you have external hard drive, move movies, musics, photos on your Mac to the drive;

(You may like: Remove Duplicate Media Files and Free Up Space on MacBook)

Method 6. Manually Delete Old/ Large Files

Step 1. Open Finder and go to "All My Files".

Step 2. Choose "Arrange by Date" to discover and delete unneeded old files.

Step 3. Choose "Arrange by Size" to find out and delete unneeded large files.

Method 7. End Processes That Use Much Space

Activity Monitor on Mac system is designed to show users how many running processes there are in your Mac, how much of your available resources (CPU, memory, energy, disk, etc.) each one is currently using. To end processes in Activity Monitor:

Step 1. Go to Utilities folder > Activity Monitor;

Step 2. Click CPU or Memory to see applications that use up most CPU or memory;

Step 3. If you don't need the applications currently, select the applications and click X in the toolbar to quit or force quit the processes.

End Process in Activity Monitor on Mac


  • Force quitting a process may cause data loss.

  • Some apps use most power perhaps because they are getting update.

If you have other tricks to speed up MacBook Pro/Air, please share with us by leaving a message. We appreciate your help.

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