How to Make MacBook Pro Faster

If you have a high-end laptop computer like a MacBook Pro, you expect high-end performance.

These computers are built to handle multiple tasks at once and have to ability to process demanding tasks quickly and effectively. A slow MacBook Pro can seem like a car that is running out of fuel, you know it should be moving fast but something is bogging it down.

Luckily, if you want your MacBook Pro to be faster overall, there are some things you can do either before you make your purchase or once you have the computer, to speed things up.

A faster MacBook can help accomplish important tasks, enjoy your favorite entertainment seamlessly, and provide a better overall experience.

Benefits of a Faster MacBook Pro

A faster MacBook Pro is going to be able to handle normal computer tasks more quickly and will also allow you to handle more demanding tasks at a higher level. On a basic level, an increase in speed will give you the ability to keep more windows and tabs open in your browser so you can load multiple web pages at the same time without the others crashing.

A faster laptop also means that you can run multiple apps at the same time at full speed.

For more intense and demanding computing needs, a faster MacBook Pro is also a benefit. Increased speed translates directly into an increase in the performance and capabilities of your computer.

With a faster MacBook Pro you will be able to take advantage of increased processing which is perfect if you use high-end editing software for music, video, or any other purchase that demands high CPU.

An increase in speed will give you the ability to see advanced graphics on your screen. If you use any software designed for Macs such as Logic Pro X, Adobe Photoshop, or Final Cut Pro, you will see an immediate increase in the function of these great programs with a faster computer.

Basically, if you use your Mac for video editing or similar demanding reasons, you will benefit from a faster machine.

How to Make MacBook Pro Faster Before Buying

There are multiple speed options that you can choose from when purchasing your MacBook Pro. Faster performance comes with a cost, but it is definitely worth it if you have the need for a fast machine.

An easy way to make your MacBook Pro faster from the get-go is to increase the memory of the machine. It’s important to know that most newer MacBook models will not allow you to increase memory after you have made the purchase so it must be done when you order the computer.

The new MacBook Pro models offer up to 32GB memories which, if you decide to get that much memory, can really make your computer fast!

The internal processor of your MacBook Pro also has a lot to do with how fast your computer will be. The newest models offer up to an 8-core Intel processor with as high as a 5.0GHz turbo boost. This is for the most expensive version of the MacBook Pro and will be a really fast machine.

Apple also offers multiple options that aren’t quite this fast (but still are pretty fast!), with smaller processors and turbo boosts to match your needs and budget.

The main things to consider when purchasing your MacBook Pro for speed are the memory, number of cores in the processor, and level of turbo boost. For all of these considerations, the higher the number, the faster the computer will be.

How to Make MacBook Pro Faster After Buying

If you have an older model MacBook Pro or have purchased a new one and want it to be faster, there are still some things you can do to speed up the machine. In general, older machines are going to be slower but trying a few of these tips can get your MacBook Pro back near the speeds it was when it was brand new.

1. Check Your Activity Monitor

Checking your Activity Monitor will give you a precise look at all of the programs and apps that are running on your MacBook Pro and how much of your computer’s operating power is being used by each.

This diagnostic window monitors memory, energy, CPU, network and disk usage. In relation to speed, CPU is very important so if a program or app you are not actively using is eating up a lot of CPU, go ahead and close it.

To access the Activity Monitor go to the Finder in your Dock, click on Applications then on Utilities. In this window, you will see the Activity Monitor.

Double click the Activity Monitor and a window like this will appear where you can manage apps and programs.

2. Clean Up Your Desktop

Another thing you can do to speed up your MacBook Pro is to clean up your desktop.

By putting icons in folders instead of having them each on the desktop screen individually, it can save RAM which will speed up your computer. Once you have organized your desktop, restart the computer to notice the change in speed.

3. Uninstall Any Unused Apps

If your computer has a bunch of apps on it, it can slow things down significantly.

Go through all of your apps and delete and uninstall any of them that you do not use. You can always download them again later if you really need them.

Apps can take up a lot of storage and memory which will slow down your machine.

4. Clean up startup items

If you have a lot of programs running when you start up your MacBook, it will have an impact on speed. By cleaning up your startup items, you can help everything run more smoothly and boost performance. 

Your MacBook runs many apps upon startup that you might not use or need. Stopping these can increase speed. 

To get rid of unneeded items at startup, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Click on Users & Groups
  3. Select your username
  4. Click on Login Items
  5. Select the programs you don’t need at startup and click the button

5. Make sure visual effects are turned off

Visual effects on your MacBook may look great and help with a customized user experience, but they can also cause performance issues, including a slow MacBook. By turning visual effects off, you can boost the speed of your computer. 

To turn off visual effects on your MacBook Pro, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Select Dock and Menu Bar
  3. Uncheck the boxes Automatically hide and show the Dock and Animate opening applications
  4. Also, click on the Minimize windows using: box and change it to Scale effect 

6. Remove browser add-ons

Browsers are demanding apps that eat up a lot of resources on your MacBook Pro. These browsers are often packed full of add-ons and other unneeded or unused extensions that you don’t use. 

No matter which browser you use, removing browser add-ons can help improve speeds. Each of the three main browsers – Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, can be adjusted in a similar way. Go to the Extensions or Add-ons section of the settings menu and adjust accordingly. 

7. Spotlight Reindex

OS updates can cause issues with speed, and this is usually a result of the Spotlight indexing on your MacBook Pro. This process can get stuck, and you might need to reindex things to get everything working normally again. 

To perform a spotlight reindex, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Clock on Spotlight
  3. Click on the Privacy tab
  4. Click and drag your HD into this privacy list. 
  5. Click the button

This will start the reindexing process, and it can take several hours to complete. 

8. Empty caches

Your MacBook automatically stores specific temporary files, which help it access things quicker and boosts browsing speeds. These are known as caches and can be convenient until they start to slow down your computer. Emptying these caches can increase speed. 

To empty your cache, follow these steps: 

  1. Open the Finder
  2. Select Go to Folder
  3. Type in  ̴ /Library/Caches
  4. Highlight the caches you want to remove and delete them
  5. Be sure to empty the trash afterward

Manually clearing caches can take a while and you risk deleting wanted items. A third-party cleaning program can help with this. 

9. Clean hard drive

Think of this step as sort of cleaning out your entire house to make more space. You can clean up your whole hard drive to clear out any unused or unneeded files. This can instantly make more room on your hard drive, which can fix many speed issues. 

Look for any unused apps, large files, hidden trash, widgets, or anything else that might be clogging up your computer. Once you located these, delete them, and be sure to clean out the trash afterward to free up space.  

10. Create new user profile 

Creating a new user profile on your MacBook Pro is another effective way to fix slow down issues. This process can change some settings and bypass your older username that unnecessary files and compromised settings may bog down. 

To create a new user profile, follow these steps: 

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Select Users & Groups
  3. Click on the padlock symbol to Unlock changes
  4. Click the + button to add a user

11. Use Terminal to Free up RAM

This is a somewhat complicated fix, but if you are relatively tech-savvy, it’s easily doable and can boost the speed of your MacBook Pro. This method allows you to enter code directly into the system to help improve issues associated with your system running out of available RAM. 

To use the Terminal to free up RAM, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal app either from the finder or via Launchpad
  2. Type this command into the text dialogue window sudo purge
  3. Click enter
  4. Enter your system password when asked

This will free up RAM. You can also use third-party software to help free up RAM as well.  

12. More RAM

Adding more physical RAM to your computer is another way to increase speeds. If you have attempted to clear up available RAM and are still running into speed issues, this may be your best bet. 

The more RAM you have, the faster your computer will be. If you can upgrade the RAM on your MacBook Pro, all you need to do is purchase an additional RAM card. Unfortunately, not all MacBooks can be upgraded. Check out this article for our guide to the best RAM for MacBook Pro upgrade.

13. SMC & PRAM Reset

SMC and PRAM resets can help fix various issues and are good basic skills to know how to take advantage of. You can think of these as a more in-depth reset that will give you a fresh start on critical operations involved with your MacBook. 

To reset SMC, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Hold the Shift, Control, Option keys and then press the Power button
  3. Hold all four of these keys down for 10 seconds
  4. Release all of the keys
  5. Turn on your computer

To reset PRAM, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Press the power button and then the Command, Option, P, R keys all at the same time
  3. Hold down all of these until the computer restarts

14. Replace HDD with SSD

A complete upgrade of your MacBook’s internal hardware is another option you can use to speed things up. SSD will make your computer generally faster and able to accomplish more demanding tasks at the same time. HDD drives can be slower, especially older ones. 

This can be a complicated and somewhat expensive fix, but worth it if you don’t want to purchase an entirely new computer. You might need to visit an Apple repair shop or the like to make it happen. If you are looking for the best SSD for your Macbook Pro upgrade then check out the link.

15. Use third-party software like CleanMyMac X

If all of these steps seem too complicated and you want a more straightforward solution to speeding up your MacBook quickly and effectively, you can use CleanMyMac X. This is a quality piece of software designed specifically for this reason and can help resolve many different issues. 

CleanMyMac X can help with other issues on your computer and bundles many of the fixes mentioned here into one simple process. 

Final Thoughts

If you want your MacBook Pro to stay fast, keep track of how you use it and take a good look at the tips above to help you if it starts running slowly.

Making a few upgrades when you purchase the computer can help increase significantly as well.

Do you have any tricks to speed up your MacBook Pro?

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