How To Fix Slow Startup on MacBook Pro (Step by Step)

Is your MacBook Pro taking too long to startup? If that is the case, then it might have a few problems that need fixing. Once you deal with these problems, your Mac should work better.

It is possible to waste a lot of time waiting for your Mac to startup. Understanding what type of problem your Mac faces is crucial to use the right steps to boost its performance. That is what we want to look at today.

For most Macs, it should take an average of 30 seconds to boot up fully. If the Mac is taking more than a minute to do so, then this article is a nice read for you.

Possible Causes and Their Fixes

1. You are using an old MacOS

Apple releases new MacOS updates every year. They aim to give you a better performance operating system. It will take you an hour or so to update to the new operating system once it is released. However, some users do not update their MacOS years after the release of the new operating system.

The degradation of their old operating system has an impact on the startup process of the Mac. To solve this, take an hour to update the existing operating system to note the difference

So, how do I update my MacOS? Here are the steps you should follow.

  • For newer versions of MacOS such as Mojave or later, click on the Apple menu and then System Preferences. In the window that pops up, click on Software Update.
  • The system will scan for any available updates. If there are any updates available, click on the Update Now button to install the updates.
  • If you are using earlier versions than Mojave MacOS, then click on App Store>Updates. From there, it is the same process.

Once the system installs the updates, restart your Mac to see if there are any changes.

Sometimes it is a combination of several problems that need fixing to make the Mac perform better. If your Mac’s startup time does not improve, then proceed to try out the other solutions in the list below.

2. Low storage on your hard drive

We all love to download our favorite movies, TV shows, and many other files. The problem is that we forget about them even when they should be removed from the hard drive. This is because these files take up a lot of space on the hard drive.

Once there is limited space on the hard drive, then it will take more time for the Mac to startup.

For most people, they might encounter the message “Your Startup Disk is Almost Full.” Such a message implies your hard drive is low on storage space.

With such warning messages appearing, you will also notice a reduction in the performance of your Mac.

First, you need to understand what is taking up so much storage on your hard drive. To do this, click on the Apple Menu and then choose About This Mac from the drop-down menu. From the window that appears, click on the Storage tab.

The window that appears highlights the various files on your hard drive and how much space they are taking.

Click the Manage button to open the Storage Management window. From it, you will get several recommendations for optimizing your Mac to help it perform better.

The most common culprits that take up the most space will be found in Downloads and Apps folders. Delete or move the unused files from downloads to leave you with more space. As for apps, uninstall those apps that you rarely use.

You can still check out this article on how to use CleanMyMac X to resolve “Startup Disk is Almost Full.”

3. Too many startup and login items

Startup and login items are the apps that the MacOS has to load before the system is usable. If there are several items to load, then it would take longer to have the Mac operational. Sometimes loading these items during the startup process is unnecessary. It is why you should consider disabling some of them.

So, how do you do that? The process is simple. Follow the steps below.

  • Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu
  • From the System Preferences window, click on Users & Groups button
  • Another window appears. Click on the Login Items tabs.
  • Proceed to remove any unnecessary apps from the list. These are the apps you do not need them to launch during the startup process.
  • Close the window

See, within a minute or two, your Mac optimization is getting better. Restart the Mac to see how it performs. With several login items disabled, you should note it performs better.

4. NVRAM or PRAM issues

NVRAM is the abbreviation for Non-Volatile Random Access Memory. The work of NVRAM is to store pieces of information that your Mac needs to load the MacOS and other apps. The information in the NVRAM helps the operating system to load faster.

As much as storing such information in the NVRAM is crucial, sometimes that is what slows it down. The NVRAM does not have a lot of memory to store the files for long. Occasionally, the memory gets full, making it slow in starting your Apple device.

Whenever the MacBook Pro slows down during the startup process, it is best to reset the NVRAM to enjoy the faster speeds.

For older Mac machines, they use PRAM. Do not worry, PRAM still works the same as NVRAM, so the reset process is similar.

Here is how you reset NVRAM;

  • Shut down your Mac
  • Press the start button or key
  • Quickly press the keys Command + Option + P + R when you hear the startup chime
  • Keep holding these keys for about 20 seconds or until you hear the second startup chime
  • That is it! Release the keys for the system to continue with the startup process

Below is a video that illustrates the steps mentioned above.

5. You have too many third-party device connections

Depending on the various devices you might need to operate on your MacBook Pro, the chances are you will have multiple third-party connections. They include portable SSD drive, chargers, scanners, printers, and more.

With all these extra connections, your Mac device will take longer to load them during the startup process.

So, how do I deal with these extra connections? Well, it is best to connect the devices only when necessary. Let us say for a printer, connect it when you need to print something. The same goes for a scanner or any other device.

Sometimes these additional devices might have software related issues that also affect the Mac’s performance. Ensure that their software is up-to-date to avoid any possible software issues when the device is in use.

6. Hard drive issues

Sometimes the slow startup of your Mac might be because of old hardware. In this case, the hard drive. Once the hard drive gets old, it might start acting up. Such affects the performance of your Mac, not only during startup, but also when using it on overall.

To be sure that the hard drive is the culprit, you need to perform a First Aid run on the hard drive. Here is how to do it.

  • Go to Finder
  • Open Applications and then choose Utilities
  • From the Utilities folder, open Disk Utility app
  • A Disk Utility window appears where you can perform the First Aid action.
  • Click on First Aid tab and then choose the Run option.
  • The system will check the health of the hard drive and offer recommendations including Repair
  • If the hard drive has any issues, click on Repair to get the hard drive back to the best possible health.

If your hard drive is beyond repair, sometimes it is best to replace it.

7. Old Hardware

For a MacBook Pro still running on old hardware, it is easy for its performance to face challenges even when you keep updating its operating system. So, what are some of the things you should upgrade? It is advisable to start by upgrading the Mac’s RAM and hard drive.

Both the RAM and hard drive play an important role in the performance of your Mac device.

Whenever the available RAM easily gets filled up with files, you will face challenges operating the device. The same applies to the hard drive. It is advisable to opt for a larger size of RAM and hard drive.

The process of upgrading both RAM and the hard drive can vary in difficulty depending on the version of MacBook Pro you own. As a result, it is best to have a professional help you with the upgrade.

However, if you are confident about doing the upgrade yourself, here is a video detailing how to install a new RAM in your MacBook Pro. To run more applications with ease, consider installing at least 8GB RAM as part of the upgrade.

As for the hard drive, it is best to switch to a Solid-State Drive or commonly referred to as SSD. Such a drive is good in terms of resource accessibility as it is faster. Whenever you switch to an SSD drive, then you should experience faster bootup speeds. A MacBook Pro that took minutes to boot would now take a few seconds.

Below is a video with details on how to upgrade your MacBook hard drive to an SSD.

8. Your Mac Needs Optimizing

Optimization is key to ensuring that your MacBook Pro can boot up faster. Luckily, the process is not hard if you have the right tools. In our case, we will use CleanMyMac X app. This app can perform a lot more other than optimizing your Mac to be faster. Other functions of the app include removing old files, photo junk, iTunes junk, uninstall apps, and so much more.

Today, we want to focus on how to use the CleanMyMac X app to optimize your Mac for better performance. Follow these steps to optimize your device;

  • Launch the CleanMyMac X app
  • On the left plane choose Optimization from the various options available
  • Under Optimization, you will see other categories such as Login Items, Launch Agents, and Heavy Consumers
  • Select each of the option and click on Perform at the bottom of the app. This will perform the optimization on each of the categories.
  • Once you are done with the optimization of each section, restart your device to see if there is an improvement in the startup speed.

9. Reopening previous windows on startup

When shutting down your Mac, you will encounter the message “Reopen windows when logging back in.” Whenever you see this message, do not select the box next to it. If you choose this option, the operating system will have to load many apps that you were running before shutting down. Such a process can take more time to startup your device.

In Summary

It does not have to be something complex that makes your MacBook Pro slow during startups. From the list of possible problems, their fixes are easy to accomplish. With a few tweaks here and there, your MacBook Pro startup will be better.