Macbook Pro Running Very Slow and Freezing (How to Fix)

Have you ever seen the dreaded rainbow pinwheel of death in your Macbook? Most Macbook users are in constant fear of the day that we witness this. It can be frustrating to be in the middle of an important task when your screen freezes up. Performance issues like this can be solved and avoided in a few different ways.

I will also help you identify possible culprits of your laptop’s slow performance—from boot-up time to actual usage. Apple does a pretty good job at providing tools for its users to trouble-shoot system issues on their own but we’ve got a special solution that will help you regularly optimize your Macbook’s performance.

If you’re interested to find out what it is, then read on!

Most Common Reasons for a Slow Macbook

1. Outdated macOS

Apple releases regular operating system (OS) updates to help users keep their Macbooks running in the best condition. Whether it’s bug fixes, security improvements, or additional features, ensuring that your Macbook’s OS is updated is essential.

A helpful way of making sure your OS is always updated is to select the Automatic Update function. To find this, you need to go to System Preferences > Software Update > then select the box that says “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.”

2. Lack of hard drive space

During the time you’ve been using your Macbook, you may have already downloaded tons of apps, files, and photos. This causes your Macbook’s available storage to decrease and is one of the most common causes of a Macbook’s slow performance.

3. Login items

If your Macbook takes a very long time to boot up, there may be too many apps running at the startup. You may want to consider removing login items or apps by going to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items and deselect the apps that are listed there.

Another option is to click the checkbox under the Hide column to make sure that a program or app won’t startup during the login process.

4. Unused apps

If too many apps are running at the same time, your Macbook’s performance is affected. Most people would think that clicking the red “X” at the upper left corner of each window will exit a program. The sure-fire way of exiting a program is to go to the Dock and right-click the app’s icon and then select “Quit.”

Another option is to click the Apple logo on the upper left portion of the screen, then select “Force Quit” in order to manually exit a program. The shortcut for this is Cmd + Option + Esc. 

Ways to Boost Your Macbook’s Performance

1. Clean-up your Hard Drive

Going through your Macbook’s hard drive and identifying big files, unused apps, widgets, and hidden trash is the easiest and most effective way of speeding up your laptop.

This manual option may take time. You might also have to dig deep into your Macbook’s storage to find the heavy files that are slowing things down.

2. Optimize RAM usage

Depending on the specifications of your Macbook, your RAM usage takes a chunk off your laptop’s performance. Using the Terminal app is a good way to quickly free up your RAM.

This method will help if your laptop is running low on memory or storage space.

Step 1: Open the Terminal App.

Step 2: Paste sudo purge on the Terminal window

Step 3: Press Enter

Step 4: Enter the system password for Step 2’s command to run

3. Create a new User Profile

Another easy way to “refresh” your Macbook is to create a new User Profile. This helps remove the unwanted clutter from old system logs that are slowing down the system. However, this is only a temporary and “emergency” solution. You may have to look into the other methods in the article to fully restore your laptop’s performance to optimal.

Step 1: Click the Apple logo on the upper left-hand of the screen and go to System Preferences

Step 2: Go to Users & Groups

Step 3: Click the lock key on the bottom left of the window to Make Changes

Step 4: Click the “+” sign to add a new User

4. Uninstall some apps

Resource-hungry processes can clog up your Macbook’s system. The usual culprit for this is apps. If you have apps that aren’t being used, it might be time to consider uninstalling them.

You can check an app’s CPU usage using the Activity Monitor which you can find in the Launchpad.

Once you’ve found out what apps have heavy loads on your CPU, you can go to Finder and manually delete apps in the Applications folder. You will have to right-click an app and then select “Move to Trash” for it to be deleted from the system.

5. Clear your cache

Cache is temporary and small-sized CPU items that are stored for system instructions or future use. The more cache files that are stored in your laptop, the more load there is on your CPU. This also causes your Macbook to slow down.

The usual types of cache are stored in your internet browser so if you are using Safari, you can manually clear your cache by going to Preferences > Advanced Tab > Show Develop menu > Empty Caches.

You may also want to consider clearing your browser memory.

6. Optimize storage

Unoptimized apps can cause performance issues on your Macbook. The process of optimizing your apps helps the boot up time and loading speed of your laptop. Removing files and documents that aren’t being used can help you easily boost your Macbook’s speed.

7. Mac Cleaner Software – Best Choice: CleanMyMac

If you want to skip the first six manual steps to help you boost your Macbook, then I have good news for you! CleanMyMac X is the perfect solution to speeding up your Macbook’s performance.

CleanMyMac X is a downloadable software that can perform system scans to remove hidden trash, check for malware, and free up your laptop’s RAM. The main goal of CleanMyMac X is to ensure speed and it’s really good at it.

I personally use this software and it has freed up my data storage and increased my laptop’s performance. It lets me view the Smart Scan results to see which apps are slowing down the system and shows what programs can be optimized.

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