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A lot of people say that MacBooks are more reliable than most laptops and notebooks are. However, time will always catch up to a machine’s reliability, and what’s new now can eventually become old.
And though Macs can last up to a decade and Apple continually provides support and updates for its beloved products, there’s no denying that MacBooks will get slower over time.
Fortunately, there are different ways to improve a MacBook’s performance. Instead of buying a new device, you can make your Mac perform like it’s brand-new again by following any of these tips:
Method 1: Adding Hardware
Random access memory (RAM) is used to save short-term information. It saves information that applications need while running. So adding more RAM allows your MacBook to run processes faster, because it has more memory to quickly retrieve more information.
But before adding more memory, you need to check if what you’re buying is compatible with your MacBook version.
Usually a MacBook’s base memory can be replaced with one that is twice its size (e.g. 2 GB to 4 GB). Apple’s support page has instructions on how to open the back of a MacBook and add or replace a memory card.
Another investment is to get an external SSD. A solid-state drive (SSD) can access data faster than a regular hard drive can, and they’re also quieter as they use flash memory chips rather than spinning metal plates. Plus, since they’re portable, attaching an external SSD to a MacBook is simple.
As for those people who are always on the go, limited access to an outlet can be a problem.
A MacBook’s battery will eventually wear down as time passes, so it is better to buy a MacBook battery replacement as a spare.
Batteries are, literally, the life of your MacBook if there’s no power outlet available nearby. It’s a good idea to buy an extra one if you spend a lot of time on your MacBook.
Method 2: Cleaning the Hard Drive
From time to time, you need to clean up the MacBook’s drive so that unnecessary data from old applications won’t take up precious memory.
This includes uninstalling applications that you no longer need. You can see the list of installed apps in the Applications and Downloads folders. Just select them and drag them to your Trash.
If you see apps that you haven’t been using for months, then those may be unnecessary in your day-to-day computer use and should be uninstalled.
However, MacBooks don’t have built-in uninstallers, so there’s a chance that not all associated files are removed when deleting an application’s folder. On the other hand, there are free application uninstallers in the AppStore that can make things much easier.
It is also important to empty the Trash folder always. Whatever is inside the Trash can still consume memory. You can empty it by right-clicking the Trash icon then choosing Empty Trash.
The latest version of macOS has an automatic delete trash function as well for items that have been in the Trash for thirty days.
Method 3: Using Activity Monitor
When you know which applications use the most resources (i.e., CPU and memory), you can look for better alternatives to applications that are just too much for the MacBook.
You can also click on the Memory tab, and check if the memory pressure gauge at the bottom. If it’s always red, then it might be best to invest on upgrading your MacBook’s memory.
But before that, check if there are applications that you can remove or replace.
For example, the default browser for MacBooks is Safari, which is good for syncing between devices.
But if you want faster loading of webpages, an Opera browser can do better. If you want something that has customizations and add-ons, Chrome or Firefox has a variety of features that can help improve how the browser works.
Depending on one’s needs and the MacBook’s requirements, you can use a browser that is most suitable for work and leisure, while making sure its memory usage is not heavy.
Method 4: Managing the Start-Up
A MacBook will take time to start up when there are a lot of applications running. When there’s no need for those apps to run in the background, it’s better to remove them so that other apps can work faster.
To do this, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups, and then click on your user name. On Login Items, select the program not needed during every start-up, then click the “–” button.
Method 5: Updating Software
Updating a MacBook to the latest version of its operating system is essential in making sure you get the most out of your MacBook. Updated software also guarantees that issues are resolved and security is improved.
You can click on the Apple icon at the Menu bar, then click Software Update to manually do the update, or you can click on System Preferences > App Store, then tick Automatically Check for Updates.
One Last Thing to Remember
Prior to doing any kind of maintenance, it is highly recommended to back up important data.
There may be a possibility that an update is problematic, and if you install it, your MacBook will function slower than usual.
It’s also good to check Apple’s community discussions to know about common problems and how to fix them.
Please note that there aren’t any copyright-free “images for step-by-step guidance” as required by the blogger.
But this one has Jeff’s name on it.