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How to Speed up a MacBook Air That Is Running Slowly

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

Almost all electronic devices slow down over time. As long as a device works fine, we don't pay attention to small details that are necessary for the smooth functioning of a device. The same applies to your MacBook Air as well. Are you also experiencing it? Well, there can be several reasons for MacBook Air running slow. Mostly it depends on how you use it.

Read on to know all about various factors that give rise to MacBook Air slowing down, its solution, and the best ways to prevent the issue.

Part 1: Why Is MacBook Air Running Slow

The slowing down of your Mac is an annoying experience to deal with. Even the simplest tasks take a lot of time to complete.

Imagine you had an important meeting with a potential client over Skype video call in 5 minutes, and you are waiting for the Skype application to open. After being late for 10 minutes, you eventually leave a message for the inconvenience. It certainly gives a bad image of your professionalism for the job. Moreover, your chance of getting that big project is also gone. Although it was a genuine issue, you can't use it as an excuse, can you? Therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Before you know about how to prevent these glitches, you must know about various factors that lead to such issues in the first place.

When you are thinking of why my MacBook air is slow, one of the typical reasons is its in-built applications. Even when you are not using default applications of the Mac system, it runs in the background and gradually drains your system over time. You can increase battery life and its precious resources by ending these applications.

If you’re thinking why is my MacBook Air so slow, you might want to check the space left in your hard drive. Low hard drive space can easily ruin the overall performance of your system and slows it. When it comes to installing setups in low-initial RAM, Mac OS constantly swaps memory to local hard disk. As a result, limited space is left to carry out the basic tasks.

People often jump to the conclusion and go for the best hardware upgrade for the solid performance of their system. Even though this move significantly boosts your system performance, it would be best if you first reset PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory). It could be a helpful task considering PRAM is used in a Mac OS with a battery to keep system data. Moreover, PRAM may change system settings, including an alarm clock, fans, lights, start-up disk, power actions, disk cache, and make space for other operations.

Numerous reasons are responsible for the slow-power start of your MacBook Air. Among various reasons, some of the most frequent factors leading to the slowing down of your system are unused software applications, cache memory, and login items. Keep them disabled so that it doesn't occupy additional space in your RAM.

The regular updates released by the manufacturer are intended to address any problem with battery life, bugs, and other security-related upgrades. To speed up MacBook Air, you need to install these upgrades as soon as you get the notification. Moreover, it ensures that you are getting the most out of your Mac system, and it's performing at its peak.

Part 2: How to Fix Mac Running Slow Issue

There’s never just one specific reason that influences the overall slowing down of the MacBook Air. After a certain time, the junk files in your computer gradually accumulate a significant amount of memory. From in-built system software running in the background to the cache memory, multiple variables come to play in this situation. If you want to solve MacBook Air slowing down, you need to address the issue on all fronts.

Here are some of the effective ways that will help you fix the issue.

Method 1: Look for the Resource-Hungry Processes

As briefly mentioned above, there are several power-hungry apps in your computer that slows down the seamless functioning of your computer. You need to find these applications and disable them one by one. It can be done using Mac OS’s inbuilt utility tool, Activity Monitor. It allows you to see where your systems are allocated in real-time. Moreover, it details five different resources. These include CPU, Disk, Memory, Energy, and Network Usage.

The entire process is simple and can easily be accomplished in a few steps, which are as follows,

Step 1: Go to the utility folder of your Applications folder. You can also use ‘Spotlight’ to find’ Activity Monitor.’

Step 2: As your system is running slowly, you must focus on the CPU section. It shows which programs are using the most of your CPU.

Step 3: Close the programs that are taking much more CPU space.

selecting programs with more CPU usage

Method 2: Manage Your Start-up Items

You might have heard about this before, but a smooth start-up helps to speed up a slow mac. When it takes less time by your Mac to launch, it takes less time to do anything. For instance, if you try to open Safari or Chrome on a perfect MacBook Air, it will open instantly without a hitch. Now, you must be thinking, how could you possibly get such speeds?

Well, when your MacBook Air starts up, it runs numerous applications that you don't use. You need to disable these applications that you don't immediately need after the Mac boots up. Here's the process to disable the apps.

Step 1: Go to your ‘System Preference’ tab and open ‘Users & Groups.’

Step 2: Now, click on your ‘Username’ and open ‘Login Items.’

Step 3: Check the box before the programs in the ‘Hide’ column. These are the programs that you don’t require immediately at the start of your system.

check the hide box

Step 4: Now, click on the ‘-’ button below to complete the process.

Method 3: Turn-off Visual Effects

There is no doubt that visual effects look lovely on any system. But it may also be the reason MacBook air slow. Significant memory space is required to run the visual effects smoothly. Over time, you tend to use your system for various other functions that also require memory. As a result, your computer's RAM can't afford to run these applications simultaneously.

Hence, turning-off these features may be a helpful tip to speed up your MacBook Air. Here’s how you can shut the visual effects feature on your system.

Step 1: Open ‘System Preferences’ and click on ‘Dock.’

Step 2: Now, uncheck ‘Animate Opening Applications’ and ‘Automatically hide and show the dock.’

Step 3: In ‘Minimize windows using,’ change ‘Genie effect’ to ‘Scale effect.’

uncheck ‘animate opening applications’

Method 4: Remove Browser Add-ons

When it comes to boosting the overall speed of your MacBook Air, it also includes your Internet browsing speed. If you check your Safari/Chrome extensions page, you might find plenty of add-ons and extensions that we install for our convenience.

Although these tools might be helpful to check the grammar and other basic features, often it ends up in reduced browsing speed. If you can stick to only the essential extensions, you can significantly boost your browser’s speed.

Method 5: Keep Minimum Tabs on the Desktop

The more tabs on your desktop, the more time it takes for the system to start-up. Every icon present on the desktop occupies RAM space. So, fewer the icons – faster the system works. You can use the 'Desktop Stacks' feature to manage these icons in order.

If you're using an old version of MacBook Air, you can simply delete unnecessary desktop icons. Make a separate folder for the rest of the important files.

desktop clutter

Method 6: Empty Cache Memory

Though the cache memory or stacked-up temporary data is a useful feature that speeds up your computer, it can also slow your system. This temporary data get piled-up in the RAM. As a result, after a particular time, this temporary data start occupying a significant space in RAM and hinders the easy functioning of your system.

It would be best if you empty this cache data regularly to speed up MacBook Air.

Method 7: Clean-up Mac’s Hard Drive

One of the efficient ways to speed up MacBook Air is to clean your hard drive. You will always find some files, documents, and applications on your hard drives that you haven't accessed in the past year or so. Get rid of these files and allow your system to breathe some space in for quick processing.

Tip: While cleaning your hard drive, you must not delete any important files related to software applications.

In case it's too late, and you've accidentally deleted some of the files, you can use a data recovery software to recover lost files. Recoverit is one of the best software that easily retrieves deleted data on Mac OS.

Now, before we proceed with the process of data recovery, you need to download the application on your system. Once the download completes, launch the application on the system and follow the process below.

Step 1: Select location on your Mac

Click on the 'Select Location' tab and choose a location from where you have lost the data. Tap on the 'Device' and click on the 'Start' button to initiate the process. You can also select the exact path of the deleted file under the 'Select Folder' option.

select the location of deleted files

Step 2: Scan the location to look for lost files

Once you initiate the procedure, Recoverit will perform an all-round search using its advanced scanning and searching algorithm. As soon as you initiate the process, Recoverit will start showing the list of files that it has found during the scan. So, if you've got the files that you needed, you may stop scanning at any time.

Mac scanning lost files

Step 3: Preview and Recover Data

Before you download the recovered files, Recoverit offers a preview of all the files in the form of thumbnails, whether it is video, audio, a PDF file, photo, or any other document.

a preview of a deleted video file

Tap on the ‘Preview’ button on the right panel of the application and check if you got what you were looking for. Now, click on the ‘Recover’ option to retrieve the deleted files. Click on the 'Save' option to restore the deleted files in a specific location.

save lost files

Tip: While selecting the destination of the recovered file, make sure that you don’t save the recovered files in the same location where you lost it from initially. As it could overwrite the data, it would be better if you select a different location.

Part 3: How to Keep MacBook Air Running Fast

Do you remember the smile that you had on your face when you first got your new MacBook Air? Well, that smile started to fade away over the years as a result of your MacBook Air slowing down. Well, if you could do a few checks and changes over time, you can keep your MacBook Air running fast. Here are some of the tricks that may help you do the same.

Method 1: Restrict your Auto-Sharing Apps to a minimum

If you could remember, many software applications ask permission to launch the app at the start-up. Although it is a convenient option for some applications that need to run in the background, it can also slow down your system. Follow the steps below to remove apps that don't need to run at the start-up.

Step 1: Go to ‘System Preferences.’

Step 2: Click on the ‘Users & Groups.’

Step 3: Now, open 'Login Items' and uncheck apps that don't need to run in the background at boot-up.

uncheck applications

Method 2: Update Mac OS and its applications

Never ignore a Mac system update, as it may cover security holes, optimize codes, and also add new features. Although Mac applications are usually set for automatic-updates in the system, enable them for auto-updates from the Mac App Store if they aren't.

check all the boxes for automatic updates

Method 3: Use Limited Extensions and Apps

Even when Apple provides all the necessary applications (like Safari, Mail, and Calendar) on a MacBook Air, people often download their favorite apps with similar features. But the more applications on the system, the more it slows down. Similarly, add-ons provide some extended features that help in efficient browsing. Moreover, it also takes a huge toll on the browsing speed.

Hence, you must restrict your applications and add-ons usage to a minimum.

Method 4: Get a Reliable Antivirus

A potential virus or malware intrusion may badly affect the smooth functioning of your system. Although Macs are often said to be free from malware issues, it can slow down your system if you accidentally download a malicious script.

A reliable third-party antivirus software application would be a great option to maintain your system's speed over time.

Closing words

When it comes to speeding up a MacBook Air, you must know the possible root causes of the problem. Once you know the reason, addressing the issue correctly becomes easier.

This article must have helped you to speed up your MacBook Air. And if you accidentally lost some of the essential data while cleaning-up the hard drive, you can use Recoverit to restore deleted files.

Recoverit author

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

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