It’s almost unavoidable – your MacBook is likely to slow down after a lot of use. But you don’t have to buy a new one. There are plenty of ways to speed up your MacBook without spending a cent. And so here are 10 free ways for you to try.

Close applications you aren’t using

Close applications you aren’t using
Do I really need these apps open right now?

It may seem obvious, but it is something that is often overlooked. If your computer is running slow, look at all of the apps that you have open. Do you really need Mail running in the background? Can you cope with having Calendar, Reminders and Notes closed when you’re not using them? If so, quit them.

Once you get into a habit of quitting the apps that you don’t need, your computer will have more RAM (Random Access Memory) which helps it runs the apps that you are using, much more smoothly.

Delete apps you don’t need

Delete apps you don’t need
Do I actually use all of these apps?

And how about those applications that you never use?

Delete them.

Think of it as a clear out of your system – just as you would with your bedroom. But in this case, if you delete an app and need it again in 2 years, you can re-download for free…

You may find some very large apps that you never use, like GarageBand for example… and it could help your Mac a tremendous deal.

Check Activity Monitor for processes that are taking a lot of resources

Check Activity Monitor for processes that are taking a lot of resources
It looks daunting, but it can really help!

You may not have heard of the Activity Monitor app but it’s an extremely useful tool. You can search your Applications folder for it, and open it. Using the CPU tab, you can look at the usage of each application and process that is open. Order by % CPU to see this clearly.

You should look into any apps with extremely high usage (such as over 100%!) and think about why they may be pressuring the CPU. Maybe you can stop something in the app to prevent it slowing your computer down (for example, closing down some tabs on Safari). If there is a particularly high CPU process (as opposed to application), you can try killing that with the “force quit” option at the top left of Activity Monitor.

Clear cache from browsers

Clear cache from browsers
Safari > Preferences > Privacy > Remove All Website Data…

A very simple task. Clean the cache from your browsers and you’ll have more free space, and, more often that not, a smoother running browser.

Optimize disk space usage

If your disk space is low, delete / move / store in cloud
Your Mac gives you a nice breakdown of the usage of your storage

If you go to the Apple Menu > About This Mac > Storage, you’ll be able to see what your disk space is being used by. If you’re using over 90% of your total available storage, you will want to think about deleting large files if you don’t need them. If you still want to keep these files, we recommend moving them to external storage, such as an external hard drive or USB, or even more convenient, to a Cloud service such as iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive, so that you can access your files whenever you have an internet connection.

Install software updates

Install software updates
Software updates are there to keep your Mac safe, secure, and speedy

It’s pretty simple. Software updates are to keep your applications and computers running to their best potential. We recommend installing all new updates as soon as possible, especially the updates from Apple themselves, to keep your Mac running fast.

Delete projects and files within applications

Delete projects and files within applications
Do I really need to keep these random iMovie projects?

Some large files can hide in applications, especially those that involve a lot of media, such as photos, videos and music. Be sure open such applications and remove any large and unnecessary files. If an application takes up a lot of disk space, it is likely that you can remove files from within the app.

Use a RAM monitor / cleaner

Check RAM
26% available suggests the Mac should be running fine!

You can find many RAM cleaning tools on the App Store with a quick search of “memory cleaner”. Installing one of these allows you to seen how pressured your RAM is, and can then kill all the unnecessary processes that are taking up some bandwidth of the RAM – essentially cleaning the memory.

We think this is a tool that everyone should have on their computer as it will make your Mac run faster.

Restart computer

Restart MacBook
Regularly restarting your Mac is a proven way to keep your computer running fast

It is simple. If you’re not using your Mac, turn it off. And when you get the chance, restart it. You should definitely see a faster running MacBook.

Take MacBook for maintenance

Take MacBook for maintenance
Google your local store!

Still having troubles? It should be quite easy to find a Mac / computer repair specialist that is happy to check out your computer for no charge. If they find something wrong, they can then recommend the best steps forward. Of course, these may cost, but if you are at this stage, that may be the only option left…