MacBook Pro Running Slow: Reasons + Easy Fixes | 2024

Nothing is more frustrating than a MacBook Pro running slow when you have a full day of work ahead. It is not unusual for such a high-performance machine to face lags every once in a while. But when it becomes recurrent, you may ask yourself – what has gone wrong? This guide will explore the root causes and easy solutions to these performance hitches.

Catching a wave of panic each time your MacBook Pro exhibits heating issues or slows down is certainly not what you signed up for. The truth is that these problems can arise due to several factors. From hardware hitches to software snags, there might be more than one reason your MacBook Pro is running slow. This article aims to guide you through identifying the issues and implementing the quick fixes to resolve them – everything to get your MacBook Pro back to its speedy self.

Understanding the Issue: Why is your MacBook Pro running slowly?


Is your MacBook Pro taking an unusually long time to perform its tasks? If yes, there could be a multitude of reasons behind it. Different factors, such as outdated hardware, countless background tasks, insufficient RAM, and sometimes even viruses, can significantly affect your MacBook Pro running slow.

To understand the issue of MacBook Pro running slow, it’s essential to recognize that a MacBook Pro, like any computer, relies on a combination of hardware and software to perform tasks. Sometimes, the hardware ages or fails, which can cause your Mac to slow down. For example, an older, slower hard drive can hinder your MacBook Pro’s performance. Or if there’s a failure in the RAM, it can limit the amount of data your Mac can handle at once, causing it to slow down.

Similarly, software problems can also slow down your Mac. Running too many applications at once can overburden your Mac’s CPU. Having limited storage space can also cause slowdowns, as your Mac needs free space to swap data in and out. Sometimes, it could be an outdated operating system or an application causing the problem.

Overheating also poses a significant performance issue. When a MacBook Pro gets too hot, it’s forced to slow down.

Top 5 Reasons Why Your MacBook Pro Runs Slow

Your MacBook Pro may be running slow due to a variety of reasons. These can range from outdated technology to hardware issues. Understanding the cause can help you find the right solution. Here are the top ten reasons why this could be happening.

A. Age and Outdated Technology

As technology advances, old hardware can struggle to keep up with new software and applications. If your MacBook Pro is several years old, it might not be equipped to handle the demands of the latest software.

B. Insufficient RAM

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is the workspace of your computer. If you don’t have enough RAM, your MacBook Pro could struggle with multiple tasks, which can slow it down.

C. Full Hard Drive

A full hard drive can also slow down your MacBook Pro. When the storage is nearing its limit, your MacBook might experience lag as it struggles to process data efficiently.

D. Too Many Apps Running At Once

Running too many applications simultaneously can consume a lot of your MacBook Pro’s resources. This results in slow performance as the system tries to manage all these tasks.

E. Software Glitches

Software glitches primarily result from bugs in coding, corrupt files, or an outdated operating system. For instance, if you are running older macOS versions on your MacBook Pro, you might experience bugs that Apple has addressed in later versions.

A software glitch can also create what’s known as a ‘memory leak,’ causing a program to use more memory than it releases. It might start small, but it can grow to take up a large portion of your RAM, making your MacBook Pro lag significantly.

Are You Dealing With MacBook Pro Heating Issues As Well?

Yes, overheating can be a significant issue affecting your MacBook Pro’s performance. This can cause the device to run slower than usual. Overheating usually happens when your MacBook Pro has to work harder, such as when you’re running heavy applications or multiple tasks at once, which increases the internal temperature and leads to a decline in performance.

How Heating Causes MacBook Pro to Slow Down

When your MacBook Pro starts heating up, it’s essentially an indication that the CPU is working overtime. The Central Processing Unit (CPU), the brain of your system, generates heat as it processes data. It’s designed to handle high temperatures, but if it gets too hot, your Mac’s built-in safety feature will slow down the CPU to cool it down. This is known as thermal throttling. So, even though it’s a protective measure, it can significantly slow down your computer’s performance.

Identifying Signs of Overheating Issues

There are a few signs that can help you identify if your MacBook Pro is experiencing overheating issues. Are you hearing the fans in your MacBook Pro running consistently loud or at full speed? Is your MacBook Pro extremely hot to the touch? Are common tasks taking longer than usual?

Quick Fixes for a MacBook Pro Overheating

Overheating can also be an issue for your MacBook Pro running slow. There are a variety of quick fixes that can have your laptop running as well as new. From freeing up your hard drive space to updating your software, these tips can effectively address various factors that may be bogging down your Mac. Let’s delve into these solutions in more detail.

Freeing Up Hard Drive Space

A cluttered hard drive is often a quick way to slow down, which results in overheating your MacBook Pro. Free up some space by deleting unnecessary files, emptying your trash bin regularly, and storing large files or seldom-used data on external storage devices. These simple steps can give your MacBook Pro some much-needed breathing room.

Closing Unnecessary Apps

Keeping many apps running simultaneously can cause your MacBook Pro to lag. To address this, simply close the apps that you aren’t using. Click on the app, then select ‘Quit’ from the dropdown menu. This ends the app’s processes, freeing up your Mac’s resources.

Updating Your Software

Outdated software can cause your MacBook Pro to slow down. Stay updated by going to the Apple menu, selecting ‘System Settings’, then clicking on ‘General,’ and you will see ‘Software Update’; if updates are available, make sure you update your Mac regularly.

Dealing with Viruses or Malware

Clear Cache and Browsing History

Look into your browser settings and clear your cache and browsing history routinely. This step can significantly improve your MacBook’s Internet speed. Cached files and browsing history can clog up your browser and slow its performance with time.

  1. Open your internet browser.
  2. Navigate to the settings or preferences menu
  3. Look for a section related to “browser data” or “history.”
  4. Follow the prompts to clear your cache and browsing history.

Disable Unnecessary Extensions

Disable any unnecessary extensions in your browser, as these can consume a significant amount of your computer’s resources. It’s crucial to disable or remove any extensions that aren’t regularly used.

Clean your MacBook Pro Regularly

Accumulation of dust inside your device can obstruct airflow and lead to heating problems. Giving your computer a regular dusting can remedy this issue.

Check CPU Usage

Some apps are more resource-intensive than others and can cause your MacBook Pro to heat up. You can use Activity Monitor to check CPU usage and close any unnecessary applications.

Diving Deeper: MacBook Pro Lag and Its Causes

There could be many reasons for this, which may not always be obvious. Let’s take a closer look at potential culprits: wrong settings, an overloaded hard drive, or insufficient RAM.

A. Wrong Settings

Sometimes, the cause of your lag could be as simple as having the wrong settings. For instance, you may have enabled visual effects that might slow down your system, or maybe your energy settings are not optimized for performance. To improve your MacBook Pro’s speed, try visiting the ‘System Preferences’ and tailoring your settings to meet your needs. For instance, you can adjust your energy-saving settings or reduce transparency and motion in the ‘Accessibility’ menu.

B. Overloaded Hard Drive

An overloaded hard drive can also substantially bog down your MacBook Pro. Just like a desk cluttered with papers and files, a hard drive crammed with data can make it tricky for your system to perform swiftly. Remember – your hard drive should have at least 15% free space for optimal performance. You can manage your storage by clicking the ‘Apple’ icon, choosing ‘About This Mac,’ and selecting ‘Storage.’

C. Insufficient RAM

Many of us tend to run lots of apps at once, have dozens of browser tabs open, and are constantly processing large files. If your MacBook Pro has insufficient RAM to handle all these operations, it has to work harder. Sometimes, it might even resort to using your hard drive space for overflow, which can considerably slow down your machine.

A simple way to diagnose this is by using Activity Monitor. You can find this handy tool in your ‘Utilities’ folder. When you open Activity Monitor, click on the ‘Memory’ tab and look at the bottom for the ‘Memory Pressure’ graph. If it’s always red or orange, it means that you’re running out of RAM frequently.


In conclusion, understanding the reasons behind a MacBook Pro running slow and taking the necessary steps provided in this guide can significantly improve your device’s performance. From addressing hardware shortcomings to ensuring your device isn’t overly hot, each solution has its role.

Prioritizing your MacBook Pro’s maintenance can keep it running at its optimal speed, making it more efficient and prolonging its lifespan. So, don’t endure the frustration of a sluggish laptop anymore – follow these tips and notice the difference.

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