MacBooks are among the most reliable computers you can get. This reliability should be expected given how much money you need to spend on the device. Sure, there are other elements that go into the package, such as the brand and exclusive macOS features, but people still want to know that they are not wasting their money.
Having said that, just because you get a Mac, do not expect for it to perform optimally forever. Sooner or later, you are bound to experience various performance issues. For example, it might take longer for the MacBook to load after a reboot, or you may notice more frequent FPS drops while playing video games.
Of course, it helps if you have a proper maintenance routine and care for your MacBook. Unfortunately, not everyone bothers with it and neglects to manage even simple things. The neglect ultimately leads to worse overall performance.
That said, you should not consider getting rid of your Mac just because it shows signs of worse performance. There are plenty of things to try before replacing it with another computer.
As a MacBook owner, you are limited to only a few hardware upgrade options. After all, MacBooks have integrated hardware that you cannot replace that easily. In fact, some Mac models are not compatible with any hardware changes.
Available upgrades include more memory, replacing an HDD with an SSD, and getting an external graphics processing unit. Find out if your Mac model supports hardware upgrades and look at the available options to figure out how to spend money. At the end of the day, a hardware upgrade is still cheaper than purchasing a new computer, and you can save even more money by waiting for a sale.
The reluctance to clean the dust inside a laptop stems from the fact that many people cannot be bothered to take the device apart in order to clean it thoroughly. The risks are understandable because not having prior experience might result in hardware damages when you are taking the MacBook apart.
Nevertheless, it is still important to clean the dust because it will continue to accumulate. If you do not wish to take on the task yourself, go to a local computer service store and ask if they could clean the MacBook for you. It might take a while, and you will need to spend money, but at least you will have peace of mind knowing that the cleaning is left to someone who knows what they are doing.
A dust-free MacBook will not overheat as much even if you are running resource-heavy applications. Moreover, the internal fans can operate better when they are not getting clogged by the filth inside.
In case you want to counter the overheating issue even more, consider a cooling pad. An accessory that costs between 30 to 50 bucks should be a neat investment.
Only a couple of free gigabytes on the drive signal serious problems. If you are not careful, you will run into this issue as a MacBook owner. It is more common than you expect, given how lackluster the total available disk space on some Macs is.
To deal with the problem, get a cleanup utility tool and remove unwanted temporary system backups, app caches, extensions, and other junk. CleanMyMac X should be a good software choice, but you can look at other apps, like Gemini 2, DaisyDisk, or Disk Doctor.
Once you finish with temporary data, move to applications, downloads, duplicates, localization files, desktop clutter, and email attachments. Remove files you no longer need from the system permanently by emptying the Trash Bin or using the Option + Command + Delete keyboard shortcut.
When you finish removing unwanted junk, you can look to transfer some files to external storage. iCloud is a good solution, though you can also consider investing in an external HDD or a USB memory stick.
Pro tip: if you hoard large media files on the MacBook, switch to streaming services and save some drive space. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ have plenty of media to entertain you.
There might be a few background applications you forgot about because they are part of the startup item list. To make sure that the system resources are not going to waste, launch Activity Monitor and see which processes are consuming the most memory, energy, or GPU.
Some applications will need to run because you need them. For example, antiviruses or communication platforms you use for work. However, apps that have no use at the time should not be in the background, meaning that you can close them.
Limiting background processes will free up system resources and help with the overall MacBook performance. Try to get in the habit of checking Activity Monitor regularly, especially if you forget about quitting applications.
The last bit to consider is cybersecurity threats. Just because macOS is not as prone to malware as other operating systems, discarding the possibilities of getting one on your Mac would be unwise. A proper cybersecurity strategy is a must.
Other than having reliable antivirus software that detects and deletes corrupted files, you should also be smarter about how you use your passwords online. Avoiding shady URLs and installing an ad blocker internet browser extension helps as well. The latter is great in particular because it helps avoid aggressive ads that might redirect you to dangerous landing pages.
Virtual private networks are worth a shout as well, especially if you have to join public Wi-Fi. While your home network should be relatively safe, the same cannot be said about the internet at cafes, hotels, libraries, and other public establishments.
All in all, there are quite a few different points to consider when you are trying to improve your MacBook’s performance. Keep in mind that implementing as many methods in your maintenance routine will be beneficial. Even if some ideas seem insignificant, they can still make a difference.