How to speed up a slow Macbook within minutes

Some days ago all of a sudden my Macbook became slow, so slow, it really influenced my daily performance. I had to wait a long time before I could check a single e-mail, typing was slow, applications slowly opened etc. My first thought: a lack of disk space. That was not the case. After a reboot (which sometimes helps) I didn’t notice any change. Even with a small amount of applications opened, meaning a lot less than usually, it was still not too responsive. Oh no, a virus? Fortunately, the solution was a lot easier, at least, once I found it.

A lack of disk space is often the issue

When you search online for information about speeding up your slow Macbook for sure many items will advice you to check your disk space and this can be worth checking. I found a really great tool to do so: DaisyDisk [Disclosure: This is just my personal preference, I’m not at all related to DaisyDisk and I don’t earn by mentioning them]. DaisyDisk will show you the largest folders/files. Especially many backups of for example Smartphones can in general be deleted, freeing up an amazing amount of disk space.

Because I recently cleaned my harddisk, this time this couldn’t be the cause of the dramatic slow down of my laptop.

The most easy solution ever

Thanks to Google I found a discussion at the Apple Support Community and I decided to try AppleFixitGuy’s advice. Like many others I didn’t believe it would work, but it really did! Just follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your Macbook
  2. Plug it into the power socket
  3. Hold down the left shift, option and control keys together with the power button for 10 seconds (your Macbook shouldn’t turn on)
  4. Turn on your Macbook like normal.

Hopefully it works for you as well.

49 comments On How to speed up a slow Macbook within minutes

  • What is the “option” button on a Mac?

    • The “option” button is in between the “control”/”ctrl” and “command”/”cmd” (to the left of the “space” button), at least on mine.

    • That’s the button in between and . It might have as a description.

    • My Dad bought me a MacBook for college that was really expensive so I am hesitating to buy a new one because mine got pretty slow. Eventually I found a site (WWW.DETOXMACBOOK.COM) and its working perfectly again, but I’m trying to figure out if this problem is something that I caused or if Apple computers are just really expensive pieces of technology that will stop working well… kind of like my PC did. Any advice?

  • i did it but my macbook doesn’t work anymore! was it a wise advice Peter? what should I do now?

    • Too bad. Like I mentioned it worked for me (and for others as well). What did exactly happen? In the past I once also had the idea my macbook didn’t want to turn on again, but in the end it did. What happens if you press the power button for a longer period of time?

    • This is how I can get mine to turn back on. Take the back off, unplug the battery, unplug the power cable from your computer, then hold down the power button for ten seconds, continue to hold down power button and plug in the power cord to computer, count ten more seconds, release button and count ten seconds, plug in battery and turn on.

  • This really works

  • Thank you Peter. A great tip.

  • My MacBook Pro is so fucking slow… I fucking hate it!!!! I just anna trade it for a normal operating Windows machine. appel sucks fucking bigtime is absolutely not superior anymore. It’s fucking inferior!!! I don’t wanna use al kinds of apps to make it faster, I just want it to function normal… Pro my ass….

  • it worked beautifully. thank you so much!

    • left from the space bar is; command, option then control. Depending on your keyboard it might have a symbol like a frying pan on it and the words alt

  • Doesn’t work. After ten seconds, it lets out a beep and starts up slow as ever

    • Dear Egan, sorry to hear that. For me it already worked several times. Are you sure you used the keys described? I never heard a beep.

      • i researched this further, and it doesn’t work on computers with removable batteries. there are similar techniques for those, but they didn’t work either. it’s just a plain old dead battery.

        • your holding down the wrong button. i did that the first time and it made a beep and came back on immediately.. but i did do it correctly the second time, although, it locked my macbook down and I had to remove the battery to get it to turn on. I wouldn’t recommend this. LOL.

  • Does anyone know WHY this seems to work? Do you have a free suggestion for checking the disk space as opposed to the $10.00 one?

  • wow thanks for the tip my macbook is super fast thanks!

  • Thanks for the tips Peter. I think the Apple discussion thread provides instructions for something called a SMC reset. There is another reset called PRAM reset that is also quite useful in fixing performance issues, as explained here in this useful post that I found.

  • Have been twice to the genius bar where they ran all kinds of tests and said nothing is wrong. ??? Just there Monday and it’s even slower than before. Just ridiculous. I tried Peter’s fixit four times. The computer turns on at about 7 or 8 seconds, preceded by the usual whirr then the bing. I read to plug it in the wall??? I have mine in an extension cord, so I took it out and plugged it directly in the wall. No difference. What am I doing wrong???
    Don’t know what to do next. Not the battery for sure. Almost 5 yrs old.

  • Brilliant Solution that really made a difference – I talked to a Mac Genius guy and he said that he would pass the results to the Engineers – he did say that he had not heard of this being so effective.

    He also passed on another method that clears the cache:
    1. Shut down your Macbook
    2. Plug it into the power socket
    3. Hit Power button and Immediately hold down the option and command and p and r keys together (your Macbook will turn on and let it cycle minimum 3 times with the screen coming on and the mac beeps )
    4. Turn on your Macbook like normal.

    • Thanks for your comment and suggestion. I’m surprised to hear an Apple engineer seems not to be aware of this. The solution is wide spread for a while already. Didn’t try your solution, so I cannot comment on that.

  • Took two attempts, but the it worked like a charm… Thanks a million for that!

  • When I do that an X appears where my battery is and my laptop starts making a VERY loud noise. This happen to anyone else?

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    what does this actually do to the laptop? Does it clear caches? Does it just some how speed up your mac? What does it actually do?

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  • This is a 2-year old article but I must say, this method is still working in 2015! Thank you so much! It used to take my mac like a minute to log in…let alone start up chrome. After this, it was near instantaneous. A+

    • Dylan, nice to hear it worked for you as well. I’m still using it once in a while and indeed it helps. Be aware that Google Chrome is anyway consuming a lot of your PC’s resources. I noticed Safari is performing better. Google seems to be working on a lighter version to solve that issue.

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  • Here goes nothing!

  • Current Apple Store Employee

    MacbookHelpers(dot)com will speed up your Mac if it starts going slowly. It is the same software that Apple store employees use if customers come in saying their MacBook is going too slow or that they are seeing the rainbow wheel too often.

  • Quick tip: DETOXMYMAC.ORG will speed up your Mac if it starts going slowly. It is the same software that Apple employees use if customers come in saying their MacBook is going too slow or that they are seeing the rainbow wheel too often.

  • ‘Welp, might as will give it a try.’
    Wow, thanks a lot!!

  • This helped. Thank you.

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