Your new MacBook is running slow? Here’s a quick fix

6 min read

Nobody gets upset over old things falling apart because we understand the “circle of life” concept. So when your rusty Macs get sluggish, you most likely won’t give much attention to it. But when a brand-new Mac is suddenly slow, frustration is inevitable. 

Don't rush back to the Apple store just yet! The instructions in this article can help speed up your Mac, iMac, or MacBook Air. Keep reading to find out how!

So, why is my new MacBook Pro so slow?

There can be several reasons, but here are five common whys:

  1. Lack of free space on your hard drive

  2. Too many resource-hungry apps running

  3. Not enough RAM

  4. Malware

  5. Out-of-date software 

How to fix a slow new Mac

The good news is, there's quite a lot we can do to troubleshoot your slow Mac. Here are my nine top recommendations to fix any sluggish Mac in no time. Let's go.

1. Check your hard drive storage 

Depending on which storage options you opted for when purchasing your Mac, available space could be the reason why your fresh Mac is running slow.

No matter which model you have, lack of storage is something any Mac owner will face over time. If your hard drive is reaching its limit, time to give it some extra breathing space.

First, let's check how much available storage you currently have. Here's how:

How to check storage on Mac

  • Select the Apple Menu > About This Mac > Storage.

Here you'll find an overview of your Mac's storage and what's eating up space. Hover over the color bars to see what they represent. 

If you notice that you are, in fact, a little low on available space, this could be why your new MacBook is slow. Luckily, there are a few things you can do about it.

2. Tidy up your hard drive

Yeap, it's a time-consuming job, but if you're low on space, it's one of your best options. Cleaning your hard drive includes but not limited to:

  • Removing old or large files

  • Emptying your Trash

  • Cleaning your desktop

  • Clearing your Downloads folder

The above actions are quite easy and straightforward, but when it comes to cleaning up your system junk safely, that's when it gets trickier. To keep my files and system free from harm, I use CleanMyMac X

You can remove tons of system junk in just a few clicks, including cache, language packs, broken files, temporary files, and user log files. 

Here's how to clean up your system junk the quick & easy way:

CleanMyMac X - System Junk

  1. Launch the app and select System Junk from the left sidebar — download it for free here.

  2. Press Scan, and then select Clean. 

While we're on a topic of storage and space, it's worth considering optimizing your storage, and here comes the next step. 

3. Optimize your Storage 

If space is an issue for you, try keeping your storage optimized with Apple's built-in storage optimization feature. Here's what you should do:

Apple's storage optimization tool

  • Select the Apple Menu > About This Mac > Storage > Storage Settings.

  • View the recommendations and decide how to optimize storage on your Mac.

4. Check for resource-hungry applications

Another root of your new MacBook speed problem can be apps that are called heavy consumers. 

Apps tend to run in the background, sucking precious life from our Macs, causing them to slow down and become unresponsive. Luckily we can quickly check what drains your Mac’s CPU with Activity Monitor.

How to kill process on Mac

  1. Open a new Finder window.

  2. Select Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU.

Activity Monitor shows you exactly what processes are wasting your system resources in real-time.

Take a look through the list to see what's running in the background. To quit an application, select it, then press the "X" in the top left corner. 

Trust me, this will make a difference. If you notice apps in the list that you don't need, consider uninstalling them entirely. 

While you're here, it's also worth taking a look at the Memory tab. You can do this exact same process for applications that are using excessive memory. 

5. Check your internet connection

Sometimes, your Mac is sluggish simply because something’s up with your internet connection. But that’s the good news. Why? Because it means there is nothing wrong with your machine. And checking the status of your network connection is easy as pie via Network settings. Here’s the manual: 

System Settings Network on Mac

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Settings > Network. 

  2. Check the network connection status on the right (green indicates that the service is turned on and connected; yellow — it’s turned on but not connected; red — the service has not been set up.)

6. Check for malware

I know malware is a scary thing to think of, but when your new MacBook Pro (or any other model) starts running slow, it can also be the cause. 

I like to use the tool I mentioned earlier, CleanMyMac X because it also has a dedicated Malware Removal module.

  1. Launch the app, and select Malware Removal from the left sidebar.

  2. Press Scan and wait for the search to complete.

If the search does find something, CleanMyMac X will safely remove the malicious files without touching anything system-related.

I also find it quite reassuring to know that CleanMyMac X is considered quite the malware expert. They also have a Malwarepedia where you can learn about all the different types of threats out there. 

7. Update your software

If your new Mac is slow, check if there are any system updates available. It only takes a second.

How to check for software updates on Mac

  • System Settings > General > Software Update.

If, like me, you have an update waiting, follow the instructions on the screen. Running the latest software really helps to keep your Mac optimized. 

8. Remove browser extensions

Our browser extensions can be absolute resource eaters. So if you have tons of extensions it will slow your Mac down for sure. Here's how to remove any unnecessary extensions:

Remove Chrome extensions 

How to remove Chrome extensions

  1. Launch Chrome.

  2. Top right, press the three-dot icon > Extensions > Manage extensions.

You'll see all of your extensions and add-ons here that are installed on your browser. If you don't recognize them or use them, get rid of them by pressing Remove.

Remove Safari extensions 

Remove Safari extensions

  1. Launch Safari.

  2. In the top menu, press Safari > Preferences.

  3. Select the Extensions tab and remove any extensions you don't need.

9. Manage startup programs  

If your new Mac is running slow, consider managing startup programs. It can help instantly optimize your Mac’s performance and increase speed. CleanMyMac X has the Optimization module, which allows you to manage Login items in just a few clicks. 

Managing Login items with CleanMyMac Optimization module

  1. Open CleanMyMac X.

  2. Select Optimization and click View All Items.

  3. Select login items and launch agents you want to remove and click Remove.

Why is my new MacBook still running slow?

If your new Mac is still running slow, make sure that your expectations are realistic. It's worth considering what spec you purchased here—your processor, graphics, and memory capability. Sometimes we can be expecting a little too much if you opted for a lower spec Mac. That’s why knowing how to keep your Mac optimized is essential. 

Hopefully, your Mac will run faster in no time with these troubleshooting tips. Stay tuned! 

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