Why MacBook Air Runs Slow? And How Do I Fix It?

Under normal atmospheric conditions, slow movements of air are associated with the calm and windless weather. However, when MacBook Air is running super slowly, it is far less pleasant than the clement and equable weather. Those who find the performance of their Apple laptop really unsatisfactory, often wonder “Why it happens?” and “Do I need to buy a new MacBook Air?” The answer to the latter question is a flat “No.” The former question, on the other hand, requires a lot of elaboration. My goal in writing this article is to explain why a MacBook Air can be very slow. To ensure that too much explanation doesn’t interfere with your ability to take actionable steps toward solving the issue, the second part of the article details what you need to do to speed up a MacBook Air with simple tricks. Now let’s get to it.

For starters, it is important to acknowledge that the MacBook Air has not been designed to outperform tech powerhouses such as the MacBook Pro; therefore, it scores highly in terms of portability while lagging behind with regards to its processing power. The default configurations of processors for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro are1.8GHz and 3.1GHz, respectively. The stark difference is also underscored by the fact that the MacBook Air is equipped with a dated Broadwell processor, which is inferior to its successor used in the MacBook Pro—Kaby Lake chip. Therefore, if one tries to use their laptop for tasks that are more CPU-intensive than simply surfing the web or playing media content, they can encounter hangs and freezes. However, if the laptop stops in its tracks upon launching a browser, it is necessary to look for a culprit in another place.

macbook air slow


Software that runs automatically every time a user launches their laptop can substantially deteriorate its performance. If you have noticed that your MacBook Air had become painfully sluggish, it might be the time to reduce its startup load by minimizing the number of login items.

The MacBook Air has less RAM than its bulkier counterparts, which is why it is less capable of juggling many background apps simultaneously. If a user runs multiple apps at once, their laptop will be slower than usual.

An outdated OS can also be responsible for regular hangs. It is not uncommon for the members of the Apple family to run their MacBook Air under older versions of macOS such as Yosemite. Taking into consideration the fact that the latest macOS High Sierra is characterized by the high performance and efficiency, there’s no reason for postponing the upgrade.

How to Speed Up MacBook Air?

No one should condone lousy performance of the MacBook Air. Therefore, if you are asking “How can I make my old laptop run faster?”, this section of the article is just what you need. Here’s what you should do to turn your seemingly geriatric laptop into a fountain of youthful energy, which never slows down.

Start by reducing the number of login items, which decrease the startup speed and make your MacBook Air generally slower. To remove unnecessary auto-startup applications, do the following:

  1. In the Apple menu, go to System Preferences;
  2. Click on the Users & Groups tab and select a relevant user;
  3. Click on the Login Items tab at the top of the window;
  4. Select startup items that you want to remove;
  5. Use the button to remove the items;
  6. If there is a need to add an item to the list, press the + button;
  7. Close the window;
  8. Reboot the Mac.

Another solution to the sluggishness of the MacBook Air is to close unnecessary background applications. To this end:

  1. From the Apple menu, go to Applications and proceed to Utilities;
  2. In the Utilities, find and launch Activity Monitor;
  3. Select and close the undesired apps.

macbook air runs slow


Another step on the way to the sublime performance of MacBook Air is to upgrade macOS. Prior to upgrading macOS, you should backup your laptop to prevent the data loss. It can be done with the help of Time Machine, iCloud or an external drive. If you would like to find out the current macOS version on the laptop and install the new one, here’s how it can be done:

  1. Click on the Apple logo, in the top left corner of the screen;
  2. Select the About this Mac option from the drop-down menu;
  3. Check the macOS version.
  4. Use the Software Update button to install macOS High Sierra.

Alternatively, update the macOS through Apple App Store. Simply use the Update button, on the Updates tab.

Another way to go about speeding up your MacBook Air is to get rid of excessive apps that consume too much of the hard drive space, thereby making the laptop slower. Although the removal of unused software might seem a fairly straightforward process, it is actually more complicated than dragging and dropping apps to the Trash. To properly tidy up a drive, it is also necessary to delete software remnants that are scattered across remote directories of the system, which might be quite tricky. Furthermore, a user would benefit from removing cache and preferences files. This can be done by either following a manual route or software route. The latter can be achieved with the help of cleaning utilities that are available on the Web and Apple App Store.