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Sometimes I have to wait very long until my MacBook booted up.

Any tricks on how to speed up the boot?

  • This belongs on Super User or Ask Different – UnhandledExcepSean Jun 15 '15 at 12:45
  • Welcome to Lifehacks! Unfortunately, questions that are not about physical problems are off topic here. – Mooseman Jun 16 '15 at 0:26
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You have a variety of choices depending on your time, budget, and tech-fu:

  1. Replace your hard drive with an SSD will certainly be a big win. Your laptop will boot faster and apps will open faster and it is quieter and uses less power. This also brings other side benefits I will mention later.
  2. Adding more RAM will be a decent win. Things will generally go faster, and you will be able to do more things at once before your laptop slows down. This is easier than replacing your hard drive, but it won't have nearly the same effect.
  3. While it is more true with Windows than MacOS, you will still get some help from merely reinstalling the OS. Reinstalling will clean our a certain amount of BS that accumulates as software is installed and updated.
  4. Uninstall apps you no longer need or use.
  5. Review startup settings. Even after you've installed something maybe you don't want it to start on its own. VPNs and software updaters are necessary, but you may not want them so much that it slows down your startup time.

I would avoid software that claims to speed your computer up for you. Some of it may be helpful, but most of it is a waste of money.

  • Adding RAM isn't going to speed up boot (it would only do so if you had hopelessly little RAM). Reinstalling won't help either except insofar as you'd installed apps that run at startup but you don't care about after all (i.e. 5). Uninstalling apps only helps if they're doing something at startup. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 15 '15 at 8:29
  • Adding RAM can and often does improve boot times. smallbusiness.chron.com/… provides a decent explanation of why and the limits. – chicks Jun 15 '15 at 13:45
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Yes, and all the techniques fall into one of two categories.

  1. Make the computer faster.
  2. Make the computer do less to start up.

Buying a SSD is the best way to make the computer get the information it is loading from disk, if you are starting up from a rotating hard drive. Increasing system RAM is the best way to prevent the computer saving less-accessed RAM back to disk; but typically provides little or not benefits if you have "enough" RAM.

Finding and removing unnecessary software that launch at start time, and turning off features and services that launch at start is the best way to make the computer do less.

There are limits to both approaches. The first approach eventually becomes too expensive to pursue after some amount of initial cost. The latter approach eventually launches too little to make the computer useful. Like all things, some amount of

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The biggest gain would be from replacing your harddisk with an SSD. Mine boots, then starts 4 GB worth of applications in about 10 seconds.

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This question in fact has an “outside-the-box” solution: the best way to speed up the computer at startup is to not make it start up at all. Make it hibernate instead. You get the benefits of turning the computer off (it doesn't consume any power while it's off) without the downsides (it starts back up quickly and with all your applications open).

See your operating system's documentation for how to hibernate. On OSX, apparently, this isn't part of the default user interface but can be performed on the command line or via a third-party widget.

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Or a slightly less expensive option is to use the disk utility app and repair disk and validate permissions. Another useful thing to do if you are ok with working with command line is boot into single user mode and do a file system consistency check [fsck]. These can help and are more fully explained on this webpage by Apple Support

  • Why the downvote? He has a valid point: if there is a disk problem, the Mac spends time during startup to check the disk. Using Disk Utility to solve the disk problem will help that delay go away. – Hobbes Jun 15 '15 at 8:34
  • Indeed! If there is an argument against my suggestion I would like to know the rationale so that I can research further, I have been using Macs for ages and have sought out solutions to various problems over the years. Don't generally share unless I have tried and tested beforehand. Would appreciate some direction on this so that I can adjust my tactics when dealing with a slow Mac in the future or at least try the alternative. – drcrpsych Jun 15 '15 at 8:41

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