I'm helping a friend with his MacBook.

The problem is that his MacBook is kind of slow.

He has 2 GB of RAM.

I'm not familiar with Apple things at all, so I tried to see RAM usage with the activity monitor.

It shows that he has about 30 MB of ram free on his 2 GB of total RAM space.

This wasn't a new MacBook, so he never "formatted" it (I know we don't format a Mac, but you can reset it to factory default).

Can you point me in some direction to troubleshot this slow MacBook?


3 Answers 3


While Apple says you need a minimum of 2 GB RAM and 8 GB of disk space, those are the minimums.

I would recommend adding RAM to speed things up. (4 GB would be just enough, the more the faster).

Look up your model and get it if it is not MacBook Air. (no upgrade for MacBook Air).

You are correct, there is no formatting, but to speed up the hard drive, use Disk utility to do so.

Getting it back to factory settings would mean to erase all data and do a fresh instal--usually not necessary since you can refresh the operating system online (Internet) using the cmd+r during start up.

  • If my friend upgrade his memory to 4Go, in what proportion is it usefull to reset the mac and do a fresh install ? ( In that case we will ofcourse backup all datas ). This mac wasnt bought new, so there's still trace from previous user. Thanks a lot for your answer :)
    – darkmelle
    Jan 14, 2015 at 19:40
  • In that case it would be useful to get rid off all old stuff (other user), but make sure you back up all data first. If you see a home folder of the other user just delete it.
    – Ruskes
    Jan 14, 2015 at 20:11

Before reseting everything, you should check to see if your friend has Speech Recognition enabled. If so, it could be eating up 1 GB of RAM!

Why does speech recognition take up 1 GM or RAM suddenly? And GMail in Safari 738 MB?


2 GB of RAM is really low for OS X Yosemite. Though Apple says it is OK, I wouldn't do Yosemite unless my Mac had at least 4 GB. My iMac actually has 8 GB.

Anyways, if you still want to go ahead fixing Yosemite, try applying some of the fixes given in this link here. Some are pretty solid. http://machmachines.com/mac-slow-yosemite-update-fix/

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