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Early 2011 13inch Macbook Pro running extremely slow!

3412 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2014 4:38 PM by sami288 RSS
pico0102 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 6, 2013 6:24 PM

Hello everyone,


I am posting here because I am in desperate need of a solution.


My Macbook Pro (Early 2011) is running painfully slow. I've scoured the all over the web for solutions, but none actually worked for me.  I also considered buying 8GB of RAM to speed it up, but I want to use that as a last resort.  For what I am using the computer for, 4GB should be plenty.  The computer isn't even that old! I mainly use Microsoft Word, Pages, and Safari on my Mac. These programs are not that intense and should not make my Mac struggle.


To give you some examples of my Mac's slowness: it takes MINUTES for it to boot up completely-- now I rarely power it down, simply copying and pasting text from a website into a document causes the color wheel to pop up and takes about 5 seconds for the text to actually paste, safari takes about a minute to launch after being quit.  These are only a few examples of many on how slow this Mac is.


I have checked Activity Monitor (before and after Mavericks).  Under the Memory Tab, the Pie Chart(in Mountain Lion) was mostly red and yellow- not good.  I always had about 1 GB of Swap used (in Mountain Lion).  Now in Mavericks (which I find very hard to understand Activity Monitor) it shows that (with only safari open) 3.93 GB of memory is being used.


Also under storage in "About this Mac," I have about 120GB of "other."  I don't know if this can be a cause.  I've cleaned out my documents and completely erased all of my downloads.


If you need anymore information let me know.



Attached are screen shots of activity monitor.


Thank You!!!



Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 9.18.48 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-11-06 at 9.21.01 PM.png


MacBook Pro (13-inch Early 2011), OS X Mavericks (10.9)
  • poikkeus1 Level 3 Level 3 (955 points)

    The png files you reference didn't appear, but maybe I can move you in the right direction.


    I agree that 4GB RAM is perfectly fine for most users. Judging from your text, you might want to go to Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor, and pay special attention to items in Disk, CPU, and Network. If you notice anything that's consistenly high, you can deactivate items. If, say, an application is taking 100% of your resources, that's a warning.


    Activity Monitor doesn't have any directions. You've got to find the hot items and see what's causing the problem. But you'll see it there, I'll guarantee it.


    There's also a possibility that your disk is full. If your HD is packed, it's going to run very slowly. In that case, your best option would be to move files to an external hard drive, or delete them.

  • poikkeus1 Level 3 Level 3 (955 points)

    The slowness may be caused by the new features on iOS7. Certainly, the information gleaned from your system is perfectly normal.


    The slight slowness may be an annoyance, but you might want to take advantage of declining SSD prices and install one. Instead of a boot time of 45 seconds, you can boot in 10-20 seconds. In Dealmac, I see deals on SSDs nearly every day. I can assure you: the speed will amaze you. I already have a 512GB SSD on my MBP, and I'm not looking back.

  • descobarpicasso Calculating status...

    I have the same MacBook Pro with the same problems...I takes 3-5 minutes to boot up and then 2 more minutes to load all without the deadly colorfull wheel. I've done a lot of things, even reinstall Mavericks after erasing all data and transfer it from an external hard drive(copied with Time Machine) and the problem is still there. I was planing to upgrade to 8Gb of Ram and an SSD with 256 or more...but what happend if the problem remains in my Mac?

    Hope Apple or someone could help with this performance problems.

  • amustsuccess Calculating status...


    I have a MPB early 2011, 13' inch, i7, 500HD which I use for audio recording. How do I change the HD to SSD? Whats the best SSD on the market?

  • Dibenkorn Level 2 Level 2 (405 points)

    I can’t recommend a “best” solution but here are some reliable sources and you can look at the various prices and search this forum for comments on a particular model.  I recommend purchasing SSDs from or OWC (  Their products are known to work well in Macs.  The Samsung Pro series has also received positive reviews.


    People have reported problems using the the Samsung EVO series, the Toshiba Q Series and the Kingston SSDNow V300 SSDs.


    Also check the recommendations in the following URL on

    Upgrading Your MacBook Pro with a Solid State Drive (SSD)


    TRIM the SSD using Trim Enabler.  (You will need to repeat TRIM step after every OS upgrade, including .1 upgrades.)

  • amustsuccess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


  • athanassiadis Calculating status...

    Hey guys,


    Want to chime in here that my 13-inch, Early 2011 i7 with 8gb ram is underperforming as well.

    I went in to the Apple Store and turned out my battery was at 14% of original capacity. They said that this could very well be the culprit, however after swapping it out with a new battery - the performance issues still stands...


    I have all the symptoms that you guys are mentioning + that simple WebGL sites are rendering weird things sometimes and the FPS is way below what this machine should handle on paper.


    To test it out, this site runs in 60fps on my Girlfriends Macbook Air early 2012 - on mine, it barely goes over 15fps then it crashes the browser.


    Im starting to suspect that this is a defect in the Early 2011 models...

  • sami288 Calculating status...

    hi everyone,


    i have the exact same problem. I got the higher end 13 inch mbp early june 2011. In the past few months it's been painfully slow. Takes about 2 minutes to boot up, safari, itunes, mail all take about 30 seconds to open, switching between tabs in safari often gives me the spinning beach ball - it just lags, its painful. I've resorted to pretty much only having safari and mail open, having anything else open is just pointless. My housemates have the older white macbook's and it's as slow as theirs. I've tried everything, resetting the pram and smc work a little bit for a short amount of time but then it just goes straight back to being slow. Do a lot of people experience this with the early 2011 mbp's? Has anyone found a solution or anything that makes it better? So frustrating to invest a lot of money in a product I was told would last a long time and be useful but this feels like it's on its last legs... I was an avid apple user but this is so frustrating.


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