how to speed up my macbook pro

I own a 4-5 year old macbook pro laptop.  Every since I upgraded to Yosemite the computer has become extremely slow and it is definitely under performing.  What kinds of things can I do to improve the performance of this laptop?  I have checked the Ram and it is adequate...2GB.  Also, there is a lot of free space on the hard drive.  I have looked on the internet to find out if other people are experiencing this problem and some of these folks are suggesting to down grade the OS to the previous operating system.  What do you think?
capreol
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAsked:
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Phil PhillipsDevOps ArchitectCommented:
I have a 4-5 year old Macbook as well.  Yosemite was pretty slow even with 4GB of RAM.  Much better with 8GB.

Apple docs say 2GB is minimum, but 4GB is probably a more accurate number. As far as a sensible amount, 8GB is more like it.

If the extra RAM isn't an option, and the previous OS works fine, then probably go with that.
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
2Gb is bare minimum and I would NOT class it as "ADEQUATE" for OSX 10.10 Yosemite on any apple laptop.

On a 4-5 year old MacBook you really would need to have 4Gb and preferably 8Gb RAM and probably change the Hard Drive to a SSD to get decent performance.

If the RAM and HD upgrade are not affordable or practical for you then definitely a clean install of 10.8 or 10.9 from a backup (Time Machine or other backup you made when you were running an earlier version of OSX)
Locating OSX 10.8 or 10.9 installer might be possible but will be messy as Apple do not sell or support downgrading in OSX and 10.8 and 10.9 are not downloadable from Apple any more.  Apple only want you to upgrade .. OSX and Hardware!!

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Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
Excellent answers.  Thanks a lot for your help.
capreol
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