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?
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

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!!

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
Excellent answers.  Thanks a lot for your help.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Apple OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.