Why is My Mac So Slow and How to Fix It?


Are you thinking of buying a new Mac? Before doing that, you must understand why your Mac may have slowed down. Even a brand-new machine after a few years will give you trouble with similar performance issues. Hence, it is important to understand the core cause of your Mac running slow. Once the cause is known, fixing the problem of a slow Mac would be easy.

Why is my Mac so slow

Why is My Mac Running Slow

Everyone might have different reasons, so let’s see what yours can be.

Overloaded RAM

One of the primary reasons for a slow Mac is low RAM. Your applications must wait in a queue to access your system resources because of an overloaded RAM. A list of applications, along with their CPU and memory usage, can be seen in the Activity Monitor. It is a feature that Mac provides for users to keep a check on their applications.

Some applications cannot release system resources back to the processor after use. These bad apps lock the system resources to prevent other processes from accessing them.  Such apps can be found in this utility by scanning the % CPU usage. Uninstall apps that are hogging system resources to free RAM.

Low Disk Space

Another reason for slow system performance is low disk space. When the Mac processor runs out of RAM, it uses the free disc space as its virtual memory to perform effortlessly. Your new Mac processor will work really fast initially.

Learn more about Mac processor benchmarks. Low disk space prevents the processor from allocating virtual memory. Use utilities to check your hard disk for unused files periodically. Different software uses efficient inbuilt programs to locate system files that occupy the most space.

Cluttered Desktop

A cluttered desktop could be one of the main reasons your Mac loads sluggishly and slowly during login. Removing loose files from your desktop and saving them in folders would help unclutter it.

Rename your folders to personal, official, movies, music, and presentations for easy access. Cleaning the desktop will help your Mac log in faster than usual.

Check Your Start-Up

Many apps are loading during login that you don’t require. You need to check your startup items to see what apps are loading and causing the machine to slow down. Many software installers automatically load their apps during start-up, which can be an overhead for the Mac processor.

Users do not require these apps to start when logging in. They can improve speed by removing unnecessary apps that load during startup.

Start and Shut the Machine Regularly

Finally, it is good to restart your Mac once a week to ensure system resources are released. If you do not shut down your Mac completely after use, many apps will use RAM or other system resources even after the apps have been Exited.

Restarting the Mac can free locked-up resources and clear temporary files loaded in the memory.

How to Speed Up a Slow Mac

If your slow Mac is driving you mad, try these troubleshooting tips to optimize Mac performance before buying a new one.

Macs are beautiful, easy to use, and usually do not require much care – that is why we love them. The following options will give your Mac a new breath and save the power of money.

Unless your hardware is outdated, you can manually perform all upgrades and take care of your macOS.

1. Run Disc Utility and repair disc permissions

Wrong permissions often cause slowdowns on your system; that is why this is the first thing you should check before moving on to other steps. Why repair disc permissions? Initially, all files and directories have certain permission types, i.e., read-only or executable, so programs cannot modify your system files without your consent.

After a while, the original permission might be assigned incorrectly and can cause a lag in your system. During the repair process, your Mac will check the files on your system and ensure they match the permissions.

This process will repair only macOS system files, whereas your files and third-party applications will not be altered.

It is a safe and simple process. Follow these steps to repair disc permissions:

  • Open Disk Utility: press Command + Space → type Disk Utility → Enter
  • In the Disc Utility window, Press “Macintosh HD” → Click on the First Aid button → Click the Run button to check if it is required to repair the volume

macOS First Aid

2. Update your macOS

Always monitor macOS updates, which are aimed at plugging different security flaws. Apple regularly initiates updates to protect its users from vulnerabilities. Timely updates also ensure your Mac works without slowdowns.

To check if a macOS update is available

→ Hit the  (Apple icon) given in the top left corner

→ select “About this Mac

→ Click on the Software Update button

→ A software update window will be open. Update your macOS if there is an update.

Find any updates available for you in the drop-down menu located in the Apple icon. You will find the Update option on the App Store button.

3. Clean Up Your Hard Drive

Get Rid Of Duplicate Files

To unclutter your Mac, first of all, delete the duplicates. Duplicate files can be found using Finder. Follow the method below:

  • Open a new Finder window
  • In the search field, enter the wildcard asterisk symbol
  • Make sure the Size and Kind columns are displayed
  • Filter the results by Kind, and you will see a list of similar items
Get Rid of Duplicate Files Mac
Get Rid of Duplicate Files Mac

This method is accurate because it shows identical files listed by name, type, and size. Just delete any files you don’t want to keep, but first, make sure they are duplicated. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t let you determine whether the files are true byte-level copies, but enough information is presented to make an informed decision.

4. Remove Unused Languages

What are the language files? Every application installed on your Mac has plenty of languages. You may never have used Bulgarian or Latvian, which are just waste space and can be safely removed.

Remove Unused Languages
Remove Unused Languages

To delete unnecessary language files: Open the Resources folder → Find folders ending with “.lproj” → Drag these files to Trash. Every folder contains language files for one particular language and thus has the name of this language or its shortening.

5. Reset Safari

Some of Safari’s features can take up unnecessary space: cache files make browsing quicker but can quickly consume hundreds of megabytes.

From the Safari menu bar, select Safari → Preferences → Privacy → Manage Website Data → Remove All

macOS Safari PrivacymacOS Safari Privacy Remove the website data

If you’re running macOS X 10.9 or later, select the Advanced tab in the Preferences window and uncheck the box marked Stop plug-ins to save power → Quit and relaunch the browser.

macOS stop plugins to save power

To free up more hard disc space, delete unused applications, clean up system logs, and delete old iOS device backups.

6. Use Mac Maintenance Software

You can go through these steps or use Mac utilities to perform all the tasks in one click. The most popular Mac maintenance programs are CleanMyMac, MacKeeper, and CCleaner.

Such applications as MacKeeper, in addition to cleaning and optimization features, also include antivirus protection, live chat with Apple Certified experts, and additional encryption and anti-theft tools.

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