If not, then read on for more useful tips and applications that could help. Time Machine is a good backup solution. But it backups every single hour and especially if you work on heavy files it will create some noticeable slow Mac performance when it starts the backup process. The free app TimeMachineEditor will help you with that.
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I have tried it myself and it works just as advertised. Take care while messing with the backup though. Even though this app is working as it should and have done so for many years it is still third party. Meaning Apple could make some changes to Time Machine in the future that may break the settings and in worst case disable your backups. Many people experience this and many also ask themselves where all the free space have gone? Maybe you are editing videos that take up a lot of space.
Or you might have a lot of downloaded stuff you never got around to delete. It use a part of that free space as virtual memory and that memory is important for your Mac to work optimally. Please make sure to delete unneeded files and also remember to empty your trash! If you forget to empty the trash you will still have the free space problem and possibly a Mac running slow.
Also read my extended article on how to reclaim more space on your mac. Its a free download so you can see how it works on your system before you buy anything. And, no. With that said, we have free options as well, so continue to scroll down and check out those first if you want. It can clean the cache, repair system permissions and also execute maintenance scripts. Another good cleanup tool is CCleaner. Once in a while Apple releases software updates.
It is wise to install these because they often contain improvements. It can be security improvements or performance enhancements that can solve slow Mac performance in some cases. Even firmware updates in some cases. Also check if you can download updates to your already installed third party applications, this can also improve performance and stability. Do a PRAM reset. This will not damage your computer or remove anything from your hard drive.
But it may solve strange problems. If you have issues regarding sound, display resolution, startup drive selection, time-zone and kernel issues a pram reset could help.
Turn your Mac off, then turn it on and immediately hold all keys pictured above down. Release the keys after about seconds. Your Mac will probably restart during this. For older Macs that have the startup chime you can release the keys after the second chime. For iMac Pro you can let go of the keys when the Apple logo shows and disappears for the second time. Another thing you could try is an SMC reset. Especially if your laptop have problems accepting power or wont charge. Strange fan behavior or low performance.
If nothing of the above helps maybe a full format of your hard drive and a reinstall of the OS may be the only viable solution. If you have a fairly new Mac — ish you should be able to start from the recovery partition if you hold CMD and R when you restart. From there you can reinstall.
Start up from Internet Recovery: Then let go of the keys.
Let it load and reinstall OS X this way. When your computer and account is set up. Even if you have a old Mac it may be able to upgrade to a newer version of OS X. If your computer is very slow it can also be a symptom of a hard drive that is going bad especially if it makes strange noises. This applies to all types of computers not only Macs. Make sure to check the hard drive using Disk Utility and if it finds any errors make sure to backup what you can right away.
If your 13 inch macbook pro is slow, you have replaced the hard drive and still have problems? Try getting a new SATA cable for it and replace that. You find it on ebay. Max out the RAM in your computer, especially if you run a lot of apps at the same time. Another extremely recommended option is to replace the hard drive inside your Mac to an SSD. If you havent tried SSD yet do it! It will blow your mind in terms of speed and it can breathe new life into older computers for sure.
Solving slow mac performance using money to buy new hardware is one option of course. But you should try the others first. Although SSD is extremely nice to have, you never want to go back! Nowadays most macs are delivered with SSDs though. I hope this guide helps you to get your Mac in shape. If you liked this guide, it will really help me and this site if you share it with others on Facebook, twitter etc. You will find the buttons for that below.
Take your pick! I hope that installing that OS will solve my slow issues. If my mac has been behaving very slow over the past few months, what are the chances it is due to a poor performing hard drive? Use the old HD to store docs etc. Nice article!
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Just what I was looking for! Taming Time Machine and polishing that Onyx stone have done a great service to my ought ten iMac! Good helpful information and I will try…. Have had the slow script since MacKeeper. And my files…. I do alot of graphics and games. You should definitely backup your files to some sort of external hard drive, or memory stick depending on how much data you have. When you have done that perhaps a complete format and reinstall is the best thing for your computer. This is the nicest freebie tip that Ive read for my aging MBP.
Thanks and more power to you! Do you think this is likely or, better still, do you know of a way to test for this? You can test and repair your hard drive using Disk Utility. Maybe I should add that as a tip. Did you try running Onyx as mentioned above? Tip nr 7.
Mac Running Slow? 14 Things you MUST try
Thanks, — decided to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Mavericks. Things are MUCH faster. Boot up with ALT pressed 2. This is just what it looked like before] 3. Took about an hour. OK, Bjoernar, can you please walk me through how to get rid of MacKeeper …. Thanks … Jorge. Once in the trash, you can lock each one, except MacKeeper. I have not as yet tried to empty my trash to see if MacKeeper will be permanently removed.
But have no fear. My experience is that once a file is in the trash the computer cannot open or utilize them. Here are some instructions I found on how to remove MacKeeper, maybe it works for you guys? Thank you sooooo much for hunting this, Bjoernar. Also, people could resort to creating an extra user account and see if the mac also performs slowly in that account.. And MacKeeper sucks so much, the ugly mascott, their bad product…very annoying!
I am happy you specifically warn against it. This is a nice share Bjoernar. Thank you very much. I would like to say that there are some additional things that can be done to speed up your mac, like doing an SMC reset and a PRAM reset, as expalined in this post that I wrote myself! Thats true, I have some instructions about that here: My fear is that it will go terribly slow more than now! I really want to install th latest xCode as well. Mavericks is more optimized so it could run faster.
I would install it. Make sure to backup first. Thanks, ok will try. Btw, the PRAM reset gave life back to my laptop! Thanks for the superuseful trick.
Just wanted to say thank you for posting this advice, Bjoernar; it has been very helpful and I appreciate the effort on your part. Thank you for this page! Please keep it up! I hope for many people it will show up in top results of google searches. I found your comment about MacKeeper funny. The list is of various tools used for disk and system testing ranging from the free, like Disk Utility and smartmontools to the expensive.
I have already cleaned up my fans and solved the overheating problem, but the problems remain. Upgraded my OS, run apple hardware test nothing came up and everything is still the same. I can not even watch a movie here. My question is: To me it sounds like some kind of hardware problem. It could be anything really, your hard drive, motherboard, memory. Or too much cooling paste on the CPU. I think you should get someone to take a look at it. Parts inside computers can fail, even expensive Macs.
I need some advice. Which one of these is better and why? For example, is the first MBP better than the second one?
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Can i buy more memory to the second later? The Inch is obviously faster. Editing media can also make more use of the additional CPU cores the 15 Inch have. It is not possible to upgrade the memory on the retina model. Hi Bjoenar. Thanks for the great ideas on keeping my Mac clean and running in top shape. Can I ask you a question? I am using a Thunderbolt external drive as my Time Machine. But the computer still seems incredibly slow to find files in the Finder. Do you have any thoughts? Well, I disconnected the external diskdrive TM, and surely the Finder access is much faster! So now I have another question: The initial first TM backup is always a bit slow.
Have you let it run its course? If not maybe your external drive is bad. Run Disk Utility and check it. That should work. Every time I download something from the internet using Safari, my computer lags completely and the only remedy is a force restart. Any way to fix this? I have 15 gb of space. Nothing brings my anger issues to the surface like that blasted pinwheel. Thanks so much for this info. The pinwheel is officially MIA. This article was so very helpful.
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Thanks for the advises. None of them worked though for a mac mini server version The mac started behaving super slow after a crash due to overheating of the gb system drive as later found out. I just manually deleted these files from console window every time. System response got faster due to deletion of cache files and log files which onyx did not catch.
The superduper trial requires to delete all files at destination drive every time. Here is where CC trial version came in handy. CC copied the last files quickly. The path is the same but this time you should type in:. Once again, the method is the same: Before you start, you can preemptively back up the Caches folder as meddling with cache folders can be risky.
For a bulletproof solution, you can clean out caches with CleanMyMac X - it was made just for this purpose, though has lots of other uses. Follow the prompts from there and all system caches will be safely removed. If you followed the tip from the previous section and downloaded CleanMyMac, you should be able to perform another trick which proved quite effective on most Macs. From our experience, it does boost up the performance of many applications. What it does is rebuilds system logs and reorganizes select databases on your Mac. Try it and see how your Mac is doing. By default, your Finder is set to search for files within All My Files view.
When files on your Mac are too many, the Finder slows down and opening each new window becomes a burden. Next time you launch Finder it will automatically open to this new location. You just saved a bit of memory resources for your Mac. Animations and rich graphics are extremely resource-hungry. We are not suggesting you should switch your Mac back to style simplicity. But in case of a slow Mac, the less is sometimes more. Click on Minimize windows using and change Genie effect to Scale. Scale is a much simpler zoom and less taxing on memory. Quite often SMC preferences get broken and your Mac gets slow.
If your Mac is old and you have more than one drive, re-indexing the large file tree becomes a problem. Just as we did with Finder, you can limit the search area for Spotlight. This should gain your Mac a few points in speed. Now click the Privacy tab. Here you can exclude folders from Spotlight search and thus lighten its load.
As a result, the Spotlight will not be indexing the specified folders and volumes. The less time it spends indexing - the better the performance of your Mac. A fact which often escapes attention: The same goes for all temporary files. Without leaning to either camp, restarting has its benefits, though. To start with, restarting does free up your RAM. To free up RAM, reboot your Mac every now and again. This will erase all temporary files generated by macOS and all your applications.
Additionally, it will close the apps you thought you closed, but are still working in the background. Now your Mac is refreshed and performs better. FileVault protects your files from being copied. For older Macs, enabling file encryption is reported to slow down the hard drive performance. Now you should be able to make the Mac running faster because FileVault also weighs on processor cycles when it encrypts and decrypts your files. Files on your Mac OS X have permissions that determine which applications and services are allowed to access these files. Over time, permission problems occur, causing your Mac OS X to lag, freeze and even crash.
Once in Disk Utility you need to highlight your startup disk and click on the First Aid tab. Now click on the Repair Disk Permissions button and your Mac will scour your drive, finding and fixing permissions so that next time an application needs that file, your Mac can find it immediately.
However, not all apps receive these automatic repairs. With CleanMyMac X you also gain the ability to run other powerful scripts that will optimize your Mac in a number of other areas as well. The utility will automatically take care of the rest. As an outcome, your drive space shrinks and performance drops. Right click on Trash bin and choose Empty the Trash. Now, go to your Downloads and sort files by size. The good solution to remove duplicate content is an app called Gemini 2. It can tell copies from originals and even locate look-alike files not exactly identical.
Give it a spin — the download is free. Some downloaded apps will additionally install their extra shortcuts to System Preferences.