Why is my mac running slow and how to fix it?
We’ve got the top 18 reasons and fixes.
How to speed up a slow mac: 18 pro tips
Similar to other computers, Macs also start slowing down with time. No worries, though! You can fix this thing with a number of performance tricks and tweaks. Some of these tricks are better and faster in driving results but in this post, we’ve curated all of the reasons that make you ask yourself why is my Mac so slow and their assured solutions.
1. Your macOS is outdated
A great of your Mac’s performance depends upon its OS X. If it’s older, you’ll continue facing slow Mac problems and questions like why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Update your macOS
Apple keeps releasing new OS X versions every year upgrading to which is very helpful in removing issues that make you ask yourself why is my Mac so slow. It’s just like updating some app or software. Once you do it, any bugs or performance loopholes are fixed with the installation of the new version.
In case your computer still behaves in the same old sluggish way, go for the following ways to fix it. You can also use the best Mac cleaner to take care of all speed-sapping issues at the same time.
2. Your hard disk is full
A heavy hard drive is the main reason for a slow Mac. Your hard drive gets full when there are so many files and folders saved on it. No wonder you’re confused why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Clean up the hard disk
Not as simple as it sounds, cleaning up a hard disk actually takes a lot of manual efforts. You need to organize your desktop and find & remove old and unwanted files, thumbnails, duplicates, leftover data, unnecessary media, unknown folders, and much more. And believe it or not, much of such data is still left behind.
The wise move is to use a Mac cleanup app that sorts and deletes all the clutter in a matter of a few minutes on your behalf. This tool is designed to distinguish between what’s necessary and what’s not. So, you can rely on its results for removing logs, language packs, caches, and all the issues that make you wonder why is my Mac so slow.
3. The startup is too slow
Your Mac doesn’t start alone. It starts up with many apps loading simultaneously in the background. The problem is their loading affects the boot time of your Mac, thereby making you puzzle about why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Manage the Startup Items
This is so important yet overlooked by many. All you need to do is just disable unnecessary startup items by going to System Preferences > Users & Groups > username > Login Items. Select the items you don’t need in the background. Click on the minus icon. A short startup item list is mandatory to lighten the burden on the boot and speeding up the system.
Puzzled why is my Mac so slow? You can take help of the best free Mac cleaner to manage startup items in a faster and safer manner.
4. Too many apps in the background
You Mac can’t even handle simple tasks if it has too much activity in the background. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons why your Mac (and any device) performs poorly and you are left with only one question, that is, why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: End unnecessary processes
To do this, you need to access Activity Monitor where you can see all the processes consuming your system resources. Go to your Applications folder > Utilities folder > Activity Monitor. Here, choose those processes that are using up too much of your Mac’s resources. Click on the app name one by one and click on the “x” icon each time to end them.
5. Cluttered desktop
If you’re wondering why is my Mac so slow these days, then it’s high time you consider cleaning up your desktop. Chances are you have dumped too many files on your desktop and that is taking up your resources.
Fix: Clean up your desktop
Sort which icons are unnecessary and send them to the trash. You can combine all less-used items in one folder and send it to another location. It may seem a simple thing but it’s really very useful while making your Mac run fast and fixing issues that raise questions like why is my Mac so slow.
6. Browser’s accumulated too much junk
Since most of the time is spent online, your culprit can be your browser stuffed with too much to handle. A slow browser is sure to put you in puzzle why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Free up your browser
A good and easy move is to delete all the history, cache, cookies, plug-ins, and more in the settings. Even if you remove this data, there may be much leftover saved in your drive. Looking for this is not easy for basic home users. So, it’s best to take help of the best Mac cleaner to take care of that.
To remove Chrome extensions manually, click on the Settings icon (three dots in the upper-right corner) in Chrome home screen. Now go to More tools > Extensions. Here, select the add-ons that you don’t use or want. You can delete or disable them according to your choice.
To remove Safari extensions manually, head to Safari > Preferences > Extensions tab. Now choose the extensions that you want to remove.
Apart from this, close all the unused tabs open in the browser simultaneously. Experts suggest that maximum 9 tabs are sufficient at a time. It will instantly boost its speed and also that of your Mac, getting you rid of questions like why is my Mac so slow.
7. Too many outdated cache files
Cache files are of many types: app-generated caches, user cache, system cache, and more. Basically, these files store the media of the app, website, software, or anything you open on your computer. If you haven’t cleaned up cache from your Mac since you bought it, there’s a lot of it kept on the system. That’s one of the reasons you’re asking yourself why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Remove old cache
- Launch Finder on your Mac
- Click Go menu > “Go to Folder”
- Enter ~/Library/Caches
- Press the Enter button
- Find a cache folder tree and open each folder to delete the data stored in it
- Once done, empty the Trash can
Note: Don’t remove a folder. Only delete its contents.
Seems like a lot of headaches? Save yourself from all the nuisance by using the best free Mac cleaner to delete all unwanted cache data from your PC or laptop. Experts recommend it to resolve queries like why is my Mac so slow.
8. Your user profile is taking too much load
With so much time and so many files and application stored on your system over time, your user account has grown out of proportion. This unwanted burden is one of the reasons why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Go for “profile refresh”
The trick is to create a new user profile. Don’t worry! It’s safe and in fact, a lot of useful. For this, you need to move your Preferences and other important data to your new profile. Here’s how you can do this:
- Go to Apple logo > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Unlock icon
- Click the “+” icon to add another user
You can transfer your data to this new profile by dropping it into Shared folder on the hard drive. When in the new profile, go to Finder window > Go > Computer > Macintosh HD > Users. Now, take this data. One done, any question like why is my Mac so slow will vanish.
9. Visual overload
If your Mac is rich in Animations, then it’s the time you should cut on these graphics. This is one of the major reasons of your confusion like why is my Mac so slow. These are highly resource-hungry. If your Mac is performing too poorly these days, then it is a good idea to save resources.
Fix: Reduce animations
We won’t suggest that you should go back to the 90s version of computers. Still, if you are experiencing speed issues that make you wonder why is my Mac so slow, the good idea is to do the following:
- Launch System Preferences > Dock
- Un-tick these: Magnification, Animate opening applications, and Automatically hide and show the Dock
- Change Genie effect to Scale
Do it and you won’t be asking yourself why is my Mac so slow.
10. SMC settings are corrupted
Wondering why is my Mac so slow? Your SMC can be a big reason. System Management Controller (SMC) works as a manager of all the low-level functions of your Mac. These include system volume, power, lights, fans, and other functions. In case SMC preferences are broken, you Mac start acting up.
Fix: Reset SMC to factory settings
In case the Mac has removable battery:
- Shut down your Mac and take out its battery
- Long press the Power button a while
- Install the battery again
- Power on your Mac
In case the Mac has non-removable battery:
- Power off the Mac
- Long press these buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds: Power button + Shift + Control + Option keys
- Release the keys and turn on your Mac
Here’s how you can reset SMC settings:
- Power off your Mac
- Unplug your Mac and wait for around 15 seconds
- Re-plug it and wait for a few seconds
- Power on your Mac
This is a good way to fix problems that give you confusion such as why is my Mac so slow.
11. You are out of free RAM
If these days, you have started getting “Your system is out application memory” error message, you’ve run out of RAM. Although modern Macs come with more RAM than the older versions, the modern usage of system resources has also increased. It affects the performance of your apps and makes you ask yourself why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Flush your RAM with Terminal
The tip is to give your system a fresh memory in an instant. It has been proved useful for users who report why is my Mac so slow. You can use Terminal to make space on RAM.
- Head to Applications > Terminal
- Copy and paste this into your Terminal window: sudo purge
- Type in your password
That’s it! Once done, you won’t have to say again why is my Mac so slow.
12. Keyboard responds slowly
Many users wondering why is my Mac so slow have reported that their keyboard freezes for sometimes while doing work. This lag makes productivity slow and poor. The biggest reason behind this issue is the outdated system caches.
Fix: Power on Mac in Safe mode
Here’s how you can go into the Safe mode:
- Turn off Mac and then restart it
- Long press the Shift key and release it when the login window shows up
- Once in the Safe mode, observe the performance of your keyboard
- Restart the computer in normal mode
Many issues can be corrected by this method. However, if you still face performance difficulties, scan your Mac using the best Mac cleaner software and you won’t have to worry about why is my Mac so slow.
13. Mac takes ages to wake up
A turned on Mac goes into the standby mode when you don’t use it for a while. It saves the system’s energy. However, many users report that when they try to wake it back up, it takes a lot of time, putting them in confusion why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Go for this Terminal hack
Your Mac goes into the standby mode, usually, after 3 hours of inactivity. If you want, you can prolong this time. You’ll need to use the Terminal for this purpose.
- Launch the Terminal app
- Copy and paste this: sudo pmset -a standbydelay 86400
- Type in your password
To reverse this situation, type in the same command by changing the number to 10800
It will help you get rid of the question why is my Mac so slow.
14. Conflicting permissions
Your Mac OS X has files that use permissions to decide which services and apps can access these files. As your Mac gets older, permission errors show up, which in turn, can freeze and crash your Mac OS X.
Fix: Repair disk permissions
You can use the Disk Utility application to fix conflicting permissions. All you need is to access the app, make your startup disk highlighted, and go to the First Aid tab. Hit the button that says “Repair Disk Permissions”. It will resolve the issue that makes you wonder why is my Mac so slow.
If you still find poor performance in your Mac, it’s smart to give charge to the best Mac cleaner which is designed to tackle such issues in a more secure manner so that there never occurs any problem such as why is my Mac so slow.
15. Overload of old and huge files
Even if some users take care of hard drives to not get full, they usually forget about Downloads and Trash folders. The result is disk getting full putting questions like why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Empty Downloads and Trash
To clean up the Trash bin, right-click on its icon and select Empty the Trash.
To clean up your Downloads, you need to open it and sort the files according to their size. Also, search for the files with extension .DMG and delete them all.
Sorting these files and folders can be very time consuming with manual efforts. You can instead try the best Mac cleaner where only one click on the Scan will get you rid of the issue why is my Mac so slow.
16. A lot of open windows
The Finder in Mac is highly memory-consuming and it runs into the background. Similar to this, Mail, Preview, and other apps also do the same. It results in many performance-sapping issues of Mac and put you into puzzle why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Use “Merge All Windows”
This one is a lesser-known hack but very useful against windows overload. You can fix issues on Finder and Preview apps by clicking on “Merge All Windows”. The option rests inside the Window menu in the top bar.
17. Photo library is overloaded
You might not realize but there can be so many (in fact, too many) photos on your old Mac’s hard drive, taking up gigabytes of space. Surprisingly, many of these photos are just trash for us as we don’t even bother to view them again, ever. However, they do affect your Mac’s speed adversely and you’re left with only one question, why is my Mac so slow.
Fix: Shift photos to external drive
You can find and delete all the photos that you will never need again. For those photos that you want to keep but don’t view for a long time, it’s better to shift them to an external drive. You can also put them on cloud to make more space.
- To access your photos on your Mac:
- Open a new Finder window and find your existing Photos library
- You’ll find it in Users > [username] > Pictures
That’s it! To save your time and efforts, you can use the best free Mac cleaner to sort photos for you. It will also delete duplicates and thumbnails, improving Mac performance and getting you rid of issues such as why is my Mac so slow.
18. You’ve got old hardware
If you have done everything said above and still wondering why is my Mac so slow, then the culprit is outdated hardware. In that case, you will have to take some serious measures as the software and system tweaks might not be that much effective.
Fix: Upgrade your hardware
Upgrading your hardware can be a bit pricey but there’s no other way. At least, it costs less than a new Mac.
The best trick is to buy an SSD which comes with around 240-256 GB of storage space. You can do it on your own by opening your Mac’s bottom case, taking out the older drive, and putting the new one. If hesitant, take professional help.
Another thing is to buy more RAM. Nowadays, 4GB is not enough. So, getting a new one is a must.
Final Thoughts: Why Is My Mac So Slow
All these methods and tricks are helpful in fixing issues that make you wonder why is my Mac so slow. Almost all of these are for free. You can make your Mac run like new by going through almost of these steps. If you feel you cannot spend so much time and efforts on the manual efforts or just feel hesitant in going through some of these tricks, we recommend you to use the best Mac cleaner that can tackle multiple speed issues single-handedly so that you won’t have to ask yourself why is my Mac so slow. It will save time and make fixes more securely and conveniently.