10 Ways To Speed Up a Slow Mac

Here are 10 ways you can speed up a slow Mac. There's no reason to put up with your Mac being slow. Often this is caused by an app or background process using too many resources, the lack of free hard drive space, a failing drive, or many other reasons.

Comments: 25 Responses to “10 Ways To Speed Up a Slow Mac”

    Colin Cox
    3 months ago

    What about the possibility that there is some malware using up your CPU?

    Joyce
    3 months ago

    I agree the Genius Bar is a great resource. Have they re-opened and I missed it?

    3 months ago

    Joyce: A lot of the Apple Stores throughout the world have reopened in various ways. Check the page for your closest store to see.

    3 months ago

    Colin: I hope not! Do you suspect this is the case? If you have installed something from a site you shouldn’t have trusted, then maybe.

    Mike K
    3 months ago

    Question…
    Will folders on the desktop slow things down too?

    3 months ago

    Mike: Not so much. The folder icon doesn’t have to be rendered like image icons do. But it may be a good idea to put them in your Documents folder anyway if you have a lot of them.

    Jennifer
    3 months ago

    I keep a lot on my desktop because they are easy to find. These are all things that I need to work on during the week. Photos, articles, folders etc. Where on my computer would be a better place to keep all my current things until it’s time to put them in the appropriate folders.

    Mike Saurin
    3 months ago

    Hi Gary
    I agree with you there is a lot of ways to get your Mac to run faster, But I have a late 2012 desk top Mac and over time it started to get slower. Don’t have to many third party apps, Hard drive quarter capacity,and keeps the the system pretty clean.But I found doing all that it was still slow till I put in a SSD in now goes like a rocket It rejuvenate it 100 %.

    3 months ago

    Jennifer: For instance, put them in a folder in Documents and then put a shortcut to it in the Dock. See https://macmost.com/10-ways-to-quickly-access-your-most-important-folders-on-a-mac.html for more ideas.

    Laraine
    3 months ago

    Thanks for all this, Gary. My 2-year-old iMac got suddenly slow—slow to start up, slow to open applications, etc. What worked for me was go to the go menu and choose go to folder. Then type in ~/Library/Caches to bring up the cache folder. Empty all the folders, but DON’T delete any folder. Weird. I have never had to do that before.

    JOHN STIRES
    3 months ago

    Before taking your computer(s) to the Genius Bar, be sure to back it up first. I’ve made an appointment, discussed issues with them only to have to bring it home to back it up and take it back to Apple.

    Hugh Vail
    3 months ago

    Can’t you re-install the operating system which will keep everything you have and cleanout the out of date items?

    3 months ago

    Hugh: There’s no point to that unless the operating system isn’t working. Catalina keeps the OS on a protected volume. Re-installing just the OS would just re-write the same files. Anything truly out-of-date wouldn’t be there in the first place or wouldn’t be used.

    Paul Reynolds
    3 months ago

    Gary,
    I have an Applications folder in Applications folder. Shall I send the sub folder to trash? I’m afraid.

    3 months ago

    Paul: What’s in it?

    George Lud
    3 months ago

    You make no mention of “window server”? It uses 1.06 GB of my memory and various % of my CPU…..What’s its function?…..and importance……

    3 months ago

    George: That’s one of the primary pieces of macOS. It handles displaying windows for all apps.

    Don Palmer
    3 months ago

    Gary: Great advice, especially as our 4-year-old Mac gets older. Thank you.

    N Wemyss
    3 months ago

    I tried everything, aded RAM, cleaned up storage space on the main drive, eliminated startup apps etc, but editing with Final Cut Pro, especially 4K was deadly slow. So I bought a SSD 1TB drive, copied Final Cut from my iMac on to the drive and keep the active video files I’m editing on the SSD drive. So all the file sharing and processing is on the fast SSD drive and it’s WAY faster. Best improvement I’ve done!

    Michael S.
    3 months ago

    Thanks Gary! I’ve tried some of these but not all. I’m going to try the rest of them. Kernel_Task routinely runs at over 200% and sometimes over 900%! It sometimes runs extremely hot and other times, no heat at all. I may have to go to the genius bar. Thanks again.

    Don Palmer
    3 months ago

    On Chrome, how delete an App?

    3 months ago

    Don: On Chrome? Chrome is a web browser. It is an app itself. You wouldn’t delete an app “on Chrome.” Are you trying to delete a browser extension? You do that by going to Preferences, then look for Extensions. Then each extension in Chrome has a Remove button.

    Don Palmer
    3 months ago

    Thank you, Gary. It is an extension. You are my champion, and thanks for working on Saturday.

    Paul Reynolds
    2 months ago

    Gary,
    It looks to contain all of my applications.

    2 months ago

    Paul: Not sure why your applications are inside a second Applications folder. But if your applications are in there, then you certainly shouldn’t delete it.

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