Figuring out the reasons your Mac is running slow can literally be a threat to your sanity. After all, Macs should be fast and sleek, right? That’s a big part of the reason for which you chose not to buy a PC, isn’t it? Unfortunately, try as you might to keep your machine running perfectly forever, this is just not going to happen. Chances are that, sooner or later, it’s going to slow down on you so badly, that you’ll be left wracking your brain as to what went wrong. That’s where this list of reasons your Mac is running slow steps in. We’ve compiled it in order to give you a head start on figuring out the problem and dealing with it – so read on and good luck!
Reason #1: Your preference files are corrupt
One of the main reasons your Mac is running slow might just be corrupt program preference files. These files can become easily corrupted and can, in turn, slow down your apps or even the whole system.
Solution: Check out the apps that are running, when your Mac seems to have slowed down to a near halt. By elimination, try to find the source of the problem, then go to that particular app’s preference file and delete it. If your set preferences are particularly complex, perhaps it’s a good idea to make a backup of the file somewhere. Then, re-launch the app, which will automatically create a new preference file if it can’t find a pre-existing one. Set your preferences and you’re good to go!
Reason #2: Clutter in your cache, logs, and temp folders
In case you didn’t know this, your Mac creates caches, logs, and temporary item folders, in order to run smoother and faster. Ironically enough, this very process can be one of the reasons your Mac is running slow.
Solution: You can either attempt to clear out the caches, logs, and temp folders yourself, manually, or you can use an automated app like Clean My Mac 2. The app can take care of everything by itself, it can be scheduled to perform such cleanups regularly, or it can be set to only clean out certain locations on your Mac, if you don’t want to delete everything at one.
Reason #3: Outdated firmware
As many Mac detractors will argue, old, outdated firmware will slow down your machine to the point of making it impossible to use. We think this is still better than having to purchase a new version of Windows every other couple of years, so simply make sure your Mac’s firmware is up to date.
Solution: Check out the Software Update tab in the Apple menu. Ideally, you should set up your Mac to automatically check for software updates, which you can do in System Preferences > Software Update > Check for updates. You can even choose how often your Mac looks for such updates.
Reason #4: Running on low RAM
So you’ve cleaned out your cache, organized everything, deleted corrupted old files, but you still haven’t figured out the reasons your Mac is running slow. Perhaps it’s not a software problem at all – maybe you’re simply running low on RAM. Pro tip: Upgrading your Mac’s RAM will give you a massive performance speed boost regardless of whether or not this is the problem at hand.
Solution: Open the Activity Monitor in the Utilities tab of the Application folder and then go to System Memory. There’s a pie chart there that will tell you whether or not you’re running low on RAM. While there, also check out the figures for Page In and Page Outs. If the numbers are consistently high, you’re going to need a RAM upgrade.