A slow running Mac computer can be a serious source of annoyance – luckily, it doesn’t have to mean that your machine is obsolete and needs to be discarded or massively updated. It can also be the case that your Mac is simply overloaded. Here are five easy fixes to some of the most commonly encountered problems that are slowing down your Mac.
1. Wait for the Spotlight Search indexing to finish
This is not a common issue for all Mac users, but it has been known to happen to people who use rotating hard drives (i.e. HDDs) instead of SSDs. We at Lure of Mac have discussed this issue before, regarding MacBook Pros, but it really applies to just about any kind of Mac computer. You can check to see if Spotlight indexing is really the cause of your problem in the right-hand corner menu on your screen. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about the indexing and the slowdown it causes on your computer, other than wait for it to finish.
2. Update your software as often as possible
With Macs old and new, software updates can still cause momentary lags in performance – it doesn’t matter if you’re using Software Update for older versions, or updating via the App Store on a newer machine. Luckily, this problem usually takes care of itself swiftly, once the update has been completed. You can tell if that was the cause behind your slow running Mac computer by waiting to see if your machine delivers a Software Update notification. The best way to ensure you don’t come across this issue too often is by making sure your apps are always up to date, which means you need to integrate this into your Mac maintenance routine.
3. Make sure you’ve got enough disk space
It’s not just Macs that get this issue, it’s any computer known to man. Operating software requires the computer to have enough disk space to swap the temporary cache files between the memory and the disk. If there is not enough space on the disk, then the computer will try to clear the cache log, as well as any other temporary files. In a nutshell, it’s going to be performing two activities at the same time (file deletion and software operation). To solve this issue, you are best advised to purchase a program that will identify storage space you can clear up. Clean My Mac 2, for instance, can take care of this for you in the bat of an eye, without you worrying it might delete any important files. It’s also a good idea to reboot your Mac after clearing up storage space, since reboots also help computers work faster.
4. Quit and reload RAM-intensive apps
More often than not, slow running Mac computers are the doing of RAMs that have run out of space. When this happens, the computer knows to use virtual memory instead, but this process is much slower, as app and OS X information is stored onto the hard disk, instead of the RAM. You can check to see if this is the issue with your machine via the Activity Monitor, in the System Memory tab. It’s a good idea to quit and reload RAM-intensive apps, such as web browsers, since they tend to incrementally consume more RAM the longer you leave them open.
5. Free up your CPU
All the processes that your Mac goes through use your CPU, but some tend to be more intense in their use of processor computing power than others. Sometimes, this can be the case with processes that you don’t actually even need. The best way to find out also involves the Activity Monitor, where you need to check for the percentage of idle CPU you’ve got at your disposal. If you can do without some of the processes using up most of your CPU, then turn them off with the aid of the same application.