Sometimes even relatively new Macs start running slow. This looks suspicious because Apple devices are among the quickest and most productive on the market. One of the likely reasons for the trouble is viruses or malware. Another possible option is that your computer ran out of memory, stores too many files or uses too many resources simultaneously. In this review, you will discover the 10 common reasons for Macs running slow and recommendations on how to handle them.
Relocate Your Photos to Cloud Storage or External Drive
Pictures might take gigabytes of your Mac’s memory. You might just as well store them on a hard drive — like this, you will be the only person who has access to this data. Unfortunately, hard drives are prone to physical damage, so for safety reasons you might consider using iCloud as well. At an affordable price of just $9.99, you can store 2 TB of data there literally forever.
Put Your Desktop in Order
If you prefer to keep useful items at your arm’s reach, you probably store plenty of folders and program icons on your Mac’s desktop. But how many of them do you use daily? Try to analyze the contents of your desktop and leave only the top necessary items there — otherwise, the mess will tell on your Mac’s productivity.
Disable the Apps That Launch Automatically When Your Mac Starts
This can be done through the Login Items section in the Users and Groups tab of the System Preferences. After that, your Mac will be booting rapidly.
Clean Your Cache and System Logs
Your browser saves this data so that you don’t need to manually type logins and passwords for each site. Also, it helps to quickly load the pages that you visit frequently. Cache and system logs save you time and effort — and clog up your computer’s memory. Before you get rid of the data that you don’t need anymore, make a system backup to save the necessary information. After that, disable active apps and proceed to the Caches section in the Go menu of the top panel. There, open the folder with the name of your browser, relocate the excessive items to the trash and empty the bin manually.
You Need More Random-Access Memory
Unlike the hard drive, where you store all your files and programs, RAM is used for immediate operations. To check how much RAM you have, type “Activity Monitor” in Spotlight Search or find it through the Finder. Proceed to the Memory section and pay attention to the colored graph in the lower part of this window. You should immediately free some RAM if the graph is red. To do so, resort to specialized software that will optimize your Mac. Otherwise, stopping all the excessive processes manually would be a bit tricky and time-consuming.
By the way, the same optimization program will effortlessly clean the cache and perform many more useful operations.
Someone is Mining Cryptocurrency on Your Processor
This has been quite a widespread type of cybercrime in recent years. Hackers infect your computer with malware that starts mining Bitcoin or altcoins. Of course, you won’t receive a cent of it but your processor will be running ragged. This problem has only two symptoms: suspicious slowdowns and sometimes a higher level of noise.
To check if you are mining, open Activity Monitor. If you notice some weird processes there, cancel them. Then, run a deep antivirus scan and get rid of the malware.
Install and Enable an Antivirus
In addition to crypto mining, hundreds of other hazards might infect your computer. In the past couple of years, Macs and not PCs have become the hotbed for viruses and malicious software. You might have accidentally installed malware on your computer when:
- Clicking on random links and ad banners
- Downloading files not from official stores or sites of their developers
- Opening emails and messages sent by unknown recipients
To check if your device contains any unwanted software, proceed to the Security and Privacy section in the System Settings. There, browse manually through the inventory of items and disable those that you didn’t install deliberately. Even if some software looks pretty decent but you can’t remember downloading it from the AppStore, get rid of it. Malware often disguises itself as photo editing apps, multimedia players or even antiviruses.
Update Your Operating System
And all the apps as well. The older their versions, the slower they function. Ideally, you should enable automated updates through the System Preferences, if your computer is relatively new. Like this, the device will only notify you when it requires a reboot. With older models, updates need to be installed manually through the AppStore toolbar.
You Need a New Mac
If your computer is five years old or more it might fail to comply with the current technical requirements. You might have difficulties trying to upgrade your operating system or installing new apps. No matter how diligently you take care of the device, it gradually becomes more and more obsolete and needs replacement. This is inevitable.
Purchase a New Battery
Sometimes it’s enough to invest in a new battery instead of purchasing a new computer. Officially, each Mac is designed to have 1000 cycles of full battery charge and drain. You can check how many it has already had in the System Information section of the Apple Menu. There, in the Hardware tab, look for the Power option. After you purchase a fresh battery, the device will consume less energy to run the apps and thus will start functioning considerably quicker.
Sometimes just one specialized program is enough to protect your Mac from malware, optimize its productivity, make it quick and efficient once again. It’s better to use such software as a preventive measure to avoid potential slowdowns and ward off threats long before they target you. With proper maintenance, your Mac will remain your reliable assistant for many years ahead, working at full capacity and allowing you to achieve all your goals.