January 18, 2023

arachimi studio

Little programmer in the world.

Why is my Mac running slow & how to fix it.

10 min read

Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

There are a few things you can try to fix a slow Macbook:

  1. Check your storage space: If your hard drive is full, it can slow down your Macbook. Delete unnecessary files and move large files to an external hard drive to free up space.

    When your Macbook’s hard drive is full, it can cause the device to slow down. The reason behind this is that when the hard drive is full, there is no more space for the computer to store new files, which can cause the computer to slow down as it struggles to access and store data. To fix this issue, you should start by deleting any unnecessary files that are taking up space on your hard drive. This can include old documents, photos, videos, and other files that you no longer need. You can also move large files, such as videos and music, to an external hard drive or cloud storage service to free up space on your Macbook’s hard drive. This will help to improve the performance of your device and make it run faster. Additionally, you can also use a disk cleaning tool or app to locate and remove any system or application cache files that are taking up space on your hard drive.
  2. Close unnecessary tabs and apps: Having too many apps and tabs open at once can slow down your Macbook. Close the ones you’re not using to free up memory and processing power.

    When using a computer, it is common to have multiple applications and tabs open at once. However, having too many open at the same time can slow down your Macbook. Each open application and tab requires a certain amount of memory and processing power to run, and having too many open can cause your computer to run out of resources. This can result in a slower overall performance and can make it difficult to complete tasks in a timely manner.

    To fix this issue, it is important to regularly close any unnecessary applications and tabs. This can be done by clicking the “X” button on the top left corner of the window or by using the keyboard shortcut “Command + Q” on a Mac. Additionally, it is important to regularly review the applications and tabs that are currently open and close any that are no longer needed. This can help to free up memory and processing power, resulting in a faster and more efficient computer.
  3. Clear your cache: Clearing your browser and system cache can help improve performance.

    Clearing your cache is a simple process that can help improve the performance of your Macbook. A cache is a temporary storage area where your computer stores frequently accessed information, such as images, web pages, and more. Over time, this cache can become cluttered and take up valuable storage space, which can slow down your Macbook.

    To clear your cache on a Macbook, you will need to follow these steps:
    1. Open the Finder app on your Macbook.
    2. Click on “Go” in the top menu bar, and then select “Go to Folder.”
    3. Type “~/Library/Caches” and press enter.
    4. Locate the folder that corresponds to the application or browser you want to clear the cache for. For example, if you want to clear the cache for Safari, you would look for the folder labeled “com.apple.Safari”
    5. Drag the folder to the trash.
    6. Empty the trash by right-clicking on the trash icon and selecting “Empty trash.”
    7. Close the Finder app.
    8. Restart your Macbook.

    It’s also a good idea to clear your browser’s cache regularly. Each browser has its own method of clearing the cache. But most modern browser have a clear cache option in their settings.

    Keep in mind that clearing your cache will not affect your personal data or settings, but it may log you out of any websites you are currently logged into. It’s a good practice to clear your cache periodically to keep your Macbook running smoothly.
  4. Run a malware scan: Sometimes, a slow Macbook can be caused by malware or viruses. Use a reputable antivirus program to scan your computer and remove any malware.

    When a computer is infected with malware or a virus, it can greatly slow down the performance of the device. Malware is a type of software that is designed to harm or exploit a computer system. It can come in various forms such as viruses, spyware, adware, and trojans. These malicious programs can cause a variety of problems, such as slowing down the performance of the computer, stealing personal information, or even damaging important files.

    To detect and remove malware, it is important to use a reputable antivirus program. These programs use a database of known malware to scan the computer and identify any malicious files. Once identified, the program will remove the malware and quarantine it to prevent it from causing further harm.

    It is important to note that regular scans are crucial in order to catch any new malware that may have been added since the last scan. It is also important to keep the antivirus program updated with the latest definitions to ensure that it is able to detect the latest threats.

    It is also worth doing a scan in safe mode, which is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system. Safe mode is typically used to troubleshoot and fix issues, such as malware that prevents the computer from starting normally. In safe mode, the computer will only load essential files and services, which makes it more difficult for malware to hide or function.
  5. Check your startup items: A lot of apps will automatically start when your computer starts, which can slow it down.
    Checking your startup items can be an important step in troubleshooting a slow Macbook. When your computer starts up, a lot of apps may automatically launch in the background, which can consume valuable resources and slow down your device. To check and manage your startup items, follow these steps:

    1. Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.”
    2. In the System Preferences window, click on “Users & Groups.”
    3. In the Users & Groups window, click on the lock icon in the bottom-left corner to make changes.
    4. Enter your admin password if prompted.
    5. Click on the “Login Items” tab.
    6. Here you will see a list of all the apps that are set to launch automatically when you log in to your Macbook. Review this list and uncheck any apps that you do not need to start automatically.
    7. Once you have finished making your selections, close the System Preferences window.

    By disabling unnecessary startup items, you can free up system resources and improve the performance of your Macbook. However, be careful not to disable any system-critical apps or services. If you are unsure about which apps to disable, it may be best to consult with an IT professional or Apple support.
  6. Check your Network: a slow network can make the macbook slow.

    When it comes to checking your network, there are a few things you can do to help improve the performance of your Macbook. First, make sure you are connected to the right network. If you are connected to a public network, the speed may be slower than if you were connected to your home network. Additionally, you can check the strength of your connection by going to the Wi-Fi icon in the top right corner of your screen and checking the signal strength. If it is low, try moving closer to the router or check to see if there are any other devices that may be causing interference.

    Another thing to check is the number of devices connected to your network. If you have a lot of devices connected, it can slow down the network for everyone. Try disconnecting some devices and see if that improves the speed.

    You can also check for any software updates for your router. If there is a firmware update available, it can fix bugs and improve the performance of the router.

    Lastly, you can try resetting your network settings. Go to the System Preferences > Network and click the “Apply” button at the bottom right corner. This will reset your network settings and may help improve the performance of your Macbook.
  7. Update your software: Make sure your Macbook is running the latest version of macOS and all your apps are up to date.

    Updating your software is an important step in maintaining the performance of your Macbook. The latest versions of macOS and apps often include performance enhancements and bug fixes that can improve the speed and stability of your computer. To update your software, go to the App Store and click on the Updates tab. You will see a list of all the apps on your computer that have updates available. Click on the Update button next to each app to download and install the latest version. For updating the Mac OS, you can open the System Preferences and go to the software update section, it will automatically check for updates, and you can download and install the latest version of the MacOS from there. It’s important to regularly check for updates as they can help improve the performance of your computer and fix any known issues that may be causing slow downs.
  8. Reset SMC: A system management controller (SMC) reset might help to fix a problem.

    A System Management Controller (SMC) reset can help fix various problems related to power, battery, fans, and other features on your Macbook. The SMC is responsible for managing the low-level functions of your Macbook, such as power management, battery charging, thermal management, and more. When something goes wrong with the SMC, it can cause your Macbook to slow down or have other issues.

    To reset the SMC on your Macbook, you will need to shut down your Macbook and unplug the power cord. Then, press and hold the ‘Shift + Control + Option’ keys along with the power button for at least 10 seconds. Release all keys and the power button, and then plug the power cord back in. Finally, turn your Macbook back on. This should reset the SMC and hopefully fix any problems that were caused by it.
  9. Reset NVRAM: Resetting NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) might help to fix a problem.

    Resetting NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) can help to fix various problems on your Macbook such as incorrect display resolution, strange startup tones, and other issues. NVRAM stores information such as your screen resolution, time zone, and startup disk selection. To reset NVRAM, you will need to shut down your Macbook, then press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys while turning on your Mac. Continue to hold these keys until you hear the startup sound twice. This will reset your NVRAM and can help to fix various problems on your Macbook. It’s important to note that resetting NVRAM will not delete any of your files or personal information.
  10. Repair disk permission: Disk permission can be corrupted and cause slow performance.

    Repairing disk permissions involves checking and repairing any errors in the file access permissions on your Mac’s hard drive. This process can help fix issues that may be causing your Macbook to slow down. To repair disk permissions, you can use the built-in Disk Utility app on your Mac. To access the app, go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Once the app is open, select your hard drive from the list on the left, and then click on the “First Aid” tab. Click on the “Repair Disk Permissions” button and let the process run. This may take a few minutes to complete. This process will check and fix any issues with the file access permissions on your hard drive that may be causing your Macbook to slow down.
  11. Run disk utility: Running disk utility to check for disk error and repair them.

    Running disk utility is a built-in tool in macOS that can help check and repair errors on your hard drive. To run disk utility, go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Once the Disk Utility app is open, you will see your hard drive listed on the left side of the window. Select your hard drive and then click on the “First Aid” button. The Disk Utility will start scanning for errors and will repair them if any are found. This can help fix any issues with the file system that may be causing slow performance on your Macbook. It is important to note that running disk utility will not delete any of your files, but it is still recommended to have a backup of your important files before running the utility.
  12. Professional help: If none of the above solutions work, you may need to take your Macbook to a professional for further diagnosis and repair.

    If none of the above solutions work, it may be time to seek professional help for your Macbook. This could involve taking your computer to an authorized Apple repair center or a third-party repair shop. A professional technician will be able to diagnose the problem and provide a solution. They will have the necessary tools and knowledge to run advanced diagnostic tests, check for hardware issues and repair any hardware or software problems. They may also be able to provide additional advice on how to maintain your computer’s performance in the future. It is important to note that, in some cases, the cost of professional repair may be more expensive than purchasing a new device. However, if your Macbook has valuable data or sentimental value, it may be worth the investment to have it repaired by a professional.

In conclusion, a slow Macbook can be caused by a variety of factors such as a full hard drive, too many open apps and tabs, malware, outdated software, and corrupted disk permissions. To fix a slow Macbook, it is important to regularly check and free up storage space, close unnecessary apps and tabs, run a malware scan, and update your software. Additionally, resetting the SMC and NVRAM, running a disk utility, and checking your startup items can also help improve performance. If none of these solutions work, it may be necessary to seek professional help for further diagnosis and repair. It is important to regularly maintain and troubleshoot your Macbook to ensure optimal performance.