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Why Is My Mac Running Slow? Possible Causes and Solutions

published 6/11/2021

Is your MacBook getting slow and clunky? Are you tired of staring at the spinning pinwheel?

It can be frustrating when your Mac suddenly doesn't want to run as well as it used to. But that doesn't mean you are stuck putting up with it.

There are many reasons why this is happening and quite a few things that you can do to stop your Mac running slow yourself before reaching out to a MacBook solutions specialist.

Take a look at our guide on some of the reasons your MacBook may be slowing down and the actions you can take now to improve your laptop's performance.

1. The Hard Drive Is Nearly Full

Hard drive space is not just about room to store your files. Operational files are also stored there. So if your hard drive becomes cluttered, it will take longer for the system to find and use necessary files.

If your hard drive is nearing maximum capacity, it is time to declutter and clear out some unused files to speed up your MacBook. You can download a specialist Mac clean-up tool from the App Store to help with this task. A tool will help remove extra files that you may not be aware of, like logs and caches, to give you extra space.

2. Your MacOS Is Out Of Date

Every year, more or less, Apple will release a newer version of the operating system software that manages your MacBook. An older operating system will affect the performance of your machine. So, you need to make sure that you keep it updated.

It is easy to do, and it is likely that Apple has already notified you through the system itself. If they have, don't ignore it. Make sure you have the requirements needed to run the software and download it.

If you haven't been notified yet, then check inside Software Update for any updates. The sooner you get your system on the latest version of the software, the sooner you could start to see an improvement in your Mac's performance.

3. Your Storage Is A Mess

Optimizing your internal storage is a chore that we all like to ignore. But if you do it could be leading to some of the computer problems like a slowing down of your machine.

Apple has made it super easy these days to optimize your storage by building an application into the operating system. You can use this tool to see what you can do to improve your storage space.

Access the tool via About This Mac > Optimize Storage. Your MacBook will advise you on what files need to be kept locally and what could be moved to the iCloud. It will also suggest any larger files, such as old movies you have watched already, and offer to delete them.

4. Slow Down At Startup

You can set lots of applications to load up as you startup your MacBook. These can really slow down your device and cause problems. Also, if these applications load at startup they will be running in the background all the time and potentially taking resources from other applications.

Check what you have set to load at startup and turn some of it off if you don't need it. These applications are set to load per MacBook user profile, so you will need to make changes here to remove any unneeded items.

Head to System Preferences > Users and Groups and select your username. Here you can select Login Items and choose which applications you no longer want to load on boot. Simply remove the application from the list, and you should notice an increased speed boost when you start up your MacBook.

5. Too Many Open Applications

Similar to having too many things load at startup, you can open far too many applications whilst you are using your MacBook as well. It can be easy to forget to quit an application and just leave it running in the background.

Luckily, there is a simple solution, and you can use the built-in Activity Monitor to quit out of any applications you have finished using. From the Finder, open the Applications > Utilities folders and then start the Activity Monitor app.

This will show you a long list of all the processes currently running on the system. It also gives you information about the CPU load, Memory, Disk, and much more. It can appear a little overwhelming at first but don't worry.

In the CPU tab, choose the application that you wish to close. Once you have, it selected click on the X inside a circle on the toolbar. This will give you the option to quit the application.

Once you do, you should see a dip in the CPU load graph at the bottom of the screen. This confirms that you have reduced the amount of strain your CPU is currently under.

6. Too Many Apps

It is all too easy to get wrapped up in installing a new application every time you take a wander through the App Store. But all those installed and unused apps could be causing your MacBook problems. Before you take your machine to a MacBook repair specialist, try removing some of them and see if it helps speed up your machine.

In the Finder, head to your Applications folder and sort by size. This will put the largest applications at the top of the folder. Look at how much space they are taking up on your device and decide whether you really still need them.

If not, it is time to hit delete and free yourself some more space. You should notice a boost in performance once your restart as those resources become available again.

Stop Your Mac Running Slow

Making just some of the changes on this list should stop your Mac running slow and improve performance for a little while longer. Eventually, you will need to look to upgrade your device as it may be that your MacBook is just a little out of date for the new applications and OS.

But until that day, you can rest easy knowing that you have done everything you can to make its life a little bit easier.

If you are still experiencing problems after trying out these tips, then why not get in touch with us. We can help you with reliable MacBook repair services and satisfaction guaranteed.