Why is my Mac so slow? 19 Reasons and Fixes

Macs are known for being fast and efficient machines, but even they can slow down over time. If your Mac has become sluggish, don’t worry – there are several ways to speed it back up again. Here are 10 tips to help you get your Mac running like new:

1. Delete old files and applications

Over time, your Mac can accumulate a lot of unnecessary files and applications. Go through your folders and delete anything you no longer need or use. This can help free up some space and improve performance.

2. Optimize your hard drive

Your Mac’s hard drive may not be performing as well as it could be because of fragmentation. You can optimize it by using a tool like Disk Utility or a third-party application.

3. Close unused applications

When you’re not using an application, close it. This will free up resources and improve performance.

4. Disable animations

Some animations in macOS can slow things down a bit. To disable them, open System Preferences and click on “Accessibility.” Then check the box next to “Reduce Motion.”

5. Use a fast Internet browser

Safari is the default browser on macOS, but there are faster alternatives available like Firefox and Chrome. If you’re using an older Mac, Firefox may be a better option since it’s more lightweight than Chrome.

6. Update your software regularly

Apple releases updates for macOS regularly, and many of them include bug fixes and performance improvements. Make sure you’re running the latest version of macOS by opening the App Store and clicking on the “Updates” tab.

If you’re running on the older versions of MacOS, be sure to upgrade to MacOS Ventura – which is by far the best OS we’ve tested for performance!

7. Free up storage space

If your Mac’s hard drive is getting full, it can start to slow down. To free up some space, open Finder and go to the “All My Files” section. From there, you can delete any files you don’t need anymore.

8. Quit unused apps

Any apps that are running in the background are using up resources on your Mac, so it’s best to quit them when you’re not using them. To do this, press Command + Option + Esc on your keyboard to bring up the Force Quit window. Then select the app you want to quit and click “Force Quit.”

9. Disable visual effects

If your Mac is running slow, you can disable some of the visual effects to speed things up. To do this, open System Preferences and click on “Accessibility.” Then, under the “Display” section, uncheck the box next to “Reduce motion.”

10. Restart your Mac

If all else fails, restarting your Mac can often help speed it up. To do this, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and select “Restart.”

11. Upgrade your Mac

If your Mac is getting old and is starting to run slow, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer model. Apple offers a wide range of different Macs, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs and budget.


12. Use Activity Monitor to diagnose problems

If your Mac is running slowly, you can use Activity Monitor to figure out what’s causing the problem. This app shows you which apps and processes are using the most CPU or memory, so you can identify what’s causing the slowdown.

13. Upgrade your memory

If you’ve tried all of the other tips and your Mac is still running slowly, you may need to upgrade your memory. More RAM can help your computer run more smoothly, especially if you’re using memory-intensive apps like video editing software.

14. Use a flash drive for storage

If your Mac doesn’t have enough internal storage, you can use a flash drive or external hard drive for additional storage. This can help speed up your computer by giving it more space to work with.

15. Disable unused login items

When you start up your Mac, it loads a lot of different programs and services in the background. If there are programs that you don’t use regularly, you can disable them so they don’t slow down your computer.

16. Empty the trash

When you delete files from your Mac, they don’t actually get deleted. Instead, they’re moved to the Trash folder. If you don’t empty the Trash regularly, it can start to slow down your computer.

17. Use a disk maintenance tool

A disk maintenance tool can help keep your Mac’s hard drive clean and healthy, which can in turn lead to faster performance. There are several different options available, so choose the one that works best for you.

18. Upgrade to an SSD

If your Mac is feeling particularly sluggish, you may want to consider upgrading to an SSD. Solid-state drives are much faster than traditional hard drives, and can make a big difference in the overall performance of your computer.

19. Use a third-party app

If you’ve tried all of the tips listed above and your Mac is still running slow, you may want to try using a third-party app like CleanMyMac X. CleanMyMac X is a powerful tool that can help you clean up your Mac and boost its performance.

These are just a few of the ways that you can speed up a slow Mac. If you’re having trouble getting your computer to run at its best, try using some of these tips. If the above didn’t help, get in touch with our Apple experts.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...