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Problem

My Mac is running slowly or freezes regularly.

 

Slow computer performance can be caused by many factors and, therefore, can be difficult to diagnose. Below is a series of troubleshooting steps designed to determine the cause of computer slowness. We recommend following them from top to bottom. Please pay careful attention to the steps and do not skip any steps, even if they seem irrelevant or useless. Each step has a purpose and must be completed in the order given.

 

Solution 1 - Restart Your Computer

 

This is the first and simplest solution to slow performance. Surprisingly, sometimes all it takes to fix slow performance is a quick restart of your computer.

 

Make sure to save any work you have open and quit all apps before starting this process.

Step-by-step guide

 

  1. Click the Apple logo in the upper right corner of your screen.



  2. Click "Restart...".



  3. Click the blue "Restart" button.
  4. Wait for the computer to restart.

 

 

Solution 2 - Check Your Specs

 

A common cause of slow computer performance is an underpowered computer. In this section, we'll check your computers hardware specifications to make sure it has the resources it needs to run quickly.

 

  1. Click the Apple logo in the upper right corner of your screen.

  2. Click "About This Mac".

    Depending on the operating system version your computer is running, this window will look different.

  3. Check your specs
    1. Memory should be at least 8 GB.

      If your system memory (RAM) is less than 8 GB, you may experience slow performance. It is important to have plenty of memory if you run many applications at the same time or run resource-intensive applications like video and photo editing software or games. Increasing the amount of memory in your computer will often lead to a noticeable speed increase. Even if you do not run any resource-intensive applications, computers with a newer operating system and small amount of memory may operate slowly.

 

 

Solution 3 - Hardware Issues

 

Hardware issues can cause slow performance. If you've restarted your computer and checked your system's hardware specs, you may have a bad hard drive. In this section, we will check your hard drive's health. Modern hard drives support Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T) which allows us to monitor the drive's health.

 

  1. Check the SMART attributes with maintenance software.

 

 

 

Solution 4 - Re-Install the Operating System

 

Sometimes, re-installing the operating system can help to speed up the computer. This is more true with Windows-based computers than Macs, but it may be worth a try.

This process will completely erase the hard drive! Make sure to back up all important data before proceeding!

 

  1. Shut your computer off.
  2. Boot into recovery mode.
    1. With your computer still off, press and hold the Command and R keys.
    2. While continuing to hold those keys, press and immediately release the power button.
    3. Keep the Command and R keys pressed until you see an icon on the screen.
    4. Click here for more information about recovery mode.
  3. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.

 

 

Solution 5 - Get a New Computer

 

If nothing has worked up to this point and your computer is still running slowly, you may need a new computer.

 

  1. How old is the computer?
    1. If the computer is not on this list, you may need to replace it.
    2. If the computer is more than 6 years old, you may need to replace it.

 

This may be an upsetting step. Getting a new computer can be expensive and is just a suggestion. The final decision is yours to make. Computers aren't designed to last forever and need to be replaced eventually, just like your car. You can drive it until the wheels fall off, but it won't be pleasant.

 

 

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