Mac Performance Issues? Fix it Once for All

A new MacBook always responds quickly to any action you make. But the longer you work with it, downloading information and applications, the more often it may experience performance issues.

Let’s have a look at the main causes of problems and how to solve them. 

But before you start to solve performance problems using any of the further described methods, make sure you back up your data so you don’t lose it. For this, you first need to use the convenient Time Machine tool. 

System Errors

Extended work without rebooting can accumulate temporary files in your computer memory and cause errors that will make applications freeze and ultimately harm performance. By rebooting your PC, you can forcibly clear the temporary memory and restart all major processes. If the cause of the slowdown was not significant, you will notice a substantial speed-up of response time after a reboot.

Working Programs

A reboot may tell you where exactly to look for a performance problem. If after the reboot the speed increases briefly, and then decreases again, you should check which programs and devices use RAM in the background mode. 

To understand how your computer system works, use the built-in Activity Monitor tool.  

To launch it, 

  1. Select Applications.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Select Activity Monitor or use Spotlight.

To see real-time parameters in the utility settings, 

  1. Select the “View”.
  2.  Select “Update Frequency” menu. and 
  3. Set the minimum value, and mark “All processes”.

For convenience of analysis, all processes are tabbed. 


In this tab, by analyzing which process is responsible for taking up a high percentage of CPU power, it is easy to find and disable programs that slow down the work. Disable only the processes of which you know to what program they belong to, as disabling system processes can further degrade your Mac. Try not to run applications that require a high CPU load simultaneously. 


The RAM of your Macbook is exactly what helps it to perform main tasks as fast as possible. If the RAM is lacking and there are a lot of programs running, the device will start using hard disk memory, which is initially much slower. You will notice it in terms of performance speed. Look at the RAM usage graph, define which applications have used it most, and try not to run them simultaneously.

RAM Usage

To check RAM usage on your Mac, go to Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities). In the Memory tab, you will see all the active processes that are using your Mac’s RAM. 

At the bottom of the window, there is a Memory Used graph, which indicates how much application memory is used. The more red and yellow on this graph, the harder it is for your MacBook to handle new tasks. If the “Swap Used” parameter to the right of the graph is not equal to zero, it means that your computer has started using hard disk memory and is not working efficiently. 

If you want to improve the speed, stop applications that require a lot of resources, reboot your Mac, and try not to run them at the same time.

For the most optimal performance, this graph has to be green. If that is not the case, you may require more RAM.


On your MacBook you can find a list of applications that consume most of the energy. While you work on battery power, they will reduce the performance of your laptop and its battery life. 


The information about how much free disk space each application uses is displayed here. The less free space you have on your hard drives, the slower an application will run. To work correctly a system always needs at least 20 GB of free hard disk space. 

To solve this problem you should use cloud storage or upgrade your computer’s hard drive. You can also delete applications that you no longer use.


If you have noticed that only the applications that require the Internet are running slowly, then probably the problem has to deal with your network connection. Check the sending and receiving of data in this tab, and if there is a connection problem, reboot the router or contact your ISP.

Computer settings

The parameters of digital technology are being upgraded at a great pace. Every year, laptops, tablets, or phones are produced, following the demand for higher performance characteristics.If the system of your laptop is much older and you are trying to install new software on it, it may not be capable of running it. 

It is worth checking if a software and your computer meet the requirements., and in case of a mismatch, install a previous version of a program that most probably will work correctly. Before using some 3rd party software, it is recommended to choose a trustworthy app based on customers’ reviews

Hardware problems

The work of your MacBook can be impaired if one of the internal components breaks down. If a motherboard, a hard drive, or a cooling fan fails, your computer performance will suffer. To solve this problem you should contact the Apple service center. 

Issues with the Hard Drive 

A problem with your hard drive might be a cause of a slowdown of your MacBook.

Hard drive errors

Frequent recording and overwriting of information can accumulate errors and corrupted files that are not seen by you. The system has a built-in disk utility to solve basic hard disk problems. To run it, 

  1. Select Applications.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Select Disk Utility.  
  4. In the list of available drives, select “Macintosh HD”. 
  5. Click “First aid”.

As a result of the check, all errors on your disk will be found and corrected, and you will get a report on a hard drive’s work.

Lack of free space

A lot of unnecessary files, cache, copies of photos, and other trash are collected on your hard drive during the work. Get rid of them to free up disk space and expedite the work of your MacBook. To clear cache on a mac, perform the following procedure:

  1. Run Finder. 
  2. At the top of the screen select Go.
  3. Go to Folder. 
  4. Type in the appeared window ~/Library/Caches.
  5. Press OK. 

You will be taken to the cache files folder, from where you can drag all the extra files to the recycle bin. Don’t forget to empty the recycle bin to finally clear up space on your hard drive and delete cache on Mac.

Use the Finder to clean up the Downloads folder as well.

Too many Open Tabs

Each Finder window uses a lot of RAM. If you have many browser tabs open in Finder in combination with lots of minimized windows in the background,, your computer will no longer be able to handle so many tasks. 

There is one simple solution to this problem. 

  1. Click Finder
  2. Click Window 
  3. Click “Combine all windows”.

This easy action collects all opened tabs opened separately into one, so that you can close all the unnecessary ones.

MacOS needs an Update

System updates are released approximately once a year, and each update contains necessary error corrections for a proper operation. 

It is also difficult to synchronize your computer with other devices without the last update. To install the latest update, 

  1. Select the Apple. 
  2. Select “About this Mac” menu.  
  3. Click “Software Update”.  
  4. If a new version is available, please update the software. 

Sometimes your Mac laptop may have several issues at once. Begin solving them starting with the easiest and ending with the most complicated ones. 

Timely installed updates, trash-cleaned memory and a recycle bin as well as the minimum number of open windows in an Internet browser or Finder is the key to a fast and correct operation of your MacBook. 

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa