Mac Running Slow? 9 Ways to Fix a Slow Mac

Robert Xiao
Last updated: May 28, 2024

Is your Mac feeling sluggish lately? Don't let a slow Mac hamper your productivity. We've got your back with some practical tips to speed it up and restore its performance.

As time goes by, all Mac computers tend to get slower. You might notice your apps taking longer to respond, or you might see that colorful spinning wheel, also known as the rainbow wheel, popping up frequently. In some cases, your Mac might even freeze completely.

A slow Mac can really throw a wrench into your work and daily life. But don't worry! We're here to lend a hand. In this article, we'll guide you through nine simple ways to make your Mac run faster again.

Mac Running Slow? 9 Ways to Fix a Slow Mac

Why Is Your Mac So Slow?

Working on a slow Mac can be super annoying. But before we learn how to fix it, let’s take a look at the possible reasons why your Mac is running slow.

A variety of reasons can lead to a slow Mac. The main ones are:

  • Low storage or memory availability.
  • Excessive background processes.
  • Too many startup items.
  • Outdated macOS.
  • Outdated hardware and hardware issues.

9 Practical Ways to Speed Up Your Mac

Now that you know why your Mac is running slow, let's see how to speed it up. Here are some ways you can try.

1. Restart Your Mac

If you feel your Mac is running slowly, restart it first, as restarting can fix some Mac issues. Simply click the Apple menu and select Restart. Before doing so, make sure to save the file you are editing to avoid losing any data.

2. Optimize Mac Storage

Having enough storage space is crucial for your Mac to run smoothly. Luckily, if you have a Mac with macOS Sierra or a newer version, there's a helpful feature built-in called storage optimization. This feature kicks in automatically when your storage space is running low, freeing up some space to keep your Mac running smoothly.

To find out how your storage is being used and how much free space is left, click the Apple menu > System Settings > General > Storage.

Check Available Storage Space on Mac

Under the storage bar, you'll see some optimization recommendations. All you need to do is optimize your Mac as suggested.

Optimize Mac Storage

3. Clean Up Useless Files

When you use your Mac, you end up downloading lots of files. Some of these files may no longer be useful to you, but you might forget to delete them. As a result, they take up a significant amount of space on your Mac.

Files like DMG files, items in the trash, duplicate files, corrupted files, and unrecognized files are safe to delete. Additionally, you can also clear caches and logs from the system, applications, and users to free up more space.

To easily get rid of these unnecessary files, you can use BuhoCleaner, which is a handy Mac cleaning tool. It can swiftly remove all kinds of junk files from your Mac with just one click. Click the button below to give it a try and reclaim space on your Mac.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide
Quickly Clean Up Mac with BuhoCleaner

4. Uninstall Unwanted Apps

Apps can consume a large portion of your Mac's storage. Have you noticed some apps that you haven't used in a while? Or maybe you installed them but never really used them? Regardless of how much storage space you have, it's a good idea to remove these unused apps from your Mac.

Simply dragging an app to the trash doesn't fully delete it. Its supporting files still remain on your hard drive. Manually finding and deleting these files can be tricky. But with BuhoCleaner, you can save a lot of time and effort.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

BuhoCleaner is not just a regular Mac cleaner; it's also an easy-to-use app uninstaller. It can completely remove multiple apps with just one click, including stubborn antivirus software like Avast and Bitdefender. If you want to clean up your Mac and remove unnecessary apps efficiently, BuhoCleaner is the way to go.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Download, install, and open BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click on App Uninstall in the sidebar, and you will see all installed apps.
  3. Filter and select the apps you don’t need, then click the Remove button.
Quickly Uninstall Apps on Mac with BuhoCleaner

5. Stop Resource-Hogging Processes

As we mentioned above, having too many programs running in the background can slow down your Mac. They use up a lot of your Mac's memory and CPU resources, which can leave your Mac with insufficient resources to carry out your tasks.

Activity Monitor is a handy tool that allows you to check which processes are eating up your CPU and memory resources. You can easily access it using Spotlight. Once it's open, you can identify any unused programs and processes, select them, and then click "Stop" in the toolbar to quit or force quit them. This helps free up resources and can speed up your Mac.

Stop Resource Hogging Process on Mac

6. Disable Unnecessary Startup Programs

Startup programs are apps and services that launch automatically when you log into your Mac. The more they are open, the slower your Mac boots up. If your Mac is slow due to too many startup programs. It’s time to disable those unnecessary ones.

Here's how to remove startup programs on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Settings.
  2. Click General >Login Items, and you will see a list of apps that automatically open when your Mac starts.
  3. Select the app you want to remove, then click the Minus (-) button.
Remove Login Items on Mac Ventura
The steps are slightly different on macOS Monterey and earlier versions.

In fact, in addition to the login items in the list, there may be other unnecessary launch services such as Launch Agents and Launch Daemons.

The free Startups feature built into BuhoCleaner can help you manage all your login items and services more easily. Click here to download and try it out.

7. Delete Browser Extensions

You probably have added many extensions and plugins to your browser to improve your experience with it. However, these extensions and plugins are automatically launched every time you open your browser, which adds a lot of pressure to your memory.

Therefore, to avoid running out of memory space, you’d better remove the extensions and plugins you don’t need from your browser.


  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Click the Safari menu and select Preferences.
  3. Click the Extensions tab, select the extension you want to uninstall, and click the Uninstall button next to it.
    Uninstall Safari Extensions


  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner and select More Tools > Extensions.
  3. Disable or remove unneeded extensions according to your needs.
Remove Chrome Extensions
Having too many browser tabs open can also degrade your Mac performance. It is recommended that you close unused tabs in a timely manner.

8. Keep macOS and Apps Up to Date

Thanks to Apple's continuous optimizations and updates, macOS has become smoother and faster. If you haven't updated your macOS in a long time, you better do it now.

Simply click the Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software Update to update your macOS to the latest macOS compatible with your Mac.

Keep Your Mac Updated

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If you want your apps to run faster, it's best to keep them up to date as well. Go to the App Store, click Update, and then update your apps to the latest version.

9. Upgrade MacHardware

The steps above to speed up your Mac may not work on old Macs, which have very limited hardware. To fix this kind of slow Mac, replace or upgrade the hardware first.

FAQs about Mac Running Slow

  1. Why Is My Mac So Slow When I Have Plenty of Storage?

    • Insufficient RAM on your Mac.
    • Too many applications or browser tabs open.
    • Excessive startup programs on your Mac.
    • Numerous background processes running.
    • Outdated macOS.
    • Malware or viruses affecting your Mac.
    • Too old Mac.
  2. Why Is My Mac Running Slow after Sonoma Update?

    • System Indexing
    • Too many background processes
    • Incompatible or outdated apps
    • Insufficient storage
    • Memory (RAM) running low
    • Corrupted system files

The Bottom Line

By following these steps, you can breathe new life into your sluggish Mac and enjoy smoother performance.

Please note that we've listed only some of the main fixes for a slow Mac here. In reality, there are many more steps to try, such as rebuilding the Spotlight index, decluttering your desktop, reducing visual effects, resetting PRAM and SMC, moving large files to an external hard drive or cloud, adding more RAM, and disabling FileVault encryption, among others.

Robert is a tech-savvy fan who loves all things Apple. As a hobbyist of gardening and meditation, he is also a seasoned writer covering a wide array of Apple products, like iPhone, iPad, iOS, and more.