Mac Running Slow? 9 Ways to Fix a Slow Mac

Robert Hunt
Last updated: May 30, 2023

Is your Mac running slow? Don't worry. In this article, you'll learn some practical ways to speed up your Mac and improve its performance.

All Macs slow down over time, and the reasons behind it are various. When your Mac starts to slow down, you may find that your apps are becoming unresponsive, the rainbow wheel keeps spinning, or even worse, your Mac freezes.

It's not hard to imagine how inconvenient a slow Mac can be for your work and life. But don't worry, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll walk you through 9 practical ways to speed up your Mac.

Just keep reading!

Mac Running Slow? 9 Ways to Fix a Slow Mac

Why Is My Mac So Slow?

Working on a slow Mac is really frustrating. But before we learn how to speed up your Mac, 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:

  • Not enough Mac memory usage.
  • Too many processes running in the background.
  • Too many startup items.
  • Outdated macOS.
  • Mac hardware problems.

How to Fix Your Slow 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.

Restart 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.

Optimize Mac Storage

The amount of free Mac memory usage is directly related to your Mac performance. Fortunately, Macs running macOS Sierra and later have a built-in storage optimization feature that automatically frees up some space for you when you're running low on storage.

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

Clear Up Useless Files on Mac

When you use your Mac, you will inevitably download a lot of files. Some files may be of no use to you, but you didn’t delete them in time. As a result, they take up a lot of your precious space.

Files that can be safely deleted include DMG files, files in the trash, duplicate files, corrupted files, and unrecognizable files. In addition, caches and logs from the system, applications and users can also be cleaned freely.

If you want to quickly delete unwanted files from your Mac, use BuhoCleaner, which is one of the best Mac cleaners. It can clean up all kinds of junk files on your Mac with one click. Click the button below to try it out quickly.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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Quickly Clean Up Mac with BuhoCleaner

Uninstall Unwanted Apps

Apps can also take up a lot of Mac memory usage. Have you noticed some apps you haven't used for a long time? Or may they never be used since they were installed? Whether or not you have enough storage space, it is recommended that you remove them from your Mac.

Dragging an app to the trash does not completely remove it. Its supporting files are still on your hard drive. As you know, it is not easy to find and delete them manually. But if you have BuhoCleaner at hand, you can save a lot of time and effort.

Beyond a Mac cleaner, BuhoCleaner is also an easy-to-use app uninstaller that can completely delete multiple apps with one click, including stubborn antivirus software like Avast and Bitdefender.

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

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

Stop Resource-Hogging Processes

As we mentioned above, having too many programs running in the background can make your Mac run slowly. They consume so much Mac memory usage and CPU resources that your Mac may not have enough resources to complete your operations.

Activity Monitor is a handy tool that allows you to check which processes are eating your CPU and memory. You can quickly launch it with Spotlight. With it open, find unused programs and processes, select them, and click Stop in the toolbar to quit or force quit them.

Stop Resource Hogging Process on Mac

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.

Delete Browser Extensions and Plugins

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.

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.

Replacing or Upgrading Mac Hardware

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.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, by following the steps above, you've made a noticeable improvement in the performance of your Mac.

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.

Feel free to try this AI cleaner to speed up your Mac. Get ready to experience a faster Mac from now on!

Robert Hunt

I'm Robert Hunt, a tech-savvy fan with the love of all things Apple. As a hobbyist of gardening and meditation, I'm also a seasoned writer covering a wide array of Apple products, like iPhone, iPad, iOS and more.