Is Your Apple Mac computer slow? | The Complete Performance guide

How to speed up a slow Apple Mac computer.

My name is Keith Thomas and i am here to help you speed up the performance of a slow Apple Mac computer,

Our free guide on Apple Mac performance, with all of the tips and tricks on how to speed up a slow Apple Mac computer, and information on macOS optimisation tips and tasks to try.

Apple Mac Performance.

As time goes on newer electronic devices get faster pending on the technology, as they have no moving parts to slow down the device or computer.

How many times do we get customers with a slow Apple iPhone or a slow Apple iPad?

It is so rare to take these calls, why, The Apple iPhone and Apple iPad devices do not have any moving parts.

which means the data and software is electronic, its the same principle as electric cars, Instant powerful performance.

The same principle applies to newer Apple Mac computers.

The Apple Mac computers that have a mechanical storage volume have the worst Apple Mac performance.

The entry level iMac computer sold with a 1TB SATA disk with a 5400 rpm rotational spin speed known as (revolutions per minute), can be very slow, even from new!

The 1Tb SATA mechanical hard disk, if it has become slow, the only way to really help is to format the disk start again, however this does not always resolve the problem.

The best solution of course is to simply replace the 1 TB SATA 5400 disk with the SSD solid-state drive.

Why did Apple move to SSD quickly on the 2020 range of Apple Macs!

The answer is very clear and simple to understand, macOS Big Sur uses a APFS file system, in lieu of HFS+

The macOS file system, APFS is fully optimised for SSD solid-state drive technology.

Apple will not tell you this but we believe that the performance of macOS Big Sur on a conventional mechanical hard disk, did not make Apples own team of Apple Mac computer engineers happy.

Even the performance of macOS Catalina on the 2012 iMac with a 1Tb 54000 hard disk is not good performance, thanks to USB 3.0 technology and external SSD storage volumes, it is possible to create a macOS bootable startup volume to a fast external USB 3.0 SSD storage volume drive.

A external USB 3.0 enclosure costs about £10 from Amazon and a Kingston or Sandisk 480Gb SSD about £40 or a 1Tb SSD for about £85 to £90 pounds.

To install macOS to a external SSD is it possible to use the Apple Disk Utility to clone the internal storage volume by using the tools available in the macOS Recovery Console Disk Utility Restore feature.

New Apple Macs from 2020 • 2021 onwards.

New 2020 • 2021 range of Apple Mac computers now all come with SSD as standard, however, its good, but one small point 256Gb

Apple are selling new Apple Mac computer today with less storage capacity for a off the shelf basic Apple Mac computer purchase.

The best way to purchase a new Apple Mac computer is to simply customise the order and choose how much storage you need and require.

MacBook Pro 13 inch M1 storage:- options are 256Gb standard order • Options are 512Gb • 1Tb • 2Tb – for the extra £200 the 1Tb best for most users!

The MacBook Air M1 storage: – option are 256Gb standard order • Options 512Gb • 1Tb • 2Tb.

Apple 21.5 inch iMac Late 2020 storage 256Gb standard order • Options 1Tb Fusion drive – not recommended! 256Gb better if you do not need 1Tb storage.

iMac 21.5 inch late 2020 mid end and high end range – 256Gb standard order • options 1Tb Fusion • 512Gb • 1Tb – again the fusion drive not recommended for best performance.

iMac 27 inch high end 5k model a range of storage options with 8Tb option!

Apple have moved on to use SSD solid state storage technology quickly with SSD now on the entire range of Apple Mac computers.

We understand that for 2015 to 2020 Apple iMac customers, that ordered a iMac with a 5400 or 7200 1Tb hard disk, can contact a Apple Authorised service provider to ask for a iMac SSD upgrade.

This will give the Apple iMac 2015 to iMac 2019 with a slower 5400 or a 7200 storage volume to be upgraded to a much faster Flash storage SSD technology!

We know that Apple, and its Apple authorised service providers will eventually stop supporting the 2015 range of iMacs, so the opportunity to upgrade to SSD Technology will be missed.

Of course Apple would like customers to buy a new Apple Mac computer, they will only make upgrades available for a limited period of time.

What slows down a Apple Mac computer today?

  • Age and the use of mechanical storage volume that has become slow or very slow.
  • A process running in the background causing the Apple Mac computer to become slow or very slow.
  • Apple Mac computer virus or Apple Mac computer malware.
  • The incorrect use of Apple Mac security software or third party software applications.
  • Having a Apple Mac computer with a storage volume that is full or is becoming full.
  • Recent Apple Mac operating system software upgrade, and incompatible third-party software.
  • Apple Mac memory mismatch, by non-Apple authorised service provider.

How to optimise the speed of a slow Apple Mac computer.

We often get asked what is the best way to speed up a slow Apple Mac computer, we have already answered this question above.

Mechanical storage volume.

In most cases the storage volume is our main focus point to consider for a slow iMac or slow MacBook Pro laptop computer with a mechanical storage volume.

Free guide on how to optimise the performance of a Apple Mac computer.

Our free guide on how to optimise and speed up the performance of a Apple Mac computer a good start to boost the Apple Mac performance today.

About the memory on Apple Mac computers.

When you switch on your Apple Mac computer the operating system software is loaded from the storage volume to the memory ram.

Most Apple Mac computers have 8Gb of memory today, 8Gb of memory is okay for 90% of users!

16Gb is for people that install additional software on the computer:-

Adobe Photo Shop • Adobe light room, Quark XPress, InDesign, Adobe Illustrator software applications running on Macs with Intel cpu does require memory more memory!

For Apple silicon M1 Apple Macs with unified memory 8Gb is ok for 99.9% of customers, even with professional applications.

With the 2020 range of Apple Mac computers that are running macOS Catalina, macOS Big Sur, 16Gb is becoming the best option when using Intel cpu Mac for professional applications.

In the past 4Gb was considered ok for macOS High Sierra, but of course 8Gb best for most people.

Apple Mac computers that have 4Gb of memory with a 1Tb SATA mechanical storage volume, being used today, as of course slow to use.

However, if you only use Apple Mac Mail and Apple Mac Safari on 4Gb Mac with macOS El Capitan its still ok to use.

How to optimise the memory on the Apple Mac computer!

Find out how your Apple Mac computer is running with the Apple Activity Monitor.

A Apple Mac computer that is running a lot of processes will become slow, if the memory is limited, or the storage volume is also slow!

This puts a lot of pressure on the computer also causing the Intel cpu to work more, causing the additional kernel_task process to start, with new Apple silicon Macs, of course much better, no heat.

The macOS operating system, needs to swap out, memory to storage, when the computer is switched on, so a full SSD, or Flash based Mac, will not slow down, and the Apple silicon Macs, even better due to the unified CPU memory architecture.

As the Apple Mac computer memory and storage volume are used up, the more disk and memory swapping is required.

A quick solution to improve the performance of an apple Mac computer is to quit all the applications, apart from the macOS Finder and to restart the computer.

For until Apple Mac computers, by installing, and upgrading the memory, of the computer, at the performance can be much improved, 16Gb works for most users.

Today only a very limited range of Apple Mac computers can be upgraded, by physically installing more memory ram modules.

Some Apple iMac computers are use up available by the rear memory flap, other iMac computers have to go to an Apple authorised service provider for a iMac memory upgrade.

The Apple Activity Monitor application.

The Apple Activity Monitor gives technical information on the performance of the Apple Mac computer.

The CPU • Memory • Energy • Disk • and Network tabs give specific information on how the CPU Microprocessor • Memory (RAM) • Disk (Storage Volume HD, SSD or Flash) is performing.

For most non-technical users focus on the memory tab and CPU tab, the energy disconnect work options are not often required to be monitored.

Apple Activity Monitor
The Apple MacOS Activity Monitor showing the memory pressure.

Notice that the processes that are using the memory from your Apple Mac computer, the kernal_task, DropBox, Apple Safari, Web helper tasks, all take up memory.

Free memory optimisation tip for Apple Mac computer users!

If Apple Safari or Google Chrome is open with lots of tabs and windows, and your Apple Mac computer has become slow.

Simply close down some of the tabs, and quit Apple Safari and Google Chrome applications that are not required to be open, then restart the Apple Mac computer.

It is a good ideal to close down all website pages and tabs and to Quit Apple Safari or Google Chrome to help optimise the memory of the Apple Mac computer if its always slow on the internet.

By having many website pages open can take up a lot of memory, to optimise this only keep open the website pages and website tabs that need to be open or used.

The very latest version of Google Chrome on macOS Catalina and macOS Big Sur, based on chromium, will be much more memory efficient.

Our Apple Mac memory advice is to use Mac Safari, Apple Mac Safari is far better on memory management, much better privacy, and of course written by Apple!

We have to ask do you really need to use Safari and chrome at the same time!

The picture of the Apple Dock below shows Apple Safari and Google Chrome open

We recommend that you use Apple Mac Safari and only use Google Chrome if you really have to.

With macOS Catalina MacOS Big Sur there should be no reason why you need to use Google Chrome for most websites today, but of course Google wants as many people to use chrome as possible, they love to collect information about your privacy.

The Apple dock showing open applications
The Apple Dock showing the black dot under an icon – using up memory!

How to optimise Apple Mac Safari.

For keen internet users that need to use both Apple Mac Safari and Google Chrome, or Firefox, we have to ask why from reading the last paragraph!

As mentioned before a Apple Mac computer that has 4Gb or 8Gb of memory and has a slow mechanical storage volume can become slow.

Or very slow by, having too many Apple Safari website pages open, and too many website tabs open, the Google chrome application, before the chromium update March 2021!

Google Chrome was responsible for extreme bad memory optimisation usage on Intel Apple Mac computers, Google have now addressed this problem with the new updated Google Chrome addition.

Perform Apple Mac Computer Maintenance.

To improve the overall sped and performance of any Apple Mac computer is to allow the Apple Mac computer to have a Apple Mac computer maintenance service.

The very best way for the ultimate Mac performance would be to start again, factory reset the Apple Mac computer, back to the out of the box experience!

For Apple iCloud customers that have everything stored on the Apple icloud, this can be an easy task to do, however for most users, it has a slight risk of data loss, should the Apple Time Machine backup fail to restore the Apple Mac computer.

maOS built in computer maintenance tools.

For Apple Mac computers that have Apple • macOS Mojave • macOS Catalina • macOS Big Sur

For Apple Mac computers that are 2012 and newer, these Mac’s come with inbuilt macOS computer maintenance tools to use to help optimise the storage on the Apple Mac computer.

To improve the overall performance of a Apple Mac computer, use the Apple MacOS built in maintenance tools

How to optimise the Apple Mac computer storage volume.

The tool is found by choosing the Apple Menu, and About this Mac, then click on the Storage tab.

Then review the Apple MacOS storage maintenance tasks information panel to free up and optimise the storage space on the Apple Mac computer.

Manage Apple Storage
macOS Storage information panel.
Apple Mac Manage Storage information
macOS Storage maintenance.

Check for Apple Mac computer malware!

Run a Apple Mac malware removal tool to check for degraded Apple Mac CPU and storage performance.

A Apple Mac computer that has low memory and has a mechanical storage volume can become very slow due to the Apple Mac computer being infected with Apple Mac Malware or a Apple Mac Virus.

The best way how to remove Apple Mac Malware or a Virus from a Apple Mac computer is to use a Apple Mac malware removal tool

Or a Apple Mac virus removal tool. one of the best Apple Mac computer removal tools is Malwarebytes.

Read our free guide on how to install Malwarebytes on your Apple Mac computer.

How to optimise the Mac start-up process.

Review which applications are opening when switching on your Apple Mac computer.

Over time applications that you have installed on your Apple Mac computer may be opening when you start up the Apple Mac computer and running in the background,.

This causes the Apple Mac computer to use up memory, causing some Apple Mac computers to become slow.

To review which applications are opening when you switch on or start your Apple Mac computer

Open the Apple Menu and choose the System Preferences and open the Users and Groups Icon, and click on Login Items.

•. Review the applications which start when you log in to your Apple Mac computer account.

To troubleshoot the performance of a slow Apple Mac computer, remove all of the items that are shown in the “These items will automatically open when log in. The log in is a older computer term which means to log in to your computer account.

•. Backup the Apple Mac computer and review Apple MacOS updates.

Update the macOS to improve performance and maOS security.

Every year Apple updates the Apple Mac operating system software, gone are the days when Apple MacOS operating system updates caused major issue and problems.

The amount of testing, and resources that Apple and, third party Apple developers put into each Apple MacOS operating system software update is extreme.

This makes updating the Apple MacOS operating system software mainly simple and trouble free.

For customers without hardware issues, or with third-party software compatibility issues.

macOS Upgrade tips.

Most Apple MacOS upgrade and macOS updates problems arise from when a Apple Mac computer has a underline issue with a graphics card, or with the storage volume.

As computers age, the components corrode, and also heat will sometimes often cause a computer to develop a hardware fault or problem.

With Apple iMac and MacBook Pro computers, the storage or the graphics sub systems in the older generation of Apple Mac computer can become unreliable.

Why is my Apple Mac computer suddenly slow after a macOS upgrade?

Most Apple MacOS upgrades complete without any issues or problems, but if macOS Catalina, or macOS Big Sur has suddenly become slow, after updating the operating system.

If your Apple Mac computer has suddenly become slow after updating the Apple Mac OS, leave the machine turned on and wait for the macOS upgrade to finish!

In some cases the machine needs more time to complete the update when if its back to the Apple Mac desktop.

The Apple iCloud Drive has to update, the Apple Photos database has to update, the Apple mail database has to update, the Apple spotlight index has to update, and more.

This all takes time on the older generation of Apple Mac computers, and even more time if the computer has an underlining technical problem.

In some rare cases the Apple Spotlight index will become damaged and corrupted, the Apple Mac Mail database will corrupt on conversion.

In more rare cases the apples Photos for Mac database, becomes corrupted or damaged, caused by an underlining storage disk problem.

If the Apple Mac computer runs out of disk storage volume which is quite low this can have an impact on the upgrade of macOS.

Make sure that you have a complete Apple Time Machine backup before updating macOS.

Use an external backup storage volume which is twice or double the capacity of your Mac start-up disk.

It is best to use a Time Machine backup storage disc that is known for years old.

macOS Catalina, and MacOS Big Sur, even gives a notification saying that your computer may be slow for awhile, whilst the macOS completes in the background.

Remove 32-bit code and applications.

However the Apple MacOS Catalina, or macOS Big Sur Mac installation process does not manage the removal of 32-bit or third-party applications.

This can cause macOS Catalina and macOS Big Sur to become suddenly slow after updating the macOS operating system.

Obtain a 32 bit removal tool from the software vendor so that you can remove any 32 bit code from the computer, if a tool is not provided try Clean My Mac free edition to Uninstall 32 bit code or applications that might be slowing down your Apple Mac computer.

Update macOS and third-party software applications.

Use the Apple Mac App Store to update macOS, or open the Software Update Control Panel under the System Preferences.

For third-party software applications look at the manufacturers website on how to update their software application.

Facts: Microsoft 365 office 2019 for Mac with all the updates is optimised for macOS Catalina and macOS Big Sur.

For Adobe creative cloud cc software, download and install all of the updates that are available.

how to backup a Apple Mac computer.

Use Time Machine to backup a Apple Mac computer.

Always backup to Apple Time Machine before upgrading the macOS operating system.

Apple recommends that each Apple Mac computer has a full and valid Apple Time Machine backup.

Updated macOS Big Sur information March 2021

Upgrading from Apple macOS High Sierra • macOS Mojave • macOS Catalina to Apple MacOS Big Sur is a major upgrade, and needs planning for some users.

Updating Apple macOS Catalina from 10.15.6 to 10.15.7 is a minor update, and should complete without any issues or problems.

For macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 Q1 2021 and 11.3 Q2 2021 are recommended and stable updates to install.

The macOS Big Sur 11.0 ok, but major issues with the macOS recovery console were found if you erased macOS Big Sur 11.0, 11.1.

Also a macOS Big Sur installation issue was fixed to stop macOS installing should the storage volume not have enough free space to install macOS Big Sur.

Use Apple Disk First Aid to repair macOS storage volume.

Use the Apple Disk First aid application to repair the Apple Mac computer storage volume.

the best way to use the Apple Disk First Aid tool is to start the Apple Mac computer from the Mac Recovery Console, and then use the Apple Disk First Aid application.

By running Apple Disk First Aid can fix and repair any issues with the directory file structure of the storage volume.

This can improve the performance and reliability of the Apple Mac computer.

How to improve iMac and MacBook Pro performance by 70%

Consider upgrading from mechanical to SSD solid state storage.

By far one of the best ways to boost the performance of the Apple Mac computer is to replace the internal storage volume with a SSD solid state drive.

To replace a older mechanical storage volume consult with an Apple authorised service provider, for assistance.

Apple 0800 107 6285 or visit the Apple Find a Apple authorised service provider support page to obtain service for your Apple Mac computer.

Over time a mechanical storage volume will wear out and become slow or suddenly become slow.

In some instances the Apple Mac computer thermal sensor and smart hard drive diagnostics can automatically slow down the Apple Mac computer.

A thermal sensor in some Apple Mac computers can instruct the cpu to slow down or in order to help protect the computers hardware.

A mechanical storage volume has a MTBF mean time before failure, possible 10,000 hours

The manufacture of the mechanical hard, often publish this information on their technical information pages.

Apple has used different storage vendors in the past so some Apple Mac computers use Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, IBM, Samsung internal storage volumes.

all with different MTBF technical specifications, and different technical specifications.