6 Common iMac Slow Issues (And How to Fix Them Quickly)

6 Common iMac Slow Issues (And How to Fix Them Quickly)

It’s time to upgrade to macOS 10.14 (Mojave) now that we have Apple’s latest OS!

If your iMac is running on an older OS than this one, then it might be time for you to update. Here are just a few helpful tips for preparing your Mac for macOS Mojave.

Beach balls are best suited for the beach – this is why Mac’s frustrating spinning beach ball icon has been lovingly called the spinning beach ball of death. You may know this icon either as the beach ball or pinwheel, but no matter what you call it, there’s no denying that it does not make anyone feel like they’re at the beach.

Are you noticing that your cursor appears more frequently when using your iMac? And did you notice how much slower it runs now, too?

If you’ve owned your iMac for a while, chances are good that there will be decreased performance. Even brand-new models can fall victim to slowdown. So why does this happen?

There are actually many reasons for this – but don’t let it discourage you.

By identifying the most likely cause of your computer’s slow performance, you will be able to find simple solutions that will have it running smoothly again. Relax at the beach without being frustrated!

In this guide, we’re going to share with you some of the most common reasons why an iMac may start freezing up and running slower – but don’t worry! Restoring its original performance is possible in many ways.

Why is My iMac so Slow?

To make things worse, it was frustrating to see my Mac slow down with each passing day. There were many possible reasons why this might happen, but there are a few that stood out the most:

  • Not enough space: due to all the files crammed onto your computer, your Mac doesn’t have much breathing room even if you’re using an Apple MacBook with a Retina display and two terabytes of memory.
  • Too many programs are open: sometimes, a slow Mac can be due to bad habits. If you have too many programs running at once, your computer will lose its ability to perform multiple tasks, which may lead to lower efficiency and diminished functionality.
  • Outdated software: while most updates provide an improvement in speed, some updates can be problematic and worsen performance rather than fixing it.
  • Even simple high-resolution graphics cannot keep up with the demands of new technology, which includes new operating systems, new applications, and new applications.
  • While a Mac is not as susceptible to viruses as a PC, some bugs can negatively affect the performance of your computer. Never install antivirus applications like Mac Defender – they are just as dangerous as viruses! If you downloaded Mac Defender, uninstall it immediately.
  • Computer habits: A habit might be difficult to break, but these are actually some of the easiest things to fix. Habits like running too many startup programs or using an incorrect web browser can cause problems with your computer’s speed.

Having trouble deciding? Below are some hints that may help you find the right solution.

Still unsure of how to start or finish this passage? Check out these hints below.

1. Improve Overall Performance with Better Computer Habits

A common sign of excessive load on a Mac is the appearance of a spinning beach ball when you start to open up an application or internet page. The following questions can help you determine whether it’s due to the overuse of resources:

  • What is the remaining space on my hard drive? You can find how much free storage you have by clicking the Apple logo, then About This Mac, and then the Storage tab.
  • What’s the total number of applications you have open right now? Always remember to close apps when you no longer need them.
  • What apps are causing the most trouble for my computer? Open up the Activity Monitor and click on the CPU tab. From there, you can sort all of your open programs based on how much processing power they’re taking up.

Sound familiar? Luckily, there are a few quick tweaks you can make to your Mac that will boost its performance.

First, clean up your hard drive.

Save unused files to an external hard drive to keep them off your computer. You can also uninstall any old programs you no longer use, or clear out your browser history and cookies. There are plenty of apps that make it easy to do this such as CleanMyMac which effortlessly scans for items such as system garbage and unnecessary files – all of which are deleted in just one simple click!

Second, look at the apps you are using.

Programs that function similarly can have varying degrees of speed. Applications for Mozilla tend to operate slower than those for Safari. In general, third-party software often operates at a lower rate than native applications developed by Apple. For instance, using Microsoft Word instead of Pages makes your Mac take longer to process and open files.

Then, clean out your desktop and dock.

This will not only increase your personal computer’s performance, but it will make accessing files and programs faster too. Rather than storing documents or applications on the desktop itself, store them on the hard drive and create a shortcut icon for them on the desktop instead.

By restarting the non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM), you can free up active RAM and fix some slow issues. Apple has a guide for this here; resetting the SMC is just as easy too – all you need to do is turn off your computer, unplug it from its power source, and then wait at least two minutes before plugging it back in.

2. Optimize iMac Startup Speed

Macs may power up just fine for the most part, but what if they act more like tortoises rather than hares when powering up? There are a number of things that can make your computer try to start slow or even freeze completely. For example, when you’re trying to start too many programs at once, then performance starts to suffer. However, there are a few ways around this problem – one is waiting for all applications to finish loading before you open others; another is keeping apps from running in the background which also makes them take longer to load each time.

If you want to disable Mac startup items easily, use Mac Booster. It will take care of them automatically for you (thanks to its Startup Optimization setting) and removes unnecessary programs from slowing down your Mac or causing crashes.

If you’re a power user, it’s relatively easy to do this all manually. Start by reducing the number of programs that start automatically in System Preferences > Users & Groups. If you don’t see certain items here, click on the app icon on your dock first before unchecking Open at Login from the options menu below. Make sure to disable this setting for every program – even if they won’t show up when quitting out properly and will instead reopen after login. To avoid unnecessary loading time during startup, try turning off Reopen windows when logging back from the shutdown dialog box; otherwise, many more apps will be ready to go next time you turn your machine on again.

A second suggestion to speed up the start of your computer is to disconnect any accessories connected before it starts. Disconnecting an external hard drive, SD card or even a printer can help reduce the time needed for the startup because this slows down the process. Furthermore, if you are still using good computer habits, such as keeping your hard drive clean and checking on it periodically with a system report – this will help improve its overall performance.

3. Fix iMac Frozen and Crash Issues

When issues arise, it’s important to figure out whether they’re happening sporadically- or if they’re universal. It may just be an error of one specific application; however, it could also mean that there is something wrong with the computer itself – making fixes harder than they’d otherwise be.

If the problem is with your phone or tablet, make sure that all the manufacturer’s updates are installed, as they may have bug fixes in them that fix crashes. Or if it isn’t an app but some other type of hardware or software, make sure you contact their customer service desk for help resolving the issue.

But, if the crashes don’t happen when you’re using a certain program then it’s likely to be an iMac issue. To start off, make sure you have enough room on your hard drive. You can use CleanMyMac to free up some space too; just remember that they might need more than one day to complete, so leave it running overnight and come back in the morning! Use Gemini to find and delete duplicate files on your Mac, such as copies of pictures and backups.

In addition, be sure to close any programs you are not currently using. If the problem continues persistently, try checking your startup disk for errors with Disk Utility. You can also diagnose persistent issues with Apple Diagnostics.

4. Speed up Slow Internet Connection on iMac

Apps running well, but internet slow? First, run a speed test to see if it’s your network provider or the computer that’s causing problems with a tool like Wi-Fi Explorer. Once you’re satisfied you are getting the speeds you’re paying for, make sure the router isn’t the issue – try moving it closer to your computer for better connection.

Next, check if you’ve been caught up by some Adware, a new type of malware that does not do much harm but displays annoying ads when you surf the Internet. As a result, your browsing experience could be slowed down or even crashed. How to fix it? To scan and remove any threats it finds, you can use a lightweight security app like Norton Security for Mac.

Bad computer habits can also contribute to a slow internet connection. What is your favorite web browser? Safari is optimized to run on Mac, and if you are using Firefox or Chrome, then it may take more time for your computer to load a page due to those browsers’ wider usage across different operating systems. If you already use Safari, then try clearing the cache (Safari > Empty Cache) and refreshing the history (History > Clear History).

A great way to increase your internet speeds is by reducing the number of connections that are drawing from it. For example, if you have an application such as Time Machine set up to automatically back up your computer over Wi-Fi, it may slow down your connection. Any app that has connectivity enabled with iCloud will also be using some bandwidth on your network and should be closed when necessary to give yourself faster web access.

5. Fix It When Your iMac is Slow after macOS Update

A macOS update should improve system crashes and speed — but that’s not always the case. Many users have reported that their computer has slowed down after updating to the latest macOS (i.e. 10.14 Mojave). At first, the system may run a bit slow as the new system needs time to update library data in certain built-in apps and this performance issue should resolve on its own within 2 days max.

The new user interface of macOS Mojave might also be partly to blame-while that flushing effect you see when closing apps may look nice, it’s not always good for performance. You can reduce the motion and transparency effects by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and checking Reduce Motion and Reduce Transparency.

6. Boost Your Old iMac with Hardware Upgrades

Technology ages much faster than humans do- probably around twice as fast, if not more. If your iMac seems to be running slowly and none of these suggestions helped fix the problem, it might just be time for an upgrade. You can update its physical components instead of upgrading entirely (which could cost a lot) or buy a whole new machine (which could also end up being expensive).

Two of the most important updates that can make your speed better are upgrading the RAM and switching to an SSD from an old HDD or Fusion Drive. The computer’s RAM is where all the active applications are stored – in your RAM isn’t big enough, you won’t be able to multitask without a significant slowdown. In this day and age, systems use larger amounts of memory because it meets new demands for software – most iMacs have removable memory slots, so upgrading them is easy when they want.

Solid State Drives, or SSDs, are about five times faster than the hard drives inside of even a three-year-old iMac. Unlike HDD’s which use physical disks to store data, an SSD has no moving parts and thus much lower power consumption for enhanced performance. They come at varying prices – starting around $100-$200 and going up to nearly $600 depending on size – but you can replace your current hard drive with one and still retain your backup disk space as well!

Here’s a video you may find helpful:

Final Words

iMacs are well-built machines – time goes on, and it’s not too surprising that your Mac gets older and tends to run a bit slower. Sometimes, this is due to bad computer habits; but other times, the cause is simply outdated hardware. We hope these tips prove helpful when you need them. We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.


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