Tips on How to fix a Slow Mac

Waiting, waiting, waiting!

You love your Mac but hate when an errant application begins to drain its resources and freezes all your activities on the computer. The signs that something’s not right include a hard drive that starts to get noisy and the appearance of the infamous “spinning wait cursor,”  also known as the  “beach ball” or “ rainbow pizza of death.”

Older Macs that have less than 1 GB of memory and don’t run on a dual core processor typically experience slowdowns because:

  • an app is resource-intensive,,
  • too many apps are running at the same time,
  • your Mac doesn’t have enough memory to meet your computing demands.

In this case, the best thing to do is to simply shut down applications, do fewer things at a time and look into increasing the memory if possible or getting an OS upgrade.

But if an application on your computer has encountered a bug  and isn’t responding well (or responding at all), then the situation gets a little trickier.  Following are some suggestions on how to fix a slow Mac and how to unfreeze your computer.

 1. Go to your Activity Monitor

If  you‘re able to click on menus and have them appear within a few seconds, try running the Activity Monitor which is located in the Utilities section of your computer to find out what application is causing the problem.  The application that’s using the most CPU or memory is likely the one causing you problems.

To get your computer to leave the application or process, click on its row in the Activity Monitor then click the Quit Process icon. Should your Mac not respond, repeat these steps.  You may find that you will also need to quit other applications too to increase computer speed.

2. Force Quit

If you are running OS X, hit Command + Alt + Escape to bring up Force Quit. While it won’t show you all processes running on your machine, it will show you the main ones. To quit an application, click on the program name and then click Force Quit.

3. Power down

Your machine may be so frozen up that Force Quit doesn’t come up. If this is the case, then you’ll need to power down. To do this, hold down the on/off button for several seconds. When the screen goes black and your computer is quiet, then you can be assured it’s off. Be aware that taking this course of action–especially with older Macs–may lead to data not getting written to the disk and thus lost.

If your computer continues to freeze, then you need to contact the experts at Austin Mobile Computer Repair. We’ll come to your home or office, run a diagnostic on your Mac, and do any necessary repairs on the spot. When you need experienced Mac technical support on the double, contact us!

Call Austin Mobile Computer Repair at 512-921-6517 to fix your Mac.
Photo credit: ambro