Sluggish Mac? Here’s how you can speed it up

“Have you had your Mac for a few years? Has it become slow and sluggish?” Apple Gazette writes. “It’s not unusual for a Mac to slow down as its operating system (OS) becomes outdated and years of use eat up its storage capacity.”

“When your Mac starts slowing down, is it time to get a new one?” Apple Gazette writes. “Not necessarily. You may be able to revive your Mac with a few simple steps you can take at home. Update your OS, reduce login items, clean out your storage space, and optimize your system to enjoy a Mac that works like new again.”

“The first thing you should do when dealing with a sluggish Mac is update the OS,” Apple Gazette writes. “If your system software is out of date, updating it could do a lot to improve your device’s performance.”

Read more about how you can speed up your sluggish Mac here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone use Trend Micro’s Dr. Cleaner app? If so, please let us know of your experience(s) below!


  1. Updating the OS on an OLD Mac is the FIRST thing to do?
    Everyone knows that’s the death warrant. PLUS you usually lose half your programs doing so, like FCP 7 which is still a million times better than X. Good luck,
    Dont try to go backwards either once you feel how slow the new OS, but we all knew this,
    Shouldn’t we be talking about how Macs are the fastest most capable machines on the planet while the stock slumps because 92% of the market isn’t “Feeling It”. Worse, AAPL doesn’t feel they need that audience, wow. just wow.

    1. As long as you max out the RAM and install an SSD, older Macs run High Sierra very well indeed. My 2010 MacBook Pro is running High Sierra and is as fast as the day I bought it.

      BTW, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB SSD can be had for about $250 these days.

  2. Crazy advice. I check login items, run Malwarebytes, and use the latest appropriate version of Onyx to try to address “slow Mac” issues. These days anyone with a rotational hard drive (not SSD) is going to feel pain if they upgrade to High Sierra.

  3. From my experience reviving and old Mac, here are some tips:

    1) Back up the machine using Time Machine.
    2) Max out the RAM.
    3) Install an SSD.
    4) Perform a clean install of the latest possible version of macOS.
    5) Use ‘Migration Assistant’ to copy over the user accounts, applications, documents, and other data files from the Time Machine backup.

    1. Did exactly that to my 2005 MacMini. Man what a speed ball! It’s only used as a media server, but it went from almost two minutes to start up, to starting up in about 20 seconds. Couldn’t believe the difference.

  4. Accumulated apps, launch agents, and miscellaneous junk slow down Macs that can’t compensate with an SSD. It’s common to see Macs whose Library folders have app support files spanning from the mid 2000s, having jumped ship across multiple migrations. Luckily MacRot is much, much easier to fix than WinRot.

    1. Install a SSD or hybrid drive if at all possible.
    2. Manually rebuild your user account and migrate over only the files you need.
    3. Reinstall macOS after a reformat and migrate only the user accounts. Manually reinstall the apps you need.

    If you know what you’re doing, you can get a similar result to #2 and #3 by firing up Terminal in the recovery environment and renaming Applications, Library and Users then deleting everything else the system dropped in the root of the drive. Reinstall macOS and later drag what you need from the renamed old folders.


    I upgraded to high sierra and then spent the rest of the evening down grading, because it killed all kinds of things.

    The biggest thing it killed for me was Lightroom and some SD card readers. Horrible upgrade from Apple.

    1. When you upgrade an older Mac, you need to perform a clean install, then migrate your data from backup using ‘Migration Assistant’. Repeated upgrades slow things down. Restoring directly from a Time Machine backup doesn’t cut it. Clean install with a Migration is where it’s at.

  6. If Macs now rot like Windows pcs, then why exactly are we being asked to pay such a huge premium for Macs. Why update the OS when macOS has adopted poor file management ? Huge libraries should cause no significant computer slowdown whatsoever. Apple used to intelligently defrag discs. Now what are they doing in Cupertino?

    1. Windows rots far worse then any Mac any day.. Any computer over time can slow down, there are a number of factors, course Windows can turn into a down right dogs, boot up times and login time of several minutes or more, what Mac ever took that long to come up ever..

    2. Macs do slow down after repeated upgrades. A clean install fixed the issue. Luckily, ‘Migration Assistant’ makes the process as painless as possible.

      Try rebuilding a Windows Machine. Welcome to software installation hell, provided you have the original install discs…

  7. This may sound odd but it has worked for me on three different Macs from about 2010 to 2012 and has converted them from being barely useable to completely satisfactory. The trick? Resize your startup drive partition using Disk Utility. This causes the OS to re-write all the files and the resultant gain in performance is spectacular. Be warned however, it takes hours to do. I guess a complete disk erase and clean install would achieve the same result.

  8. I’ve been using Dr. Cleaner for a while.

    I like it.

    Quick scans, easy to use, easy to sort through items it suggests you delete, etc.

    I would definitely recommend.

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