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Why is my iMac or MacBook Pro running slow?

Whether you have an iMac or a MacBook Pro, you're clearly here because your computer is running slow. Don't panic, you're in good hands and by the end of this article, you'll know exactly what to do! 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to speed up your Mac, have you checked your internet speed? Sometimes it can be the most obvious problems that are the culprit! If you're sure it's not your internet and your Mac is running slow even when you're offline, keep reading.

Did you know your Mac actually needs at least 20% of space free on the hard drive to work its best? We usually find this is the main cause for a slow Mac so this is what we're going to tackle today. 

Why is my iMac running slow?

If you're constantly asking yourself "why is my iMac running slow?", you've probably noticed your iMac deteriorate over time. At first, you may have been in denial! After all, you believed (or hoped) your iMac would never let you down and remain the same as the day you unpackaged it and set it up. However, all computers slow down over time if not well maintained but there are some quick checks and fixes that will help speed up your iMac again.

If there's one thing that will make an iMac slow, it's clutter. That's right, holiday pics from the past five years, a collection of programs (used and unused), and files and downloads will all contribute to making an iMac slow. When you consider what was on your iMac when you first bought it (next to nothing), you'll realize just how big an issue this one factor can be. 

The good news is this is usually a quick win. How many of the programs that you have installed do you honestly use? Can you delete any random, blurry selfies and move photos and videos you want to keep to the cloud or an external hard drive? What temporary files and caches are hidden and taking up valuable space?

If you're starting to panic because you don't know what's on your iMac and where these pesky temporary files are hidden, we'll show you two easy solutions - the first is manual and the second automatic. First, though, you can go ahead and uninstall any programs you don't use. Choosing which photos make the cut could take a little longer so you can come back to that or just move them all off your iMac.

1. Manually clearing files from an iMac running slow

To clean your temporary files and caches follow these steps:

  • Go to the 'Finder' menu.
  • Then hover over 'Go' then choose 'Go to Folder'.
  • A box will pop up and you should type '~/Library/Caches/' then click 'Go'.
  • Select those you want to delete and move them to 'Trash'. Note - if you're not sure if you need to keep a file, you're best to play it safe and not delete it. 
  • Make sure you empty the trash after.

2. Automatically clearing files from an iMac running slow

Even if you manually find some files you think you can remove to free up more space, keep in mind that macOS doesn't delete everything once you delete a file. 

That's why we built CCleaner for Mac to help, and it actually has a way to sort this out which can benefit both your privacy and security. It can also remove hidden caches and temporary files. Relying on software to do this for you will take the pressure off you too if you're not comfortable navigating your way around the backend of your iMac.

Why is my MacBook Pro slow?

Just like the iMac, nothing will make a MacBook Pro slow like clutter. This refers to everything on your MacBook Pro, including programs and files you use and those you don't. 

As soon as you take your shiny MacBook Pro out of its box and start using it, you start accumulating files and programs in your normal day-to-day usage. This is fine - and natural - but you need to remember to spring clean your MacBook Pro every so often to clear excess clutter.

We're going to show you two quick ways to do this but before you do anything remove any programs that you don't use because this is another quick win to clear space. It's also a good idea to move your photos to the cloud or an external hard drive, or delete some if you can bear to do this. 

Now you need to find out what temporary files and caches are taking up valuable space and remove those you don't need. Like we said there are two ways to do this, the easy way and the even easier way:

1. MacBook Pro slow? How to manually clear files

To clean your temporary files and caches follow these steps:

  • Go to the 'Finder' menu.
  • Then hover over 'Go' then choose 'Go to Folder'.
  • A box will pop up and you should type '~/Library/Caches/' then click 'Go'.
  • Select those you want to delete and move them to 'Trash'. Note - if you're not sure if you need to keep a file, you're best to play it safe and not delete it. 
  • Make sure you empty the trash after.

2. MacBook Pro slow? How to automatically clear files

Even if you manually find some files you think you can remove to free up more space, keep in mind that macOS doesn't delete everything once you delete a file. 

That's why we built CCleaner for Mac to help, and it actually has a way to sort this out which can benefit both your privacy and security. It can also remove hidden caches and temporary files. Relying on software to do this for you will take the pressure off you too if you're not comfortable navigating your way around the backend of your iMac.

FAQs

  • Why is my Windows 10 running slow?

    Every version of Windows has quirks. Windows 10 is no different. There are many factors that slow down this operating system, including insufficient RAM, full hard drives, performance settings, irregular updates and more.

  • How do you fix a slow computer?

    Getting a slow PC or Mac fixed partly depends on its specs and operating system. More than this, you need to understand what kinds of problems impact all computers, such as full hard drives, viruses and malware and more.