My Mac has been having a lot of issues lately. Most of them have to do with lagginess and the spinning beach ball appearing quite often, and staying there for a long time. If my Mac is so slow, there must be some processing going on in the background that's using up all of the resources. Is there a way to "kill" all that processing going on in the background? If so, how do I map the command to a key combination? (Because when my Mac is hanging up, I can't open up the Activity Monitor. Yes, the lag is that bad! Even when I manage to open it up, it says I don't have permission to use it.)

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    Um, I don't think it's wise nor advisable to kill all the background processes on your computer. Some of them are essential for ordinary computer function, like launchd or kernel_task. It's hard to differentiate between non-essential processes and essential ones, so if you have a problematic process I recommend just killing it specifically. – perhapsmaybeharry Oct 9 '16 at 4:06
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    Unfortunately you're basing your question on an assumption that may have nothing to do with why you're suffering the lag you are. That is, the root cause of this may have nothing to do with a background process. Can you edit your question to provide full details of your setup (Mac model, HDD v SSD, RAM, free space on your drive, macOS version). Also, how long has this been happening and does it coincide with any other event such as new software or hardware or macOS update? – Monomeeth Oct 9 '16 at 5:37
  • What is the storage and hardware (Mac book and HDD or iMac and SSD and major version of os.)? You might need to triage a bit, but let’s see what specific are before trying an answer. Everything asked almost two years ago still needs clarification. – bmike Jun 27 '18 at 3:51
  • Excellent. The proper thing to do is to put an answer here so everyone knows the solution. This seems like it could help others and in time the votes should show that. Without an answer and without clarification in the question, it's likely to get auto deleted and/or more down votes. Your call of course to share the solution. – bmike Jun 27 '18 at 11:53

Force killing background processes isn't wise nor advisable. Some processes are very important to the OS's function, like kernel_task, WindowServer, CoreServicesUIAgent, etc. It's hard to distinguish between essential and non-essential processes if you try to "insta-kill" lag via a key combination.

I fixed the issue by moving the mouse around a lot while I watch YouTube videos in Safari. I don't know why, but it doesn't freeze when I do that.

I also got a new computer, so that solves the problem too.

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