I am using Atom on 2016 MBP with these specs:

OS: High Sierra

Processor: Intel Core i5

Processor Speed: 2.9 GHz

Total Number of Cores: 2

Memory: 8 GB

Until recently Atom was working fine, but then Atom started lagging when I typed a key and would often not display the letters I typed until 5-10 seconds later. This happened multiple times. I tried starting up in safe mode (I think thats what it is called) and that did not fix this. Once when this happened I opened activity monitor and a strangely large amount of RAM was being used. Here are some pictures:

The apps that I had open These are the applications that I had open

A picture of the activity monitor This is a picture of the activity monitor while the problem was happening

Is there a reason why there is this lag?

  • 12 GB memory allocation for a text editor? Try restarting the app. If you can’t get a version of the app that has reasonable memory maybe try a different editor?
    – bmike
    Oct 28, 2017 at 19:57
  • I'm having same lag problem. I haven't checked RAM usage though.
    – Natsfan
    Oct 28, 2017 at 20:07
  • @bmike I have restarted the editor and the problem still happens. I know of and use some other editors, but are there any that you can recommend?
    – Someone
    Oct 28, 2017 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


Atom has some known issues with performance. They've been working on them, and are getting better, but they are still there. Until they get better performance, I'd recommend using Visual Studio Code (Free, also based on the Electron framework, but tends to perform [a little bit] better than Atom all around) or, if you want the fastest, then Sublime Text is about as good as you get in a GUI text editor, though it'll set you back $80.

There are numerous other text editors out there, all with their own pros and cons, and it really depends on what kind of development you're doing. PHPStorm, for example, has some really nice PHP-specific dev tools that are harder to set up in other editors.

As a full-stack dev, (I use Vue for front-end work, and Node.js / PHP for the backend) I've settled on VSC for now, until Atom catches up speed-wise. I get a lot of flak from friends about using a Microsoft product on my Mac, but I am a firm believer in getting things done with the best tool for the job. Currently, for my needs, that's Microsoft's editor running on a Mac.

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