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I have a late 2012, 27 inch iMac, with a 3TB fusion drive and 32GB of RAM. I'm only using around 650GB of my Hard Drive's storage and rarely, if ever, push the limits of my RAM. I also keep my files fairly organised and regularly scan for viruses and malware. I should also note that even though my computer is nearly 6 years old, the hard drive was replaced with a new one last June (2017) so only has a year or so of wear on it.

Despite all of this however, I have been noticing that my Finder has been acting incredibly buggy lately to the point where I have to re-launch it multiple times a day. The bugs in question include:

1) Slow response time e.g. I will click, drag, or scroll, but the screen will freeze for a second before executing my action.

2) Constant beach ball of death - often for simple tasks like extracting zips and moving small files.

3) General crashing and freezing.

I have executed a number of general trouble shooting techniques such as:

1) Deleting PLIST files.

2) SMC/PRAM resets.

3) Disabling iCloud and any other file sharing services, such as Soulseek (which I still use lol).

4) Ran Disk Utility & a full system virus scan - neither of which detected any problems.

The rest of my computer seems to be operating normally - programs open in normal time, they don't crash or freeze - it is simply Finder which I am having problems with.

I have noticed, however, that these problems mainly occur when dealing with large folders - namely, my downloads folder, which normally has around 300 items in it (not junk) at around 23GB and my Music folder, which has 800 folders in it and is 195GB.

Is it natural for the Finder to struggle to deal with folders so large? Are there limits and thresholds as to how many files/folders one should keep in a folder?

Or should a Mac, in good health, run smoothly regardless of a folder's size?

I am quite worried by this, as the only other possibility that I can see is that my hard drive is dying, which I cannot afford to replace right now.

Any help and/or advice is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards, James

  • Which plist files did you delete. That can cause exactly the symptoms you report. Would you be amenable to a backup and clean install? – bmike Aug 12 '18 at 2:03
  • Hi Mike, thanks for getting back to me. I deleted the .com.apple.finder.plist files - I expected there to be just one, but there were two or three with subtle variations (I can't remember what exactly). I googled if this was normal, and I found several posts saying to delete them all. Does this sound wrong? I can't exactly remember when this was, but was probably within the last month, and would have been done in response to these problems. Regarding a clean install, I would of course rather not, but if worse comes to worse, I will have to. Thanks again for your help. – James Aug 12 '18 at 2:10

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