I have a mac book pro late 2011.

It has a very powerful hardware. But it is very slow. For example when I'm making expose geisture, there appears 'loading circle' and mac lags for 4~5 seconds. Same as I'm trying to switch to Safari or other program. I can't even sometimes type text normally while I'm having skype call.

How can I diagnose my computer ? Is there common workarounds to optimize performance?

  • Do you have enough memory for what you want to do. Have Activity Monitor running. Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 10:02

3 Answers 3


The things to look for first are:

  • Cluttered desktop
  • Less then 10% of free HD space
  • Not enough RAM

Here is a list of 17 reasons why a Mac could be slow.

When you take a look at it, I'm sure one of them is causing this slow speed problem on your Mac. In my case I caught five similar violations. :)

  • Thanks. I will try this, and will tell what was the problem :) Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 8:36
  • So the computer was fine. But it was slow because there was not enough RAM (4GB). It started working like a fast cat since I plugged there 16GB. I figured out that normal RAM consumption with my software is about 8~9 GB. Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 15:56
  • can you please enlighten me about the 10% hd space ? Often my mac just tell me my startup disk is full and that's just it, I never had slow down like this before, right click, some menus, tabs takings seconds to close, I mean wtf
    – jokoon
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 21:23
  • 10% free HD space is recommended because if your Mac is suffering a shortage on RAM, it will use your HD for storing the temporary files. So if you have no HD space left (or not enough), your Mac will get slow because it has no space left to write it's RAM-files and it will start compressing files which will take up a lot of CPU and time. Therefore, I always keep about 10% free disk space on my HD!
    – Michiel
    Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 8:27

Apple recommends this for many problems and its useful to know how to do:

Try making a new user: System Preferences/ Users and Groups / hit + for new user.

Log out of your current user account and log into the new (clean) user.

Restart computer in new user.

If that helped at all there may be things loading when your computer starts up in your user account that you can selectively turn off to attempt to speed things up.

  • and how to monitor these things which are loading at startup? I understand how find apps, but there can be also some services, daemons etc.. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 11:10
  • Good question. The only method I'm considering here is using the Login Items list in your user account to see what's loading at login. I'm sure you're right that many things load on System startup but I'm not positive on how to see these things as a list to sort out. I hope someone else will post a method...
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 11:43
  • In the "old days" a list of extensions would unfold across the bottom of the booting OS 9 screen, maybe they're something like this for OSX...
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:25

I had the very same problem. 4GB MBP 13" late 2011 running very slowly at start up, even text appearing after typing was lagging drastically.

The solution. Clear your desktop of folders and files. Create a folder in documents and dump your desktop item in to it. It helps finder with the indexing at start up.

Go into SysPref's, Users and find your login items and bin everything thats set to run at start up.

If you have any AV products, switch them off. I have sophos because I connect to PCs.

After switching everything off and clearing desktop it took 30 seconds to boot up and start browsing the web. Much improved to the 5 mins earlier

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