How to Speed up macOS Big Sur, Mojave, Fix MacOS Big Sur Running Slow

Last Updated on Nov 10, 2020

Usually, when we update any device, it gets slow whether it is an iPhone or iPad or Mac Big Sur, Mojave. So if we want to speed up like before, we need to take a few actions, and within minutes Mac will work smoothly without any hiccup. Generally when RAM and CPU performance are affected by some anti-social elements, and it results in various unexpected issues. One of them is macOS is lagging in its production, or we can say it is slowed down.

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All you need to speed up mac performance is to follow some of the steps mentioned below and speed up your Mac.

Simple Performance Tricks to Speed Up macOS Big Sur, Mojave

Fix 1: Close System Consuming Process: Keep Eye on it

Mac is full of assets, few are useful and some are just eating the power and slowing down the Mac for no reason. However, there is a way through which you can find the resource-hungry process and shut them down to speed up Catalina. Open the Application folder > Utilities > Activity Monitor or directly make a spotlight search for Activity Monitor.

Force Quit App on MacOS catalina

Force Quit App on MacOS Catalina


The Activity Monitor is mainly divided into CPU, Memory, Disk, Energy, and Network. But our primary goal is to speed up macOS Catalina or any Mac, so click on the CPU tab. The CPU tab will show, which processes or software are eating most of the memory. There also multiple factors that are used to show memory usage by applications, so check under % CPU, which app is consuming processor of Mac.

Click on the process to select and close it by clicking on X which is on the upper-left side of the screen.

Fix 2: Remove Startup Programs

Startup programs are responsible for the slow performance of Mac, right when you press the Power button to boot the system. And if the system starts slowly, it will definitely take time to launch applications like Chrome, Safari, or anything. How to speed up MacBook after macOS Catalina Update? The answer is, remove startup programs- once you do so, the Mac will start fast, and eventually, other applications would perform better.

  • System Preferences > Users & Groups > Select User > Login Items
Remove Startup Program from Mac

Remove Startup Program from Mac


Now select the programs that you don’t need during startup and click (-).

Fix 3: Disable Visual Effects

Visual Effects are pretty good on iMac and MacBook, but they really affect the performance of the system. So turn off Visual Effects on your Mac and improve bad performance of Mac in a second.

  • System Preferences > Dock.
  • Uncheck Automatically hide and show Dock as well as Animate opening applications.
  • Also, replace the Genie effect with Scale effect.

Now, all the unhelpful visual effects will not appear on your Mac.

Fix 4: Delete Browser Extensions

Before removing extra extensions from different browsers, I would like to suggest you delete the browser if it is unused. There are people who keep Google Chrome, Firefox and they have Safari by default. Therefore, if you are not using any one of them, delete the third-party browsers to speed up Mac. In addition,  do you know how many extensions are installed on your Mac’s browser? These add-ons continuously grab a bigger part of MacBook’s processor and slow down. If you feel any of the extension is useless, then remove it from the browser.

Delete Safari Extension on Mac

Delete Safari Extension on Mac

How to Delete Browser from Mac

Step #1: Launch “Finder” on Mac.
Step #2: Click on “Applications”.
Step #3: Drag the Browser application to the “Trash”.

How to Remove Extension from Mac

For Safari,

  • Main Menu > Safari Extensions.

For Chrome,

  • Menu > More Tools > Extensions.

For Firefox,

  • Tools > Add-ons.

Fix 5: Re-index Spotlight

Mac suddenly performing very slow after the update, just after updating Mac, if you are facing problems with the speed of Mac, then probably Spotlight is stuck while indexing. The spotlight indexing takes some time, but if you feel Mac is consuming more than enough time then you should re-index the spotlight. Here’s how to re-index spotlight search on MacBook/Mac,

Step #1: Go to “System Preferences”.
Step #2: Click “Spotlight”.
Step #3: Select the “Privacy” tab.
Step #4: Drag/Put the Hard Drive into the Privacy tab from Finder.
Step #5: After adding Hard Drive to Privacy tab, click on (-).
Step #6: This will re-index the spotlight.

Wait for a while, till the spotlight gets indexed.

Fix 6: Manage Desktop Applications

Reducing desktop cluttering could really boost up Mac’s performance and speed up macOS. And so with macOS 10.15 Catalina update, Apple has introduced a new feature called Desktop Stacks to manage the desktop applications, folders, and files. Or if you don’t have macOS Catalina, then merely delete the applications/files or move them to other locations.

Delete Trash on Mac

Delete Trash on Mac

Fix 7: Clear Cache on Mac

I assumed you are aware of the word Cache. A cache is usually meant to speed up the processes, but if the cache files exceed then it gradually decreases the performance of the system. There are three types of cache, System Cache, Browser Cache, and User Cache. We do not recommend to delete App Cache as it may corrupt the application.

How to Clear User Cache on Mac

Step #1: Launch “Finder”.
Step #2: Click on “Go” and choose “Go to Folder”.
Step #3: Enter the path, ~/Library/Caches and proceed.
Step #4: Open every folder and delete the cache files.

Delete Cache file from Mac

Delete Cache file from Mac

Note: Don’t delete the folder, just open each folder and delete the files.

Once you have empty all the folders, type the /Library/Caches path by following the same above steps and clean these folders too.

Make sure to Empty Trash after clearing the cache files.

How to Clear Browser Cache on Mac

Browser cache could really free up junk files. Most of the junk files are stored in the Browser as all the time we are lurking on the browser. But clearing browser cache has one downside, it will also remove history and other information for privacy factor.

For Safari,

  • Launch Safari > Preferences > Advanced tab > Check the Show Develop menu in menu bar > Go to Develop Menu > Empty Caches.

For Chrome,

  • Menu > Settings > Advanced > Clear Browsing Data.
  • Delete the data as per your convenience and click Clear Data.

For Firefox,

  • Menu > Privacy & Security > Cached web content > Clear Now.

Fix 8: Delete Unused Applications

Another way to speed up Mac or MacBook is to delete all the unused applications that you are not using currently or don’t use anymore. It’s better to remove unwanted applications from the Mac to improve the system’s performance in every way. Though just dragging and dropping the application to Trash isn’t enough to free up space on Mac. Here’s the complete guide to delete the app in macOS.

Free Up RAM

RAM plays a very important role in the performance of the macOS or any device. Once you free up RAM using the Terminal app on Mac, it may be restored at the same speed. So when any particular app starts to freeze or gets stuck in between then you should clean up RAM.

Step #1: Launch “Terminal”.
Step #2: Type the following command, sudo purge and hit enter.
Step #3: Enter the System Password to proceed.

Purge RAM on Mac

Purge RAM on Mac

Fix 9: Reinstall macOS Without Erase Drive or After Erase Drive

We can perform the Reinstall MacOS in Two ways, First is only install New MacOS that you Mac running on. and the second way is to Erase Data before install and Install a new copy of MacOS on Mac. After that we can restore backup data to Mac if we have taken in a time machine and If we wish.

I recommend this because I got huge success with the second option. finally, I love my Mac to use like my windows OS. I guess that New MacOS Catalina is hanging while I am using on my MacMini 2014 Model. also, the startup screen will take too much time and sometimes it reboot itself and crash on the app launch.

A faulty macOS update could affect the speed of Mac. To avoid this situation, reinstall the macOS on your MacBook or Mac. Here’s how it can be done,

Step #1: Reboot Mac.
Step #2: Hold the Command+R when the Mac turns on.
Step #3: Select “Reinstall macOS”.
Step #4: Click “Continue”.
Step #5: Choose the Hard Drive.
Step #6: Click “Install” and wait for a while until Mac reinstalls the OS.
Note: Do not close the MacBook or don’t let Mac sleep otherwise the installation will pause and won’t complete.
Step #7: Hold the Command+Q once the installation gets completed.
Step #8: Shut down the Mac.

Reinstall MacOS

Reinstall MacOS

Perform Clean Install on Mac

The clean install resembles wiping out the data and install the macOS again. Whereas in reinstall, the data stays in the system. So if you have decided to perform a clean install on Mac, then consider the flow to clean install macOS on Mac. Full tutorial on clean install on Mac.

  • Step 1: Backup your Mac Before Erase Drive

Step #1: “Launch Time Machine”.
Step #2: Click on “Select Disk”.
Step #3: Select where do you want to take backup.
Step #4: Turn on “Time Machine”.
Step #5: Click on “Time Machine Arrow Clock” and then on “Backup Now” at the upper part of the screen.

  • Step 2: Erase Mac Drive

Step #1: Restart Mac.
Step #2: Press and hold the Command+R when the Mac restarts.
Step #3: Click on “Disk Utility” and “Continue”.
Step #4: Choose the “Startup Disk”.
Step #5: Then, click on “Erase” tab which is on the top of the screen.
Step #6: From the Format List, select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” if Mac is running on HFS+ and for APFS, select “APFS” format.
Step #7: Choose “GUID Partition Map”, if Schema is there.
Step #8: Click “Erase”.

Erase Mac Drive from Disk Utility

Erase Mac Drive from Disk Utility

  • Step 3: Reinstall Mac

Step #1: Click on “Reinstall macOS”.
Step #2: Click “Continue” and again “Continue”.
Step #3: Select the hard drive.
Step #4: Click “Install”.

Reinstall MacOS Using MacOS Utilities

Reinstall MacOS Using MacOS Utilities

  • Restore Data from Time Machine any time

The restoring process is easy and Automatic. That we can perform after installing New copy of MacOS on Mac. Again Restart your Mac > Press Command + R Keys > Select Restore From Time Machine Backup on macOS Utilities windows show on a screen like above.

Fix 10: Reset SMC & PRAM

SMC(System Management Controller) and PRAM(Parameter RAM) are the elementary part to fix macOS when you observe any misbehave in hardware like Keyboard or the MacBook shuts down itself. At last, all such problems slows down the Mac. A simple restart for such dramatic change won’t work, you will need to reset SMC and PRAM.

Reset SMC

For MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and MacBook (Non-removable battery)

  • Shut down the MacBook.
  • Press and hold Shift+Control+Option keys along with the Power button for 10 seconds.
  • After 10 seconds, release all the buttons.
  • Now, turn up the Mac by pressing the Power button.

For MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and MacBook (Removable battery)

  • Shut down the MacBook.
  • Remove the battery from MacBook.
  • Press the Power button for five seconds.
  • Put back the battery and power up the MacBook.

For iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Unplug the Power Adapter from the power source.
  • Wait for 15 seconds and plug back the cord.
  • Again wait for 5 seconds and then turn on the Mac.

Reset PRAM

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Press the Power key to turn on Mac.
  • Now, press the Command+Option+P+R until Mac restarts.
  • Release all the keys when Mac restarts.

Fix 11: Update Mac

Apple regularly releases firmware updates whether it is iPhone or Mac. So if your Mac or MacBook isn’t set with auto-update they check for the updates manually. Here’s how you can update Mac manually.

For macOS Catalina,

  • Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Updates > Check for updates.

Earlier macOS versions,

  • App Store > Update

Click on Update buttons to update macOS.

Fix 12: Create a new user profile

Alternatively, to speed up macOS Catalina, you can create a new user profile. Because when the profile got cluttered with various files and logs, it might slow down the macOS Catalina. Without deleting or knowing what are the logs, merely create a new user profile.

Step #1: Go to the “Apple menu”.
Step #2: Click “System Preferences”.
Step #3: Select “Users & Groups” option.
Step #4: Click on Lock (at the lower left side)
Step #5: Add a new user, by clicking on (+).

Now, after creating a new user account, you must be looking for all the data which is currently not available on new profile but can be imported like this,

Finder > Go > Computer > Macintosh HD > Users.

All you have to do is, drop the files and documents and after that login to a new profile.

Fix 13: Hardware Changes To be Made to Speed Up macOS Catalina

Hardware changes in the sense, you should upgrade the Mac’s HDD to SSD or Add more RAM to the device. Both the changes could really improve the performance of the Mac or MacBook. The SSD is quite robust compared to normal HDD and can really help the system to speed up. We recommend you to go to the Apple Store or any expert who has immense knowledge on how to replace HDD with SSD or how to add RAM.

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Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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