Time machine makes mac slow

Ever heard this? Its not a joke… Your Mac can be turned on for weeks or months without any serious problems, but every now and then a shut down is recommended. It is often hanging applications and similar that in the end can make the computer feel slow and sluggish.

macOS Catalina problems: how to fix the most common issues | TechRadar

I promise this guide will be here when you come back online again. If you are lucky, maybe this is the only thing you have to do! You may have to force-quit some of them. If none of these suggestions help you just have to hold the power button down on your Mac for about 5 seconds to force it to shut down.

If not, go back to that bookmark when you have restarted and read on. When you install applications during the time you use your Mac some of them may add themselves in Startup Items. This causes them to start at every login and thus take up a little memory and a little CPU usage. You will see how many startup items you have. If you want to remove some of them just click the name of the startup item and then hit the minus button.

Just make sure you know what you remove so you do not remove any critical system component. While we still have System Preferences open take a look under the section called Other or at the bottom section. If you have a lot of items down there there is a chance that some of them is not in use by you. They might be left overs from some application you tried out, or something else. You should clean out these too. In most cases you can turn it off from the preference pane itself. To remove, just right-click on an icon, and choose remove from the Preferance Page.

Before you do that though, I recommend that you check if the Application you want to remove have an uninstall feature. Do a spotlight search for Activity Monitor and start it up. Let it sit for a while and you could see an app that takes up a significant amount of your Macs CPU cycles. This could be one reason your Mac is running slow. If you recognize the application try selecting it and click the X button located below the small red, yellow and green window buttons. You obviously know how to Google since you got here!

Hopefully its an application making your Mac slow, and it usually is. This way you can identify It and take necessary steps. Those steps should be checking for an update of the application causing troubles. Uninstalling it, or maybe check for some alternative?

Your first backup

If not, then read on for more useful tips and applications that could help. Especially when we talk about backing up your critical data. Time Machine is a good backup solution. But it backups every single hour and especially if you work on heavy files it will create some noticeable slow Mac performance when it starts the backup process. The free app TimeMachineEditor will help you with that.

I have tried it myself and it works just as advertised. Take care while messing with the backup though. Even though this app is working as it should and have done so for many years it is still third party. Meaning Apple could make some changes to Time Machine in the future that may break the settings and in worst case disable your backups. You can also check: Time Machine Slow? Speed it up With This Terminal Hack! If you just started the backup, please realize that the initial time machine backup could slow down your Mac. When its done the performance should get back to normal.

Many people experience this and many also ask themselves where all the free space have gone? Maybe you are editing videos that take up a lot of space.

How it's done

Or you might have a lot of downloaded stuff you never got around to delete. It use a part of that free space as virtual memory and that memory is important for your Mac to work optimally. Please make sure to delete unneeded files and also remember to empty your trash! If you forget to empty the trash you will still have the free space problem and possibly a Mac running slow.

Also read my extended article on how to reclaim more space on your mac.

How to speed up a slow Mac

Its a free download so you can see how it works on your system before you buy anything. And, no. With that said, we have free options as well, so continue to scroll down and check out those first if you want. It can clean the cache, repair system permissions and also execute maintenance scripts.

macOS Catalina problems: how to fix the most common issues

Another good cleanup tool is CCleaner. Once in a while Apple releases software updates. It is wise to install these because they often contain improvements. It can be security improvements or performance enhancements that can solve slow Mac performance in some cases. Even firmware updates in some cases.

Also check if you can download updates to your already installed third party applications, this can also improve performance and stability. If you have a lot of photos and videos, they can take up a lot of storage on your Mac. If you sync everything with your iPhone it could fill up fast.


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Many of us skimp on storage space in our macs. Because its expensive. Especially in newer models where you have no option of upgrading after buying. Newer Macs have features that automatically optimize the internal storage, but doing that optimization also demands system resources. That is why moving your photo library to an external drive could be beneficial. Make sure that photos is shut down. Then, copy the entire photo library to your external hard drive. This may take a while depending on size of library, speed of hard drive, etc.. Use the Photos app for a bit, add some photos.

Delete some photos that you dont like.


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Shut down the Photos app, open it again. Just to check that everything works. When you have verified that the photos library on the external drive is operating correctly. You can delete the library on your main drive.