Summer Sale!
Up to 40% off

on Premium Suite package plus get Parallels Toolbox FREE!

Save
40
%

The Spinning Color Wheel: Speeding Up your Mac

You see that spinning color wheel? People call it the Spinning Beach Ball of Death, or the Rainbow Wheel. Wikipedia calls it the Spinning Pinwheel, and the official name for it is the Spinning Wait Cursor. Either way, if you’ve got a slow Mac, you’ll be seeing that beach ball quite a bit — and you don’t even get a suntan to go with it.

The Spinning Beach Ball of Death: Speeding Up your Mac
The Spinning Beach Ball of Death.

There are a lot of easy ways to speed up your Mac so that you see that spinning wheel less often, and you can get to where you need to go on your Mac faster.

Reduce Login Items

Login Items are called Startup Items on PCs, and they mean the same thing: apps that launch when your computer starts up, and stay in memory the entire time. Odds are you don’t need that many login items. Here’s how to reduce that number.

  1. Click the Apple icon
  2. Click System Preferences…
    Click Users and Groups
    Click the Login Items tab for the current user
    Click the Lock icon to make changes, enter your password, and click Unlock

  3. Under the Hide column, select an item to remove from startup.
  4. If you’d like, click the Lock icon again to prevent any further changes without a password.

The Spinning Beach Ball of Death: Speeding Up your Mac
Select an item to exclude from startup.

Repair your Drive

Sometimes a hard drive or solid state drive will become damaged on your Mac, and cause a lot of slowdown issues as a result. While there’s little to be done if a drive crashes completely, if there are just a few errors, then verifying the drive is a good idea.

To verify a hard drive or solid state drive:

  1. Click the Launchpad
  2. Click Other
  3. Click Disk Utility
  4. Select your current hard drive. It will usually be named Macintosh HD.
  5. Click Verify Disk. If any errors are found, you’ll be able to click Repair Disk to fix them.

The Spinning Beach Ball of Death: Speeding Up your Mac
Click Verify Disk to scan your drive for errors.

Click Verify Disk to scan your drive for errors.

Repair Disk Permissions

When many apps are installed, permissions can get out of order, causing a lot of slowdown and operating system delay. It’s a good idea to repair disk permissions on an infrequent basis, which clears up this issue.

To repair disk permissions:

  1. Click the Launchpad
  2. Click Other
  3. Click Disk Utility
  4. Select your current hard drive. It will usually be named Macintosh HD.
  5. Click Verify Disk Permissions.
  6. If any errors are found, click Repair Disk Permissions.

Close Open Apps

Some apps take up more memory and CPU than others. It’s a good idea to close apps when you’re not using them. Instead of the yellow (minimize) icon, click the red (close) icon in the upper left corner to remove it. Web browsers and iTunes are often culprits for memory hogs. Too many tabs open in a web browser can also cause this issue.

Update your OS

Newer versions of OS X are designed to use less memory and CPU, and to use both more efficiently. Newer Macs especially benefit from the very latest version.

To check and see if a newer OS is available on Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.6) or newer:

  1. Click the Apple button
  2. Click Software Update…
  3. This will taken you into the Mac App Store.
  4. Update to the latest OS from here.

If you don’t have the App Store installed, you’re several versions behind. You’ll need to first upgrade to Snow Leopard via CD, then Mountain Lion from the App Store.

Even if the OS is up to date, it’s a good idea to update the software you have installed, as this can often clear up memory issues.

The Spinning Beach Ball of Death: Speeding Up your Mac
Update all Mac software to the latest version.

Perform these steps one by one, and you’ll definitely have a speedier Mac without having to upgrade. Good thing, too — Macs are a real pain to upgrade yourself. Good luck!

MacReviver

For another way to optimize and maintain your Mac, try our application, MacReviver. Its innovative features allow you to clear space on your Mac, improve startup time and protect your Mac from theft. Give it a try!

Was this post helpful?
Yes
No

Recommended by ReviverSoft

MacReviver

MacReviver includes all of the essential tools to help you clean, optimize and maintain your Mac and restore its performance and stability.

download now

Having Problems With Your Mac?

Take a FREE scan to find out how you can clean up and revive your Mac.

download now

Didn't find your answer?
Ask a question to our community of experts from around the world and receive an answer in no time at all.
Edit translation
Machine translation (Google):
Loading...
Copy to editor
or Cancel