Have a Slow Mac? Try These 5 Tips

Calling all our Mac users! While most of our guides are designed for the average Windows PC user, today we’ve compiled a guide for how to speed up Your slow Apple Mac computer for all our Mac users out there.

Whether you want ‘slow MacBook fixes‘ or ‘how to speed up a Mac‘, we have you covered! Continue reading for 5 things you can do when your Mac computer is running slow.

FixMeTip: If you don’t have a Mac, check out our series about “How to Solve a Slow PC” for Windows computers.

Fix 1. Close Any Unused Programs

It may sound obvious, but one common reason your iMac or MacBook is running slow might be due to the number of programs that are running in the background.

Like a human brain, when you multitask on your Mac computer, all the tasks running simultaneously will slow each other down, so it’s best to close any that you are not using.

Image of the Mac task bar.
To close programs, right-click with your mouse hovering over the icon and choose ‘Quit’.

Luckily, it is very simple and fast to close any unused programs on your Mac. On the bottom of your Mac home screen, you will see a grey ribbon (called a “Dock”) showing icons of some of the applications running on your computer. Applications that are open and running will have a small grey dot underneath them.

To close these open applications, simply hover over the icon, right-click with your mouse and choose ‘Quit’. If you don’t have right-click set up on your Mac, hold down the CTRL or ‘control’ key before clicking on the application to bring up the ‘Quit’ option.

FixMeTip: If you see a ‘Force Quit’ option instead of ‘Quit’, then it’s likely you have identified the program that’s slowing down your entire computer, so be sure to “Force Quit’ any applications that have this option.

Fix 2. Remove Any Visual Effects

Visual effects can be fun and exciting when you first bring home your Mac computer. But over time, the excitement of seeing animations of windows minimizing or maximizing or other visual effects wears off until you barely notice them. It’s best to turn them off to give your iMac or MacBook a boost in speed.

To turn off these visual effects, go to “System Preferences” > “Dock”. In the ‘Settings’ window that shows up, uncheck the two boxes saying “Animate opening applications” and “Automatically hide and show the Dock”.

Image of the Mac animation settings that can slow your Mac.
Go to “System Preferences” > “Dock” to turn off animations.

Fix 3. Clean Your Digital Desktop

When you place a document or folder on your Mac computer’s desktop, you are taking up precious RAM space which can slow down your Mac computer’s performance. As a general rule, the fewer icons your Mac has, the faster it will be.

A good rule of thumb is to place any used documents and files in a folder in your Finder or place them into the Trash bin if you no longer need them. If you recently moved a lot of things into your Trash bin, it’s a good habit to right-click or CTRL+click on your trash bin to “Empty Trash” so that the files will be permanently deleted.

Image of how to "empty trash" on your slow Mac computer.
Be sure to ‘Empty Trash’ to permanently delete any unused data.

After you have cleared away unused items on your desktop, restart your Mac computer to see if you experience an increase in speed.

Fix 4. Uninstall Applications

Like your home or office space, your Mac will function most efficiently when you have less clutter in general. A good way to start a major decluttering of your Mac computer is to uninstall or move any unused applications.

Image of how to move a file to the trash.
Go to “Finder” > “Applications” to move any unused applications to the trash.

A quick way to uninstall these unwanted applications is to go to your “Finder” > “Applications”, and then right-click or CTRL+ click on the icon of the application you want to uninstall, and then select “Move to Trash”.

Fix 5. Check for Viruses.

There are many types of viruses out there, and if your iMac or MacBook computer happens to have viruses running in the background that you have no knowledge of, they might be the reason why your Mac is running slow.

Image of the FixMeStick being plugged into a Mac laptop to speed it up.
We designed the FixMeStick to automate the virus-checking process on your Mac.

You can manually check your Mac computer and delete any suspicious files or programs to speed things up. However, malicious programs try to hide from regular security software. That’s why we recommend a deep clean by running a FixMeStick scan instead!

We designed the FixMeStick to scan your Mac computer and check for hidden viruses. So the next time you find your Mac computer is running slow, run a FixMeStick scan to make sure that your Mac’s sluggish performance isn’t caused by a dangerous virus.

FixMeNote: FixMeStick is currently compatible with Intel Based Macs from 2006 to 2017. Mac with FusionDrives and or from 2018 and later are not yet compatible.

Image of the StartMeStick plugged into a laptop.

If our tips above didn’t solve your issue, you may want to try the StartMeStick. The StartMeStick turns any computer into a fast, secure, and private one and can bring an old computer back from the dead! Simply plug it in and do anything you want online. Pull it out and your computer goes back to the way it was.

The StartMeStick never slows down because it doesn’t save anything; it doesn’t collect the junk that causes frustrating errors, crashes, freezes, and slowdowns. Give it a try for 30 days and see what you think! DON’T WAIT, check it out HERE.

What are some of the things you do to speed up your Mac? Share them with us in the comments below!


  1. thomas jewik -

    Will it work on Chromebook? Also if it doesn’t save anything, does that mean you have no access to the hard drive of the computer? How different is it from Xtra-PC other than the VPN function?

    • Linda -

      Hi Thomas, our products will not work on Chromebooks. When using StartMeStick, you will not be able to access the host computer’s hard drive as it’s designed to return to Factory State after each session. This protects the hard drive from viruses or any other changes that could be made on it. We encourage you to try out similar products to make a decision on what’s best for your situation!

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Gerald,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into issues running your FixMeStick!

      If you contact us at support@fixmestick.com, one of our support representatives can lend a hand and help get your FixMeStick up and running!

  2. Michael Finelli -

    Why can’t I get my fix-me-stick to open on my computer? I only have 4 usb ports and I’ve tried them all. Also, I was trying to follow some of your tips, but I can’t close the “finder” icon… it doesn’t give me a delete option.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for reaching out to us!

      A number of factors could be influencing your Mac’s ability to recognize the USB. One trick I find works is booting up your Mac’s Startup Menu (by holding the Alt/Option key on start up), then unplugging and plugging the FixMeStick back in.

      As for your Finder icon, here is a tip that I found online:

      Step 1: Open Finder.

      Step 2: Hold the Option key while clicking the File menu.

      Step 3: Click Close All.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach us at support@fixmestick.com

  3. Elmer W. Derks -

    I have a Mac PC, that I purchased in 1919. I also have a FixMeStick purchased a few year prior to that to use on a Windows PC. I have never been able to run my FixMeStick on the Mac PC. After calling I was told it was NOT compatible. (So my FixMeStick is useless to me. Why isn’t there a replacement FixMeStick for a Mac PC. I have NEVER been able to run my FixMeStick on the Mac PC.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Elmer,

      Thank you for reaching out to us today!

      Many models of Mac computers come equipped with what is called Fusion Drive. While Fusion Drive definitely has its benefits for your Mac, unfortunately its configuration makes it so that the FixMeStick can’t properly scan the drive, thus making it incompatible.

      While the FixMeStick is generally compatible with Intel-based Macs before 2018, unfortunately it is not compatible with Fusion Drive Macs.

      We apologize for the inconvenience, but we do encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding the FixMeStick and Mac compatibility!

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