macOS Mojave is a brilliant upgrade to the Mac operating system, bringing lots of great new features like Dark Mode and the new App Store and News apps. However, it’s not without its problems. In the weeks since its release, early adopters have reported numerous teething issues, many of them affecting the performance of their Macs. One of the most common is that some Macs seem to run slow under Mojave. If you’re having that problem, here’s how to speed up macOS Mojave.
1. Identify the source of the problem
Your first port of call in identifying any performance issue with your Mac should be Activity Monitor. Go to Applications > Utilities and launch it. Click through the CPU, Memory, Energy and Disk tabs one at a time and make sure the items in each list are ordered in descending order by the first column (the arrow next to the name of the column should be pointing down). Now you can easily see if any application or process is hogging CPU cycles, RAM, energy, or disk space. If, for example, a browser tab is taken up several gigabytes of RAM, close it. Quit any applications or processes, using the ‘x’ at the top left of the Activity monitor window, that you identify as causing a problem.
2. Get rid of unnecessary launch agents
Launch agents are ancillary programs that add functionality to their parent application and launch at startup. They can cause macOS Mojave to slow down, especially when it’s booting. You could remove them manually, but tracking them down and getting rid of them one by one is a long and laborious process. Thankfully, there is an easier way, using CleanMyMac X. Here’s how to use it.
- Download Download CleanMyMac X (for free) and launch it.
- In the left hand sidebar click on Optimization.
- Choose Launch Agents.
- Look through the list of programs. If there are any you don’t need, for example updaters for apps you don’t use, you can disable them or remove them.
- To disable a launch agent, click the green dot to the right of it.
- To remove a launch agent, check the box next to it and choose Remove.
3. Stop applications launching at startup
In addition to launch agents, some applications launch themselves when you login to your Mac. In some cases, there’s a good reason. Antivirus tools tend to launch at login, because they scan your Mac automatically for malware and it’s important they start running as soon as your Mac does. However, in many cases, there’s no need for applications to launch as soon as you log in to your Mac.
You can see which applications launch at login and delete them manually by doing the following:
- Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
- Select the Users & Groups pane.
- You should see that the current user, you, already selected.
- Click the Login Items tab.
- Check the box next to any items you want to remove.
- Press the “-” at the bottom of the window to delete them all.
There is an easier, way, however. You can quickly remove login items using CleanMyMac’s Optimization tool, in much the same way as we did for launch agents.
- Launch CleanMyMac and choose Optimization.
- Choose Login Items.
- Look through the list of items and decide which ones you don’t want to launch at startup.
- Click the green button to the right of any item you want to disable.
- To remove an item completely, check the box next to it and press Remove.
4. Shutdown your Mac regularly
While it’s perfectly possible to use your Mac without ever shutting it down, it’s unwise. Restarting your Mac clears away temporary files, including, crucially, the swap files that are used as virtual memory. It also frees up RAM. Restarting regularly is important to keep your Mac running smoothly.
5. Keep Spotlight in check
Spotlight is a great tool for searching your Mac and the internet. However, if you have it set to index everything on your Mac, the re-indexing process can take time and consume resources, causing your Mac to slow down.
- Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
- Click on the Spotlight pane.
- Select the Privacy tab.
- Drag any folders you don’t want Spotlight to index onto the window.
- Close System Preferences.
6. Close browser tabs
Keeping multiple browser tabs open is very convenient. However, each open tab occupies RAM and if you have lots open, they may start to slow down your Mac. Bookmark any tabs you don’t read right now and then close them.
7. Remove unnecessary System Preferences panes
Launch System Preferences again and look at the bottom row, which houses non-OS preferences. Are there any preferences there, like Flash for example, that you don’t need? If so, remove them. Right-click on the preferences pane and choose Remove “xxxx” Preference Pane, where “xxx” is the name of the item you are removing.
8. Update applications
Sometimes, out of date applications can cause your Mac to run slowly. The solution is to make sure all the applications you use regularly are up to date. For apps that you downloaded from the Mac App Store, you should select Automatic Updates in the App Store app’s Preferences so that they update automatically. For other apps, click on the applications name in the menu bar and choose ‘Check for Updates’. If there are any available, install them immediately.
If you want to update all your apps in just one click, use the Updater tool in CleanMyMac X. It will check and update your software to the latest version.
There are many reasons why macOS may run slowly on your Mac. As you can see, however, there are several steps you can take to speed up Mojave. Sometimes the problems are caused by installing a new version of the OS over an older version, rather than performing a clean install. In that situation, cleaning up your system using CleanMyMac X can really help speed up your Mac.