How To

macOS Mojave Slow? Fixes Here

Written by John

The newest operating system by Apple is the macOS Mojave. This is packed with many cool features including a new dark mode, desktop stacks, new applications, and a revamped Mac Store. With these and many other cool features, it is no wonder that many people want to try it out. The problem is that as soon as one makes the update, the macOS Mojave slow. Have you been asking yourself “why is my Mac so slow?”.

The first reason could be that the macOS Mojave does not support your device. This is the case if your Mac is a version made earlier than 2012. If this is the reason for slow Mac, the only solution is to forget using the Mojave because it is not compatible with such Macs. What if your Mac is a supported version, but it is still slow after Mojave update? There are many reasons for this and even more solutions you can try. This tutorial will educate you on all the reasons why your Mac is slow after Mojave update and give you solutions that work.

How to Speed Up macOS Mojave 10.14

There is a tendency for Mac running slow immediately after a Mojave 10.14 update. What could be the reason? The truth is that there could be many reasons but the best part is that there are many solutions you can try. Simply use the options given in this tutorial, and you will have your Mac running at fast speeds just like when it was brand new.

1. Clean Up your macOS Mojave

One of the leading reasons for Mac slowing down is having too much information stored on the Mac. As you store files on the hard drive without deleting any, more and more space is used to store this data which leaves a small space for the macOS Mojave to operate in. This causes the OS to be slow and have sluggish performance.

Speed Up macOS Mojave

To clean the Mac up, you need to go through the files and delete the ones that you do not need. Removing them will give your new OS enough breathing space for it to perform optimally. Deleting files manually can be tiring and at time ineffective. You may not know where to find logs and temporary files for the various apps as well as other files that take up too much space.

To delete these, a third party app may be required to clean up the Mac. In just two clicks, CleanMyMac X will be able to get rid of all the junk in every inch of the computer’s hard drive. You can choose to clean everything up or choose the kinds of material you want to be removed. The categories include large and old files, trash bin data, iTunes junk, mail attachments, photo junk, and system junk. The best quality of this cleanup software is that it is smart. This means it only cleans up what is needed without affecting the critical system files. Your Mac will operate normally while CleanMyMac keeps your hard drive free from any junk. This will increase Mac’s speed because there will be lots of free storage.

Clean My Mac X is available for a FREE download here.

2. Manage Startup Items To Fix Slow Login

When your Mac takes too long to boot, a mixture of feelings flood your heart but none of them is good. You feel impatient, angry, inconvenienced and much more. Though the fact that the macOS Mojave slow login is not pleasing, the best part is that there is a solution. You can easily correct the slow startup and have the Mac on within a few seconds after pressing the “power on” button.

What are these solutions? In order to solve the problem of slow Mac startup you need to identify the reasons that cause the Mac to slow down in the first place. There are several reasons and an equal number of solutions. We will look at all these and by the time we are done your Mac will be booting much faster.

Disable Auto-Run Programs

The first and most common reason for slow bootups are auto-run programs. These are also known as start-up items. They are programs that automatically start themselves every time the Mac is turned on. This means that when you switch your Mac on, it works to not only boot the operating system but also start the auto-run programs. This causes a delay in the time it takes to boot the system since the machine has to do many tasks at the same time.

Disable Auto-Run Programs

To remove startup items:
1. Click on the Apple menu.
2. Click on “System Preferences”.
3. Select “Users & Groups”.
4. Click your username on the right side of the screen. On the left, click on “login items”. The list of currently enabled login items will be shown.
5. Check the box next to the items you would like to remove. When done with the selection, click on the – (minus) button at the bottom of the screen.

Disable Hidden Startup Items

The above steps will help you remove the login items that are visible when the Mac is powered on. However, there are those that remain hidden but still have an impact on Mac’s bootup speed. To find these, simply use the Clean My Mac X application. 

Disable Hidden Startup Items in macOS Mojave

Open the application and follow the following steps:
1. Click on the “Speed” module.
2. Go to “Optimization” and then “launch Agents”. Therewill be a list of helper or service applications that start when the Mac boots.
3. Disable all these applications or remove them.

Another way to make your Mac boot fast is by checking the startup disk. Is it too full? Delete some items so that at least 20% of the hard drive is free. Clean My Mac X can help with this by using it to scan for and remove junk.

3. Use the Activity Monitor to Disable Power Hungry apps

Is your Macbook slow after Mojave update for no obvious reason and fans are blazing at high speeds? There could only be one explanation for the slow Mojave; power hungry background apps are running. These take up a lot of RAM and CPU space leaving little for the operating system. This causes the OS to be very slow in executing even the simplest tasks and commands.

To stop any power-hungry apps from making your Mac slow, you can use the Activity monitor. To open this, go to “Applications” then “Utilities”. Double click on “Activity Monitor”. This action will launch it.

Check CPU Load

To find applications taking up too much CPU space, click on the “%CPU” column. Look for the app using up most of the CPU. Are you using it? If not, stop it by selecting it then clicking on the “X” at the left top corner. To see apps taking up too much memory space click on the memory tab and use the same process to stop these apps.

Memory Pressure in Mojave

Choosing the “Quit” option saves all changes then closes the application but this takes a while. On the other hand, “Force Quit” shuts down the application immediately, but all unsaved changes are lost. The latter is the most effective option, and the effects are immediate. This means that the macOS Mojave speed will improve immediately.

4. Moderate the UI Experience

The user interface in the Mojave has been improved and is better with more customizable settings. However, going all in on the user experience will come at the expense of having to deal with a slow computer.

UI Experience

Great effects like the transparency will heavily impact on the computer’s resources, and this will leave you with slow Mojave. The situation worsens when you need to multitask. So, to avoid this or remedy an already slow macOS Mojave, follow the following steps:

1. Go to “System Preferences” then click on “Accessibility”.
2. Click on “Display” and check the box next to “Reduce transparency” and “Reduce Motion”.

5. Update Software

Old software that was compatible with the High Sierra or the old OS X you were using may not be compatible with the macOS Mojave. If you have a Mojave slow, a simple update of the software you have on the Mac can help.

Install updates of the software and apps you have in the Mac so they are compatible with the Mojave and perform better.

Software Update on macOS Mojave

To check for updates, click on “system preferences” then “Software Update”. If there are updates available, click on the “Update Now” button. The updates will then be downloaded and installed.

6. Use the optimize Storage feature

This is a cool feature that helps ensure all files on your drive are organized well and optimizing storage. This helps free up any unused disk space so it is available for use and all files are kept in order. To activate this feature, go to the Apple menu and then click on “About this Mac” then “Storage” then “manage”. You will at times see a message requesting to Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, and Reduce Clutter. In the dialog box that appears click on “optimize”.

Optimize Storage feature

When activated, the optimize storage feature organizes files in the drive in different categories and removes any idle or unused files from the Mac. Whether it is an old application you no longer use, old screenshots and photos, old documents and text file, or any other thing not in use, this feature can detect it and take the appropriate action. With no clutter in your hard drive, it means there is more space for the Mojave to carry out its operations which makes the Mac very fast.

7. Reset SMC and NVRAM/PRAM

When corrupted, the SMC and PRAM can make a Mac slow down considerably. When this happens, these need to be reset.

The System Management Controller (SMC) is in charge of things like hardware such as fans and batteries. As for the procedures to follow to set this, it will depend on the kind of Mac you are using.

Reset SMC on MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or MacBook

1. Power the Mac down and unplug the power cable.
2. Wait 15 seconds then plug the power cable in.
3. Press left shift, option, control and power buttons at the same time. Hold down for at 10 seconds.
4. Release all keys and power the Mac on as usual.

Rest SMC on iMac, Mac Pro, Xserve or Mac Mini

1. Power the Mac down and unplug the power cable.
2. Wait for 15 seconds and then plug the power cable in.
3. Wait for 5 seconds then turn the Mac on.

NVRAM/PRAM should be reset when there is an issue with Mac’s screen resolution, wrong battery charge reports or the Mac booting with the wrong disk. To do this:

1. Power the Mac down and leave it for a few seconds.
2. Switch the Mac on and press Option, Command, P and R keys on the keyboard at the same time.
3. Hold the keys down until the Mac restarts and hear a beeping sound.

These procedures will not cause any data loss when performed on the Mac so perform them with confidence.

8. Upgrade the Mac’s HDD to SSD

One of the best ways to speed up macOS Mojave is to run in it on a solid state drive (SSD) rather than Hard Disk Drive (HDD). The latter is slow. If your Mac has a hard disk drive, replace it with an SSD drive or, better yet, combine the two. You can use the SSD for running the Mojave and the HDD for storing files.

SSDs do not use the mechanical methods used by HDDs and hence the prior are faster in storing and retrieving of information. An easy way to install an SSD into an old Mac is by using a custom adaptor to replace the optical drive. You can then install the SSD on the custom adaptor and then install macOS Mojave and its applications on it.

9. Maximize on iCloud Storage

If you have a Mac that is fitted with an SSD drive that has a small capacity (128 or 256 GB), use iCloud to maximize storage. Simply save some files on iCloud and this will save space on the drive in the Mac. With more space for the Mojave to operate, it is fast.

iCloud backup is preferred because the data stored in it can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. The data can be retrieved when needed and used as required. On the downside, iCloud automatically syncs and deletes files that are not used often. The best choice is to use this and still have an external offline backup.

10. Disable New Dynamic Desktop

This is a cool feature in the macOS Mojave that makes the desktop change automatically depending on what time of the day it is. While this feature is cool and brings this OS to life, it consumes a lot of battery power because of the frequent location tracking it needs to do. This also tends to slow down the Mac. Turning this feature off ensures the Mac runs faster and saves battery.

New Dynamic Desktop

How do you disable the new dynamic desktop?
1. Click on the Apple menu.
2. From the menu that will appear, click on “System Preferences”.
3. Click on “Desktop and screensavers”.
4. Select the wallpaper you want and set it.

11. Confirm that your Mac is compatible with macOS Mojave

Like with every operating system out there, the macOS Mojave has its minimum hardware qualifications. While some Macs have these qualifications, others are not so lucky. Generally, if your Mac was released before 2012, you cannot use the Mojave. Trying to use it will only result in very slow operations.

The comprehensive list of supported devices has the following:
Mac Pro (late 2013)
iMac Pro (2017 or later)
iMac ( late 2012 or later)
Mac Mini (late 2012 or later)
MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or later)
MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or later)
MacBook (Early 2015 or later)

Macs made before these do not have enough graphics power and other qualities needed for the optimal running of the macOS Mojave.

Bottom line

Many things can make the Mojave slow down ranging from having too much on the drive to a corrupted SMC. No matter what the cause is, it needs to be established so that the right solution is applied in solving the problem. Try to analyze the situation and note when the Mac is at its slowest. This will help determine the reason why the Mac is slow and you can make the right decision on the course of action to take. Try any of the above steps to speed up your macOS Mojave or a combination of several and you will have a fast Mac within no time.

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