Has your Mac slowed down?

When I purchased this Mac it was fast. However some months on and it is noticeably slower now, and where I notice it most is on starting up an app.

When the Mac was new apps loaded almost instantly - literally, within a second! Now, opening an app such as Affinity Photo takes several seconds. It’s the same for other apps. WHY!? :triumph:

I am seriously considering posting a bug-report! I have maybe two or three additional programs (not running) and so can’t really see why there’s a slow down.

Also wondering why 4GB of swap was used when almost half the memory is still free.

For those of you who have Macs, have you noticed any slow down? How long does it take your apps opening?

Edit: Just did a hardware diagnostics check (hold down D on start-up) no faults reported…


I’ve had plenty wild fans, throttling and stuff with my MBP but recently I realized my laptop holder tray (VESA mounted to an arm) didn’t support the two back feet well and thus didn’t give any airflow around the back. Made sure it had som support and space and it has improved. Also got some application that could turn off the Turbo to keep fans friendlier.

Haven’t registered a general slowness though.


I am very 50/50 about my otherwise beastly iMac Pro. The machine is very fast, you can tell, but Apple’s way of running software – and the OS itself – seem to cripple it. There were these investigations that even starting CLI programs leads to Apple system software phoning home – not sure if that’s true but you really can tell that something is going on and stuff isn’t running as smoothly as it can.

I am very disappointed. Even though I can’t exactly put my finger on it, I did expect much smoother operation from such a powerful machine. Seems like the actual problem is with Apple’s kernel and runtime.

So I can’t say with 100% certainty that the machine has slowed down – more like it never was as fast as I would have imagined such hardware should perform.

In the meantime, an old i3 CPU-based ultrabook laptop running Manjaro Linux outperformed my iMac Pro a few months ago, on a very parallel workflow that is more I/O bound than CPU (and it didn’t have an NMVe SSD like the iMac Pro has; its SSD was fairly regular average drive with 500MB/s read and write). This disappointed me and cemented my decision to eventually move to Linux forever and try my best to replicate the beautiful desktop environment that macOS has (although the main selling point are the Retina screens, not the UI itself which is pretty but fairly mediocre and not that functional).

All that being said, I really do use my iMac Pro a lot and have likely ~100,000,000 files on its SSD (I play with information back up quite a lot) and I suspect the OS was never designed for this so I am entertaining the idea of buying an external 2TB SSD and offloading all those files there – and disable indexing that drive from system settings – and see if that helps. Because it’s the only correlation that I could think of. :smiley:

Or I could just switch off Spotlight indexing and use Alfred. I feel I’ll become an expert in running macOS smoothly during the next months. :smiley:


How old is your Mac Lars?

Next time I reformat my Mac I think I am going to do some screen-recordings to get an example of the difference in start-up times.

Please share your findings when you do :laughing:

You really should look into getting LittleSnitch - I hate the idea of programs wanting to connect to the internet, who knows what they’re sending back.

Really? Not noticed how long it takes for apps to start? That’s probably the biggest difference I’ve noticed myself.

1 Like

Ah, that’s easy. I am saying that Apple’s macOS itself phones home on literally every command… Not sure if I can counter that.

Apps start fast enough really. But I know this kind of hardware can do much better overall.


Probably 3-4 years by now…


I already gave this link away in this forum, but here it his again:


Final Words

All of the above issues were experienced on a new Mac mini with the OS intentionally kept as close as possibly to “factory default”, I got confirmation on some of the above from a friend (who ran tests on his machine), although his timings were different than mine, but they all showed significant delays on the operations identified above.

I am writing this post to call attention to what I consider a serious design problem with Apple’s most recent OS where it appears that low-level system API such as exec and getxattr now do synchronous network activity before returning to the caller.

With SIP enabled and on a bad internet day I can have the entire machine freeze for 1-2 seconds every 10th minute, not to mention everything just being sluggish.

Update 2020-05-24 : About the system freezing, I posted a comment on Michael Tsai’s blog with a hypothesis as to why some of us suffer from system freezes. In addition to internet connectivity, it also depends on how many new processes are spawned, with people running make (or similar tools) probably getting close to the system’s limit on how many capability requests it can process (assuming each new process require capability checks).


Well running the diagnostics seems to have helped - programs are opening much faster now. Maybe it was the restart that helped :confused:

Hmmm I think I had something similar on my original MBP - I send it back and the replacement didn’t suffer the same.

1 Like