Mac Slow After Yosemite Update? Fix It

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Is your Mac slow after the Yosemite update? You’ve come to the right place. We think we have the best advice out there to speed up your underperforming Mac running Yosemite.  We’ll make sure to  update this page when we run into new fixes.

Mac Running Slow After Yosemite? Fixes for your computer

1. Free memory = Faster Yosemite

OS X Mavericks was very RAM hungry. OS X Yosemite is an updated version of Mavericks, so it too is very RAM hungry. 4GB or 8GB of RAM might not be enough depending on what you’re doing with your computer.

There is a very simple fix– you’ll need to free up memory space on your computer. Though there are manual ways to do this, but we would recommend that you use software like CleanMyMac 3 to handle the task. CleanMyMac 3 is an excellent piece of software to handle basic system maintenance on your Mac.

CleanMyMac 3 is available for download here.

2. Repair Disk Permissions in Yosemite

In some cases, repairing disk permissions can help speed up your slow mac after the Yosemite update. To repair your disk’s permissions, simply follow the steps below.

  1. Restart your Mac
  2. Press the “Option” key as soon as you hit restart
  3. When prompted, select “Disc Utility Option”
  4. Select the partition where you previously installed OS X Yosemite
  5. Click “Fix Disc Permissions”
  6. Restart your Mac normally
  7. This should have an effect on the speed of your computer.


3. Run Mac System Resets in Yosemite

For some people, simply performing a SMC and PRAM reset can help fix performance issues, even if they aren’t tied to a system upgrade.

The System Management Controller is a piece of hardware in your computer that coordinates battery and heat management, LED lights, and other parts of the hardware. PRAM (Parameter RAM) stores the default values of some core system settings such as your alarms, mouse settings, start up programs, and speaker volume. Sometimes these two parts of the computer can get bogged down and slow down the rest of the system.

We have provided instructions on how to carry out these resets in a post about fixing MacBook Pro’s performance issues. The post talks specifically about MacBook Pros, but the instructions will work for any Apple computer.

4. Re-install OS X Yosemite

Yes, we know that this isn’t an ideal resolution to your problems, but this might just be your last resort to fix performance issues from Yosemite.

How do you re-install OS X Yosemite?

  1. Restart your Mac
  2. As your Mac restarts, hit ⌘ (command) + R, together
  3. When prompted, choose and connect to your choice of Wi-Fi network
  4. Select option called Re-Install OS X Yosemite
  5. Re-Install OS X Yosemite on the same OS X Partition that you previously installed it on
  6. Wait it out (It can take several hours, so take this into consideration)
  7. Restart after the re-installation!

yosemite slow?

 

Try to set this process up before you go to sleep for the night so you can wake up to a computer running quickly and smoothly.

5. Fixing slow WiFi speeds after the Yosemite update

We have received several comments that say that their Mac’s Wi-Fi has either stopped working or has been reduced to a crawl after the Yosemite update.

How can you fix Yosemite related Wi-Fi issues on your Mac?

1. Try deleting a certain System Configuration file

Finder -> Go -> Computer -> Macintosh HD -> Library (double click) -> Preferences (double click) -> Find file called “SystemConfiguration” -> CMD + DEL -> Enter password if necessary -> Restart your Mac

2. Altering Keychain Access

Keychain Access -> System -> Wireless Network -> Double Click -> Access Control -> Check “Allow all applications to access this item”

3. Turn off bluetooth

Apparently, just turning off Bluetooth allows the Wi-Fi connection to work normally for some people. Sometimes Yosemite is struggling to keep both a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection running at the same time.

4. Create new network location

Network Preferences -> Location -> Create a New Location -> Enter a New Name -> Hope for normal Wi-Fi!

5. Turn off Handoff

Setting -> General -> Turn Off Handoff

6. Altering network preferences

Network Preferences -> Wi-Fi Adapter -> Click on the “cog” or setting wheel icon at the bottom -> Make Service Inactive -> Apply -> Click on Wi-Fi in the same list-> Click (-) to delete -> Apply -> Reboot your Mac -> Network Preferences -> Wi-Fi Adapter -> Click (+) -> Select Wi-Fi from dropdown list -> Change the name of the Wi-Fi network (IMPORTANT, Must change!) -> Apply -> this should fix your problems

If you find Yosemite slow even after these fixes, let us know about that as well. We’re always wanting to improve our content.

6. Turn Off Transparency Effects

Some users have said that this tiny tweak can make a huge performance difference for a Yosemite-based computer.

Simply head over to the Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display -> Check the box that says “Reduce Transparency”.

This lowers Yosemite’s visual appeal, but it also reduces the general load on your system’s resources.

7. Lighten up the Notification Center Workload

By default, Yosemite loads up calculator, weather, stocks, social, and reminder notifications, requiring some extra system resources that could go towards other applications.

Go to the Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Extensions – Today, and then disable widgets that you don’t use.

8. Turn Off File Vault Encryption

Decrypting your hard drive, though not exactly ideal, is another way to speed up OS X Yosemite. If you had enabled File Vault during your Yosemite installation, you can reverse this decision now.

Go to the Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Enter Administrator password if prompted -> Turn Off File Vault -> Turn Off Encryption -> Restart Mac

9. Throttling back Spotlight

Spotlight in Yosemite is powerful, exciting, and refreshingly new. However, if you are running it at full speed there is a chance that it might be making your Mac’s processor and RAM bite off more than it can chew and slow down the system.

To throttle back the performance of Spotlight, go to System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Un-check categories as needed.

For example, if you don’t need Spotlight to look up web definitions for every search, simply disable “Definition”. You might also feel that search results from calculator, system preferences, and even documents might be unnecessary. For every category that you turn off, Spotlight has to do a little less work, which should speed up your computer.

10. Turn off Dashboard

Dashboard in Yosemite is fun and exciting but it can decrease system performance, especially related to graphics. Once again, if you don’t mind losing some eye candy to fix your performance issues, you can definitely try turning off Dashboard altogether.

Go to System Preferences -> Mission Control -> Set Dashboard setting to Off.

Fixing other Yosemite related performance issues on your Mac

1. Unreasonable battery drain

Turning off transparency

Turning off transparency effects also seems to help with battery drain issues.

Go to System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Reduce Transparency. This can be a good trade off, because all you’ll be losing is a bit of visual flair. After all, what good is a flashy UI if the battery doesn’t last long enough for you to get work done on your computer?

It’s worth mentioning– sometimes these battery issues are related to your system having to work harder after a new instillation, so they might clear up on their own after a day or two.

2. Safari slow on Yosemite

Clearing cache

Try clearing the Safari cache to see if your browsing will speed up afterwards. Sometimes the cache can become bloated and slow down your browsing experience.

To clear your Safari cache, go to Safari -> Preferences -> Privacy -> Remove all website Data. If you have never cleared out your cache before, this might significantly speed up internet browsing.

The whole idea of browser caching is to actually help speed up your browsing experience. Your browser downloads small objects like logos from websites that you visit often, and they’ll load back up the next time you visit the site. However, beyond a certain point, excessive caching can actually lead to problems as there might just be too much locally downloaded content that doesn’t sync up with websites that are continually modified or updated on a daily basis.

Clearing Finder

Open Finder -> Go -> Go to Folder

Now, type in the following line exactly as given. ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.safari/cache.db

Once Finder finds the file for you, click it and delete it by moving it to trash. Once done, restart Safari to see if browsing is faster.

Turning off Safari Extensions in Yosemite

Though some Safari extensions can make browsing very convenient, they can slow down your browsing experience significantly, especially when they don’t get along with the latest version of your operating system.

This might be too much for some people, but if you want to turn off extensions simply go to Safari -> Preferences -> Extensions -> check the toggle button at the top-right-> Restart Safari

Conclusion

Drop us a comment with your own fixes and questions as well, and we’ll add it to the list if we think it’ll be worth other people seeing. We would love to publish your comment for all to see.

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About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
  1. s12g

    Im experiencing slow internet connection (via LAN) after updating to Yosemite.

  2. Michelle Smith

    Hi there. Thank you for your comment. Have you ruled out ISP related problems? Also, I am assuming that you might have already done this but the good old restart of the modem/router always helps in fixing such problems.

  3. Michelle Smith

    Also, what browser are you using? Safari? If yes, try switching to Chrome to see if the slow internet problem continues. There looks to be a few complaints about the beta version of Safari having some bugs.

  4. antifaith

    Clean my mac 2 (paid) doesn’t work in Yosemite, just a heads up – Haven’t had any major issues ,bar apps not working (butler, better touch tool, steam won’t connect to network, multibit wont start, fontprep) Just waiting for app updates tbh

  5. Michelle Smith

    Yes, thank you for your comment. MacPaw, the people behind CleanMyMac, recently put out a blog post that CMM is note yet compatible with Yosemite. However, they will be working on it in the coming weeks.

    They also however said that CMM won’t be officially compatible with Yosemite until Yosemite becomes a publicly released OS X.

    The beta version will only have unofficial compatibility. In any case, we are going to leave our recommendation of Clean My Mac intact as using CMM is something that we recommend before upgrading to Yosemite beta.

  6. Matthew Balaam

    I am also having very bad wi-fi problems after upgrading on my first generation Retina Pro, using a Thunderbolt ethernet cable solves my problem, but that’s not ideal.

  7. Michelle Smith

    Hi Matthew. That is unfortunate to hear. Maybe you can try some of the fixes mentioned here. http://machmachines.com/macbook-pro-wifi-problems-fixes/. They are not Yosemite specific but could maybe help….

  8. Jaime Shapiro

    My imac bec a m e v e r y s l o w

    After Yosemite install…

    Please help

    It takes a lot of time to open the apps and when using them.

  9. Dan Dreßen

    Hi, I just wanted to share my experience with Yosemite so far. When I downloaded DP 1, it took me about and hour and some minutes to have my mac running Yosemite, (I upgraded from OS X 10.9.3 Mavericks), the newest version that was available when Yosemite came out. I can luckily say, that I did not have ANY issues with Yosemite by then and the whole time I was using DP 1. When I updated to DP 2 however, i noticed that Spotlight was´t working anymore, The bar simply didn´t show up and neither clicking the menu bar icon nor the keyboard shortcut worked. So I simply reverted back to DP 1, using Time Machine (I have to admit that I´m a bit paranoid, when it comes to backing up my mac and I make a backup every time I´m changing something on the system itself, which I, as a theming enthusiast am doing quite often.) So I reverted back to DP 1, and immediately updated the System to DP 2 via the Appstore, which mysteriously solved the problem. I still have had no issues so far, except for the Mail App crashing every now and then.

    I´m running Yosemite on a 11-inch Macbook Air 2012, with 4 GB Ram and 64 GB SSD, alongside a Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics card and an Intel Core i5 dual core, so the lowest grade MacBook Air from 2012.

  10. Tim

    If you are experiencing slowness for network related connectivity, make sure you don’t have an iPhone that is “connectable” from Yosemite. It doesn’t even have to be paired, but visible to the Mac. Turn off Bluetooth on the iPhone and make sure you don’t have a USB connection to the iPhone. It appears that Yosemite gets a bit confused and tries to use the iPhone Internet connectivity sometimes, even if it has a perfectly fine wireless connection on its own.

    I haven’t experienced the problem when connected to a wired Ethernet network.

  11. Patrick Smit

    I find Yosemite still quite slow compared to mavericks. I’ve been running it on several machines including a brand new out of the box macbook pro 2.3 Ghz. This includes all the Beta’s of Yosemite.
    I noticed that app performance really goes down with that I mean the overal feel (For example dreamweaver with multiple files open saves really sluggish) the macs I tested on are as follows : Macbook Pro 15″ Santa Rosa 2008 2.4 Ghz 500 GB harddrive running 7200 RPM with 400GB free 4GB Ram. Macpro 2009 16 GB ram quad core 8 TB harddrive space (Harddrive I used was 2 X 2 TB mirror raid) and a Macbook Pro 15 ” late 2013 2.3 GB 16 GB ram 500 GB SSD. Just thought I share this, and I hope apple sorts out the slow Finder response.

  12. Kurian

    Hi Dan,
    I think Yosemite Beta is treating your HDD as a second ram space(kind of like linux swap). I have a 256 ssd with almost 140 Gb free. It has a r/w speed of 3Gbps. If you consider updating to something like this it might be helpful and hey It is actually faster than Mavericks (as far as I have experienced on my 2008 macbook)

  13. Blaise

    My 2010 Macbook Pro was really slow when connected to an external screen.

    I fixed it by turning the transparency off:

    1. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display
    2. Enable Reduce transparency
    3.  > Sleep
    4. Return from Sleep

    BAM! Fast again.

  14. Pieter

    WOW! The ‘reduce transparency’ option also worked like a charm on my 2012 MacBook Pro. After updating to Yosemite it was really slow, even though I had tons of free disk space. For now, my problems are solved. But I hope that I can deactivate this option after the final release of Yosemite, because I’m a sucker for graphics and liked the transparency trick a lot!

  15. Guilherme

    Thumbs up for the “Reduce Transparency” trick!! Thank you Blase

    I was already considering downgrading to Mavericks on my Macbook mid 2011. It seems to be back to normal now.

    Best,

  16. ricsi

    the boot time is slower than before ……+6or7 sec..so now its takes for 16 sec..:S What should i do ?

  17. Jake

    Blaise, you’re awesome! Thanks for the reduce transparancy trick! Fixed my problem.

  18. Richard Banham

    I have an iMac late 2009 27in i7. I found things a little slow especially in Safari after upgrading to Yosemite. It wasn’t really a problem but just a little annoying at times. I tried the resetting the System Management Controller trick and it really sped things up. Should have done it ages ago.

    For those with an intel iMac you simply…
    Shut down the iMac
    Remove power cord for 15 seconds
    Replace power cord and wait 5 seconds
    Reboot

    That’s all and much easier than a mac pro. The difference in Safari for me was noticable. Things just seem a little snappier now so I am happy with Yosemite.

  19. Max

    Just install Linux, no more f*****g yourself brain!

  20. Eric

    After the upgrade my boot time is much slower … any thoughts? or is that normal?

  21. Marcio

    Hey guys. I’ve noticed the same problem today, and it’s begin for non apparent reason. After try many times, in many ways, I only close the macbook cover, that continued slow, but after some minutes, it’s okay! No more slow.

    I don’t know if it’s a temporarily solution, but, it’s ok for me!

  22. Marcio

    Hey guys, the problem is the FileVault encrypting the data. Without the power charge cable my macbook works so fine! You can deactivate the FileVault option in Preferences > FileVault.

    I hope that help you!

  23. Ross

    I have done the controller, the PRAM, and even the reinstall of Yosemite and my MacBook Pro is still slower than it was prior to the install. The slow down is mainly in browsers and the post log-in part of start up. What is the deal?

    This is the laptop, I bought new three weeks ago:
    MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)
    Processor 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5
    Memory 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Storage 512 GB SSD

  24. Vinay

    I had upgraded my MacBook Pro to Yosemite. I had problems booting up. After a bit of research, I had installed McAfee which interfered with the boot up process. If you are facing issues with slow boot up and login, please follow the steps
    1. Hard reboot your Mac and press shift while doing so. This will start your Mac in Safe mode.
    2. Logon and uninstall all your non-Apple programs.
    3. Start disk utility, select your installation disk and click on Fix Permissions.
    4. Restart in normal mode.

  25. Chris

    I had similar issues with everything seemingly becoming slower after installing Yosemite on my MacBook Pro.

    I did a PRAM reset and this fixed things straight away – the machine is faster than before…..

  26. ron

    My iMac 2012 8 gb ram, 3 tb fusion drive, has been incredibly slow since Yosemite.

    I tried all the usual stuff:
    No Startup Items
    SMC Reset
    Repair Drive permissions
    Reset PRAM
    Remove Virus protection
    Cleaned Caches
    Cleared launch agents
    All to no avail. Nothing seemed to work.
    THEN, I noticed that when I turned off my HP PHOTOSMART 7225 before I started my Mac, everything was *MUCH* faster. When the printer was ON, my Mac was slow. So, I went to HP web site. It said that there was no driver update for Yosemite and I should use the same driver from Mavericks. I downloaded and installed it again anyway. No help.
    Next I turned of the wireless connection. No help.
    So, my work around is to turn off the printer after I turn off my iMac and then turn it on AFTER I start my iMac. I suspect this will have to do until Apple/HP get their act together and produce the fix that is required. Hope this helps. Ron

  27. rudi

    my problem is on restart and off/on. It will take up to 20 min to restart. I se the Apple logo in the center… then a progress bar under it that will stop about 1/4 of progress after 5 min… then the color ball apears and turn arround… after 10 min my pictures of the desk top appears and in about 10 min more, the normal desktop is OK an it will work, but will not recognise all wifi sígnals. iMac 27 mid11 i5 16ram.

  28. Dazzeh

    Don’t post comments ever but felt I would on this one, my wifi wasn’t working and i tried everything.

    Even reinstalled yosh, what did work was:-
    4. Create new network location

    Network Preferences -> Location -> Create a New Location -> Enter a New Name -> Hope for normal Wi-Fi!

    so cheer who ever thought of that 🙂

  29. Max

    Thank you for your advice, but none of these tips seem to working for me. I’ve tried everything, but my once perfectky running Mac is quite frankly worse than a pile of shit. EVERYTHING I do induces that stomach sickening beach ball to appear (I get it literally every 30 seconds). iTunes lags every bloody 4 seconds of song-play. I’ve unnecessarily freed up loads of space on my disk, which was useless, considering I had plenty of space on there already. We shouldn’t have to be going through all these measures to ‘fix’ these issues that Apple have f****d up. I’m in my last year of studies, mid thesis- I’m so sick of this s**t…

  30. Trish

    I fixed my Yosemite update issues: slow wifi, especially downloading and snail slow printing on my HP printer. I removed every reference to using Bluetooth. Check Sharing in Printer tab and remove Bluetooth. So now my remote mouse, speakers and other devices will not function but a temporary tradeoff to be able to work. I am expecting that Apple will have a new release fixing Yosemite defects soon!!!

  31. Jack

    How come nobody is commenting on Yosemite’s speed improvements? I noticed it right off on both my MacBooks. A 2010 Air and a 2011 Pro. I may just stick with Yosemite forever. As they say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

    P.S. You couldn’t pay me enough to return to Windows now…Holy Crap!!!

  32. John Berninger

    Turning off bluetooth solved the problem on my 2009 iMac. The problem started after this week’s update. Thanks so very much!

  33. Philip Andreas

    Thanks. Some of this works a little bit.

    20+ years as a Mac user, and Yosemite is hands-down the worst Mac OS update I’ve ever experienced. It has more or less turned my Mac Mini into a brick. Everything takes 5-6x as long as before. The spinning wheel of death has become a constant companion. Everything is unstable. Just yesterday, Yosemite logged me out spontaneously for no apparent reason right in the middle of something I was doing. This is awful. Whatever Apple did in the preparation for the release of this train wreck should be examined so it’s never repeated. A huge disappointment.

  34. melmuc

    Had the same problem, MAC Book Pro running extremely slow after upgrading to Yosemite. Here’s what I did:

    – run CleanMyMac 2
    – repair disk permissions
    – SMC and PRAM reset
    – turn off transparency effects
    – turn off bluetooth
    never had File Vault enabled

    Helped a bit but activity control showed firefox used huge CPU even with no window open. So I reset firefox, and voila! Now Yosemite is as quick as Mavericks.

  35. eli

    Hi,
    I am still experiencing huge problems with my late 2010 macbook pro. It basically does not function; anything i try to do causes a pinwheel that lasts for 30 seconds to 1 minute. I have tried everything except reinstalling yosemite,which i am doing now. I should note, that i ahd yosemite for a few months and my mac did not behave this way. I also have the most current version of the os. I am not very tech savvy, so the most basic information would be appreciated!
    Eli

  36. BC

    Reduce transparency worked like a charm! This post saved many hours of thumb-twiddling — thank you!

  37. Gene

    Read your comment about reverting to Mavericks via a Time Machine backup.Have read this elsewhere as well. Nevertheless the local Apple store insists there is no copy of the System i.e Mavericks stored on a TM backup.They will however install it for me if I bring the Macbook in and wait while they do it.

    Has the restoration from TM worked for you?

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  45. Bill Elbring

    I have noticed a terrible degradation of performance since I upgraded to Yosemite. When using my 3 Macs in the same way I used to with Mavericks, I find them becoming close to unusable over time. (I generally keep them on or simply close the Macbook.)

    What I have finally noticed (using “MenuMeters” to monitor paging and such) is that Safari (among other Apple s/w) has an amazing memory “leak”. The result is that, withing a day or two, Safari is wanting 2, 3, 4, 5 gb (gigabytes) of RAM (VM of course). The result is that my system spends most of its time “thrashing” — swapping memory to and from disk.

    I have worked with an Apple specialist, who is in contact with the Apple software engineers. They seem clueless.

    I just changed over to FireFox as my main browser. The hunger for VM seems to be gone…..

    I am reminded that you can fix what you don’t acknowledge. Whoever let Yosemite out of the shop should find a new line of work.

  46. Wendy

    I stumbled on a speed up method accidentally the other day…a complete uninstall and then fresh reinstall of Microsoft Office 2011 totally transformed my Yosemite experience. I had to do this because of some glitchiness I was having with Word 2011 and Endnote 7, and it had the wonderful side effect of eliminating all of the terrible slowdowns I was experiencing with Yosemite.

    Safari, the Finder, and all of my applications open almost instantly, and I’m not getting spinning rainbows or issues with memory pressure. Before, my memory pressure would get overloaded at least once a day; now, it doesn’t happen at all.

    I originally had to do this on my 2012 MB Pro. But it ALSO helped, immensely, on our 2009 MacBook, which has only 4 GB of memory. It’s like a new machine. I think it’s important that you do a COMPLETE uninstall – I found instructions on the Microsoft support website by googling “completel uninstall Office 2011”. And if you don’t have your Office 2011 CD or reg key you’re probably out of luck. The uninstall/reinstall took about 30 minutes total.

    I haven’t seen this suggestion on any other forums, even though I’ve been googling “Yosemite is slow” for months now. So I’m sharing in hopes it will help others! 😉

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