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Updated 18th October, 2014 – As you might already know, OS X Yosemite is out. If you are having Yosemite related performance issues on your Mac, please read this post about troubleshooting a slow Mac with Yosemite installed on it.
Is your Mac slow after Mavericks installation? Even though the latest OS X update has been generally lauded for the spew of enhancements and improvements that it brings to the table, there have also been many complaints that the upgrade to Mavericks has brought about several performance issues, with particularly several MacBook owners complaining that their MacBooks have begun to run quite slowly after they decided to take advantage of the free Mavericks update.
Below, you will find simple solutions that will help fix your Mavericks related performance issues.
1. Ruling out a bloated Mac
First, before you do anything else, you must rule out a bloated Mac. What is a bloated Mac you might ask? Well, it is a Mac that hasn’t cleaned up in a long time. If your Mac has years of junk like system logs, massive cache files, incompletely uninstalled apps and also very low hard disk space, it can lead to very, very slow performance, particularly after you have upgraded to a resource hungry operating system like Mavericks OS X.
Thankfully, there is software that can both check and clean up a bloated Mac, with all but just a click. Clean My Mac, award winning and Mac community approved software does just that. If your Mac is one of those bloated Macs, Clean My Mac will have OS X running smoothly in minutes from now.
2. Is your hardware good enough to support OS X Mavericks?
It could just be that you might have jumped the gun with the OS X Mavericks installation. There are certain minimum hardware requirements for OS X Mavericks to run smoothly. If you ignored these requirements and installed Mavericks on an older Mac, it could just mean that you are giving your Mac too much to handle in an operating system.
Though Apple haven’t officially stated minimum RAM and Processor requirements to smoothly run OS X Mavericks, the general consensus from the Mac using community is that your Mac will probably do well with Mavericks if it is less than 4 years old. To see an official list of Mac models that will efficiently run OS X Mavericks, read this post where we talk about OS X Mavericks requirements for your Mac.
Recommended hardware requirements to smoothly run OS X Mavericks
- 2 GB of RAM is bare minimum to run OS X Mavericks. 4 GB is good and 8 GB is ideal
- 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better (Basically means that Mac processors after 2008-2009 are OK)
- At least 8 GB of free disk space although 40+ GB is highly recommended
If you now realize that your Mac’s hardware is not quite good enough for Mavericks, you can still go back to your older OS X like Snow Leopard or others. Though it is a fairly drawn out process, it is definitely possible and will help you restore palatable performance levels in your Mac. A very helpful Apple Discussions community member has laid out the steps to restore an older version of OS X, after a Mavericks upgrade.
3. Bad OS X install or upgrade
Surprisingly, this has turned out to be one of the most common reasons for people to experience slow performance in their Macs after upgrading to OS X Mavericks.
Here are steps to reinstall OS X Mavericks a second time, this time in a manner that allows it to function smoothly, without that annoying spinning Beach Ball showing up all the time.
Please note that it is prudent to take backups, anytime before an OS X re-install or repair process.
1. If your Mac is really crawling along, taking forever to carry out even simple tasks, you must first go to your energy savings settings and make sure your Mac doesn’t sleep easily as this Mavericks reinstallation can take 2-3 hours
2. Choose Apple Menu –> Restart
3. Once you have restarted, wait for the gray screen and then press Command (⌘) and R keys, simultaneously
4. If your Mac isn’t automatically connected to the Internet, choose your Wi-Fi connection and authenticate it so it can connect to Apple servers to download OS X Mavericks
5. Select the Reinstall OS X Mavericks option
6. Follow the installation steps and reinstall OS X Mavericks on the same hard disk where your current OS X Mavericks is installed (This happens by default)
7. Persevere and patiently wait for full installation, even if the progress bar crawls along and gives you estimated time remaining as 6 hours, 2 hours and then 5 hours again! It will eventually complete in 2-3 hours
8. Restart and be pleasantly surprised by smoothly running OS X Mavericks
P.S. – Reinstalling OS X Mavericks using the above mentioned instructions will allow you to keep your user data untouched and intact.
Hopefully. after reading through this post, you must have figured out the Mac slow after Mavericks issue. If you still can’t figure it out, post a comment about what particular issues you are facing and we will try to do our best to point you in the right direction.
You can also use various types of system resets like PRAM reset and SMC reset along with a few cleanups to see if it will speed up your OS X Mavericks. You can learn more about such resets in this 21 point Mac clean up post that we wrote a couple of weeks ago.