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Why is Lion so slow?

165128 Views 313 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2014 6:26 PM by petermac87 RSS
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JWKanvik Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jul 21, 2011 6:16 PM

I installed Lion on a relatively new MacBook Pro (released early 2011) with an i7 dual-core processor.  It is painfully slow, much slower than Snow Leopard was.  Even things like surfing the internet (using Firefox) is very slow, and I see the little rainbow circular icon frequently.


Any ideas?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Barry Porter1 Level 2 Level 2 (330 points)
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    Jul 21, 2011 6:19 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    How long since you installed? sometimes spotlight will take a long time to index your drives and slow your computer down a LOT. Are you backing up with Time Machine? That can also slow down the computer until the backup i done.

  • ecar7man Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 21, 2011 6:24 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    Same thing was happening to me after installing it. Just reboot your computer and it should be up and running at normal speed.

  • bstone108 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 22, 2011 7:04 PM (in response to Barry Porter1)

    same problem here,  spotlight fully indexed,  permissions fixed,  pram smc both reset/clear, no hard drive errors of any kind,  in fact it's a brand new drive,  a hybrid ssd that supports osx just fine.


    I originally installed this drive with 10.6.7 with blazing preformance increase,  10.6.8 killed it.  constant freezes and system lockups.  10.7 is at least stable for me,  but it's so horribly slow it's just rediculus.  Apple broke something major for lion,  and imposed same change in snow leopard 10.6.8,  and I'm betting it's relating to the way it manages the hard drive.  it's stupidly slow and then some.


    and for all the basic questions that follows of everyone who thinks they're right......

    no there's not a lot running,  yes I'm virus free [for those who would suspect such a thing] no there's no fancy 3rd party stuff,  yes I have 4  gigs of ram,  2.4 ghz 17 inch macbook pro.  only thing not stock in it is the hard drive and I only installed it cause apple care plan ran out like a month before my drive kicked the bucket.  and you can skip 90% of the other basic trouble shooting steps like clearing caches and maintiance scripts and so on.


    I suspect I might be able to solve the problem by pulling the sata driver related files from 10.6.7 and overwriting the new ones.  not sure.  all I know is lion wasn't ready,  it shouldn't have been released till full regression testing was done on all mac models.

  • John Noonan Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 22, 2011 8:31 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    I installed Lion on Thursday.  My 2.93 GHz core 2 duo Macbook Pro 17 from 2009 is now a very slow machine.  I like the features of Lion but I am dissappointed that my laptop that cost 3000 dollars in 2009 is so slow now.

  • John Noonan Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 22, 2011 8:34 PM (in response to Barry Porter1)

    I disagree about that being a correct answer.  My Spotlight index quit building on Thursday night.

  • plastik7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 22, 2011 8:37 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    Do a clean install and you'll see a huge difference. Lion on my MB (clean) runs better than my MBP (upgrade).


    Back up files to removable HD or flah drive, erase and do a clean install.


    Worth it.

  • John Noonan Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 23, 2011 12:53 PM (in response to plastik7)

    Awesome.  I did this and my MBP now flies.  Thank you for the suggestion.

  • APierce24 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 24, 2011 12:00 AM (in response to JWKanvik)

    Ok guys I had the exact same problem but I think I found a solution. I just did it about 30 minutes ago and since then my MacBook Pro is running just like it used to with snow leopard. No guarantees that i fixed the problem but this is what i did. I went to Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility. I then ran a verify disk scan and found that there were many problems with me Macintosh HD drive. It said I needed an install disk of lion to fix. Since there is no disk I thought I would experiment and this is what I did.

         1) shut down my computer and then started it back up while holding down the alt key. (this should bring up two disk options to run your computer)

         2) I chose the second option (I believe it is called something like "recovery disk" but dont quote me on that. you want to select the one that is NOT Macintosh HD)

         3) It loaded and then gave me four choises of what to do. I clicked disk utility.

          4) From there I ran the verify disk scan again then clicked repair disk.

         5) I then ran the verify disk permissions scan and then repaired those as well.

         6) then I restarted my computer and spotlight indexed the computer (i let it do its thing without running any programs) once it was done my computer worked so much faster and for the first time I can say, I AM GLAD I HAVE LION! I hope this is a permenant fix. Please let me know if you try this and how it works for you

    Good Luck!!!

  • mahiyabz Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jul 24, 2011 12:04 AM (in response to JWKanvik)

    happned with me, upgrade took 2 hrs, as i was using huge apps, Maya, adobe etc


    index took day to complete, performance was still not satisfied.


    did a clean format and installed lion.... working trillion times better than upgrade....

  • jeremyroy0415 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 24, 2011 3:05 PM (in response to APierce24)

    This worked for me. Thanks so much! I had been looking forward to Lion ever since Apple debuted it, and when I noticed my MBP being slow...I'm not gonna lie, it really diappointed me. Appreciate the help. And let's hope it is a permanent fix.

  • Xarl3z Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 28, 2011 4:38 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    I know what you mean, it's happening with many people. Try this, open a web page like youtube that runs flashplayer, you'll notice that UI starts behaive correctly.


    I'm running lion on mbp 13" 2011 with 8 gb ddr 3 and SSD vertex 2.

  • mikebrown Calculating status...
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    Jul 28, 2011 7:36 PM (in response to APierce24)

    Had the same problem, but booted into the saved clone of my former Snow Leopard set up and then ran the most recent Disk Warrior. It found a number of file errors and rewrote the Directory. My iMac runs three or four times faster now and boots in less than a minute rather than 3 minutes.

  • carlomac Calculating status...
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    Jul 31, 2011 10:01 PM (in response to APierce24)



    Thanks for the tip. This worked for me too. Lion for me is now faster than Snow Leopard.


    iMac 2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo 24inch. 4 GB Ram.

  • S4MST3R Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 2, 2011 12:43 PM (in response to APierce24)

    APierce24 you're a bloody lifesaver!  Have an MBP (2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - 4GB RAM) and loved Lion's features but was getting a load of spinning beach ball action.........Firefox was almost unusable


    I'd downloaded Lion from the AppStore, and effectively done an upgrade rather than a clean install


    Followed your instructions out of interest and it's like I've a brand new machine, much faster than Snow Leopard.......brilliant!


    Sincere, huge thanks to you.........S4MST3R

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