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Why is Lion so slow?

165102 Views 313 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2014 6:26 PM by petermac87 RSS
  • RIKIN PAREKH Calculating status...
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    Dec 25, 2011 11:49 PM (in response to S4MST3R)

    Hi there all,


    Gotta say, APierce24 is a genius! I too have had my MBP running really slow since installing Lion, even with the max 4 Gig RAM I've installed. I followed APierce24's instructions and it has imporved hugely by leaps and bound!


    Thank you kindly!



  • mulligans missus Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
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    Dec 26, 2011 12:30 AM (in response to koa_noise)

    koa_noise wrote:


    This is a Lion Problem. I think I found it. Lion is paging too much to the Swap Disk. This make since. Any time you access a program and the memory for that program is on the hard drive it will take very long to respond. Snow Leopard did not act like this unless it need the extra space. I have 8 gig or ram and I still have problems. If I was running a SSD I might not even know the difference but I'm not.

    ??????? What ????????  How does this flag a Lion problem. I had the problem as far back as Tiger when I installed crap that would slow it to a crawl. I taught myself after that to avoid conflicting 3rd party programs, plug-ins and anti virus or security programs. And especially anything that conflicted with Apple's own software and caused it to become RAM hungry. Have never had a Mac run slow since. Lion is flying better than SL did in it's infant days.


    Best of Luck

  • zak fromtoronto Calculating status...
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    Dec 29, 2011 11:22 AM (in response to NC_Neo)

    *** eh?

    this happened with me...

    editing in fcpx was sooooo slooow and if i jumped to another window... forget it.

    now it's working like a dream...

    i need to know why though!



    any guesses?

    did it reoccur?



  • zak fromtoronto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:22 PM (in response to zak fromtoronto)



    Now it's taking forever again?


    I'm convinced it's a conflict with my external G Drive 2 TB...


    But it comes and goes...




    What can I do to make it go away!



  • onthewave Calculating status...
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    Dec 30, 2011 9:10 AM (in response to JWKanvik)

    LION SO SLOW on MacBook Pro that was installed on top of Snow Leopard...Makes my I7 processor look like a G5 PPC, RIDICULOUS!

    I spent an hour on the phone with Apple and this helped get some performance back:

    This is written out so hopefully anyone can perform this procedure and I strongly recommend you do a BACKUP first.:

    1. do a shutdown

    2. Hold down ctrl option shift then power button for 1 second

    3. Restart when you hear gong hold down shift hold until loading bar

    Now in safe mode only OS is running

    4. Run disk utility from applications/utilities folder

    5. Select Macintosh HD from list on the left

    6. Press "Repair disk permissions". Can take about 10 minutes

    7. After that finishes run repair disk

    8. From the top bar on your mac desktop select Go - computer - Macintosh HD/ library /caches /

    9. Select all files in CACHES by typing CMD A

    10. After you see them all highlighted DRAG THEM ALL TO THE TRASH

    11. Same as 11. Go  - computer - Macintosh HD - system - library - caches

    12. Select all files in CACHES by typing CMD A

    13.. After you see them all highlighted DRAG THEM ALL TO THE TRASH

    14. Now same thng for users CACHE folder:Select GO while holding down the OPTION KEY and you'll see LIBRARY as a choice, select it.

    15.throw cache folder in trash

    16. Go to system preferences-Users groups -login items select - to remove apps that auto start

    17. Shutdown

    18. Now we will be zapping PRAM/SMC by holding down the following 4 keys on powering up Mac:

    CMD-Option-P and R keys until hear startup gong twice

    19. Now we rebuild the caches by loading the 5 most used apps (Browsr, Word, etc...) one at a time and quitting app after they load.

    20. If its still slow & you see spinning ball etc. do next:

    GO Macintosh HD

    Open Library

    Open startup items.  Delete all.                  (any Apps that auto started on boot up will no longer start automatically)

    Open library/ launchAgents delete all

    Open library/ launchDaemons delete all

    GO  and hold down Option key

    Select Library (this goes to users individual library )


    PARALLELS 5 had to be upgraded to version 7


    LIGHTROOM 2 incompatible had to upgrade to version 3

    IPhoto 9.x need to upgrade, very slow, especially with RAW files.



  • koa_noise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 30, 2011 3:57 PM (in response to onthewave)

    This is preaty much what I had to do to get Lion to run. I did install FreeMemory Pro as well. It works prety good. It would seam that Lion has a problem letting go of RAM. I still think they tested Lion on machines with SSD's because cashing the the hard drive would not be so slow as with a machanical hard drive. Either way there will be a fix soon. This problem is not going to go away untill a correct fix is made.


    Thanks for you help!

  • lcence Calculating status...
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    Dec 30, 2011 5:53 PM (in response to APierce24)

    Worked for me! Thanks so much!

  • mlaur Calculating status...
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    Jan 6, 2012 9:07 PM (in response to APierce24)



    OH MY GOD. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH. YOU SERIOUSLY SAVED MY LIFE. but just in case, this crisis has taught me to 1- buy a backup and 2- upgrade my ram...


    to everyone else: i have an old macbook pro from 2009 with only 2GB and this worked! whew!!

    hope this is permanent *crosses fingers*

    but as of now everything's back to normal though im not sure it was as fast as snow leopard...

  • Moke123 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2012 1:49 PM (in response to APierce24)

    APierce24 rules!!!!! Seems like you've become the saviour for many and I too would like to thank you. If I don't see another 'rainbow-circle-esq' icon in my life again it would be too soon. I was also considering drastic measures like a clean install or putting in more RAM (I have a mid 2009 with 4GB of ram that I put in last year). It's people like  you that make these forums worthwhile visiting (not the usual, 'is it switched on' kind of bull!).


    Last thing to say is that I'm not sure if Lion became corrupted at some point in the upgrade process via the Appstore, but it is a bit shocking that this has gone unnoticed or unresolved by Apple. Benefit of the doubt and all that

  • Rick Flare Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jan 9, 2012 10:48 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    I have had a really hard time going from Snow Leopard to Lion.  From the gestures to the window resizing....etc.  I'm kind of embarrased to admit this, but I finally broke down and bought the an instruction manual:    I mean I love coming to this forum for anything and everything, but after searching for some many things I finally needed to call in the big guns.

  • larigot Calculating status...
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    Jan 20, 2012 5:22 AM (in response to APierce24)

    Thanks so much for your solution which I followed to the letter with great improvement in speed.


    Well done !

  • Joe60 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 20, 2012 1:51 PM (in response to Rich Cook)

    I am about to try the disabling recommendation ... I am not a tec so can you tell we how I would know if I need any of those which I have disabled - and how to I re-enable?  Thanks  P.s.  I keep repeating the repair permissions like in your step 2 - why are they still there - why has it not repaired, I mea - thanks

  • Rudyard23 Calculating status...
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    Feb 7, 2012 4:55 PM (in response to JWKanvik)

    Downgraded to 10.6.8 today, my Jan 2011 MBP runs like a champ again (fingers crossed). Lion had some cool stuff, but not enough to warant the hours of despair at lost time, spinning wheels and general frustration. When it's a few versions down the line and people on here say its all good, then i will get it again, until then, sorry Apple, you released a duff on us.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,360 points)
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    Feb 7, 2012 5:24 PM (in response to NC_Neo)

    NC_Neo wrote:


    tanks for your reply! I did nearly all the stuff you meantioned.

    Repaired permissions and checked the disk at all with the recovery utility.


    In deed i have the seagate ST950042AS 500Gb model!!! I already opend my macbook and set the jumper to the 1,5gbit sata limitation. No improvement! :-(


    The only thing i'm not able to do, is a firmware upgrade of the hdd. Becaus is need Windows ?!? And i just have Win XP !!! And bootcamp forces me to use Win7! Is there a possibility to install WinXP as easy as with Bootcamp?

    There is a Mac version of the firmware flash on the Seagate website, and you should do it. Here's the instructional page and here's a link to the firmware download, it's an iso, burn a cd from it, then boot off the cd.

  • jdubbski Calculating status...
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:09 PM (in response to Csound1)

    I have a MacBookpro running 4gb of RAM which like everybody else I've had problems with Lion, consequently I've tried all of the above suggestion on how to bring back my Mac to normal running speed. It has improved after the suggestions, but I'm still experiencing a slow machine (especially compared to Snow Leopard)  I then, after watching all my Apps in Activity Monitor suddenly discovered that Address Book was running at a extremely high CPU percentage rate... like in the 80-100%. I then quit Address Book and the Mac returns to being absolutley fine... it's only once Address book is open again that I experience a sluggish mac..... I've noticed the Mac is ok with Address Book open on its own with no  more than 1or 2 other Apps but if I start opening more than 4-5 apps (something I could do in SL with no problem ) then slowly my Mac starts to grind to a halt with spinning wheels etc..... Has anyone else had this problem or does anyone notice their Address Book is running at a high CPU rate in Activty Monitor or does it make a difference to performance if you quit Address Book?

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