Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2013 9:48 AM by Zeus7
ms1946 Level 1 (0 points)

I have an IMac bought in 2008 and it is slowing down. I get a lot of spinning balls to wait and it takes its time from screen to screen. What can I do to speed it up or should I be thinking of a new machine.



iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (102,825 points)

    How much free space on the startup disk?


    Click the Apple menu icon top left in your screen. From the drop down menu click About this Mac > More Info > System Report then select Storage on the left under Hardware.


    You'll see Available and Capacity. Make sure there's at least 15% free disk space. Less can slow the system down.


    Mac troubleshooting: What to do when your computer is too slow | Macworld

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 (53,550 points)

    Please carefully read Spinning Beach Ball of Death to begin troubleshooting the problem. The SBBOD can be caused by many things, use the article as a guide and methodically troubleshoot until you find the problem. A lack of RAM is a frequent cause, how much RAM does your machine have and have you use Activity Monitor to see how your system resources are used? If not also look over  Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,680 points)

    Whatever you do, do not download or install any product claiming to magically "clean up" or "speed up" or "optimize" your Mac. Without exception, they will do the opposite. If you already did, you found the problem. Fix it.


    If it is only Web browsing that seems to be slower than it used to, that is often the result of such sites becoming ever more demanding of hardware and bandwidth. Short of paying for faster Internet service, buying additional memory, or a faster Mac, there is little you can do to cope with such so-called progress.


    If you are experiencing general slowdowns or "freezes" unrelated to Internet activity, the problem may be related to your computer or the software you installed and is something you may be able to fix, or at least improve. Aside from hardware failures and software that you install, including OS upgrades, there is no reason that your computer should not work precisely the same as it did when it was new. 


    OS X Lion: If your Mac runs slowly


    The article is very cursory, so consider the following as well:


    General Mac maintenance: Tips to keep your Mac in top form


    General purpose Mac troubleshooting guide: Isolating issues in Mac OS X


    Creating a temporary account to isolate user-specific problems: Isolating an issue by using another user account


    Memory limitations: Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used


    Identifying resource hogs and other tips: Runaway applications can shorten battery runtime, affect performance, and increase heat and fan activity


    Safe Mode or "Safe Boot" is a troubleshooting mode that bypasses all third party system extensions and loads only required system components. Read about it: Starting up in Safe Mode. Use Safe Mode to rule out the possibility that one or more third party system modifications are causing your problems. Some programs (iTunes for example) do not work properly in Safe Mode.

  • ms1946 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have 165.19GB left out of 319.21.

  • ms1946 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have not downloaded anything to help clean the computer.

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,680 points)

    Thanks. Back up your hard disk, not necessarily that there is any reason to suspect it is failing, but the behaviour you describe can presage an impending disk failure and you should have backups anyway.


    Rather than ask a dozen additional questions in an attempt to diagnose what's wrong consider the following:

    Apple Support Communities contributor etresoft wrote a very useful app to quickly gather certain system information that may help point to a cause of this problem. Go to his website, download and run EtreCheck:



    Etrecheck will be in your Downloads folder. Open it from there. You may see the following dialog box:

    Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 2.26.25 PM.png

    Click Open - etresoft contributes to this forum frequently and can be considered a trustworthy developer.


    It will take a moment to run as it collects its data.


    Copy and paste its output in a reply.


    Do not be concerned about anything that says "Problem" or "failed".


    EtreCheck was designed to remove any personal information (such as your computer's name and serial numbers) but if you see anything that looks like an email address or any other personal information that should not be divulged to others, please delete or obscure that information when you post the reply.


    When you are finished with EtreCheck, quit the program. It occupies very little space, and you can keep it or drag it to the Trash as you wish.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 (53,550 points)

    You are confusing storage on your internal HD with RAM.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (184,770 points)

    First, back up all data immediately, as your boot drive might be failing.


    There are a few other possible causes of generalized slow performance that you can rule out easily.


    • Reset the System Management Controller.
    • If you have many image or video files on the Desktop with preview icons, move them to another folder.
    • If applicable, uncheck all boxes in the iCloud preference pane.
    • Disconnect all non-essential wired peripherals and remove aftermarket expansion cards, if any.
    • Check your keychains in Keychain Access for excessively duplicated items.
    • Boot into Recovery mode, launch Disk Utility, and run Repair Disk.


    Otherwise, take the steps below when you notice the problem.


    Step 1


    Launch the Activity Monitor application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Activity Monitor in the icon grid.


    Select the CPU tab of the Activity Monitor window.


    Select All Processes from the menu in the toolbar, if not already selected.


    Click the heading of the % CPU column in the process table to sort the entries by CPU usage. You may have to click it twice to get the highest value at the top. What is it, and what is the process? Also post the values for % User, % System, and % Idle at the bottom of the window.


    Select the System Memory tab. What values are shown in the bottom part of the window for Page outs and Swap used?


    Next, select the Disk Activity tab. Post the approximate values shown for Reads in/sec and Writes out/sec (not Reads in and Writes out.)


    Step 2


    If you have more than one user account, you must be logged in as an administrator to carry out this step.


    Launch the Console application in the same way you launched Activity Monitor. Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left. If you don't see that menu, select

    View Show Log List

    from the menu bar.


    Select the 50 or so most recent entries in the log. Copy them to the Clipboard (command-C). Paste into a reply to this message (command-V). You're looking for entries at the end of the log, not at the beginning.


    When posting a log extract, be selective. Don't post more than is requested.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

    Important: Some personal information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting. That should be easy to do if your extract is not too long.

  • Bunky Level 1 (140 points)

    Hey all,


    I hope I can jump on here.  I gave my parents my old 2008 iMac (2.4GHz, 4GB Memory, 320GB HD) after I got my new iMac a few months ago.  I wiped the HD clean, installed Snow Leopard, and then ultimately got them all the way to Mountain Lion.  I then moved their files (word docs and pictures basically) to the computer.  They use the computer for basically word processing and surfing the internet.  Only 27GB of HD space has been used in total.  They have no anti-virus software.


    My dad called me a couple days ago to say the computer was starting up very slow.  Indeed it is.  And now I fear it's heading toward certain death, but I don't know why.  They haven't installed any new programs lately.  They have wired speakers, a wired printer, a wired keyboard and mouse, and a new AEx with ethernet cable from it connected to iMac that have all worked for months just fine.


    I spent about 4.5 hrs yesterday troubleshooting the issue and here is a summary of what I have done so far:


    1.  When I got there, the computer, when powering up had the Apple logo and the grey spinning wheel that went on forever.  After 30 mins, I forced shut down with power button.  I disconnected all cords except for keyboard and mouse (wired to keyboard).

    2.  I booted into safe mode (also took a long time) and ran Disk Utility and repaired the disk and repaired permissions.  Note: everything was VERY slow with slow response times once I was in.

    3.  I rebooted again, and again it went on forever and didn't get to a login screen, so I forced quit again.

    4.  I reset the SMC and tried to reboot.  Hung up forever.  Forced quit again.

    5.  I reset the PRAM and tried to reboot.  Hung up forever.  Forced quit again.

    6.  I booted from the Snow Leopard disk and ran disk utility again to repair disk and permissions (now, however, I wonder if that was a wrong move since the version is 11 on that disk) and rebooted.  The repair disk part went fine and didn't find anything.  The repair permissions took about 20 mins, but there was NO log when it finished.  It just said that it was complete.  I shut the computer down and rebooted and now Apple logo would come up with the spinning wheel.

    7.  Tried to safe mode boot up again, but the Apple logo came up, no progress bar on the bottom, and eventually the Apple logo turned into a circle with a line through it.

    8.  Dug around on the forums and discovered that with Mountain Lion you can boot into the recovery volume.  So I ran Disk Utility and verified the disk first.  Everything fine.  I repaired the disk.  Everything fine.  I tried to repair permissions, but the progress bar only was white and blue (spinning) like it was trying to start, and never became a solid blue progress bar.  After about 20 mins, the rainbow spinning cursor came on.  We left it like that for 3 hours, and my dad called and said it was still doing that so he forced shut down.


    There you have it.  I was thinking of doing two things:

    1.  Boot up the computer and let it sit with the Apple icon with the grey spinning wheel for as long as it takes to hopefully get to a login screen where I can get in and backup any files since their last backup.  We couldn't get back to a login screen yesterday from the first time I got in via safe mode.

    2.  If 1. works (or not I guess), reboot to the recovery volume and reinstall Mac OS X


    Any other suggestions?


  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 (53,550 points)



    Please create your own thread, your post is attempting to threadjack this thread. While I'm sure this wasn't your intent it's considered rude to do this.


    Hope you get your issue solved though, but people are going to be much more inclined to read it if you post your own thread.

  • Bunky Level 1 (140 points)



    Just got off the phone with my dad.  Computer has been off since last night.  I had him boot up, and he got Apple logo with grey spinning progress wheel.  It spun for about 2 minutes and then he got a screen that the upper 1/2-2/3 was grey with lighter grey horizontal bars (like the Apple logo scrambled?) in multiple places and the lower was solid black with a couple white dots on left side of screen (look like tiny stars).  It then got to login screen and he got in under his login.  Everything is still slower and choppy.


    I had him run disk utility from here.  He verified and repaired disk with everything saying all ok.  He is now repairing disk permissions, and he has a solid blue progress bar, and now he got permissions complete.


    I think I'm still going to try and backup their files from here if I can and then restart and see if it's still acting slow.  If so, I'll check and see what login items each of them have under their user accounts to see if there is something funky there, and then maybe try some of the stuff above.

  • Bunky Level 1 (140 points)

    Sorry rkauffman.  I'll repost.

  • Zeus7 Level 1 (0 points)

    @John Galt..


    I used the EtreCheck on my very slow 2011 iMAC and bellow is the report. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.


    Hardware Information:

              iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)

              iMac - model: iMac12,2

              1 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU: 4 cores

              4 GB RAM


    Video Information:

              AMD Radeon HD 6770M - VRAM: 512 MB


    Startup Items:

              HP Trap Monitor - Path: /Library/StartupItems/HP Trap Monitor


    System Software:

              OS X 10.8.4 (12E55) - Uptime: 3 days 19:46:39


    Disk Information:

              ST31000528AS disk0 : (1 TB)

                        disk0s1 (disk0s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB

                        Macintosh HD (disk0s2) /: 999.35 GB (924.18 GB free)

                        Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>: 650 MB


              OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5690H 


    USB Information:

              Apple Inc. FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in)


              Apple Inc. BRCM2046 Hub

                        Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller


              Apple Internal Memory Card Reader


              Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver


    FireWire Information:


    Thunderbolt Information:

              Apple Inc. thunderbolt_bus


    Kernel Extensions:

              com.github.osxfuse.filesystems.osxfusefs          (2.5.2)


    Problem System Launch Daemons:



    Problem System Launch Agents:






    Launch Daemons:

              [loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist

              [loaded] com.sharpcast.xfsmond.plist


    Launch Agents:

              [loaded] com.citrix.AuthManager_Mac.plist

              [loaded] com.citrix.ReceiverHelper.plist

              [loaded] com.citrix.ServiceRecords.plist



    User Launch Agents:

              [loaded] com.adobe.ARM.925793fb327152fd34795896fa1fb9ffa268b2a852256fe56609efa3.plist



    User Login Items:

              USB Display Agent


              HP Product Research



    3rd Party Preference Panes:

              Citrix ShareFile Sync

              Flash Player

              Flip4Mac WMV

              FUSE for OS X (OSXFUSE)


    Internet Plug-ins:



              Flash Player.plugin


              Flip4Mac WMV Plugin.plugin




              QuickTime Plugin.plugin



    User Internet Plug-ins:





    Bad Fonts:



    Top Processes by CPU:

                   3%          mdworker

                   1%          WindowServer

                   1%          SystemUIServer

                   1%          SugarSync

                   1%          EtreCheck

                   0%          backupd

                   0%          fontd

                   0%          ps

                   0%          Finder

                   0%          imagent


    Top Processes by Memory:

              2.10 GB            backupd

              344 MB             WebProcess

              164 MB             Safari

              49 MB              Finder

              33 MB              PluginProcess

              20 MB              mds

              20 MB              Dock

              20 MB              WindowServer

              16 MB              loginwindow

              16 MB              SugarSync


    Virtual Memory Statistics

              67 MB              Free RAM

              1.62 GB            Active RAM

              1.58 GB            Inactive RAM

              747 MB             Wired RAM

              39.95 GB           Page-ins

              39.52 GB           Page-outs

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,680 points)

    Hi Zeus7


    Your Mac is using an excessive amount of virtual memory. The reasons can be many, including but not limited to certain third party system modifications you have, or it may be that you're trying to simultaneously run too many programs within the 4 GB your iMac has.


    More real memory is almost always beneficial. Your Mac can address as much as 32 GB, but just be aware that adding more memory isn't the way to fix programs that aren't written well. If you really need MacFUSE, for example, make sure it is the version intended for use with OS X 10.8.4. If you don't need it, uninstall it. The same goes for SugarSync and any Western Digital SmartWare software. You don't need the latter and it often causes problems. Refer to their respective developer's websites for instructions.


    In any event you really ought to start a new discussion so that your unique circumstances will get the attention you need.

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