9 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2013 4:37 PM by R C-R
beatleboy Level 1 (0 points)

I'm noticing that various apps, including Finder, are running a little sluggish since I upgraded to Mavericks.  Even my Desktop images do not change as smoothly as they used to.  I'm also getting the Spinning Beachball of Death more often.  Is anyone else having the same problems?  Is this, perhaps, the reason we all got the Mavericks OS upgrade for free?  How can these problems be rectified?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9)
  • sberman Level 7 (31,145 points)

    We don't know what apps you're running, but this might help:



  • beatleboy Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, sberman.  Thanks for replying so quickly.  The apps themselves are beside the point, but essentially, I have at least Mail running and I was using iMovie and a couple of third-party apps.  This issue didn't happen until about a week after I downloaded Mavericks.  Even though I might turn iMovie off, everything else was still sluggish.  Since I posted this, I found a "cure".  The only thing that cleared it up was to shut down and restart, which brings up another issue since my upgrade to Mavericks.  Every time I shut down, my Mac goes to the gray screen that appears just before shut down, but now it just stays there.  I then have to manually shut down.  By the way, I'm using an Intel Mac Pro.

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,615 points)

    Back up your documents and everything else important to you, not that there is any reason to believe your hard disk may be failing, but the symptoms you describe may presage an impending disk failure, and you should have backups anyway.


    To help determine the possible causes of this behaviour read the following. None of what follows is intended to fix anything, but it will provide the additional information required to advance troubleshooting:

    Boot OS X Recovery by holding and r (two fingers) while you start your Mac. At the Mac OS X Utilities screen, select Disk Utility. Select your startup volume (usually named "Macintosh HD") and click the Repair Disk button. Describe any errors it reports in red.


    When it finishes restart your Mac and test again for operation. If it's still not behaving as you expect it should, please post the results of EtreCheck in accordance with the following instructions:

    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:




    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” or anything else that may appear in red.


    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.

    After completing the above please determine if the problems also occur in "Safe Mode":


    • 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
    • You must disable FileVault before you can start your Mac in Safe Mode.
    • Starting your Mac in Safe Mode will take longer than usual, graphics will not render smoothly, audio is disabled on some Macs, and some programs (iTunes for example) may not work at all.
    • Merely starting your Mac in Safe Mode is not intended to resolve the problem, it's to observe its performance without certain additional components.
    • To end Safe Mode restart your Mac normally. Shutdown will take longer as well.

  • beatleboy Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, John.  I will follow your instructions and see what the outcome may be.  I appreciate your help.

  • R C-R Level 6 (17,375 points)

    beatleboy wrote:

    The only thing that cleared it up was to shut down and restart, which brings up another issue since my upgrade to Mavericks.  Every time I shut down, my Mac goes to the gray screen that appears just before shut down, but now it just stays there.  I then have to manually shut down.

    Mavericks can take quite a bit longer to shut down than previous OS versions. If you have been manually forcing it to shut down prematurely, this could cause file system or other problems. Make sure you give it plenty of time to shut down on its own -- it could take several minutes.


    It would be a good idea to run Disk Utility's verify disk step on your startup drive to make sure its file system is OK.


    Also, if you are brave enough to try tweaking the new OS with Terminal commands, see Slow and Stalled Restarts and Shutdowns on this page for a way to make shutdown in Mavericks go much quicker. Note that I have not tested this myself, so try it at your own risk!

  • beatleboy Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, R C-R.  I ran the Disk Utility, as you suggested.  Everything came out fine - no error messages.  I've played around in Terminal before, so I will look into the tweak.  I've also saved the page you recommended just in case any of the other issues crop up.  :-)

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,615 points)

    Do not use those Terminal commands.

  • beatleboy Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, John.  I'll heed your warning.  Thanks.

  • R C-R Level 6 (17,375 points)

    John Galt wrote:

    Do not use those Terminal commands.

    Just in case it wasn't obvious, I was not recommending their use. None of the listed defaults values are included by default in Mavericks. That they are supported by the associated processes only means that Apple included provisions to "twesk" their exit timeouts, not that is safe to do so.


    I suggest just using the info in those commands to help understand why shutdown may take longer than with earlier OS versions ... & why patience may be its own reward, at least for this.