Mac mini Runs Slow and Freezes: How to Crack the Problem

You can choose any model of Mac in the world to check whether all of them risk running very slowly when not properly treated. The first sign of the decrease in Mac’s overall performance is a terribly sluggish work. Every day, the Apple Support receives hundreds if not thousands of requests like, “My Mac mini is slowing down extremely at the startup” or “My Apple computer became so sluggish I almost fall asleep when working with it. Without learning the causes, it is really hard to take care of your Mac’s maintenance. Therefore, it is time to learn why Mac mini may turn too slow one day.
The reasons for being slow are almost the same for all models of Mac. The cleaning procedures might be slightly different depending on the particular model and operating system (Mac OS X or macOS). It does not mean that possess a short lifespan. After all, they would not cost that much then.

Causes and Effects of Mac mini Being Slothful

Your Mac mini may be as fast and productive as its “elder brothers” (or “big brothers,” call them whatever you like). In contrast to other models of Apple computers, Mac mini offers excellent performance at a price almost everyone can afford. It is not enough to invest in such computer once, however. It does not mean a user necessarily has to invest finances. It is a question of time, efforts, and some other resources. Trust us: investing in the health of your Mac mini is worth every spent minute!

The list of the reasons behind sluggish Mac mini looks this way:

  • Too old operating system;
  • Indexing by the search utility;
  • Lack of space on its hard drive;
  • Insufficient RAM;
  • Real-time updates;
  • Desktop clutter;
  • Outdated hardware.

Unless the last factor is the “root of all evil”, a Mac owner can boost the device’s performance. In most cases, this procedure does not require days long or huge expenses. In fact, it usually requires no financial investments at all. It depends on the user’s time, desire, and habits.

It is possible to make your Mac mini fast again with the help of several built-in utilities or third-party software designed to keep Apple devices healthy. Newbies and busy workers would benefit from using special apps from third-party developers while the rest of the Mac owners may dedicate some time to improving the performance of their devices manually. The amount of time you risk wasting depends on the cause of slow performance.

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4 Most Effective Ways to Speed up Mac mini without Extra Investments

“What should I do to make my Mac mini faster?” You can make your favorite Apple device run quicker in numerous ways. Those are free and paid methods that require a different amount of time, experience, and sometimes money. If you wonder how to minimize the amount of time or speed up the computer without any experience or necessary skills, move to the final paragraph of this guide now!

In most cases, the reason for any model of Mac to be sluggish is the lack of space and memory. Those are two interrelated factors as both are the results of too many files stored on the hard drive. Well, if it is the matter, the first point to discuss is obvious.

  1. Get rid of the useless items on the hard disk

CPU and RAM rely on free disk space on any model of Mac. each time the amount of available space achieves bare minimum (10%), the computer demonstrates lower responsiveness. Free memory is the same as virtual one, required to process information. A severe slowness is the result of numerous junk files of all possible types:

  • Large or outdated items;
  • Temp files;
  • Duplicates;
  • Caches and cookies;
  • Login/Startup items;
  • Language packs;
  • Desktop clutter.

Rid your Mac mini’s hard disk of the items you do not need. Some of them are hiding from a naked eye, so it may be difficult to detect them.

  1. Mind the impact of search engines

Many users cannot see the relation between Spotlight and computer’s performance. Spotlight is a useful built-in application that allows finding anything on Mac in a blink of an eye. However, it has its gaps. The Spotlight tool rebuilds its indexes each time the modifications happen to the file system. Mac mini may operate slower than usual during the process of indexing, in moats cases, the speed will get back to norm after the process is finished. One more cause of the drop in performance could be connecting an external drive to the device as the re-indexing process may take place.

To resolve the issue, pick Spotlight to see whether the indexing status bar is active. Do not touch the computer during the reindexing procedure. It is better to wait several minutes without doing anything than suffer from the regular freezes later. Being patient is one of the key success factors when it comes to user behavior.

  1. Real-time updates and resource-consuming apps

All the current processes and launched apps require plenty of CPU and memory. When Mac mini shows a decrease in speed all of a sudden, and it lasts for a few minutes, you may use that time to check the auto-updates in the background. Often, the built-in and third-party software start upgrading itself without any permission or confirmation. You may notice weird downloads starting in the background. It is up to you to choose: leave the problematic apps or uninstall them to prevent further upgrades and downloads.

One more thing to solve the issue with Mac mini virtually coming to a halt is to get rid of the resource-hungry applications. You may start by stopping those of them you do not need currently running in the background.

Activity Monitor, Mac’s native tool, will help to solve the problem.

  1. Launch Activity Monitor from Utilities in the Applications folder.
  2. Pick the System Memory pane.
  3. Look at the amount of available RAM.
  4. Shut down apps that are no longer used.

Moreover, various web browsers, especially Chrome, hog memory, so the good idea is to re-launch them or use Safari – Apple-recommended browser.

  1. An irrelevant version of macOS

Apple releases new versions of the operating system with good intent. The company provides new opportunities for its loyal customers. Having an outdated operating system is not just untrendy, but a bone in the neck when it comes to the speed of device’s work. Have you updated macOS at least once so far? The tiniest update can make a remarkable difference. The only reason why you may not want to upgrade is the fact Mac mini’s hardware is not compatible with the requirements of the certain macOS release. What does it mean? Well, remember Apple releasing the first macOS only for the models of 2007 and up? The older Macs have hardware unable to handle all the tweaks of the updated OS.

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Third-Party Time Saviors to Improve Mac mini’s Performance

So, after reading about the potential causes of the drop in your Mac mini’s speed, you realized that almost all of them work for your computer. It is a problem as doing just one thing to speed up the computer might not require plenty of time and efforts. However, cleaning the hard drive from all types of junk, for instance, may take hours or even the entire day! Would anyone like to spend time on that?

Sometimes, a need to speed up Mac can be too urgent. For example, you may need it when the computer’s speed drops dramatically at the workplace. Most office employees depend on the quality of their computers’ performance. Thus, it makes sense to solve the issue ASAP.

Just receive permission from your company’s system administrator or yourself if you decide to ease your life with the help of third-party maintenance tools. One of the best solutions could be a special cleaning software for Mac. Usually, such type of software does not cost much and offers a free trial version with the limited features. If you enjoy the way such app works, it is better to buy the subscription and enjoy more maintenance features. For instance, some applications will not only find the useless files like dupes or caches but remove them without a sign. These apps also offer effective app uninstallers that do not leave a sign of the nasty software!