Fixing a Slow MAC – Checking CPU Issues

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Fixing a Slow MAC – Checking CPU Issues

Fixing a Slow MAC – Checking CPU Issues

Your CPU or processor is the core of your computer hardware which allows everything to run. However, it only has a certain amount of capacity and overloading it will result in a slow Mac or even system freezing.

Luckily, you can quickly and easily check the CPU usage on your Mac to see if you have a problem, what is causing that problem, and how you can fix it.

Open Activity Monitor

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Activity Monitor makes it easy to see what is happening on your computer.

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open Utilities
  3. Click on Activity Monitor
  4. Make sure the CPU tab is open

From here, you can see which programs are using your CPU, how much, and how much you are using in total.

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In my case, I am running 6 programs, 5 browser tabs, 2 browsers, and a host of background activity. This is a normal capacity for my computer, and as you can see, I still have some 94% of my CPU free. (I do have an upgraded CPU)

If your CPU availability is at less than 10%, it is likely slowing your computer down.

Most programs should not use more than about 10% of total CPU. However, video editing programs and sound editors are typically “CPU Hogs” and will take up a great deal of your system resources. Frozen programs can take up as much as 90% of your CPU.

If a program on your computer is frozen or taking up too much CPU and you cannot close it, simply click on it inside of Activity Monitor and press the X at the top left of the Activity Monitor window. This will force the program to quit.

If you do not recognize the program, do not force it to quit. Activity Monitor shows system files and processes which you do not want to shut down.

What to Do About CPU Hogs

Some programs use more CPU than others and there isn’t much you can do about it without replacing the computer. However, there are mitigating measures you can take to ensure that you have the least issues as possible.

  • When starting a CPU hog (such as a video editing program), close out all of your other browsers and programs that you are not using.
  • Double check to ensure that you have the latest version of any high-CPU using apps and check to ensure that they are compatible with your computer
  • Check to see if there is an alternative version of the program that you can run without using the same CPU.
  • Check your computer to see if you are running on a partition which may have access to fewer system resources

In most cases, the only sure solution to CPU issues is either using fewer programs at once or upgrading your computer. You can try managing your program usage for a few days to see if it improves your problems and if not, consider upgrading. If you can’t afford to upgrade, consider sticking to 1 or 2 programs at once unless you absolutely need to run more.

If this doesn’t fix your Mac, click through to the next page to learn more about

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About The Author
Brandy

Proliferate writer, sesquipedalian, techie, Apple fangirl (don’t judge),tree hugger, yogi, tea drinker, zombie hunter. Into philotherianism & philomathy. Love my job. Visit me on Google +

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