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  1. God's Child
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    Recently, more and more, my Mac mini has been getting slow, it seems. I've searched online as to what the cause may be, but so far none of the possible solutions have helped. I don't usually run many programs at once (usually 3 or less, and even if just one is open, my computer is slow). I've tried looking to see if things are running in the background, but nothing unusual seems to be. I've also tried running Disk Utility and resetting the PRAM.

    I still have a lot of free hard drive space (currently 372.63 GB of 500 GB). I have two 2 GB slots of memory (4 total), "each of which accepts a 1600 MHz DDR3 memory module" (whatever that means), according to the info in "About My Mac". I'm also running the latest version of the latest OS (El Capitan).

    My Mac just lags a lot. It opens things slowly and I get the loading rainbow wheel a lot, and it sits for a good several moments sometimes before it decides to do something, even if that something is simple.

    With nothing solving the issue, I'm wondering if I need a special program to clean up my Mac's unseen junk. I've considered programs like Coc-ktail (added a hyphen because the first part of the word is censored) and CleanMyMac, but I'd like a free solution, if possible. If nothing else will work, I guess I'll have no choice but to pay for a program. In any case, I welcome suggestions for cleaning programs, preferably free ones.

    If anyone has suggestions as to how to make my Mac run more smoothly, I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited by Jeikobu; 7th Feb 2016 at 01:46.
    "They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
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  2. Explorer Case's Avatar
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    If your Mac feels REALLY slow, then there is probably some background process “eating” loads of CPU time. Try opening Applications>Utilities>Activity Monitor and click the “%CPU” column title to sort by that criteria. Don't be alarmed by the number of processes running. Apps and processes that sit idle, should show 0.0% (or close to that), and not slow down the system. Suspicious processes with a high CPU percentage can be stopped using the (X) button. Or report here.

    I've also used EtreCheck to hunt down system extensions and plugins that may have been installed without fully realising such at the time, perhaps causing erratic behaviour. If the report that it generates means little to you, then share it with someone who should recognise what is benign and what may be problematic.

    A while back, my Mac at work was sluggish, in particular the Finder. It turned out that it was the CloudKit services that made the Finder crawl like a slug. I followed a procedure from a reputable website to fix my particular issue. Your issue may be unrelated, though.

    I'm not a fan of paid apps that do a few free tests and procedures. Snake oil, imho, that give a false sense of security, by their incomplete set of tests and unnecessary cleaning routines.
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  3. You could do a clean install of OSX. After a few years the OS slow downs, just like windows. If the problem persists it is hardware related. If you don't know how to do this go to an apple store and ask for the price. A clean install will delete everything on it so make backups before attempting anything.

    edit : To rule out an hardware problem you can follow these instructions, macs have a diagnostic app embedded.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201257
    Last edited by ackboo; 4th Feb 2016 at 08:51.
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  4. God's Child
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    Originally Posted by Case View Post
    If your Mac feels REALLY slow, then there is probably some background process “eating” loads of CPU time. Try opening Applications>Utilities>Activity Monitor and click the “%CPU” column title to sort by that criteria. Don't be alarmed by the number of processes running. Apps and processes that sit idle, should show 0.0% (or close to that), and not slow down the system. Suspicious processes with a high CPU percentage can be stopped using the (X) button. Or report here.
    Looking at Activity Monitor, everything, even my open apps, seem to be well below 5% in the %CPU column, except Activity Monitor, which is around 5%.

    ackboo, I haven't even had this computer for a few years yet. How do I do a clean install? I live in a countryside city in Japan and don't have any Apple stores around. Also, my computer, though new, seemed to have its system pre-loaded. I don't have a CD or anything to load the system from.
    "They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
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  5. A brand new mac that slow downs it a bit weird, try to follow these instructions first, no need to try software related stuff if the hardware is busted.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731

    Do you explicitly quit applications when you are done or do you simply close them with the red button ? 4GB of ram is not much.

    edit : the instructions for a clean install, all you need is a blank 8 GB or more usb flash drive.
    http://mashable.com/2015/10/01/clean-install-os-x-el-capitan/
    Last edited by ackboo; 7th Feb 2016 at 17:38.
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  6. Member techiejustin's Avatar
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    Let's start simple.
    Quit everything, start up Disk Utility, clock on the top level of your drive and hit RepairDisk in the lower right. Let that run - it may take a while.
    Then hit Repair Permissions.

    There is a free utility called Onyx. Try that, before purchasing something like CleanMyMac. IMO, CleanMyMac is crap. Run all the cleaning routines with Onyx.
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  7. God's Child
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    I downloaded OnyX but it has a lot of options to choose from. How do you recommend I use it?
    "They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
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  8. Member MacDSL's Avatar
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    It's been a long time since i've posted, but as someone who works IT, and has done so for over 20 years, and is 90% Mac here's my advice...
    Don't buy anything, it's not a problem that should cost money.
    If your Mini has a spinning HD instead of a SSD. It will slow down over time. I don't know why, I just know that it does.
    Since there is no obvious application or service that is eating into the CPU, It's something deep in the system. It might be possible to spend a bunch of time and energy figuring it out, but the far easier solution in the long run is to just back it up and wipe it.
    If you have some USB devices plugged in, You want to run your Mini with nothing plugged in except the Keyboard/Mouse/Monitor. Unplug everything else. Run it for a while and see if it's better.
    But if it's still slow...
    I know that's not the easiest thing, and it's scary, worrying if you got everything, having to start over from scratch and re-enter all those passwords for websites and serial numbers for applications and such. But Apple has been in this for a long time, and they are pretty good at it.
    Get a clean Hard Drive and make sure you have a great backup. Time Machine, is fine. Get a full backup.
    Then while on your network (Ethernet is best, but it can work over Wi-Fi) Boot it holding CMD+R and it will boot directly into Apple. where you can erase the hard drive. And then reinstall your Operating System. Erase it, then reinstall. I'm in America, so if you are in China/India/Wherever, and try to boot into Apple to rebuild the Mini, i'm not sure what will happen, google how to rebuild your Mini in your country.
    Once that is done. run it for a couple days and see if it's better. Then slowly re-install the applications you need, most important first. Don't be in a hurry to reinstall everything. Take your time and install apps as you need them, and use the machine so you can see if "Uh-oh, that last install really slowed it down".
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  9. Member
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    Sorry to hear that, the Mac mini is honestly slow in general. I have the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display. The high end model and honestly there is no competition for the price and quality.
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  10. Member techiejustin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jeikobu View Post
    I downloaded OnyX but it has a lot of options to choose from. How do you recommend I use it?
    Go under Maintenance, and then Cleaning. That's usually what I do.

    MacDSL is right, don't buy anything. He's also right about wiping the hard drive and starting from scratch. BUT you have to backup up all your stuff first.
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  11. God's Child
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    I don't have any CD or anything with a system on it that I can install. I think my computer came preloaded with one. So how would I start from scratch?
    "They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
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  12. You don't need a cd, you can download osx el capitan from the app store and copy it to a flash drive, like I said above. But before that you should try the hardware diagnostic tool.
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  13. Member techiejustin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jeikobu View Post
    I don't have any CD or anything with a system on it that I can install. I think my computer came preloaded with one. So how would I start from scratch?
    The recovery partition

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201255

    First use the hardware diagnostics tool.
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  14. My Mac Mini (Late 2010) started to slow down after about 4 years. It was a slow process; it didn't happen all at once. It turned out to be the internal hard drive failing. I moved to OS to an external drive and it's been fine since. (As soon as I can afford it; I'll be replacing the failed internal drive).

    Have you run a hardware test on the internal drive? It may not be the problem; but it may be worth checking out.
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