Is your Mac running slow?

We love our Mac's, and MacOS is one of the least susceptible operating systems to slow downs... but... sadly, it's not invulnerable.

Now, we're going to let you in on a few of our little secrets here (which are really just common knowledge among techs) so please forgive us if it gets a little technical. We're big fans of sharing knowledge and enabling our clients to be able to DIY if you have the time on your hands.


If your Mac is running slow and you can't be bothered to read on, send us an email to and we'll be happy to help out!


Four tips to keep your mac running smoothly:

It can really help to check the following items once in a while to make sure you're computer continues to run smoothly for years to come. In this post we're going to look at four fundamental checklist items for maintaining your MacOS system to keep it running smoothly.

#1 - Check Console Errors

Checking your console system log queries on a regular basis will help you to understand what your computer is thinking about and having trouble with in the background. It's quite common for applications and services on your computer to play up even when everything seems hunky dory. Your console system log will give you the truth about the mental health of your Macs system. You can find your system Console Application in the finder by going to your Applications Folder > Utilities Folder >

Two common error's we've come across in the Console log recently are:

  1. The google background updater service playing up and writing errors to the system log file every 10 seconds. This can happen on Mac's running any type of Google software e.g. Google Earth or Google Chrome.
  2. PhotoStream doing a similar thing (writing excessive log files due to an error): PhotoStreamAgent[676]: Process unable to create connection because the sandbox denied the right to lookup and so this process cannot talk to launchservicesd.

Leaving multiple errors like this unchecked will likely affect the performance of your computer so it's best to get them fixed up regularly.

In the case of the PhotoStream error we found - the solution was simple. All we needed to do was update to the latest version of iPhoto! However in the case of the Google software update service error, the solution was to uninstall all Google related software and run a super user command in terminal to remove the service manually.

#2 - Software Updates

Sometimes software updates can be a double edged sword - updating software can fix a lot of issues and keep your computer running smoothly however the reverse is also possible if the update is poorly built.

We find it's always best to take a cautious approach to major software update e.g. when updating your operating system.

Three quick software update tips:

  1. Make sure you have a recent backup incase you need to restore your system to a point before the update.
  2. If you want to minimise your exposure to annoying software bugs, hold off updating your software until a few weeks after it's initial release. This generally allows time for feedback from all the early adopters to filter through any initial bugs and for the developers to fix major instabilities before you make the switch.
  3. Make sure your computer isn't too old to run the updated software smoothly. Before updating, it's a good idea to search around the web to make sure that no other users using your same computer model are experiencing issues. The last thing you want is for the update to slow your computer, phone or tablet down.

#3 - Repair Permissions

Every file on your computer has access permissions assigned to it. Sometimes your files and folders end up with the wrong permissions on them and this causes trouble for your computer system.

Thankfully you easily able to correct any messy permissions by running the permission repair service in your Disk Utility application. To find it and run a permission check you can follow the steps in this short video:

How to repair disk permissions on a Mac:

#4 - Check Hard Disk space

When your Mac is running low on hard disk space it can be a real burden for your system to operate properly. It's always a good idea to make sure you have at least 10GB free. If you're down to your last 10GB it's probably time to either backup and remove all of the old photos, music and movies you don't need on your computer anymore, OR to upgrade your hard drive capacity.

Here's a quick tutorial on how to check your hard disk space on a Mac:

If you're more interested in removing unnecessary files rather than having to go through the hassle of having to buy a new hard drive and migrate all of your data... then we recommend checking out Daisy Disk on the Apple App Store. Daisy disk will help you to visualise and locate the files taking up the most space on your hard drive with a super simple interface.

We hope this has helped you! If you would like more help or information on how to keep your Mac running smoothly or any other question we'd love to hear from you in the comments or on Facebook!