2014 mac mini seems to slow down and keeps seeing beach ball


macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 4, 2011
is it time to upgrade? anyone using 2014 mini still?


macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2018
Middletown, DE
is it time to upgrade? anyone using 2014 mini still?
What are the specs on the machine? A lot of people have slowdown issues with the base config: 1.4ghz with 4GB of RAM and base HDD. Have you tried a fresh OS install while wiping the hard drive and see if anything improves?

Unfortunately, the only thing upgradeable on these machines is the hard drives. Adding an SSD may improve your speed, but you may be better off unloading the machine (if it's the base config) while it's still worth a decent amount and purchase something better.
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macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
is it time to upgrade? anyone using 2014 mini still?
Just got rid of my base model 2014 Mac mini. You could swap out the HDD for an SSD but you cannot upgrade the RAM and that will soon be its own bottleneck. I chose to buy a refurbished 2017 MacBook Pro, non-Touch Bar, and it is a fantastic machine.. ran circles around my old Mac mini.


macrumors member
Jan 12, 2013
If you are comfortable replacing the internal HDD to SSD, that would be the best option. Simpler option is to get an external SSD like Samsung T5 and use it for OS (the internal HDD can be used for data backup)
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macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
OP wrote:
"2.6ghz, 8gb ram , 1tb sata hdd"

The answer is easy:
The internal 5400rpm platter-based hard drive is what's making the computer slow.

If you don't want to spring for a new Mini, you have TWO options to make the old one faster:
1. Open it up and replace the HDD with an SSD
2. Buy an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD, plug it in, and then set it up to become the boot drive.

I recommend option 2. You'll get about 85% of the speed you would see (if the SSD were installed internally), and having the external SSD makes it easy to just "unplug it and take it with you" when it's time for something new.

I'd suggest something like a Sandisk Extreme drive. 500gb would be fine, even 250 will do the job and do it right.
Just take it out of the box, connect it, and use Disk Utility to erase it to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled.

Then, you can either put a "clean OS install" on it, and migrate stuff over.
Or... you could use CarbonCopyCloner (which is FREE to download and use for 30 days) to do a "selective clone" (if the SSD is smaller than 1tb, you'll have to leave some stuff behind on the HDD, such as your movies, music, and pictures libraries, but that won't be a problem).

Switch to an SSD, and you'll come back here and tell us "I never would have believed that such a simple change could make such a BIG difference..."


macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
I have three 2014 Minis, the two with SSD continue to work well and the one with HDD I've consigned to a backup for archives that we seldom need to touch. As everyone else has said, it's the HDD causing you the issue.
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