Mi iMac is very slow

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sdahe, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Sdahe macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2007
    San Juan, PR

    My iMac is from 2011 I think (iMac 27-inch, Mid 2011) and now with OS X El Capistan is getting very slow. Is this normal or I need to be looking to a new iMac?.. I have 16GB in it so I guess I'm not running out on RAM. Is there something I could do to make it faster?

  2. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    There are a number of things that can be the cause of this. First of all, what are you using the iMac for and has that changed since you bought it? How large is the HDD and how much free space is there?

    To me it sounds like it could be either som spam/malware that has infected your iMac, some OS files that are corrupted or the HDD might be failing. At least that is what pops up in my head with your description.
  3. Sdahe thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2007
    San Juan, PR
    I've been using my iMac for the same thing since I got it.. Graphic Art work.

    The HDD is 999.35 GB and it has 825.77 GB of free space

    How can I check if my mac has a spam/malware?
  4. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    There is a specific application that a lot of people here recommends, but I have forgotten the name of it (maybe someone else can chime in here). But I have used Avast Mac Security with good results on my parents iMac with similar issues.

    I would also recommend you run Apple Hardware Test. You enter it by holding down the 'D' key during startup. That way you can test if you have any hardware issues. There is a description of how to use it here: https://support.apple.com/en-ap/HT201257
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think MalwareBytes is what you are after.
  6. e93to macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2015
  7. krabs macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2016
    Hello there,

    With time passing, with every update your mac is getting slower, this malware here, this obsolete configuration file there. You might want to go for the fresh installation of OSX (of course it is worth checking your hardware first see the answer above), that alone could make it happen.

    But ! It seems that you don't use a lot a of disk space. It is making a huge difference in speed (responsive apps, fast boot) just to use a solid state drive (ssd). Since you don't need a big one, you might just get one for really cheap. You have one of the latest Imac where you can switch the drives yourself. There is plenty of informations out there, like this video for example : .

    So my best advice : Backup your files, install OSX on a new ssd directly. Done it myself on a macbook pro late 2011, you won't regret it !
  8. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    Your system is not underpowered compared to newer Macs. It would no doubt run circles around both of my Macs. Malware is certainly a possibility. There is more and more of it out there that can affect OS X and us Mac users tend to be less vigilant as it has not really been a threat in the past.

    More likely (and the diagnosis I agree with) is @krabs has hit the nail on the head. A fresh install of an operating system sounds intimidating (especially if you have never undertaken such a project) but can leave your system running like it is new out of the box.

    This guide on the process is quite useful. It was written for Yosemite but the same process applies for El Capitan (or really any version of OS X in the app store era) just substitute any instance of Yosemite with the version (and installer) of your choice.

    I recommend you follow the steps of the previous users including the hardware test and running MalwareBytes (neither can hurt and both are less severe than a clean install of the OS!) but if your hardware passes the tests and you don't find anything with MalwareBytes, it may be time to clean the goo off your install.

    The suggestion to install yourself an SSD is also a good one and will give your machine a significant speed bump. There is no reason to retire this computer if it is meeting all of your needs.
  9. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    Go to http://scsc-online.com and go to the How-To section. There's a section on hard drive problems. I'm not saying you have a hard drive problem but they also have other sections on user problems and other stuff that can cause a system to act like there's a hard drive problem. The most notable symptom of a failing hard drive is performance problems among others. SMC resets can often cure some performance problems.
  10. freg macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2016
    I'm having this issue as well and my iMac 27" is near identical to the OP's, but with worse symptoms.

    Its not too bad after a re-boot and gets progressively worse over a few hours to days.

    Differences are:

    -Mine is the nexus of our home and also the cornerstone of my little online business.

    -The internal HDD has 193Gb free and there's 16GB of RAMand a slew of 8 external HDD's including the time machine back-up plugged into the USB ports.

    -It is networked to another couple of macs, and wirelessly to two phones and iPads and wired ethernet to two apple TV's.

    -Its constantly streaming stuff in from the web or serving things out to the apple TV for many hours each day.

    -It has had its graphics card replaced 3 times by Apple ( free the last two times).

    -It is connected via ethernet cable to our ADSL2 modem.

    -I also run Avast AntiVirus - incoming mail with viruses are occasionally spotted and removed by this software.

    -Occasionally when things freeze up a power-button induced shut down and boot requires a couple of attempts.

    -Sometimes unplugging all external drives helps this reboot process.

    Sometimes closing all Safari windows first ( often requiring a "force quit") helps this reboot process.

    -I can hear disk activity from the internal HDD all the time.

    -Running the activity monitor shows typically 10-20% user activityand 9% system on the processor,13Gb used memory and hundreds of reads and writes per sec on the disk.

    I have just installed Sierra and its made no difference

    I have installed and run Malware Bytes and removed a couple of advertising related pop-ups- no noticeable difference

    I can't get the "D" key induced diagnostic to start-up, so am stuck at that step - any suggestions from the brains trust here?
  11. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2008
    Might be a lot of things including a bad hard drive. Have you run a SMART utility to see if the drive is failing? I would also check EtreCheck's output too but this sounds like hardware to me. Another good place to check is the system console log ( via the Console.app ) for any errors.
  12. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Most people who have HD drives in their Macs complain about it being slow after a while.
    Ever since OS X 10.9 this issue gets worse, it seems.
    If you use your Mac wisely the chance of getting malware on your Mac is almost zero.

    The only reason for this slowness, is the HDD. Get an SSD in there and the Mac will perform great again. Have seen it dozens of times.
  13. freg macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2016
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Downloaded and ran Drive DX SMART Utility and it reports the internal HDD all green.

    Downloaded and ran Etre Check and it report a 10min plus run time, Poor performance and several System Launch entries with multiple killed processes due to insufficient RAM, which the instruction say spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

    This despite 16GB of RAM and Activity Monitor not showing all of it used

    Should I be searching for some RAM testing utilities?
  14. briloronmacrumo, Dec 17, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016

    briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2008
    Activity Monitor displays which processes are using memory. Have you checked the items identified by EtreCheck in Activity Monitor? The usual process to utilize EtreCheck's output is to check every daemon/launch agent it lists ( mostly those marked "loaded" ) and see if it is something you expect to be running. If not, remove it/them, restart the machine and test again.

    Your general description is not enough to really provide focused assistance. Essentially anyone helping you would need the omitted details like exactly how much memory each agent( and which agents ) is consuming, how much memory is consumed/remaining etc. ). You might consider posting a link to your EtreCheck report for others to provide input.
    Don't know. The few details provided don't specifically include or exclude a RAM hardware issue. The standard RAM testing software is memtest ( http://www.memtestosx.org/ ) and is free to use.
  15. padams35 macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2016
    Try 'option-D' on your next shutdown/startup for internet based hardware diagnostics. Alternatively command-option-R for internet recovery and see if there is an option for diagnostics. If those don't work ask Apple-Chat. They helped me when I discovered "D" was non-functional on my mid-2011 iMac, but I can't remember what the final startup key combo used was.
  16. freg macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2016
    Hmmm... very strange.

    I disconnected all the gadgets plugged into this iMac & ran the Apple Hardware test from the internet ( Option + D), both short and long tests.

    All reports came back okay.

    I then rebooted and reconnected everything and things have been fine for several days now with none of the previous signs of slowness, freezing apps, spinning beach balls or the like.

    I'm now completely flummoxed !o_O
  17. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2016
    BaseCamp Pro
    I have this Mac and while the HDD was working fine, it seems newer versions of Mac OS just aren't optimized very well for minimizing disk access. I swapped it with SSD and all is right in the world again. You may have other issues but I'm pretty confident the spinner is one of them.

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