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Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
Hi everybody.
So, I own an iMac and I have some doubts about a certain issue. The specifics of my iMac are:
the retina,5k, 27 inch, 2017.
macOS High Sierra Version 10.13.6
3.8ghz, intel core i5
8gb memory.
For some reason while doing very simple tasks on my iMac, it loads, when it shouldn't and when it didn't used to do that before. A little colourful circle comes up spinning round. I am doing the simplest of tasks and yet it does this. I am worried about this.
What do I do? I've had this iMac ever since 2017, if I'm not mistaken.
Please advise.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
7,416
5,502
Horsens, Denmark
Keep the program Activity Monitor open and look for CPU and memory spikes when this behaviour sets in.

While an SSD improves performance tremendously and I would recommend it too if your machine doesn’t already have one; An external SSD can be used and macOS installed onto it, if it’s misbehaving in situations it did not before I would not expect the issue to be hardware performance related.

But when talking hardware upgrades, a RAM upgrade is easy on the 27” iMacs and significant as well.

That aside though, you may also want to consider backing up your stuff and reinstalling macOS fresh, in case you have a lot of junk running in the background - Can of course be cleared out manually too, but a reinstall is a fast and easy way to make sure you get everything
 

casperes1996

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
7,416
5,502
Horsens, Denmark
Can you tell me more about that. I have a fusion drive.

The 1TB Fusion Drive on the 2017 model only had a 24GB SSD which doesn’t hold much more than the core OS so an SSD with capacity for your apps as well would be a performance improvement, but like stated in my prior post I wouldn’t rush out and spend money right away if you were happy enough with the o performance before
 
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IowaLynn

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
2,145
588
Backup. Twice. TineMachine and clone (CCC is fine or SuperDuper)

Boot into Recovery and use Disk Utility to check or repair

Create a new user account and see if it is slow

list apps you use. just basics but what else?

Look at Activity Monitor to see what is using memory and cpu. Make sure to have 30GB free disk space.

Consider totally wiping drive and try with a bare minimum system. Don’t restore anything yet for hours or a day.

Do fresh installs of your apps. It’s been awhile.

Restore your data

whoops. Looks redundant with other excellent ideas posted while I was typing!
 

glenthompson

macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
2,982
842
Virginia
Lots of factors can be in play here. What type drive do you have? How many apps are open at a time? Do you have a lot of browser tabs open at a time?

If you don’t have a SSD then that will be a huge factor. If memory pressure is a problem, a slow drive will exacerbate the problem. Swapping to a spin game drive is way slower than to a SSD.

First thing to do is run Activity Monitor with your normal processes running. Check memory pressure and verify that’s it in the green. If yellow or red, then a memory upgrade to 16 or 32gb is advised. Easy to do and not too expensive. Next look at CPU activity. I don’t expect to see much problem here as most people are not CPU bound in typical use.

Finally, the elephant in the room - if you have a sling drive or a 1tb fusion, they are just too slow. The 1tb fusion drive has a small SSD that’s insufficient for the usual working set. The 2 & 3 tb versions have a 128gb SSD which works significantly better. If you’re stuck with a slow drive, options aren’t great. You can spend a lot to upgrade the internals or clone your drive to an external SSD connected via thunderbolt 3 and get great speed. Use the internal for a backup or other storage.
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
Lots of factors can be in play here. What type drive do you have? How many apps are open at a time? Do you have a lot of browser tabs open at a time?

If you don’t have a SSD then that will be a huge factor. If memory pressure is a problem, a slow drive will exacerbate the problem. Swapping to a spin game drive is way slower than to a SSD.

First thing to do is run Activity Monitor with your normal processes running. Check memory pressure and verify that’s it in the green. If yellow or red, then a memory upgrade to 16 or 32gb is advised. Easy to do and not too expensive. Next look at CPU activity. I don’t expect to see much problem here as most people are not CPU bound in typical use.

Finally, the elephant in the room - if you have a sling drive or a 1tb fusion, they are just too slow. The 1tb fusion drive has a small SSD that’s insufficient for the usual working set. The 2 & 3 tb versions have a 128gb SSD which works significantly better. If you’re stuck with a slow drive, options aren’t great. You can spend a lot to upgrade the internals or clone your drive to an external SSD connected via thunderbolt 3 and get great speed. Use the internal for a backup or other storage.
Hi there. I have a 2tb version so its 128SSD. I looked at the activity monitor, and it is green. The colour I see is green. its to the right of the window of memory pressure. What does that mean? Is it good? I clicked on CPU activity but not sure what to look for. Please advise.
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
Lots of factors can be in play here. What type drive do you have? How many apps are open at a time? Do you have a lot of browser tabs open at a time?

If you don’t have a SSD then that will be a huge factor. If memory pressure is a problem, a slow drive will exacerbate the problem. Swapping to a spin game drive is way slower than to a SSD.

First thing to do is run Activity Monitor with your normal processes running. Check memory pressure and verify that’s it in the green. If yellow or red, then a memory upgrade to 16 or 32gb is advised. Easy to do and not too expensive. Next look at CPU activity. I don’t expect to see much problem here as most people are not CPU bound in typical use.

Finally, the elephant in the room - if you have a sling drive or a 1tb fusion, they are just too slow. The 1tb fusion drive has a small SSD that’s insufficient for the usual working set. The 2 & 3 tb versions have a 128gb SSD which works significantly better. If you’re stuck with a slow drive, options aren’t great. You can spend a lot to upgrade the internals or clone your drive to an external SSD connected via thunderbolt 3 and get great speed. Use the internal for a backup or other storage.
Also, and I don't know why this is happening but often as I use facebook, it shows up on the screen this warning: "this webpage is using significant memory. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac"
why does this happen just by using facebook and how? is it normal? Do other people get the same thing happen to them? please advise.
 
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Phil77354

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2014
1,918
2,006
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
2017 is a reasonably new iMac. I'm using my 2014 model without issue. But I have SSD only, and more RAM.

In addition to recommendations already posted, it would be helpful for remote diagnosis purposes for you to describe in more detail what you are doing when you have these problems. How many applications are open, how many tabs if you're running a web browser, and so forth. How full is your storage? It is a fusion drive, but how much is being used?
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
i
2017 is a reasonably new iMac. I'm using my 2014 model without issue. But I have SSD only, and more RAM.

In addition to recommendations already posted, it would be helpful for remote diagnosis purposes for you to describe in more detail what you are doing when you have these problems. How many applications are open, how many tabs if you're running a web browser, and so forth. How full is your storage? It is a fusion drive, but how much is being used?
it is a fusion drive but I don't know how much is being used, I don't know how to check that. I have plenty of storage. I usually have quite a few pages opened on the internet etc
 

Phil77354

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2014
1,918
2,006
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
So, here are some (more detailed) suggestions:

- go to 'About This Mac' on the top left of the screen under the Apple logo. Click on the 'storage' tab. It will show you how much is used and what is available for your main drive. Make a note of that or take a screen shot to post here.

- be more specific in telling us what applications you are running at any point in time. If you aren't sure, there are various ways to find out. Do you need help with this? Again, a list of what you are running is needed.

- how often do you shut down or restart your iMac? If you leave it running continuously, it may be helpful to restart it and get everything 'reset'. There are also things that can be done when restarting - to reset the PRAM, for example. That may be worth doing, again as a way to 'reset' your computer

- do you need instructions on how to take a screen shot?
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
So, here are some (more detailed) suggestions:

- go to 'About This Mac' on the top left of the screen under the Apple logo. Click on the 'storage' tab. It will show you how much is used and what is available for your main drive. Make a note of that or take a screen shot to post here.

- be more specific in telling us what applications you are running at any point in time. If you aren't sure, there are various ways to find out. Do you need help with this? Again, a list of what you are running is needed.

- how often do you shut down or restart your iMac? If you leave it running continuously, it may be helpful to restart it and get everything 'reset'. There are also things that can be done when restarting - to reset the PRAM, for example. That may be worth doing, again as a way to 'reset' your computer

- do you need instructions on how to take a screen shot?
I have alot of storage. it is a 2.12TB fusion drive it says, and there is 2.02 tb available of 2.11 tb. Mostly I have facebook and safari running as well as programs like libreoffice and text edit. Thats pretty much it. I shut down the iMac often, when I am through with using it. Although I don't restart it often. I don't know how to make it 'reset' like you are saying or to rest the PRAM. I don't know.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
2,145
588
Facebook is a resource hog.
Some browsers and web sites can be also.
Backup + Erase then Restore keeps a drive healthy wealthy and running well.
At least you have the 2TB / 128GB Fusion model. Maybe someone can talk about if how and when to split the two so they’re separate

I use to do the erase/restore at least once a year. Also kept the system boot drive and user files on separate drives.
 

pmiles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2013
809
676
Have you ever deleted your web browser cache/hisrtoy files? They don't do this automatically. Web browsers cache a lot of useless stuff over time, so if you don't dump the cache... they will slow the system down.

And websites as a whole can be bloated or not... some are very bad in that they spam you endlessly with ads. Website performance is not an indication of your computer performance... just an indication of how awful the website is.
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
I looked at this site: https://www.isos.com/about/blog/how-do-mac-health-check
it says the following about memory:

Check the Memory​

This should be the first thing you do when performing a health check. To find out the amount of memory you have available:

  1. Open the Finder, select the ‘Go’ menu, then select ‘Utilities’.
  2. In the utilities folder, open the application called ‘Activity Monitor’, and select the ‘Memory’ tab at the top of the window.
  3. At the bottom of the window you will see a graph, and some statistics. If the ‘Memory Used’ figure is nearing the ‘Physical Memory’ number, then that means you are running out of memory.

My memory used is 6.83GB and the physical memory is 8.00GB. It that considered nearing the physical memory. Im assuming this has to do with RAM, right? Well, in any case, after I back up my iMac, I am going to upgrade it to 32gb RAM.

I have also found this from the website:

Check the Disk​

It is also worth checking the health of your hard drive to check for errors that could be slowing down your machine. In order to do this you will need to:

  1. Open the ‘Utilities’ folder as stated above, and select the ‘Disk Utility’ application.
  2. If you’re using OS X 10.11, open ‘Disk Utility’ and select your Mac’s main storage drive from the left-hand column (this is usually called ‘Macintosh HD’). Click on the ‘First Aid’ button at the top of the window. This will check your system for errors and fix any small ones it finds.
But I have yet to do this function.
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
Have you ever deleted your web browser cache/hisrtoy files? They don't do this automatically. Web browsers cache a lot of useless stuff over time, so if you don't dump the cache... they will slow the system down.

And websites as a whole can be bloated or not... some are very bad in that they spam you endlessly with ads. Website performance is not an indication of your computer performance... just an indication of how awful the website is.
I don't think I have. How do you do this? I want to do delta my web browser cache history files, like you are saying but I don't know how.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
2,145
588
You find that with 16GB RAM it will likely use ~12GB but there’s diminishing returns on more unless needed.

you basically are not even using the 2TB.

It’s rather simple to clear history and cache and some is done automatically if older than xx number of days right from safari menu.
Google Chrome is another resource hog.
You can use Facebook in a web browser. It can really try to take over your system.

Better to check a disk drive while not booted from it, and from another disk drive or Recovery mode.
 

Pinkly Smooth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 8, 2018
132
9
You find that with 16GB RAM it will likely use ~12GB but there’s diminishing returns on more unless needed.

you basically are not even using the 2TB.

It’s rather simple to clear history and cache and some is done automatically if older than xx number of days right from safari menu.
Google Chrome is another resource hog.
You can use Facebook in a web browser. It can really try to take over your system.

Better to check a disk drive while not booted from it, and from another disk drive or Recovery mode.
Hi again. And thanks for the help. I just cleared history from the safari menu. Don't know what to do now. Do you think I won't have that problem I had before, that made me start this thread? Sure hope so. I had to resign in, because of clearing the history.
I don't use google chrome. Just safari.
When I use facebook, I do it through safari. Is that good? You said it can take over your system.
I didn't understand your last statement.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
7,416
5,502
Horsens, Denmark
Hi again. And thanks for the help. I just cleared history from the safari menu. Don't know what to do now. Do you think I won't have that problem I had before, that made me start this thread? Sure hope so. I had to resign in, because of clearing the history.
I don't use google chrome. Just safari.
When I use facebook, I do it through safari. Is that good? You said it can take over your system.
I didn't understand your last statement.

Using Safari for Facebook is fine. What that person references is likely Facebook's overly aggressive tracking and analytics used for their advertising business. They may have thought you were using a Facebook app of some sort but to my knowledge there is no official Facebook app on macOS other than Messenger.

32GB of memory is a bit overkill, 16 will be perfectly fine for you, and 8 probably isn't that constrained.

I would not use the numbers so much to check how much memory is "used" since it requires a lot of understanding about the way macOS manages memory (memory = RAM, yes) to interpret the numbers. Just look at how high the memory pressure graph is. If it's green and low it's good, if it goes up high more memory could help.

But as I've said, unless Facebook has recently become more intense to run for some reason (wouldn't know, only use Messenger) hardware won't slow down over time. If you could run everything you do sufficiently before and you cannot now the culprit is something you're likely unaware of running in the background; Where a clean system reinstall would get rid of anything like that.

Perhaps the clearing of caches and all that has helped your issue too, no way of saying without you just using it and seeing what happens.
 

glenthompson

macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
2,982
842
Virginia
Also, and I don't know why this is happening but often as I use facebook, it shows up on the screen this warning: "this webpage is using significant memory. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac"
why does this happen just by using facebook and how? is it normal? Do other people get the same thing happen to them? please advise.
I rarely use Facebook on my MBA, just on my iPad. Loaded it up with Activity Monitor running and it soon got ups to 700+mb of memory used by the Facebook tab. So yes, that could be a contributing factor. I usually don't leave tabs open. I open them for a purpose and when done I close them. Too much chance of stuff running in the background. Having been on limited internet connections, it was a habit I just got into.

Until we see some screen shots from Activity Monitor and About This Mac, or the relevant information from there, no much that we can advise.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
2,145
588
I can no longer stand to use the internet without also blocking ads, trackers, and more - things which AdGuard Pro for one does an excellent job of blocking.

You can choose to clear history, cache, cookies and such so you don't lose everything, though might be a good idea to do once, then just t it to clear every 30 days or something.

On Edge Dev (Windows) and therefore Chrome I think, idle tabs are put to sleep.
 

nothingtoseehere

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
453
521
I really like, and use, Safari, but there is one exception:
Also, and I don't know why this is happening but often as I use facebook, it shows up on the screen this warning: "this webpage is using significant memory. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac"

Safari shows this on a lot of websites for no obvious reasons. I now have a Mac mini M1, my fastest machine ever, and this silly message still pops up. The website isn‘t slow or anything, just this meaningless message appears.

I suggest to ignore it / to click it away. Your speed problems could be tackled with, as mentioned, a bigger SSD, more RAM and a clean install. The iMac should, in general, still be fine. Of course, the Apple Silicon chips are unmatched concerning speed, so if you aren‘t on budget and don‘t need Windows, one of the upcoming iMacs would be nice.
 
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