My Macbook Pro is getting slower...need your help!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by titus5, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. titus5 macrumors newbie


    Feb 20, 2013

    I've been a mac user since about 2005 (this time around...originally used IIe and IIc!) I am anything but a power user, but I tend to understand computers on a general level.

    My machine is a mid-2012 MBP 13" with 8gb of RAM, 750GB HDD, and a 2.9GHz Core i7. I'm running El Cap 10.11. I have a ton of hard drive space 426gb free.

    All I do with it is surf the web, write a resume here and there, spreadsheets, etc. At any given moment, I like to have the following open (tell me if this is too much): Safari (Firefox started getting buggy, so I gave up on it,) iMail, Photos, iTunes, Messages, Stickies (about 12 open stickies,) sometimes Preview.

    On Safari I often have up to 20 tabs open (too many?)

    Everything just seems a bit slower than I would like (and not since El's been a while.) If I go to the search feature (upper right corner...magnifying glass thingy,) and start to type it takes a few seconds for results to populate...or sometimes a few seconds for my typing to appear.

    If I gesture with three fingers upward, it takes a second for all of my open programs to show. Photos does not automatically bring in all the photos from my iPhone 5s anymore...not sure why.

    What can I do to make it snappy again? Wipe everything and re-install? I'd hate to do that as I'm not very good at it. While I'd love a newer machine, I don't think it's in the cards right now...and besides, this one seems more powerful than the cool looking new macbook (dig the gold.)

    Any and all help, pointers, etc. is much appreciated.
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Just curious, have you tried your system with Safari closed? If it runs smoother, focus on at least getting Safari cleaned up and that would include blocking automatic opening of Adobe Flash, cookies, etc.
  3. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Since you never clear the Cache try that. Then run the free application EtreCheck. The program will show you a print out and tell you if it any service, hack or plugin is not compatible so you can manually delete it. If you delete any service running then reboot to fully delete.
  4. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2012
    I'd try having less tabs open, especially on El Capitan. I use Scannerz for testing stuff and it comes with a tool named Performance Probe. Performance Probe shows memory use similar to the way the old Activity Monitor did (with a pie chart). If I open up a browser I see a jump in the size of memory used. If I open up multiple tabs it becomes clear that each tab has it's own web process associated with it because the pie chart increases an amount each time a tab is open. If I start closing the tabs then the memory goes down. Shut off Safari and it goes away and tons of memory frees up. You can check the same thing with Activity Monitor but it's harder to visualize. With either Activity Monitor or Performance Probe you'll see page out's etc, and with 20 tabs open, my guess would be you're in a perpetual state of swapping. I suspect the delay you're seeing is because the system is constantly swapping to drive.

    If the problem is still present with Safari closed then it's likely the hard drive or its cable, but it could also be a lot of other things.
  5. titus5 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 20, 2013
    Thanks everybody for the replies. I'll try a few things and post back.
  6. titus5, Oct 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2015

    titus5 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 20, 2013
    Ok...I took the advice of running EtreCheck. This is the report it generated. Pretty helpful, since I don't use Citrix anymore (for an old job.) The brother thingy that failed is for my wireless printer. It seems to work fine, so not sure what that's about. Hope I'm not violating any rules by posting this, but here goes:
    treCheck version: 2.6 (220)
    Report generated 10/22/15, 2:12 PM
    Runtime 2:56
    Download EtreCheck from
    Click the [Click for support] links for help with non-Apple products.
    Click the [Click for details] links for more information about that line.
    Hardware Information: (What does this mean?)
        MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
        [Click for Technical Specifications]
        [Click for User Guide]
        MacBook Pro - model: MacBookPro9,2
        1 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU: 2-core
        8 GB RAM Upgradeable
        [Click for upgrade instructions]
            BANK 0/DIMM0
                4 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ok
            BANK 1/DIMM0
                4 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ok
        Bluetooth: Good - Handoff/Airdrop2 supported
        Wireless:  en1: 802.11 a/b/g/n
        Battery: Health = Normal - Cycle count = 635 - SN = W02174TYLD3LC
    Video Information: (What does this mean?)
        Intel HD Graphics 4000
            Color LCD 1280 x 800
    System Software: (What does this mean?)
        OS X El Capitan 10.11 (15A284) - Time since boot: about one day
    Disk Information: (What does this mean?)
        TOSHIBA MK7559GSXF disk0 : (750.16 GB) (Rotational)
            EFI (disk0s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB
            Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>  [Recovery]: 650 MB
            Macintosh HD (disk1) / : 748.93 GB (426.66 GB free)
                Core Storage: disk0s2 749.30 GB Online
        MATSHITADVD-R   UJ-8A8   ()
    USB Information: (What does this mean?)
        Apple Inc. FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in)
        Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
        Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver
        Apple Inc. BRCM20702 Hub
            Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller
    Thunderbolt Information: (What does this mean?)
        Apple Inc. thunderbolt_bus
    Gatekeeper: (What does this mean?)
        Mac App Store and identified developers
    Launch Agents: (What does this mean?)
        [failed] [Click for support]
        [loaded] [Click for support]
    Launch Daemons: (What does this mean?)
        [loaded]    com.adobe.fpsaud.plist [Click for support]
        [loaded] [Click for support]
        [loaded] [Click for support]
        [loaded] [Click for support]
    User Launch Agents: (What does this mean?)
        [loaded]    com.adobe.ARM.[...].plist [Click for support]
        [running] [Click for support]
        [failed]    com.citrixonline.GoToMeeting.G2MUpdate.plist [Click for support]
        [failed] [Click for support]
        [loaded] [Click for support]
        [failed]    com.nero.HSMMonitor.plist [Click for support]
        [running]    com.spotify.webhelper.plist [Click for support]
    User Login Items: (What does this mean?)
        iTunesHelper    Application  (/Applications/
        Google+ Auto Backup    UNKNOWN Hidden (missing value)
        Dropbox    Application  (/Applications/
    Other Apps: (What does this mean?)
        [running]    com.getdropbox.dropbox.8032
    Internet Plug-ins: (What does this mean?)
        FlashPlayer-10.6: Version: - SDK 10.6 [Click for support]
        QuickTime Plugin: Version: 7.7.3
        AdobePDFViewerNPAPI: Version: 10.1.16 [Click for support]
        AdobePDFViewer: Version: 10.1.16 [Click for support]
        Flash Player: Version: - SDK 10.6 [Click for support]
        Default Browser: Version: 601 - SDK 10.11
        Silverlight: Version: 5.1.30514.0 - SDK 10.6 [Click for support]
        JavaAppletPlugin: Version: Java 8 Update 60 build 27 Check version
    User internet Plug-ins: (What does this mean?)
        CitrixOnlineWebDeploymentPlugin: Version: 1.0.105 [Click for support]
        KickStartPlugIn64: Version: 1.1 - SDK 10.7 [Click for support]
        Picasa: Version: 1.0 - SDK 10.6 [Click for support]
    Safari Extensions: (What does this mean?)
    3rd Party Preference Panes: (What does this mean?)
        Flash Player  [Click for support]
        Java  [Click for support]
    Time Machine: (What does this mean?)
        Skip System Files: NO
        Auto backup: YES
        Volumes being backed up:
            Macintosh HD: Disk size: 748.93 GB Disk used: 322.27 GB
            Macbook backups [Local]
            Total size: 319.73 GB
            Total number of backups: 5
            Oldest backup: 12/18/14, 9:32 PM
            Last backup: 3/15/15, 12:36 PM
            Size of backup disk: Too small
                Backup size 319.73 GB < (Disk used 322.27 GB X 3)
    Top Processes by CPU: (What does this mean?)
            4%    mdworker(14)
            4%    WindowServer
            1%    fontd
    Top Processes by Memory: (What does this mean?)
        2.24 GB
        860 MB    kernel_task
        262 MB    Safari
        213 MB    mdworker(14)
        147 MB    WindowServer
    Virtual Memory Information: (What does this mean?)
        380 MB    Free RAM
        7.63 GB    Used RAM (1.31 GB Cached)
        46 MB    Swap Used
    Diagnostics Information: (What does this mean?)
        Oct 22, 2015, 09:34:16 AM    /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/[redacted].cpu_resource.diag [Click for details]
        Oct 21, 2015, 02:24:07 PM    Self test - passed
        Oct 19, 2015, 07:08:35 PM    ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/Mail_2015-10-19-190835_[redacted].crash
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Just manually delete anything that you don't use anymore! To easy!
  8. PiLigand macrumors newbie


    Oct 22, 2015
    New England
    I may very well be making this too easy, but have you opened up Activity Monitor in your Applications/Utilities and flipped through the tabs to see what the bottleneck is? Many recommend SSD to revitalize slowing machines. This would especially help if your problem is iTunes of photos. Otherwise, I doubt that it would do much for you (since not many of your other apps wouldn't pull much from the drive). You also don't seem to need the storage afforded by that HDD. I am an SSD denier =P

    I'm kinda surprised that you're experiencing sluggishness with that system. I feel like I often do more on less hardware and I haven't had a slowing problem.

    This one is unlikely, but worth asking: Is your computer heating up / can you hear the fan going? I at one point had my fan stop working, the computer got very hot and slowed to a crawl. SMC reset fixed it all. Best of luck!

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7 October 22, 2015