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I mac is running slow

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Hi Brian,

I'm new here I just signed up for a class with Damien (Bridge). Everything on my mac is so slow I can barely edit anymore. I have to shut everything down and just use one program at a time. I use Lightroom and Photoshop CC. I hade to shut them down to just to try out bridge and bridge is running very slow still. ugh. I hope you can help. Thank you, Maggie

I have attached a few images maybe that will help.

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 5.49.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 5.50.00 PM.png

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How much crap do you have on your desktop? (Files and Folders.) The more you have on your Mac Desktop, the slower it runs. Also the Seagate Backup concerns me. You do NOT need any 3rd party programs backing up your iMac. Not only do they drain resources, the MacOS has something called Time Machine that is excellent.

In addition, I would remove all externals and see if you get your performance back.

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15 minutes ago, Maggie Collins said:

Inside of those folders is a lot of stuff. Does that make a difference?


Every single file and folder that is located on the desktop, is considered an "Open Window" by the MacOS, for lack of a better term. If you have 1000 Photos in the Smith-Jones Wedding and 500 photos from the Miller Family Reunion, that is 1502 "Open Windows."

Move ALL of those folders to a spot inside the Macintosh HD. You can call it "Desktop Stuff" or whatever, Then right click on the "Desktop Stuff" Folder and select "Make Alias," which is Mac-Speak for Shortcut. Then drag the Alias to the Desktop. Aliases are meant to be on a desktop, not files and folders.

If Time Machine was controlling that backup drive, it would say "Time Machine" and not "Seagate Backup." Honestly, it's your folders on the desktop and all the items contained within them that is causing your issues. After moving them to a place within the Macintosh HD, you might want to reboot for giggles and grins...and I'll bet you get your performance back.

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The problem you are having, is a tough one to diagnose. "My computer is running slow..." is like saying, "I don't feel well."

It could be something simple or something major.

Normally, Mac users have all sorts of things on the desktop, which slows things down. The next step is to figure out WHAT could be possibly causing the issue. For that, we are going to use the Activity Monitor, which is very similar to the Windows Task Manager. Head to your Applications Folder, then look for Utilities, and in that folder you should see the Activity Monitor, I'm interested in the CPU section and Memory Section (Tabs at the Top.) What programs are using the most stuff, CPU % and Memory %. We aren't going to get crazy, just take a screen shot of the top 10 Things in the list.

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Quit using Safari!!!

It's a RAM hog. The only time I use Safari is to download Firefox, which is color-managed. (Chrome isn't, so for photography and photos, it's worthless.)

Bridge seems to be a bit out of control. 2.5GB of RAM it's taking up all by itself. I'm wondering if some sort of Maintenance needs to be done. Paging @Damien Symonds, Damien to the front desk. Any suggestions on making Bridge play nice?

Are you also using a program that I recommend, called CleanMyMac X from MacPaw.com? If not, I'd purchase it, it really helps things stay clean. I also discovered a huge possibility of why things are running so slow. In fact, I have the same problem with one of my iMacs...

The iMac from 2009.

I just re-read your original post on my computer, that will teach me to look at things on my phone.

You have a 2011 iMac!! 

As things get updated, like the Mac Operating System, Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop, Bridge, etc. etc., your 2011 iMac is going to get slower and slower.

It's the nature of the beast. Or Planned Obsolescence. Or whatever you want to call it. Heck, with each App & iOS update my iPhone 6s seems to get slower and slower. You know what isn't slow? A new phone that has yet to be purchased and my 2017 iMac. LOL!!

So before you drive yourself nuts, I'd purchase CleanMyMac X for the short term if you don't have it already and start saving for a new computer. That said, first things first, let's get Adobe Bridge under control.

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Got ya! I do not have the Mac cleaner. But if you recommend it I will get it. I'm scared of some of those things as they can really mess your computer up and you don't know what one is good and what one is bad.

Should I just go get a new iMac?  

And if so what one?

Or should I say

What's important to get inside of it? 

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If you go with a new Mac, now is the time to purchase one since they just released the latest-and-greatest 2019 models. Unfortunately, Apple wants you to Go-Big or Go-Home, meaning they have crippled the 21.5" iMacs and really want you to purchase a 27" iMac. Whatever you do, do not purchase a 21.5" iMac. If money is an issue, I'd recommend the stock 27" iMac for $1799. If you have a larger budget, I can configure the machine that I purchased. Which is on the high-side but it's super-fast. So let's talk budget.

I highly recommend CleanMyMac X. I have used it for years and it's worth the money. You can download a free version to see how it works and how much space would be freed up but in order for it to "clean" anything, you'll have to pony up the dollars and purchase it.

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If you really want to have some fun and have space on a credit card, here is what I'd configure. Start with the $2299 27" iMac and tweak things:


Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 10.35.27 PM.png

I'm up to $3299 and that's before AppleCare and Tax / Shipping. I would also purchase extra RAM from Crucial.com and take it to at least 24GB. Or you can spend $200 more and get it configured to 16GB, then purchase another 16GB (or more) down the line.

This is the $3499 version:

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 10.37.11 PM.png

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