Have you updated your Mac to the latest macOS Big Sur but find it slow or laggy? 

Apple has just released the latest version of macOS called Big Sur. The latest version of macOS features upgrades like new system icons, an updated menu bar, and many more.

Aside from the user-interface updates, the new software also packs performance enhancements that are supposed to make your Mac faster and better. 

However, there have been reports from several users who noticed an unusual slow down on their Mac computers while booting and when loading applications. While the new operating system is still in its early stages, it is quite frustrating that you have to deal with a slow computer while Apple tries to fix and optimize macOS for it to perform better. 

Luckily, we are here to help you out! 

Today, we are going to show you a few workarounds that you can do to improve the performance of your Mac in the meantime while waiting for Apple to release updates on macOS. 

Before tweaking your system, make sure that your device is on the official supported list of macOS Big Sur. 

Now, let’s get started with the actual fixes!

 

 

1. Disable Startup Programs. 

If you noticed that your Mac is booting up slower than usual, what you can try doing is to disable startup applications that you think you won’t be needing immediately. 

Since macOS Big Sur was just released, there is a possibility that some applications are not yet optimized and can affect your system’s performance if it is included on the startup programs. 

To disable startup programs, follow the steps below:

  1. On your Mac, click on the Apple logo located at the top left corner of your screen and select System Preferences

 

  1. After that, click on User & Groups and click on your Username

 

  1. Next, click on the Login Items tab. 
  2. Finally, uncheck the apps that you won’t be needing at startup. 

 

Restart your Mac afterward to verify if macOS would still boot up slow after disabling your startup programs. 

 

 

2. Stop Unnecessary Apps from Running. 

As mentioned above, some applications installed on your system might not be optimized to perform well on macOS Big Sur since it was just released recently. In this case, try to stop applications that you are not using to minimize the load on your system. 

To stop applications from running in the background, follow the step-by-step guide below:

  1. First, click on the Search button located at the top right corner of your screen. 
  2. On Spotlight Search, type Activity Monitor and open it. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

  1. Inside the Activity Monitor, click on the Memory tab
  2. Lastly, identify the applications that use a lot of memory and close them if you are not using them. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

Once done, try to use your Mac computer normally and observe if its performance has improved. 

However, if you are still having problems with your computer’s performance, go ahead and try doing the next method below. 

 

 

3. Uninstall Unused Applications. 

There are instances where we install applications on our computers which we would only use a couple of times and then we leave it installed and remain unused for a long time. These unused apps can clutter your hard drive and uninstalling them can give you more storage space. 

  1. First, open Finder on your Mac computer. 
  2. After that, click on the Go tab from the menu bar. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

  1. Next, select Applications from the drop-down list. 
  2. Lastly, drag the unused apps to the Trash bin to remove it from your computer.

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

Give your computer a restart and try to use it normally to check if it will still slow down during use. 

 

 

4. Clear Your Cache.

Cache files on your computer are temporary data that is stored on your hard drive, which helps in loading applications faster. However, over time these cache files accumulate and instead of helping apps load faster, it slows down your system since it is bigger and slower to load.

To clear your Mac computer’s cache, simply follow the steps below:

  1. First, open Finder on your Mac and click the Go To Folder button. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

  1. After that, type /Library/Caches and hit Enter

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

  1. Inside the Cache folder, navigate to each subfolder to check if there are files inside. 
  2. Lastly, delete the files inside the subfolder to clear your cache. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

After clearing your cache, restart your system and try to run a few applications to see if your system’s performance has improved. 

 

 

5. Use Third-Party Software.

If you don’t want to spend your time manually tweaking your system, you can try using third-party software that helps in maintaining your Mac. CleanMyMac X is a helpful program that allows you to optimize and clean unnecessary files on your computer with a single button. 

 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

The app has a smart scan feature that lets you clean mail attachments, junk files, and your trash bin by clicking just one button. Aside from cleaning your system, ClanMyMac X also scans for worms, spyware, adware, and other viruses that can be present on your system. 

 

 

6. Reset Your NVRAM and SMC.

For some unknown reasons, there are instances where your system’s NVRAM and SMC gets corrupted at some point. If these components get corrupted, then you would see a significant slow down on your computer’s booting time. 

The System Management Controller or SMC is the one controlling your hardware like fans and batteries. If your system fans are not working properly due to a corrupted SMC, then your computer has no choice but to thermal throttle to avoid damaging its components. 


For MacBooks, you can reset the SMC by doing the following. 

  1. First, turn off your MacBook and remove the power cable from your laptop. 
  2. Now, wait for 15 seconds then plug the power cable back in. 
  3. After that, press the Left Shift + Left Option + Control key all at once and hold it for 10 seconds
  4. Finally, release the keys after 10 seconds and turn on your computer normally. 

On the other hand, if you are using an iMac, Mac Pro, Xserve, or Mac Mini, you can follow the steps below to reset your SMC. 

  1. First, turn off your Mac and remove its power cable. 
  2. After that, wait for 15 seconds and plug back in the power cable. 
  3. Lastly, wait for another 5 seconds and turn on your Mac normally. 

Now, to reset your computer’s NVRAM, check out the steps below. 

  1. First, turn off your computer. 
  2. Next, locate the Option + Command + P + R keys on your keyboard but don’t press it yet. 
  3. Lastly, press the Power button on your Mac and immediately hold the Option + Command + P + R keys on your keyboard and continue holding it for 20 seconds.

Once you are done resetting your computer’s SMC and NVRAM, restart your Mac once more and try to use it normally. Observe for a couple of minutes to verify if you would still experience slowdowns during use. 

 

 

7. Turn Off Motion Effects. 

While macOS Big Sur has incredible screen transition effects, it can also affect your system’s performance. Visual enhancements on any operating system can also put an unwanted load on your system resources. 

Given that macOS Big Sur was just released, it is possible that some of its visual enhancements are not yet optimized to run efficiently. In this case, you can try disabling motion effects on your Mac and see if it can improve the performance of your computer. 

  1. On your Mac, click on the Apple logo on the top left corner of your screen and select System Preferences

 

  1. After that, click on Accessibility

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

  1. On the side menu, click on Display
  2. Lastly, enable Reduce Motion and Reduce Transparency

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

Once done, give your computer a restart and try to use it normally to see if it improved your overall system performance. 

However, if you still find your computer slow, proceed to the last method below to try and fix the problem. 

 

 

8. Update macOS. 

For the final method, what you can try doing is to check for an update. As we mentioned above, macOS Big Sur is still in its early stages and Apple would definitely roll out minor updates on macOS to further improve its performance. 

To check for an update on macOS, simply follow the guide below: 

  1. First, click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen and select System Preferences. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

  1. Next, click on Software Update
  2. Lastly, if an update is available, follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the update to your Mac computer. 

macOS Big Sur slowing down

 

After the update, restart your computer and try to use it as usual to see if the update addresses the performance issue on macOS Big Sur. 

Alternatively, you can leave a feedback on Apple’s website regarding the latest version of macOS so that they would know the issues that we are experiencing with their product. 

In addition, you can also bring your Mac computer to the nearest Apple Store in your location and ask them to check your device. 

This wraps up our guide on how to fix macOS Big Sur slowing down. If you know other ways on how to address this issue on Mac, kindly share it in the comment section below and we would be glad to give you credit for the solution once we update this article.  

 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂