Simple tips to fix macOS lag issues

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Apple is known for its powerful technology, much ahead of the pack. This is why it’s strange that their latest macOS update, Big Sur is turning out to be a nightmare for a lot of Apple users. Since Apple launched their latest macOS update, named Big Sur, a lot of Apple users have been complaining of lagging issues. Some have even complained that their Macs present laggy and choppy images when resizing. All these issues are a threat to Apple’s long-standing legacy of an enclosed ecosystem and optimized software.

Apple launched Big Sur, their latest macOS update, in November 2020, claiming it to be far superior to previous macOS versions such as Mojave, Catalina, etc. But since then a lot of users have been complaining about lagging issues on their Macs after they updated their systems to macOS Big Sur.

Apart from the lag issue, there is another bug that is troubling macOS users. Many are now reporting UI resizing animations being choppy & laggy.

This is rather unusual of Apple as they are famous for their optimization and fluidity. There has been no official statement regarding macOS lag complaints. But if you are indeed encountering them practically, we are here to help you out. Listed below are few tips to fix all your lagging issues.

Important Note

As with every company, Apple also puts out the beta version of its latest software update to run a sort of test. But as of now, the full version of the macOS Big Sur update is available. So before you try out the tips listed below, make sure that you have the full version and not the beta version of Big Sur.

Now let’s get right into it.

Tips to fix macOS Lagging Issues

1. Check Free Disk Space

If your system’s disk space is full, your system will likely run into trouble after the macOS Big Sur update. So run a disk space check before you even initiate the software update. It is advisable to have at least 50GB worth of free disk space for the macOS Big Sur update.
If you don’t know how to check free disk space, here’s a simple guide-:

  • Click the APPLE icon at the top left corner of the screen.
  • Choose ‘About this Mac’.
  • Click on the ‘Storage’ option.

This will automatically show you how much free space you have left.

2. Monitor the CPU Use for Apps, Processes, etc.

Another reason why your Mac is lagging after the Big Sur update could be because of running a lot of apps and processes in the background. This happens because since your Mac is adapting to the new software update, it is simultaneously running a lot of tests. This will automatically slow down your Mac. So you will have to monitor your Mac and see what all apps are running in the background.

To check this, go to Spotlight (Command+ Spacebar) and type ‘Activity Monitor’. It’ll open your activity monitor and from there you can see which apps or processes are taking a huge chunk of your processor.

3. Disable Auto Start-Up Applications

This is yet another reason why your Mac is experiencing lag issues. Auto Start-Up applications are those applications that automatically start to run whenever you turn on your system. This is an unnecessary action and may end up draining out your processor. So it’s best to disable or turn off these start-up applications.
To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Select the option ‘System Preferences’.
  • Select ‘Users & Groups’.
  • Click on your username tab.
  • There you’ll see a ‘Login Items’ tab. Click on it and it will open a list of items or apps that open automatically when you turn on your Mac.
  • To turn them off, click on the checkboxes next to these apps and select them.
  • After that just click the minus (-) button to remove them from the list.

4. SMC and PRAM/NVRAM Reset

This one’s a complicated step but it can resolve all your lagging issues. SMC and PRAM/NVRAM are two are major hardware and software parameters that determine the speed of your system. Whenever you update your system, it affects these things.

Here’s a guide to reset your SMC:

  • Turn off your system.
  • Press and hold down the ‘Control’ and ‘Options’ keys on the left side of the keyboard. Press the ‘Shift’ key also at the same time.
  • Hold down these buttons for 7-8 seconds and then press the ‘Power’ button too.
  • Wait a few minutes and then turn on your system to reset the SMC.

Now to reset the PRAM/NVRAM:

  • Turn off your system.
  • Turn it back on immediately.
  • Press the ‘Option’, ‘Command’, P, and R keys at the same time and hold them for a good 20 seconds.
  • For the older Apple Mac model, release the keys after you hear the startup noise.
  • For the latest Mac model, release the keys after you see the Apple logo appear and disappear twice. This will be an indication that your PRAM/NVRAM has been reset successfully.

5. Update Mac Apps

A lot of the time these lagging issues could be generated because you are running older apps on the latest software update. This difference can cause a lag in the system. So it’s always advisable to update all your Mac apps when you install a software update. This will smoothen your Mac’s transition.

The Final Word

Software updates can sometimes be tricky and may run your system into trouble. It happens very often so don’t take too much stress. Just try these steps out and if all these steps fail to resolve all your issues, it’s best to get your Macs checked up by a professional engineer.

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