The Spinning Wheel of Death: How to Make Your Computer Faster

Computer Faster

It’s there! You didn’t ask for it, but—as always—it comes unpronounced. It’s the spinning wheel of death. 

You know what we’re talking about. Whether you encountered it on a Mac computer going to school growing up, or you’re dealing with it now as an adult on your own Mac, one thing is for sure: you need it to just go away.

The spinning wheel of death, or rainbow cursor, means that you have a slow computer on your hands now. However, instead of focusing on the negative, let’s also consider how to make your computer faster.

Keep reading to learn what makes a computer faster.

Why Your Mac Might Be a Slow Computer

There are several reasons why your Mac may be running slower than normal. Let’s take a look at what makes a slow computer.

What Is Running in the Background?

Certain processes or applications may be running in the background, and you don’t even realize it.

This can be annoying because you may feel you can’t pinpoint what is necessary to run versus what you don’t need to run. However, if you don’t get to it, your Mac will always be a slow computer. The same can be said for PCs as well (though they don’t have a rainbow cursor as Mac does).

To find out what is running in the background, head to Activity Monitor on Mac to look at what processes have the highest CPU, disk, memory, and more usage.

If it is too much and you decide you don’t need it running, you can close down the process from Activity Monitor.

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What Applications Start When You Turn the Computer On? 

Some applications may start up when you boot up your computer.

Think about it: when you turn your computer on, what applications open immediately? Does one of the following open:

  • an internet browser
  • your email
  • Zoom
  • Spotify
  • any other apps?

If any of these open as your computer is booting up, these are your start-up applications. Unfortunately, this is an easy way that your computer will lag too.

You can change these settings by going to your computer’s system preferences to get started on having fewer start-up applications.

Do You Have Any Outdated Apps or an Outdated System?

You may have a slow computer because it is outdated.

Whether you are using an older version of an app or haven’t updated to the latest macOS system, either way, you are not helping make your computer faster. There is an easy solution to helping it pick up its speed, though.

Outdated apps often have bugs that can slow your computer down. Make sure you always keep your computer up-to-date with the newest versions of applications. Then you can guarantee a faster computer.

Are You a Fan of the Visual Effects?

Mac is well-known for its fancy visual effects, but they come with a price: they may make your computer slow.

Don’t panic yet because you can turn them off. They aren’t involuntary.

To limit the number of visual effects you see on Mac, you can head over to your system preferences and then to the doc & menu bar. Once you reach there, you can change from “Genie effect” to “Scale effect.”

Your computer’s battery will thank you too.

Other Ways to Make Your Computer Faster

There are other ways to make your computer faster too. Here are a few of easy, common ways to do so.

Browser Add-Ons Are Not a Great Addition

For example, if you have add-ons in your browser, you can delete those in order to help make your computer faster. These extensions and add-ons were meant to help make life easier when you’re using an internet browser, but they’ve actually just made it harder, unfortunately.

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In addition, close all of those tabs. You’re putting your computer to too much work when you have twenty tabs open.

Check Your Wi-Fi Connection

In some cases, it could be your wireless connection. While it is probably more internally located, you don’t want to rule out this possible option too. You can double-check your download and upload speeds in order to see if your Wi-Fi connection is working well or not.

If it’s not working well, it could be an app prohibiting it. Then you will need to go through and see what applications are running in order to determine the cause.

Clean Up Your Messy Desktop

Sometimes, your desktop is messy. However, it can affect your computer’s performance.

A desktop full of miscellaneous pictures, files, and shortcuts is a cluttered mess that can make your fast computer a slow computer really quickly.

You can avoid this by organizing your files on your desktop into different folders. It is also a good idea to keep them in a cloud-based drive, maybe, rather than on your laptop. This can increase your laptop’s speed and performance.

When In Doubt, Restart

Sometimes, there is not much else you can do besides restarting your computer.

A quick reboot can make all the difference when your computer starts acting slow. Make sure you turn off your computer properly, otherwise you could risk damaging it more.

How to Make the Computer Faster

Overall, you have the capability to make the computer faster. These tips and tricks will help you get to the bottom of your slow computer and turn it into a fast computer!

Looking for more content on Macs or other technology? Take a peek around the rest of our website to see our other articles.

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About the Author: John Watson