Solved: Mac Running Slow After macOS Sonoma Update

  • Stop resource-hungry processes to make your Mac work faster again.
  • Free up storage on your Mac if it slowed down after updating to macOS Sonoma.
  • Finally, remove unnecessary startup items to streamline your Mac’s boot-up process.
Mac Running Slow After macOS Sonoma Update

As with any other macOS updates, some folks have reported that their Mac started slowing down after updating to macOS Sonoma. If you’re experiencing performance issues with your Mac, the first thing you need to do is check for power-consuming and resource-hungry apps or processes and stop them right away. However, if this doesn’t resolve your Mac’s performance issues, then follow the troubleshooting steps below.

Why Is My Mac Running Slow After the Sonoma Update?

After updating to macOS Sonoma, your Mac may experience slowdowns due to several factors: resource-heavy apps or processes burdening your system, limited disk space, or an excess of open browser tabs and unnecessary extensions. By implementing the solutions outlined below, your Mac will run at normal or faster speed.

How Can I Fix Mac Running Slow After macOS Sonoma Update?

1. Stop Apps or Resource-Hungry Processes 

To identify these processes or apps, immediately run the Activity Monitor.

Time needed: 1 minute

Follow the steps below to check resource-hungry apps or processes running on your Mac:

  1. Open the Finder app.

  2. Click Applications > Utilities.

    Screenshot Applications Utilities

  3. Click Activity Monitor, then click CPU.

    Screenshot Activity Monitor CPU

  4. Check for unusual processes or those that are eating up your Mac’s resources.

  5. Click the Quit button.

  6. Click Memory, then look for unusual processes and quit them.

    Screenshot Activity Monitor - Memory

2. Free Up Storage Space on Your Mac

Although macOS updates usually don’t require a lot of storage space, it’s still crucial to ensure that your Mac has enough free space to run resource-intensive apps and processes.

To check your Mac storage, simply go to Apple Menu > System Settings > General > Storage.

Note that you will need at least 20 GB of free space in order to install macOS Sonoma on your Mac. For that, you can try a dedicated cleaning app like Intego Washing Machine, which can thoroughly clear junk files, unnecessary files, and other build-ups that occupy a significant amount of space on your Mac.

3. Kill Startup Items That Are Using Up Your Mac’s Storage

Over time, as you use your Mac, you may inadvertently enable various startup items. However, there may come a time when some of these startup items are no longer necessary. Therefore, it’s advisable to disable them to free up resources and allow your Mac to run smoothly again.

Follow the steps below to stop startup items from running on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple icon on your Mac’s Menu Bar, then click System Settings.
  2. Click General > Login Items.
    Screenshot Login Items
  3. Select the item that you think is no longer necessary to launch during startup.
  4. Click the minus button (““) to remove it.
    screenshot close login items

4. Close Browser Tabs and Extensions

Many users may not realize that running multiple tabs in Safari or any other browser on your Mac can consume significant system resources. Thus, if certain web pages aren’t necessary, it’s better to close them to conserve resources. The same holds for browser extensions. You should remove or disable any extensions that are no longer needed to free up your Mac’s resources.

To disable Safari browser extensions simply go to Safari Menu > Settings > Extensions. Then uninstall unused extensions.

For Google Chrome, simply click the three dots on the top right, then click Extensions > Manage Extensions.

And while you’re at it, you may want to clear browser cache files as well. This could help your Mac to run at normal speed especially when browsing the Internet.

5. Uninstall Unnecessary Apps on Your Mac

Another effective step is to uninstall unused apps that might be running in the background and consuming your Mac’s resources, especially following the macOS Sonoma update. Some of these apps may no longer be compatible with macOS Sonoma and are causing your Mac to slow down. Unless the developer releases compatible updates, it’s advisable to uninstall these apps for the time being.

If you can’t live without these apps, you can find alternative apps instead.


The above steps will make your Mac run at normal or faster speed again. However, if your Mac is still slow, the problem might be caused by more serious hardware issues. If that’s the case, your best recourse would be to seek help from Apple Support.

If you’ve experienced your Mac slowing down after the macOS Sonoma update and have undertaken additional troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. By doing so, you’ll be helping fellow Mac owners who could be experiencing the issue right now.

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