Best Fixes for Mac Running Slow after macOS Monterey Update


Is your Mac slow after macOS Monterey update? , there may be good reason for that slowness, or it may be due to a variety of other factors. Don’t fret, as there very well could be a simple solution. Find out why your Mac is so slow after macOS Monterey update and discover a few ways to speed it up

If your Mac starts running slow after Monterey update, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it caught a virus or became too outdated. The problem might lie in its settings, or lack of disk space, or poor resource allocation. This would be a logical consequence of intense exploitation and it might reveal itself in just a few months after you purchase the device. In this article, we’ll walk through some possible reasons as to why macOS Monterey feels slow on a Mac, as well as covering some advice and general tips and tricks to speed things back up again.

Without further ado, here’s how to fix a slow macOS Monterey and prevent your Computer from slowing down further in the longterm.

Slow Mac right after macOS Monterey update? Wait it out!

If you just recently updated to macOS Monterey and you feel the Mac is slower than usual, the best course of action is to keep the Mac awake, plugged in (if it’s a laptop), and let it sit for a while (perhaps overnight or for a nights) – basically, hurry up and wait. I know that sounds like weird advice, but here’s the logic behind it: after a major macOS system software update, the Mac performs various maintenance routines behind the scenes, it reindexes the drive for Spotlight and Siri, and apps like Photos may reindex too.

So basically, let the Mac sit turned on overnight, perhaps for a few nights in a row, and allow those indexing and optimization processes to complete. When they’re finished, the performance of the Mac should be significantly better, if not entirely back to normal.

This is often the the number one reasons Mac users think a new operating system is slower than a prior version, so don’t disregard this simple advice!

Resort to the Activity Monitor to Detect and Delete Resource Hogs

If a Mac feels slow or sluggish after Monterey update, one way to possibly find the culprit is to check Activity Monitor for processes that are using the slow down. This is somewhat advanced to take action on, but it’s simple enough to observe that it can be helpful.

Feel free to select between these two interchangeable ways to access Activity Monitor:

  • Proceed to the Utilities section in the Applications
  • Press Command + Spacebar and type “Activity Monitor” in the search bar

Open the CPU tab and sort the inventory so that the most resource-consuming apps would be displayed at the top.
To suspend the unwanted processes, press the “X” button in their left upper corners. Be careful not to stop the ones that are crucial to the system’s functioning! An equal procedure can be done with the Memory section.

Consider Your Messages

If you use the Messages app on the Mac to talk to people, and if you send and receive many videos, stickers, animated GIFs, and other things of that nature, you may notice the Mac slows down when those active message conversations are open on the Mac.

You may notice that animated GIFs can be particularly sluggish, as they’re playing repeatedly on screen.

There’s no need to delete or remove the messages however, all you need to do is wait for the animated GIF to move off the screen, or select another message chat thread, which will cause the animated GIF to stop playing constantly.

Using the aforementioned Activity Monitor trick you may notice this directly; if you have a message thread with a lot of animated GIFs going on, and you open Activity Monitor, don’t be surprised to see “Messages” using some CPU.

Disable Window Transparency & Use Reduce Motion

Visual effects can make the Mac look quite fancy, but they can also cause some system slow downs, particularly if you have a lot of windows and apps open, or if the Mac is older or has fewer system resources in general. Accordingly, one way to speed up macOS Monterey (and most other modern Mac OS releases too for that matter) is to simply disable Window Transparency and use the Reduce Motion feature.

Open the  Apple menu, open ‘System Preferences’, then select the “Accessibility” preference panel
Choose “Display” settings
Check the boxes for “Reduce motion” and “Reduce transparency”
Exit out of System Preferences
You will see an immediate change in the visual appearance of things as the transparency is disabled, and windows, sidebars, titlebars, menubar, and other interface aspects will no longer have a translucent effect. You’ll also notice far fewer animations of zips and zooms, and instead with Reduce Motion enabled you’ll find there’s a fading animation used instead. The net effect is less system resource usage as there are fewer resources needed to draw the interface eye candy, and often a faster Mac too.

The ability to reduced transparency on Mac and Reduce Motion has been around a while, and these tips can help speed up other older system software versions too.

Stop the Programs Working in the Background

If you think that closing an app is equal to stopping it, you are making a common mistake. An app might not stop functioning after you press the “X” mark in the corner of its window. To check if the program keeps on working in the background, cast a glance at the dock. If the app’s icon is there, marked with a tiny dot, stop it with any of the following methods:

  • Two-finger tap the app’s icon, then press Quit
  • Right-click plus Command-click
  • Use the Command + Q keyboard shortcut
  • Proceed to File, then Quit
  • In case the item doesn’t respond, right-click its icon, hold Option and push the Force Quit button.

Steam, Excel and Photoshop would be among the most likely candidates to keep functioning in the background, consuming your Mac’s resources without your knowledge.

Don’t Allow Apps to Autostart

When you start the system, several apps would launch automatically. You won’t be able to use the computer properly until all of them load and start functioning. If you don’t want to wait that long, proceed to the System Preferences and press the Login Items button in the Users & Groups section. In the inventory of the auto starting programs, select the ones you are not planning to use and push the “minus” button.


The SMC abbreviation stands for the System Management Controller. This component is in charge of fans, power buttons, light LEDs and other low-level functions. If a decline in performance is accompanied by weird fan behavior or unusual keyboard backlighting, you should reset your SMC. Please google the exact step-by-step instructions because they might considerably differ depending on the model of your device.
Resetting NVRAM or PRAM, on the contrary, is very easy: while the system is starting up, hold Command + Option + R + P. This element is in charge of storing settings such as time zone, screen resolution or sound volume. PRAM or NVRAM failures are among the most frequent answers to the question why your Mac is slowing down.

Free at Least 5 GB in Your Mac’s Memory

Or even better 10 GB, if possible. This is the minimum volume of memory the device needs to function properly. In the right upper corner, press the Apple icon and then the About This Mac icon. The Storage tab will show you which part of your hard drive’s memory is currently used and which ratio of it is still available.
If you critically lack free memory, the system might fail to boot or hibernate. You’ll be unable to download large files and install updates. The functionality of certain apps might be limited. To fix these problems, erase unnecessary files and apps.

Clean Up the Desktop

Each item stored on your desktop consumes as many resources as if it were a separate window. To boost productivity, relocate the files from your desktop to other folders and eliminate the icons of the apps that you are not planning to use frequently.

Get Rid of Excessive Tabs and Browser Extensions

The more extensions you have in your browser, the more memory and CPU they require. The volume of the resources they consume is incommensurate with their insignificant functionality. The same can be said about all the tabs that you keep open while not actually using them: Twitter, Google, Instagram… Proceed to the Memory tab in the Activity Monitor to check how thirsty these tabs are and close them immediately.

Switch to Safari Browser

Unlike Firefox or Chrome, this one was tailor-made for Apple devices. It saves your Mac’s battery and won’t irritate you with memory hogs.

Timely Upgrade Your Operating System

The above-mentioned measures will have just a partial effect. Installing the latest version of your macOS or a new operating system will give a major boost to your device’s productivity. But beforehand, make sure to save all the meaningful data on an external physical drive or a cloud storage.
Previously, owners of older Macs would hesitate to switch to the latest operating systems because that would slow down their devices. Today, this problem is not relevant anymore. However, it would be wise to do some preliminary investigation and ensure that the newest version supports all the programs you use daily.
If installing a new OS is out of the question, try to upgrade at least all the applications. The exact procedure of doing it depends on how you installed them. Those downloaded from the AppStore should be updated right in the store.


The older your Mac, the less impressive its productivity. Fortunately, investing in a new computer is not the only way out. Try to clean the device’s memory, upgrade its OS and programs, fine-tune its settings to optimize the consumption of resources. As soon as you complete the procedures described in this article, your device will once again become quick and responsive.

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About the author
GeeksModo Staff
GeeksModo Staff
GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!

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