fixed : spinning beachball on extremely slow MacBook Pro from 2012

Question :

I have a MacBook Pro from 2012 (maybe 2011) and it has gotten slower and slower each year, and now it’s even so slow that I constantly shows a spinning rainbow-ball and apps keep bouncing in the Dock : everything from opening apps to opening files takes forever… the response time to what I type on the keyboard is extremely slow… even though I am sure I haven’t even used 50% of my hard disk space…

What can I do to resolve this ?

 

Answer :

If you have a MacBook Pro ‘late 2011’ or ‘mid 2012’, and you have never upgraded the RAM, your MacBook may only have 4GB of RAM. Compared to current standards, that’s very little… especially if you are running macOS 10.13 High_Sierra or newer (macOS 10.14 Mojave will not run on the ‘late 2011’ model, only on the ‘mid 2012’ model).

There are various possible causes for your Mac running slow, to name a few :

  1. your hard drive is too full (not in your case as you stated, but still worth mentioning)
  2. you have too many processes running at once, so you’re short on RAM
  3. over time some things have gotten messed up on your Mac

So, start tackling these potential problems one-by-one :

  1. check your free hard drive space and free it up if needed :
    • go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose About This Mac
    • in the window that opens, click on the Storage tab
    • an info bar shows up :
      • if you have more than 25% of space available, you’re okay
      • if you have less than 10% of space available, you should free up space as soon as possible
    • to free up space on your hard disk, you can :
      • move files you do not use regularly to an external drive
      • delete apps you never use (apps from the Mac App Store you can delete, since you can re-download them if you need them in the near future ; other apps you should backup to an external drive if you want to be sure you will be able to re-install them in the future)
      • click on the Manage-button in the window you were in (About this Mac -> Storage) and follow the suggestions to free up space on your internal hard disk
  2. check your available RAM and shut down background processes :
    • go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu-bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose About This Mac
    • in the window that opens, click on the Memory tab
    • if you only have 4GB of RAM, it would be a good idea to upgrade your RAM (but if you do not use your MacBook intensively or intent to buy a new one within about a year, it’s not a very cost efficient solution, so you can choose not to)
    • if you want to upgrade your RAM, you could ask your local Apple-dealer to do so for you, or you could do it yourself if you are a little tech savvy and have the right tools :
      • for a Late 2011 MacBook Pro you need PC-10600 (1333 MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, either 2x4GB or 2x8GB
      • for a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro you need PC3-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, either 2x4GB or 2x8GB
    • whether you upgrade your RAM or not, you should also open the Activity Monitor app (that is in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder)
    • in the window that opens, you can see which apps and background processes take up the available RAM capacity
    • if you encounter any app in top-10 of the list that is either running slow or that you don’t need, you can Force Quit the app by selecting it from the list and then clicking on the 8-sided-X-marked-button top-left ( NOTE : only do this with apps you know, do not do this to processes from the list that you do not recognize, or of which you do not exactly know of what they do… it’s far safer to keep one process too much running than one process too little ! )
    • then, go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu-bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose System Preferences
    • in the window that opens, click on Users&Groups
    • in the window that opens, click on the current user in the list on the left
    • then click the Login Items tab
    • there, make sure to only leave iTunesHelper there, so delete all other background-apps listed by selecting them from the list and clicking on the Minus-button bottom-middle ( NOTE : background-apps that are known to slow down your Mac extremely if you have little RAM are SpotifyHelper and Dropbox (DropboxHelper), so make sure you delete both of them if you are not planning on using Spotify or Dropbox regularly )
    • then restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu )
    • after the restart, check to see if the background-app you had just deleted are really gone from the Login Items list, if they haven’t, delete them again, restart & check again
  3. if your Mac is still slow after doing all of the above, reset the PRAM/NVRAM/SMC by doing the following :
    • disconnect all cables from your MacBook Pro ( also disconnect from all USB-devices )
    • restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu ) to ‘zap the PRAM’ :
    • when the screen goes black, immediately press this key-combo on your keyboard : [P] + [R] + [ALT] + [CMD] and hold all of them until you hear the second startup chime (sound), then release
    • then also ‘reset the SMC (Software Management Controller)’ :
    • make sure your MacBook Pro’s power adapter is disconnected
    • restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu )
    • when the screen goes black, immediately press this key-combo on your keyboard : [SHIFT-left] + [ALT-left] + [CMD-left] and press the [POWER]-button at the same time for 10 seconds or more, then release
    • then press the [POWER]-button again to start-up your MacBook Pro

That should do it !

enjoy 😉

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info : iCloud Photo Stream on OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard

Question :

I have set up iCloud Photostream on my iPhone and/or iPad to automatically upload my pictures to iCloud, but my Mac is a Core Duo Intel-Mac, which can only run MacOSX 10.6 Snow Leopard…

…is there any way to get my photos ‘Photostream-like’ onto my Snow Leopard Mac automatically ?

Answer :

The requirement for iCloud Photostream-compatibility on a Mac is iPhoto 9.2.3 (from iLife ’11). But even though it is possible to install iPhoto 9.2.3 on a Mac running OSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, iPhoto will only show the Photostream option if you are on a Mac running 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion.

At this moment your options are :

1- use the workaround using the Eye-Fi app, as previously outlined here :

https://macmanus.nl/2012/07/28/fixed-icloud-photostream-from-business-iphone-to-family-mac/

2- use the rather costly and time-consuming setup of iCloud Control Panel for Windows on a virtual Windows-installation on your Mac [ see below for details ]

3- turn the iCloud control Panel for Windows into a OSX-app by putting it inside a (Windows Vista-compatible) Wine-wrapper [ this is a programmer-only option, which needs some (a lot of ?) debugging ; I’ve done various attempts myself, but haven’t got it working yet… help is welcome ]

4- use Dropbox (or alike) to bypass Photo Stream completely

…and a few less satisfying options :

5- wait for Apple to upgrade iPhoto and MacOSX 10.6 with support for Photo Stream [ if ever… the long awaited – but not yet (if ever) – released MacOSX 10.6.9 is/was said to bring Photostream-compatibility to Snow Leopard… but chances on that are fading day-by-day…]

6- upgrade to a new Mac [ sounds like “you’re busted” right ? ]

—- UPDATE —–

some new options have emerged :

7- get iPhoto for iOS and create a Journal that you publish online (on an iCloud webpage), from there you can export to iTunes ; more info on this can be found here :

http://help.apple.com/iphoto/ipad/1.0/#blnkaf3ef70a

8- in the iOS Photos app, create a secondary Photo Stream (a.k.a. “Shared Photo Stream”) that you publish online (on an iCloud webpage), from there you can import them on your Mac ;  more info on this can be found here :

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4379

 

——————————————————————————–

INFO ON SETTING UP THE iCloud Control Panel for Windows ON A MAC :

Apple has released an iCloud Control Panel 2.0 for Windows Vista and Windows 7 (iCloud Control Panel 1.0 was for Windows XP also).

And since MacOSX 10.6 Snow Leopard can run OSX and Windows side-by-side, using virtualization, it is possible to set Photostream up on a Snow Leopard Mac…

Like this :

– install virtualization software (on OSX)

– install Windows (on a virtual machine in the vritualization software)

– register Windows (else you won’t be able to run it in the long run)

– install iCloud Control Panel for Windows (on Windows)

– setup iCloud Control Panel to download iCloud’s Photostream to a shared Mac&Windows-folder (on Windows)

– setup iPhoto (on MacOSX) to auto-import photos from the shared Mac&Windows-folder

…but it is both time-consuming and expensive, since you will need :

– at least 10GB of free harddisk space (on top of the 25% or more free hard disk space needed for MacOSX to run properly)

– virtualization software like Parallels, VM Ware Fusion (both rather expensive if you’ll only use it for iCloud Photostream) or Sun/Oracle’s FREE VirtualBox for OSX :

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

– Windows Vista or Windows 7 with an official registration ;  which is NOT free, but you might have it lying around from an old unused PC…

(if you only have an official Windows XP lying around, you can either try to use the older WinXP-compatible version of iCloud Control Panel for Windows)

…or you can try upgrading to Windows 8, which is ‘relatively cheap’ until (‘only’ $40 or €30, but you will need a genuine Windows XP, Vista of & license…)

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/buy?ocid=GA8_O_WOL_Hero_Home_FPP_Null

http://windows.microsoft.com/nl-NL/windows/buy?ocid=GA8_O_WOL_Hero_Home_FPP_Null

WARNING : iCloud Control Panel 2.0 for Windows is officially not supporting Windows 8 yet… (but it’s expected to run anyway…)

– and last but not least : iCloud Control Panel for Windows version 2 :

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1455

…or if you’re looking for the iCloud Control Panel that also runs on Windows XP :

http://icloud-control-panel.nl.softonic.com/download

…or you can try to make the latest iCloud Control Panel XP-compatible by :

– unRAR the iCloudSetup.exe using any un-archiver like RAR, UnArchiver or

– open iCloud.msi in Textedit (on OSX)

– search very occurrence of “Version>=600” and change it to “Version>=200”

– save and make sure the file-extention is back to .msi (adjust it in the finder if needed)

– run the iCloud.msi in Windows XP

So… as mentioned before : it is possible to ‘tap’ (kind of) your iCloud Photostream to your OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard Mac… but… it’s costly and time-consuming to set it up…

NOTE :

as mentioned before : I’ve tried to make an ‘OSX-app’ by putting the iCloud Control Panel for Windows in a stand-alone Wine-wrapper, but despite various attempts I haven’t got that one working yet… (any help on this is welcome)