Defragging iMac 2012 running OS X Snow Leopard and later.

Summary: This post describes the reasons for poor performance of Mac OS X Snow Leopard and suggests some ways to speed up iMac 2012. The main focus stays on Stellar Drive Defrag software’s full defrag feature as the primary way to boost up iMac’s performance.

Defragging iMac 2012 running OS X Snow Leopard and later
Defragging iMac 2012 running OS X Snow Leopard and later

I recently came across a help request posted on a Mac forum. The requester had an iMac 2012 running on Snow Leopard OS, and it was losing its performance edge. The machine was becoming slower each day, and he couldn’t find any particular reason for the glitch. While he was considering installing Lion, he couldn’t help but think that there were other workarounds that could help him figure out what was going on and maybe assist him in speeding up his machine considerably.

The query gave my mind food for thought, and I started looking for the reasons that could be slowing down iMac running Snow Leopard, Lion, or even El Capitan. Also, I tried to make a list of easy fixes that could be applied to boost an iMac’s performance. Read on to know about all my findings.

Reasons Behind A Slow Running iMac

From CPU controlling apps to a cluttered desktop, the tiniest of details that you missed could be the very reason your iMac isn’t being itself. My research led me to these primary reasons behind a slow running OS X:

  • The iMac hard drive is too full – Regardless of the technical superiority Macs have over other machines, they, like other computers, need space to breathe and run normally. If your machine’s hard drive is reaching its maximum size limit, your files may be taking up space the OS X needs to perform its read/write operations, therefore, resulting in poor performance.
  • You have too many login items – When an iMac boots up a lot of applications load in the background. That’s why it takes milliseconds to get the machine ready for you to start tapping. Although some system programs load by default, additional downloaded apps that are pinned to the iMac’s startup can make the boot up heavy thus resulting in a delay and significant lag.
  • Heavy background apps – All of us download games and apps on our iMacs, but what we often fail to acknowledge is the toll they take on our machine. Many utilities that seem tiny during download (a couple of MBs) can transform into resource-controlling giants after installation. Apps that take up too much CPU often keep running in the background, making it difficult for you to stop the process and slows down your machine at the same time.
  • Outdated OS X – This is something several Mac users probably don’t realize. Keeping your iMac updated with the latest OS X goes a long way in maintaining the health of your machine. The updates are made and pushed to your machine for a reason, and you shouldn’t put off installing them.
  • Fragmentation of iMac hard drive – While you may have read articles on why Macs don’t need to be defragged, the truth is quite different. Though it happens slower than Windows, Mac hard drives also get fragmented after thousands of read/write operations on large sized media files. Disk fragmentation causes large files to be split into small chunks and be scattered all over the storage. This happens because the hard drive’s storage doesn’t have big enough blocks of contiguous memory left to save large files. When files aren’t stored in one place, it becomes difficult for the OS to read them quickly resulting in the performance lag you witnessed while working.

Tips to speed up slow iMac

Below are the easy ways through which you can bring about a noticeable boost in your iMac’s performance:

  • Clean up your iMac’s hard drive by deleting old large files and uninstalling heavy apps you no longer use. Also, clean up the desktop and keep only shortcuts to important apps there.
  • Go to System Preferences -> Users & Groups -> Your Username -> Login Items and remove any programs (by clicking on the minus (-) sign) you do not need to start when your Mac boots up. This should make Mac boot up smoother and quicker.
  • Install any pending OS updates that you might have missed out.
  • Defrag iMac 2012. Download and install Stellar Drive Defrag and defrag Mac hard drive using its “Full Defrag” feature to make file access quicker. This reliable third-party utility is one of the best Mac defrag tools currently available online, and it comes with a lot of interesting features that make using it fun and simple.
  • Lastly, you could also upgrade the RAM on your iMac.


The above tried and tested tips are sure shot ways to help improve the performance of your iMac. Furthermore, defragging OS X Snow Leopard may prove beneficial.


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