Mac downloads slow? 5 Tips to Download Your Mac Faster

Is your Mac downloading more slowly than it should be? It could be that a large file has stalled. Perhaps streaming content buffers longer than usual.

Regardless of the cause, slow download speeds can adversely affect all aspects of internet usage. Fortunately, where there’s a cause, there’s a cure.

The correct troubleshooting steps will help you to isolate the issue and get your internet back on track. So, let’s discuss how to troubleshoot slow downloads on a Mac.

1. Troubleshoot the Network

When you are experiencing slow download speeds, your network is the first thing to check. If your Wi-Fi or internet connection is causing the issue, there’s no point wasting time troubleshooting your Mac.

Follow these steps to identify and resolve a network problem.

  • Restart your router This is the first step to take if you have any network issues. Sometimes, the solution is simple.
  • Verify if any other devices are experiencing the same problem. If this is the case, it could be the network itself.
  • You can test your Mac on a network that is not your own. To isolate the problem even further, you can test your Mac on another network. If you don’t have another Wi-Fi network close by, you can use the personal hotspot on your phone.
  • If your Mac continues to download slowly on another network, it is most likely that the problem is with your device. This is the case. In such cases, you can jump to step 3 in this troubleshooting manual: Close unnecessary apps and tabs.

    2. Turn off all other devices

    Slow downloads may be occurring on one network only. This could be due to other devices hogging the bandwidth. It could be that a relative or friend is downloading large files on their PC. This will impact the speed of everyone on the network.

    Follow these steps to determine if another device is slowing down download speeds.

  • Disconnect all other devices—computers, phones, tablets, everything—from the network: You can either put them in airplane mode, or turn them off.
  • Test your Mac’s download speed: You can add devices to the network one by one once the issue has been resolved. This will allow you to identify the source of the problem and help troubleshoot further. You can also use a Speed test website available for free Test your connection.
  • If the issue continues with only the Mac connected, you’ll need to Continue troubleshooting the Wi-Fi network.

    3. Close unnecessary apps and tabs

    Once you’ve ruled out a network issue, you can move on to troubleshooting your Mac. If you haven’t restarted your device since the problem occurred, you should try that first. Sometimes, a simple reboot can fix the problem.

    Next, we need to Close any unneeded apps from your Mac Any open tabs in your browser. An indicator dot should be placed below any open apps in the Dock.

    The majority of browsers show an open tabs option. X you can click to close any you don’t need. To reveal the tab in Safari, hover over it. X.

    Closing any tabs or applications that slow down your download speed should be the solution.

    4. Try another browser

    If you’ve ruled out apps and tabs, your browser could be responsible for slow downloads. Problems could arise with the extension or the application itself.

    Try another browser to pinpoint the problem. If you’re using a third-party app, you can test with Apple’s in-built Safari browser. However, if you’re already on Safari, you can test with an Alternative Mac browser.

    If the issue doesn’t occur in another browser, you can either switch to that app long-term or troubleshoot the original application. If, however, the issue continues, you’ll need to isolate further.

    5. Activity Monitor is a tool that can help you identify apps that are using high bandwidth

    Activity Monitor can be used to isolate any background processes or applications that are causing problems on your Mac.

    To check your Activity Monitor bandwidth usage, you can follow these steps:

  • Stop any downloading that is currently in progress.
  • Launch Activity Monitor (located in /Applications/Utilities) and select the Tab Network.
  • Click here Rcvd Bytes Label so that the arrow points down. The processes should now be listed in order of what’s receiving the most data.
  • Look at which process is at top to see if it receives large amounts of data.
  • If you identify a rogue process or app, you’ll need to troubleshoot that software further. Generally, you could look at removal if it isn’t needed or follow the developer’s advice.

    It is possible to also try Safe Mode: Boot your MacIt will block any third-party processes and apps from being launched at startup.

    What if your Mac still downloads slowly?

    Most cases of slow download speeds should be resolved by following the troubleshooting steps.

    Some causes may require additional troubleshooting. For example, in the case of a confirmed network issue, you may need to contact your internet service provider (ISP) if you can’t resolve the problem yourself.

    If slow download speeds are a result of a deeper problem with your Mac you might need to do more detailed troubleshooting such as reset your macOS network settings.

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