It’s always the questions you don’t think you have to ask.
I’ve been trying to help a friend who has been using a Mac for about 3 years after using a PC for about 20 years. She is not one to read help guides or go to classes and she tends to try to fix things when she doesn’t know what she is doing (like putting the hard drive icon in a folder because she doesn’t like it on her desk top), but every once in awhile I forget why I get frustrated with her and I try once again to help her.
Her Mac has been running really slow. We went to disk utility and verified the permissions on her hard drive. She had never done that in spite of being told it was important. There were 250 permission errors. Even with those corrected the machine was still slow. I had her go through and delete any applications she didn’t want or need, using App Zapper so she would get all the components. She was only willing to discard 5 so that wasn’t much help.
I reminded her that if she had a multitude of apps open at the same time that would slow her machine down. She closed about 10. Still running slow.
Then, I asked her if she needed to empty her trash. She said “what do you mean? Why do I have to empty it? It emptied automatically on my PC.” She had 3 years worth of trash in her trash can. 23,000 items. All taking up space. It took forever for the trash to empty.
After I had her restart her machine it was running much better. So keep this in mind for yourself or any of your friends as a check point when a Mac gets sluggish.