Mac & macOS

Lazy Mac after macOS update? Here's the solution.

Is Mac slow after updating to a new macOS version? The cause may be a hanging process.

If the Mac lags after the update to Mac OS X 10.10 "Yosemite", it does not have to be due to hardware that is too old or too little RAM: With my 2011 iMac, which was really fast with quad-core i5 and 16 gigabytes of RAM under "Mavericks". After the update, the "Beachball of Dead" often appeared for minutes after the system start and later during operation - the beachball of death because the system load was so high. If you should have the same problem: The obviously faulty cloudd process is to blame. We'll show you how to get your Mac up and running again immediately. The activity monitor helps with this.

Lame Mac after update: Cloudd is the culprit

First open the activity monitor from /Applications/Utilities/ and sort the processes according to their processor load or processor time. If you've been struggling with the problem for a while, you'll find the "Cloudd" process here, a system process that is responsible for synchronizing the computer and the data in iCloud. This constantly eats up well over 20% of the processor time, with me it was even constant 91 percent!

The cause: a bug!

The cause seems to be a bug in the process, and there are sometimes incorrect settings after updates. Therefore, open the folder ~/Library/Application Support/ and move the "CloudDocs" folder you find there to the trash can. Then use the activity monitor to kill the “bird” and “cloudd” processes. Your system load should now be significantly reduced on the spot and the Mac should be up and running again. If the problem occurs again after a restart (a few minutes after the start is OK!), you can repeat this tip, you will not initially suffer any technical disadvantages.

The cloudd process messes around on some Macs. Clearing the settings will help here.

Alternative: switch off document sync

If you don't know how to delete files from the Yosemite library or you prefer not to destroy unnecessary files, you should try the following trick: Open the system settings and there the "iCloud" menu. Click on the "Options" switch next to "iCloud Drive" and deselect all programs that you don't use or don't use with iCloud, ideally all of them. This also significantly reduces the system load of the process. It is to be hoped that Apple will fix the bug with the next update.

In order to calm down the process permanently, you should synchronize as few programs as possible with the iCloud.

Christian Rentrop

Graduate journalist, born in 1979. First attempts at walking in 1986 at the Schneider CPC. In 1997 it went online. Ever since then as a scribbler in deadwood forests and on digital highways. Often also on the Vespa or with the caravan on the way. Daughter father since 2020, so always very happy about one small coffee donation.


  1. Hello Christian. I have a Notebook Air 2011. I wanted to install the Luminar 3 software because it runs without any problems on a Mac 27″. My Macbook allows the installation but the program doesn't start, I'm prompted Version 10.11. to load. I've looked everywhere, including updates, of course, and can't find a way to load this version. What can I do? My pug has no solution or no interest in it either, he prefers to sleep.

    Greetings from Teltow
    Hans Jürgen Hartwig

    1. Oh, you need MacOS 10.11...I had to wonder if you meant the Luminar version ;) Yes, Apple doesn't show the operating systems in the store anymore, which is annoying. But there are other options:

      You can find the links to the older MacOS versions here:

      I would go straight to MacOS 10.12 "Sierra", which is probably the highest feeling for the old MacBook Air at the moment. Here is the direct link to the Apple download page:

      Warning, I strongly recommend archiving the installer somewhere - who knows how long Apple will keep this online...

  2. Hallo,
    I have a Macbook Pro 2011 with 4GB RAM.
    I've had Yosemite for a while now and it's been solid.
    Slowed down a bit, of course, but nothing serious.
    From one day to the next the Mac is super super slow, ie I need 3-4 minutes until a program is open.
    I disabled all fonts, fixed the right one, did NVRam reset, PRam reset, logged out of iCloud (I couldn't find any disable)
    I quit ccloud and bird.
    In the activity manager it can be seen that the CPU has over 90% available, 3GB of 4GB memory are being used (it says on the net, that's normal), my hard drive still has over 200GB free,

    Where can I still turn something so that my Mac runs again so that you can at least work with it?
    I can't download El Capitan because the process keeps getting aborted... computer too slow.
    Thanks in advance

    1. That sounds more like a hardware defect to me... maybe the SSD is spinning. Have the hard drive repaired with (cmd)+(r) in the recovery? (Attention, make sure beforehand that all data is safe!)

  3. Before that I never had such problems when I was using the WLAN at home. I've been to three different people on the net now, the same everywhere with the same websites. I just wanted to reset the Mac. I started it and pressed Alt+R to erase the hard drive. Then wanted to reinstall Yosemite, but failed because I had to enter my Apple ID and password. I know that too, but suddenly it wasn't possible to enter @. A different character was always shown, I almost went crazy here! In the end I put my Time Machine backup back on it and all the problems with the pages are back

  4. yes, i fixed it. but still nonexistent. Facebook usually only opens half of it, Google Maps too, there were no pictures to be seen on YouTube and could not connect at all. All this when I use Safari. Firefox couldn't open Facebook completely either.

  5. Hey, updated from Mavericks to Yosemite yesterday. Since then, Safari can no longer open some Internet pages properly. Facebook, for example, is usually only half displayed, as is the case with Google Maps. Often you only see the small blue question mark instead of the pictures. I've been looking online for half the night, apparently nobody has the same problem. Do you have an idea? I've already cleared cache folders, reset Safari, etc. Nothing helped.

  6. I, too, am a Yosemite injured party. It turns out that video conversion from photos ( consumes 150% CPU. Is there a solution to this?
    Thank you very much for your help
    Karl Kopp

  7. I have the same problem as Theresa. Cloudd is zero as I've never used it. On top of that, the internet connection freezes all the time. I've tried everything... Disk Utility, various resets...
    Apple support said my RAM is not enough. but it can't be the problem for the internet connection. or?? I'm getting crazy. never had any problems with the mac.

    1. How much RAM do you have? Internet problems are usually a result of incompatible wireless routers. My old iMac didn't want to work reliably with the Fritzbox either. Problem solution: Switch WLAN on the Mac off and on again, then it usually works again.

  8. It's not because of the missing SSD hard disk. Even with a 750GB Samsung, everything got really slow after the update to Yosemite. All of the above measures do not really lead to a solution in the long term. I don't know what it is either, but I could imagine that an i3 or i5 processor would do better.

  9. Hello, I also bought my MacBook Pro in 2011 and recently upgraded to Yosemite. Now he's super slow. In the activity display, however, Cloudd goes to zero and had never activated iCloud drive. Otherwise find no process that eats a lot. I'm despairing...

  10. Yosemite – an absolute nightmare! In 2008 I switched to the Mac Book because of Windows Vista. In 2015 I will probably return to Windows again. The program and the crippling speed are ridiculous.
    Apple doesn't seem to care either. The main thing is that the iPhones sell like hot cakes...

  11. Hello Christian,

    Thanks for the hint. Just asked again to be sure.
    You write, “NOT are there any technical disadvantages to start with.” And “Be that as it may: the deleted folder removes the settings and terminates the process.”

    Which settings are deleted? Do I have to set the settings again afterwards, as I would like them to be? Will this affect my cloud? iWorks? Etc.?

    Thank you for your help!!

    Best regards Michael

  12. Ever since the Macintosh days, I have always been an absolute fan of Apple, both professionally (scientifically) and personally. Since the quality and support has deteriorated more and more over the past few years, I've been absolutely pissed off since the Yosemite installations and will no longer recommend this company. All MacBooks from different years are now extremely slow and keep hanging on power off and reboot and can only be turned off manually. This increasingly neglected quality prompts us to use "other" systems in the future.

    The measure is now absolutely full also with my international partners

  13. Hello friends, with my MacBook Pro built in early 2011 with a 750GB hard drive, almost everything was pretty slow after the update to Yosemite and one or the other program was also reported as "red" in the activity monitor.
    I've tried everything possible from access rights via the help here in the forum, but without success.

    Here is my solution:
    Fast SSD from SanDisk with 480GB installed and everything suddenly ran great! The MacBook Pro is now endlessly fast and nothing hangs anymore / the annoying rotating color wheel is now history!

    Using the onboard tools (disk utility) I was able to clone the entire old hard drive 1:1 including the recovery partition. I would rather advise against tools like "Carbon Copy Cloner" and the like because I also had serious errors with them.

    Here is the link to how to clone:

    In my opinion, the main problem lies in the far too slow hard disks with 5400 rpm, which cannot keep up with the amounts of data that we work with today to retrieve or store them quickly enough. The current operating systems and computers are crying out for SSD storage media.

    What would happen to a small car engine with 50hp if I suddenly or gradually add more and more bodywork and increase the weight of the vehicle from 1000kg to 3000kg??? In comparison, this happens with the computers, the processor and the hard disk remain the same, only the requirements are constantly growing and then the "poor" small hard disk is quickly overloaded!

    I hope to have helped you out there and remain with kind regards :-)


  14. Hi,
    I also have the problem that my MacBook Pro from 2011 is extremely slow. Actually, I didn't want to update to Yosemite at all, but then Safari got older and older and my "Things" demanded it.
    I read your blog with great hope and then immediately looked for the culprit iCloud. But I didn't even install it. Then I saw that with the windows server and did all that, repaired access rights, redid SMC and RAM as described. And yet the Macbook is still just as slow as before, maybe even a little slower.
    Things doesn't seem to like the Macbook after the update either, it's often super slow. Mozilla is also very slow.
    Does anyone have an idea? Otherwise I might have to call Apple Care...

      1. Yes, I have that too. In the meantime I called Apple Care and spent the 29 € and they advised me to reinstall because I had already tried everything possible. And that is exactly the solution. I didn't reinstall 1 : 1, but only the user and then gradually everything else. so I could strip the Mac of everything useless right away. And lo and behold, it runs fast and smoothly with Yosemite. The €29 was extremely well spent and really cheap because I spent several hours on the phone with Apple Care. If you're not as computer geek as I am, you're in good hands there...

      2. Oh... I could have told you that too ;) But reinstallation is always the last resort in Unix systems. Although it can be worth it: I recently did it with my iMac, including retransmission of all data via Time Machine. The result is, for whatever reason, 30 gigabytes more memory on the hard drive, finally reliable transparency effects in Yosemite and no problems with the iCloud service. In this respect it was worth it and can only be recommended to everyone. By the way, there are instructions here:

      3. That's really the best too. I used to have Snow Leopard on it. And now the box is running really fast again and it's fun!

  15. I also have the problem that my mac stutters extremely - but I don't use the cloud at all. Can you still help me - why is it that I can't even surf without feeling like I'm connected via a modem again?

  16. I somehow can't delete Cloudd. Right-clicking doesn't show me any options, clicking the delete button doesn't do anything either, and dragging it to the trash doesn't budge. What should I do now?

  17. activated trim, reset PRAM, repaired rights. No change. When shutting down, I see the Apple cog for 30 seconds.

  18. No idea if trim is enabled. Since I have a Samsung SSD, I probably shouldn't activate it either. Or? Then there can be problems under Yosemite.
    Check volume, access rights etc everything is OK with me.

  19. So I personally think that what was written above doesn't really solve the problem at its core. Usually there are problems with access rights.

    My suggestion:

    First of all, you should boot from the recover partition using the command “cmd” + “R” (hold the keys while restarting). Then open Disk Utility and check permissions and repair if necessary. You can also do "Check / Repair Volume".
    But usually it is the access rights that cause problems.

    If none of this helps, I recommend creating a backup with Time Machine. Then again "cmd" + "R" (hold keys while restarting) and then erase the disk with Disk Utility. Then restore the data from the backup. And finally possibly repair the access rights again.

    This worked very well for me, and the MacBook Pro is now running super fast again.

    1. Yes, the rights repair is also a solution for many problems - but in this case it obviously didn't help me and many readers.
      Reinstalling and restoring the backup is voodoo, it does nothing on the Mac except possibly delete problematic system files. Makes more sense: "Install OS X over it" again - has the same effect, but is much less complicated.

  20. Thanks! Without any more nerves for any configurations, I have now completely deactivated iCloud Drive and my old Mac is running like clockwork again. Finally!!

  21. my macbook pro (end of 2011) with ssd only shuts down slowly with Yosemite. under mavericks everything ran very quickly. now it's slower than windows xp. what could that be??

  22. Even after my Yosemite update, the WiFi was extremely slow. My tip: just quit Safarie, remove it from the dock, put Mozilla on it... no more problems from then on.

  23. My iMac is 12GB. The settings are the same as under Maverick's. VM has 4GB and 2 cores. I suspect it's Yosemite. It runs great on my Macbook Air with 8GB!

      1. After I couldn't get any further on the internet, Parallels Support got in touch after 2 weeks. The solution: Open the terminal and enter the following line: "sudo nvram boot-args="debug=0x10" then confirm with the admin password, reboot and you're done. The Mac is fast as a weasel again ;O)

  24. Hello, I have a MacBook Air ´13 with ssd, it runs great. My iMac, on the other hand, is extremely slow and I can hardly work with it. The iMac is really hot and the Windows Server process is going through the roof. The memory pressure is at 80% and with no applications open I have a memory usage of 12 GB. If I turn off Windows, the MAC runs.

      1. When I close Parallels, the MAC runs normally again. The process is not called Windows Server but "own boot camp" with a utilization of 130%. How that works is a mystery to me though!

      2. Then it's up to Parallels. How did you set up the VM? My rule of thumb is always: Half the number of processor cores (1 for dual-core, 2 for quad-core), maximum half the system RAM, rather less if your Mac has little RAM. How much RAM do you have?

  25. Hello Christian,
    I have a Macbook Pro from 2011 with 8 GB of RAM and an SSD hard drive and have also had severe speed problems since the update to Yosemite. Was already afraid that it was the hardware, but that was already denied. However, the cloud is not my fault, which is why the presented tip will unfortunately not lead to success. Instead, the "WindowServer" process eats up enormous percentages of the CPU at times. Is there a "simple" solution to this?
    Thanks in advance and best regards, Tony

  26. Hello, unfortunately the above two tips didn't work for me. I use a MAC 21″ from 2013. So far the part has run very quickly and well. But since the update to Yosemite everything is slower. The loading bar appears when starting, the spinning top when shutting down, sometimes it doesn't shut down at all. Safari is also sluggish and slow. Can you undo the update? I don't have a Timemachine backup. That was probably a mistake. Greetings & thanks, Ruben

      1. The activity monitor shows nothing special. Since I hardly installed anything, I can't imagine that the hard drive is full of garbage. This is so annoying. :-( How can I repair rights? I'm a MAC newbie.

      2. The easiest and most effective way is to hold down the ALT key at startup, then switch to recovery mode, select Disk Utility there, select the system hard drive and then click "Repair Permissions". Then just exit the recovery and start normally.

  27. Hello Christian

    I have the same problem... unfortunately the instructions above don't work for me or I don't have this folder ;-(

    My 24″ iMac is from 2009 – any other tips?

    That would be great, because unfortunately I don't know what to do anymore...

    Thank you very much and best regards Jenny

  28. Hi Chris :-)
    I also came across your class page and the great tips when I searched Google. Thank you already.
    I have a MacBookPro from 2011, I've always done all the updates and since Yosemite my MacBook has been really lame on the road.
    Last night it even hung itself on reboot somehow.
    Can I also try your above tips in terms of cloudd on my Macbook?!
    I'm a fairly good user and should be able to do it.
    Apple released an update for Aperture and iPhoto right after the Yosemite. I have already done this.
    Since Yosemite, the dock has also been lame, so the applications have uhhhh a long time before they finally open.
    As soon as I'm home, I'll be very happy to follow you on FB.
    Sunny greetings from Switzerland
    Monica :-)

  29. In the end, I had no choice but to turn off iCloud Drive completely. Only then and after a restart did the iMac calm down. Too bad.

  30. Hi, I came across this page through Google. I have the exact same problem on my 27″ 2011 Imac. Weirdly not on the 2012 MacBook Air.
    I've tried deleting the folder. What exactly does this achieve?
    Hope it gets better. My iMac can't be an old carrot yet. :(
    However, things got really bad with Yosemite.

    1. Hello Glenn,

      no, the 2011 is anything but too slow for Yosemite, it's still faster than the current Macbook Pro 13″. However, the situation was the same here: no problem on the 2013 Air, but on the iMac 2011 it was. Only Apple knows why, but it is somehow difficult to assume that there is no maliciousness here. However, the iMac has also been used as a main computer for 3 years, the Air only on the go, without large software installations.

      Be that as it may, the deleted folder removes the settings and ends the process. Immediately afterwards (and ideally after a reboot), the problem should be resolved. If not: use part 2 of the trick, it will definitely work.

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