iBreak: Memory eater

MacBook / General Knowledge

The situation: A New York City man sent his device in to us for a MacBook repair after experiencing some marked declines in computing speed. 

What caused it: The man said he suspects that the underlying cause is a single program that is continually running and therefore significantly taxing the device's speed. This is very likely the case, since there are many different ways such a situation can arise. Unfortunately, many times this problem can begin without you even knowingly running an application. That's because there are many (often malicious) apps on the Internet that can be inadvertently downloaded to your computer. Once on your system, these programs will set to work sapping your device of its speed. Another possible way this problem happened could be related to an internal computing error. Let's say, for instance, that the man sent a document to print a month ago but the computer wasn't connected to the printer at the time. In that case, the MacBook, unbeknownst to the man, could repeatedly be sending print requests, thereby draining its own memory.

The solution: We're happy to take a look at the device in our shop, but there's an easier way to see if a certain app is taxing your system:

  • Go to Spotlight in the upper right hand of your screen (or with Command + Space Bar) and type in “Activity Monitor.”
  • Open that program and check the processes running on your system. If the CPU is being taxed by one particular application, that is likely your culprit.
  • You can terminate any program running by highlighting it in the Activity Monitor and clicking “Quit Process.”
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