A program that doesn't start, crashes often or is not performing as expected even in term of speed may be a sign of a system issue, either Hardware or Software. Before spending time looking for the source of the problem and if your computer has not been rebooted recently, make sure to reboot it before following. You will very likelly save time since a simple reboot use to fix most problems. If it is not the case, continue reading, below are steps for Apple Mac OS and Microsoft Windows users that can help fix problems and speed up the software or even the whole System. This page is based on Computer Hope: My computer is running slow what steps can I do to fix it? article with added Mac OS X information.
Background programs One of the most common reasons for a slow computer are programs running in the background. Remove or disable any useless background applications and startup programs that automatically start each time the computer boots. To see what programs are running in the background and how much memory and CPU they are using, open Activity Monitor on Mac OS X or Task Manager on Windows (note that if you are running Windows 7 or higher, run Resmon to get a better understanding of how your computer is being used). Furthermore, if you have an antivirus scanner on the computer, spyware protection program, or another security utility, make sure it is not scanning your computer in the background. If a scan is in progress, it can decrease the overall performance of your computer.
Running the program in the background Running a given software unattended in the background (like MaxBulk Mailer, eMail Verifier, eMail Extractor, eMail Verifier or Web Dumper) may also make it much slower since less system resources and process time will be dedicated to it. Maintain the application in the foreground and activated. It can even become worse on systems where an application can be put into sleep mode like Mac OS 10.9 or higher. It is actually called 'App Nap'. App Nap is a Mac OS X power saving feature. When an application is completely hidden behind other windows and is not currently executing a task like playing music or checking for e-mail, Mac OS X will deem that app "inactive" and put it to sleep to save power and free up your computer's resources. This can have an adverse effect on given applications though. Luckily, you can easily turn off App Nap for individual applications. To do so, simply find the application for which you want to disable App Nap in Finder. Then, right-click on that application and choose Get Info. From that window, you can check the box that says "Prevent App Nap."
Sleep mode Our software does nothing while your computer is sleeping. That means that if you are sending a message to a list with MaxBulk Mailer and your computer goes into sleep mode, either manually or automatically, no message will be sent and the application may crash. Same for the Windows Hibernation mode. If you want to let our software running unattended and processing things, make sure sleep mode is fully deactivated.
Delete temp files As a computer runs programs, accesses web pages, and is being used in general, temporary files are being stored on the hard drive. Deleting these temp files can help improve computer performance. First, we suggest using Onyx(1) on Mac OS X or the Windows Disk Cleanup(2) utility on Microsoft Windows to delete temporary files and other files no longer needed on the computer
1.- Onyx is a tool that can help you fix problems on Mac OS X, go to the 'Automation' panel, select all the options and click on the 'Execute' button. Then restart your computer and check if your problem has been fixed.
2.- The MS Windows Disk Cleanup tool may not delete all of the files in the temp directory. Therefore, we also suggest deleting temporary files manually by opening the Start menu and enter %temp% in the Search field, in Windows XP and prior, click the Run option in the Start menu and enter %temp% in the Run field. Press Enter and a Temp folder should open. You can delete all files found in this folder and if any files are in use they can be skipped).
Delete preference files Software settings are saved to a preference file. That preference file may contain wrong data or become corrupt over time. As a result the software may be very slow to start, may not start at all, may perform slowly or even crash. Note for file server users: all our software save a list of recent documents to the preference file, including remote documents (the documents stored on a file server). Launching the application with an unavailable file server will make the application unresponsive, aparently frozen/hanged because by loading back that list the application has to wait for timeouts. If you use to open files from a file server, make sure it is available.
The best solution is to remove the whole preference file however since it is a plain text file, you can open it with a text editor like Notepad on Windows or TextWrangler on Mac OS, and modify it by hand. The file is located here:
Mac OS: ~/Library/Preferences/Maxprog/<the_app_name>/ and ~/Library/Preferences/Maxprog/com.maxprog.<the_app_name>.plist
Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Users\<your_account_name>\AppData\Roaming\Maxprog\<the_app_name>\
XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<your_account_name>\Application Data\Maxprog\<the_app_name>\
Free hard drive space Verify that there is at least 200-500MB of free hard drive space. This available space allows the computer to have room for the swap file to increase in size, as well as room for temporary files. System file swapping can slow down your whole computer to a crawl, Mac OS X and MS Windows alike.
Uninstall/Reinstall the software Your software copy may be corrupt or not installed properly, try to replace it with a new copy. On Mac OS X place the software folder into the trash and select the Finder 'Empty Trash' menu. On Windows use the uninstaller located in the software folder. Only the software itself will be removed, not your data. Then download a fresh copy of the software here. Install the new copy as explained here. The software should activate itself automatically so it is not necessary to enter your activation code again. If it is not the case activate it as explained here.
Bad, corrupted or fragmented hard drive On Mac OS X you can fully check your hard drive with Disk Utility however it is not recommended to use third parties defragmentation tools. On MS Windows just run ScanDisk, chkdsk, or something equivalent to verify there is nothing physically wrong with the computer's hard drive. Run Defrag to help ensure that data is arranged in the best possible order. Use other software tools to test the hard drive for any errors by looking at the SMART of the drive.
Incorrect Disk Permissions On Mac OS X a permission problem can cause all kind of issues. You can fully fix the permissions of your hard drive with Disk Utility or with the following command in the Terminal tool: 'sudo diskutil repairPermissions /'. On Windows resetting the disk permissions of your hard drive to default values is quite complex to do, please check this page.
Scan for malware Today, especially on MS Windows systems, spyware and other malware is a big cause of many computer problems, including a slow computer. Even if an antivirus scanner is installed on the computer, we recommend running a malware scan on the computer. Use the free version of Malwarebytes to scan your computer for malware.
Scan for viruses If your MS Windows based computer is infected with one or more viruses, this can cause your computer to run slow. If your computer does not have an antivirus program installed, you can run Trend Micro's free Housecall online utility to check for viruses on your computer, as well as remove them. It is also recommended that you install an antivirus program for active protection against viruses.
Hardware conflicts Verify that the Device Manager has no conflicts. If any exist, resolve these issues as they could be the cause of your problem.
Update your Operating System Make sure you have all the latest Mac OS X version or Windows updates installed on the computer. If you are on the Internet when your computer is slow, make sure all browser plugins are up-to-date.
Update your drivers Make sure you have got the latest drivers for your computer, especially the latest video drivers. Having out-of-date drivers can cause an assortment of issues, including slow performance.
Reboot computer again If you have done any of the above steps but your computer is still acting slow try rebooting the computer again at this point.
Memory upgrade If you have had your computer for more than two years, you may need more memory. By having enough memory for programs to run within memory, your computer will not need to swap information stored within memory to the swap file. If your computer hard drive light is constantly active, its a good indication that your computer is swapping information between your memory and hard drive because of the lack of space in memory.
Hard drive upgrade One of the biggest bottlenecks of a computer is the hard disk drive. For anyone with a slow computer or just looking for something to upgrade in the computer to improve overall system performance, upgrading from a traditional hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD) will significantly improve the overall system performance.
Run registry cleaner We normally do not recommend registry cleaners. However, if you have followed all of the above steps and your computer is still slow, try running a registry cleaner on the computer.
Computer or processor is overheating Make sure your computer and processor is not overheating. Excessive heat can cause a significant decrease in computer performance because most processors automatically reduce the speed of the processor to help compensate for the heat related issues. Dust, dirt, and hair can also constrict proper air flow inside your computer, which can cause a computer to overheat. Make sure your computer case is clean and fans are not obstructed.
Erase computer and start over If none of the above solutions resolve your issues, another option is to either reinstall the full operating system or erase everything and then start over. Erasing everything and starting over can increase performance by getting rid of old software or drivers that may be on the computer and causing the computer to be slow. Installing a fresh copy of the operating system, software programs, and the latest drivers help verify there is no software related issues causing your computer to be slow.
Hardware issues Finally, if your computer continues to be slower than normal after going over each of the above recommendations (including erasing and starting over), it's possible that your computer is experiencing a more serious hardware related issue such as a failing component in the computer. This could be a failing or bad hard drive, CPU, RAM, motherboard, or other component.
Old computer If your computer is older than five years, the age of the computer could be the cause of the slow performance. Computers advance in technology and capabilities and newer, more advanced software programs come out to run properly on the new computers. Older computers are not able to run the new programs as well, which can cause them to slow down. If your computer is older than five years, we suggest purchasing a new computer or accept that, if all the above options do not work to speed up your computer, it will just run slower than a newer computer.
Corrupt system date settings A software application may crash right after you launch it, sometimes because it needs to get the operating system date. The operating system may use a corrupt preference file and as a result will not respond properly to date requests. A solution is to set the system date again from 'System Preferences > Date & Time', change any setting, save, revert the change and save again.
Corrupt fonts A software may crash or behave notably slower because of a corrupt font. A crash may show a 'Xcode/../../Common/Controls/ATSUEdit/ATSUEdit.cpp:972' error. The solution is to use another font or try to see what font has a problem. You can do that by opening the Font Book application, selecting all the Fonts and the 'File > Validate Fonts' menu. You'll get Green, Yellow, and Red issues. The red ones usually are important and need to be dealt with.