Since its launch in 2015, El Captain OS X has gained not the best repute due to causing slowdowns and bugs on Mac. In this article, you’ll get to know why El Captain is slowing your Mac down and what can be done to improve the situation. Learn the most helpful tips to deal with the freezes.


To begin with, let’s say that El Captain is not that bad at all. Being a successor of Yosemite OS X, it came with a pack of new exciting features and major improvements for Apple computers. One of the coolest features of El Captain became the ability to use two applications at a time by operating them on the split screen. The newly introduced Mission Control helped to keep the virtual desk more organized. Notes app, Spotlight, and Mail also got their share of improvements.


El Captain could have become a powerful OS, but unfortunately, all its flaws made many of the Mac users frustrated. The fact that El Captain has been released with the software version number 10.11 and got a considerable amount of updates, landing with the most recent 10.11.6 in July 2017 speaks for itself. The most common problem with El Captain is the drastic slowdowns and freezes on a Mac. A few of other issues include: Wi-Fi being slow, Handoff facing performance issues, AirDrop being stuck, Safari crashes and some others.

However, if you made up your mind to try using El Captain – which, we are sure, is worth doing for all the other awesome features this OS brings – take a look at the tips below. They will help you in installation and maintaining this operating system in good shape.

Installation and Mac’s compatibility

Not all Apple computers can run El Captain. Before you install El Captain on Mac, make sure that your device is compatible with this OS. Here’s the list:

  • iMac – since mid-2007 up to the recent;
  • MacBook Air and Aluminum – both late 2008 to recent;
  • MacBook non-Aluminum and Mac Mini – both early 2009 to recent;
  • MacBook Pro – mid-2007 to recent;
  • Mac Pro – early 2008 to recent.

If your Mac is not on this list, you might want to roll back to Yosemite OS or the other type of Mac OS you’ve been using before.

In case your Mac is compatible, make sure you only install El Capitan from its most recent version 10.11.6, as it is supposed to have more bugs and other issues fixed.

Mac being slow with El Captain

Slowness, as the most common issue with El Captain, can be caused by a number of various reasons.

If the problem occurs right after El Capitan installation, don’t go tearing your hair out. Most likely, the cause is in the Spotlight being re-indexed after the installation of the new OS. 24 hours is a typical acceptable term for the Spotlight to face slowdowns. It is temporary and isn’t something uncommon.

However, if the slowdowns do not disappear in 24h maximum, the issue is not the Spotlight. Then the reason may be one of the apps on your Mac not working correctly and slowing down the entire OS.

First of all, you should make sure that all your apps are updated.

  • Open AppStore by clicking on its icon in Dock
  • The figure on the badge will show you the number of updates available
  • Click ‘Update All’ to start the process

In case all your applications are already updated, but the problem of slowdowns persists, do the following:

  • Click Apple Menu – System Preferences – Extensions.
  • Disable all extensions one by one, to see if the performance of Mac improves, and thus detect an app, which causes problems.

If the issue is still there, the next thing to do is to clean junk files (duplicated files, caches, uninstalled app leftovers, etc.) on the hard drive of your Mac. You can do all these processes manually or get it done with the help of a specialized third-party cleaner for Mac El Captain. Getting rid of unwanted files may become the solution to the problem.

Despite all drawbacks mentioned above, we still claim that El Captain is a great OS. Apple users have to accept the fact that no operating system is going to work without a single hitch. El Captain is definitely worth trying to install and deal with its peculiarities.