Why Is My Internet Running Slow Mac

Staying connected matters. It’s hard to think of anyone who owns a computer and never goes online to do stuff — study, work, shop, look up chicken wings recipe, or refresh Facebook feed. Matter of fact, you likely get on your computer for the internet access in the first place.

Typically, Apple computers are zippy and handle tasks like a champ, so when your browser suddenly slows down and takes up ages to load a webpage you can’t help but feel that something’s not right. Worries aside, here is what you should do to bring internet back to life on Mac when your browsing experience starts falling short.

Go Over Common Issues

Start off by following the #1 advice of every IT guy out there and reboot. Restart your Mac, your router, and also your broadband device (if it is separate from the router). In doing so, you are letting your devices start a fresh session and fix its own problems (at least the minor ones). Next up, make sure you don’t have any unnecessary internet-heavy apps or services running in the background. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. You will need to select the Network tab to get a real-time overview of what’s running and how much of your network is being used by each of the active processes. Select and close internet-hungry apps.

network in activity monitor

Lastly, make sure you don’t have an unthinkable number of tabs opened in your browser. Having too many tabs slows your Mac down as well as the internet connection.

safary tabs

Check Up Your Network

While rebooting everything usually solves a major chunk of possible problems, there is still a chance of other issues causing snailish connection. Sometimes it’s your ISP (Internet Service Provider) that’s having problems and it has nothing to do with your Mac. In this case, there is not much you can really do about, except maybe calling your ISP and letting them know how you feel about their services.

What you really need to do at this point is determine where the slowness is coming from. Try switching to a different network using the same Mac to see if websites start loading quicker. This should really give you a rough idea of whether it’s the computer or the internet that is letting you down.If you want to take answering the “why is my MacBook internet so slow” question one step further, you can speedtest your internet connection. If you have never ran an online broadband speed test before, simply Google for one and choose the one you like best. They all work pretty much the same way and are very easy to find. To get more reliable test results:

  • Ensure that no downloads, or other internet related background processes are running on your network (including other connected devices).
  • Test your network using at least two different devices (use MacBook and iPhone for example).
  • Run a test on a different network using the same devices and compare with the speedtest results from your network.

With this data at hand you should really be able to clear the air and get to solving your internet problems.

Fixing Slow Internet on Mac

Assuming that you have already restarted all thing internet in your home, and it is not the ISP to blame, it’s about time to look into what can be causing the internet slowness on your Mac.

Erase Downloads & Caches in Browser

In most of the cases it’s the browser that is bottlenecking your internet speed. To fix things up, launch the browser you’re usually using (Safari, Chrome, Firefox etc.) and clear your Downloads and Caches. Depending on what’s your go-to browser, the path to cache clearing option will vary.

Note: Using MacFly Pro makes a world of difference, as you can run a scan with a single click and wipe all caches.

Disable Browser Extensions

Some browser extensions can hinder the way webpages are loaded and displayed. This is especially true for extensions that block advertisements and pop-ups as some of them may end up blocking the wrong thing. If you are using Safari, then head over to Preferences and choose Extensions. Click on the extension and deselect the checkbox to disable the extension.

disable safari extensions

It is recommended to disable all extensions and check if it this brings any improvements. You can always start enabling them back one by one until you figure out which extension was causing trouble.

How to Make Internet Faster on Mac

By now you have hopefully managed to reclaim your internet speed. There is never too much internet though, right? Check out a few extra tips to give your current connection a boost!

Use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is mostly more convenient, true, there is no denying that. However, in some cases wireless connection can be the one to chop up precious Mbps of your internet quickness.

If your Mac still has a built-in Ethernet port or you are a newer MacBook lineup user that happens to own a USB-C to Ethernet dongle, then try leveraging your wired connection for a more stable and reliable internet.

Note: If your internet speed has not changed with the Ethernet plugged in directly into your computer, then it is most likely that your ISP offers slow internet in the first place.

Relocate Your Router

Both stability and quality of your internet connection improve the closer your Mac is to the router, and gradually drop the further it gets away. That’s just how routers work. Knowing this makes setting up Wi-Fi at home a little trickier than placing the router next to the closest outlet and letting it sit somewhere by a sofa on the floor.

Don’t be that guy, and instead, choose a spot for your router closest to the middle of your home to get the most of your router’s signal range.

Note: If your connection drops at parts of your home and there is no sweet spot to ensure a stable Wi-Fi signal in every room, consider getting a Wi-Fi range extender to boost the signal strength in weak areas.

Pick Up a Modern Router

Much like all other tech, Wi-Fi routers got a bump up in specs and features over time. This means that your router may be due for an upgrade in case you have had the same old router for years.

When looking for a new router you should look into models capable of 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi signaling. These offer better coverage, stability and, of course, speed. Make sure to check for 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals compatibility on your devices before committing to a purchase.

So there you have it, a quick round-up of solutions to common internet problems on Mac. However, if following these steps showed no improvement in your internet connection, consider contacting your ISP, installing latest macOS updates and lastly, checking your DNS configuration.