Remove caches to fix a slow Finder in OS X 10.10.3

FinderIconYosemiteXAfter upgrading to OS X 10.10.3, you may find that navigating the Finder can be arduously slow at times, where the contents of folders you open may take a while to display, and otherwise scrolling and navigating may be overall sluggish. If this occurs, then you can likely fix it by clearing some Finder-related cache information from your Mac.

Caches are small databases of frequently accessed resources that a program can access far quicker than having to locate and parse this information directly from locations on disk, or which store specific URLs and other Web resources that a program may use for accessing an online account or other data. While they usually enhance performance, if damaged then caches may do the exact opposite.

In light of this, to fix odd slowdowns, you can try removing some caches that may be relevant. First try rebooting into Safe Mode by holding the Shift key down on your Mac when starting up. This will force the system to run a drive check and clear some system caches. When done, reboot your Mac normally to see if the problems persist.

Next, try manually clearing some of the caches that may be relevant to the Finder. These include those for the Finder as well as related services like iCloud Drive. The caches for these services are located in your user library, so get to them by holding the Option key and choosing Library from the Go menu in the Finder. In the folder that opens, go to the Caches directory. In here, consider removing the following cache files and folders:

  • CloudKit >
  • CloudKit >
  • CloudKit >
  • CloudKit > CloudKitMetadata
  • CloudKit > CloudKitMetadata-shm
  • CloudKit > CloudKitMetadata-wal

When done, log out of your user account and log back in, or optionally just restart your Mac, and see if the Finder slowdowns persist.

A second factor that might be at play here is Apple’s Spotlight indexing routines for Finder searches, where after upgrading or updating a system, Spotlight may attempt to index new items and get hung up when doing so. To clear these problems, you can force your Mac to rebuild the Spotlight index by adding your boot drive to Spotlight’s privacy list, followed by removing it. This may then take a few hours to rebuild, but after which the Finder and services that use Spotlight indexing may show faster performance.

17 thoughts on “Remove caches to fix a slow Finder in OS X 10.10.3

  1. FixMaX

    How to fix slow booting the MacBook Air (released by Apple on June 2009) with 2GB RAM?

    It was quick with Mac OSX 10.6.8 booting in 20 sec or so, but now slow booting in one min with OS X 10.10.3 (14D136).

    1. markf21

      Not enough memory installed. Yosmiite uses roughly 2GBs of Ram. Consequently slow to startup, slow launching Apps on computer. Beachballs quite a bit too I’ll bet. Turn off FileVault in System Preferences>Security & Privacy. Also in System Preferences go to Accessibility and in Displays Turn off Reduce Transparency. Ghese changes should give you back some zippiness.

      1. FixMaX

        Thanks. That was done already. 2GB RAM was the top at the time of purchase, and since it is soldered I think it is not possible to increase it.

      2. FixMaX

        Reduce transparency should be SELECTED (ticked) as far as I know to speed up the Mac. Right?

  2. lloyd

    Lucky, I guess. Have no issues with Finder, even with an older machine. (Mid-2009 Mini, 8 GIG RAM, Seagate Momentous 500 GB 7200 RPM drive). I do run Onyx (the release for 10.10). Certainly helps browsers with many open tabs. Screen redraw will sometime not bring icons up to date.

    Booting is fast. (10.10.4 Developer), but it has never closed quickly. Exceeding long time to restart or shutdown.

    Running the pre release Office package and love the changes in Word. Excel is so much better than 2011. But the real creeping problem starts in Excel, working on a four-page book, with page three having 5 sheets, pretty saturated with a lot of calculations, formatting, etc. Can take five minutes or so to select 12 columns by 350 rows to make print area changes. There is another way, but when you fall into a habit… After selection is made, the page crashes, the usual reporting to MS, but the page was autosaved. Only slowdown I have experienced.

  3. Bardi Jonssen

    A better word to use, in my humble opinion, would be purge instead of remove. Not everyone but using the word, remove, may end up with people removing the entire folder.

  4. A Mac User

    Re: It was quick with Mac OSX 10.6.8 booting in 20 sec or so, but now slow booting in one min with OS X 10.10.3 …

    Sometimes slow booting is simply due to the boot disk not being selected as the Startup Disk in the System Preferences. This seems to be especially true if you use a mirrored RAID disk as your boot disk.

    To check/fix this issue, launch System Preferences, select Startup Disk then ensure your boot disk is selected and quit System Preferences. If your boot disk was not selected, then the next time you boot, it should boot more quickly.

  5. lkrupp215

    Or you could just relax and let OS X do its job in clearing out caches on its own like it’s designed to do. Within a few hours the caches will have updated data in them anyway. How do you think the caches got there in the first place?

    1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

      It should be noted that for OS X to clear caches, among other things, with the daily, weekly and monthly cron scripts, your machine must be up and running at 2:00 AM. Alternatively, you can run those scripts manually using a number of utilities – Maintenance is the easiest to use, and it’s free. There are versions for every iteration of OS X from OS X 10.4 Tiger onward:

      1. Wub-Fur Internet Radio

        This was true through Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). In Mac OS X v10.6 and later, background maintenance tasks that do not run when the computer is asleep are run after it wakes from sleep mode.

    2. Sean

      lkrupp – Maybe try presenting some useful facts and letting them speak for themselves. Your sarcasm adds nothing to the force of what you are saying. In fact, it devalues your words, making you seem like someone with too much emotion and little knowledge.

  6. bradmacpro

    You can also disable a ton of unnecessary fonts with Font Book. That helps boot time as well as application launch time, most notably Microsoft Word.

    1. FixMaX

      I have repaired permissions in the MacBook Air indicated above with all updated including Mac OS X 10.10.3 (14D136), rebooted in safe mode, reset the PRAM and SMC, repaired with DiskWarrior and run Yosemite Cache Cleaner, checked with Font Book and repaired with FontDoctor to no avail.

      Actually, instead if 45 sec as before did, it takes now 1 min to boot. Right after booting, the Menu Meters CPU graph shows its two cores over the roof (100%) for 10 seconds or so but 1,200 MB of used RAM and 600 MB of free RAM. Such RAM usage remains later on with no applications open and no CPU activity.

      Any idea to improve the booting time in such machine that used to be about 20 sec with Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard)?

      1. Joe Cordes

        I had to reset SMC today after the 10.10.3 supplemental update. Booting my older MBP took several minutes. Safe boot didn’t help. For some reason zapping SMC always works on my laptop.

  7. lukeah79Luke

    Somehow FileVault gets turned on during the update. Turn it off. Problem solved. Finder is as fast as ever.

  8. Carrie

    Thank you so much! Just doing the shift reboot managed to make a significant difference – and I regained about 3GB of space. I was about to go mental from the lag.

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