Slow Imac

Fixing my Slow iMac

Deborah KayBy Deborah KayJune 25, 20223 Minutes

I have a nine year old iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013) that started slowing down. I don’t install any applications on this computer – everything I do is browser based but even with just a Chrome browser, I kept getting the apple spinning rainbow wheel of death and the browser would freeze.

Despite multiple Google searches on “slow iMac”, “spinning rainbow wheel” and other similar queries, and trying all the recommended fixes (including wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the OS), I still could not resolve the problem. I was ready to buy a new iMac.

Before I hit purchase, I decided to do one last search – “catalina OS iMac 2013 slow” and found the answer. In the MacRumours forum, a user shared that the hard drive was failing and suggested installing an external SDD card, installing the OS in the SDD card and using external SDD as the boot drive.

I did just that and now my iMac is blazingly fast. It cost me SGD $200 instead of SGD $2,000 for a new iMac.


What you need to do:

Step 1: Wipe your internal drive
To wipe your internal drive and to begin the process of saving MacOS to your portable SSD, go to this article, “How to reinstall MacOS from MacOS Recovery“.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility
After following instructions for opening MacOS Recovery, open “Disk Utility.”

Step 3: Erase existing data
Select your SDD from the list of storage disks on the left-hand column.

Step 4: Erase existing data
Select “Erase” to remove all existing data from the drive.

Step 5: Name the SSD
When prompted for the new volume name, call it “macOs X8” or “macOS X6.” Select either APFS or X Extended (Journaled), depending on your disk format. Leave the scheme set as GUID partition map.

Step 6: Close Disk Utility
Close Disk Utility, then select “Reinstall macOS.”

Step 7: Reinstall macOS


What I Bought


How to use an external SSD as a boot drive – Crucial
21″ iMac (Late 2013) extremely slow – MacRumours Forum
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) Intermittently Unresponsive – MacRumours Forum

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