Slow Internet Connection on Your Mac? 9 Fixes to Speed It Up


Internet connection is one of our most essential utilities when using Mac. Slow internet makes everything tedious. Fun and work become tiresome when using your Mac with a slow internet connection. You experience long loading times on web pages, calls are interrupted, and apps and games load haphazardly.

Finding a solution to working with slow internet can make your Mac experience less painful. So, check out the troubleshooting tips outlined below to get your internet connection up to speed.

1. Restart Your Mac and Router

Sometimes, a simple reboot can fix network-related issues like a slow internet connection. If the internet service is loading well on other devices, you can restart your Mac to clear processes and data that are not directly useful. To reboot your Mac, Go to the Apple menu on the menu bar and choose Restart from the dropdown.

Likewise, you should restart your Wi-Fi router. Upon restart, your router may select the least crowded channel and clear the cache. This will keep your router working smoothly and provide a stronger internet connection to your Mac. But if that doesn’t help, you might need to reset your Wi-Fi router, which is quite different from a simple restart.

2. Switch Your Internet Service Provider

Internet router with cable on white surface

Rather than a problem with your Mac, a slow internet connection may be more related to your internet service provider. You will get a slow internet connection if you use a service provider that offers low megabits per second (Mbps).

To get the best, consider upgrading to a service provider that offers between 20 Mbps and 100 Mbps (or more if you can afford it). Also, you may need to change your internet service provider if their network isn’t stable in your region.

3. Use a Different Browser

A silver laptop with a Google Chrome logo on screen

If your web browser is malfunctioning, you may experience slow internet problems like long loading times for web pages and slow downloads. Try changing your browser; If you use Safari, try a different browser, like Google Chrome.

If the problem persists, clear the browser cache and cookies. Here’s what you need to do in Safari:

  1. Open Safari from your Dock and click on Safari in the menu bar.
  2. Choose Settings from the dropdown and click the Advanced tab.
  3. At the bottom of the page, check the option Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
  4. While still in Safari, click Develop in the menu bar and select Empty Caches.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Option + Command + E to do the same.

4. Update Your Browser and macOS

Two Macs running macOS Monterey

The software updates on macOS improve the performance of your Mac and address any bugs or compatibility issues, including internet connection problems.

Before downloading a software update, ensure you back up your data. Afterward, go to System Settings, select General, and click Software Update on the right. If there is an update available, download and install it. After updating your macOS, restart your Mac and test your internet connection again.

Additionally, updating your browsers can fix bugs and connectivity issues. Usually, Safari updates will download along with software updates, but you have to follow different steps to update other browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

5. Close Unnecessary Apps and Browser Tabs

Sometimes, the cause of slow internet on your Mac is applications and open tabs running in the background. They slow down the internet by continuously refreshing and downloading data. To speed up the internet connection on your Mac, close all background applications and browser tabs you’re not using and disable auto-update for apps.

iCloud’s automatic syncing feature can contribute to a slow internet connection as well, as it uses a lot of internet bandwidth. So, if you are running on a low Mbps connection, you might experience slow internet on your Mac.

To turn off automatic sync, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Settings from the Apple menu.
  2. Click on the Apple ID and open iCloud.
  3. Select iCloud Drive and click Turn Off.
  4. Follow the warning prompt on whether you want to keep a copy of documents in iCloud on your Mac or if you wish to remove it from your Mac.

iCloud Drive in System Settings

6. Scan for Malware

Not surprisingly, malware can be responsible for a slow internet connection on your Mac. When malware infects your Mac, it slows down all processes, and you might see unexpected ad pop-ups on web browsers.

If you suspect the presence of malware on your Mac, scan it using a recommended free antivirus for Mac like Avast Security or Malwarebytes. Once you’ve identified the malware, use an antivirus to clear malware from your Mac, reset your web browser, and reboot your Mac.

7. Use Ethernet Connection and Check Router Proximity

You can use an Ethernet connection if you’re experiencing slow internet on your Mac when connected to Wi-Fi. An Ethernet connection provides a more direct and stable internet connection than a Wi-Fi router.

So, connect your router to your Mac with an Ethernet cable if it has the port, but if it doesn’t, you can always get a USB hub with an Ethernet port.

However, if you cannot use an Ethernet connection, ensure that the Wi-Fi router is close to your Mac and that the router’s antennas are all in the right direction.

8. Disable Browser Extensions

Safari icon on blue background

Browser extensions significantly improve your experience when surfing the internet. However, sometimes they can be a necessary evil and disrupt or slow down your internet speed.

When experiencing slow internet on your Mac, disabling browser extensions is a great place to start. Go through your browser extensions and clean up unnecessary extensions that are no longer helpful to you, restart your browser, and test your internet connection.

9. Delete Network Configuration and Turn off Your VPN

Network settings and configurations are a sensitive part of your Mac. They can easily get tangled up if you frequently use a VPN. In this case, you need to reset your Mac’s network settings. If this doesn’t work, you can take it further and delete your network configuration files.

VPN services can also slow down your internet. You can turn them off by going to System Settings > VPN and setting the toggle to the off position. You can also turn off the VPN from the respective app.

Surf the Internet Without Speed Issues

When using your Mac for work and entertainment, there’s no room for an unstable internet connection. As a last resort, contact your internet service provider to discuss and upgrade your internet speed.

However, if you’ve explored all the options discussed above, you might have a hardware issue rather than a software issue. You can run Apple Diagnostics or visit the Apple Store to get it checked and repaired.


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