Why do I hate my work-issued MacBook Air?

My home Mac is 13-inch late 2013, 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM MacBook Pro.
I love it and it’s still a workhorse.

I had basically the same machine at my last job, but at the job I started in January they gave me a 2017 MacBook Air 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 and 8 GB RAM.

Mostly what I do is web-based: Google Analytics, data analysis in Google Sheets, Slack app, Jira in my browser, Google Marketing Platform, Facebook, Twitter. I work in digital marketing. I use Chrome and Safari.

I get the beach ball quite frequently and everything is just slow. Right clicking for a menu is sluggish. Loading web pages is slow. I have brought it to IT twice and they’ve found corruption on my disk and fixed it. Our head IT guy used to run Genius Bars @ an Apple store so he knows what he’s doing.

IT has us running Sophos and CrashPlan and JumpCloud for SSO stuff as login items. Is this the problem? (I also hate the keyboard, but that’s a separate thing). Am I having a weird experience w/ the beach ball? Should I bring it back to IT again?

Thanks for any thoughts!

How much memory is installed on that MB Air?

Open Activity monitor and check the memory usage and if its utilizing “Swap”. If so your MB air needs more memory. Unfortunately you can’t upgrade that so the only solution would be to run less memory intensive apps.

Also network traffic can slow it down considerably so keep an eye on what is going on with your cloud based storage. For example dumping a large file on the desktop of documents folder with iCloud Drive enabled can really effect your user experience…


The problem with work issued laptop is that they come will all sort of backup and security programs, due to the nature of being paranoid and these little thing add ups to chewing your memory and processor. Crashplan is one of these culprits. I also have box and I sometimes see box chewing up 20% of processor as it syncs the file.

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That was my thought as well. I think too something to keep in mind is that there might be stuff they install that isn’t needed but a security measure.

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Try rebooting in “Safe Mode” by holding down the shift key and see how it performs.


8GB. When I look at the memory tab in Activity Monitor, it says Physical Memory: 8.00GB, Memory Used 6.25GB, Cached Files 1.72GB and Swap Used 825.8MB.

I don’t see the word “swab” so perhaps that is good news (I’m looking in the process list).

Good idea, thanks I’ll try that!

Honestly it looks like Chrome and Safari are using more memory than anything, but… I can’t access all of my “things” any other way.

I am willing to bet that “swab” should have been “swap.”

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Ah yeah sorry about that English is my 4th language and iOS auto correct doesn’t catch these things. Neither does my brain since I have some dyslexia :cry:
I should start using Grammarly in iOS.


You know I thought you meant “swap”, but then I thought you knew something I didn’t (because, you do actually)!

So it looks like I am using swap, so perhaps that’s my trouble is low memory. I appreciate the help!

They say that the current version of Firefox
uses less memory when multiple tabs are open. This might help if you work a lot via a browser.
Also installing one of the memory management apps will help releasing unused memory that is being hold on to by some apps. Looking at you Adobe… :rage:

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Almost certainly.

CrashPlan used to be one of the worst performers on my Mac, so much so that I finally just restricted it to running overnight and unloaded it during the day. I’m glad they stopped selling their crapware to end-users as it forced me to switch to Backblaze, which is much better.

Any anti-virus / anti-malware software on the Mac generally makes the Mac perform terribly (the cure is worth than the disease, especially since since the “disease” is extremely rare). I have a free subscription to MalwareBytes with Eero Plus, and I uninstalled it because it was chewing up so much RAM.

8GB of RAM is also the bare minimum for Mac OS these days. I put 16 GB in my MacBook Air when I ordered it and it is a much better experience, plus I’m not running that other software you have to deal with.

I will have to see how I can do that. I can’t uninstall it, due to company policy, but certainly I can try and see if I can stop it from running!

Good luck! They may have locked it down to the point where you can’t disable it or change it, even temporarily.

I used to use this:

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

but I’m almost certain that you won’t have sudo access on a work computer, so that may not help.

The Java version also has some features that you could tweak to make it use more or less memory, but IIRC the enterprise version of Crashplan was supposed to be native (non-Java) so that may not be true anymore either.

They originally promised to offer a Backblaze-like System Preference instead of their Java applet (which is what the business customers had for a while) but they punted on it when they decided to drop the consumer product. But if you want unlimited versioning and re willing to pay for the Business plan (which is twice Backblaze’s conumer $60/yr price, but allows for backing up NASes that aren’t physically connected, something Backblaze’s consumer plan doesn’t allow) CrashPlan Business is actually a good option.

Wanted to update this post to say, I finally just told IT I couldn’t stand it anymore and they got me a MacBook Pro and I am 100x happier. Such an enormous difference in speed.