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Is the world clear out of geniuses? Will we ever have another Copernicus, another Darwin, another Einstein to shatter the foundations of our beliefs? Perhaps not, says a man who ought to know.

Dean Keith Simonton, professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis, has dedicated the better part of his career to studying geniuses–people who possess what he calls the highest level of scientific creativity. He thinks they may very well have ceased to exist. It may be that they have been rendered impossible, simply because of the way science works anymore.

Other psychologists and even geneticists have argued that modern society is short on astoundingly intelligent members. Pick your reason, from genetic mutations to lack of education access to politics. But Simonton is talking about more than just smarts. A true genius, that rare member of society, is a real paradigm-shatterer, a Renaissance human who can completely alter the way we understand the world. Geniuses are people who come up with “surprising ideas that are not a mere extension of what is already known,” Simonton said in an email interview with PopSci. “There are personality and cognitive traits associated with the ability to do that, but that’s another issue.”

“When was the last time that someone forced us to rewrite the textbooks in some domain? Or even create an entirely new domain from scratch? Can you think of anybody since DNA?” he said.

Stephen Hawking? “I’m not so sure by my definition. Just a highly creative scientist,” he replied.

Marie Curie

She is still the only person to ever win two Nobel Prizes in different sciences.

So let’s agree we are bereft of modern geniuses. Why? People are not dumber as a whole–at least Simonton is not arguing that–and certainly scientists have high IQs. If anything, he allows, they probably have more raw intelligence than people like Copernicus, because they have to gain so much more experience and knowledge to even become proficient in their fields.

Are there any great unresolved crises left? “Once you didn’t need to go to college to become a great scientist. Then you needed college but not grad school. Then grad school but not a postdoc. Etc.,” Simonton said. “As you lengthen the required training, you narrow the base of expertise. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to become a polymath beyond the sense of a ‘know it all.’”

“Just as athletes can win an Olympic gold medal by beating the world record only by a fraction of a second, scientists can continue to receive Nobel prizes for improving the explanatory breadth of theories or the preciseness of measurements,” he writes in Nature.

But the larger point is that the next great leaps in research are hybrids of the classic disciplines, Simonton points out. In the last century, we’ve gained astrobiology, astrophysics, biochemistry, and the like. “When two disciplines hybridize now, the result builds upon the work in the two disciplines. That wasn’t always true,” he told PopSci. “The new science would completely revolutionize one or both disciplines. Like Galileo’s telescopic astronomy.”

Simonton quotes Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science who gave us the term “paradigm shift” and who defines scientific revolutions thusly: “A discipline within the physical and biological sciences should not even be receptive to a paradigm shift unless the discipline is in a state of crisis, produced by the accumulation of critical findings that continue to resist explanation.”

Are there any great unresolved crises in the major disciplines? For biology, maybe it’s the origin of life: What’s the spark that coaxed chains of amino acids to form proteins that eventually comprised cells that replicate? That’s one that needs solving. In physics, maybe it’s the inability to unite gravity with the three other forces of nature–that’s a major problem, Simonton agreed.

“It may very well be that the only way to integrate the four forces of nature is to rebuild physics from the ground up. That would take a major revolution,” he said.

Simonton hopes his thesis is wholly inaccurate.

“It takes only one new scientific genius to prove me wrong,” he wrote.

Galileo Galilei

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Ransomware Alert: Microsoft Office Files Are Running Rampant

Ransomware Alert: Microsoft Office files are Running Rampant

Also Read: Biggest Ransomware Attacks To Know About in 2023

Recent Malware Trend:

Security Analysts have estimated an increase of about 67% in the use of Microsoft Office’s Malicious Files as the means to transport malware around the world, especially Rampant Ransomware. Yes, it came at the expense of reduced usage of PDFs as Malicious Malware Files by about 22% in the same period.

How Fatal is it?

Using Microsoft Office files as a larger means of Transporting Rampant Ransomware is very fatal because as the statistics suggest, users are highly ignorant about what files they open, what does it contain, etc. Also, Rampant Ransomware isn’t like any malware. All your data is compromised and held hostage by the hackers the minute you open the file. The best thing you can do to get your data back is by paying the ransom.

To put it in your perspective, let me show you some real numbers:

Also Read: Ramnit Malware: How it Works and How to Remove it

Prevention:

Rampant Ransomware, like any other malware, is transmitted through the most common of sources. When they are being transmitted through the Doc files, there are a few simple ways that hackers use to transmit these malicious files to your PC. You can prevent such attacks from happening to you in the following way:

2. Avoid Downloading Docs from Unknown Websites: While we are searching for information on the web, we rarely care about the websites we visit. Also, we don’t stop ourselves from downloading any Document that promises to contain the information we want. This is an excellent opportunity for hackers to exploit your ignorance.

3. Employ an Antivirus: There are various other sources too through which you may receive a malicious Document containing Rampant Ransomware. So, the only solid method to ignore being hacked, use good Antivirus software on your machine for better peace of mind. Though there are various Antivirus Solutions available in the market, we suggest using Systweak Antivirus if you are using a Windows machine.

Also Read: Bitdefender vs Kaspersky vs Systweak Antivirus

Systweak Antivirus:

Systweak Antivirus is one of the best virus protection solutions available in the market. It is known for its best in Industry Malware Protection. Let’s discuss some of its most highlighted features in detail:

Unrivaled Malware Protection: Systweak Antivirus provides the best in class protection even from the most dangerous of malware, including Ransomware, Viruses, etc.

Real-Time Protection: Systweak Antivirus offers Real-time protection to protect your data from attacks like Ransomware which takes your PC hostage as soon as they get on your PC. Systweak Antivirus detects and eliminates these threats before they can do any harm to your PC.

24*7 Technical Support: In times of crisis, a person with expertise is what we need. Systweak Antivirus offers 24*7 Customer support to help you in your time of need.

With these amazing features and more, Systweak Antivirus can protect your PC from a lot of threats, including Rampant.

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Best Antivirus For Mac

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Sagar Kapoor

Get Alt Tiktok Quiz Here: Find Out What Side Of Tiktok You Are On

TikTok has taken the world by storm, with creators gaining immeasurable fame through the social media app. The app allows users to create videos of themselves, sometimes using voice-overs from movies and such. But did you know that not all TikTokers are created equally? Recently trending, Alt TikTok has divided the fandom into two; Alt TikTok and Straight TikTok.

What is Alt TikTok

Alt TikTok is a subdivision of the TikTok fandom. The term refers to an alternate version of TikTok, still within the app though. There is no physical division between Alt TikTok and Straight TikTok, but there is a division in the choice of content.

Alt TikTok proposes that there is a whole section of users on TikTok that appreciate a very different style of videos; almost an anti-TikTok version. Alt TikTok does not follow the latest trends and happenings in the TikTok world. Instead, it is ironic and even attempts to make fun of such trends.

Alt TikTok users will have a very different ‘For You’ page on the app. TikTok’s ‘For You’ page is basically a playlist of video that the apps think you would like. The list is based on your viewing history, likes, favorites, etc.

Related: Where is your soulmate filter on TikTok

What is the Alt TikTok Quiz

The Alt TikTok quiz is made to help you figure out which side of TikTok you really belong to, even if you don’t know yourself.

The Alt TikTok Quiz asks users a bunch of questions about their choice of media consumption on the app. It also checks if you are familiar with any of the famous TikTok creators. At the end of the quiz, you are categorized according to the answers you have provided.

What side of TikTok am I on?

anyone else on straight tiktok but also on alt tiktok? cuz i’m on both

— pigs 😀 (@quackityspig) June 5, 2023

So how do you find out which side of TikTok you are on? By taking the Alt TikTok quiz! See the link for “Alt TikTok Quiz” to get started.

Of course, the quiz is not definitive. Because of the huge amount and variety of videos on the app, there is a chance you may not have stumbled across some of these famous TikTokers.

The quiz is a good start as it gets you thinking, whether you find the TikTok trends entertaining or annoying. If you still cannot decide, then take a look at the video below to check if you belong to Straight TikTok or Alt TikTok or if you’re someone who likes both. Find the quiz below.

Take the Alt TikTok Quiz here

Find out which side of TikTok you are on using the link given below. Below, you will find a Google Form with 11 questions. As each question is worth 4 points, you can score 44 points if you answer them all correctly.

► Find the Alt TikTok Quiz Google Form here

What are the 11 questions in Alt TikTok Quiz

When is the gummy bear album in stores??? *

What is a Barb *

What member of the sm6band do we hate for no reason? *

Who will we never allow to join our cult? *

Are step chickens on the straight or elite side of tik tok?

What is the elite side of tik tok’s names? Select all that apply *

There’s a lot of people in what country? *

finish the sentence: “chicken wing chicken wing…..” *

Want more? Here are 26+ questions on YouTube.

In case you still can’t figure out if you belong to the Straight TikTok crowd or if you want to get to the Alt TikTok audience instead, you can check by putting yourself to testing which of the following TikTok original sounds you get before the reveal. Here’s a video of top Alt TikTok sounds (17 questions):

Don’t stress yourself if you could only get 1-3 of the sounds right; it only means that you belong to the straight crowd. If your score is around the 13-17 region, then you can consider yourself as someone who belongs to Alt TikTok. If you scored somewhere in the middle, you guessed it right, you’re on both sides.

Here is another video (9 questions):

Okay, one more video that could help you settle the deal and have some inner peace:

How to get on Alt TikTok

As this Urban dictionary definition defines it, Alt TikTok is nothing but TikTok with humor instead of the looks. The distinction has nothing to do with your sexuality but more about how arbitrary and funny your videos are. If you consider yourself as someone who belongs to the Alt TikTok world, then your videos will be about generation Z humor and you would be talking about how terrible your life is.

More TikTok Google Form

Google form is a trending hashtag on TikTok, that is closely associated with the Alt TikTok community.

#googleform videos have creators selecting from multiple choices of answers, the lyrics to famous songs, as the song plays in the background. It is oddly satisfying to watch the music match the lyrics that are being selected on the Google form.

Alternatives to the #googleform include audio from funny scenes in movies or TV shows. Since this is not the typical content that TikTok creators come up with, the term has been trending with Alt TikTokers.

Visit: TikTok Google Forms

Well, now that you know about Alt TikTokers, which side do you think you belong to? Alt TikTok or Straight TikTok?

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What Are The Capabilities Of Chatgpt 3?

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows users to have human-like conversations with an AI chatbot. It is based on the GPT-3 architecture and is capable of generating human-like text. Here are some of the key capabilities of ChatGPT:

See More : Why FTC is investigating ChatGPT?

One of the most valuable features of ChatGPT is its ability to answer questions on a wide range of topics. This makes it an ideal tool for knowledge-based applications such as educational platforms and search engines. Users can ask questions in natural language, and ChatGPT will provide informative and relevant responses.

ChatGPT can be used to create chatbots that can interact with customers and provide personalized responses based on their needs and preferences. By integrating ChatGPT into chatbot frameworks, developers can build intelligent and conversational virtual assistants that enhance customer support experiences.

With its natural language generation capabilities, ChatGPT can generate content for various applications, including social media posts, blogs, and articles. It can assist content creators by providing suggestions, helping with writer’s block, and even generating complete drafts. This capability can significantly streamline the content creation process.

ChatGPT can also generate image captions, which makes it useful for applications such as social media and e-commerce. By analyzing visual content, ChatGPT can generate captions that accurately describe images, enhancing accessibility and engagement on platforms that rely heavily on visual media.

Also Read : How to Get the AI Baby Filter Going Viral on TikTok

Another impressive capability of ChatGPT is its ability to write code and assist with debugging. It can understand programming languages and help developers with code generation, offering suggestions, and identifying potential errors. This makes it a valuable tool for software development and programming tasks.

ChatGPT can manipulate data, making it useful for tasks such as data preprocessing, transformation, and analysis. By understanding the structure and content of data, ChatGPT can assist users in performing various data manipulation tasks efficiently and accurately.

FAQ 1. Is ChatGPT capable of understanding multiple languages?

Yes, ChatGPT has the ability to understand and generate text in multiple languages. It has been trained on a diverse range of language data, allowing it to handle conversations and inquiries in different languages effectively.

FAQ 2. Can ChatGPT be integrated into existing chatbot frameworks?

Absolutely! ChatGPT is designed to be integrated into chatbot frameworks and can serve as the conversational engine powering the chatbot. Its natural language understanding and generation capabilities make it an excellent choice for creating intelligent and interactive chatbots.

FAQ 3. Does ChatGPT require continuous internet connectivity to function?

While ChatGPT generally requires an internet connection to access the underlying AI models and provide real-time responses, there are possibilities to deploy it locally on certain platforms. However, leveraging the full power of ChatGPT typically involves utilizing its cloud-based capabilities.

FAQ 4. Can ChatGPT be trained on specific domains or industries?

ChatGPT can be fine-tuned and trained on specific domains or industries to enhance its performance in specialized areas. By providing domain-specific training data, developers can customize ChatGPT to generate more accurate and contextually relevant responses for specific use cases.

FAQ 5. Is ChatGPT accessible for developers to build their own applications?

Yes, developers can access ChatGPT through API and integrate it into their own applications. OpenAI provides documentation and resources to guide developers in using ChatGPT effectively and incorporating it into their projects.

FAQ 6. What are the privacy and security considerations with ChatGPT?

Privacy and security are paramount concerns for AI systems. OpenAI takes privacy seriously and has implemented measures to protect user data and ensure confidentiality. Users should follow best practices for data handling and adhere to relevant regulations when deploying ChatGPT.

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2013 Tragedy Impetus For Running To Help Others

2013 Tragedy Impetus for Running to Help Others BU students to race in 2023 Boston Marathon

Rachel Blauner (COM’17), a former captain of the BU women’s soccer team, will be competing in her first 26.2-mile race when she runs the 121st Boston Marathon Monday. Blauner is running to raise funds for the Boston Bruins Foundation. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Four years ago, Rachel Blauner was watching the Boston Marathon near Fenway Park, surrounded by her teammates on the BU women’s soccer team. Matthew O’Connor had just returned to his dorm on Bay State Road and was unwinding from a long day outside.

Then it happened.

Two explosions went off at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, sending Blauner (COM’17), O’Connor (SAR’16,’18), and the rest of the city into a state of confusion and panic, injuring more than 300 and killing 3, one a BU student from China, Lu Lingzi (GRS’13).

“Cops pulled in front of the runners and stopped them from going farther, then told everyone to evacuate the street,” Blauner recalls. “We ran up to our friend’s apartment and turned on the news to see what had happened, and phone lines were off, so I couldn’t call my parents. Then our coach picked us up and brought us to campus to be safe.”

In the days and weeks that followed, the Boston community came together in an outpouring of support for the victims, galvanized by the slogan “Boston Strong.” From the city’s recovery, a dream was born for both students, who were freshmen at the time.

“Seeing how the city came together after with so much pride and so much love for each other, I really wanted to run,” says Blauner, a South Shore native who will be running her first marathon. “I wanted to run it for Boston.”

For O’Connor, who grew up in rural New York, the city’s resilience confirmed for him that Boston was home.

“I didn’t feel the city was really my home in the first semester of college, and even in the spring I was struggling,” O’Connor says. “After I saw the intense unity created by the entire city in support of everybody who had been hurt and in light of all the bad things that had happened, I was in. It made sense for me to be here, and it felt like every time I came back, I was coming back home.”

Motivated by the 2013 bombings and its aftermath, Blauner and O’Connor will each run in the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday. Blauner is running for the Boston Bruins Foundation, O’Connor for Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries Running for Great Kids team. The Bruins foundation supports local charities that benefit children, and the Goodwill team is raising money to support Goodwill’s Youth Initiative.

O’Connor, a member of the BU Triathlon Team, ran his first marathon, in Philadelphia, in November. Last year, he worked at the Boston Marathon finish line, helping runners who needed medical attention get to the medical tent.

“It was exhausting. It was a long day, but it was a ton of fun,” he says. “I was happy to give back a little bit. Even now, it feels like small act, but I ended up connecting with a lot of individual runners who had just finished the race.”

O’Connor was disappointed in his finish at the Philadelphia Marathon, but says that his continued training has prepared him well for his second attempt. “I think I have a lot more in me to offer, and I’m grateful to get a second chance in what I think is going to be the coolest race of my entire life,” he says.

Blauner says she’s so eager for Monday’s race that she’s going to have to be careful to pace herself.

“From the sense of being there in 2013 and having so much support from my friends and family the last couple of months, I think it’s going to be really emotional,” she says. “I think I’m going to be really excited from the start, which I have to be aware of so I don’t sprint the first couple of miles.”

A marathon like Boston, one of the largest in the world (with an estimated 30,000 runners this year), requires runners to either make the qualifying time cutoff or earn a place on a charitable organization’s team; there are 32 such teams running this year.

O’Connor was familiar with the coach of the Goodwill team, so he had a good feeling about his chances to land with them. For Blauner, who wanted to run for a charity involving children and sports, the application process was a little more wait-and-see.

“I think I applied to three or four teams,” she says. “The Bruins’ application process was basically just what your experience was as a runner and why it’s important for you to run for charity. I coached kids growing up and have gone through youth athletics, and we do a lot of community service through soccer here at BU. I thought, having all of that stuff, I would hopefully be a good candidate. I was so excited when I heard back.”

O’Connor too is excited about his choice. “I pass a Goodwill store on my walk to and from class every single day,” he says. “Goodwill does a lot for the city of Boston, and their big thing is representing underserved populations.…It’s been an honor to raise money on their behalf, and I’m pumped to run with the blue Goodwill emblem on.”

Both Blauner and O’Connor say that Monday will be about celebrating the city they’ve come to love, not about running times.

“This city does such an amazing job of bringing everybody together and making it a citywide holiday, where we’re celebrating Boston,” Blauner says. “I just can’t wait to see my family and friends at the end at the spot where the bombings happened and see all the other runners finish. I think it’s going to be an unbelievable day.”

Other BU students running for Goodwill’s Running for Great Kids team at this year’s marathon are Hannah Libby (COM’18), Nicole Strauss (Questrom’17), Ameera Hammouda (SHA’18, Questrom’18), and Maura Feltault (SHA’17).

The 121st Boston Marathon, on Monday, April 17, begins in Hopkinton, Mass. The prime viewing is along Beacon Street from East Campus through Brookline. The first runners should hit that area sometime after 11:30 a.m. The finish line is in front of the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street. Check out this online map to track the marathon.

Find Blauner’s fundraising page here, and O’Connor’s here.

Taylor Raglin can be reached at [email protected].

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26 Reasons Why Your Mac Is Running Slow

If you recently noticed that your MacBook or iMac takes longer to start up, or frequently gets that annoying rainbow loading wheel, then your Mac could be running slower than it should be.

Should you care? Of course! A slow computer not only wastes your time, it is also bad for your health.

“So why is my Mac running so slow?” you may be wondering.

I’ve covered 26 possible reasons in this infographic. Each cause is either backed up by industry research, or based on my personal conversations with geeks in Apple Genius Bars.

Personal Habits

1. Uptime Too Long

Two years ago, my mid-2012 MacBook Pro was so slow I couldn’t turn it on (“black screen”). I had to line up at the Apple Genius Bar on Chestnut Street in San Francisco. After handing over the machine to a support geek, the Apple Genius returned it to me ten minutes later with the screen on.

The reason: I hadn’t shut down my Mac for a few weeks! I was too lazy. Every time I finished working, I simply closed the Mac, putting it in sleep mode. This is not good. The truth is even though your Mac is sleeping, the hard drive is still running. While running, processes build up, causing your Mac to slow down, overheat, or even freeze as I experienced.

Lesson learned: shutdown or restart your Mac on a regular basis to clear out defunct processes.

2. Too Many Login Items at Startup

Login items are applications and services that launch automatically every time you start up your Mac. CNET claims that having overloaded login or startup items can both have detrimental effects on boot time.

3. Too Many Applications Open At Once

You open a web browser, play Spotify in the background, and launch a few other applications so you can get your work done. Chances are, your Mac starts to respond slowly.

Why? According to Lou Hattersley, former Editor of MacWorld, if you have multiple programs running, you may find memory (RAM) and CPU space being devoted to applications other than the one you want. When too many applications are competing to use your system resources, your Mac will run slowly.

4. Files and Folders Stored On the Desktop

Fact: an overused Desktop can seriously slow down your Mac! Plus, a cluttered Desktop can make you feel disorganized.

However, for those users who process visually, using an Alias (or shortcut) on your Desktop gives you the icon without the system demands of that file or folder.

5. Too Many Widgets on Dashboard

Mac Dashboard serves as a secondary Desktop for hosting widgets — simple applications that allow you quick access, such as a calculator or weather forecast that you use daily.

But having too many widgets can slow down your computer as well. Just as running multiple applications does, widgets on your Dashboard can take up quite a bit of RAM (source: AppStorm). Try to remove widgets that you don’t often use.

Hardware

6. Lack of Memory (RAM)

7. Underpowered Processor

A faster processor or one with more processing cores doesn’t always mean better performance. You may need a more powerful processor. Apple doesn’t always allow you to choose the processing power you want. If you use your Mac for heavy tasks, like encoding videos or dealing with 3D modeling, then a less powerful processor can certainly contribute to a lag in Mac’s performance.

8. Failing Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD)

A hard drive failure not only endangers the data you’ve stored on the Mac, it also makes your computer sluggish — or even worse, it won’t work at all. According to Topher Kessler from CNET, if your Mac regularly slows down or crashes, your drive may be on its way out.

Also, this Apple discussion reveals that if there are bad or failing sectors on the drive, which can substantially slow down read speeds.

If you regularly use your Mac for gaming, you may find the overall experience a bit choppy. This is probably because your Mac is equipped with an older GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). PCAdvisor suggests that you consider installing a new, faster GPU.

10. Limited Storage Space

You may have stored many huge video files, along with thousands of photos and music tracks on your Mac computer — many of those can be duplicate and similar files (that’s why I recommend Gemini 2 to clean the duplicates). Nothing slows a Mac more than having too much on a hard drive, according to iMore.

11. Migration between PowerPC and Intel

As a Mac fan, you probably know there are two kinds of Macs based on microprocessors: PowerPC and Intel. Since 2006, all Macs have been built on Intel cores. If you used an older Mac and decided to migrate data from a different mac CPU type, e.g. from PowerPC to Intel or vice versa, and it was done improperly, the result might be a slow Mac. (Credit to Abraham Brody, a Mac tech support geek.)

Third-party Software/Apps

12. Web Browsers Full of Junk Files

Every day you use a web browser (e.g. Safari, Chrome, FireFox), you generate junk files such as caches, history, plugins, extensions, etc. With the passage of time, these files can take up a lot of storage space as well as impact the speed of your web browsing.

For example: by cleaning the junk files (together with other two simple tricks), Wall Street Journal columnist – Joanna Stern was able to make her 1.5-year-old MacBook Air run like new.

13. Slow Internet Connection

Sometimes when your web browser is slow to load the pages you want to view, you may blame your Mac. But most of the time you’d be wrong. More often, it’s simply that the Internet connection is too slow.

There’s a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing slow internet speeds. It could be an older router, weak wifi signal, too many other devices connected, etc.

14. Virus

Yes, the OS X operating system is more secure than Windows. But hey, it can get viruses as well. According to ComputerHope, as Apple Macintosh computers gain market share and are used by more people, viruses are becoming more common than they used to be.

Despite Apple OS X having an anti-malware system built in, known as File Quarantine, many attacks have happened — as noted in this Mac user report and this CNN news.

15. Illegal or Unused Third-party Software

There is a lot of bad software out there. If you download applications with unverified developers, or from non-authorized sites, chances are these applications can make your Mac slower by unnecessarily hogging the CPU or RAM.

Also, according to Apple, peer-to-peer file sharing and torrent software can turn your machine into a software server, which will slow down your internet connection.

16. Time Machine Backup in Process

The Time Machine backup is usually a long procedure, especially when it’s first set up. Many users report it could take hours. See this Apple support article for what to do when the backup takes ages.

During the backup process, if you run many other tasks such as an anti-virus scan, or open CPU-heavy applications, your Mac can become bogged down to the point where you can’t use it.

17. Improper iTunes Installation or Setting

This has happened to me before. Every time I connected my iPhone or iPad to my Mac, it started to freeze. It turned out that I’d enabled auto-sync in the iTunes settings. Once I disabled it, the hang-up disappeared.

Besides improper settings, a bad iTunes install — or one that isn’t properly updated for the system — may cause a slowdown as well. Learn more from this Apple support discussion.

Looking for a better alternative to iTunes? Go get AnyTrans (review here).

18. iCloud Sync

Similar to iTunes, Apple iCloud syncing can also decelerate performance. It can also cause several other linked services (email, Photos, FindMyiPhone, etc.) to run slowly. See this example as reported by Parmy Olson from Forbes.

19. Apple Mail Crash

Not long ago, Apple reminded users that Mac Mail might unexpectedly quit when displaying a message that is malformed or damaged. I suffered from this twice: once was right after an OS X upgrade, and the second was after I added a few more mailboxes. In both cases, my Mac seriously hung.

Jonny Evans explains how to rebuild and reindex mailboxes step-by-step in a ComputerWorld post.

macOS System

Every year or so Apple releases a new macOS version (to date, it’s 10.13 High Sierra), and Apple now makes it totally free. One of the reasons why Apple encourages users to upgrade is that the new system tends to run faster overall, though it’s not always the case.

El Capitan features speed improvements from 4x faster PDF rendering to 1.4x faster application launching, according to 9to5mac news. That means if your Mac is running a lower-end OS X, it’s probably not as fast as it could be.

21. Corrupted or Wrong Firmware

Tom Nelson, a Mac expert, says that Apple supplies firmware updates from time to time, and although very few people have any trouble after installing them, problems do crop up now and then.

22. Permission Conflicts or Damage

If the permissions on your Macintosh hard drive are damaged, everything could slow down along with unusual behavior. This kind of problem occurs more often on old PowerPC Macs. To repair such permission errors, use Disk Utility. Learn more from this post, written by Randy Singer.

23. Spotlight Indexing Issues

Spotlight is a great feature that enables you to quickly find and access files in the system. However, every time it indexes data, it can slow down your Mac. The impact is more obvious if your Mac is booted with an HDD than a SSD.

Mac users also report issues with Spotlight indexing forever. Most likely this is due to indexing file corruption. You’ll probably need to rebuild the index. Topher Kessler outlines how to determine when the index needs to be rebuilt.

24. Broken Preferences Files

Preferences files are important because they affect every application you use, as they store the rules that tell each app how it should work. The files are located in the “Library” folder (~/Library/Preferences/).

Based on Melissa Holt’s observation, one common cause for unusual behavior on the Mac is a corrupt preference file, especially if the symptom encountered is a program that won’t open, or one that crashes frequently.

25. Loaded Notifications

Using the Notification Center is a great way to keep yourself on top of everything. But if you have too many notifications enabled, it can also slow your Mac down quite a bit. (source: Apple discussion)

26. Unused System Preference Panes

Any System Preference Panes you no longer use can take up valuable CPU, memory, and disk space, thus taxing your system resources. You can speed up your Mac slightly by removing those unused items. Follow this LifeWire article for a quick guide.

What’s The Story of Your Mac?

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