How to Fix Slow External Hard Drive on Mac - iBeesoft

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by Robert on May 31, 2024 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

Transferring files with external hard drives are more convenient when compared to a flash drive. It’s faster and also easier to erase and write information to an external hard drive. However, an external hard drive can become slow for no apparent reason. If this happens, what can be done about it? Read on to learn how to fix slow external hard drive on Mac.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. Why is My External Hard Drive So Slow on Mac
Part 2. How to Recover Files from Slow External Hard Drive on Mac
Part 3. How to Fix an External Hard Drive Takes a Long Time to Load on Mac

Part 1. Why is My External Hard Drive So Slow on Mac

Why does my external hard drive take so long to load Mac? Are you experiencing delays when opening or transferring files from your external disk on Mac? A couple of factors are responsible for this. However, you can get rid of the issues and improve the performance of your Mac without any problems. Before going into the details of the solutions, let’s see some of the possible reasons why external hard drive super slow Mac.

If your system has any of the above issues, there’s a high chance that your external hard drive slowing down on Mac.

Part 2. How to Recover Files from Slow External Hard Drive on Mac

Sometimes, the external disk is too slow to access. In this case, you should get the files back from the external disk in the first place before getting down to the task of fixing the slow external hard drive on Mac. Otherwise, the situation will become worse and your data may get trapped there, or even lost permanently.

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is a professional data recovery software to restore all files from Mac internal disk and connected external hard drives. It is an effective and 100% safe drive recovery tool that is designed to help people rescue important files.

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Step-by-step Guide to Retrieve Files from Slow External Drive on Mac

  1. When you launch iBeesoft Data Recovery, all file types will be checked by default. You can uncheck all file types and select the specific ones you want. Click the "Start" button to launch the file recovery on Mac process.
  2. You may select a specific location that you want the software to scan. Thie tool can scan any part of your Mac system and the external hard drive to find the data you’re looking for.
  3. Check the upper part of the displayed window to find the scan result. Preview the files and if you’re still missing some files, use the "Deep Scan" to find more data. Click the "Recover" button to save them.

Part 3. How to Fix an External Hard Drive Takes a Long Time to Load on Mac

Thankfully, there are different methods you can follow to fix this problem. In this post, we'll share the different options.

Solution #1: Clean up Duplicate Files on Mac External Hard Drive

Large-sized duplicate files like videos, music, and photos use up precious storage disk space. The accumulation of these duplicates can lead to external hard drives running slow on Mac. To resolve this issue and boost the speed of your Mac’s external hard drive, you need to clean up the duplicate files and free up your disk space. How can you do this? You can do it via features in Finder.

  1. Go the Finder > Apple menu > File > New Smart Folder.
  2. Click a Plus button and select Search parameters: Kind, Date, Name, File type, and others.
  3. Click "Other …". From there you can find more parameters to searching for files.
  4. Check out the possible duplicate files, like with the same date, file type, file size. When find duplicate files, select them and move them to the dust bin.

Solution #2: Repair Disk Utility to Speed Up External Hard Drive on Mac

You can boost the performance of an external hard drive running super slow on Mac by repairing the Disk Utility of the system. This is easy to do and worth trying out when you notice that your hard drive is slow. Follow the step-by-step guide to use this option.

  1. Press the Command + S keys down to boot the Mac system into a single user mode.
  2. Type in the behind command – "fsck –fy".
  3. After execution, You will see the message "File system was modified".
  4. Type reboot to restart and enter the macOS

The above is how to use fsck to repair after the external hard drive takes a long time to load on the Mac. It can also fix the problem of USB Slow Transfer Speed on Mac.

Solution #3: Fix Slow External Hard Drive on Mac by Defragment

Files are not stored in a single place, which means before you can access a file on your Mac system; all other files will be read. If there are more pieces of files on your system, the system performance will reduce, leading to external hard drive really slow on Mac. This process is referred to as fragmentation. To improve the system’s performance, you must do the opposite which is to defragment the drive. To do this, follow the simple step-by-step guide below.

  1. Move all the files on your external disk to Mac.
  2. Format the external hard drive.
  3. Move the files back to the external drive.

The above are the different methods you can follow to fix slow external hard drive running on Mac. Keep the rule in mind: recover data from external hard drive first > then try everything to fix it, even the not mentioned formatting method. It is the last resort. It generally fixes different problems and errors on external hard drives.