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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 10:14 AM   #1
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spinning beach ball, MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013),

OS X. 10. 11. 1. I have 120 GB of storage with 9 GB free. I get the spinning beach ball in Safari, sometimes moving from one page to another and in Mail, moving from one message to another. There could be other occasions of which I'm not sure of now. Should I have more free space??
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 10:39 AM   #2
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I have always been under the impression that one needs to have at least 10% free space and out of caution have never exceeded 20%. I now have 50% free on a 500GB SSD and keep it that way by using a Lexus USB 3 flash drive for programs, photos, apps., etc that I only use occasionally. The little Lexus guy is 128GB purchased from Amazon recently for about $40.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 12:33 PM   #3
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You need a reasonable amount of free space free, as SINC notes. A restart will clear any virtual memory caches and give you some of those megabytes back temporarily.

But a mid-2013 MacBook Air running El Capitan (10.11)? I'm guessing you have the 4-gigs of RAM model, right? *That's* where your slowdown is happening. And RAM in those models is not upgradeable
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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You need a reasonable amount of free space free, as SINC notes. A restart will clear any virtual memory caches and give you some of those megabytes back temporarily.

But a mid-2013 MacBook Air running El Capitan (10.11)? I'm guessing you have the 4-gigs of RAM model, right? *That's* where your slowdown is happening. And RAM in those models is not upgradeable
These models depend on high speed memory swaps between the RAM and the SSD. Almost no free space on the SSD, will therefore prove to be an extreme bottle neck. Take a look at what you can safely delete from your HD and go from there. AIF music files, any sort of Movie file and RAW, TIFF or BMP image files are all big disk hogs.

As Sinc noted external storage is a great way to free up space on the main SSD while maintaining access to less critical files.

Apple since the dawn of the company has shipped with less than half of the RAM required for optimal performance. This was no biggie when RAM was up-gradable, but with RAM now limited to what is built in, the practice is absolutely moronic.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 03:19 PM   #5
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Apple since the dawn of the company has shipped with less than half of the RAM required for optimal performance. This was no biggie when RAM was up-gradable, but with RAM now limited to what is built in, the practice is absolutely moronic.
This. I was asked by a colleague to configure a new laptop order for her on Friday. I was stunned to see that even with El Capitan shipping on all new Macs, the base RAM is still only 4 gigs. That's not just dumb, it's criminal. It also works against the Apple brand, when people see these computers struggling to open more than one app at a time....
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Old Nov 30th, 2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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Hey, thanks for those replies. So, NOT enough free space. Will start deleting onto external drives.
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Old Nov 30th, 2015, 05:19 PM   #7
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sashmo, also check my post here on how to free up space on your drive (non-essential stuff).
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