The fix to Mojave slowing down to a crawl and freezing

If you’re one of the brave people who’ve installed Apple’s new Mojave (macOS 10.14) operating system, you may be experiencing extreme sluggishness and steady slowdowns after boot until everything just freezes up and you can’t do anything. It’s really exasperating, but there’s a cure for the freeze-ups… If your Mac’s primary drive has multiple partitions, and/or you have an external drive attached, and/or your external drive has multiple partitions.

I have all of the above. Once I got Mojave to just dang install (here’s how), I’d boot up and Mojave would just get slower and s.l.o.w.e.r and s..l..o..w..e..r and s…l…o…w…e…r until it would just freeze up.

I thought about what could be going on and, bing, I realized that Spotlight could be the culprit. It’s a search index meant to allow you to quickly find anything, file or folder, on your Mac, so its work is disk intensive and it can create very large indexes of your files. It’s been known to cause problems in previous versions of macOS, so why would Apple bother to notice and fix it in the latest version of macOS? Go figure.

Anyway, if you’re in the same boat as I was, here’s how to prevent Mojave from slowing down (molasses) and freezing:


1) Open a new Finder window and press ⇧ + ⌘ + G (or with the menu, Go > Go to Folder…), enter “/Volumes” into the dialog box that pops up, and click the Go button like so:

2) Open System Preferences, click on Spotlight, and select the Privacy tab, as shown here:

3) Finally, select all drives in the Finder window you opened in the “/Volumes” folder — except the current Mojave drive — and drag them into the Privacy tab you just opened in step 2 above, like this:

Bing! My problems were solved and Mojave is acting like a normal version of macOS… That is… So far… 🙁

Have fun. Leave a comment if you need help.

Author: Andrew Jaffee

Avid and well-published author, software engineer, designer, and developer, now specializing in iOS mobile app development in Objective-C and Swift, but with a strong background in C#, C++, .NET, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, jQuery, SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Agile, Test Driven Development, Git, Continuous Integration, Responsive Web Design, blah, blah, blah ... Did I miss any fad-based catch phrases? My brain avatar was kindly provided by under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.

2 thoughts on “The fix to Mojave slowing down to a crawl and freezing”

  1. In your example you dragged Macintosh HD (the main drive/partition of your Mac) into the spotlight Privacy config. Did you mean to disable spotlight on your main drive as well?

    1. This is an example to get things working. Yes, I did mean to drag the Macintosh HD. The main drive is not where Mojave lives. So I wanted to eliminate all drives except Mojave from indexing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *