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Matlab is very slow on macOS Big Sure

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I am running Matlab R2020b on a MacBook Pro with MacOs Big Sur 11.4.
Quite often Matlab gets stuck in the sense that the editor becomes very slow (I cannot even type in the command window) and it is not possible to keep working. When I close it and reopen again, things improve and go back to normal.
When Matlab gets stuck, I realized that my Mac is running the process "sandboxd" so I suspect that my issue has to do with some clash between Matlab and MacOS.
Could anyone help me?

Accepted Answer

Hang Yin
Hang Yin on 9 Jul 2021
Edited: Hang Yin on 12 Jul 2021
It seems that some Mac platform users encounter similar symptoms including myself. It had been suggested that run MATLAB from the command line with -nodesktop flag and then prompt desktop might fix this:
  1. run /Applications/ -nodesktop in the terminal
  2. you may notice some "warnings". After warnings stop to scroll, type desktop. DO NOT EXIT THE TERMINAL!
  3. when you want to quit MATLAB, close the GUI window first and type quit in the terminal to exit the program.
The original discoverer of this workaround is a community contributor whom I can't really remember...
William Figgett
William Figgett on 23 Jul 2021
Thanks for sharing this workaround, it removed a huge editor lag on Mac

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More Answers (3)

Homayoun Najjaran
Homayoun Najjaran on 3 Oct 2021
I had the same problem on one Mac Pro but not on another. They both have the same OS Big Sur 11.6 and Matlab 2021b. I got the idea from Hang Yin's tip. The problem happens when Matlab trys to launch the editor at start. Although Hang's solution works but starting Matlab from the terminal may be a little annoying.
The difference between my two Mac Pros was in their editor setting. On one of them the editor was docked and on another it was undocked. You need to undock the editor so that the editor does not open at launch automatically. It is okay if you open it after.
I hope it helps.

Fenglong Song
Fenglong Song on 25 Sep 2021
Hi, I encountered the same issue with both R2019b and R2021a. I solved the problem after this (the original blog is writtern in Chinese)
In English: Enter Preferences -> General -> Source control and select 'None'.
I hope this helps.

Yongjian Feng
Yongjian Feng on 5 Jul 2021
Open a terminal window from MacOS and type
This will tell you which process is taking most of the CPU time.
Also what is the spec of your MacBook Pro?




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