TechTool Pro Brings OS X Lion to a Crawl

   Posted by David Kirk in Apple Mac

Since installing OS X Lion, many users have contacted me with speed issues after the upgrade. It took us a while to find the common thread. It appears that the very common Mac maintenance and repair utility, TechTool Pro, is incompatible with Lion. Users are noticing incredibly slow application openings, spinning beach balls, slow Time Machine saves, and excessive spotlight reloads. Unfortunately, removing this software can be difficult. Here are the steps to do it.

OS X Lion has been available to developers for months. Thus, I am very disappointed that TechTool Pro did not notify their users in advance that the OS X upgrade could cause major conflicts with their software. Micromat’s official word is that any version of TechTool Pro at this time is incompatible with Lion.

The most common issue reported is multiple processes named techtoolprodatarecovery being listed in the Activity Monitor. These are unable to be killed with the Quit Process button.

By its nature, TechTool Pro puts deep tentacles within the mac OS. Uninstalling it can be a chore as no uninstall method is left on the system.

Automatic Removal

An automatic uninstall method is included if you have the original installation application. Just run the TechTool Pro Install application, select the Customize button, and then select Remove TechTool Pro.

automatic removal of techtool pro

Manual Removal of TechTool Pro Version 5

1. Load Activity Monitor in /Applications/Utilities. Select the TechToolProDaemon and press the red Quit Process button.

2. Delete the TechTool Pro application by dragging to the Trash.

3. Open System Preferences. While holding down the Control key, select the TechTool entry. Click Remove ‘TechTool Protection’ Preference Pane from the menu that appears.

4. Drag the following files to the trash:

/Library/Application Support/TechTool Protection

5. Move the file at /~/Library/Preferences/com.micromat.techtoolpro5.plist to the Trash. The user library structure is now hidden in OS X Lion. You can permanently unhide the library if you wish. Otherwise, from Finder’s Go menu select Go to Folder and insert /~/Library/Preferences into the text box. A finder window will appear and you should now be able to delete the plist file.

Method for going to User Library in Lion

6. Empty the Trash.

7. Restart your computer. It is possible that your system will be too slow to properly shutdown. If this occurs, make sure everything is properly saved and hold the power button until you system turns off. After that, restart the system again.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • YES! Thank you! This was the dead weight that was killing my Mac Book Pro! After following your directions, it feels like I have a new mac!

    Thanks again!!

  • Chris

    Thank you for this information. My Mac Pro is running 10x faster now!

  • Micromat Help

    To any who may be having trouble with TechTool Pro 6, know that TechTool Pro 6, version 6.0.3 and later, have been thoroughly tested with Mac OS X Lion. The article above suggests that TechTool Pro 5 (which is NOT Lion compatible) may still be on systems affected as described above. For help addressing any speed issues while keeping TechTool Pro 6 installed, please visit our support site, and send a note to our help team. (


  • David Kirk

    TechTool 6 may have been tested with Lion but will users be left with an unusable system the next time they update OS X with TechTool installed? OS X Lion had been available to developers for months prior to release, but users of TechTool 5 were never warned that installing Lion would crush their system.

    Not having an easy uninstall process is pretty poor practice as well.

  • Marc

    I’ve struggled with TTP absolutely killing my MBP 3.06 Core 2 Duo, for sometime, running the latest version 6… it turns the Mac into an absolute dog, and is completely unacceptable; what point protecting your files if in the process you want to throw your Mac out the window!?!

  • Sandy

    Ugh! What does all of this mean? If Apple is supposed to be so intuitive then why do soooooo many of us have problems? Nuts! I am so frustrated!

    • Rodney

      > Your problems are with Tech Tool, not Apple. Apple released OSX Lion update to Tech Tool’s developers MONTHS in advance of its official release. The problem appears to be that Micromat, TTP developer, either did nothing to update their application to be compatible or inform their users of the incompatibility. Either way, Micromat dropped this ball, not Apple.

      • David Kirk


        • Vaughan Jones

          Pages is my main problem, wasting hours of time I don’t have. Making a Save As suggested didn’t work.

          Using Duplicate makes and calls it a Backup…. which has to be renamed. My computer is full of them now.
          There are things in Lion which are excellent, and going back to Nine would not allow access to Mountain Lion in the future.

          Surely there have been enough complaints for Mac to fix Lion.

          A newer MacBook Pro has Save As and none of the problems of my iMac 27 inch.

          Can I copy the MacBook Pro Pages to my Lion computer after deleting Lion in it?

          Mail freezes daily.

          I want to write in Pages and paste to Mail, but saving in Pages makes it change its name and makes a Backup copy, which my computer is now full of, waiting for my time to delete them.

  • Shane Green

    Holy crap, my computer is like twice as fast as I thought it was!

    Thank you!!!!

  • scotty

    re Step 4: where the heck are these files i am to trash? same for Step 5. i am sorry to be this stupid. but there you have it.

    • David Kirk

      You have to go through explorer and find them on your hard drive.

      Finder -> Go -> Go to Folder
      Put “/Library” and then hit the “Go” button.
      This will put you in the library folder where you can find the folders that contain the files.

      If you are not comfortable navigating through directories and finding files, you may want to seek some professional assistance. Deleting the wrong files in your library can be dangerous to your system.

      • hearty thx. you restored my faith in people, simply helping b/c of course. i am afraid i could not find the darn files even following your instructions, clear as they were. i am wondering if the Apple Store Genius Bar folks can help, w/o my dragging in the IMac. thx again.

  • Abou

    Thanks for this. What a horrible piece of software – nothing short of malware!