Fix Common macOS Problems with These Troubleshooting Hacks

You start your day like any other, but something isn’t right as you switch on your Mac. Either your Mac doesn’t start, or it runs slowly. Perhaps it suddenly locks up or crashes. Whatever the case, it isn’t the ideal way to start your day.

Even though Macs are built to offer years of enjoyment, they’re not perfect. Problems do happen sometimes. Fortunately, common Mac problems can be diagnosed and fixed easily. Keep reading for troubleshooting tips to resolve common issues.

  1. Your Mac is frozen
an image with half open laptop

Mac may get frozen when you’re running too many applications at once, your system is full, or there’s a system file error. If your computer stops responding, try this –

  • Press the Option button on your keyboard and click on the app icon in your Dock to Force Quit all the apps.
  • Press Option + Escape + Command if your cursor isn’t moving.
  • If this doesn’t work, force restart your Mac by pressing and holding the power button.

Reset the SMC (explained below) if the issue persists.

  1. Screenshot not working
a finger pointing on screenshot button

The screenshot feature comes built-in with macOS, and you don’t need additional software. You can press Shift + Command + 4 to capture a specific portion of the screen or Shift + Command + 3 to capture a screenshot of the entire screen. For macOS Mojave and later users, Shift + Command + 5 brings up a toolbar where you can select any of the three options – capture a window, the entire screen or a selection of the screen. If the screenshot stops working, the first place to look is the keyboard. If your keyboard is functioning properly, look elsewhere. You can update your Mac to resolve the issue or restart your computer. Find more info here regarding how to fix the issue.

  1. Your Mac won’t start
an image with MacBook Pro with black background

There can be various reasons why your Mac won’t start. You can resolve the issue in the following ways –

  • Check the power by holding the power button on your keyboard for ten seconds and then let go > start your computer again by pushing the power button. Ensure the power cord is connected. If you’re using a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and the machine starts with a power cord but not on the battery, you need to replace the battery.
  • Reset the SMC or System Management Controller. The solution is only possible on Intel-based Macs as silicon-based Macs don’t have SMC. Get started by shutting down your computer and disconnect the power cord. Wait for fifteen seconds before plugging the cord back in. Switch on your Mac after five seconds. For laptops that include the T2 chip, you need to press and hold the power button for ten seconds after shutting it down. Wait a few seconds and press the power button again to start your Mac.

If that doesn’t work, reset the NVRAM or PRAM

  1. Your Mac crashes after starting up 
MacBook with opened G-mail application and padlock on it

If your Mac crashes soon after start-up, it might have a software problem. Depending on the type of Mac, you can try different solutions. 

On Intel-based Macs:

  • Click the Apple menu > select Shut Down 
  • Push the power button to restart your Mac while holding the Up Arrow key until you see the login window. 
  • Start your computer in Safe Mode 
  • Restart your Mac to leave the Safe Mode without pressing any keys during start-up

On silicon-based Macs:

  • Click the Apple Menu > choose Shut Down > restart your Mac by pressing the power button and wait until you see Startup Options.
  • Choose your Start-Up Disk > press and hold the Up Arrow key > select Continue in Safe Mode.
  • Leave the Safe Mode by restarting your Mac without pressing any keys. 
  1. Non-App Store app problems 
an image with App Store application

Your Mac may run into problems that are exclusive to a specific non-App Store application. For example, in macOS, a setting makes it almost impossible to run apps that are not from the App Store due to security reasons. But you can easily change this setting if you need to run applications that aren’t available in the App Store. 

For solving this issue, go to System Preferences > select Security & Privacy > choose the lock icon at the bottom left of the General tab > log into your account > select the radio button next to App Store and Identified Developers under Allow Apps Downloaded From > click the lock icon again to lock it. 

If an app from the App Store has stopped working recently, there might be something wrong with the latest software release, or you might have to update the app. You can reboot your Mac to see if the issue gets resolved. If not, you can delete and reinstall the app. 

What if none of these fixes work?

If you have tried all the troubleshooting tips mentioned above and your Mac problem is still not solved, it is time to contact Apple support.

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