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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How To Fix Common Mac Problems

If you're a Mac owner like me (yes, as I'm a tech guru who owns several Mac products) you know they are very reliable computers. It's few and far between that you have to worry about issues with your Mac, but when you do, like most computer issues it always happens at the worse time. If you know how to fix common issues that can occur with your Macintosh computer and Mac OS, you can save yourself some headaches and get back on the road to being productive. At Integral, we've tackled just about every problem that can occur on Apple products. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you solve common problems with your Mac.

My Mac won't power up. If your Mac won’t start, here are a few things you can try:

  • If you have an iMac or Mac Mini, make sure you plug your Mac directly into the wall. Most of you are using surge protectors and power strips to plug all your tech devices into and sometimes these strips go bad. Plugging your wall outlet ensures you are getting power.

  • If you have a MacBook or MacBook Air, check the power and make sure the other end of the charger cord is securely connected to your Mac. If you're sure it's plugged in, try another charger cord.

  • Change Outlets. Sometimes homes are susceptible to electrical failure. If your Mac won’t start, try plugging it into a different wall outlet.

  • Unlike Windows computers, if your battery is bad in your MacBook, then your computer won't power on. Replace the battery to get your computer to boot.

If all those tests fail, there may be something fundamentally wrong with your Mac.

My Mac won't boot into Mac OS. If your Mac powers up, but won’t load MacOS, there are a few fixes you can try:

Use Safe Boot. Sometimes 3rd party programs will interfere with your Mac startup. Using Safe Boot disables those 3rd party programs allowing your computer to startup. Here's how to use it:

Start your Mac and press the Shift key until the Apple logo appears.

Release the Shift key when you see the login prompt

Log in and load the desktop.

If your Mac goes into macOS, you have an issue with a 3rd party program that you need to remove.

Reset the NVRAM. This fix solves a lot of issues because it clears out the settings stored in the NVRAM. Here's how to use it.

1. Start your Mac while holding down Command, Option, P, and R until you hear your Mac restart.

2. Let the keys go and let it boot as normal.

Reset the SMC. The System Management Controller controls thermal management and power settings, which can sometimes cause a Mac not to start. Here is how to use it:

1.Shut down your Mac.

2. Remove the power cord for 20 seconds.

3. Reattach the power cord.

4. Boot your Mac.

Spinning Beach Ball. There's nothing more fun than a day at the beach, however, if you get the spinning beach ball, it can be annoying as your Mac has slowed to a crawl. When the spinning beach ball appears, it means there's an application that's slowing down your Mac. To find out which one it is, Open the Activity Monitor and see what’s up. If you see a program using all your resources, stop the program or Force Quit. If you find this process isn't working, it's possible your Mac has a hard drive that's failing and you need to replace it.

Low disk space. Those items you store on your computer can quickly eat up the space on your Mac. Apple suggests a minimum of 10% free disk space. Not only can low disk space cause problems when you want to install new applications, it can also cause the spinning beach ball or other stalling with your computer. To check the storage on your Mac, do the following:

Select the Apple icon in the top left of your desktop.

Select About This Mac and then Storage.

You should now see a menu showing your disk(s) and the used and free space. To make space on your Mac, empty the Trash. You can also uninstall apps you no longer use. Also, check out the download folder and remove items you don't need. If you find this doesn't help you can gain space by storing your desktop and documents on iCloud storage. Keep in mind if you do this, you will have to pay Apple for additional storage. Here's how

From your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences. Click Apple ID, then click iCloud. In macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click iCloud.

Make sure that iCloud Drive is turned on. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.

Choose Desktop & Documents Folders, then click Done.

A Poor Internet Connection. You probably rely on a wireless connection with your Mac. If you use a MacBook Pro or Air, you chose this so you can work on your computer anywhere in your home, office, and beyond. If your internet connection is slow, get in touch with your Internet Service Provider to make sure there are no outages on their end. Next, make sure that other devices in your home or office aren't experiencing issues. Finally, it's possible the wireless connection in your Mac is failing. You could opt to replace it with a USB Wireless adapter. The only alternative to fix a bad wifi connector is to replace the logicboard which should be only performed by someone who has experience repairing Macs.

Mac stuck installing a macOS update. Nothing is worse than trying to install an update for a mac and ‘The macOS installation couldn’t be completed.’ It means the update you were doing cannot proceed and you will have to begin again. If this happens, do the following:

  1. Press and hold the power button until your Mac shuts down completely.

  2. Wait 15 seconds then boot normally.

  3. Navigate to the App Store and select Updates.

  4. Try to continue the installation process from there.

If you do this and it still won't install the update, it's possible the hard drive is failing on your mac and you need a replacement hard drive.

Perform a clean install of Mac OS. Sometimes the easiest way to fix problems on your Mac is to reinstall the operating system. Before you perform this step, make sure you backup all of your information. When you’re ready to install Mac OS, do the following:

  1. Hold Command + R and reboot your Mac.

  2. Release the keys when you see the Apple logo.

  3. Select Disk Utility in the macOS Utility window and select Continue.

  4. Select Startup Volume and then Unmount.

  5. Select Erase and exit Disk Utility.

  6. Select Reinstall Mac OS and select to Continue.

  7. Follow the installation wizard that appears.

Macintosh computers are very reliable computers and most people have few to no problems with them. However, like any form of technology they are prone to having problems from time to time. Hopefully, this quick guild will help you eliminate some of the common problems that can occur with a Mac.

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