Macs work smoothly most of the time. But they’re machines, after all. Regardless of how robust the hardware and software, you are bound to encounter problems now and then. Luckily, all issues don’t warrant a run to the nearest Apple service center.
If your system isn’t working, here’s how you can get back on track.
If the apps and accessories are not responding or misbehaving, you can give your system a fresh start. Click the Apple menu > select Shut Down or Restart.
If your system isn’t responding and not registering any clicks, you can press the power button and hold it for a few seconds. This will force your system to shut down or restart. The macOS will be reloaded from the start, and the memory will be cleared.
Force Quit Unresponsive Applications
If apps have stopped responding and you want to eliminate the beach ball cursor, you can force quit the frozen apps. Press Command + Option + Escape to force quit the misbehaving applications. Alternatively, you can click the Apple menu > select Force Quit. Then, choose the apps you want to quit and click Force Quit.
Check if the issue persists by reopening the applications.
If you have switched on your computer and are staring at a blank white screen, one of the apps loading at startup might give you trouble. You can use Safe Mode to run your system in a stripped-down operating system version to find the culprit. In the Safe Mode, no apps listed in System Preferences > Users > Groups > Login Items will load.
Also, after your system starts up in Safe Mode, it will thoroughly check the startup disk. It will even repair corrupt files.
You can enter Safe Mode in macOS by holding down the power button when your system is powering until you see the startup options on the screen. Then, select your startup disk and hold the Shift key. Then, click Continue in Safe Mode. This method applies to Apple Silicon Macs.
For Intel-based Macs, hold the Shift key when your system is booting until you see the Apple logo appearing on the screen.
Update the Operating System
Most problems and performance issues are caused due to an outdated Mac operating system. Also, if the applications are not up-to-date, they may misbehave. Therefore, you must update the operating system and apps to ensure they function seamlessly.
When you run the latest version of the apps or OS, they will come with bug fixes and security improvements.
You can upgrade the macOS version by going to System Preferences > clicking Software Update and following the instructions on the screen. In addition, you can enable automatic updates so that you don’t have to go through this step now and then manually.
You must go to the App Store and click Updates for the apps on your Mac. If you find any pending updates, install them. If you have apps obtained from outside the App Store, you must go to the app’s preferences window or main menu and check for updates.
Reset SMC and NVRAM/PRAM
Whether your Mac is losing battery health or you can hear loud fan noise, resetting the SMC and NVRAM/PRAM can solve the problem. The SMC controls various hardware functions like system performance, cooling fans, etc. The NVRAM/PRAM, on the other hand, is responsible for storing Mac’s operating system information.
For Mac models with an Apple T2 security chip, the SMC is reset by shutting down the system > holding the power button for ten seconds > releasing the button, and waiting for a while before restarting the system. If this does not help, shut down your system again > press the right Shift + left Option + left Control key and press them for seven seconds. Then, press the power button. Hold all four buttons for seven seconds, and then let go. Restart your system.
PRAM/NVRAM is reset by shutting down the computer > pressing the power button > holding the Option + Command + P + R keys for twenty seconds, then releasing all the keys to let the Mac reboot.
Different models have different methods of resetting NVRAM/PRAM and the SMC.
Completely Erase your Mac and Restore
If nothing is working and your Mac continues to give you a hard time, the only option is to erase your system and restore it completely. Give your Mac a fresh start with a factory reset, which will eliminate all infections and bugs. Of course, you must remember to back up all the critical files and documents using Time Machine or other alternatives.
Begin the factory reset process by selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu or the Dock > choosing Erase All Content and Settings. Then, you will have to reload macOS and install all the apps you need. However, your system should run smoothly now and will feel new.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, these troubleshooting tips will get your Mac working again.