Mac Troubleshooting Guide: Easy Fixes for Common Problems


Your day began like any other, but your mood turned sour just as you switched on your Mac. Your Mac won’t turn on, or you are left staring at a blank, gray, or blue screen. Worst of all, there’s the spinning beach ball on your screen, and no matter what you do, it refuses to go away. 

So, what do you do? Throw your Mac outside the window? No, that’s not an option because common Mac problems can be solved in seconds. So instead, here’s a troubleshooting guide to keep you from getting worried. 

Faulty Escape Key

The Escape key not working is a genuine problem. The button is used for most abort/close/cancel operations. If the physical keyboard is not functioning because you’ve spilled liquid on it or accidentally kept something heavy on the keyboard, you may have to replace the keyboard. 

Mac isn’t Starting

There can be several reasons why your Mac won’t start. Fortunately, you can take numerous troubleshooting steps to alleviate the problem. 

  • Check the power to see if your computer has enough charge. Hold the power button for ten seconds, and then let go. Start your computer again by pushing the power button. You must also ensure the power cord is connected. You have discovered the culprit if your computer starts only when the power cord is connected and not on the battery. It would be best if you replaced the battery. 
  • If the problem persists, you must reset the NVRAM/PRAM. Apple silicon-based Mac users can simply restart their machines to reset NVRAM. Suppose you are using an Intel-based machine, press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys when starting your Mac. Then, release the keys after twenty seconds. 
  • Resetting the SMC is another solution but only on Intel-based machines. Silicon-based Macs do not have SMC. You can reset it by shutting down your Mac and disconnecting the power cord. Wait for fifteen seconds before plugging it back in, and then switch on your Mac after five seconds. The steps are for desktop machines, and if you are using a laptop with a T2 chip, you need to press and hold the power button for ten seconds after shutting down the computer. Then, release it and wait a few seconds before pressing the power button to start your Mac. 

If the problem persists, click the Apple menu > Click Shut Down > hold the Control + Option + Shift keys and press them for seven seconds. During this process, your computer may switch on, but you must not stop holding the keys. Then, press the power button and the other keys, and if your Mac turns on, it will shut down. Hold all four keys for seven seconds, and then wait a few seconds before pressing the power button. 

The Display is Frozen

If the display has suddenly frozen, you can do a few things to solve the problem. 

For example, if only the Finger is frozen, you must click the Apple menu > choose Force Quit > choose Finder > and click Relaunch. 

If the entire computer is frozen, you have to click the Apple menu > click Shut Down > unplug all the external devices > and reboot your computer. 

If the problem is resolved, shut down the system again and plug back the peripherals one by one. Then, reboot your system. You must follow the process for each external device to find the culprit. If your Mac freezes again after plugging back a specific accessory, you have found the problem child. You must not use the peripheral device with your Mac as it might be incompatible. 

Apps are Malfunctioning

Sometimes, apps may start to misbehave or act strangely. While errors may differ, you can try the following solutions to alleviate the problem. 

If the non-App Store applications are acting weirdly, you must note that Macs don’t allow non-App Store apps to run smoothly because of security concerns. Fortunately, you can change the permissions if you desperately need to run applications not available in the official App Store. You can go to System Preferences > choose Security & Privacy > click the lock icon > log into your account > choose the radio button next to App Store and Identified developers under Allow apps downloaded from > select the lock icon again and lock it. 

If the App Store apps are not functioning, they might be due for an update. So, check if any updates are available and immediately click update and install them. If the apps are outdated, they may stop functioning and become incompatible with your Mac. 

The Bottom Line

These simple troubleshooting tips help you stay on track and not get worried because your Mac decided to act a bit wonky. However, if these don’t work, you must reach out to the technicians at the Apple service center.


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