When you’re in the middle of a project and something goes wrong, you don’t always have time wait on the phone for Apple tech support to help. You just want to get the issue fixed fast, so you can continue your work.
While MACs have a reputation for being fairly user-friendly and glitch-free, that doesn’t mean they don’t still have their issues. This is compounded by the fact that they can be rather pricey as compared to Windows PCs, so users tend to keep them in use longer. And as with any computer, the longer you use it, the more problems can crop up.
Knowing a few tips and tricks to troubleshoot issues can save you a lot of time and frustration. The Pro Tech Guy team put together this handy MAC troubleshooting guide to give you tips for solving some of the most common issues that can be corrected if you know what to do.
We’ve included our years of computer repair and technical support experience in this guide and hope that it’s a helpful reference for you when you’re in a pinch.
Boot and Startup Issues
One of the most frustrating computer problems is not being able to turn your computer on or have it boot properly.
If Your iMac or MacBook Won’t Turn On
First try the obvious:
Make sure the power cord is secure and hasn’t become loose from your computer
Check the plug into the outlet to make sure it’s secure
Check something else in the same outlet to ensure it’s working
If using a surge protector, make sure the switch didn’t get turned off
Change outlets to check if it will turn on with a different one
Disconnect all peripherals (printers, additional screen, etc.) and try again
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still getting a black screen, it will need to be looked at, and you can bring it in to Pro Tech Guy.
Your Mac is Stuck at a Grey Screen and Won’t Boot
If you get the screen loading with the Apple icon and your computer won’t go past that point, there is most likely something wrong with the booting process. This can be a software issue, hardware issue or something else. Here are some things to try.
Boot in Safe Mode: This will run additional diagnostics during boot to try to fix any issues. Hit the power button and press and hold the Shift key. You can release the Shift key after the Apple logo has gone and the login screen appears.
If this works and you’re logged in properly, you can run a file check by opening the Terminal and typing ‘fsck -fy’ and hit enter. This will take a few minutes.
Boot in Diagnostic Mode: The next thing to try is running your Disk Utility by booting in Diagnostic Mode. Hit the power button and press and hold Command+R.
If this is successful, you’ll have the ability select a Disk Utility Option to run a diagnostic. Select your hard drive and click “Verify.” Then wait for it to finish. If you see a problem, click “Repair Disk.”
Reset the NVRAM: This is a common fix for many different types of problems, which include booting issues. Hit the power button and press and hold Command + Option + P + R until you hear your computer restart, then release the keys.
Reset the SMC: If the NVRAM reset doesn’t work, next you can try resetting the System Management Controller (SMC). This one involves removing the power cord and has the following steps:
Shut off your Mac
Remove the power cord completely for 20 seconds
Reattach the power cord
Boot your computer
Screen & Performance Issues
Your Computer is On, but the Screen is Black
This one can drive you crazy at first because you might think your computer isn’t booting. But if you hear the normal sounds, it could just be that it’s stuck but is actually booted.
If this happens, try putting it to sleep with a keyboard command and waking it up again. Hold the S and Power button for 15 seconds and let go of the keys once you hear the fan stop. Then wait another 15 seconds and try to reboot it.
Stuck Programs or Spinning Wheel
There are two ways you can clear up programs that are hogging all your resources and causing your screen to freeze up.
Force Quit: Hold Command + Option + Escape, the Force Quit Application window will come up, choose the stuck program and click “Force Quit.”
Activity Monitor: Use the Finder to go Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. When you open the Activity Monitor, it will show you all the processes currently running and how much memory they’re taking. You can force quit apps from the window
If your computer has gotten slow, you may be low on disk space. Apple recommends having a minimum of 10% free. You can check this by selecting the Apple icon at the top left and choosing About This Mac, then Storage.
This window will also have a “Manage” button that will help you identify ways to free up disk space such as optimizing storage and reducing clutter.
One other possible fix is to add memory. On iMacs, you can find a Memory option when you access About This Mac and view whether you have available slots. Often an upgrade in memory can significantly speed up your computer.
If All Else Fails, Call A Pro!
If you’re still experiencing problems, give us a call! The Pro Tech Guy team can perform expert diagnostics to find out what’s wrong and get it taken care of for you. We also offer fast emergency services!
Having MAC issues? Call us at 508-364-8189 or use our contact form.