Does your Mac crash a lot? Have you noticed constant fan noise or battery issues? Your Mac could have a problem, but the solution might be easy! Let’s look at some common Mac issues and how you can fix them.
Sudden and frequent restarts, particularly those accompanied by an onscreen warning, are known as kernel panics. This is the Apple equivalent of Microsoft’s Blue Screen of Death, and you often see the “Your computer was restarted because of a problem” error when your machine reboots.
Many things can cause a kernel panic. It could indicate a problem with hardware, such as RAM or CPU. An unreliable peripheral you have connected to your Mac can also cause a kernel panic, or it could simply be a case of low disk space. Kernel panics happen occasionally, but if you aren’t experiencing them frequently (multiple times per week), you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
If your Mac has regular kernel panics, try these possible fixes:
Do you regularly see the spinning pinwheel of death? Are apps unresponsive, sluggish, or crashing altogether? Does your Mac suddenly freeze for no reason?
Many things could cause these issues, but some are more common than others. Low disk space often causes performance issues, particularly when you wake your Mac from Sleep Mode. Issues with memory and storage, or simply a machine that bites off more than it can chew, could also be to blame.
If you’re experiencing these issues, try these possible fixes:
Batteries don’t last forever. Over time, they all exhibit signs of aging. For example, your device won’t run as long on a single charge, and, sometimes, it will barely hold a charge at all. There’s one very clear course of action in this case, but it’s not the only thing you can try.
Power issues can also point to problems with the System Management Controller (SMC). This chip in Intel-based Macs is responsible for low-level operations, including charging LED behavior and fan control.
If you’ve noticed battery issues, try these possible fixes:
Many of us panic when our computers don’t boot correctly. You might see a plain black or gray screen, a black screen with a question mark, or an error message about an issue your machine is having.
Like system crashes, there are many reasons why a Mac might appear to be DOA. It could be an issue with a cable, the SMC, a software update, or a botched OS upgrade.
If your Mac isn’t booting properly, try these possible fixes:
The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for low-level operations that can’t necessarily rely on the main operating system. These operations occur before the OS even boots, and, on Intel-based Macs, the SMC chip controls them.ADVERTISEMENT
If the SMC has a problem, you might encounter fans that constantly run, battery and indicator LEDs that misbehave, or keyboard backlights that don’t respond to controls. You might also experience power issues, like sudden shutdowns and a refusal to power on.
The SMC can also cause issues with battery charging, external peripherals not being detected, and poor performance, even under a low CPU load. These issues are mostly just irritating, but some can seriously impact how you use your machine.
Fortunately, the fix for this relatively straight-forward; just follow these instructions to reset your Mac’s SMC.
When your Mac is shut down, many settings, like the current resolution, which startup disk the machine uses, your local time zone, and the volume are all stored in the Nonvolatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM) or Parameter RAM (PRAM).
Occasionally, things go wrong, and these settings are lost. Your Mac might boot from a different startup disk than normal, or you might constantly have to reset the time and resolution after the system boots.ADVERTISEMENT
To fix these issues, you need to reset the NVRAM/PRAM on your Mac.
If your Mac is overheating, it’s pretty obvious because it will feel hot. Further signs include thermal throttling (when macOS limits the speed of your CPU to generate less heat) and random restarts. To check the internal temperature, you can install an app like smcFanControl.
Aside from using your Mac in very hot conditions, overheating might signal a more serious problem you shouldn’t ignore. If there’s a problem with the internal cooling or temperature sensors, and you continue to use your Mac, you could damage it. Hardware and heat don’t mix.
If your Mac is overheating, try these possible fixes:
A Mac that won’t shut down is not as common or panic-inducing as one that won’t boot. However, if this happens frequently, it’s likely third-party software is running in the background and blocking the shutdown procedure.
If your Mac doesn’t shut down, try these possible fixes:
Even if your Mac is outside of its warranty period and not covered by AppleCare, you can still take your Mac to Apple store and get some help. A technician can run model-specific diagnostics on your device to detect any hardware issues. Outside of downloading leaked copies of these diagnostic tools, there’s not much else you can do.ADVERTISEMENT
Apple will let you know if any repairs need to be done, and you can decide if it’s worth it. Depending on the cost, it might be better to upgrade to a new model. Apple won’t charge you anything unless you agree to the repair or hardware replacement.