7 Common Mac Issues and How to Fix Them

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how to fix common mac issues

Computers have become almost an extension of ourselves, a way to entertain, work, study and communicate, which benefits everyone who uses them. This is why it can be extremely frustrating to encounter problems with your computer, which require extensive research and patience to solve.

However, we have compiled a list of the most common issues that arise with Mac users, and more importantly, how to fix them. Read ahead to find your specific problem and how to resolve it, or browse to obtain useful knowledge for future use.

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1. Audio Appears Broken

Sometimes the audio input and output can appear faulty, but this can be a quick fix by heading to your sound option in system preferences, where you will find sound effects, output (the noises that come from your computer), and input (how the computer receives external noises like the microphone). Checking these out can often highlight the issue, so investigate this tab to figure out your problem.

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2. Slow Internet Browser

The most irritating obstacle in everyday computer use is a slow internet browser. Macs pride themselves on running smoothly and having fast connections, so it can be doubly frustrating when this issue arises. When Safari is dead, an easy fix is to reset Safari from the menu or to close all your tabs and try again from scratch.

3. Persistently Spinning Cursor

On Macs, the cursor often morphs into a multi-colored spinning wheel while the machine is busy processing. Sometimes it can get stuck in this motion, which is distracting and often compromises the cursor’s utility, making you unable to click on things.

To solve this, try pressing the command key and ‘+’ to cancel whatever is slowing your computer down. Forcing the application to quit is another choice that can be achieved by hold the ‘option’ key or pressing ‘command,’ ‘option’ and ‘escape.’

If this doesn’t work, switch to another application and wait for the process to finish, and the cursor returns to normal. This can be done by pressing the ‘option’ key and the ‘tab’ key together or by clicking on another application manually, like Finder.

Finally, if all else fails, you can always turn to a trusty on-and-off maneuver. Try restarting, or hold down the power button to enforce a shutdown.

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4. The Mac Won’t Start Up

There’s always that dreaded feeling when you press the power key, and absolutely nothing happens. While this can send many of us into a tailspin, it’s essential to remain calm and try these methods before panicking.

An unresponsive computer may mean that there could be a blown fuse in the plug, so investigate this area first. If your Mac has not run out of power entirely, the power LED may flash, or there may be an audible beep as the computer runs a power-on self-test.

These beeps indicate an issue with the RAM modules (random access memory modules, a printed circuit board on which memory integrated circuits are mounted).

If these have moved out of place, you can check and manually place them in the correct position using the manual that came with your device or looking online for a step-by-step process.

More than three beeps alternatively place blame upon the ROM (read-only memory) or processor, in which case professional help is required.

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5. Screen Issues

These can be scary when they first appear, but understanding what to do can make them simple to resolve. Usually, all that is needed is a quick restart, or by holding down ‘command,’ ‘option,’ the ‘P’ key, and the ‘R’ key as often error screens are display issues that correct themselves when the PRAM/VRAM are reset.

Keeping your OS updated reduces the likelihood of these occurring. For more specific issues, like a YouTube video not loading correctly while you can’t hear the audio, services like Setapp offer a step-by-step guide on how to fix the black screen on YouTube.

Setapp works as a cross-platform suite of efficiency apps that are motivated by productivity and improving workflow. This makes them an ideal platform to consider if you want both yourself and your devices to perform at full potential.

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6. An Application is Not Working Properly

When your applications are not performing as usual, this can slow you down, and the most common cause is usually resolved in a few steps. This cause is known as corrupted preferences, as every application has individual preference files containing configuration data. As applications garner a lot of activity, these are read and written reasonably, making them vulnerable to corruption.

When your application crashes, your Mac may offer to reset the preferences for you. You can also do this yourself, however, by going to Library and Preferences and then to the user account, which indicates the home folder where preferences correlate to applications.

You should quit whatever application is acting up and make a folder on your computer that holds all the preferences which may be causing the issues. Then relaunch the application, making it gather a new list of priorities. If it doesn’t, you can simply put the old ones back, and there is no harm done!

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7. An Accidental Spill

An irritating mistake, but one that can happen to everyone. Spilling a liquid can feel like a destructive act, but often acting quickly can save the device.

Turn the computer upside down to prevent as much of the substance as possible from getting into the computer (usually via the keyboard) and carefully clean it off using cotton buds that are ever so slightly damp.

Then leave it out to dry thoroughly and keep your fingers crossed! If the spill was terrible, it might require professional assessment, but following this should be an effective process for minor incidents. Keeping your Mac clean will also help prevent a host of other problems.

Conclusion

Troubleshooting these issues confidently will make your daily engagement on computers much smoother. Any problems that may arise can be dealt with efficiently and without extensive research. This article will help you to identify some common Mac issues and fix them accordingly.