5 Common macOS Issues and How to Resolve Them

We’ve detailed some of the most common Mac problems that you could face when running one of these machines, particularly those that stutter and stall your machine. If you’re having problems, then run through these points one by one, and if you’re still struggling, WiseGuys can help you out.

Problems booting up

Though your MacBook should generally work fine, you could run into a problem whereby you see a black or grey screen on start-up, rather than being dumped onto your desktop. In this case, you’ll want to try booting the computer up in what’s called ‘Safe Mode’. This mode boots up your Mac with a stripped-down layer of software and drivers, consisting of the bare necessities for your operating system to run properly. Safe Mode will do a thorough scan and check of the start-up partition and conduct repairs on any problems that could be preventing proper booting.

Getting your Mac to boot up in Safe Mode is relatively straight forward. All you need to do is hold down the Shift key after switching on your machine. You’ll see the usual Apple company logo and can release the button after you’ve seen this appear. You can login as usual at this point. To escape Safe Mode and return to the normal start-up process, simply restart the Mac without holding down any keys.

If the problem goes away, then you probably had problems with a cache or directory on the start-up disk that was fixed by using Safe Mode. If the issue returns, then you may be dealing with something called ‘incompatible login items’, which we’ll look at next.

Incompatible login items

This term refers to any applications installed on your Mac that are not actually compatible with the operating system (macOS). They can cause problems on start-up that might result in a blue screen when starting up your machine, for example.

Go into your Apple menu and System Preferences, then Users & Groups. Click onto your account name under Current User and then click on Login Items. At this point, you should take note of all the login items listed. Select all of them and then click Remove. From here, you can go through and re-add the applications one by one until you diagnose which one is causing the problem.

Bear in mind that if you’ve only recently added one or two new applications and have begun to experience the problem, then you might want to start by targeting and removing these specifically.

Non-responsive applications

Applications can become unresponsive from time to time, which may cause your Mac to freeze up temporarily. You may have experienced this before, as it can affect website browsers, for example. If this happens, you can bring up the 'Force Quit' menu by going into the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen. Alternatively, you can use 3 keyboards commands together - Command, Option, Escape - which will bring up the same dialog. Once this is open, all you need to do is highlight the unresponsive application and click Force Quit.

Mac won’t shut down

Sometimes, you'll select the option to turn off or restart your Mac machine. However, after a few minutes, you may notice that the computer is still running. Though it can take several minutes to close the computer, there may also be outstanding actions that require your attention. Keep an eye out for a bouncing icon on the dock, which indicates that an application requires attention.

The ‘spinning beach ball’

Apple call this the 'Spinning Wait Cursor', though in many online forums and communities it's known as the 'Spinning Beach Ball'. When you see this icon replacing your mouse pointer, it means that the application you're running can't handle the number of events being sent to it. Essentially, this can cause an unresponsive application, as mentioned above.

If you only see this on occasion and for a very short period of time, it's probably normal. However, if you're seeing it more and more often during a single use session, then it’s worth looking at what could be interfering. Go into the Utilities folder and open the Activity Monitor. From here, you can see all the applications using your Mac's memory at this point in time. From here, highlight a memory-intensive application that you’re not using and then click on the ‘X’ and choose Quit.

WiseGuys Support

Should you need any extra support with your Mac, you can speak to a support agent from WiseGuys by calling us on 0808 123 2820. As well as software troubleshooting, we can also help you with your Mac hardware and accessories.

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