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MacBook Fix: 7 Key Things to Do If Your Mac Is Acting Up


Are you a long-time Mac user, or did you recently make the switch to a MacBook? Either way, one of the most important things you need to learn is fixing Mac problems. 

Studies state that 97% of Mac users became more productive after switching from Windows PC, but that’s only if your MacBook doesn’t act up. Before this happens, you need to learn some basic MacBook fixes. 

What are these fixes you need to know? Continue reading below for seven Mac troubleshooting tips.

Start With a Restart

As simple as it may seem, a restart may be the only MacBook fix that you need. Restarting your desktop or MacBook boots its operating system.

Most of the time, this fixes errors that are causing your Mac to act up. This includes any crashes or problems concerning specific functions.

When restarting your Mac, you want to do it right. This means going through the proper process of restarting your computer. Never use the forced shutdown method of holding down the power button.

Instead, go through the menu options and hit “Restart.” You should only perform a forced shutdown when every other method fails.

Check Your Hard Drive

If the reboot doesn’t work, start checking your hard drive for errors. Go to the “Utilities” folder and run “Disk Utility.” Select your hard drive, then hit “Repair Permissions.”

Click “Verify Disk” and see if it reports any problems. If it does, boot your Mac from the installation disc that came with your unit. Insert the disc then hold down “C” from your keyboard as you reboot.

This reveals an option to “Repair Disk.”

If you lost your installation disc, your alternative is to perform a safe boot. To do this, shut down your computer then press the power button. Wait for the start-up sound to finish then hold “Shift” on your keyboard.

Allow the safe boot to complete then restart your computer.

Perform an NVRAM Reset

Sometimes, you won’t hear anything from your Mac’s speakers. Sometimes, the screen resolution doesn’t look right. There may also be times when your MacBook takes a long time to boot.

When any of these happens, you can try performing an NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) reset. NVRAM is the memory that stores certain settings that you can quickly access.

It is the memory that stores your Mac’s screen resolution, speaker volume, and start-up disk selection. To reset this, turn off your Mac then power it again immediately while holding Command+Option+P+R.

This will prompt your Mac to play a booting chime as if it is booting. You may also notice your screen flicker. After this, your Mac will reboot and play a booting chime.

When you hear the chime for the second time, release the keys to complete the NVRAM reset.

Update Your Software

When was the last time you updated your Mac’s software? Sometimes, your Mac acts up because you’re not running the latest macOS.

Thankfully, the Software Update features are part of OS X, as well as Mountain Lion. As for the latter, you can find this feature inside the Mac App Store. This allows you to update any third-party apps that you purchased via the App Store.

When it comes to updating your macOS, timing is key. Whenever a new update comes in, don’t install it right away. Instead, wait for a fortnight before updating.

Additionally, make sure every software you are using is compatible.

The SMC MacBook Fix

Sometimes, it is your Mac’s low-level functions that are acting up. Examples include poor response to the power button, poor thermal management, and inefficient battery management.

There are also times when you experience problems with ambient light sensing, status indicator lights, and the Sudden Motion Sensor.

To fix these, you can reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac. For MacBooks, check if the battery is removable. If it is, shut down your MacBook and remove the battery. 

Press and hold the power button for about five seconds, then reinstall the battery. Complete the process by pressing the power button to turn on your computer. 

If it is non-removable, go to the Apple menu and hit “Shut Down.” After your MacBook completely shuts down, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard while pressing the power button simultaneously. 

Hold the power button and the keys for about ten seconds then release them at the same time. Finish the process by pressing the power button to turn on your computer.

Run Some Diagnostics

No troubleshooting list is complete without mentioning the importance of diagnostics. Yes, running an Apple diagnostics does not resolve issues with your Mac. However, it gives you an overview of what is possibly causing your computer to act up.

First, disconnect all external devices from your Mac. Remove everything except for the mouse, keyboard, the AC power, the display, and Ethernet connection.

Place your Mac on a flat, stable surface then shut it down. Turn on your Mac then quickly hold “D” on your keyboard. Do so until the screen asks you to choose a language.

Wait for up to three minutes for the diagnostics to complete. From there, take note of the reference codes then proceed accordingly.

Addressing Power Issues

Last but not least, you need to learn how to troubleshoot your Mac’s power issues. If your MacBook is not charging, unplug it and try another socket. If it doesn’t work, try using a different power cable.

If that doesn’t work, connect the cable to another Mac laptop. If the cable isn’t the problem, try performing an SMC reset.

Also, you should check if your Mac is due for a battery replacement.

Do More With Your Mac

Performing a quick Mac desktop or MacBook fix can help keep you productive. Instead of going immediately to the Apple Store for repairs, try some quick MacBook troubleshooting. It may be all that you need. 

And if you wish to discover all the other cool tricks you can do with your Mac, be sure to read more of our guides and lists.

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