9 Common Mac Problems and Their Simple DIY Fixes

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Having problems with your mac? Here are some of the most common mac problems and how to fix them with simple solutions almost anyone can do...

Did you know that in just the last three months of 2019 5.3 million Macs were sold globally? Thanks to their processing power and fantastic looks, Macs are as popular as ever. 

However, this does not mean that they're perfect. If you are a Mac user you may have come across some problems that you haven't been able to fix. Yet, did you know sometimes the solution to common mac problems are very simple?

If you want to learn about the most common mac problems, and how to overcome them, why not follow our in-depth guide below.

1. Spinning Wheel of Death

The spinning wheel of death. The Beachball. The spinner cursor that indicates that your Mac is thinking has many names. However, a problem arises when it refuses to stop thinking and the spinning cursor continues to turn seemingly indefinitely. What can you do?

Start by pressing CMD+. This will cancel whatever process is currently in use. If this does not work, you may be able to use the Option + Tab function to select another program and continue working. 

If it seems that your Mac has totally crashed, you may need to take more drastic action. You can activate "Force Quit" by pressing Cmd+Option+Esc. If the problem continues after this, you may need to physically restart your computer. Holding down the power button will force shutdown your mac.

2. Lost Files

When you realize that you have lost a file, the first thing to do is to ask Spotlight. Simply typing in the name of the file will show where you have left it, wherever it may be on the hard drive. 

If you realize that you have overwritten a needed file, you may still have hope of recovering it. If you have enabled Time Machine that is. Time Machine is back-up software that is built into is built into Mac OS in recent years.

Spotlight will be able to show you the history of your files for as long as you have specified. Simply access Time Machine historical files through Spotlight to retrieve your lost files.

3. Switching Programs is Slow

Macs have a generous amount of memory or RAM. However, it is not infinite. Even though you are able to run a number of apps at the same time, eventually you will start to see lag. What can you do?

There is an easy solution and a slightly more complicated solution. The easy solution is to close down as many programs as you can. This will free up RAM for the programs that you need to prioritize.

The more complicated solution is to add more RAM to your Mac. This may require professional intervention by qualified technicians.

4. Slow Web Browser

Website designers and managers are looking to add more and more content to their pages. This can lead to some lag when loading pages. However, in response, web browser creators are creating ever-more efficient web browsers.

You may have noticed that Chrome is slow on Mac or that Safari is loading pages more slowly than normal. In this case, reset the web browsers as much as you can. There may be cached pages or other information that has not been processed correctly. 

If this does not work and this is a consistent problem, you may need to consult professionals who can provide more efficient DNS settings for your Mac to connect with. 

5. Documents Open in an Incorrect App

It can be very frustrating if the documents you regularly work with do not open in your preferred app each time. For example, Preview is the default app for photos.

However, if you are regularly using Photoshop on your Mac, Preview will be a source of annoyance. How can you overcome this?

To correct this situation, select any JPEG and press CMD+I. Under "open with" you can define your preferred app. You can then apply this setting to all files with this file extension. Confirm this to finalize this handy Mac hack.

6. Lost Password

Security and strong password protection is a hot topic right now. A strong password policy is one of the best ways to keep your computer safe. However, if you are locked out, it can very difficult to get into. 

If your mac starts up and you have forgotten your password, you will need the OS DVD that comes with your computer. When it boots you should hold "C" to ensure that it boots from the DVD.

You will see a Utilities menu that includes a Reset Password Command. Use this and restart. 

7. Startup Issues

If all you see is a blank screen when you are booting up, it may be time to try booting up in safe mode. This means that your Mac will boot up using the minimum software and drivers and run internal checks. 

To start-up in safe mode, start your mac and hold the Shift Key. After the Apple logo disappears you can let go. The Mac will then slowly check the hard disk before presenting you with the login screen. To leave Safe Mode and enter Normal Mac mode, simply restart your computer. 

8. BlueTooth Issues

BlueTooth is necessary for functionality such as Airdrop and wireless peripherals. When your BlueTooth shows as being unavailable, it is a problem.

There are some simple fixes you can try. These include, of course, switching off and on BlueTooth. After this, restart your Mac. Also, you should be aware of any BlueTooth devices nearby that could be causing interference. 

If you are still experiencing difficulties after applying these steps, you may have to go deeper. 

From Finder, Select Go and then Go to Folder. Type - Library - Preferences and click Go. Search for the com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file and delete it.

Now go back to the Finder and select Go to Folder and type: ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost. From there locate the com.apple.Bluetooth.xxx.plist file. Xxx will be a collection of numbers. 

Now restart your Mac. The OS will, hopefully, recreate the files you deleted and BlueTooth will work again. 

 9. Audio Input/Output Issues

Another issue sometimes encountered by Mac users is an unexpected loss of sound. The first port of call is the Sound Pane of the System Preferences. Check the following:

Sound Effects - settings for noises made by Mac OS X and apps.

Output - settings for speakers and headphones.

Input - settings for microphones and other sound sources.

Checking here that everything is working will solve many simple issues. However, there may be other simple solutions.

If sounds are not coming from the speaker, are headphones plugged in? If there is a problem with your microphone, is something blocking it? Often the most effective solutions are basic troubleshooting issues like this.

The Solution to Common Mac Problems and Much More

Macs offer fantastic performance and look great, but they are not perfect. By applying these suggestions you can overcome some simple Mac problems, often without having to ask for professional help.

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