12 Common MacBook Issues and Their Solutions

Apple products have a really good reputation for being one of the best, and it seems like they might even be in most cases. Perhaps that is why most Apple users simply expect their devices to work perfectly fine all the time. If a PC user spends their entire day using the device, the glitches and lags might eventually become a very common thing or almost a second nature. 

So, what should you do when your Apple Mac starts to act up? The first thing might be to identify the issue. But there is a problem with that too. Since MacBooks don’t commonly have any problems, it can be quite challenging to locate them altogether. 

The issues can be anything from minor inconveniences, like an application running slowly, to horrible catastrophes, like kernel panics or drive errors. 

Before you go to a technician and pay him to fix whatever is wrong with your Mac, let’s go over some of the problems that people mostly go to technicians for but can easily be fixed at home.


When You Lose a File

It’s easy to lose a file. It happens to everyone. So, the first thing you can try doing in this situation is to ask Spotlight. Basically, you press CMD+ [Space] to open the search bar. There, you can try to type the filename. If you don’t remember it completely, just type whatever you know slowly and pause after every letter. It should come up.

If the problem is that you have overwritten it with a new file of the same name or deleted and took out the trash, then it’s really a problem. If you have used Time Machine and backed up your files before deleting or overwriting, the Spotlight might be able to help you find the lost file. If the file wasn’t backed up at all, then the file is unfortunately gone forever. But you can try to use a data recovery tool to try your luck.


The Beach Ball That Just Won’t Quit

If your Mac is being haunted by a beach ball, then you don’t have to worry. The spinning beach ball basically comes up when your Mac device is busy with something or processing something. Try pressing Cmd+ to cancel whatever process is running. 

If the beach ball is still not gone, then you should switch over to Finder or a similar app using the Option+Tab and simply carry on your work. Then you can simply wait it out, and the app will eventually finish whatever it is doing.

If you think the app simply won’t recover, then you can try to hold down Cmd+Option+Esc to force it to quit. Alternatively, you could try to restart your device and get rid of it. If a message comes up and says the app failed to quit, just hold down the power button to forcibly shut everything down. 


Mac Keeps Dying All Of A Sudden

If your Mac suddenly keeps dying out, you should first check if it’s charging properly. If your MacBook isn’t charging, then the problem just got a lot bigger. But if the MacBook is shutting off all of a sudden at a good battery percentage, then the problem might be easily fixable. 

The next time your Mac shuts down, simply turn it back on and wait for it to load the MacOS. Once your device loads MacOS, you should select to restart your Mac again. This gives your device a ‘healthy’ kind of a restart, meaning it’s not forced. Now, you should try to reset the System Management Controller or the SMC. 

This controller controls many of the crucial hardware processes on your device. If something is going wrong, then resetting the SMC is a really good way to fix it.

However, you should visit the Apple store if resetting the SMC didn’t do the magic for your device. 


iMessage Not Working On A Mac

If you are having this problem, you should first check whether the other person even has an iMessage. Also, you should try sending messages out to more contacts. If your messages are going to other contacts and not one, you are on the safe side. 

You might need to try several solutions to fix the iMessage not working on Mac problem if it is with your system. 

For starters, you can try to reboot your MacBook. Simply click on the Apple logo on the top left corner of your menu bar. Then, hit the restart button and follow the screen prompts that pop up to close the apps. 

If that didn’t work, you could try to re-login to your iMessage. You can do that by selecting “Messages” in the menu bar of your iMessage. You should then click on “Preferences” in the drop-down menu. A window will pop up, and you should click on iMessage. Then the final thing to do is sign out. 


External Device Is Not Properly Connecting

If you are trying to connect an external device to your Mac, but your MacBook simply won’t bite, you should try to connect that external device to another system first. If your external device won’t connect to another system, then the problem is most likely with the device, and your Mac is perfectly fine. 

However, if your Mac is the problem, then try to reconnect and make sure it’s plugged into the right port correctly. Also, the port or cable shouldn’t have damages or obstructions. If you are still having trouble, then restart your Mac.

If the problem is persistent even after the restart, find out if your external device is compatible with your Mac or not. There are some issues with older USB ports and newer devices that don’t work with them. 

If everything seems perfectly fine, but your Mac simply won’t load the device, then you should try to reset your SMC and fix the issue. If you don’t know what SMC or how to reset it, you can find the instructions in the link under the ‘Mac Keeps Dying All Of A Sudden’ section. 

If the problem persists, plug another device that works with your Mac into the same port. If it’s not working as well, you should visit the Apple store and get that port checked out. 


Systems Have Slowed Down

Your Mac is, after all, a machine. It can slow down if too many applications or processes are simply eating away at your RAM or your hard drive is too full that your MacBook is struggling to properly read and write the data. 

If your Mac can no longer provide for your needs, then it’s time for an upgrade. However, you can lower the burden on your hard drive, open fewer tabs, and try to not use too much of it altogether to speed up your device for now.

If the performance is not affected by an overloaded hard drive or RAM, you can restart your device. If that isn’t working, then try to update your MacBook if it has been a while. Try to run a virus scanner to see if it picks up anything because harmful files can certainly have an effect on your Mac. 

You can also open up the Activity Monitor to see what apps are using up too many resources and close them. If nothing is working, then it may be time to go to the nearby Apple store. 


MacBook Battery Problems

MacBook battery issues are quite common. Primarily, users complain that their devices are draining too quickly. If you are facing that issue as well, then you should immediately reset the Power Management and then restart your MacBook. Alternatively, you can try to reset your System Management Controller (SMC). 

If you don’t know how to reset your SMC, you can find the instructions in the link under the ‘Mac Keeps Dying All Of A Sudden’ section.

If you lost some data because of this issue, you should run a data recovery software


Time Machine Is Not Working Properly

Just to be clear, the Time Machine is the default backup application in MacOS, and not a device that takes you back in time.

Since you rely on your Time Machine to recover data if you lose the original files, it becomes pretty frustrating when you see that the backup is lost.

If your backup is lost or deleted, you can try to run the Time Machine data recovery software to recover your data from the external Time Machine drive. 

If the issue is that your Time Machine is not properly creating backups. Then you might be able to easily fix it at home. 

First, check for updates and restart your Mac device. You will be surprised as to how many issues get resolved by simply turning your Mac device off and on again. 

Then, check the AirPort base station. If there are any uninstalled updates, install them and restart the base station. You should also consider checking the network connection. Finally, find out if the backup is functioning properly. You can do that by holding down the Option key and clicking on the Time Machine menu, then selecting the Verify Backups option.


MacBook Startup Only Shows A Blank or Colored Screen

When your MacBook fails to startup, you might see various colors on your screen. The different colors all have multiple meanings. 

If your screen is blue or black and it won’t go away, then your Mac probably froze while trying to load something that is causing a problem. It’s usually a rogue app, or the login functions are malfunctioning. You can simply restart your Mac forcibly by holding down the button for five or six seconds or booting in Safe Mode. Once the Mac turns on, you can remove any problematic apps or incompatible login functions. 

If the screen is gray and you can see the Apple logo right in the middle, then it might be a sign that an essential software or system is failing to work properly. In this case, you can try to hold down the power button or booting it in Safe Mode. First, try to check for updates when your Mac starts up to fix the issues from coming up again. If that’s not an option or it doesn’t work, you can stay in Safe Mode and run the Disk Utility tool to find and repair the disk problems.


Kernel Panics

A kernel panic might be one of the most terrible things that can happen to your Mac. It’s basically when your Mac keeps restarting, and the screen goes black with an error message that only says you should restart it. If you have used Windows before, then a kernel panic is the equivalent of a blue screen of doom. 

It will happen without any warnings, and it doesn’t even allow you to save your work. It generally happens when your Mac doesn’t have enough RAM or memory space. However, it can also occur if your Mac is running on outdated firmware, plugins, or drivers, or the problem could be incompatible peripherals. It could also be broken disk permissions. The list basically keeps on going.

If you’re having a good day, try to do the following and hope for the best.

  • Perform a safe boot to clean up and disable the software or applications causing the issue
  • Update your firmware and software
  • Run the First Aid and repair disk permissions through the Disk Utility
  • Upgrade your RAM or memory space
  • Check all the peripherals

If the problem isn’t going away, it’s time to erase your drive and re-install the MacOS. However, you should back up all of your important files before doing it. 


Drive Errors

Accidental deletion of partitions, clicking noises from the hard drive, overlapping extent allocation, and booting issues are some of the common Mac drive errors. Fortunately, these problems can be fixed easily by reformatting the storage drive. However, that process will remove all the data stored in the hard drive. 

You should try to repair the corrupt hard drive as soon as possible or replace it. But you should try to recover your data from the drive before anything else. 


MacBook Keys Aren’t Working

This has been a re-occurring issue with many Macs, especially the 2016 models. The keys stop work all of a sudden, they start making noises, or something just doesn’t feel right. Also, you might be able to notice this even more when your MacBook heats up.

This is actually a common issue in many MacBooks, and there isn’t much that you can do at home by yourself. You can try to hold your Mac vertically and blow air between the keys to blow away any dust or debris that may be stuck in your keyboard. This may solve some of your issues. 

However, the best thing might be to take your Mac device to a nearby Apple store. They might replace it and help you out. 


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