A Worm in the Apple: Common Macbook Problems (and How to Troubleshoot Them)

Computers can be difficult to master sometimes. Click here to learn some common Macbook problems and how you can fix them.

As of 2020, Apple’s macOS or OS X accounts for more than a quarter of the US operating system market. That’s an almost 10% increase in its share from the year before.

After all, Mac sales alone, which include MacBooks, earned Apple over $7 billion in the last quarter of 2019. That’s a lot, seeing as Macs only makeup about 9% of the company’s hardware sales.

So, in a way, that figure also proves how pricey Mac computers are.

That’s why as a proud MacBook owner, the last thing you want is for your gear to malfunction. Unfortunately, many common MacBook problems result from improper use and ill-maintenance. From the spinning beach ball of death to non-charging devices, the list of MacBook flaws is quite a long one.

Don’t worry though, as we’re here to lay them all out for you. We’ve also thrown in a few tips on how to fix common MacBook problems, so be sure to read on!

Inadequate Storage Capacity (From the Very Start)

Some of the most common MacBook problems arise from a lack of hard disk drive space. After all, many MacBook units only come with a 128 GB internal hard disk capacity. While these come with the lowest price, they’re also the most prone to storage issues.

How so?

Consider how 600 high-resolution images would already sum up to 2 GB. A single standard DVD, on the other hand, can consume more than twice that. So, just saving 15 DVD-quality films on your 128 GB MacBook will already eat up more than half of its storage space!

That’s why it’s always important to factor in short- and long-term memory before buying any device. If you’re just about to get yourself a new MacBook Pro, consider getting a 256 GB instead. Better yet, go with the 512 GB one if you have the budget for it.

Slow Start-Up

A new MacBook takes only 30 seconds or under a minute to start up. Again, that’s because it’s new, so it doesn’t have that many files, apps, and services to load.

Once your device has to load many apps and services, however, its start-up process will begin to slow. Especially if you require it to launch programs upon login. These “login items” not only take up physical memory but also consume RAM (random access memory).

To counter this issue, start by checking your “Login Items” list to find out which apps and add-ons are there. You can access this menu by:

  • Opening “System Preferences”
  • Selecting “Users and Groups”
  • Clicking on the “Login Items” tab

After the third step, a list of all apps, services, add-ons, and even files that launch upon start-up will appear. Go through this list to see which ones you don’t really need to open right after logging into your Mac. You can then disable these by following these steps:

  • Click on the item to highlight it
  • Click the minus sign (-) button at the bottom of the window (outside of the list menu)

This will then remove the item from your automatic “start-up” items. Do these steps for every item you wish to disable.

Spinning Beach Ball Takes Forever to Disappear

A MacBook not working efficiently often takes the form of a non-stop spinning beach ball. The beach ball, by the way, is a mark that your Mac is “thinking” or “loading”. So, it may appear from time to time, especially if you ask your device to do too many simultaneous tasks.

If, however, it takes more than a few minutes to disappear, then that signals an overloaded RAM. Older MacBook models have lower RAM capacities, ranging from 2 GB to 4 GB. The new generation ones, however, have a minimum of 8 GB onboard memory.

Either way, the lower your device’s RAM is, the fewer programs it can run all the same time. The more apps, files, and services you run, the slower your MacBook may become. For instance, opening 10 browser tabs alone can already consume 725 MB to 3 GB!

It’s during such cases that you’ll have encounters with the spinning beachball. If this doesn’t disappear after a minute, it may be time to force quit those non-responsive apps. To do this, simply press these three buttons at the same time: “Option”, “Command”, and “Escape” (or “ESC”).

Frequent Unresponsiveness

If you’ve been seeing more and more of that spinning beach ball, force quitting apps may no longer cut it. Besides, doing this constantly can harm your MacBook Pro’s internal parts. One of the best ways to counter unresponsiveness is to prevent overloading your RAM.

One way to do that is to limit the number of apps you use and the files you open. However, there may also be programs you’re unaware of but are still running in the background. These include “potentially unwanted apps” (PUAs) and yes, even dreaded malware.

You can check for these possible harmful files by opening your “Activity Monitor”. You can type that exact keyphrase on your Spotlight search.

Once open, the Activity Monitor will show you all current processes. Comb through this list to make sure that you’re familiar with all of them. If there’s something suspicious in there, do a quick Google search on the name as it may turn out to be actual malware.

Malware Infections

Speaking of which, malware may also result in a MacBook Pro not charging. Certain malicious files can exploit your Mac’s battery and make it stop working.

Worse, malware detections in Apple computers have gone up by more than twice from 2018 to 2019. In 2018, there was only an average of 4.8 detections, which then went up to 11 detections the following year.

Whether you suspect an infection or not, it’s best to protect your Mac with anti-malware on the get-go. With this, you can scan your MacBook Pro for harmful programs. You can then quarantine or delete them right away.

Robust anti-malware programs will also help protect your Mac from future infections.

Get Rid of and Prevent These Common MacBook Problems Now

As amazing as Macs are, they are still machines, so hardware and software issues can still affect them. That’s why you should be proactive in monitoring the health of your device.

Start by installing a solid anti-malware program now. Then, master these steps on how to troubleshoot the most common MacBook problems.

Ready to further expand your tech skills and know-how? Be sure to check out this site’s Tech section to find more tips and hacks!

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