MacBook Troubleshooting: How to Fix Common MacBook Problems

Planned obsolescence is a term often discussed in terms of cell phones. However, it equally applies to many modern computers and other pieces of tech. People aren’t allowed to repair their own tech, which leads to many otherwise serviceable machines ending up in landfills.

This is understandable, considering that even a trip to the Apple Store for repairs can cost about as much as a replacement device. Luckily, even if you can’t repair physical damage, you can troubleshoot your own MacBook when it experiences errors.

Our list of MacBook troubleshooting tips will show you how you can fix common errors on your own.

Poor Battery Life

The greatest benefit of a laptop is its portability. Of course, that benefit gets negated when you have a computer with a battery that runs out too fast. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common MacBook errors.

The way to fix this problem and improve your computer performance overall is to reduce the load on your GPU. You can do this by heading into System Preferences, then selecting Accessibility and Display. Click on the “Reduce Motion” button to reduce the amount of motion and animation on your screen.

If that doesn’t help, examine the number of applications you have running on your MacBook in the background. For this information, you need to go to the Applications folder, then Utilities and Activity Monitor. This will give you a better idea of which apps are killing your battery.

Breaks in Wi-Fi Connectivity

Another cause for computer troubleshooting is when you can’t connect to the Wi-Fi, no matter how hard you try. First things first, you should ensure that it isn’t an issue with the connection itself by checking your Wi-Fi through other devices.

Once you’ve eliminated that possibility, run Wireless Diagnostics by searching it in Spotlight. This common MacBook troubleshooting function can help you find and resolve basic errors. However, if that fails, you may need to change your DNS settings or reset the SVC and PRAM.

Overheating

Overheating is by far one of the most common causes of poor computer performance. CPUs can get as hot as 165 degrees Fahrenheit when running normally, so imagine how hot they can get when nothing can cool them down.

When a PC overheats, performance lags. Parts can’t conduct energy the way they’re supposed to.

So, how can you fix this? Well, as with battery draining, you need to see which programs are consuming the most energy with the Activity Monitor. Closing some of the applications that consume the most energy can help reduce the heat.

Keeping your room at manageable temperatures and your PC, laptop, or MacBook on a flat surface can also help keep it cool.

Low Sound Quality

If your sound feels like it’s cutting out on your MacBook, make sure you check the Volume settings first. It’s entirely possible that something got clicked that shouldn’t have.

If that doesn’t work, or if you have crackling speakers, you need more intense MacBook troubleshooting. Check out this guide to learn how to resolve MacBook Pro sound crackling.

Apps Unresponsive

Unresponsive apps waste an unbelievable amount of power. When you’re stuck staring at the spinning beach ball of death on a frozen screen, don’t panic. Just remember to Force Quit.

To do this, all you have to do is click the Apple icon, then select Force Quit. This will pull up a list of all the apps you currently have running, similar to the Task Manager used in Windows computer troubleshooting. From this list, select the apps that you need to close and click Force Quit.

External Devices Not Connecting

One of MacBook’s greatest boons is its connectivity with other devices in the Apple ecosystem. However, at times, that connectivity comes at the expense of the Mac’s ability to register or connect to other third-party devices.

So, when your external hard drive or other devices won’t connect, what can you do? First things first, check to see if the device will make a connection with any other computer. If for some reason it can’t, then you know the issue lies with the device, not the MacBook.

Then, check both the plug and the port for obstructions. If everything seems clear, then it’s time to do some research. Sadly, not all devices will be compatible with MacBooks. Online resources will tell you if your device is compatible or not.

If it should be, then check another device in the same port to make sure the issue isn’t the port itself. Failing that, reset the SMC and PRAM.

Can’t Charge When Plugged Into the Wall

When your battery life drains before you have a chance to use it, that’s frustrating enough. If you can’t charge it at all, even when it’s supposedly plugged in, all you have in your lap is an eventual brick.

So, what can you do when the MacBook won’t charge? First, ensure that the outlet works and that neither port nor cable show signs of damage. Then, feel the charger.

If it feels hot, then it may be overheated, and won’t charge effectively. If it feels cool to the touch, then make sure your Mac is up to date and attempt to reset it.

If that doesn’t appear to help, and you can still use your MacBook, press the Option key while clicking the battery icon. This will pull up a menu that will tell you if your battery is overdue for servicing.

Looking for More MacBook Troubleshooting Tips?

We hope that this list of MacBook troubleshooting tips helped you to understand and fix the most common errors your Apple computers may give you. However, it’s far from an exhaustive compilation.

If you’d like to learn more ways to troubleshoot your devices, whether they’re Windows or Apple, check out the Technology section of our blog for more content like this.