Some common Mac OS X Problems Solved

The trouble with Macs is that they lull you into a false sense of security. If you spend your day using PCs, dealing with infuriating glitches becomes second nature. But Apple has made things so straightforward that you get used to stuff just working. When it doesn’t, it comes as a nasty shock.

It’s quite hard to identify the most common Mac problems, because most problems aren’t all that common. They can range from minor annoyances that we’ll all see once in a while, like applications slowing down or files behaving oddly, to the almost mythical calamities that many users will never encounter, like disk failures and kernel panics.

Sometimes it may seem obvious where to look for the solution; other times, you won’t have a clue. Fortunately, the brick walls you may occasionally run up against will generally turn out, on closer inspection, to be mere ha-has in the garden of Mac.

Here are some of the daily hiccups you’re most likely to suffer…

1. Persistent beachball

Quite often, the pointer turns into a spinning beach ball while your Mac has a think. Occasionally it stays that way.

First, try pressing Cmd+. to cancel whatever process is afoot. If that has no effect, switch to Finder or another app (using Option+Tab), and carry on working. If you wait, the app will finish what it’s doing and give you its full attention.


If you’re convinced the app isn’t going to recover, force it to quit by holdingOption or by pressing Cmd+Option+Esc. Rarely, it refuses to die, or its windows may disappear while its Dock icon retains its open indicator.

Restarting your Mac will get rid of it, but could give a message saying the app failed to quit. Hold down the power button to force shutdown.

You can also use a Unix command for this: run Terminal – found in Utilities within the Applications folder – and type sudo shutdown –h. Close other apps first to avoid losing data.

2. Lost a file

The first thing to do when you think you’ve mislaid an important file is to ask Spotlight. Press Cmd+[Space] to open the search bar, and type as much of the filename as you remember; pause after each letter to see what comes up.

If you’ve overwritten your work with a new file of the same name, or emptied the Trash, you’ve got a problem. Time Machine users can feel smug, as Spotlight will find files that don’t currently exist but have been backed up. The software is built into OS X 10.5 and later, and the only hardware you need is a USB or FireWire hard disk.


It’s wise to stop using the disk as soon as you realize you’re missing something; the likelihood of rescuing a deleted file depends on whether new data has been saved over it.

3. Safari is slow

A solution to a troublesome Safari is to choose Reset Safari from its menu and reset everything. If there’s a regular delay before pages load, perhaps Safari isn’t looking for them efficiently.

Go to the Network pane of System Preferences, click your internet connection (Ethernet or AirPort), then Advanced, and go to the DNS tab. Under DNS Servers, you’ll see nothing or the IP address of your router, greyed out.


This leaves Mac OS X to find a default DNS (domain name server) that translates the web addresses you type into the actual IP addresses where sites are hosted. Pointing it to a specific DNS could speed things up.

Choose OpenDNS. Click + and enter, repeat and enter

4. Mac won’t start

A total lack of response to the power button could mean a blown fuse in the plug, so check first. If it’s not completely dead, the Mac will do a ‘power-on self-test’ (POST) as it boots up, and beep if it finds a fault. The power LED may flash too.

One, two or three beeps points the finger at RAM modules. Try easing them into place, in case they’ve become unseated. Your manual will tell you how to get at the RAM, or go to and search for ‘install memory’ and your Mac’s model name.

Four and five beeps indicate problems with the system ROM or processor, while the Air also has an ‘SOS’ code consisting of three short, three long and then three short beeps. If you hear these, seek professional Mac help.

OK, these are some common problems users may meet and the solutions are offered. For more details about Mac like solution for recovering Mac data, users can view more article on our site.

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