Common Mac Hardware Issues and Solutions
You should go through each of these troubleshooting suggestions when your Mac stops working to learn how to fix it yourself.
Early indications of faulty Mac hardware can include anything from errant keyboards and jittery trackpads to power issues, garbled audio, booting problems, and more. But don’t worry; using our advice will enable you to resolve common Mac issues on your own without needing to schedule a visit to the Genius Bar at your nearby Apple Store.
1. Mac Won’t Charge or Turn On
Hold the power button down until the screen goes black, release, and then press the button once more if macOS won’t boot. Your charging issues might also be quickly resolved by resetting the NVRAM, PRAM, and SMC. Check the cycle count of the battery in your Mac to see if you might need a replacement.
Check to see if your power cable and adapter are compatible with another Mac. Resetting a power breaker or GFI outlet will then rule out any power issues in your home. Check your Mac’s power button again in case it’s broken. You will have to pay for a physical Mac repair if your issue stems from a failing logic board.
2. Audio or LED flashing warnings
Use Apple’s built-in hardware diagnostics to locate the troublesome internal hardware if your power or MagSafe LEDs are flashing. To access and use Apple’s diagnostic tests, hold down D while turning on the computer. You can determine whether the battery, processor or another component is broken after a diagnostics check is complete.
When starting up, if you hear loud tones, the RAM’s integrity check failed. If you can freely access the RAM modules, which is difficult on newer machines, you might be able to resolve this by resetting individual RAM modules.
3. Mac Starts Up to a Question Mark
When your Mac is booting, if you see a folder on the screen with a flashing question mark, there might be a problem with the startup disc. Either the disc has physical damage, or the macOS operating system software is not being found on your Mac.
Hold Cmd + R while your Mac boots to access the macOS Recovery system and fix the issue. Press and hold the power button, select Options, and click Continue if you have an Apple silicon Mac. To check your startup disc for errors, select Disk Utility from your Recovery options and click the First Aid option. You might need to reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode if Disk Utility failed to find errors on your Mac or fix them.
4. Mac Doesn’t Start Up All the Way
A problem with the operating system or startup apps is indicated by a black or grey screen, or by the fact that macOS won’t fully boot. If so, start your computer in Safe Mode to see if anything is preventing macOS from loading.
To launch Safe Mode on Intel Macs, press the Shift key during bootup. Press and hold the power button while choosing your startup disc on an Apple silicon Mac. Then, while holding down the Shift key, select the Continue in Safe Mode option.
To fix disc permissions or attempt to repair a corrupt file system, start Disk Utility in Safe Mode. Find out how to recover important files from a Mac that won’t boot if you’re still unable to access the desktop.
5. There are no issues with the screen’s backlight, flickering, or other elements.
Check out our guide on how to troubleshoot common macOS issues with multiple monitors to get started. If the display’s backlight is broken, you’ll hardly be able to see any images, but you should first see if the problem could be as easy to fix as lowering the screen’s brightness. To restore factory display settings if the screen is flickering, start the computer in Safe Mode, then navigate to System Preferences > Display and select the Default for Display option next to Resolution.
Try choosing one of the fixed refresh rates from the Refresh Rate menu if your external display supports variable refresh rates. Altering your screen mirroring settings or unplugging any connected external displays may also help.
6. Unreliable Mouse or Trackpad Movement
Check out our troubleshooting instructions for jittery trackpad fixes and other solutions for common macOS mouse issues. To isolate a potentially problematic setting, try disabling each of your trackpad customization options in System Preferences > Trackpad one at a time. It might be as easy as switching on dragging!
7. Peripherals Not Working
Yes, even accessories can cause your Mac problems. You can connect external devices like printers, cameras, storage drives, network appliances, and more to those USB-C or Thunderbolt ports. The first step in troubleshooting is to unplug each accessory individually.
After unplugging each accessory, restart the computer to see which one is causing problems with your Mac’s operations. Try to adjust your peripheral device’s settings or reset them to their defaults to see if that solves the issue you’re having.
To rule those out as well, you should test any defective peripherals in various ports using various cables.
8. A Kernel Panic Message Causes the Mac to Restart
If a kernel panic screen suddenly appears on your Mac, note the time it did so and restart the device. Kernel panics are one of many indications that something is wrong with your Mac.
There should be a log file on the desktop after macOS restarts. If not, you can manually locate it by selecting Library from the Finder’s Go menu while pressing the Option key. Locate the most recent file with a.panic extension in the Logs/DiagnosticReports subfolder in the newly opened Finder window.
This file might be required by an Apple support representative to investigate the panic. Open the file in TextEdit and scroll through it to find the correct time stamp and discover the cause of the kernel’s panic.
Your Mac Issues Could Be Related to Software
Does your Mac frequently restart or crash without warning? Applications freeze? These symptoms point to potential software issues. Follow the troubleshooting steps to resolve typical macOS software issues in those situations.
If none of the aforementioned advice works, get in touch with Apple’s support team. Inform your support representative that you have already completed all of these troubleshooting steps to expedite the process.