Grapple with some common eccentricities of macOS itself
31 Speed up your system
If your system is running slowly, save any open files, restart your Mac, and run a software update by going to
> App Store > Updates. One common reason for a slow system is having too many apps actively doing stuff at once; try quitting a few of them.
Consider how many items are set to open at login, too – go to > System Preferences > Users & Groups > [your account] > Login Items to check and remove unnecessary ones. It’s wise to remove any items you don’t need. If this doesn’t have an effect, try starting up in safe mode (refer to bit.ly/macossafe) to make sure third-party software isn’t responsible. Safe mode automatically scans and repairs corrupted system files on your startup disk, too.
32 Find a missing file
If you’re sure you saved a file but don’t know where, click Spotlight’s icon at the top right to search for the file’s name – say, “vacation.” Alternatively, press spacebar] and use the + (top right) in the window that opens to add criteria to look for files by kind or extension, such as JPEG images or “jpg.”
If your file is still missing, it may have accidentally been deleted. If you’ve been keeping Time Machine backups, you can restore items by following the steps at bit.ly/usetimemac.
33 Fix failing backups
If you back up your Mac with Time Machine, you may see an alert saying a backup couldn’t be completed. If you use an external drive to back up, reseat
34 Correct the time
An incorrect system time can lead to all sorts of issues with web pages not loading correctly. To update this setting, go to > System Preferences > Date & Time. Click the padlock at the bottom left, then enter an administrator account’s password to make changes. Make sure “Set Date and Time Automatically” is checked, and that you’re using your nearest time server – say, Apple Americas. Next, go to the Time Zone tab and select your country from the map, or use the Closest City menu.
35 macOS won’t start
If the operating system won’t start up, check carefully for any error messages. A flashing question mark signifies that the system software wasn’t detected, and may indicate a hardware issue. Contact Apple Support if this happens. If your Mac displays a blank white or gray screen with a loading bar, remove any peripherals and perform an SMC reset (see apple.co/1ENyxqS). If startup still fails, contact Apple Support for further troubleshooting. the connection, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar, and choose Back Up Now to try again. If you’re using a Time Capsule, update its firmware (see bit.ly/airptupd), then restart it. Make sure your Mac is connected to the same network as your Time Capsule.
36 macOS freezes after login
Sometimes your Mac will start up but then freeze on login. Its screen may even turn blue. If other users can log in to the Mac without any trouble, the issue
is most likely to do with incompatible software or a corrupt font. You need to restart your Mac in safe mode (see
bit.ly/macossafe), then go to System Preferences > Users and Groups. Click your user on the left, then the Login Items tab to check for thirdparty apps that may be causing this problem. Also read bit.ly/rmvfont.
37Force your Mac to shut down
On occasion, your Mac will refuse to power off; if another user is logged in, macOS will prompt you to enter an admin password first. If that’s not the case, you likely have a crashed app that’s stopping macOS from restarting. Save any files that you’re working on, then click > Force Quit. Select an app and click Force Quit, then try shutting down; repeat if necessary.
38 Reinstall macOS
If your system is still behaving badly, you can try to erase the startup disk and reinstall macOS. To do this you’ll need to know the Apple ID and password you used to install it. Make a backup if you can, then restart the Mac and hold at the startup sound. Follow the steps at bit.ly/reinstmac to set up as new, or bit.ly/rstrtime to restore from Time Machine backups.
39 Reset login password
If you’ve forgotten the password you use to log in to your Mac, the easiest way to reset it is to have an admin user do it for you. Ask them to go to System Preferences > Users and Groups, select your account, then click the Reset Password button. After resetting your password, you’ll need to create a new login keychain – see bit.ly/rstkeych.
40 Fix the message “Your startup disk is almost full”
You will see this message if there’s very little free space on your Mac’s main storage. In > About this Mac, click the Storage tab to see what data’s taking up the most space. Click the Manage button to store some of your files in iCloud, remove watched movies and TV shows, and automatically empty the Trash each month. Additionally, items in your Downloads folder can usually be safely deleted as you can often download them again if needed.