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Our computers are our connection to the whole world. Your work life, social life, family life, and often your finances and other information are all stored on your computer. The average American spends nearly half their waking lives looking at some sort of device.
That means it’s all the more frustrating when your computer isn’t cooperating properly. A frozen Mac, for example, can send even the most Buddha-like users into a fit of rage. And why not? It’s frustrating watching time slide past while you’re staring at a frozen image.
You’re not likely to bring your Mac into the repair shop just because it’s frozen. And that’s okay. There’s a number of things you can try at home before really freaking out.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through what to do if your Mac freezes up.
Evaluate The Problem
The first step in solving a problem is determining what that problem even is. Is your entire Mac operating system frozen, or is it just one specific application?
If you’re still able to use your mouse and keyboard, then it’s likely that the specific application you’ve been using has frozen and not your computer as a whole. Maybe you’re getting the spinning wheel of death, or none of the menus of that program are functional.
That’s annoying, but it’s better than the entirety of your Mac system shutting down. If you can’t seem to interact with anything, or if your keyboard and mouse are totally unresponsive, you might be really frozen.
To check which situation is true for you, try clicking to another area of MacOS. Try using another application or clicking back to the desktop. Alternatively, click the Apple Menu and try to force quit out of the application you are currently using (sorry, unsaved files).
You can also force quit programs by right clicking their icon in the dock. If the option to force quit appears when you click, there’s a very high chance that this application, in particular, is not responding.
But what should you do if a specific application isn’t the root of the problem?
If Your Mac Computer Is Frozen
You’ve tried to click around or force quit out of your given application, but nothing is working. What can you do? Well– don’t panic.
Try to do a clean restart of your computer. Click up to the Apple menu and see if you can select the Restart button on the drop-down menu.
Depending on your situation, you may find that you can’t interact with the drop-down menu. Perhaps you can’t get the menu to appear. Or if you can, you can’t click on any of the options. Frustrating, but not the end of the line.
You can also try to restart using your keyboard. The keyboard shortcut for a restart is Command + Control + Eject. The intended effect of this keystroke is the immediate restart of your computer. If that doesn’t work, it likely means your keyboard is also currently unresponsive.
If that doesn’t work, go ahead and hold the power button on your computer down until it officially switches off. This is called a hard reset, and it’s not recommended unless you’ve exhausted all other options.
Leave your computer turned off for a few moments, then press the power button to boot back up. You’ll hear the familiar boot up tone and will be redirected back to your desktop.
In almost all cases, this will likely have fixed the problem and you can move around freely. It’s likely that the file you were working on previously is unsaved, corrupted, or damaged due to your hard shut down. You should check in on it and see what the status is.
Why Did My Mac Freeze?
It can be incredibly frustrating to have your work interrupted or destroyed due to a computer error. But if you don’t investigate the cause of your crash, there’s a good chance it could happen again.
What causes macs to freeze up?
One big possible cause is hard drive space. Check to see how much free hard drive space you currently have on your Mac computer. If you have very little space left, your computer might be straining to run.
If your hard drive space looks a-okay, try checking to see if there are any updates to your computer that you’ve ignored or neglected to install. These updates are intended to fix common mistakes, and keeping your macOS up to date is the best way to ensure you will run smoothly.
Make sure the application you were using during the freeze is also fully updated. Most programs and applications have a check for updates feature that should take you directly to their respective update page.
If none of these solves the problem and you continue to experience regular or semi-regular freezes, you may have a more serious problem. Try using Disk Utility’s repair disk function to clean up potential errors with your hard drive.
You can also run the Apple Hardware Test to see if it can sniff out any problem sources on your computer.
If none of these present a solution, you may need to take your computer to a trained professional. Experts can help better trace and fix the error that is causing your computer to freeze up.
Dealing With Mac Freezes
Many people don’t know what to do when their Mac freezes up. The above guide can help you walk through the process of finding the problem and getting your computer back up and running. In a fast-moving world, we understand that a quick fix can be a necessity.
Need more help with your computer? Check out more of our blog today.