If the popularity of Apple computers is any indication of their reliability, then it is clear that Macs are durable machines that “just work.” Despite vitality and dependability of Macs, their owners should have access to a first aid kit for solving annoying software issues whenever they come up. No one should live with the recurring kernel panic or painfully slow login. Therefore, this grab bag of troubleshooting tricks has been created. The suggestions outlined in the article are not macOS-specific, which is why they can be effectively applied to Macs running on El Capitan, Sierra, and High Sierra alike.
A Mac Cannot Find a Bootable Volume
The issue can be manifested in a flashing question mark at startup. It means that a bootable volume should be reselected in System Preferences. If a Mac boots, it can be done by following this route: Apple menu → System Preferences → Startup Disk. If a computer cannot complete booting, it might be necessary to hold the option key during the startup and select an appropriate volume. The same steps should be followed if a Mac boots to Utilities.
macOS Doesn’t Boot
Sometimes a Mac instead of booting presents a user with a gray or blue screen. Another variation of the problem is the spinning beach ball on the screen. To solve the issue, it is necessary to perform a power cycle by simply turning it off and unplugging the power cable. After 10 seconds, plug the cable back and restart the computer.
A Bar Across the Screen at the Startup
If during the startup, a Mac shows a horizontal bar across the screen, try resetting SMC by unplugging the power cord and plugging it back in 15 seconds. Then, wait another 5 seconds and restart the computer.
Failed or Slow Login
Failed or slow login can result from incompatible login items. The issue can also produce a blank blue screen. To fix the problem, remove login items by following this route: Apple menu → System Preferences → Users & Groups → Current User → Login Items. Use the – button to remove the items and restart a Mac afterward.
Kernel panic is nothing else but a seemingly random restarting of a Mac followed by a black screen with a warning message. Although it happens rarely, the issue should be dealt with by either updating software via App store or repairing disk permissions through the Disk Utility. Since the problem might be rooted in the faulty hardware, it also important to conduct Apple Hardware Test. The last resort during the reoccurring kernel panic is to reinstall macOS from scratch.
Lack of Storage Capacity
Whenever available storage capacity rapidly dwindles, a user is presented with the error message that reads “Your startup disk is almost full.” To free up necessary space, it is recommended to search for large files on a hard drive and drag them to the Trash. An alternative approach to the problem is to remove unused Mac applications with the help of third-party uninstalling utilities. Cleaning apps are also helpful for tracking down and deleting cache folders and duplicate files.
Denied File Permissions
Whenever after trying to move, read, or modify files in the Home folder a user sees the “Permission Denied” message, it is necessary to reset permissions settings. It can be done in the Sharing & Permissions section of the Home folder menu. Click the action icon at the bottom of the window and select the “Apply to enclosed items” option to reset the settings.