The Mac Spinning Wheel of Death: How to Stop It

Apple products are renowned as being one of the most intuitive and functional computers that people can use. Unfortunately, though, Macs aren’t immune to problems that every machine suffers from.

One of the most common that people encounter is the infamous ‘spinning wheel of death.’ Fortunately, though, there are steps you can take aside from waiting for your machine to fix itself.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Mac spinning wheel of death.

Force Quitting

In the event that you’re witnessing the wheel of death on your Mac, one of the simplest routes you can take to resolve this issue is to press the Command + Option + Escape keys simultaneously.

This will bring up a small window that lists all of the processes that your computer is currently running. You’re able to navigate through this window, though, and select the program that’s giving you issues.

After clicking on the program, click the ‘Force Quit‘ button at the bottom right of the window in order to terminate the application.

Instead of pressing these keys at the same time, you can also click on the Apple logo () at the top left corner of your screen. A menu will drop down afterward, and one of the options will be ‘Force Quit.’

Additionally, you’re also able to right-click the application from your Mac’s dock and then select ‘Force Quit.’

All of these will open the same window, so the method you use is left up to personal preference.

Force Restarting

Occasionally, your Mac will become so unresponsive that Force Quitting isn’t an option. You may even find that you can’t move your mouse at all and that your keyboard is completely unresponsive.

Although this method isn’t ideal for your Mac’s hardware, it’s sometimes the only option you can take. If you don’t force your computer to shut down while it’s frozen, it eventually will on its own when its battery runs out of energy.

To get started, you have a few different options you can take:

  • Holding the Power button for approximately 10 seconds
  • Pressing the Control + Option + Command + Power keys simultaneously
  • Pressing the Control + Option + Command + Eject keys simultaneously*

*The third option is only available on Macs that have a disc drive.

After completing one of the above methods, your Mac should restart on its own. If the root of the issue was only a hiccup in your computer’s processes, everything should run as intended.

Occasionally, though, your computer’s freezing will have a more serious cause.

Why Do Computers Freeze?

There are a handful of reasons why your device may freeze during use, but not all of them are something to be concerned about. It’s still important, though, to try and discern the reason behind the incident.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most notable causes.

Overheating

During periods of intense CPU usage, you may find that your computer’s performance drastically slows. If your speed drops low enough, your computer will likely freeze. 

In most modern Macs, though, overheating is rarely caused by CPU usage due to the preventive technology in place. One of the most likely scenarios is an individual using their laptop on their bed while it’s surrounded by blankets.

The blankets easily block off the laptop’s vents, making it impossible for the machine to cool itself. Eventually, system performance grinds to a halt and freezing occurs.

Driver Corruption

Put simply, drivers are software that allows hardware to function properly. It’s common to install drivers for things like videogame controllers, audio devices, etc.

As with any other software, though, drivers can become corrupt or otherwise fail to function appropriately. This can lead to a handful of detrimental effects, computer slowdown and freezing being one of the most prominent.

To help prevent this, make sure that you keep your drivers as updated as possible. If there’s a setting you can activate for your drivers to automatically check for updates, this will minimize your chances of having issues in the future.

Software Errors

Sometimes, more complex software is the root of the problem. This is especially true for programs that were developed by third-parties or that were downloaded from suspicious developers.

If your computer freezes whenever you use a particular program, it’s likely that the application is at fault. If you downloaded a legitimate copy from an official source, you can contact the developer and see if they have any advice.

If you’re experiencing this issue, chances are that other people are as well. They’ll guide you in the right direction if there’s a known solution.

Virus Infection

Most types of malicious software seek to debilitate your Mac so that the hacker can utilize your personal information before you’re able to react. Other malware slows your computer down as a secondary effect of displaying so many advertisements.

If you don’t notice anything out of the ordinary and still experience a slowdown, there’s a chance a virus ma be running malware in the background. 

Performing a thorough virus scan will help determine if anything suspicious is at play. 

Handling the Mac Spinning Wheel of Death Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about the Mac Spinning Wheel of Death in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward getting back to browsing as soon as possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

How to Check If You Need a Mac Battery Replacement

Is your Macbook not holding a charge the way it used to? That could be a sign it’s time for a Mac battery replacement. iPhones aren’t the only Apple product that won’t hold a charge

Did you know that the average lifespan of a MacBook is four years? It can reach up to 7 years if you don’t necessarily need the latest, most cutting-edge tech products. 

If your Mac is acting up and it’s newer than that, it’s a good sign some sort of superficial repair might be needed. And if your system’s a little older, a new battery can give your laptop a whole new lease on life. 

Here’s how to know if it’s time for a Mac battery replacement.

Check The System Information

The first thing you’re going to want to do to check your battery performance is to find out which version of OS X you’re using. If you’re using Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or earlier, select “About This Mac” from the Apple Menu. Then select “More Info.” 

For OS X Lion 10.7 or beyond, select “System Information” by opening “About This Mac” from the Apple Menu. Then click System Report. 

On MacOS 10.12 or later, open “System Information” from the “About This Mac” section of the Apple Menu. Then select System Report. 

Once you’re into the System Information section, select Power from the Contents list under the Hardware section. 

You can also look into the specifications for your make and model of MacBook, as well. Newer models of MacBook often have a Maximum Cycle Count of 1000. Most older models tended to have a Maximum Cycle Count of 500, on the other hand. 

Even older models would have a Maximum Cycle Count of only 300, however. If you’ve got a Mac laptop from the mid-2000s, there’s a strong possibility you’re ready for a battery replacement. 

Battery Service Warning 

The first sign you might need a Mac battery replacement is when your computer tells you it does. To check, look at the taskbar at the top of your MacBook screen. Look for the battery icon. 

Click on the battery icon once you find it. This will reveal a pull-down menu. This will reveal the current state of your laptop battery.

If your battery is currently experiencing difficulties, there will be a warning status on the pull-down menu. There are numerous alerts that indicate it’s time for a Mac batter replacement. If you see alerts that say “Replace Soon,” “Replace Now,” or “Service Battery,” it’s time to look into a replacement. 

You can even find more information with a bit of extra digging. You can take a look at Apple’s guidelines for checking battery health over here. The Power subsection of the System Information menu will tell you how many charge cycles your battery has completed.

Compare that against the maximum cycle count for your battery’s make. If that number is approaching the maximum cycle count, you might want to start considering a battery replacement. 

Low Runtime 

Remember when your computer was new and you could work for hours without having to plug in? Remember the feeling of lightness and freedom? If your battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to, or it should, that could be another sign you need to change your battery. 

To check your battery’s performance, you should consult the guidelines to see how long your computer’s supposed to store a charge without needing to be plugged in. If your computer only holds a charge for 25% of its maximum runtime, it’s time for a new battery. 

Unexpectedly Shutting Down

Your computer should give you a bit of warning before running out of power. If your MacBook shuts down without alerting you, that’s a good sign it’s time for a new battery. Doubly so if you’ve just finished charging your device. 

There can be other reasons for an unexpected shutdown as well, though. Make sure you troubleshoot your MacBook while it’s plugged in to see if it’s the battery or if something else is going on. 

Overheating

Overheating is one of those causes of unexpected shutdowns. That’s a bit of circular logic, however, as a faulty battery can be one of the reasons a computer overheats in the first place. 

If you’re MacBook is overheating while performing basic tasks, there’s a very good chance your battery is to blame. 

Do The Math

If you want to be really thorough, you can tell precisely how your battery is performing by doing a little math. First, you need to navigate back to the “Battery Information” section of the System Information menu. Then multiply the Full Charge Capacity by Voltage and then divide the answer by one million. 

This will show you your laptop battery’s current capacity in watt-hours. This allows you to compare your current battery capacity to the Full Charge Capacity to get an exact idea of how your system’s performing. 

Having to replace your MacBook battery isn’t the end of the world. It actually can be a bit of good news. Once you’ve got a new battery, your Mac will be almost like new again! 

Ready For A Mac Battery Replacement?

Dysfunctional technology can be a major pain. It can majorly disrupt your life, considering how much we rely on technology in our daily lives. 

The good news is, we’re here to ensure your tech is working to its full potential. If you think you might need a Mac battery replacement, contact us today or drop us a call at 804-698-0004.

How to Troubleshoot a Bluescreen on Mac

The macintosh blue screen of death; it’s truly one of the scariest sights for any Mac user. The screen doesn’t care what project you were working on or its increasingly close deadline, it’s here to shut you down. On first seeing a bluescreen on Mac the instinctive response is to panic. But don’t worry, all hope isn’t lost! There are steps you can take on seeing the screen that can hopefully get your machine running back to normal.

Here’s what you need to do to troubleshoot a blue screen on your Mac.

The Bluescreen Of Death: What is a Bluescreen on Mac?

A bluescreen on Mac is a sign that something to do with your system hasn’t loaded properly. It typically happens during start-up and is often to do with either an issue with the start-up drive or a problem with one of your peripherals.

The MacBook blue screen is one of several notorious computing problems, like the “red ring of death” which happened when old Xbox 360 consoles stopped functioning. Despite how people like to claim these sights mean the death of your machine, in your Mac’s case that may not be the case.

The good news is that is you’re seeing a blue screen your Mac is still technically working. It has been able to power up and attempted to load from the start-up drive, meaning there isn’t any serious issue with your hardware. 

If your Mac isn’t even starting up to show you a blue screen, you have a whole different problem entirely.

With the blue screen problem, you need to take the appropriate measures to ensure the likely start-up drive or peripheral error can be fixed. 

How Do I Fix a Blue Screen on Macbook Pro?

The first thing you need to do is find out if this is a peripherals problem or if it’s been caused by the start-up drive.

Your peripherals are things such as USB sticks that have been inserted into the Mac itself. If this is the problem, then it’s a fairly easy one to solve. Make sure that you shut down your Mac first, to make sure you cause no further problems whilst the computer is powered up.

Once you’ve shut down, you can simply disconnect the peripherals attached to your Mac then power it back up. If it restarts normally, you know that your USB stick or whatever else was connected to the machine is likely defective. This can often be the cause of a problem with your iPhone not charging, also.

If this is the case and you have multiple peripherals, you should reboot with each one inserted, to figure out which is causing the problem.

However, if the blue screen returns, you can rule out your peripherals having caused the problem. You’ll then need to move on to looking at your Mac’s start-up drive.

This is unfortunately where the repair process can get more complicated.

What Do I Do If The Blue Screen on my Mac is a Start-up Drive Problem?

To be absolutely certain that the issue is with your start-up drive, you should first attempt to start your Mac in safe mode. To do this you have to hold the shift key whilst powering up.

Starting in safe mode can sometimes solve the problem, meaning all you need to do is restart again and you hopefully won’t see the blue screen.

If safe mode doesn’t solve your problem, you need to start properly looking at your start-up drive. You can often fix the start-up drive through Apple’s Disk Utility or other third-party apps. Apple has an extensive Disk Utility guide to help explain how it can be used.

But first, you must have the means of booting the system with a separate start-up drive. Otherwise, you won’t be able to access the disk utility guide and will have no way of repairing the start-up drive. This can be done in several ways.

You can use a bootable start-up drive, which is found on an external hard drive or USB. You will need to insert this into your Mac then hold the option key when you start-up. This will allow you to select this device to start-up, rather than your faulty start-up drive.

You can also use an OS X Install DVD, which is inserted into your systems DVD drive. You must hold down the c key to start-up from a DVD drive.

You can also boot up from what’s known as a Recovery HD, but you have to have created this before your mac displayed the blue screen.

Another option is to start your Mac in whats known as “single-user mode”. Because single-user mode doesn’t need to use the start-up drive, you should be able to access it despite your blue screen problem. From the mode, you can use commands to repair the drive.

But even if you can get into your Mac through one of these methods, you’ll likely need to hire an expert to complete the repair process. As can be seen by the different methods you can take above, repairing the start-up drive is a far more intensive repair process than just removing your peripherals. 

What Do I Do If I Can’t Repair My Mac?

If you have a bluescreen on Mac and haven’t been able to solve the problem through peripherals or fixing the start-up drive yourself, the best thing to do is contact an expert.

The last thing you want to do is to try and fix the machine yourself and make the problem worse.

At Fruit Fixed we provide a professional technical repair service with a lifetime warranty. If you have a blue screen or any other problem with your Mac that is fixable, we can fix it.

We’re even continuing to operate during the COVID-19 outbreak because we know how essential our repair service is to our customers.

You can use our website to find the model you need help repairing. Or, if you’d prefer, please contact us directly using our email or phone line.