The question why do MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, and Mac mini permanently crash pops up on the Apple support community pretty often. Very few Mac users manage to keep calm when a ‘spinning beach ball of death’ appears on their Mac’s screen. Even worse, macOS Sierra/High Sierra can get stuck on the ‘grey screen of death’ after routine updates. In spite of having a bulletproof reputation, Macs do freeze and crash sometimes, so you have to know how to handle these issues. Read on to learn step-by-step troubleshooting instructions for all possible situations.
Macs can crash for a variety of reasons, which is why each particular situation needs separate troubleshooting activities. However, the typical reasons causing Mac crashes are as follows:
Malware/virus infection which infiltrated a Mac through third-party apps;
Insufficient RAM for applications to run properly;
Insufficient CPU capacity for resource-intensive programs;
Lack of free space on Mac’s startup disk;
Several apps are competing for disk access and system resources.
How to fix the Finder app that keeps crashing on your Mac? The best option is deleting potentially corrupted Finder system preference files with .plist extension:
Alternatively, you can use the Terminal app to remove the files, if Finder won’t launch.
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist, then press Return.
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist, then press Return.
1.Unplug all external devices (keep the keyboard, mouse, monitor, Ethernet connection, and AC power plugged). Apple Hardware Test might show an error message if other devices are not unplugged.
2. Turn off your Mac, and turn it on again holding the D key while it is booting. Wait until the Apple Diagnostics screen (Apple Hardware Test icon) shows up:
3. If you’re running the Apple Hardware Test, choose the language by pressing the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrows, then hit the Return key to confirm. Apple Diagnostics performs the further steps automatically.
4. Next, click the Test button (T key) or Return to begin testing. Running an in-depth test needs a bit more time to complete. Select Perform extended testing before the test begins.
5. Once the test is over, you can see the results in the bottom-right part of the window.
6. To exit the diagnostics, click Restart (R key)/ Shut Down (S key) in the lower part of the window.
“A Mac update crashed my computer!” is another frequent plea for help on the Apple support community. Users know that installing Mac OS /software updates is the best way to keep their Mac protected. Still, many users have experienced crashes in the middle of a system upgrade. On older Mac models, upgrading to macOS Sierra on top of OS X El Capitan caused slow work and freeze ups. To fix the issues caused by upgrading to the latest Mac OS, you can do the following:
If your Mac crashed during the automatic software update, find and delete the following files:
Alternatively, use a Time Machine backup to revert to the previous state.
If you use one of the earlier Mac OS X versions, follow the below instructions to fix freeze-ups and system crashes. Choose an option depending on the severity of the problem:
Note: reinstalling OS X on top of the current system does not delete your files and settings. However, this may help in fixing some system-wide issues.
If your Mac crashes several times in a row, it is crucial to single out the problem. Find out if a particular application is a reason, or the entire operating system is affected. In the first case, you will get an application crash report with comments. To fix the issue, click Reopen to relaunch the app, or click OK to quit the alert window.
If the problem stems from the macOS itself, there can be a plethora of reasons causing it. Try the below steps to eliminate the issue:
Mac crashes can stem from different reasons, which signal about serious application or system-related issues. Isolating and identifying the problem is the best way to single out all possible causes. To prevent your Mac from occasional freeze-ups and crashes, use the latest Mac OS and software compatible with your machine’s hardware. macOS High Sierra is the recommended version of the operating system to date. Upgrade to the latest stable version to maximize your macOS experience.