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Top 6 Most Common MacBook Problems and How to Fix Them

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There are currently about 100 million active MacBook users worldwide. You may be a new user and not be familiar with some of the common problems. MacBooks are popular because they are reliable and powerful. This doesn’t mean they don’t occasionally have problems. It’s helpful to know more about common problems and how to fix them.

Male business executive looking at digital tablet in office
Male business executive looking at digital tablet in office | Photographer: Pavel HorakMale business executive looking at digital tablet in office | Photographer: Pavel Horak

1. Charging Issues

If you need a new battery for your MacBook you could have charging issues. For best performance, you should replace your battery when it reaches the maximum cycle count. A typical Mac battery should withstand 1000 charge-discharge cycles. To see if you need a new battery you can check the battery cycle count.

  • Go to the Menu bar and click the Apple log.
  • Choose About This Mac.
  • Click System Report.
  • Go to Hardware and find Power.
  • Cycle Count comes under Health Information.

Another way to check your battery health is to use CleanMyMacX. You can download the app for free. It will also help you to detect malicious software, clear the cache, and uninstall apps. Learn how to use it to detect charging issues and more by following this link here.

2. Keyboard Not Working, Stuck Keys, or Keys Auto-Repeating

A malfunctioning keyboard can really hinder your productivity. Restarting your MacBook could easily take care of the issue. Dust particles in the keyboard could be causing the problem and Apple suggests cleaning it with compressed air. This is a fairly risky procedure and it may be best to have it done by a professional.

Updating your Mac OS could also fix the issue. A recently updated or installed app could also be causing the issue. Removing it could restore keyboard functionality.

3. Spinning Beach Ball

When you’re running an e-commerce store, time is of the essence and you don’t want the beach ball to keep spinning. The causes of this could be an unresponsive app or system, unavailable resources, or a corrupt memory. Other software-related issues could also be the problem such as an OS deadlock.

One of the best solutions is to deal with unresponsive processes. To do this go to Finder>Applications>Utilities and launch the Activity Monitor. Here you can close any heavy or malfunctioning apps that may be stuck.

If this doesn’t work, you may have to reinstall the Mac OS. Boot your Mac in recovery mode by pressing the Command + R keys while restarting the system. From the Utilities window click on Reinstall macOS and follow the instructions.

4. Mac Sound Not Working

There are various reasons why the sound may not be working. You may have unintentionally muted it or the headphones and speaker may not be connected. To check your sound settings:

  • Go to the Apple menu and to Sound in the System Settings.
  • Choose the Output tab and click Built-in Speakers.
  • Check the volume slider. You can adjust it if it is too low.
  • Make sure the Mute box is not selected.

If you see that a USB device is selected rather than the built-in speakers when you check the System Settings, disconnect it and try again.

5. Mac Won’t Turn On

When your Mac doesn’t turn on it can be very frustrating, especially when you are trying to boost customer service and you want to reply to an urgent request. The issue could be due to a corrupt hard drive, malfunctioning battery, or lack of a reliable power source. It could also be due to damaged system files.

The first solution is to check your battery and power source. Secondly, you can reset the System Management Controller (SMC). This is a chip that controls peripheral devices and power management. Restart your Mac and press Shift + Control + Option buttons. After a few seconds, press the Power button and continue holding all four buttons for 10 seconds. Now let go of them all and turn on your Mac.

6. Trackpad not working

When the trackpad isn’t working it could be due to a firmware issue or a hardware problem. It could also happen if there is a clash in system settings or the driver is not updated or missing.

The first solution is to check the accessibility settings. Go to Finder>System Preferences>Accessibility. Click on the Mouse and Trackpad section. Check whether all the settings are in order. You can also click on Trackpad Options to help diagnose the issue.

If you haven’t updated firmware for a while, this could also be the problem. Go to the Software Update section under Applications, check for updates, and install them.


When you understand the above common MacBook problems and how to fix them, it can significantly improve your user experience. Many of them are fairly easy to resolve. Not having to call in a professional to fix every problem will save you money and time.

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Written by
Yanis Kerdjana

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