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Problems with MacBooks that lead to repairs

Posted By Volodymyr Chubei | 04 Sep 2023

Owners of MacBooks encounter various problems in the operation of the device and do not always know how to fix them without going to a service center. In this article we will tell you about the most common problems with Macbooks and their causes. You will also learn how to deal with MacBook issues and other common problems with your devices on your own.

Also: How to take care of MacBook: 10 Tips to Make it Last as Long as Possible

Common MacBook Problems Requiring Repairs: Causes and Solutions

To make Apple brand computer equipment serve for a long time, it is necessary to take care of it and eliminate MacBook problems such as failures, performance problems and malfunctions in time. To extend the service life of your MacBook, see the recommendations for troubleshooting problems that often occur with these devices.

Problem 1. Battery discharges too quickly

One of the most common and frustrating MacBook problems that happen to a laptop is that its battery drains quickly. These are batteries that have not yet served their time. If you handle your battery properly and it's no more than 3-4 years old, it shouldn't lose charge quickly.


In such a case, resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) and then rebooting the device will help.

To reboot the SMC:

  • turn off the device;
  • Press the power button and the Shift + Control + Option key combination simultaneously for a few seconds;
  • release the buttons to turn the MacBook on.

If any files are lost during the reboot process, restore them from the backup.

Problem 2. Data deleted from Recycle bin by mistake

All deleted files go to the Recycle Bin and a user can recover anything deleted by mistake. However, if the Recycle Bin was emptied, it is no longer possible to recover an accidentally deleted file in this way.


To solve the MacBook issues, use a simple and clear application, Stellar Data Recovery Professional for MacBook. The program has an intuitive interface, so every user will be able to recover files from any drives — external and internal. The application also works with encrypted file system data.

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Problem 3. External drive is not connected or recognized

If you've encountered a situation when your MacBook doesn't display data on an external drive or simply can't see it, you can try to fix the problems with MacBook following our recommendations below.


To solve the MacBook problem try do either of the following:

  • disconnect the external drive and reboot the MacBook;
  • boot your device in safe mode and try to connect the disk to make sure it's not blocked by any plugins;
  • connect the drive via a different port;
  • check for updates and install them if they are available;
  • If possible, use a different external drive enclosure.

It's not always the problem with the MacBook, it's quite possible that this is an external drive failure. Check it on another device to make sure the problem is the drive and not your MacBook.

Problem 4. Time Machine application fails to make a backup

Your MacBook has a built-in backup tool called Time Machine. This program is also used to recover accidentally deleted files. Sometimes there are cases when the software fails to complete the backup. This MacBook issue can even become more critical when the backup or any other important files are deleted.


If you encounter these MacBook problem, try the following options:

  • update the MacBook to the latest version and reboot it;
  • Restart the AirPort base station;
  • Make sure that the network connection is active and that the MacBook and the AirPort Extreme Base Station are in the same network.

You may also need to check your backup:

  • Press the Option button and select the "Check Backups" option from the Time Machine menu;
  • If the application detects a backup error, detailed information will be displayed;
  • start the recovery according to the instructions you see on the screen.

To restore the backup or any other files, use the Stellar Data Recovery Professional application.

Problem 5. Critical kernel error

If a MacBook keeps generating an error with a recommendation to reboot, but it doesn't help and the screen remains black — this is a critical kernel error. The reasons for a MacBook problem can range from outdated drivers and incompatible devices to insufficient physical or RAM memory.


To solve a MacBook problem:

  • start the device in safe mode to disable the program that caused the deadlock;
  • update your operating system and drivers;
  • run system restore;
  • check the functionality of the peripheral devices;
  • Upgrade your device - increase memory capacity.

If nothing helped, you need to clean up your hard drive and reinstall macOS.

Also: How to Install macOS High Sierra: The Full Guide

Problem 6: Hard disk errors

Some of the most common MacBook problems with a hard disk include corrupted directory structures, boot failure, erased files, interrupted extents (continuous areas of information), etc.


The easiest way is to format your hard disk, but this will delete all your information. Transfer important data to another medium, have the drive repaired, or replace it with a new one.

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Problem 7. Low macOS performance

If there are malfunctions in your operating system after macOS reinstalling, upgrading, or upgrading to a different version, you can restore a previous copy or install a new operating system.


To fix this MacBook problem, you need to follow the below algorithm of action:

  • Press the Command and R keys to reboot the device;
  • when the Apple logo appears, release the buttons;
  • In the macOS utility window, select "Disk Utility" and "Continue";
  • then click on "Boot Volume", on "Unmount" and after the process is finished on "Erase";
  • exit the disk utility;
  • select the "Reinstall macOS" option and click on "Continue".

To complete the macOS reinstallation, follow the instructions on the MacBook's screen.

Also: What is macOS Sonoma and how to install it on your MacBook

Problem 8. Problems with the motherboard

If you suspect that a MacBook issue is the motherboard, you should test it using special diagnostic applications.


To run diagnostics using the built-in Apple Diagnostics/Apple Hardware Test tools, follow these steps:

  • disconnect all external connected devices except the keyboard, mouse, and display;
  • reboot the Macbook, press the D (Diagnostics) key;
  • When the tests are completed, the screen will display the problems found, if any.

Problem 9. Power-related settings

The NVRAM and PRAM RAM and SMC are responsible for storing and processing the important startup functions of the MacBook. They include screen resolution, sound, selecting a disk to start booting, determining the time and time zone, etc. If a power MacBook problem is encountered or the device won't turn on, the common cause is SMC, NVRAM and PRAM malfunctions.


There are three easy steps to do a memory reset:

  • Turn off and immediately turn on your MacBook by pressing Command, Option, P, and R simultaneously;
  • hold down the buttons for 20 seconds or, if you have an older model, until the specific start-up sound;
  • release the keys.

The non-volatile RAM settings will be reset and if it was the cause of the MacBook issue, the device will start up correctly.

To resolve power and battery issues, reset the SMC:

  • turn off the device;
  • Press the Power button and Shift + Control + Option keys simultaneously;
  • release all keys and wait for the MacBook to boot up.

If the failure was in the SMC, the unit will start up without problems.

Problem 10: Emails disappear from mail folders

After upgrading your operating system, MacBook problems with your mail folders happen sometimes. Mail folders are cleaned. Ideally, run backups regularly to easily restore any data. To activate this option, use the built-in Time Machine app settings and enable iCloud.


If copying was not enabled, start Apple Mail re-indexing. You should be prepared that if there were a lot of e-mails in your mailbox, the indexing may take several hours. But in any case, it will solve the MacBook problem and once the process is complete, the emails will be available in the folders again.

If you want your MacBook to last for a long time and you do not want to have any MacBook problem after repair or upgrade, use only the original parts. On the Apple Parts website you can find the necessary components for various models of MacBooks. The company guarantees operational capability of parts as they are tested on special equipment before they go on sale.

If you face MacBook problems you can't solve yourself, order repair for your MacBook from Apple Parts by mail. Choose your device model and what you need to replace/repair. Ship the MacBook from any FedEx shipping point, get an invoice by mail, pay for repair and the device will be delivered to you on the same day or next day.

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1. How do you diagnose and fix software MacBook problems that can cause malfunctions?
Technicians use a special set of diagnostic programs, which show problematic software or malfunctions in the components of the Macbook when running tests
2. What are the potential causes of frequent system crashes or freezes on a MacBook?
The reasons can be very different: SMC MacBook problems, lack of system memory, program errors, overloaded processor due to resource-intensive software usage, etc.


Volodymyr Chubei
Computer Repair Specialist at AppleParts.io

Volodymyr was born in Ukraine and has found his passion for electronics from his childhood. At the age of 13, he was capable of soldering some basic elements of a logic board and today he is one of the co-founders of AppleParts.io

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