We wrote this article for internal IT teams (typically Windows-focused) and Primary Contacts at our client locations who often want to try basic Mac troubleshooting before escalating to our Service Desk.
- Restart the Mac. Restarting about once a week is a good practice and will solve various issues. Restarting once a day is probably excessive, and going weeks or months without a restart can contribute to all sorts of problems. If the Mac doesn’t restart (or turn on), see:
- Restart the troubled app. If the app will not quit, then see how to force an app to quit on your Mac.
- Confirm the web version works. Many apps today have a desktop version and a web version. It’s best to test the web version before troubleshooting the Mac version. Confirm the network is working (can the Mac visit apple.com?) and try the web app. If the web app authentication or features don't work, then it's often not a Mac problem.
- Authentication Issues? You may need to reset the password or escalate to the team who manages this account. If you're not sure who manages the account then submit a support request.
- Is the app/site down? Check the appropriate status page or ask others if they are having any issues accessing the site.
- Look at the device details in Vision-Bot for common trouble areas and what they mean.
- Confirm the version number of the troubled app and macOS. (Both can be verified in Vision-Bot.) Make sure the third-party software applications in use are compatible with the version of macOS running. Sometimes running an outdated version of an application or Mac Operating System (macOS) can cause issues. However, before running an upgrade, always confirm the upgrade is authorized. Updates, on the other hand, are typically safe to apply. Although Adobe Creative Cloud and Apple’s iWork apps have been known to break team workflows if everyone is not on the exact same version of an app. If you're not sure what version is safe, then submit a support request.
- Check how much storage is available on the Mac. A full (or nearly full) hard drive can cause extreme slowness, kernel panics, app crashes, and freezing. Having a minimum of 10% of available hard drive storage is a good guideline.
- Check Physical Connections. Turn off the Mac and ensure that all cables (if any) are securely connected to the Mac. Disconnect all peripheral devices (including keyboard and mouse if this is a notebook). Turn on the Mac. If the issue is resolved, try to isolate it to a particular peripheral device by turning off the Mac, reconnecting devices one at a time, and turning on the Mac after connecting each device.
- Unexpected restarts (or Kernel Panics) can occasionally occur (maybe a couple of times per year). If you're experiencing them more than once a month, then submit a support request.
- Any problem that takes more than 15-minutes to solve, submit a support request!
Typical Situations Only Internal IT Can Solve
Although we're always available to help brainstorm a solution, if we're second-tier to your internal IT team, these are common areas where we often cannot help or will need the assistance of your IT team.
- Network problems that affect multiple devices.
- Active Directory (AD) issues. We most often recommend not binding Macs to AD.
- Questions about web account authentication for services we don't manage.
- Printer symptoms that are not Mac-specific.
- Refer to the onscreen help. From the desktop menu bar, open the Help menu and choose macOS Help.
- Consult Apple's Support website. Apple's Knowledge Base, Discussions, and other technical resources are available at https://support.apple.com/mac
- New to Mac? Tour the Basics: https://help.apple.com/macos/big-sur/mac-basics/
- Mac tips for Windows switchers: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204216