What problem does Findery

Reset SMC and More: Quickly Solve Mac Problems

Solve Mac problems by resetting the SMC

The System Management Controller, or SMC for short, controls many basic functions in the Mac. This includes fan control, screen lighting, hibernation and, to some extent, interface management. In MacBooks, there are also battery management and power saving functions. The latter, activated unnecessarily, can bring performance to its knees. If problems in the areas mentioned cannot be solved via the system configuration or by switching the computer off and on again, an SMC reset may help. To do this, turn off the Mac. Unplug a desktop model for 15 seconds. Reconnect the power cord and wait 5 seconds. Then you turn on the computer. If you have a MacBook with a removable battery, remove it and the power adapter.

Press the power button for 5 seconds. Then you reconnect the battery and power supply, turn on the computer. If the battery cannot be removed, the power supply must remain connected. Simultaneously press the control-option-shift key on the left side and the power key. Release all buttons and press the power button.

Solve Mac problems by resetting system settings

If the Mac does not behave as the system settings dictate, it sometimes helps to change and reset the settings: Simply open the module concerned and change the default that does not work to any other value. The only important thing is that the attitude changes. Then you exit the system settings. Then open it again to reset the settings. As a result, OS X will definitely rewrite the desired settings in the corresponding default file.

Manage additional startup items to solve Mac problems

Some programs use background apps that do not appear in the user's login items. They are also skipped during a safe system start. For global launch objects, you will find plist files that contain the path to the app in the general library folder, in “LaunchAgents” and “LaunchDaemons”. To exclude them as a source of error, temporarily remove plist files and restart. Problems with the startup items tend to occur after major updates to OS X, which also require an update of the apps. In the past, start-up items were also installed in "Library / StartupItems".

Renew your keychain

Many apps remember access data to servers and services in an OS X keychain so that you don't have to re-enter them every time. If there are problems with access, its status can be checked with the keychain management utility. Open it and select the command "Keychain - First Aid" from the program menu. Then you can start an examination, if necessary the repair. If that doesn't work, you can create a new login keychain in the app settings under “General” with “Reset my standard keychain”. The old one is renamed so that you can still access your data later.

Test login items

If a problem with the secure system start temporarily did not occur, a login object could be the cause, i.e. an app that starts automatically. To check this, log out and log back in. When logging in, however, hold down the shift key after entering the password. This means that the login objects are no longer loaded. If the problem has now disappeared, open the "Users & Groups" area in the system settings. Select your account and click the "Login Items" tab in the right pane. You will now see the apps that will be started automatically when you log in. Remove one at a time, and restart each time to check to see if the problem has been resolved.

Carry out a safe system start

If you start the Mac with the Shift key pressed and hold it down until the progress bar appears, it will start a safe system start. The message "Safe system start" appears in red in the upper right corner of the login screen. This helps to isolate sources of error, since OS X only loads its own system extensions and system fonts that are necessary. Other extensions, fonts and start-up objects are ignored. If an error has disappeared, the cause lies with the omitted components. In addition, OS X checks and repairs the startup volume in safe mode and recreates some cache files. As a result, a safe start can even permanently solve a problem.

Show library

When troubleshooting and checking settings, app libraries, fonts, and plug-ins, you have a lot to do with the user's Library folder. However, Apple hides it in the Finder to protect it from changes. For one-time access, hold down the Option key when opening the "Go to" menu in the Finder. To make the folder appear normally in your home directory, open it. Then you call up the display options ("Command-J"). Activate the option "Show folder library" at the bottom.

Check storage space

Insufficient storage space has a negative impact on performance. This applies to the main memory, but also to the hard disk. If a Mac gets slower and slower, it's worth checking both. The activity monitor utility shows the usage of the main memory as "memory pressure". If its display is yellow, the free memory is running out; if it is red, action is required. Close apps, restart the Mac. Neither does either, add more RAM if possible. The free space on the start volume is at least as important, as the virtual memory management would otherwise get stuck. Especially in connection with little RAM. The Finder shows how much space is still free on a volume in the status bar at the bottom of the window. Which value is critical depends on your apps and the size of the documents, but it shouldn't drop below 5, better 10 gigabytes. Here, too, a restart can be very beneficial, as it resets the memory management.

Delete settings files from OS X

If system settings cannot be changed or if the program supports opening a certain module, a defective settings file may be the cause. To delete them, open the “Library / Preferences / SystemConfiguration” folder for general Mac-related settings such as network interfaces, active shares or the startup drive. User-specific settings files such as those for the Finder interface, regional adjustments or the sound output can be found in "User / Library / Preferences". Close System Preferences and delete the associated preferences file. The best thing to do is to log off as well. The next time you log on, OS X will use the default setting for the module in question. You have to make all associated settings again, but you should be able to save them again.

Use combo update

If you have the feeling that OS X is not working reliably, but cannot identify a specific error pattern, the manual installation of a combo update instead of the normal system update may help, as it also contains data from all previous updates of the current OS X. You can download the update file from Apple's support site "https://support.apple.com/de_DE/downloads". Click the “Search for Product” button, then click “Mac OS”. Enter "El Capitan" in the search field.

Don't forget to restart

It sounds trivial, but don't forget to turn your Mac off properly from time to time. Since OS X is now very stable and has effective energy-saving techniques, many Mac users tend to just put the computer into hibernation. Notebooks in particular are rarely switched off. A restart kills all processes and clears up the memory, as the virtual memory management, which is often rather bloated over time, is reset. This can quickly occupy double-digit gigabytes on the startup volume. The measure helps especially with unclear error patterns. The Mac runs faster and more stable again. Turning it off once a week is a good idea.

Mac doesn't sleep

If the Mac no longer goes to sleep or wakes up again immediately, it may be due to defective “energy saving” specifications. First try opening the associated system settings, changing something and then closing the app. Then you set your original values ​​again. Now check the time in the change date of "Library / Preferences / SystemConfiguration / com.apple.PowerManagement.plist" on the startup disk. If it is not up to date or if the problem persists, delete the plist file. To do this, you have to enter an administrator password. Then you set the energy saving settings again.

Remove cache files

The precautionary deletion of cache files as "system maintenance" is a widespread bad habit. When it comes to troubleshooting, however, it makes sense. To rule out faulty cache files as the cause of the problem, move the contents of the “System / Library / Caches” and “Library / Caches” folders to the trash. To do this, you must be able to identify yourself as an administrator. Then you do a restart.

It takes a little longer because the system is re-creating its cache files. If everything is fine now, you can empty the trash. You can also use a system tool such as Onyx to delete the files. However, these programs easily induce unnecessary "maintenance work".