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Mac Keeps Crashing? Try These Fixes!

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Written by Albert Finch

Although the Mac computer is built with considerable durability, sometimes one or more issues could also occur on it, such as Mac keeps crashing. Occasional crashes happening once or twice maybe considered common, but if your Mac keeps crashing frequently, then you should emphasize it.

Luckily, we have figured out the possible reasons why your MacBook keeps crashing. In addition, we have come up with 6 feasible solutions for this issue. If you are facing the Mac keeps crashing problem now, this post might be helpful for you.Mac Keeps crashing

Why does your Mac keep crashing?

No matter whether you’re using Inter Mac or M1 Mac when your Mac keeps crashing, you may see a pop-up showing ‘Your computer was restarted because of a problem’. Or the crashing could be accompanied by a loud Mac fan noise or bouncing icons in the Mac Dock.Mac Keeps crashing computer has started

Normally, the possible reasons why your iMac/MacBook keeps crashing are as below:

  1. Incompatible software

The most common reason why your MacBook might crash is the incompatible software or software bugs. For example, many Mac users complained about Mac crashing or crashing more often after updating to macOS Monterey or Big Sur. This is because some old apps no longer meet the new operating system requirements.

  1. Incompatible hardware

Some hardware incompatibilities within your Mac computer can also cause your MacBook to keep crashing. If you just update your Mac with a new SSD, then the new SSD could be responsible for your Mac crashing.

  1. Insufficient storage space

When your Mac doesn’t have enough storage space on the startup disk, your Mac is likely to freeze or crash, especially for resource-consuming software like Photoshop.

  1. Inadequate system memory

Your Mac sometimes may crash because the system memory is full. If you run too many applications at once and don’t close them completely, they will keep running in the background. This can take up a lot of your system memory and put a burden on your Mac and cause your computer to crash often.

  1. Heavy CPU consumption

When you’re running resource-intensive applications, i.e., Adobe Lightroom and Java, your Mac is more likely to crash since these applications drain your CPU so quickly.

Mac keeps crashing, how to fix it?

You may have recognized the possible reasons why your Mac keeps crashing, then, it’s time to fix the issue. But before starting the fix, you’d better recover data from the crashed Mac first to avoid potential data loss while fixing the problem. Now, if you’re ready, follow the steps below to troubleshoot the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro crashing issue.

Fix 1: Reset SMC

Since the System Memory Controller (SMC) takes charge of all sorts of things in Mac in the background, resetting it might work to fix the Mac keeps crashing problem.

For MacBook without a T2 Security Chip, shut it down, then press the Shift + Control +Option keys and the power button simultaneously. Hold these keys altogether for about 10 seconds, then release. Next press the power button to turn on your Mac.

For a Mac desktop without a T2 chip (such as an iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro), shut down the device, unplug the power cord and wait for 15 seconds. Then plug it back in and turn on your Mac.

For both MacBook and desktop Mac with T2 chips, turn the device off and press and hold the power button for 10 seconds. Then release the button, wait a few seconds, and press it again to switch on the Mac.

More from us: How to Clean Your Mac Manually to Free Up Disk Space

Fix 2: Reset NVRAM

As NVRAM contains your Mac’s state configurations, you can fix the crashing Mac by resetting NVRAM. Here is how to do it:

  1. Shut down your Mac completely.Mac Keeps crashing How to reset NVRAM
  2. Press the power button and simultaneously hold down the Option + Command + P + R keys for about 20 seconds.
  3. Release the key combination when you hear the second startup sound from your Mac. If it’s a T2-based Mac, you’ll see the Apple logo appears and disappears twice instead.

If you’re using an M1 MacBook, you don’t need to reset NVRAM by hand as it auto-resets if necessary every time your Mac startup. And if you’ve turned on the Mac firmware password, you need to turn it off for the reset to take effect.

Fix 3: Run Apple Diagnostics

If you think your Mac may have a hardware problem that causes your Mac to crash frequently, you can use Apple Diagnostics to locate where the problematic hardware component is and fix it. Before starting Apple Diagnostics, you need to shut down your Mac, disconnect all peripheral devices except for the keyboard, mouse, ethernet connection, and power connection, and turn off the Mac firmware password if you’ve set one.

Start Apple Diagnostics for Intel processor:

  1. Press the power button and immediately hold the D key as your Mac boots up.
  2. Release the key when asked to choose the language.
  3. Select the language using arrow keys.

Run Apple Diagnostics for Apple Silicon chip:

  1. Turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the Power button as your Mac starts up. Release it as soon as you see the Startup Options window.
  2. Press and hold Command + D on your keyboard.
  3. Select I agree when prompted.

Then a progress bar shall appear and once the test completes, you’ll get a report on your Mac screen with one or more diagnostics codes. You can write them down or take a picture of them as these codes can help you identify the accurate hardware problems. If you can’t resolve the issues on your own, take your Mac to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider for help.Mac Keeps crashing checking your mac

Fix 4: Boot into Safe Mode

After upgrading your Mac to the latest Monterey or Big Sur, the chances are that it will crash or freeze. Restarting your MacBook in safe mode is a common fix as Safe mode only loads necessary kernel extensions.

Boot an Intel-based Mac in Safe Mode:

  1. Shut down your Mac computer and wait for 10 seconds.
  2. Press the power button to restart your Mac and simultaneously hold down the Shift key.
  3. Release the Shift key when seeing the login window.

Start an Apple M1 Mac in Safe Mode:

  1. Shut down your Mac computer and wait for 10 seconds.
  2. Press down the power button until the startup options and the Options gear icon appear on the screen. Choose your startup disk.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and click Continue in Safe Mode. Then, release the Shift key.

If your Mac doesn’t crash in Safe Mode, you should restart your Mac normally to test for the problem again. however if the issue comes back in normal mode, your Mac’s login items may be incompatible with your current macOS version, try to remove them.

If Mac keeps crashing in Safe Mode, it’s necessary to verify the startup disk in Disk Utility to see if it’s corrupted.

More from us: How to Secure Your Personal Data if You are a Mac User

Fix 5: Run Disk Utility First Aid

Mac Disk Utility First Aid is another possible fix to the crashed Mac, follow these instructions to perform First Aid:

  1. Boot into Mac Recovery Mode.

Intel-based Mac: When Mac starts or restarts, immediately press and hold the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears.

M1 Mac: Shut down Mac, then press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window with a gear icon labeled Options.

  1. Select Disk Utility from the macOS utility window, then click Continue.
  2. Choose your startup disk then, click First Aid > Run Disk Utility to repair your Mac and that should fix the crashing problem.

Fix 6: Reinstall macOS

If the crashing problem still exists on your Mac, the last resort could be the macOS restore. Although reinstalling macOS won’t erase your user data on the startup disk (Macintosh HD – Data), it’s best to back up your Mac with Time Machine or recover data from your crashed MacBook beforehand.

Steps to reinstall macOS:

  1. Still boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.

Intel-based Mac: When Mac starts or restarts, immediately press and hold the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears.

M1 Mac: Shut down Mac, then press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window with a gear icon labeled Options.

  1. Click Reinstall macOS from the macOS utility window, then select Continue.Mac Keeps crashing reinstall MacOS
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall macOS.

How to prevent your Mac from crashing

To prevent your Mac from crashing or freezing again, here we come up with some useful preventive tips. Just keep reading.

  1. Make sure your OS and Apps are updated regularly.
  2. Create enough hard drive space on your Mac to maintain optimal speed.
  3. Clear caches and delete unwanted/unused applications.
  4. Occasionally restart your Mac system.

Conclusion

Hopefully, after trying all the above-mentioned methods, the crashing problem has been resolved. But if it still exists, try to ask Apple Support for help. Or, if  your Mac keeps crashing while browsing a website, clearing browser caches is also recommended.

About the author

Albert Finch

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