How to fix a frozen mac

How to fix a frozen mac

It can be irritating when your MacOS or OS X operating systems are running slow, and even worse when your Mac freezes completely. Although it might happen quite rarely with an iMac or MacBook, you should know what to do when your Mac becomes frozen. In this article, we will tell you how to fix a frozen Mac.

How to fix a frozen mac

Why Is My Mac Freezing?

The main reasons that can cause a system to crash are:

  • A large number of applications running simultaneously, especially “heavy” programs like professional virtual studios, graphic editors, developer tools, games and so on. Do not overload your computer, and always try to close out of apps which you are not using.
  • Hard disk malfunction. You can easily recognize a problem with hard disk performance when your Mac starts to work slowly as you are writing or reading files from the HDD or SSD. If you suspect that the problem is with a hard drive, make a backup, copy important files to an external drive, or move them to cloud storage. Then, replace your drive.
  • Rarely the problem may be connected with a defective RAM module. In this case, RAM replacement is required.

It is important to determine whether only one application has frozen, or if the entire Mac operating system is affected. MacOS can manage the memory used by applications and displays a notification if a problem occurs. In most cases, if one single application causes an issue, the system will recognize it. For example, if an application starts to consume too much RAM memory, your Mac will show you a notification and inform you that the app was suddenly closed. If your MacBook or iMac crashes without any notifications, then the problem is most likely with the MacOS operating system. We will explain how to solve the latter issue a bit later. For now, let’s take a closer look at the problem with the application.

How to fix a frozen mac

How to Fix a Frozen Application

A simple shutdown and restart of the application is the best way to solve an app’s issues. However, sometimes it happens that the application freezes and does not respond to any user’s commands. In such cases, you will see a twirling rainbow circle- the “spinning pizza of death.” Here is a list of recommended actions when the app is frozen:

  • Switch to another screen section. Click on the desktop or another application’s window.
  • Terminate the work of the app with a default Apple Utility Activity Monitor. Find the frozen program in the list of open processes, select it, and click the Cross button to quit the app.
  • You can also quit the application using a Command+Option+Shift+Escape key shortcut. It is one of the easiest ways to close a frozen application. Just hold this key combination for three seconds and the application should be closed.
  • In MacOS, you can use a special “Force Quit Applications” menu, which shows all open programs and allows you to force quit any of them. Simply use the Command+Option+Escape key shortcut.
  • You can also force shutdown of the application via Apple menu. Just click on the Apple icon in the Menu bar and select “Force Quit…”

How to fix a frozen mac

How to Fix a Frozen Mac

If you can’t close a frozen app, the system stops responding to your commands and your Mac keeps freezing, try the following steps:

  • Restart your Mac. If you are not able to do it via the menu, then you should force a restart of your Mac. Press the key combination Control+Eject and select Restart on the dialog window.

How to fix a frozen mac

On a MacBook, press Control+Command+Power button. After you do, your Mac should start rebooting and closing all programs.

  • It’s possible that the Force Quit Mac command is not working and your Mac doesn’t react to the previous command. In this case, make a force shutdown. How do you force shutdown a Mac? Just hold down the Power button. After restarting your Mac, you may find that some of the files you were working on could be corrupted. You should try to restore everything from the damaged file and transfer it to a new file, and then delete the damaged one.

How to fix a frozen mac

What to Do When a Mac Freezes

First, it’s necessary to find the source of the problem. To identify the reason for your Mac’s frozen state, follow these recommendations:

  • Check to see if you have enough disk space. A lack of free space is one of the main reasons why a system might crash or freeze. Read 6 useful tips how to clear space on Mac.
  • Make sure that your operating system has all the latest updates.
  • Update your applications, especially those which you have downloaded outside of the App Store.
  • Disable the plugins. If your applications use plug-ins, it is likely that they may cause issues.
  • Use Safe Mode while launching your Mac by holding down the Shift key. This will run your Mac without additional background processes and it will load only the most necessary processes.
  • Launch the System Disk Utility app to check and fix various problems on your disk. The application allows you to test and detect various problems with your hard drive: virus attacks, malicious software, and Mac memory overload.
  • Remove utilities with duplicate functionality. A set of simultaneously-launched programs have the possibility of conflicting. Common sources of conflict include a network filter, an antivirus scanner and all sorts of extensions for browsers.
  • Use drivers distributed only by Apple. Try to connect an external device to your Mac and run it without installing any additional software. If the devices function normally, don’t make any changes. If it needs additional drivers, always install the latest version and directly from the official website.
  • Reinstall the Mac operating system. But first, don’t forget to backup your files. It is possible that there are some errors in your system settings that prevent your Mac from working smoothly.
  • Reset RAM (PRAM). To troubleshoot any problems with the display, coolers, or other peripherals of your Mac, a first step is to reset PRAM. These settings are stored in the depths of the system and include data such as boot disk options, display resolution, voice volume, and so on. To reset them, press and hold Shift+Command+P+R key combination during Mac’s running.

These tips should help you understand the main reasons why a Mac can freeze or work slowly. Once you correctly identify the reason, you can decide what to do: update the system, free up free disk space or add more RAM . We hope your Mac will serve you perfectly and faithfully for many years.

I am working happily on my Mac when the dreaded beach ball of death appears, the program stops responding, and my Mac is frozen, too, how to fix it?

Mac is popular for better performance and stability; however, it is not immune from some of the same weaknesses as other computers.

In fact, a frozen Mac app or an OS X freezing could lead to lose productivity or even lose job. Therefore, we are going to talk about what you need to do if Mac screen is frozen and how to prevent it from occurring again.

Part 1: Why Mac freezes up constantly

It is well known that Mac computers are fairly durable and stable. However, if you open too many programs, apps or browser tabs, it will slow down.

Similar to any computers, when there is too much data fighting for CPU processing power, Mac screen will be frozen and not respond to your clicks.

In addition, hardware problem and malware could lead to a frozen Mac as well.

Part 2: How to fix frozen Mac

As mentioned previously, some problems could cause a Mac computer freezing. We will show you the solutions in various situations.

Before you follow the solutions below, we suggest you to backup Mac for avoiding any data loss.

Situations 1: Mac is frozen due to an unresponsive app

Some programs do not work well on Mac computers. Besides, malware may open multiple windows and overload the system. In result, your Mac will slow down or even stop responding.

How to fix a frozen mac

Solution: Force quit the frozen app

Step 1 Click anywhere outside of the unresponsive app and then right-click on the icon of the frozen app in your Dock.

Step 2 When the menu pops up, keep pressing the Option button on your keyboard to activate the quit menu.

Step 3 Finally, choose Force Quit to close the unresponsive app instantly.

Step 4 Re-open the app. If it keeps freezing, you’d better uninstall it immediately.

Situations 2: Mac is frozen because of too many apps and process in background

If you open lots of apps or browser tabs, your Mac will be frozen, because your CPU is too busy to respond.

How to fix a frozen mac

Solution: Restart your frozen Mac in Safe Mode

Step 1 Hold down Command + Ctrl + Eject buttons on your frozen MacBook. That will reboot your computer instantly.

Tip: If you are using the newer MacBook or cannot find the Eject button, use the Power button to replace it.

Step 2 Then press and hold the Shift key until the Apple logo pops up.

Step 3 After your Mac boots in Safe Mode, you can follow the troubleshooting steps to return your computer to good health.

Step 4 Finally, restart your computer normally to check whether you get rid of the frozen Mac.

Apart from the above solutions, you can reset your Mac to fix this problem.

Part 3: Tips to prevent Mac from freezing

To avoid Mac from freezing, you can try the tracks below:

1. Always download apps from reputable sources. Malware and some problematic apps are the important cause of frozen Mac, so you’d better download apps from Mac App Store.

2. Don’t open too many apps at the same time. If you open multiple apps, Mac will struggle running tasks and slow down. Each app eats up your RAM and CPU, so you can quit the apps that you are not using.

3. Manage your Mac computer regularly. If you store many files and there is no space on hard drive, your Mac will fail to work properly and freeze. We recommend you to remove unneeded files with a professional tool, such as Aiseesoft Mac Cleaner

It is able to monitor every aspect of your Mac performance, like disk utilization, memory usage, CPU usage and more. Moreover, it can help you find the large or junk files easily.

How to free up space and fix a frozen Mac with Mac Cleaner

How to fix a frozen mac

Step 1 Download Mac Cleaner on your computer

Install the latest version of Mac Cleaner on your computer and start it. If you want to check the system status, click on the Scan button in the System Status tab.

How to fix a frozen mac

Step 2 Delete unwanted files

Go to the Large & Old Files tab from the left sidebar, and hit the Scan button. When it is done, you can preview the files organizing by size or time. Select unwanted files and click on the Clean button. Then restart your Mac, and you will discover that your computer performs better.


In this article, we have discussed what you can do to fix a frozen Mac computer. As you can see, it is not a difficult task if you follow our systematic guides. Generally speaking, there are two situations that a Mac will be frozen, and we have provided corresponding solution for each situation. In the end, we also shared some tracks to help you avoid the problem from happening again. We hope that our sharing is helpful. If you have more questions, welcome to leave messages below this post, and we will reply it as soon as possible.

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How to fix a frozen mac

October 12, 2018 07:00 / Posted by Andrew Miller to Mac Cleanup

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How to fix a frozen mac

Whether it’s caused by a single app or the operating system in general, many macOS users have experienced a frozen computer at least once. The good news is that most of the time these problems will sort themselves out without any action on the user’s part. If a freeze does happen, however rare, there are some easy steps that can be takem to fix a frozen Mac.

Note: the solutions below are for frozen Macs during normal usage and not when you are updating the operating system. For that, we have other fixes.

Why Is My Mac Freezing?

Before we can fix a frozen Mac, we need to know why it is freezing. The most likely suspects are too many apps fighting for CPU processing power. The same scenario can also lead to your Mac being unresponsive, the trackpad not working and the mouse icon freezing in place. A crashing app is definitely a most likely culprit, but not the only possibility. You may also be using a browser with too many tabs open, don’t have enough free space on your hard drive or have a hardware problem with lack of RAM.

Force-Quit Unresponsive Apps

The first thing you should do with a frozen Mac is to check if an app is frozen. You can check this by right-clicking the icon in the dock. If the app is frozen, the pop-up window that appears will say “Application Not Responding.” When that occurs, you can select “Force Quit,” and the app will close. If the app (or apps) are the culprit giving you the frozen Mac, this should free up memory and unfreeze the computer.

How to fix a frozen mac

Alternatively, you can also hit Control + Click (with the mouse) on the potentially frozen icon in the Dock and then click on the “Force Quit” option.

How to fix a frozen mac

To enter the “Force Quit” menu, you can click on the Apple menu in the top left corner and click on Force Quit. An even quicker way is to press Command + Option + Escape at the same time. That takes you directly into the Force Quit menu. No matter how you get there, force-quitting an unresponsive app should likely be the first thing you try with a frozen Mac.

Shut Down Your Mac

How to fix a frozen mac

If force-quitting applications did not solve your frozen Mac, it’s time to move on to another solution. The easiest way to shut down your Mac is to simply hold down your Mac power button until the computer turns off. On non-Touch-ID Macs, your computer has a dedicated power button at the top right of the keyboard. On Touch ID-enabled Macs, press and hold the Touch ID button at the top right of the keyboard. If you are using a desktop like the iMac or Mac mini, press and hold the power button on the computer until the system turns off.

How to fix a frozen mac

The downside of this approach is that you will lose your place with whatever you were previously working on. Your browser will likely save your last open tabs, but any other open applications will be closed. That said, it’s best to use this approach only when absolutely necessary.

Reset System Memory Controller

While it’s not something more general Mac users should mess with, resetting your System Memory Controller (SMC) may help resolve some freezing issues. SMC is responsible for some of the most critical elements of your Mac, like battery management, keyboard backlighting, etc.

How to fix a frozen mac

If your Mac has a T2 security chip (MacBook laptops 2016 or newer), start by shutting it down. then press and hold down the power button for 10 seconds. Follow this by letting go of the power button and turning on the computer.

If the issue persists, shut down the Mac, then hit Shift + Control + Option + Power at the same time. Hold all four keys down for 10 seconds and then let go. You may now power the computer on.

If you are using an iMac without the T2 chip (only the 2020 27-inch iMac has it), shut down the computer, unplug it and wait 15 to 20 seconds before rebooting.

Preventing Freezes in the Future

Ultimately, the best way to avoid a frozen Mac is to follow these easy steps:

  • Make sure macOS is always up to date. Sometimes freezing computers are caused by a technical issue Apple is aware of and will release a software update to fix it.
  • Always ensure you have enough free disk space. This includes both space on your hard drive (or SSD) as well as available RAM.
  • Update all of your applications. Like the macOS update, some freezing issues could be related to a bug with a favorite application.
  • Only use drivers approved by or released by Apple. Connecting external devices can add a lot of extra value (and fun) to your Mac, but not all of them are optimized to run well. Apple-approved drivers can help.
  • Reset your PRAM. This mostly affects display resolution, voice volume and other peripherals of your Mac, so not likely to be a freezing issue but better safe than sorry. To reset, shut down your Mac. As soon as you turn the Mac back on, immediately press and hold down on the Option + Command + P + R keys for 20 seconds. On Mac with the T2 startup chip, you can release the keys as soon as the Apple logo appears and disappears for a second time during startup.
  • When all else fails, reset your Mac to factory defaults. To do this, boot into recovery mode by holding Command + R while your Mac reboots. When you enter recovery mode, select “Reinstall OS X” under the utilities window and follow the onscreen instructions.

While It is not common for Mac to be freezing, it is relatively easy to fix a frozen Mac. However, if you are having the “Service Battery” warning, you will need another set of solutions.


David Beren is a freelance tech writer with over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves dogs, his kids and all things Nintendo.

Here is the tutorial for Fixing Frozen Mac when Updating MacOS using the help of 4 different ways that will be effective and will solve your problem, So follow the below guide to proceed.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he MacOS is believed to be one of the best-operating systems made for the computer devices and the reason for that is this OS just outperforms in any case and also have very very fewer issues related to it. This could be the great thing while every user only wishes that his/her PC or Laptop running secure OS won’t get stuck while doing up the tasks and also that there should be no issue regarding the OS. While MacOS is the best choice for the users because of the reason, it’s quite stable and has no big issues at all, but for instance, there are issues that the MacOS is still holding on while no other OS have that kind of issues. The MacOS have some common issue where it gets frozen, or the Mac gets frozen whenever the users tend to update the operating system. This could be the major issue as the users could not be able to update their systems and hence enjoy up to the newest features and functions on their device. To help out the users get rid of the frozen Mac when updating the MacOS we have written about some ways and methods that all could be followed. If you are also facing the frozen mac issue while updating your MacOS then just read up those ways and methods from the article and apply these all, might be any of these could fix up the issue quickly!

How to Fix Frozen MAC when Updating MacOS

Note that while updating the MacOS it would be difficult to conclude whether or not your screen have been frozen or not, to simply recognize it check that if the progress bar on the screen moves or not. If it doesn’t move for more than 30 minutes, then the chances are that you got your Mac frozen.

Steps to Fix Frozen MAC when Updating MacOS:

#1 Wait a Lot’s for the Update

The issue could be overwhelming you because you have to go on waiting for the screen to respond but what if we say that the thing you could do for the frozen screen is just watching it alike for few hours? This could make possible feel like terrible but let me make you know that some users have got their update done in about 10 hours and until that time those users only felt like that the Mac have been frozen!

#2 Refresh your MAC

Try to refresh your updating Mac as this could give it some kick all the time and there might not come any issue of the frozen screen. For refreshing the install just follow the below steps:

1. First of hold down the power button of your Mac device and then hold it for about 30 seconds. This would switch off your Mac but don’t worry your update won’t be distracted or disturbed anyway.

2. Press and hold down the power key on the Mac again for the 30 seconds, and this should switch up the device back on. The update should then automatically get resumed.

3. To check whether the update is still running or not press “Command+ L” and then from the screen look for the installation.

#3 Reset up the NVRAM

NVRAM is the small amount of space that the Mac shares with the device space so as to store some of its settings or task information and this could only be accessed by the Mac system. To solve up the issue of the frozen screen, we have to reset that NVRAM. For doing that up, you need to follow up the below steps:

1. Shut down your Mac and then again power it On.

2. Immediately after the startup sounds on your Mac, press and holds the “Command+Option+P+R” key combinations. Keep holding those keys until you hear up the startup sounds again on your Mac.

3. Now release up the keys, and your NVRAM should be reset. The update would also start or get resume now easily without any issues.

#4 The Ultimate Recovery

If nothing works for you, then the only option lefts behind and that are to install up to the latest version of the MacOS in the recovery mode of the Mac. For doing that up some steps have to be followed, and these steps are given below:

1. Shut down the button and then power it on again but while doing so immediately press the keys “Command + R” on the keyboard. This would take you to the recovery mode of your Mac.

2. After getting in the recovery mode, you need to connect to the internet connection, and for that, you just have to click on the Wifi icon placed on the top right of the screen and then check the internet connection.

3. Select “Reinstall OS X” or “Reinstall MacOS” option from the screen in the recovery mode and then following through the selection of the latest MacOS you could install it from there easily.

So after reading up the above article, you might have got about those ways and methods that you could utilize on your Mac so as to fix up the issue of Frozen Mac while updating the MacOS. Just remember that not every device would have the same issue causing the frozen screen so to get up the fix you must try all of the above-stated ways and methods!

How to fix a frozen mac

A frozen Mac is a rare occurrence, but Macs like all other devices, run in cycles, and sometimes the software gets stuck in a loop. When this happens, you may find an App like Word, screen, or the whole of MacOS becomes unresponsive. Many people thus complain that – ‘My Mac Is Frozen and I Can’t Click Anything, what to do, How to Fix Mac Frozen Error .

If you are facing the same issue, then in this blog, we have dealt with what to do when your Mac freezes. Or if you can’t move your mouse or curser, can’t use the keyboard, can’t force quit, can’t shut down, can’t turn off, or can’t log in.

Follow these steps mentioned here, to fix your frozen Mac. We’ll help you get your Mac unfrozen and working again. But before that let’s look at some of the reasons for Mac Frozen Error.

How to Fix Mac Frozen Error

Table of Contents

It doesn’t matter whether your Mac is stuck on the loading screen or it has got a white screen of death – some solutions seem to fix Mac screen issues of all kinds.

Follow any of these solutions on How to Fix Mac Frozen Error, to solve your problem……

Solution 1: Disconnect all the peripheral devices

As surprising as it might sound, this is the easiest way to fix a Mac screen issue. If you are using a third-party peripheral device like a Bluetooth speaker or mic, then it may tamper with the booting of the system at times.

So, to Fix Mac Frozen Error, simply remove all the peripheral devices and only connect a mouse and keyboard to your desktop. Once it is done, try to restart your Mac and check if it boots normally or not.

Solution 2: Forcefully Shut Down your Mac

If your Mac Frozen on Restart, or is stuck on the loading screen, then you must consider turning it off. If there was a minor issue with the firmware, then a forceful restart would fix it. This will reset the present power cycle of the system and let you get back full control of it.

  • To forcefully turn off Mac, press and hold the Power key. It is mostly located at the top of the keyboard. Else you can press the Command + Option + Control + Power buttons (all at the same time) to forcefully shutdown Mac.
  • If it won’t work, then you can just remove the battery of your notebook or disconnect the main power supply of the desktop as well.
  • Wait for at least 15-20 seconds and press the Power key again to turn it on.

Solution 3: Force Quit an Application on Mac

Most of the time, a Mac or MacBook Pro Freezes Randomly while running a faulty or malfunctioning application. Also, if the application has stopped running out of the blue, then it can interfere with your Mac’s functionality as well. In case your Mac Frozen Force Quit or forcefully closing the application can unfreeze the Mac.

  • If the mouse is not responding. Then you can just press the Option, Command, and Escape keys at the same time. This is similar to Ctrl + ALT + Del in Windows.
  • Alternatively, if the mouse cursor is working, then just click on the Apple logo on the top and choose the “Force Quit” option.
  • A dedicated pop-up for “Force Quit Applications” would be launched. Just select the application that you wish to close and click on the “Force Quit” button.

Solution 4: Reboot Mac in a Safe Mode

If there is a problem related to a certain process or application in your Mac, then you should consider booting your Mac in the safe mode. This will restart your system without any unwanted third-party or network process running in the background. Furthermore, it will help you diagnose the reasons behind Mac Pro frozen screen as well.

  • Turn off your Mac if it isn’t already. Now, press the Power button to turn it on.
  • As soon as you would hear the startup chime. Press and hold the Shift key as your Mac would turn on. It will automatically boot in the safe mode instead of the normal mode.
  • Then, just log-in to any account and access the restricted Mac features.

*** Sometimes, the system can be so packed that it might not have enough space to run any process or application as well. As a result, the system shuts down, or Mac mouse freezes in between. If this is the cause of your Mac Freeze, then you must consider to Free-Up Your Hard Drive Space first to fix this issue and to make more free space on your Mac.

The Bottom Line

We hope that you have now understood How to Unfreeze Mac Without Losing Work. However, there are some special cases of this error too, Like, Mac Screen Frozen but Mouse Moves. Mac Frozen Cursor Won’t Move Issue, My Mac Is Frozen on The Startup Screen. Mac Frozen on Restart issue, or, Mac Frozen on Login Screen , these are some special cases that need some special solution.

So, to know about the solution on How to Fix Mac Frozen Error. If these cases occur, click on the link to know about steps.

Now, here we will put an end to this blog for – How to Fix Mac Frozen Error. If you guys have any queries, then feel free to connect with us through the comment section box below. Till then, stay tuned…………

How to fix a frozen mac

Download and try Outbyte MacRepair right now to see what it can do for your Mac.

Developed for macOS

You can always count on Apple to develop highly reliable software and hardware. One of the ways they exhibit this is by rolling out new macOS updates and versions from time to time. Updating and upgrading your macOS is one surefire way to continue enjoying the many benefits and features exclusive to Macs.

However, with every update comes to a few rough patches here and there. One of the most common issues reported by users in relation to macOS updates is that Mac freezes during the update itself. This can be a real bummer, especially if you are not used to Macs freezing. You might find yourself panicking, wondering what went wrong — is your Mac broken for good?

Fortunately, for every Mac problem, there are several Mac solutions. In this article, we’ll share with you tested and proven tricks and fixes to help you solve the frozen macOS update problem.

First Things First – The Importance of Backing Up Data

Apple has made sure that backing up data is as easy as it could be so you won’t think twice about doing it. This is what Time Machine is for. It’s necessary that you back up all sensitive and important data and files before performing any major and serious system update or upgrade. Although the chances of losing them are close to none, since Macs are reliable that way, better safe than sorry is a mantra that needs to be followed at all times.

But, assuming your Mac froze during an update — which is probably why you’re reading this right now — and you didn’t backup data before proceeding with an update, don’t worry. Chances are your data and files are still intact. Just remember to prioritize backing up next time.

Another important note, when updating your macOS, see to it that you have at least 30GB free hard drive space to reduce the possibility of problems during the update process. Now, let’s get on with the solutions.

1. Wait It Out

There’s a reason why it’s recommended that your Mac’s battery is full and is plugged into a power source when updating — the update could take hours. Sometimes, the update could seem stuck but really isn’t. There’s a way to check if your system is still updating: press Command + L. This should show the estimated installation completion time. But, if it doesn’t appear, it’s still recommended to wait a bit longer. Take note that some updates take 10 hours or more, particularly if you’re moving to an entirely new macOS like the latest High Sierra.

2. Refresh The Update Installation

If your gut tells you that an update froze, try refreshing the installation. Here are the steps:

  • Press and hold down the power button for about 30 seconds.
  • When you’re sure that your Mac completely shut down, press and hold the power button again. The update should resume in a while.
  • Press Command + L to verify if the macOS update is working.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, proceed to the next solution.

3. Reset Your NVRAM Or PRAM

NVRAM, or non-volatile RAM, is a type of random-access memory that keeps stored information even when the Mac is turned off. Older Macs have PRAM (parameter RAM). Their primary purpose is to store certain settings in a small portion of the RAM that the Mac can access quickly. Resetting them will also reset the stored information that may have been corrupted or are conflicting with each other, affecting the update.

To reset NVRAM or PRAM, follow these steps:

  • Press and hold down the power button until it completely shuts down. Make sure that the hard disks and fans are no longer spinning, and the screen is turned off.
  • Press the power button again, then press and hold down Command + Option + P + R all at the same time.
  • When you hear the second startup sound, release the keys altogether.

Your Mac’s NVRAM or PRAM should have been reset by now and if there are no other problems, the macOS update will resume. If you are still in no luck? Try the next solution.

4. Repeat The Update In Recovery Mode

If all of the above solutions didn’t work, you can start over but with your Mac in recovery mode. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off the Mac by pressing and holding down the power button.
  • Next, turn it back on. When you hear the first startup sound, immediately press Command + R to enter recovery mode.
  • In recovery mode, click the Wi-Fi symbol at the top right of the menu to connect to the Internet.
  • Now, download the macOS update again. Install it. Choose “Reinstall OS X” or “Reinstall MacOS” when asked. Follow the on-screen instructions.

A Friendly Reminder

More often than not, macOS update problems are caused by underlying problems in your system like insufficient disk space, broken permissions, and redundant cache files that slow down your Mac. To avoid errors such as freezing macOS update in the future, install Tweakbit MacRepair. This handy tool is designed to scan your Mac for potential problems and get rid of them, so they won’t get the chance to affect your Mac’s performance.

We hope that the Mac solutions listed above help you updating your macOS. If you’re still having problems, do not hesitate to contact Apple Support for additional professional advice.

Without warning, your Mac becomes unresponsive, which prevents you from continuing your work. A frozen Mac appears rarely, but it indeed exists. If you have caught up in worry but helpless, maybe this article can help you dispel the dark clouds.

Usually, you may run into the occasions listed below:

This article is available on iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. There’s a little difference on detailed solutions for different Mac Models.

Unfreeze your Mac from unresponsive apps

Let’s start with the most common scenario: your Mac froze during apps or programs working. Or even worse, it stuck exactly when you open the desktop. Often wait a few minutes to let the app buffer, and then it can go on working. But sometimes, it is in vain. At this time, you have to find some other ways.

• Unplug external device

First, if you had plugged an external device recently, unplug it. If it is valid, the frozen Mac may be caused by the corrupted external device. Because bad sectors on the corrupted external device may lock the device’s io channel. Then, the system can’t continue working with other apps or programs.

• Force quit applications

If the first way can’t work, force-quit frozen apps and programs. It aims to check if they are not compatible with the system: if you can move the mouse of the frozen Mac, click the Apple icon and select Force Quit . If you can’t, press Command + Option + Esc keys, and then press Enter instead.

How to fix a frozen mac

• Restart your Mac

Still can’t fix your frozen Mac? Just restart your Mac. Restarting the Mac can make it back to good condition. Because when too many apps are running meanwhile, the locked io channel will be blocked. Consequently, it can’t return the io resource to the system for other tasks. Finally, your Mac stuck.

In case that the cursor can’t be moved, press the power button for seconds to shut down your Mac. Then, press the power button again to restart it.

• Boot into Safe Mode

Sorry for the fact that you’ve failed in the above three ways. Now, you have to try to boot into Safe Mode: shut down your Mac first. Then press the power button and the Shift key. Release the keys until the Apple logo appears.

When you enter into Safe Mode successfully, it means the issues on Mac repaired (Safe Mode can clean up some re-creative cache files to replenish the insufficient memory (RAM), and it can repair some hard drive issues). Now, you can restart the Mac.

Tip: Don’t worry that force quit an unsaved document, restart your Mac, or shut down your Mac will make unsaved files lost. In most cases, it won’t. Read the following part to recover your unsaved Word.

Fix your Mac frozen on the startup screen

If your Mac became unresponsive during booting, you should consider if it is the recent failing system upgrade corrupted the system. Or because you have updated an incompatible boot drive driver or installed a third-party driver. Moreover, insufficient RAM for cache files produced from the startup process is also a possible reason.

As the startup process of a Mac is complex, the occasions of Mac frozen on the booting process are always different from people to people. So, you should know which situation you have encountered, and then, try the corresponding solutions. Here we have concluded some solutions for different Mac frozen issues, go to find the suitable one for yourself.

How to fix a frozen mac

Here is the detailed tutorial to fix Mac won’t boot issue in all cases.

Boot your Mac from the lock screen

Usually, it is good to protect your Mac by setting it in sleep mode every time you leave. However, this time you back to use the Mac but found it froze. What happens? That may because the sleeping Mac makes the working CPU powered off suddenly. Thus, the CPU can’t finish its work by following a program’s instructions to process the data. Finally, it caused the Mac stuck.

And there’s also another possible reason: the Mac can’t return to the system state that it was. When a Mac is in sleep, only the RAM is left powered. If a power failure happens, data on the RAM (RAM stores the state of the system before it went to sleep) will lose.

Keep calm! At first, wait for a few minutes to check if the Mac can wake up itself from sleep. If it can’t, you have no choice but restart your PC first (It won’t make unsaved documents lost):

Press and hold the power button for several seconds to shut down the Mac. Then, press the power button again to boot it up.

If it failed, try to boot your Mac into Safe Mode :

Press the power button and hold the Shift key. If you boot into Safe Mode successfully, next you need to do is clicking the Apple icon and select Restart .

Usually, boot into Safe Mode can save your unresponsive Mac. But if no changes, you have to reinstall your macOS because the system is probably corrupted.

Recover the unsaved documents from your latest frozen Mac

You don’t worry that forcing quit apps or restarting the Mac will make your unsaved Word or other document loss. On most occasions, it won’t. Since Mac has the feature of automatically saving files. Your unsaved documents will be automatically saved in a folder named TemporaryItems. When the Mac is back to normal, you can try to recover the unsaved documents.

The recovering steps are:

1. Open Launchpad and select Terminal

2. Type the follwoing command in Terminal and press Enter to open the TMP folder (It is created automatically to save temporary files).

3. Find out the TemporaryItems folder. Then, right-click the desired unsaved document.

Tip: If your Mac froze during the system update, data loss would happen if the system is corrupted.

But, it is also possible that Mac hasn’t saved your documents in time. You can try some data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover your files.

Tricks to avoid your Mac freezing again

Unfreezing your Mac doesn’t mean that all the problems that caused Mac frozen are solved. Don’t turn a blind eye to these issues because they risk freezing your Mac again. If you don’t have any ideas about that, take a look at below:

Update your apps. Click Apple menu > Select App Store. > Choose Updates . Then, update all the apps to be updated.

Check and clean up your RAM. Open Launchpad > Open Activity Monitor > Click Memory , you can check out which software occupies too much memory but is useless. Then, go to disable or unload the software. You can also delete some out-of-date cache files.

How to fix a frozen mac

Check your disk with the First Aid utility. Open Launchpad > Click Disk Utility > Select the boot volume and click First Aid . You can also check and repair other volumes with First Aid.

Unload unnecessary third-party software. Open Finder > Select Applications and move the undesired software to the Trash.

It is a big trouble that your iMac, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is frozen all of a sudden. This article supplies solutions to unfreeze Mac when working, startup, and waking up from sleep, which can help you get out of trouble. Moreover, it also offers you some tricks to avoid your Mac freezing once again. Hope you can get help from this article.

How to fix a frozen mac

Download and try Outbyte MacRepair right now to see what it can do for your Mac.

Developed for macOS

While Macs are generally known to be stable, they may still encounter problems, especially if you run lots of programs and load unstable apps. One common problem with Macs is they freeze every once in a while. Although it rarely happens, it usually starts with a spinning multi-colored pinwheel, the signal that tells you your Mac is having an issue. But relax, there is a way to resolve the problem. We’ll teach you how to fix a frozen Mac below.

What to Do If Mac Freezes

The next time your Mac freezes, do the following:

  • Did your Mac freeze while you were running a particular app? If so, check if there is a force quit option. Often, closing the app can fix the issue.
  • If it is not possible to use your keyboard or move your cursor, and there is no force quit option, you may have to reboot your Mac.
  • After rebooting, if the problem persists, you can troubleshoot the problem by unplugging any external peripherals attached to your Mac. Next, try to reboot again.
  • If all else fails, you need to run your Mac in Safe Mode. Here’s a guide on how to boot your Mac in Safe Mode.
  • Say you’ve successfully unfrozen your Mac, you still need to know the cause of the issue. Check if your Mac has insufficient memory and storage space or if there is an issue with the current version of your macOS. Identifying the root of the problem can help you address it accordingly.

How to Force Quit a Frozen App

Before you can force quit a frozen app, you have to find out first if the OS is affected or not. Typically, if an app is the main reason why your Mac is frozen, chances are, you can still use your keyboard and mouse. The menus and icons are only the ones that become unresponsive. Soon after that, the multi-colored spinning pinwheel appears. And while quitting and restarting the app is often the best solution to unfreeze your Mac, it is noteworthy that there are still other ways.

  • To force quit a frozen app, you need to switch to another program or app. You can click on your Mac’s desktop or any app window. Alternatively, you can also use the Command + Tab keys to switch from one app to another conveniently.
  • Click the Apple button in the app’s menu bar. Select Force Quit. If the app does not respond, it will be automatically highlighted. From there, you can click the app, and then the Force Quit option.

How to fix a frozen mac

  • Another way to close a frozen app is to right-click on its icon in the Dock. If it is running fine, then you will see the Quit option. Otherwise, it will suggest to Force Quit. Now, if you wish to Force Quit an app that only shows a Quit option, just press the Option or Alt key while you right-click on the app. The Quit option will then change to Force Quit.

How to fix a frozen mac

  • If you are familiar with the Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination on a Windows computer that allows you to force quit and close an app, you’d probably be wondering if it has an equivalent command on a Mac. Fortunately, there is. To achieve the same effect, use the Cmd + Alt + Esc key combination.

How to fix a frozen mac

In most cases, if a Mac application is frozen and stuck in a loop, you can quickly tell because you will be notified and advised to quit the app.

What If an App Won’t Force Quit?

If a frozen app does not have a Force Quit option and your macOS is unresponsive, here are some steps to follow:

  • Click on the Apple menu and click Restart.

How to fix a frozen mac

  • If it is impossible to click the Apple menu because your mouse is also unresponsive, use the Cmd + Ctrl + Eject key combination. This command will instruct and force your Mac to restart as soon as possible.
  • If the restart key combination still does not work, long-press the Power button until your Mac turns off. Wait for a couple of seconds before releasing your hold. Press the Power button again to switch on your Mac. Once you restart your Mac, you will then be notified that the file you were working on is corrupted or damage. Before you delete it, try to recover its contents and move them to a new file.

How to Know Why Your Mac is Frozen

Identifying the reason why your Mac is frozen is perhaps one of the most challenging parts in this guide. If you frequently encounter freezes, you might want to do the following:

  • Check if your Mac has sufficient free hard disk space.
  • Check if there are any uninstalled or pending updates in the Mac App Store.
  • Perform manual updates for apps downloaded outside of the App Store.
  • Update your macOS and disconnect all external peripherals. Re-attach them one by one to identify which of them is causing the problem.
  • Disable useless plug-ins. If you need to use these plug-ins, disable them one at a time to discover if they’re causing the problem.
  • Safe boot your Mac by pressing the Shift key while restarting your Mac. MacOS will then boot with only the fundamental processes and scripts required.
  • Clean up any malware and threats in your system using the Repair Disk function in Disk Utility. Better yet, download and install third-party applications like Outbyte MacRepair. An app like this helps your Mac run faster by clearing your drive’s valuable space and improving your system’s performance.
  • Go to the Apple Support website and run the Apple Hardware Test. This online utility helps to detect any issues with your Mac.

Is Your Mac Frozen Because of a Malware Attack or a Virus?

It is impossible that your Mac is frozen because of a virus. However, it is likely that fraudulent sites that you visited have loaded malware onto your Mac and forced it to open different apps, which resulted in overloaded system memory and lock-up. While your Mac is still in perfect condition, take preventive measures. Download and install apps and programs like Outbyte MacRepair to avoid frozen Mac issues.

How to fix a frozen mac

Apple iMacs are reliable computers. But they can run into problems, one of the issues you may occasionally encounter is a frozen screen.

When your iMac freezes, apps are “stuck” on the screen; the mouse refuses to move and the whole computer becomes unresponsive.

The situation varies from case to case, your iMac may freeze up randomly, while running a specific app, or upon startup. Causes of a frozen iMac can range from glitchy apps, faulty software, and inadequate RAM or hard disk storage.

In this post, we’re going to share with you a few quick tips that could help you get rid of this annoying iMac freezing issue.

If you love your iMac, you should use CleanMyMac — an app that can help you free up tons of space, it also has a dozen super useful tools to keep your iMac in good shape, which would help you stay away from the iMac freezing problem and many other issues.

How to fix a frozen mac

Table of Contents

1. Force Quit Unresponsive Apps

How to fix a frozen mac

The spinning rainbow pinwheel is usually an indication of the Mac system lagging. Your iMac can hang up because of a piece of software. If this is the case, use the “Force Quit” function to unfreeze your machine. Force Quit will exit out of certain apps despite their unresponsiveness.

The iMac menu bar includes the Force Quit function. You can also control-click on the app, press Option, and click on Force Quit. However, in some instances, the mouse may also be frozen and you might not be able to access Force Quit. If this happens, you can use the keyboard shortcut for Force Quit: Command + Option + ESC. A window will display listing out all active applications. Select the unresponsive app and then Force Quit in the bottom right corner. The application will close; if not, try to Force Quit out of it again.

Force Quit, however, does not solve the underlying issue; the app may be causing your iMac to freeze. To determine whether the app itself is faulty, start up the application again. If the screen freezes and continues to do so while you use this program, you may have to uninstall the app and reinstall it thereafter.

2. Manually Shut Down iMac

In some cases, you may not be able to use the Force Quit option due to that macOS is entirely frozen. The quick force quit doesn’t work, your mouse won’t move either.

Then you will have to manually shut down your iMac. To do so, hold the power button for several seconds until the iMac shuts down.

By pressing the power button — as opposed to just unplugging the cord — the computer can safely restart. If your iMac reboots and functions normally upon restart, the issue may have been a temporary minor glitch.

3. Troubleshoot in Safe Mode

If your iMac continually freezes up during boot, you can operate in Safe Mode to troubleshoot the root issue. To enter Safe mode, turn on your iMac, hold the Shift key until you see the gray Apple logo. The computer will then operate in Safe Mode. Go to System Preferences > Accounts, you can view the Login Items.

These Login Items are the programs that launch when your iMac starts up. If, after un-checking all of the programs, the iMac starts up normally, then you can go through the individual programs to identify which is causing the freezing issue.

4. Verify and Repair iMac Disk Errors

How to fix a frozen mac

A frozen iMac can be also attributed to the Mac hard drive issues, especially if your iMac is loaded with a traditional spinning hard drive (while most modern iMacs are with Fusion Drives or flash storage). When your Mac hard drive is faulty or under-performing, chances are your overall system performance is going to be taxed.

Fortunately, Disk Utility allows you to verify and repair potential disk issues. Select Disk Utility from Applications. Click on your hard drive. If your Mac is with OS X Yosemite or earlier, click on the “Verify Disk” button first and then hit “Repair Disk” button if it finds some issues; If your Mac is with newest macOS, you won’t see these two buttons, instead, just click “First Aid” to start and the utility will repair the errors it finds.

5. Reset Minimum Fan Speed

How to fix a frozen mac

smcFanControl is a third-party app that lets you set a minimum speed for built-in fans on Mac. With this app, you can manually increase your minimum fan speed to make your iMac run cooler. One of our readers Kelsey contributed this tip which worked well to resolve the iMac freezing issue. She set up the minimum fan speed by about another 30%.

Note: smcFanControl will not let you set minimum speed to a value below Apple’s defaults, this avoids damaging your machine.

Other Fixes

If your iMac is always frozen on startup, take a look at this video and follow the instructions:

How to fix a frozen mac

Jessica is the co-founder and content manager here at AnySoftwareTools. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.